Pugs (High Risk Brachycephalic Breed)
Pugs are around the 25th most popular breed in Australia. Pugs originated originally in China where short nosed dogs are likely to have been known as far back as 1000BC and it is likely they share some common bloodlines with both the Shar-pei and the Pekingese dogs. However later cross breeding, mainly in Europe, in the 20th century likely led to dogs with shorter muzzles and shorter legs than earlier dogs.
Pugs are in the top three worst affected brachycephalic breeds for BOAS and have a significant number of other hereditary problems. It is commonly considered that pugs live 12-14 years but with many passing away younger due to hereditary conditions research from the Royal Veterinary College (UK) puts the life expectancy of Pugs at 7.7 years.
Pugs are known to have an even & stable temperament but are also known for being “Velcro dogs” because they love being close to their humans. They can readily suffer from Anxiety, especially separation anxiety, which can quickly become a deadly combination even in moderately affected BOAS dogs during Transport.
All Pugs are Brachycephalic and all have BOAS to some degree. BOAS is believed to be clinically significant in at least 60% of them. It is known that signs of BOAS are now commonly evident from 5-6 months of age and it is recommended that Pugs are tested early and where required have corrective surgery at around 8-10 months of age.
Health issues common to Pugs are:
- Brachycephalic obstructed Airways Syndrome including:
- Stenotic nares
- Long soft palates (extending unnaturally into the larynx)
- Swollen laryngeal saccules (further occluding the windpipe)
- Swollen tonsils (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Thickened palates (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Hypertrophic intranasal and caudal aberrant Turbinates
- Hypoplastic tracheas
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) (associated with a corkscrew tail)
- Eye Issues (A variety of issues and more susceptible to Eye injury)
- Skin fold Dermatitis and Skin Infections
- Demodectic mange (Parasitic but due to a Genetic vulnerability)
- Chondrodystrophy, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Perthes and other bone & Joint Diseases
- Gastric Dilatation-Bloating
- Pug Dog Encephalitis
- Phosphorus deficiency
- Ear Infections
- Brain Disorders (Associated with skull shape)
- Cancer (as they age)
- Birthing Difficulties
As a transporter our priority is the safety of your dog while it is with us. Pugs are at the top of the list of high risk dogs due to BOAS. But even for those with lower BOAS risk, in any situation where they become anxious or are stressed for any reason, including due to separation anxiety or any other unrelated health issue even mild BOAS will cause more difficulty breathing, lead to low oxygenation and increased body temperature and will dangerously exacerbate every problem.
Additionally as Pugs age or if they are overweight they tend to be less tolerant of heat and may have a range of chronic health issues.
We have no restrictions on the transport of puppies under 4 months of age but all Pugs above that age will only be booked for transport with proof that your Pet is fit to travel, following completion of our “Brachycephalic Information & Consent Form – High Risk Breeds” and a conversation with our Customer Service consultants regarding the risks for your particular pet. We will make transport decisions as best we can based on the information provided by the owners but in many cases we will not be prepared to transport Pugs on our more common express services.
Please visit our Brachycephalic Breed Policy page for full details
Our Premium services, while more expensive, are better suited to the transport of higher risk dogs as the driver always has less animals (Max 8 at a time) to care for, time for more frequent stops, and all animals are in the van where the driver can hear their breathing, and talk to them at all times.