How Long Do Pugs Live? Tips to Increase Their Lifespan

How long do Pugs live is not a question with a fixed answer. Variations occur due to many factors that can impact the Pugs’ lifespan.

Pugs generally live for an average of 14 years and have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years. 

It is very common that most Pugs do not reach or exceed this age range. This is mainly due to illness or not being looked after properly by their owners. All in all, a number of factors can influence their age, lifespan, and quality of life. 

As an owner, you must take precautions to ensure your Pug gets a long and happy life.

Good thing is that Pugs have a decent life expectancy compared to large dog breeds that usually live for an average of 9 to 10 years. 

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Factors That Influence Pug Lifespan

Although we wish that every Pug would live to his maximum, it is not something all dogs are guaranteed.

In fact, there are many factors that decide how long he will live. Some factors can be directly controlled by the owner while others such as genetics are not directly in your hands.

This list of factors can directly impact how long your dog will keep you company and stay in good health. 

1. Genetics

There is a reason why you pay more for a purebred Pug from a pedigree breeder.

It is the better breeding standards. So, the chances of genetic issues are much less or even non-existent. Thus, it is worth it to have a look at the breeder’s background, premises, and parent dogs before adopting.

Some breeders do not pass the breeding requirements and as a result, they are reluctant to give more information than required about their breeding program.

They may even sell their puppies for lower prices and many people fall prey to this trap. If you really want a healthy Pug puppy, do not look at the price tag!

Anyway, how does genetics really affect a dog? Well, puppies with genetic defects could develop fatal diseases very early on in life. Meaning very few get to see a good age and a satisfying life well lived.  

2. Exercise

If you are feeding your dog well, make sure he gets enough exercise.

Exercise works the muscles, bones, and joints, helping delay joint-related issues that occur in senior dogs. But, exercise also makes a dog happy, these are after all active animals that love playing. 

Failure to give your dog enough exercise can cause energy overload. As is the case with the Pug, they are highly prone to obesity. 

Too much food and not enough exercise will affect the lifespan of any dog. It will create mobility issues that affect the limbs, making them weak or even causing breakages. Lack of exercise causes a dog to get tired easily after small energy excursions. 

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3. Stress 

Stress is a killer, not just with humans but also with animals. Conditions that are stress-free, safe, and clean should be set up for your dog. Stress could mean many things, abusive owners, fighting with other dogs, uncomfortable living conditions, etc. 

If you already have dogs, don’t assume they will get along perfectly with your Pug. Larger dogs tend to bully smaller dogs and may cause stress.

You must make the effort to train your older dogs to coexist with smaller members. The same goes with children, teach them how to handle their pets properly. 

To get him comfy start by setting up a quiet and warm area to sleep in, a soft padded bed included.

Make sure this area does not receive a lot of light and noise as this could lower his sleep quality. Getting your dog into a good routine from puppyhood can help to improve his life and increase his lifespan. 

4. Diet

All puppies require the right diet if they are to grow and continue the development and functioning of their organs properly. Dog food is graded based on price and ingredients. 

Cheaper dog foods do not contain all the right ingredients required for optimum growth. A medium to high-quality dog food is essential for living a long life

Dog food that contains too much or too little of the right ingredients will not do much for your dog. In fact, it may make his weight go from one extreme to the other which is not good. 

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Diseases That Affect Pugs

Pugs are by far not the healthiest dog breed. Plagued by diseases, most of which are related to the physical appearance of the Pug.

Yes, those wrinkles on his face are cute, but come with a cost! These are a few diseases this dog breed may develop during its lifetime. 

– Cancer

It is not surprising that cancer is on the list of dog diseases. It has not been cured in humans and very limited treatments are available for dogs.

Plus let us not forget the hefty price tag it can attract to receive treatment. Lets, just say you will be hoping and praying that your dog never develops cancer! 

Cancer is usually more prevalent in senior dogs, making it more important to buy from reputed breeders and maintain a good healthy lifestyle. 

– Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)

This disease is a breed-specific disease and sadly your dog can be at risk of developing it.

Commonly known as necrotizing meningoencephalitis this disease affects Pugs as young as 2 to 3 years old. The prognosis is heartbreaking as it usually ends in death and suffering.

It causes the brain to swell and in turn, this creates terrible symptoms in your dog. Seizures, behavioral issues, weakness, disorientation, and excruciating pain are a few ways this disease makes your dog suffer.

The exact cause is not known for this disease except that it is linked to defects in the genetic composition. Possibly due to breeding dogs from a parent that suffers from this disease. 

– Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BOAS)

Pugs are a brachycephalic dog breed, meaning that their face and snout are flat. Several respiratory issues occur due to this facial feature as some areas are smaller or closer together than other dogs.  

Dogs with BOAS suffer from problems in the upper respiratory system. Symptoms range from snoring or noisy breathing to heavy panting on medium exercise. Eventually, this condition can lead to exhaustion, collapse, and even death if severe enough. 

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– Hemivertebrae

This condition involves deformed vertebrae that are incorrectly shaped and apply pressure to the spinal cord.

Pressing and pushing the spinal cord eventually leads to weakness in the limbs. This weakness can cause incontinence and eventually leads to paralysis. 

Paralyzed dogs do not live as long as their able-bodied counterparts. Hence spinal conditions such as these can lower a dog’s total years.  

– Constrictive Myelopathy

Similar to hemivertebrae, but, constrictive myelopathy is specific to Pugs. This disease affects the dog neurologically as well as causes loss of mobility. Malformed vertebrae will cause coordination problems and later the dog can become paraplegic.  

– Skin Infections

Well, this is an obvious one. Those skin folds can be hiding a lot!

If not cleaned properly, these folds act as the perfect hideout for bacterial infections. Infections that may even be promoted by sweat and dirt. Severe skin infections can get past the fur and skin and start causing problems to the flesh itself. 

The best solution is to clean often under these skin flaps and assure they are always dry. So after a workout and you know your dog has sweated, just wipe it with some dog-safe wipes.

This will go a long way in avoiding any scary skin infections. So check these areas often enough to not let bacteria thrive. 

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How to Increase Pug Lifespan?

Certain activities undertaken throughout your Pug’s life can help improve his life and add some years back on. Try these tips to get your dog on course for a long life! 

a. Opt for a Reputable Breeder

Your Pug’s lifespan is decided from day one. That’s because his genetics play a considerable role in deciding what diseases he may be faced with later on in life. Eventually, the absence of disease can greatly affect his life and life expectancy.

The poor genetic composition can spell disaster later on in life. It can make your dog suffer and incur high medical costs. This is because breeding closely related dogs can cause genetic diseases. 

This is why opting for reputable dog breeders is essential and a must for every novice dog owner. Even if it means paying extra money, do not compromise the health of your puppy! 

b. Regular Veterinary Care

When you get sick, you need to visit the doctor. The same applies to dogs who may suffer from various ailments during their life. Sometimes it is a dental issue or an eye issue. One thing is for sure, regular vet visits must not be ignored!

Not only can it lengthen your dog’s life, but it also catches diseases in time and prevents expensive and risky surgeries. Delaying an already overdue visit to the vet can have dire consequences for your beloved dog. 

Stick to scheduled visits and keep note of the time elapsed since your last visit. There are several ways to stay on track. I’m sure your vet will also help you remember your appointments. 

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c. Balanced Diet

Diet does more than just influence how long a Pug will live. It also dictates his appearance and health. Dogs that receive good high-quality dog food will have a shinier coat. Their coats appear fuller and shimmery as compared to dogs with poor diets. 

The right diet should consist of protein, fatty acids, fats, carbohydrates, and nutrients. It may be tough to find all this in one dog food. This is why some dog owners prefer to prepare homemade dog food.

Experts say keeping treats to a minimum is the best option. But, you can give your pet some treats to compensate for nutrients that are lacking in their food. 

d. Care Well For Your Pooch!

A major factor that decides how long a Pug will live comes down to the care he receives.

Neglected dogs never live as long as well-maintained dogs. Caring involves various activities including grooming, cuddling, and exercising. All of which contribute to health and longevity. 

Owners must take extra steps to accommodate their dog depending on the breed and its requirements.

Pugs can overheat easily. Make sure they have shelter from the sun and clean water is available 24/7! Also, a diet plan must be in place early on, overfeeding will result in obesity. 

Lastly, affection will go far in making your dog live longer and making more memories with you.

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e. Environment

Our surroundings are important to deciding our happiness. A dog that is living in a stressful disturbing environment will not live his life to the maximum. In fact, it could decrease his lifespan. 

Larger dogs, dangerous living conditions, or teasing neighbors, may take a toll on your little canine friend. This could induce health and emotional issues which may take a few years of his lifespan. 

Pugs are a breed that is temperature-sensitive. They have a short single-hair coat but are still not well-adapted for hot climates.

You will have to go out of your way to ensure that they are cooled off. This especially applies after making them do some vigorous playing activity. 

f. Health Insurance 

Putting aside small amounts of money every month can prepare you for accidents or diseases when they happen. Hopefully, this saves you from having to make a heart-breaking decision due to a lack of funds. 

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Caring For Senior Pugs

There is no question about it, older dogs require more care. If you want your dog to live longer, you must consciously look after his food, exercise, and medical care to suit him. 

Food given to young adult dogs cannot be given to senior dogs as it does not suit their new body and metabolism. It would cause him to put on weight as well as cause digestion problems. You must adapt his lifestyle to his age. 

His activity levels will gradually decline and his energy levels will drop. This is a sure sign your dog has become a senior dog. Vet visits are necessary as diseases related to aging will become more prominent. 


No dog is guaranteed a long life unless you make it happen. Take care of your pet from day one as it may just extend his life! Look after every aspect of his livelihood, food, grooming and hygiene, exercise, and environment.