Congratulations on your decision to add a Pug to your family. Now you may be asking yourself, “How will I know if this Pug is healthy?” The answer is simple, research. You should research the background of your soon-to-be new family member. After all, this is an emotional investment.
Some things you will need to consider are health certifications. When you purchase a puppy ask if the parents are CERF and/or OFA certified. A CERF certification is from the Canine Eye Registry. They will certify that the dog has been examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist and is disease free. The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals) evaluates a dog (from test results) and then registers their findings.
The first rule to finding a healthy Pug: Stay away from pet store Pugs! No exceptions. More often than not, pet store pups (of any breed) come from puppy mills. There is no way to research their parent’s backgrounds. Yes, they will probably be registered and have their shots up-to-date. However, neither is a guarantee that the puppy comes from a healthy bloodline. Do you really want to chance the hidden horrors of their genetics?
If you plan on getting a puppy you will need to find a reputable breeder. Try to locate quality breeders through your local kennel club, veterinarian or the American Kennel Club. These breeders are not your typical backyard breeder. They take the breeding process very seriously. They research the lines of the prospective parents in order to eliminate hereditary defects. Their goal is to advance the breed, not hinder it. You will have to wait longer and pay more to get one of these puppies. However, in the long run you will pay less in heartache and vet bills.
If you should happen to buy your puppy from a local advertisement, do your homework. Ask questions. Ask for references. Was this breeding for fun or was it carefully planned? A good breeder will only respect you for asking a multitude of questions. They want responsible owners for their puppies. If you have any doubts about a breeder pass on the puppy.
If you want an older dog, why not adopt? There are Pug specific rescue organizations. These organizations are dedicated to finding forever homes for homeless Pugs. Don’t be under the misconception there is something wrong with these Pugs. There is not. They may have come to the organization for any number of reasons. Some Pugs are voluntarily turned in. They come from loving homes where their owners are either in ill health or have passed. Some are turned in because it was an impulse purchase and the newness has worn off. Others are rescued from animal shelters or puppy mills. No matter how they came to the organization, they will all be healthy when you adopt them.
When a Pug enters the rescue organization they are vet checked. Any injuries or diseases are diagnosed and treated. They will be spayed or neutered. You will be given full disclosure on the Pug you choose. These Pugs will vary in price. Prior to adoption you will be required to fill out an application. They may do a home inspection or call your veterinarian. Be prepared to be evaluated. The placement volunteers are only concerned with finding the best possible home for these Pugs.
Remember, the best way to get a healthy Pug is to be proactive. Get informed. Ask questions. Investigate the breeder. This way you and your new Pug can have the happily-ever-after you both deserve.
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