Pug Running

Put Exercise: Gotta Do It or You’ll Regret It

Put Exercise: Gotta Do It or You'll Regret It!

Are you exercising your Pug? How much exercise does your Pug need?

Pugs are definitely family dogs. But that doesn’t mean that they only want to watch Netflix be couch potatoes.

Pug exercise, just like exercise for people, should be a part of everyday life. Many of us humans need to motivate ourselves daily to exercise, not so with most Pugs.

Once you start walking and exercising your Pug dogs, they will demand it. Every day between 4:00 and 5:00, Mimi starts! She stands on the couch, looks at me intently in the eyes, and barks. This is not just your average bark. She doesn’t blink.

It is the kind of bark that says, “I’m going to keep doing this until I get my walk!” And again, she barks.

No matter what I say or do, she does not stop until I take her and Lulu for their afternoon walk. She loves daily Pug exercise.

Making sure your Pug gets enough Pug exercise is essential to their long-term health. But how do we manage it with our Pug’s breathing issues and their tendency to overheat? The key is a balance between exercising your Pug and not overdoing it.

Daily Pug Exercise Is Excellent, but Be Aware of What They Can’t Do

1. Don’t take your Pug outside for long periods when it is very hot and humid.

This type of weather can result in breathing issues. What do you do if you’re out for a walk and they start breathing heavily? Cut back on the Pug exercise or take them back inside. Wait until it cools off.

If you live somewhere hot or hot and humid, don’t take off down the sidewalk with your Pugs and get too far from home. 

My Pugs generally take off at a sprint, unaware of anything. They certainly don’t know how to pace themselves. 

Before I know, we’re down the road, and they suddenly realize it’s hot outside. The panting begins. I generally don’t go too far from home during our walks or Pug exercise. Otherwise, I may end up carrying them home.

2. If your Pug is breathing heavily during exercise, stop.

Pugs are brachycephalic breeds. Pugs have relatively short muzzles and noses. Their throat and breathing passages in Pug dogs are frequently undersized or flattened. This makes it difficult to breathe with too much of a strenuous Pug exercise program. Given their physical makeup, be sure to stop often.

Don’t forget to take water during your Pug exercise walks. I sometimes give Mimi and Lulu a drink and then have them sit. If it were up to them, they would be off sprinting again after their drink. When they’re breathing again at an average pace, start walking again.

3. Do not put a Pug puppy under too much physical stress.

Pugs will develop their growth plates as they grow older. It is risky when the soft areas of their bones are stressed. Damage can occur. This can include swelling, pain, and lameness.

Again, it’s always important to pay attention during Pug exercise and put limits on your Pug. Most of my Pugs never realized that they weren’t puppies until they were eight years old. They always wanted to be “off to the races!”

Remind them that this is a Pug exercise, not a race.

4. Wait an hour after your Pug eats before exercising.

Pugs tend to bloat, and we all know that’s no fun. Generally, we wait an hour after breakfast. This gives them time to take a little snooze after breakfast. And I enjoy the time to have some coffee.

Then we take another walk right before dinner. Be careful. Once they figure out that once they come back from the walk and get dinner, look out! They’ll start pressuring you earlier and earlier to get their walk. Really what they want is their dinner, not the Pug exercise.

5. Go easy on the exercise if your Pug is overweight.

If your Pug is overweight and you’ve decided to start a Pug exercise program, start slow. Likewise, you would not begin your running program by doing a Marathon on your first day. Neither should your Pug do a brisk 30-minute walk on day one.

Pug in Stroller

Start slowly and build up over time. Watch his breathing. If he needs to lose weight, starting his Pug exercise program is a good idea. However, we all know how long it takes for the weight to come off. Slow and steady wins the race, even for your Pug’s diet.

Just build the habit for you and your Pug dog. Half the battle with any exercise program, including a Pug exercise program, is to create the habit. 

I find it’s best for my Pugs to exercise or walk at approximately the same time every day. When do you have enough time so you won’t skip it? If you’re not a morning person, don’t tell yourself you will do it before going to work. Excuses will show up quickly because you’re not motivated to get out there and walk at 6:30 am. You’d rather be drinking coffee and reading your email.

Remind yourself that you’re just making a habit. Your first goal should be to get out the door and go walking for five minutes. Don’t set up obstacles by telling yourself that you don’t have time. Everyone has 5 minutes.

When you feel your Pug can physically handle a longer walk, increase your walk time by another 5 minutes. If in doubt, check with your Vet about the Pug exercise program you’ve developed for your Pug

6. What about walking in the rain, snow, or cold weather?

That depends on your Pug. I bought these great winter coats for Mimi and Lulu. They look so cute in them! But the problem is, once on, they won’t move. It’s great for pictures, but not for walks and exercise. So, do I take them out in the cold? Yes. Not with the coats on, of course. We’d never get more than five steps from the front door. 

The cold weather does not seem to bother them one bit. But my cut off point is 25 degrees. Below that, I make it a quick walk.

The snow? That depends.

Cold Pug in coat 1

If it’s just snowed and it’s deep, we stick to the plowed driveway and road. But my Pugs love running through the snow. Did they get cold feet? It depends on how wet the snow is. If one of them stops, holds a paw up in the air, I know it’s time for me to carry them home. So, when it snows, we don’t go far from the house if I get stuck carrying them. Pay attention to your Pug, and you’ll know. Exercising your Pug in the winter can be a challenge.

What about walking in the rain? If your Pug will tolerate it, a short walk is fine. Like I said earlier, Mimi insists on our walks. However, she hates the rain. If it’s raining, I know they will not like it once outside. Due to Mimi’s persistence, I harness them up and out we go. We get about ten steps down the driveway, and everyone stops. Then we turn around and go back in.

Once inside, the real Pug exercise begins. Because they’re now all wet, their kookiness comes out full throttle. They run back and forth, on the couch, off the couch, to the chair, and back and forth again. You know the Pug crazy routine.

Muddy Harnesses

And the mud? My little princesses don’t seem to mind mud at all. Here’s a picture of their muddy harnesses after returning from a walk. 

In case you’re wondering, they did get a bath that day.

Make Time for Pug Exercise

But what if you don’t have time to walk your Pug? Make time. We all have the same number of hours in the day. It’s what we choose to do with it. Exercise is essential for your Pug.

Get up a half-hour early and skip a show in the evening. They don’t need long periods of time. So, twenty to thirty minutes should be sufficient.

Here are the Reasons to Exercise your Pug and Keep them Active:

  • Extend their life span by reducing the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
  • Help keep your Pug dog at a healthy weight.
  • Help to keep their muscles strong around the hips and knees. For this reason, exercise prevents joint problems and hip dysplasia.
  • Release any pent-up energy. This can result in negative behaviors such as excessive barking or chewing on things.
  • They love their walks. It helps your Pugs to get out and see, hear, and smell things. Yes, they are lap dogs and great for apartments, but they need more in life.

What’s the Best Kind of Exercise for Pugs?

1. Walking is an excellent Pug exercise.

Pug Exercise

You can regulate how fast or slow your Pugs go based on their breathing.

I have two ways I walk my Pugs:

  • One way is on the road, where I have taught them to heel (or at least stay close by me and not pull on their leashes). It is much more enjoyable than them pulling and me getting tangled in the leashes.
  • The other is using a dual retractable dog leash. We go on short hikes. With no cars, they can meander along the trail, smelling and exploring. Yes, and even eating sticks. That became another training issue.

Tips for Walking your Pug:

Tip #1. Keep them safe by teaching them to heel. You don’t need a Pug darting toward other animals, cars, or getting you tangled in their leash.

Tip #2. Use a harness, not a collar. As discussed previously, our pugs have breathing issues. Collars place pressure on their windpipes. This makes it more difficult for them to breathe. You can also do permanent damage to their windpipe if they pull hard enough. We all know, an untrained Pug will pull like crazy if she sees a squirrel or dog.

Pug Orange Harness

Each pull on the leash puts stress on the airway. There are many harnesses you can choose from. You have to decide what you think would be most comfortable for your Pug.

Tip #3. Watch the temperature and their breathing. Keep the walks short if it is too hot, too cold, or your Pug is breathing heavily.

Tip #4. Take water. I use LC-dolida Dog Water Bottle for Walking Travelling. It’s easy to use. For this reason, a quick break is all that is needed. No need to carry a bowl and, furthermore, spill water. And it’s easy to keep clean. 

Keeping hydrated is a must for Pug exercise.

Tip #5. Pay attention to the walking surface, especially in the summer. Dog paws may seem tough, but they are still skin. And in the winter, the frozen ground can be painful for your Pugs. Chemicals on the ground used to thaw ice can also damage their paws. Try a natural wax paw protection product. 

Tip #6. Is it cold, windy, or rainy? Most pugs do not like damp, severe conditions. Keep their exercise to a minimum and think about getting a coat for them. Even with a dog coat, remember their cold winds can disturb their eyes. 

Their paws can get cold, as well as their tender bellies.

2. Playing Fetch

Again, you can regulate when your Pug takes breaks when they bring the ball, stick, or another object back. Don’t forget you can play fetch indoors in a large living area or down a hallway. 

If you get home late from work and it’s too late to take a walk, use a toy to play fetch. Many times if it’s too hot, too cold, rainy, or snowy, we play fetch down the hallway. 

Not your traditional Pug exercise program, but your Pug will love it.

3. What about Swimming as a Pug Workout?

Pug bodies are not ideal for swimming, but they may like a shallow pool for cooling off on a hot day. Get a life jacket. I used to take my Pugs in Arizona for short swims in the pool. I can’t exactly say it was exercise can’t exactly say it was exercise. But it sure did cool my Wizard and Willow off on a hot, Arizona day. Be sure to rinse the chlorine and other chemicals from their fur if you decide to try this.

Pug in Water

4. Go to the Dog Park for Pug Exercise

Most dog parks have separate areas for the big dogs and the little dogs. Letting your Pug run free with other dogs is a way for him to get exercise and socialization at the same time. 

Just like humans, Pugs can get bored. It’s a good idea to take them to different environments, around other dogs and people. They will get their Pug exercise and enjoy being with their pals at the same time. 

Don’t you feel that way also? Isn’t it much more enjoyable to go to the gym with a friend?


Keeping active is an absolute must for my two Pugs. Every day before and after work, we go on a 30-minute walk. They look forward to it.

Pugs need exercise. They can be inclined to weight gain and have joint issues. Pug Exercise helps keep your Pug in shape.

But remember, we have a responsibility to care for their breathing issues. Letting a Pug run wild in a dog park may be fun for the moment. However, it can result in difficulty breathing and stress on the heart. Your Pug could even have a stroke. 

Pugs can be like little kids. In other words, keep a Pug parent eye on them. Sometimes they’re having so much fun; they’re not paying attention to their breathing or cold feet. 

Pug exercise is fun for you and your Pug. Keep it varied, and be enthusiastic and engaged when you’re exercising your Pug.

Keeping active will help to keep your Pug healthy and add to his lifespan. Plus, it’s good for you too!

Yes, our Pug dogs can be couch potatoes if we let them. And they quickly put on the weight. However, exercise for your Pug plays a significant role in their life. 

And it helps them to live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

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