Pugs are amazing dogs. They’re compact, they’re bursting with life, and their flat faces match their clownish personalities.

But it’s not all fun and games in the Pug Kingdom. Breathing problems can rack up expensive vet bills, not to mention the fact pugs are champions at snoring (and farting, frankly). And if you’re allergic to dogs, good luck: Pugs’ short coats shed an impressive amount.

If a pug is out of your reach for whatever reason, you can try out Growing Pug, a digital pug substitute (pugstitute?) from Blimps. This Tamagotchi-style app let you raise your very own pug on your mobile device. You can feed the beastie, walk it, pet it, and play with it — though you’re also responsible for cleaning up after it (everyone poops, even virtual pugs).


As you might expect, your little puggy can get bored, sick, and tired if you don’t keep him healthy, occupied, and well-fed. Going for a walk improves your dog’s mood, but he’ll need a long nap after he’s gone for a romp in the park. You need to be vigilant. If you neglect your pug for too long, it might die. Gulp.

Growing Pug is cute, but frugal gamers will want to beware: It’s a paid app ($2.99 USD) that pitches a lot of in-game purchases, and also throttles your resources in the same manner you’d expect from a free app. Nevertheless, Growing Pug is a cute virtual pet simulator that costs far, far less than the real thing.