While the exercise requirements of a Pug are relatively low, he still needs a daily walk to keep him both physically fit and mentally stimulated. Off-lead exercise and game-play in a secure area will also benefit your Pug greatly. The Pug is a lively, intelligent dog and will thoroughly enjoy the extra physical and mental stimulation. While they will happily live a sedentary life, the Pug will be even happier and live a healthier, longer life with more exercise.
Given the Pug’s sensitivity to heat though, the Pug should not be exercised during the hottest part of the day. Pugs are brachycephalic and have a narrowed airway. They cannot regulate their body temperature through evaporation via their tongue as can most dogs. Exercising your Pug during the hottest part of the day will only increase his already inefficient breathing mechanism.
Not withstanding the above, it is important that you give your Pug at least some daily exercise. It is equally important that you do not overfeed him as an overweight Pug will have even greater difficulty breathing. Pugs love their food, but as with us all, food intake has to be balanced against exercise taken. Please, don’t kill your Pug with kindness!
For further help with the exercise needs of your Pug, we can highly recommend: The Pug Handbook by Brenda Belmonte, author of Training Your Pug.
Pugs need very little grooming thanks to their short, smooth coat. Apart from a regular brush with a firm bristle brush, the occasional shampoo is all the grooming your Pug is likely to need. When you do give him a shampoo, do remember to dry him off as quickly as possible to prevent him catching a chill.
Most importantly with a Pug, its skin folds should be cleaned regularly. Because air cannot circulate within the folds it is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Make sure you clean your Pug’s facial skin folds at least once a week (more often is preferable). Ear swabs (cotton buds) or tissue are perfectly adequate for this simple task.