Help! My pug is over weight
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Thread: Help! My pug is over weight

  1. #1
    nikko's Avatar
    nikko is offline New to the Village
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    Feb 2007

    Red faceHelp! My pug is over weight

    The Vet told me yesterday, my pug needs to loose 10lbs. (in a year). Nikko is 5 and weighs 35lbs. Right now he eats Beneful Healthy Radiance. He used to eat Beneful Weight management. I switched him to healthy radiance because he has allergies and does a lot of licking. The constant licking has eased up a little bit. There are 48 more kcalories per cup in the healthy radiance so I will slowly switch him back to the weight management. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

    Nikko's Momma
    Nikko's Momma

    Success is...being who you are, and feeling proud of yourself for every task
    and challenge that you face and conquer along the way. W. Clement Stone

    Jaz Young-gone but never forgotten

  2. #2
    sfgiants's Avatar
    sfgiants is offline Village Jedi Master
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    Aug 2004
    Phoenix, Arizona


    First and foremost, welcome to Pug Village!

    Pugs gain weight quickly, it can be a battle for any pug parent to help keep them slim and trim. However, its a battle worth fighting, because just like with people, being overweight can cause health issues and/or exacerbate existing issues.

    In my experience, exercise has been key for helping my pugs lose weight. Going on walks when the weather permits is the best method we have found, but just playing around the house helps as well. Of course, most of the time I have to initiate this, because if my pugs have their choice, they will just sit like lumps. So I end up panting right along with them!

    For diet, I have used a weight management kibble and that seemed to help some, but not as much as exercise. If your pug seems to have allergies, it might be best to try a kibble that is more heavily protein focused, rather than grain-based. I personally love Nutro Ultra Holistic for how it makes my pugs coats feel.

    Good luck to you and to Nikko!  125
    Empress Courtney and the Jedi Pugsters
    All watched over by Padme and Neuschler

  3. #3
    GingerSnap's Avatar
    GingerSnap is offline Village Smart Cookie
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    Feb 2006
    Williamsburg VA


    Congratulations on your commitment to get your boy back to a healthy weight! So many pug health issues can be lessened by maintaining a healthy weight. I had to work very hard to get Jackson back down to a healthy weight for him. He had crept up to 23.4 pounds, and his good weight is around 18-18.5 pounds. For him, the biggest key was portion control-- my husband was "eyeballing" how much he was feeding him and ended up way overfeeding him.

    Anyway, if you switched foods on him because of the itchies, etc, he may very well have allergies, and foods are one of the biggest culprits there. I'd loook for something other than what you were feeding when his allergies were at their worst. Some ingredients you might want to avoid because they do cause allergies in many dogs include corn (isn't digestible by dogs anyway, but is a major ingredient in most supermarket dog foods), wheat, and soy. Some dogs are allergic to one protein but not another. They may be able to eat chicken but not beef, for example. The 2 foods you've tried both have a lot of corn, but the Healthy Weight (that he had more allergy symptoms with) also has wheat and soy in the higher ingredients, so you might want to avoid that.

    Anyway, I would first start by figuring out how many calories per day is your Nikko eating now. Then drop that significantly.... maybe 25%? If you've been feeding 1/2 cup twice a day, try dropping to 1/3 cup twice a day and see where that gets you. As you decrease the amount of food fed, expect some resistance at the outset. Your boy will be hungry! If necessary, try supplementing with some low calories raw or low-sodium canned veggies.

    For me, I just decided to gut it out for a couple of weeks, and temporarily shifted his meals so more was in the evening when we were home and less was in the morning, so we wouldn't have to hear him complain about it as much! (I very briefly tried feeding just once a day, but it was a disaster-- if they get too hungry, they'll vomit bile.)
    Mom to Jackson (fawn pug, age 7) and Sammy (black brindle pug/French bulldog, age 9ish or so)

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  5. #4
    ladyjicky's Avatar
    ladyjicky is offline Village Puppy
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    Feb 2007
    Melbourne, Australia


    I feel your pain Nikko! I am on a diet too and its not fun!
    Oscar eating a carrot stick - yik!

  6. #5
    ViralMD is offline None
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    Jun 2004
    Principality of Cyrilia, in New York, NY


    As written above, it's the CALORIES that count. And the exercise to expend those calories. Every 3500 calories expended = one pound of weight lost. You can easily figure out the calorie deficit you need to achieve to lose the necessary weight. Your pugs might not be thrilled with reduced rations, but they'll be around longer to remind you about that!
    Viralmd, Cyril (aka Aljac Captain Hook CGC) and Tassie, the rescue chihuahua

  7. #6
    jwestoverpug's Avatar
    jwestoverpug is offline Village Royalty
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    Apr 2003
    Regent Square, PA


    I think controling your pug's weight may be the single most important thing you can do for their health. Pugs flat faces can lead to enough breathing issues on their own. The last thing these guys need is extra weight to carry around.....when they're overweight, their stomachs literally put pressure on their lungs and will not allow their lungs to fully expand. Not to mention what it does to their joints over time.

    I keep thinking I need to make a video showing my pugs running around the park, hiking, playing vs. some of the heavier pugs I walk. They have such a different quality of life when at a good weight.

    Anyway, It's great that you want to do something about this. It's the same as it is for people, portion control and exercise! I'm not a big fan of beneful, especially if your pug has allergies. Maybe look into a grain free food. figure out an apropriate amount to feed and stick to it! You can measure out the total amount of food for the day and put it in a plastic baggie and use the kibble for treats and whatever is left over can be divided up for meals. Don't give in to those pleading eyes. Pugs are never full. They just love food!


  8. #7
    Daisy's Daddy's Avatar
    Daisy's Daddy is offline Village VP
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    Aug 2006
    LaGrange, Ohio


    Your pug will eventually thank you for helping him to lose weight. It's not easy, but it is achievable.

    When Daisy was a puppy we got used to giving her tons of good treats and goodies, but when she was a year old, she was already 4 pounds overweight.

    We put Daisy on a diet about 6 months ago and she has lost that 4 pounds - she looks better and feels better. At her most recent vet visit the vet declared she was at a perfect weight for her size and was happy to see a pug that wasn't fluffy.

    We feed Daisy very strictly measured kibble (Nutro Lamb and Rice Small Bites) with plain yogurt, canned pumpkin and sodium free green beans to fill her up twice a day. We also give her primarily carrots for treats (which she loves) and for a really special treat she gets tiny pieces of chicken breast.

    Daisy is a typical pug and would eat anything and everything if we let her. The key is that she doesn't have those necessary thumbs so can't operate the can opener or open food bags - we control what she eats.

    Good luck!

    Daisy and Huckstable
    Loved by Kent and Mary

  9. #8
    Pugpillow's Avatar
    Pugpillow is offline Village Royalty
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    Jan 2006
    Quinte West, Ontario, Canada


    Welcome to the Village and congratulations on trying to fix the problem! I have nothing to add to the great advice and information above other than to offer more encouragement. Pugs are chow hounds and you might feel guilty about cutting back on the portions and the treats. However, remember that pugs are very small compared to humans and what seems like a small amount of food to us can be very large in proportion to their size. When Nikko pleads for more, substitute belly rubs or walkies for food. He will be distracted.

    As for the allergies and licking, there is a ton of information here about it. The first thing is to get Nikko off the grain. Either switch to a grain-free kibble or feed raw (prepackaged or homemade). My Kimmy had life-threatening allergies and since I started making her food myself (no grains, no preservatives), she's well at age 11 and off all medications. Do a search of past threads for more info, or ask away and a bunch of us can help.

    Good luck!
    "You cannot afford to subject your animals, or your children, to medical interventions that you do not understand. The belief system upon which the conventional medical model is founded is so faulty, so corrupt and so dangerous that you simply cannot afford to follow blindly." Catherine O’Driscoll

    Hilary & the Pugpillow Gang: Rescues: Denver (10), Tina (7), Murdoch (5) and chihuahua puppy Maximus Spartacus. Always loving my angel-girl Mei-Ling (1994-2009), my cutie-patootie Kim-Soo (1995-2010), my precious Daisy-Bo (1998?-2006), my sweet boyfriend Jake (1997-2010), my little black beauty Betsy (1995-2010), my sweet old grumpy man Gooey (1996-2011), and my sweet gentleman Farnsworth (1998-2012) at the Bridge.

  10. #9
    SaraFaust's Avatar
    SaraFaust is offline Village Pug and Pilsner Connoisseur
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    Nov 2006
    Hudson Wisconsin!!


    MY Misty is overweight, too. She really should lose around 10 lbs too. I've cut back her portions significantly and gone to chicken jerky strip treats, and cut back on giving treats. It's all my fault that she's overweight, so I'm really really trying to get her weight down!! I feel your pain!!
    Sara- owned by Misty-Mae and Bindi-Lou!
    And always in love with my foster George, who went to live in a perfect forever home 6/7/08, and my sweet Wickett who went to live with George where he will never have to be kenneled again, and my Suki-Lee who went to live with a good friend where she will be the only dog and lavished with attention day and night!

    "Rescuing one pug may not change the world, but it will change the world of that one pug forever"

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  11. #10
    Cimaron's Avatar
    Cimaron is offline Assistant to da Coach
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    May 2006
    Memphis, TN


    My Ditka has gone through this, and I now have a foster who was about 6 lbs overweight when I got him. I second what other folks have said about portion control, that is the key. When I put my little guys on a diet, I reduce their kibble by 10-25% to start off with so that it is a gradual transition. I use a measuring cup to make sure I get exact portions. Then, I get them weighed regularly at the vet to measure progress and adjust portions as needed. If you are dealing with allergies, it's important to get the right food that won't aggravate those, then you can adjust portions as needed for the calorie levels in the food. I forget the number of calories per pound dogs need to maintain weight, but you eventually want to shoot for that amount of kibble (your vet can tell you).
    Some nice low calorie treats I have found:
    Charlee Bear-less than 3 calories per treat. They have wheat though, so may aggravate some allergies.
    Kong training treats-the kind that come in the little kong shaped box. These have only organic beef liver and milo grain, and are 1 calorie each.
    Baby carrots (peeled kind in a bag) also work well for my boys.
    Good luck! I think others have covered exercise, that is important also to maintain fitness.
    The Very Proud Mom of little Monster of the Midway "Iron Mike" Ditka AKA "Da Coach",
    And Harley "Chubba Bubba" Davidson, AKA "Harls Barkley, Pimp in Every Sense of the Word" from
    Memphis Pug Rescue.

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