If you are looking for sure-fire ways to owning a healthy and illness-free pug, then this may be the most important message you’ve ever read…

You could try any preventative measures or feed your pug with the best available home-cooked food, but if genetically your pug is “unfit” or “unhealthy”, then there isn’t much that you could do to improve its health condition. Most likely you would have bought your pug from certain unscrupulous breeders, who had neither knowledge nor any concerns on breeding healthy pug puppies for sale. To avoid getting yourself into this situation, there are four different ways you could source for your new pug. They are as follows:

1. Pugs from Reputable Pug Breeders

The safest and best place to finding a pug is from reputable pug breeders Reputable pug breeders will adhere to the breeding standards, and have vast experience in breeding and choosing their own stocks. The responsible breeders will ensure that the new born pug puppies are in “tip-top” condition, free from any hereditary diseases.

They will generally not breed any other pugs which were not as good, or were previously diagnosed with hereditary health problems. These problems could easily pass on to the next generation. Some breeders even guarantee returns, if you find that it is unsuitable for yourself in any way.

The best way to locate reputable and reliable pug breeders is through recommendations from other pug owners. Perhaps the next time while you are strolling around the park and you happen to meet owners walking their pugs, you might want to enquire from them. Remember to enquire about her own pug’s health and condition, and not just take his or her recommendation for granted. Of course, if he or she is also a victim of those unscrupulous pug breeders, then you would be better off to avoid from this particular pug breeder.

Be inquisitive and do hear the person out, but be sure to evaluate every one of his or her responses with due care before taking up her recommendation.

2. Pugs from Rescue Centres (Eg. SPCA or rescued group)

This is a good source for you to adopt a new pet with considerably lower cost. Compared to adopting a new pug from reputable pug breeders, you’ll probably expect a slight compromise in terms of the quality of the pug’s genes from this source.

You might want to enquire why the pugs were rescued, and where they came from. There are many reasons why owners give up their pugs. Some of the common reasons include:

(a) owners are allergic to pugs;

(b) owners passed away;

(c) accidental or unplanned birth;

(d) high cost of maintenance of pugs (such as high vet bills)

(e) owner’s migration; and

(f) problematic behaviours with pugs and many others.

However, rest assured that pugs from rescue centres will normally be neutered and vaccinated. Most of the time, they will also be willing to let you know all the necessary information to the best of their abilities.

3. Pugs from Home-Breeders

Home-breeders are basically pug owners who breed their pugs from home. This may still be an acceptable option for you, if you happen to know the pug owners. Most home-breeders do not have any knowledge of pugs’ genetics and therefore, unable to produce truly nice pugs generation after generation. More so, you won’t expect home-breeders to spend money on health test to check for any hereditary defects, though this could be arranged between you and home-breeders.

4. Pugs from Pet Stores

Pugs from pet stores are usually pug puppies from puppy mills or home-breeders.

Health conditions of pugs from puppy mills are probably the worst that you could expect as these breeders’ main focus is “breeding for profit”. So, don’t expect high quality breed even though it might claim to be pure-bred pugs. Puppy millers will do all they can to reduce cost resulting in poor breeding standards. What could you expect from pugs which live in a small, suffocating cage, under extreme temperature and being fed with the lowest grade food possible?

Coupled with close proximity with all other dogs, which may potentially suffered from infectious diseases (such as skin disease, gastrointestinal disease and respiratory diseases) will definitely increase the risk of diseases on the pugs from this source.

These problems may not be prominent, but it will lead to long-term respiratory problems, liver problems or even ill-tempered pugs due to a lack of socialization during the first few weeks of birth.

So, what are the relevant questions you should ask these 4 sources of breeders? Here are 5 questions that you could ask them (especially to reputable pug breeders) to get more information before making your purchase:

1. How long have you (the breeder) been breeding pugs?

2. What type of health screening test do you (the breeder) perform on your pugs? Some of the more common health screening tests that are recommended to be performed by most reputable pug breeders include:

(a) Hip Dysplasia
(b) Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
(c) Irregular heartbeat
(d) Slipped Stifles
(e) Cataracts
(f) Corneal Ulcers
(g) Dry Eye
(h) Eyelids and Eyelashes check
(i) Elongated Soft Palate
(j) Pug Dog Encephalitis
(k) Hay Fever
(l) Skin mites
(m) Entropion
(n) Generalized Progressive Retinal Atrophy
(o) Pinched or Undersized Nostrils
(p) Hemivertebras

3. What is the history of your chosen pug (specifically on the origin of the chosen pug’s parents), where were they bred and in what kind of condition)?

4. Where were the pugs bred and in what kind of conditions were they brought up?

5. Is there any return policy, and does the breeder guarantee the pugs being free from hereditary defects?

The initial stage of choosing the right source for a pug puppy is most important. If you haven’t brought or adopted any pug puppy before, you should screen through this information and check with your local breeders.

My advice would be to take your time and don’t rush. It often takes a couple of visits before the final decision is made. Consult your friends, neighbours or anyone that you know who owns a pug dog and get some advice from them.