Milkshake brings all the smiles to the yard. That’s right, Milkshake the Pug is an adorable and iconic pup with unique blush-colored features and baby blue eyes that melt hearts and win over audiences all over social media. In fact, this unique-looking dog has 110k+ followers on Instagram.
As one of less than 100 pink pugs around the globe, Milkshake is affectionately referred to as the Unicorn Pug. His mom and social media manager, Maria, makes sure he lives his best life filled with love and pampering, sharing his journey with the world.
We caught up with Maria to learn more about Milkshake’s meteoric rise and worldwide impact
Great Pet Living: How did Milkshake come into your life?
Maria: I first met Milkshake when he was 6 weeks old. He was snuggled in a blanky in a laundry basket with his brothers and sisters. He stood out as he was the only pink Puggy from a litter of four. His brother was fawn and his two sisters were black. He looked at me with his little round, blue eyes, so I picked him up in my hands, he licked my nose and that’s when I knew he was meant for me. I went back to collect him two long weeks later and we have been together ever since.
Great Pet Living: You have an audience of over 108k followers! Did Milkshake’s page grow overnight or was it more of a gradual growth?
Maria: When we first started his account, it was just to post pictures I took on my phone for fun. He had an overwhelming response from people all over the world. He went viral a few times during the pandemic. But overall, I would say he has built a gradual fan base over the last two years.
Great Pet Living: What’s Milkshake’s personality like?
Maria: His greatest loves are me and food, but not necessarily in that order! He is very sweet and loving at home. He always has to be near me. Sometimes I will wake up in the morning and find his face planted on my face, or him resting his chin on my head. He doesn’t appreciate any personal boundaries!
His favorite time is playtime, and he will fetch a ball or his favorite hamburger toy for hours until I have to hide it. He loves people and attention, so when we go for walks or travel, he likes to greet everyone he meets and patiently waits for a cuddle and scratches. His sweet spot is above his tail or behind his ears.
When we’re on a set or shooting on location he likes to make friends with the crew before we start working and when he’s had enough, he will sit down, close his eyes and snore. He loves to sit on my lap on zoom calls and people will occasionally see his head poking out or wonder where that purring noise is coming from, so he usually gets introduced to all of my clients! He also loves children, so when we see children in the park he likes to give them kisses.
Great Pet Living: Does Milkshake’s rare coloring require any special care or skin treatments?
Maria: Because Milkshake’s fur is creamy/white I have to work a little harder to keep him looking fresh! His beauty routine includes washing his face every morning with a special wash and applying powder afterwards to prevent any tear stains. Most Pugs, Frenchies and Bulldogs get them, but they aren’t as noticeable as on light coloured fur. What he eats and drinks can also affect his allergies, so I only give him filtered or bottled water, grain-free biscuits as part of a raw diet and a daily probiotic like kefir or powder on his food. Pink pugs have blue eyes which makes them more sensitive to light. They should never be exposed to flash photography or bright sun as it can dazzle them. People love the colouring of pink pugs but don’t understand the extra care that they need.
Great Pet Living: What are some of the most common questions you get asked about Milkshake?
Maria: A lot of people ask me if he is a Frenchie or a Pug mixed with another breed, but he is a full Kennel Club (KC) registered Pug. I get a lot of questions about why he is the colour he is. A lot of people think he is albino. He is leucistic, which means his colouring is caused by a partial lack of pigmentation in his eyes, nose and fur which gives him blue eyes, a pink nose and white fur.
In the summer we always get questions about whether he burns in the sun and needs to wear sunscreen. Being a Pug, I try to keep him out of the heat and usually walk him very early in the morning and evenings or in the shade. If we go to the beach it’s usually first thing in the morning or just before sunset. He has a thick fur coat, so I would never need to put sunscreen on his body but if I did take him in the sun I would make sure he had sun protection on his nose and the tips of his ears.
I also get asked if he is deaf or blind but he is a perfectly healthy pug and does not have any health issues.
Great Pet Living: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about being a pet parent to such a famous, and rare dog?
Maria: That you will be recognized by people in any place and at any time. There are weekends when I’ve rolled straight out of bed and into the park and we’ve met people that have seen his latest reel or Tiktok. There are other times when we’ve been in a toy shop or restaurant and people have recognized him and either introduced themselves or have been too shy to say hello. For me, the most surprising thing I have learned is the power a dog has to make a change and a difference in peoples’ lives.
Great Pet Living: Are there any messages from fans that have stood out and stuck with you?
Maria: We get the sweetest messages from his fans on a daily basis telling me how happy it makes them to see Milkshake and that it brightens their day. The most memorable messages I receive are the ones from people who might be struggling with their mental health, particularly depression, and reach out to thank me for sharing Milkshake with the world because it has helped them get through dark times. We had a lot of those messages during the pandemic. I have received more powerful messages from followers telling me that Milkshake stopped them from taking their own lives.
That’s when I realized that we had a responsibility to his followers to be there for them as much as they are there for us. You never know what people are going through, and sometimes a silly video can make the world of difference to someone who is having a bad day, week or month.
Great Pet Living: Has Milkshake met any other celebrities, animal or human?
Maria: When we first got Milkshake he had play dates with Alfie Allen’s dog Ata and he’s met Meridian Dan a few times. We’re always seeing celebrities out and about in London. He is friends with other instafamous pups like Izzy the Frenchie, Tinkerbelle the dog, and Doug the Pug’s mum Leslie is obsessed with him!
Great Pet Living: Does Milkshake have any favorite places he likes to go or travel to?
Maria: When we are in London he loves to go to Chelsea. It’s always busy and probably the most dog-friendly area in London. He is usually allowed to sit at the tables in the cafes we go to because the staff love him and he gets totally spoiled. His favorite café is either Maitre Choux or Peggy Porschen and his favourite restaurant is Sketch in Mayfair.
He has an obsession with the tube (or the underground) so whenever we pass a station he wants to go inside until he comes up to an escalator and remembers that they scare him. He loves staying in hotels because he gets to snuffle into the fresh pillows and bed sheets. It’s a ritual he has before getting into bed. He also loves going to the beach, although he isn’t so keen on water—he just likes to play in the sand.
Great Pet Living: How have you changed since Milkshake has come into your life?
Maria: Having Milkshake in my life has been nothing but positive. He makes me feel like anything is possible. I went through a period of struggling with anxiety and having panic attacks. Since having Milkshake, I feel so much better and the attacks completely stopped. I think that has been partly due to his constant calming presence. He can sense when I’m having a bad day and he will curl up on my lap and start purring, or rest his chin on my head and fall asleep and that will encourage me to relax. It’s almost like a mini meditation session for us.
I have always had a habit of trying to do everything at top speed, but Milkshake has definitely slowed me down and encouraged me to stop and smell the flowers more. Working for yourself can be hard because you need to have a routine and be disciplined and Milkshake’s routine helps me with that.
Great Pet Living: What’s your one wish for people to take away from visiting or following Milkshake’s social media accounts?
Maria: I hope it makes them stop and smile. There is a lot of pressure from our society and social media to be and do so many things, that I wanted Milkshake’s page to be a place where people can press pause, smile, and have a laugh. Realize that it’s important to take a break and make time for yourself. He never fails to put me in a good mood and I hope he does that for others too.
Get your daily dose of Milkshake joy and follow more of his journey on Instagram at @milkshakethepug, Tiktok at @milkshake_the_pug, Facebook at Milkshake The Pug, Youtube at Milkshake The Pug, or visit his website www.milkshakethepug.com.
All photos courtesy of Milkshake the Pug.