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Exercise Tips for Helping an Overweight Pug Lose Weight

The Pug is a small-breed dog that typically weighs 14 to 18 pounds at maturity. These dogs are technically a toy breed and they were bred to be companion pets. This being the case, Pugs are not one of the most active dog breeds out there and they have very low needs for exercise. Though this can sometimes be a good thing, it also means that Pugs have a high risk for obesity. If your Pug is overweight or obese, follow the tips below to help him lose weight.

Tips for Exercising an Overweight Pug

In addition to being a low-energy dog, the Pug is also a brachecephalic breed. Brachycephalic, or short-faced dogs, suffer from certain anatomical abnormalities which can restrict their breathing – this makes rigorous exercise dangerous for your Pug. If your Pug is overweight, you’ll need to make sure he gets some extra exercise to burn calories but you don’t want to push him so hard that you put his health at risk. Here are some simple tips for exercising an overweight Pug:

  • Have your Pug checked out by your veterinarian before starting an exercise regimen to make sure he is healthy enough for exercise and that he doesn’t have any underlying health problems.
  • Increase your Pug’s daily walk by five minutes per week until you have doubled the total length – for example, if you normally walk 15 minutes a day, add 5 minutes per week until you hit 30 minutes per day.
  • Engage your Pug in some active playtime throughout the day – choose active games like tug of war, fetch, or hide and seek.
  • Give your Pug some extra training, working on basic obedience commands like sit, down, stay, and come – aim for two daily sessions of 15 minutes each.

Even as you increase the amount of exercise your Pug gets each week, be careful not to up the intensity too much. Make sure your Pug is moving quickly enough to get his heart beating a little faster, but not so fast that he has trouble breathing. If your Pug starts to pant excessively, slow down and give him a break before you start walking again.

Additional Weight Loss Tips for Pugs

In addition to making sure that your Pug gets enough exercise, you should also pay close attention to his diet. Small-breed dogs have fast metabolisms compared to larger breeds, but that doesn’t mean you can feed your Pug an unlimited amount of food. To help your Pug lose weight, consider switching to a weight control formula or try reducing his daily portion by 10%. You also need to be mindful of feeding your Pug any treats or snacks, especially table scraps as these can be high in calories. You don’t want to cut your Pug’s intake too drastically because that could be harmful, but feeding him a little bit less over the course of several months should help him to lose weight.

Although your dog might devour anything you put in front of him, you shouldn’t feed him every time he begs. A gain of just a few pounds can be significant for a Pug and obesity is very dangerous. If your Pug is lugging around a few extra pounds, do him a favor and start taking steps to help him lose weight so he can be happier and healthier.

Photo credit: Ezzolo/Shutterstock