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Everyone in your house has settled down after dinner. Maybe you’re in your bedroom reading a book, while your kids are watching TV on the couch. Typically, when the humans in the house settle down, your pug gets cozy, too. Tonight you notice he just can’t seem to get comfortable.
It may be hard to know if you should be concerned or not, or how you can help. That’s what I’m going to cover in this post.
Signs that your pug can’t get comfortable
They spin around in slow circles near an area where they’d usually lay down. Many pugs will circle before laying down regularly, and that alone isn’t a sign of concern. If you notice that they are spinning for a lot longer than they used to, this can be a sign that they’re struggling to get comfortable.
Lays down and then gets back up repeatedly. Typically once a dog lays down, they shuld be content to stay put for a while. If your pug finds a spot to lay but keeps getting back up and finding a new place to lay (or laying back down in the same spot, even) this is a sign that they aren’t getting comfortable.
Panting. Panting is common for many pugs as they are often intolerant of high temperatures and are prone to breathing problems. However, you know your pug’s regular breathing habits, most likely. If you find that they are panting in a situation where they ordinarily wouldn’t, this can be a sign of discomfort or pain.
Pacing. Sometimes if a dog can’t get comfortabe laying down they won’t just sit around or try to keep laying down, they’ll switch to pacing instead. If your dog doesn’t usually walk around much but seems to be pacing the house – this is a sign that something is up.
Sighs or groans when trying to lay down. Have you ever noticed how older people or people with joint pain often sigh or groan while sitting down? Sometimes dogs do a version of that. If you notice your pug makes a groan or sigh type of sound while laying down, this could be a sign that getting comfortable is challenging or that transitioning from standing to laying is painful for them.
Possible Reasons Why Your Pug Can’t Get Comfortable
Feels dizzy / vestibular disease from an ear infection. Probably not the first thought you’d have, but it’s a possibility. Sometimes when dogs get ear infections it impacts their inner-ear, which controls their balance and/or leads to vestibular disease. If you’re familiar with vertigo that humans can get, it can be similar to that. If your dog’s inner ear is causing them issues it can make them feel unbalanced or like the world is moving or unsteady. They won’t necessarily stumble or lose their balance while walking, it’s just that they may feel unbalanced or dizzy. If they have had an ear infection recently or have any signs of ear infections, this is something to ask your vet about.
Joint pain. This is perhaps the most common cause, especially if your dog is older. Like people, dogs sometimes get aches and pains as they get older. Pugs are prone to hip, joint and spine problems that may increase their odds of joint pain or arthritis. With my pug Frank, we noticed he would show more signs of discomfort when we had rainstorms come in. I think the air pressure level impacted his joint pain somehow. If you suspect that your dog has joint pain, discuss it with your vet. They may be able to prescribe medication or other treatment ideas. Frank was given a canine anti-inflammatory medication that he could take as needed seems how he didn’t have trouble every day. Getting them an orthopedic dog bed may help.
Fan bothering their eyes. This is a weird one, but I’m sharing it because we were relieved when we finally figured this one out. In the summer when we had fans blowing on us, our pugs would still want to sit near us…but they wouldn’t stay very long. They’d get restless and we couldn’t figure out why fr the longest time. Then one day I realized they would lay with us with their heads turned away from the fan for a while. Then after they got uncomfortable from being in the same position, they’d get up rather than move their head/neck. Eventually we realized they were trying to keep the wind from the fan from blowing in their eyes! I suspect that because pug eyes stick out a lot, they are more easily irritated by wind.
Overheated. Pugs get overheated easily. We used A/c for our pugs before we would care to use it for us humans, as they needed a cooler environment than we did. If your pug is too hot, they may keep changing positions as they get to hot. You may also notice them moving to cooler areas such as hardwood, laminate or tile floor.
Spine problems or a slipped disc. Unfortunately, pugs are prone to some spine trouble and slipped discs. Sometimes when they have a new slipped disc, a symptom is that they won’t be able to get comfortable.
Bloat. Pugs love food! Sometimes their love of food drives them to eat their food too quickly. In my family we refer to this as “inhaling” food rather than eating it! If your pug is a really fast eater, it can cause bloat which can make their belly hurt and leave them uncomfortable to lay down. – ate too fast, try a slow feed bowl. We owned this OurPets DuraFeed slow feeder bowl and it worked well for us.
Anxiety. Your pug may be emotionally uncomfortable rather than physically uncomfortable. If they are having high anxiety, they may feel restless and be unable to feel calm emotionally which can leave them physically restless, too. My pug Beans hated thunderstorms and would be restless during storms.
Dementia – Yes, dogs can get dementia. It can cause pacing, panting especially at night. If your dog seems to be unable to get comfortable at night, seems confused or struggles to navigate the environment that they should be familiar with, this could be the cause.
Collapsing trachea – this is a common condition in pugs that causes breathing trouble. Sometimes with collapsing trachea pugs will try to avoid putting pressure on their neck and chest areas, and this may impact their ability to get or stay comfortable while laying down. Removing their harness can make them a lot more comfortable sometimes, if this is the cause.
Heart disease – This puts pressure on their chest which can be uncomfortable. Dogs with heart disease may try to sleep in weird positions or even sitting up, to keep pressure from chest.
Infections or other serious medical problems that can cause pain. Anything that can cause pain can cause your pug to struggle to get comfortable.
If you don’t know why your pug can’t get comfortable…
Go to the vet! You don’t want to risk the chance that it’s one of the more serious causes. If they have a medical condition causing their discomfort, your vet can help you determine the cause and hopefully treat it.
Related post: Common pug health issues.