One of the biggest factors in pug health is keeping your dog at a healthy weight. Yet, many pugs end up overweight and struggling. How do you keep your pug on a diet that’s healthy?
For most pug owners the struggle is all too real. Pugs are amazingly talented at convincing everyone that they’re STARVING. Most pugs are highly food motivated too. Combined with their already naturally roundish proportions, a few extra snackies can quickly start to show.
So if your pug is starting to look a little round, what can you do to keep your pug fit?
Why Do Pugs Become Overweight?
The truth about pugs is that they’re naturally inclined to gain weight. As all pug owners can attest, food is typically the first thing on a pug’s mind at all times. They love snackies. They love treats. Most pugs love every kind of food they can get their mouths on.
In addition, pugs are naturally curvy, roly-poly little creatures. Those curves, rolls, and folds add to the charm of a pug and give him or her their delightful look. Most pugs look as though their “skin suit” is a little too big for them. They often have a furry mane or role near their neck. Some pugs even naturally have rolls down their backs.
Combine this propensity towards curviness, with the health challenges of a pug breed, and you have a perfect storm for an overweight and/or obese dog.
Pugs are brachycephalic dogs, meaning they have very flat faces. This makes them very intolerant to high heat and it means they can struggle with breathing. Going for a long run or hike, especially in warm weather, isn’t possible for must pugs. While almost every pug likes to do “zoomies”, where they zip around the yard at breakneck speed for a few seconds at a time, most pugs aren’t marathon-runners (or even up for a 5K).
Pugs also have a tendency toward joint issues. Luxating patella and hip dysplasia are common musculoskeletal issues faced by many pugs. Unfortunately, with their squat, short bodies, and poor breeding, many puggies face pain and mobility issues, especially as they get older.
If ALL these challenges weren’t enough, pugs can also face other health issues like allergies and eye issues, where they need to take medication that can also lead to weight gain. Steroids and other treatments can cause pugs to gain weight and struggle even more.
Yes, it seems like all factors are working against pugs when it comes to staying fit. Some pug owners simply shrug it off and assume that having a chubby pug is inevitable. But the extra weight only exacerbates many of these already challenging issues and leads to other concerns like heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Keeping the dogtor away means keeping your pug as fit as possible.
Image Source: University of Cambridge, Cambridge BOAS Research Group