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Do Pugs Have Breathing Problems

Yes, pugs have breathing problems because of their brachycephalic facial features characterized by a flat face and shortened skull and nose. This, therefore, obstructs the airflow, causing the puppies and adult dogs to gasp for breath, particularly on occasions when they are increasingly exhausted. That is why it is recommended not to over-exercise a pug, as that could make them pant heavily, increasing the risk of a stroke.

Another situation that triggers their breathing problem is overheating. Because of the pugs’ facial structure, their nasal and air passages are extremely small, making it difficult to cool the hot air they inhale or release the heat. Allergic reactions and bacterial buildup are the other factors leading to respiratory difficulties.

One of the common respiratory disorders in pugs is BOAS or brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. Under such circumstances, the dog shows signs like labored breathing, wheezing, snoring, choking, gagging, regurgitation, and intolerance towards exercise. This condition is not common in all pugs. As per clinical researches, alongside studies conducted by the Kennel Club and other organizations, 50% of the pug population suffers from BOAS or other breathing issues. About 7% of the brachycephalic breeds like pugs and Frenchies breathe normally.

What to do to Lessen Breathing Difficulties in Pugs


  • Keep a check on their weight
  • Clean their nose using a moist cloth daily to prevent any bacterial accumulation
  • Get a good bed for your pug like the bolster beds with a flat bottom helping the dog to rest its head well and stretch its neck out for easy breathing
  • Watch their sleep postures, as awkward positions often result in compressing of airways causing loud breathing and also snoring


  • Overheat them
  • Exercise them beyond their capacity

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