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How to Properly Care for Your Puggle

Updated on January 22, 2013

Good, basic care of your puggle is no real burden or chore - in fact, it can be quite simple and amusing. I'd rate my puggle as a low-maintenance dog.

Devouring the homemade stew (water added)
Devouring the homemade stew (water added) | Source
Stew of chicken breast, hamburger, pinto beans, corn, calcium, multi-vitamin, and fish oil.  Yum - or Eewwww - depending on your perspective.
Stew of chicken breast, hamburger, pinto beans, corn, calcium, multi-vitamin, and fish oil. Yum - or Eewwww - depending on your perspective. | Source
Lots of outdoor activity improves your health and hers.
Lots of outdoor activity improves your health and hers. | Source

Daily Care: Nutrition and Exercise

The obvious foundation to any healthy dog (or person for that matter) is a proper diet and plenty of exercise.

Nutrition

I've had excellent results either cooking for my dog (quick recipe below) or feeding her a grain-free, highly rated, balanced food. I've done extensive research on dog nutrition and have found that grocery store dog food is quite unhealthy and most likely will shorten a dog's lifespan. Food purchased at a pet store is usually of medium quality, while the more expensive food usually ordered online, or prepared yourself, can add years to a dog's life. So, I would suggest you do your research derived from vets and other unbiased sources to determine what's best for your dog. (Don't believe the commercials on tv!)

Tips: If your puggle is not a good water drinker like mine, try adding water to their meals. My puggle's dinners are now actually a stew or a soup. In addition, if your puggle is a gulper, try putting their meal in a blender or food processor before serving so that their digestive system can access all of the nutrients.

Quick recipe: Combine and cook any kind or combination of meats you have on hand (not processed or containing nitrates - meaning no bacon, sausage, ham, processed turkey, etc), some fruits or veggies (again, do your research - make sure the item is safe for dogs), a couple capsuls of fish oil squirted into the mix, a crushed calcium tablet, and a crushed multi-vitamin tablet. Other options to add are eggs and legumes. The quantity of each item should fall in the order listed above, with the vast majority being protein. No spices.

Exercise

While every dog has different exercise requirements, my puggle adapts to my schedule quite well. She is happiest hiking in the foothills or taking the long walk to the park and running with the big dogs for an hour or so. However, there are days where my schedule doesn't permit a long run, and she is polite enough to not scoff at our walks around the block (although she's a bit more antsy during the day when she doesn't get a good run in.)

Gently clean the folds and tear stains.
Gently clean the folds and tear stains. | Source
Gently wipe inside of ears and ear flaps.
Gently wipe inside of ears and ear flaps. | Source
Wipe inside and outside of teeth and gums.
Wipe inside and outside of teeth and gums. | Source

Weekly Care

Usually on a weekend day, I spend a few minutes doing basic clean-up type maintenance. I use the one washcloth method (I'm pretty sure I came up with that). But, it makes the process very quick and simple. No highly commercialized products necessary.

  1. Start with a clean, warm, wet washcloth (no soap).
  2. Wrangle your little sweetie (I usually sit on the floor with my arms and legs around her - if you can picture that - LOL.)
  3. First I hold her head as still as possible with my left hand, while I gently and slowly wipe her nose wrinkles and tear stains with the washcloth. Warning: Be very careful of puggle eyes since they protrude. When I do this slowly, it gives her a chance to close her eye before each swipe.
  4. Next I gently clean the parts of her inner ears that I can reach with the washcloth. Since my finger in a washcloth is pretty wide, there's little chance of going too far into the ear canal.
  5. Next, I turn the washcloth over, pry her jaws apart, and just clean the heck out of her stinky mouth and teeth. I've never had much luck with small or pet-specific toothbrushes since my puggle has a 360 degree bobble head.

By the time these three items are clean, the washcloth bears the evidence of all the gook on her face and teeth. (Pretty gross, but I'm glad it's off of her!)

Monthly flea and tick prevention
Monthly flea and tick prevention | Source
Monthly heartworm prevention
Monthly heartworm prevention | Source

Monthly Care

Monthly puggle care in our family is quite simple. On the first of the month (easy to remember), I apply my puggle's topical flea and tick medication, and feed her a smelly heartworm prevention tab. That's it! She is protected for the month.

Note: Heartworm medication can be dispensed by human pharmacies (I like Costco), but the pharmacy must have a copy of the prescription faxed from your vet. Normally, the pharmacy will fill only one year's worth of medication, ensuring you have your dog checked for heartworm every year.

Also, during the summer, I usually give my puggle a wet or dry shampoo bath once a month, but hold off for 2-3 months in the winter, as the weather dries out her skin and makes her more itchy after even a moisturizing bath. Normally, I brush her out (see: The Fabulous FURminator) before the bath to avoid clogging up my drain.

Under arm hot spot
Under arm hot spot | Source
Ear Care Prescription Products
Ear Care Prescription Products | Source

As Needed Care

The only as needed care I've come across with my puggle are for hot spots and ear infections.

Due to the fact that my puggle has hairless armpits and that she wears a soft harness for walks and a sweatshirt in the winter, she sometimes develops spotty abrasions in friction areas. I used to pay for an outrageously expensive spray from the vet, but found a great hot spot spray (recommended by Cesar Millan) that is available to order online.

In addition, when I see my girl start scratching an ear, I do the weekly cleaning, then when dry, I apply this (what I think) is miracle lotion prescribed from the vet. I apply it once per day with a cotton ball, concentrating on the inner flaps, and the itch is gone within 2 days. The bottle usually lasts the entire year, but again, it is by prescription.

But, be forewarned, you need to hold her head still (in a tight grip) while massaging the cleaner into her ear and wiping the excess out with a cotton ball. Because, after that, all bets are off. She shakes her head like crazy, the leftover ear cleaner flying everywhere, then proceeds to act like an insane dog, rubbing her ears all over the rug.

Crazy dog after ear cleaning
Crazy dog after ear cleaning | Source

Yearly Care - Vet Visits

Yearly vet visits are, of course, essential. That's when she gets checked over for unexpected illnesses, tested for heartworm or any other locality specific or suspected illnesses. She will also get booster shots and refill prescriptions if needed. And, this is your chance to ply your vet for answers to questions you've been wondering about all year. (Is this behavior normal . . .?)

Assuming you've been applying all the care types listed above, the visit should be a breeze for both you and your puggle.

Tip: If you're going to be doing any air travel over the next year, it's good to get an extra copy of her updated vaccinations, so flying with your puggle will be non-problematic.

Low-Maintenance

I believe, from personal experience, that puggles are exceptionally lovable and low-maintenance. Although every dog, even within one breed, behaves differently, I think I really lucked out with my little companion.

Do you own a puggle?

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    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      OK, very interesting, and well-made points about dog care in general, regardless of breed.

      But I have to ask--what is a "Puggle?" I've never heard of that breed. It must be a mix between a Pug and a.... ????

      Voted up and useful

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Hi Lucy, after I break the surly bonds of earth, if I come back as a Puggle, would you adopt me please? I do have a few bones to pick (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk), though.

      I'd suggest to your readers that they insure that the diet they prepare is complete and balanced. Their vet could evaluate it for them. If they process the food in their blender for the gulpers, they might want to give some hard or chewy treats to help maintain the anal sacs.

      I agree that the pet foods sold in grocery stores are of low quality, but most pet supply stores sell the good stuff, too...you don't need to go on line unless you aren't near a pet supply store that does carry the good stuff.

      At my store we only sold top of the line foods...we didn't sell raw frozen because I had no place for a freezer. If we hadn't closed the store, we would have moved to a larger place and I would have brought raw frozen in.

      Around here Pugs are very popular, but I only know one person with a Puggle, Maddie. And boy, is she ever a love! I think it's the love and good care they get that makes them so lovable. The family that Maddie owns treats her like royalty, as you do your Puggle, and she pays it back with interest! Voted up, useful and interesting. Regards, Bob

    • Nadene Seiters profile image

      Nadene Seiters 4 years ago from Elverson, PA

      I have to agree with Bob that I would definitely like to be brought back as any type of animal and in your care!

      I also make my own dog food, although it actually gets cooked when it is defrosted in some boiling water. I use vacuum sealed bags. I also agree that if someone is going to feed their pet a homemade diet they need to do extensive research online to make sure that it is healthy and safe, and getting a vet's opinion on the matter is highly recommended. I had my vet look over the ingredients and determine whether the food I am feeding my cats and dogs is safe and a balanced diet.

      I also have to agree that pet food from the store is unhealthy, unless it is the highly expensive 100% organic foods. The only store I have found in my area that sells that type of food is a small 'mom and pops' pet store, but it is way out of my budget. I feed my dogs and cats a diet that is approved by my vet for about half the cost of the canned food I would be willing to feed them!

      This is a great article and I think that you are a very thoughtful and caring puggle owner!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Great information and a darling dog. I've always felt pugs are so cute in a funny way. Very useful tips.

    • LucyLiu12 profile image
      Author

      LucyLiu12 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Hi DzyMsLizzy: I should have mentioned that a puggle is a pug+beagle, but best of both breeds. This gives her a longer snout than a pug, so no breathing problems, although she can work up a good snore. Also, she doesn't have the beagle barking tendency, although she's very scent-oriented. She seems to be a successful mix. I adopted her from Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Thanks for the definition...and THANK YOU SO MUCH for adopting a rescue instead of shopping from a breeder or pet store!

    • Pages-By-Patty profile image

      Pages-By-Patty 4 years ago from Midwest

      I second DzyMsLizzy's THANK YOU SO MUCH for adopting instead of shopping! :) I'm still amazed that breeders are able to market two breeds bred together are "designer dogs" when 15 years ago if a pup was half Lab and half Poodle it was a mutt...now they're Labradoodles!

      Great article and even bigger Kudos for being such an awesome pet parent! I think the rest of us are gonna have to step up our game now!

    • LucyLiu12 profile image
      Author

      LucyLiu12 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Thanks, Patty, that is funny about designer dogs - putting a good spin on "mutt." LOL

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