The Pug is one of the most popular dog breeds. Small, relaxed and loving they are ideal for a busy, city lifestyle. There is a catch though – and that very relaxed, even lazy nature, can have a downside.
Pugs are prone to obesity, and without good exercise, this can seriously affect their health. But on the other hand, Pugs are prone to breathing difficulties, so too much exercise can be a problem too.
Finding that perfect balance is crucial, so let us find out a little more.
Why exercise is important for Pugs
Fact 1 – Muscle tone is improved which gives proper support around the hips and knees. Pugs can get hip and elbow dysplasia, so this is very beneficial.
Fact 2 – Reduces the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Fact 3 – Plays a crucial role in a Pug staying the right weight.
Fact 4 – Releases pent-up energy, instead of venting it through barking, chewing or destruction.
What type of exercise is good for a Pug?
At the minimum, a Pug should have two 20-minute sessions of exercise per day. This doesn’t just mean walking, but at least half of it should be.
Exercise should be light or moderate cardio that increases heart rate slightly and keeps the Pug’s body moving. Such as walking, very light faster walking, fetching, or playing.
The 20-minute rule can be greatly extended for healthy, enthusiastic and energetic Pugs. With care, a Pug can walk for more than an hour.
Different Pugs have different tolerance – some people even take their active Pugs on a hike – but ideally bring a doggy backpack so they can rest when needed during the trek.
Some Pugs love to swim, but this is also a very strenuous activity so if you do take your Pug swimming keep it to short bursts with lots of rest between. Pugs can still overheat, even in the water.
Pug exercise dos and don’ts
Pug Puppy Exercise! – Avoid excessive exercise when a Pug is under 10 months old. This is a time of growth, and strong exercise can affect the soft areas at the end of bones where cells continually divide and cause damaged or malformed limbs. Normal walking and play are not considered excessive. But avoid any running or long walks.
No exercise until 1 hour after eating has passed, as Pugs can suffer from bloat.
Stop exercise if your Pug begins to breathe heavily. Pugs, being a brachycephalic breed, do not have a perfect breathing system, which can be narrow. This can cause noisy breathing and does limit how much exercise a Pug can manage. Using a harness also avoids any stress on the throat area.
No heavy or even moderate exercise in high temperatures. Again, this is due to a Pug’s respiratory system. Heavy breathing is also an indication of heat stress that can lead to heat stroke.
With just a little work you can keep your Pug in good shape and maintain a healthy body weight.
Even from the very best Pug breeder, you cannot guarantee a perfectly healthy Pug forever. But you can keep your Pug in the best condition, as long as you remember there is a limit to what your little bundle of fun can tolerate!