Overweight Pug? Help your Pug Get to a Healthy Pug Weight!
Your Pug isn’t immune to the consequences of overeating. Pug weight can be a real problem if overeating is allowed. Just like with humans, being overweight can impact their health.
But being overweight is extra dangerous for Pugs. It can even shorten their lifespan.
If your furball has gotten too plump, you need to change that. Just like us, putting it on is easy, but taking it off can be difficult.
Keep reading to learn how to tell if your Pug is overweight. Then, learn the steps to take that will help your Pug shed those unwanted pounds.
How to Evaluate Your Pug’s Weight
Does your Pug look a little heavier than other Pugs? Extra Pug weight isn’t pretty. Perhaps your pet is packing on some excess weight.
There are a few different ways to confirm this. The following steps will help you determine if your Pug needs to lose weight.
Weigh Your Pug
The most apparent method is weighing your Pug. An average Pug weight is about 14-18 pounds.
But falling outside that range doesn’t necessarily mean your pet is fat. Take the next two steps to get a better idea of where your Pug stands.
Look at Your Pug
Take a look at your Pug. This will help you assess your Pug’s weight. You want to see a slightly defined waist between the ribs and hips.
The waist should be tucked in. But don’t expect it to be super defined.
Then, take a look at your Pug’s overall shape. Is he starting to look like a little sausage? Does your furbaby look too round?
If so, you might also notice that your pooch has a hard time licking or scratching himself.
That’s because an extra Pug weight makes for an overly round body. This makes it difficult to reach certain areas.
For unknown reasons, my Lulu puts on the weight faster than Mimi. It’s easy for me to tell when she is getting overweight. When I look down at her, there is no waist. Her body is straight from her shoulder to her back hip. I cut back on her kibble slightly.
She is a tiny dog, so I start to see her waistline come back within a week.
If you catch it early, it doesn’t need to be a big deal.
Feel Your Pug
Next, place your hands on your Pug’s rib cage. Those ribs should be relatively easy to feel. On the other hand, excess Pug weight will make it harder to find them.
But keep in mind that a thin layer of fat is healthy. If the ribs are too prominent, your Pug is probably underweight. This is also unhealthy.
Possible Health Complications of Being Overweight
It’s a well-known fact that obesity isn’t healthy. But for a Pug, it can be even more detrimental.
Why? Because of health problems, Pugs are naturally prone to.
Those health issues can even plague Pugs who are at a healthy Pug weight. Being overweight just makes those problems worse.
See the list below to find out what an overweight Pug might have to deal with:
Your Pugs may not like to exercise. But it’s not for the reasons you think.
They aren’t lazy. They just have trouble breathing.
This is because of their short snouts. Although adorable, their snouts don’t make life easy.
Short snouts and difficulty breathing is enough to discourage Pugs from exercising. Wouldn’t you feel the same?
But here’s the problem. An inactive Pug is more likely to gain too much Pug weight.
That leads to a nasty cycle. Pug Weight gain makes it even more difficult for Pugs to breathe. And that makes
Pugs even less motivated to exercise.
You can see where this is going. And it’s nowhere good.
But keeping your dog at a healthy Pug weight will help your pooch to breathe.
Pugs also have trouble regulating their body temperature. It’s hard for them to cool themselves down. They are a brachiocephalic breed. Panting is their primary cooling system. Their short snouts don’t make that easy. Be careful if the temperature is over 75 degrees.
Pugs do sweat, but only through the glands in their paw pads and nose. This is hardly enough to cool off efficiently and quickly.
Although we humans do not like to be all sweaty, it keeps us from overheating.
We must be extra careful with our Pugs. Firstly, they are dogs, so they don’t have sweat glands throughout their bodies.
Secondly, they are a brachiocephalic breed, so they can’t cool down as easily as other breeds.
This can make exercise dangerous. It can also cause another vicious cycle, similar to the one described in the previous section.
When your Pug is too hot to exercise, Pug weight gain occurs. And excess fat will heat up your Pug even more.
And that makes exercise doubly dangerous. That’s why it’s best to keep your Pug from becoming overweight. As was stated earlier, being overweight can be dangerous. It can be more than just being uncomfortable.
Pugs tend to have spinal, hip, and joint problems. These issues become more troublesome if your Pug has excess Pug weight.
Reduce the strain on your Pug’s body by keeping extra pounds at bay. You will be doing your pet a major favor.
Pugs are known for their skin folds. It’s part of what makes them so irresistibly cute.
With extra Pug weight or fat, those folds can become problematic.
Extra fat makes for more significant skin folds. And bigger skin folds could develop infections.
The worst part is, the extra Pug weight might keep you from noticing it. But a slim figure will help your Pug avoid this problem.
Obesity, combined with its resulting health complications, can shorten a dog’s life.
However, maintaining a healthy Pug weight might increase your pet’s lifespan.
That alone should be enough motivation for keeping your dog at a healthy Pug weight.
How to Help Your Pug Get Back to Proper Pug Weight
So, you’ve determined your Pug is overweight. And now you know the possible consequences.
What should you do? Don’t worry!
You can help your dog lose that extra Pug weight.
But you don’t need to rush the process. In fact, going too fast can be dangerous.
Aim for a gradual reduction in pounds.
And realize that the more your Pug weighs, the faster those pounds will come off. So, don’t be surprised if your Pug’s weight loss slows down after a while.
If your Pug is extra heavy, your canine might lose up to five pounds per month. But it’s perfectly fine if your Pug needs to lose his Pug weight more slowly.
For some pets, it’s best to settle for losing .5 to 1 pound per month.
Now you are ready to find out how you can help your Pug lose extra Pug weight. Keep reading to learn more.
Visit the Vet
Before doing anything else, you should see your vet. The vet can pinpoint the exact reason for your Pug’s weight gain.
Is it merely due to excess calories? Or is there an underlying condition that needs to be addressed?
Also, your vet can come up with a safe, effective weight-loss plan. Your Pug’s health and safety depend on it.
Plus, your vet can look for health problems that have resulted from being overweight. As already mentioned, excess Pug weight can harm your dog.
If that’s already happened, those issues need to be resolved. They could also affect your Pug’s diet and exercise plan.
Pugs like to eat. Three meals per day are generally recommended for this breed. But if your Pug needs to lose extra Pug weight, you will need to reduce your pet’s daily calorie consumption.
Here are a few different ideas on how to do this:
- Reduce the number of your Pug’s meals
- Give your Pug smaller portion sizes
- Switch to low-calorie dog food
But treats might play an even more significant role in weight gain. Slipping your pooch a few too many treats can steadily pack on the pounds.
Avoid this by limiting treats to a certain number each day. And be sure only to feed them at set times each day. If I am using training treats or kibble to train that day, I take that amount out of her meals. Pugs are tiny. I can’t feed them their regular meals, but then an hour later, I give them 15 training treats. I use training treats because they are small, but they still add up quickly with our tiny Pugs.
As I said earlier, if I see Lulu losing her waistline, I cut back on Lulu’s kibbles ever so slightly. Because I never let my Pugs get considerably overweight, Lulu is back to her healthy weight within a week.
Just how many calories should your Pug consume? Ask your vet. He or she will give you expert guidance.
Once you have this number, it’s time to do a little calculating. You will need to allocate a portion of your Pug’s total daily calories to each meal and treat session.
As long as your Pug’s total calories from meals and treats don’t exceed the recommended total, your Pug should gradually lose that extra Pug weight.
Here’s one example of a feeding schedule:
- Feed your Pug about three main meals per day
- Give your Pug a set number of treats between those meals. You can schedule this for the morning and afternoon.
You don’t have to follow that schedule. Just do whatever works best for your beloved canine.
Why Snacks Are Helpful
Wouldn’t it make more sense to eliminate snacks completely? After all, your Pug needs to lose extra Pug weight.
But that could end up doing more harm than good. Here’s why:
- Snacks keep your Pug from feeling too hungry.
- Excessive hunger could cause your Pug to scarf down the next meal.
- Eating too quickly could lead to gastric dilation volvulus, which can be fatal.
- Plus, an empty stomach can cause an upset tummy. This might lead to vomiting.
Best Snacks for Pugs
The best snacks for Pugs are listed below:
- Dog Treats – Look for products made of natural, low-calorie ingredients.
- Green Beans – Your dog can have them raw or cooked.
- Carrots – These can also be cooked or raw
- Watermelons – Be sure to choose seedless varieties.
- Blueberries – This fruit is high in antioxidants, making it a super healthy treat.
- Apples – Always remove the seeds first.
- Chicken – Don’t add any seasoning.
What About Senior Pugs?
Older Pugs have slower metabolisms. And they are even less motivated to exercise.
If your Pug is a senior canine, feed your pet fewer calories. You can ask your vet exactly how many calories your Pug should get each day.
Pugs are not able to be as physically active as other breeds. But that doesn’t mean they should be entirely inactive.
You will have to tailor your Pug’s exercise so that it’s safe for your pooch. Learn how to do that by reading the following sections.
Tips Before You Start:
● Always have water nearby while exercising your Pug. It’s important to keep your canine hydrated.
● Get to know the signs of heat stress and stop exercising when they show up.
Those signs include:
○ Excessive panting
○ Bright red tongue
○ Red or pale gums
○ Increased heart rate
○ Trouble breathing
○ Muscle tremors
● Extreme temperatures can be dangerous for Pugs. That’s why you should exercise in the morning or evening. This will keep your Pug out of the heat of the day.
● Decrease the amount of time spent exercising during warmer seasons.
● Exercise at the same time each day. This will get your Pug into a routine.
● Don’t start out with more than your Pug can handle. Gradually work up to the ideal amount of exercise. This is safer and more enjoyable for your Pug.
● Give your Pug a break about every 15 minutes. This will prevent your dog from overexerting himself.
● Aim for two sessions of activity per day.
● Don’t exercise your Pug right after a meal. Wait at least one hour. This prevents bloating.
How to Gradually Increase Your Pug’s Physical Activity Level
When starting your Pug’s exercise regimen, plan for gradual progress. It will be a slow and steady process.
Start by evaluating how much your dog already exercises. Maybe your Pug doesn’t exercise at all. Or maybe your pooch gets a small workout each day.
Whatever the case, you will need to increase this amount slowly. Try adding 5 minutes. After one week, add another five minutes.
Keep this up until your Pug has reached your vet’s recommended exercise time. If your Pug needs to progress a little slower, that’s fine. Try adding five minutes every other week.
Notice that we are talking about an increase in time, not intensity. Any super intense exercise is probably too difficult for your Pug to manage.
So, keep it low-impact. Your Pug’s heart rate should slightly increase. Anything beyond that is too much. I often go for a “stroll” rather than a walk with my Pugs, depending on the heat.
Regularly check in with your vet. Your vet can warn you if you are pushing your pup too much.
How Much Exercise Does Your Pug Need?
Generally speaking, Pugs do best with twenty-minute exercise sessions. These sessions should be done twice each day.
But those are only general guidelines. Some Pugs can eventually go on hour-long walks. Or they can exercise 3-4 times per day.
It really just depends on your pup. Ask your veterinarian for guidance. He or she will be able to tell you how much exercise to aim for.
I find just looking at my Pug’s waistline is a good way to determine their Pug weight.
Best Exercises for Pugs
What form of exercise is best for Pugs? Take a look at the list below to get some ideas.
These exercises can help to reduce Pug weight:
- Go on a Walk – This low-impact activity is ideal for Pugs. It gets them moving without pushing them too hard.
- Visit the Dog Park – A group of doggy friends might encourage your Pug to run around. Remember to call your Pug over to you for periodic water breaks.
- Take a Swim – This activity is great because it won’t stress your Pug’s joints. But keep in mind that Pugs aren’t the best swimmers. You will need to take all the appropriate precautions. Put a canine life vest on your pet and get in the water with your Pug. You should stay close at all times.
- Set Out on a Hike – If you get tired of walking the same route, take a hike. Just don’t go too far. And stick to easier trails that aren’t super steep.
- Play a Game of Fetch – This popular game is a blast. But make sure your Pug is ready for it. If playing fetch outside, it can be strenuous to have your Pug run long distances. My Pugs and I often play fetch inside. Throwing a toy down the hallway is great fun for them. I may throw the toy a few times down the hallway throughout the day. It’s good exercise. They love it, and it can break things up during the day to ward off boredom.
Exercising Senior Pugs
Like humans, Pugs are more likely to develop hip and joint issues as they age. But that doesn’t give your Pug an excuse to remain inactive or put on extra Pug weight.
Physical activity is always beneficial. Simply adjust your Pug’s exercise regimen according to his needs.
Helping your Pug lose weight isn’t complicated. It just takes a little commitment.
Your Pug isn’t going to make that commitment, so it’s up to you! We think you will agree that your Pug’s health is worth the effort.
Plus, you will get to spend extra time with your Pug as you exercise together. What could be better than that?
Don’t wait any longer. Begin following the steps listed in this article. Soon enough, your four-legged friend will reach a healthy Pug weight.