HomeDog CareHealth and Happiness

Before committing to any dog mix or breed, it is essential that you learn how to first take care of your dog’s health. After all, we all want to keep our pets safe and healthy for as long as possible. Certain breeds and mixes are susceptible to different kinds of health problems. Because of this, it’s essential you know what you’re getting into before making the choice to bring a new furry friend into your home.

The Responsibilities of a Pet Parent

Before making the commitment to get any pet, the first thing you need to understand is that you are 100% responsible for your pet’s health and wellbeing. This means adopting routine procedures for your pet’s care and maintenance, such as proper feeding and grooming. This also means that you must be prepared to deal with any emergencies.

If you choose to bring home a Chug, you must be aware of the closest animal hospital, as well as the closest 24 hour animal hospital. Emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s important to be prepared for any possible situation.

Veterinary Care Provider

An essential step in ensuring your Chug’s health is to have a veterinary care provider who you trust to oversee your dog. Just like having a pediatrician for your child, your Chug should have a veterinarian who watches your dog grow from puppy to adult, and who knows the ins and outs of your Chug’s health history.

Don’t be afraid to try out a few different veterinarians until you find one with who you feel comfortable working. You will likely be seeing this veterinarian for the rest of your Chug’s life, so it should be someone you trust with your Chug’s health and safety. 

vet

We use the Pawprint App for Linus which makes it super easy to keep his latest health information 1-click away at all times. For a few dollars, you can get a full copy of your pets’ vet records with 0 effort. They do all the work, you just need to sign up!

Insurance

Some pet owners are hesitant about purchasing insurance for their animals, but insurance is an incredibly helpful tool. All too often, pet owners are forced to choose between their best friend and financial security. Medications, tests, and emergency surgeries can all add up to an overwhelming cost. Compared to the cost of emergency interventions, insurance is actually quite cheap. And in the end, it could even end up saving your beloved pet’s life!

For a more in-depth look at pet insurance, check out our Insurance page. Not sure it’s really worth it? Check out Eusoh, an alternative to traditional pet insurance that pet parents are flocking to save money while providing better care to their best friends.

Hereditary Health Problems

Chugs are adorable and affectionate dogs, so it’s no wonder they’ve become increasingly popular these last few decades. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that Chugs are susceptible to a long list of hereditary health problems. Unfortunately, not all dog breeds and mixes are naturally healthy.

Chugs are a mixed breed between Chihuahuas and Pugs. Unfortunately, both of these breeds are known for their genetic health problems. Chugs inherit these health problems from both breeds. It is very important to learn about all of the potential risks of owning a Chug before making a decision. After all, owning a dog with such a long list of possible health problems is a huge responsibility.

Here are the most common health problems which occur in Chugs.

Reverse Sneeze

A reverse sneeze is a serious health problem that Chugs can receive from Pugs. A reverse sneeze is a spasm that causes your dog’s windpipe to narrow, making it difficult to breathe. A reverse sneeze can be scary to watch, as your dog’s chest might spasm, causing it to look like a seizure. These reverse sneezes typically occur in short bursts of time, between twenty seconds and two minutes.

Reverse sneezing can have a few potential causes, including irritants or allergies, overexertion from exercise or excitement.

While your Chug will usually be just fine after a bout of reverse sneezing, it’s important that you remain calm and talk to your dog in a gentle, soothing voice. This will help your dog calm down. 

If you know that your dog is not suffering from allergens, get your dog into an area with fresh, outdoor air. If the reverse sneeze is caused by allergens, avoid outdoor air.

Finally, you can also use your hand or index finger to cover your dog’s nostrils for a few seconds. This will encourage your dog to take a deep breath, possibly halting the bout of reverse sneezing.

If your dog is suffering from a reverse sneeze, the most important thing to remember is to remain calm. Because reverse sneezes are often caused by overexcitement in the first place, adding to the excitement will only make it worse.

A reverse sneeze every once in a while is okay, but if it happens frequently, it might be a good idea to seek veterinary help. Your vet can help you determine whether your dog’s reverse sneezes are caused by allergies or other irritants, and they may prescribe medication to help.

Teeth and Gums

dob brushing teeth

Many small dog breeds suffer from dental disease due to the anatomy and size of their heads. This means that Chugs are prone to suffering from tooth pain and breakage, as well as gum diseases. If left untreated, infections can spread throughout the body, and even become life-threatening. 

As a result, providing proper dental care for your dog is a vital part of ensuring its health. Developing a tooth-cleaning routine early on will go a long way in preventing any tooth or gum disease, as well as keep your dog happy and healthy for much longer!

Developing a dental routine for your dog should always be part of your grooming and maintenance. For more details on how to take the best care of your Chug’s teeth, check out our page on grooming.

Joint Problems

Chugs are likely to suffer from joint problems such as arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, and other stiffness and pains. Chugs may also suffer from patellar luxation, also known as a dislocated kneecap. While patellar luxation isn’t often serious, some cases may require surgery. Joint problems are most prevalent in older dogs, but can occur at a young age, as well.

If you notice any limping or signs of pain in your dog, be sure to take it to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will be able to prescribe supplements and medications that can reduce swelling and stiffness.

Obesity

Chugs are prone to obesity, as many pet owners often overfeed their dogs. Chugs are not particularly energetic dogs, either, and a lack of exercise often contributes to weight gain. To avoid obesity in your Chug, be sure to provide regular walks, as well as a proper diet. If you are worried about your Chug’s weight, be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any drastic changes in your dog’s diet.

For more information on avoiding and managing obesity in your Chug, check out the section on weight control on our feeding page

Tracheal Collapse

Chugs are prone to a condition known as tracheal collapse, which is when the windpipe becomes obstructed and results in a fit of coughing. Similar to the reverse sneeze, tracheal collapse is often caused by overexertion or overexcitement. If you notice your dog suffering from a cough that sounds like a honk, or has difficulty breathing, you should take your Chug to the vet. Your vet may be able to describe medications that can suppress the condition.

Bladder/Kidney Stones

Bladder and kidney stones are caused by mineral deposits that collect into a painful mass. Signs that your Chug may be suffering from this include frequent urination, difficulty urinating, bloody urine, loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. Thankfully, your vet can easily identify a bladder or kidney stone through an X-ray, and can be treated in a variety of methods, including antibiotics, change of diet, or, in some cases, surgery.

Heat Stroke

Chugs, like both Chihuahuas and Pugs, are very sensitive to temperature. Extreme cold and heat can cause breathing problems, heat stroke, or hypothermia. While it’s good to provide your dog with regular walks, avoid taking your Chug outside when it is especially hot or cold. Some playtime indoors is sufficient for a few days, and is much safer than risking heat stroke or hypothermia.

Overexertion

Similar to their close relatives, Pugs, Chugs easily suffer from overexertion. Large and medium dog breeds require lots of exercise to keep them healthy, but many small dog breeds require far less exercise. Because Pugs have flattened faces, they are prone to many breathing problems that can worsen from overexertion. As a result, many Chugs suffer the same problems.

It’s good to take your Chug out for regular walks, but don’t let your Chug walk too quickly or for too long. Monitor your dog’s breathing to ensure it doesn’t overexert itself. As your dog gets older, you may need to take your dog out for fewer walks to prevent any breathing problems.

Final Thoughts

As a pet owner, your dog’s health should always be a primary concern. While Chugs are susceptible to a wide range of possible health issues, so long as you have an excellent veterinarian, good insurance, and a deep understanding of your dog’s health, there’s no reasons why your Chug can’t live a long and happy life.