Pug owners love them a lot, but when they start begging for what you eat, a problem will arise. Giving in to your dog’s wishes will see him put on weight. And, it might be too late by the time you realize why your Pug is getting fat.
Causes for Pugs getting fat are over-feeding, lack of exercise, health conditions, and incorrect dog food quality.
Animals that get fat fast, will not lose weight on their own. Instead, if left unchecked, they will continue to put on weight. The dog’s owner is then the one to blame!
So instead of reaching this point, Pug owners can read on to find out how Pugs get fat. But, most importantly, how to prevent it.
Causes for Pugs Getting Fat
As owners, we love to spoil our pets in order to show them we love them. We also accidentally make our Pugs get fat without thinking about the consequences.
A Pug cannot become fat without being overfed. So owners are making their pets overweight by feeding them too much or too often.
Your Pug does not have to eat every time you eat! Even though they look at you with those innocent big eyes, they are deceiving you.
You must wisen up to catch yourself in the act and put a stop to it. Another fact is that dogs can pick up and adopt their owner’s food habits.
2. Lack of Exercise
This is an obvious reason for Pugs getting fat. Lack of exercise is one of the leading causes of pet obesity.
Adopting a pet dog comes with responsibilities, exercising your pet daily is one such responsibility you must undertake. If you can’t take your pet for a walk, try to get someone to do it for you.
Exercise helps set the metabolism in place and makes it faster if it is slow. It also helps to burn off all those extra calories, making it a crucial part of your dog’s life. Missing a day or two is bad since it gets your dog out of routine, and makes him lazy.
3. Health Issues
Certain health conditions can make your dog put on weight, even if he is being fed minimal rations.
Examples are hypothyroidism, a disease that also affects humans. It is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough metabolism-regulating hormones.
In turn, this leads to body functions and metabolism slowing down. Hence, weight is easily gained.
But, this condition can be treated and controlled with the help of medications. Your vet can test the thyroid hormone levels and prescribe medication accordingly.
Hypothyroidism medications for dogs are relatively cheap and dogs react well to the treatment.
4. Incorrect Food
We all love fast food, burgers, and fries and so do our pets. But, that’s no reason to offer your pet some fast food too.
Such food proved to be unhealthy and incompatible with your pet dog. Soaked in oil and artificial flavorings, such food has no positive effect on your dog.
Dogs do not have the capability to digest complex ingredients like a human’s stomach does. What suits us might not suit them. Certain ingredients eaten by us humans are only suitable for a dog in small doses.
5. Unhealthy/Excess Treats
Not all dog treats are safe and a good treat for your dog. Some dog treats look very deceiving and may taste nice to your dog. But, within them lies many secrets!
They often have tasty yet unhealthy ingredients that are not fit for daily consumption. They may just be the cause behind your pooch’s weight gain!
You may have to take a closer look at what the ingredient label says exactly. Plus, never take them as being 100% accurate about the contents of the treats.
The best thing is to make your own treats at home. It is simple as there are many recipes online. At least you will know the complete composition of the treat when you make your own homemade dog treats.
6. Neuter Status
Dogs that have been neutered have increased chances of putting on weight more easily after such procedures. This is because of behavior changes and less roaming tendencies due to hormone absence.
That said, you cannot feed a neutered dog the same amount as one that has not been neutered. Doing this will lead to your neutered pet getting fat and possibly even obese.
Additionally, neutered pets are at increased risk of developing hypothyroidism, which can lead to weight gain since metabolic activity slows down.
It is no secret that senior dogs are more prone to weight gain than younger dogs. In fact, as soon as your dog becomes a senior, you should be making some adaptations to his lifestyle. These will help him transition to this new part of his life.
Food quality must be increased while food quantity must be decreased. These changes are to counter his slower metabolism rate and digestion rate. Also, his activity levels will drop as he prefers to sleep or be idle for most of the day.
In this case, there is no way to force your dog to be more active. It is a fact that you must just accept. You can try to make your senior dog’s life a bit more comfortable and try to lengthen his days with you.
How Much Should a Pug Weigh?
The AKC breed standards state that a Pug (male or female) should weigh between 14 and 18 pounds.
If your dog is under this range, he is underweight. If your dog is above this range he is overweight. You have to get your dog into the right weight range without being too out of the bracket.
How to Check If Your Pug is Fat?
What is considered as being fat or healthy when assessing your Pug’s body?
Well, there are two ways to determine the results.
1. Feel and Look for Your Dog’s Ribs
Place your hands over your dog’s sides and try to feel around for his ribs. Did you manage to find them easily? If yes is the answer your dog is in generally good form.
But if your dog has a layer of thick fat, it could be tough to feel his ribs. This means he is fat. Ribs should be easily felt without pressing too hard! If the ribs can be seen, your dog is underweight!
2. Body Condition Score
Seeing is believing! A dog that looks fat is fat? Excess rolls of fat are not appealing and not fun to carry around all day.
Stand up over your dog and have a look at his shape. You can determine if your dog is fat by measuring up your dog with this Body Shape Calculator Chart.
How does Excess Fat Affect Your Pug?
Carrying excess weight does not come without extra consequences for your Pug. The consequences are ones that will affect your dog’s quality of life and even his livelihood.
This is why getting fat should be avoided altogether. Other effects of having too much fat are stated below.
– Mobility Issues
A fat dog will soon be prone to mobility issues since its limbs are short and cannot bear the extra weight to carry. Joints become stressed and degenerate at a faster pace due to the increased weight burden.
This means you shouldn’t expect an overweight Pug to exercise or even move much at all. Unfortunately, this does not help his plight at all. Losing weight will be tough!
– Health Problems
Excess weight poses all sorts of threats to a Pug’s health and well-being. Apart from mobility issues, a dog who is overweight has a greater chance of developing heart problems. Good health is maintained by keeping weight under a watchful eye.
Being overweight and underactive reduces exercise and this affects the metabolism and joints of a dog.
– Decreased Lifespan
It is no secret that dogs that are overweight from a young age or for the majority of their lives, don’t live very long. This is because their overall health is bad, leaving them susceptible to diseases and organ damage.
Heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, breathing problems, and skin infections, are a few issues an overweight dog has to deal with.
These then affect the owner by incurring excessive medicine and vet bills. It also makes your dog less capable of enjoying his life and taking care of himself.
Dogs are meant to be active, playful, and living their best lives. But when your dog is overweight, this all just becomes a dream.
Of course, when your pooch can’t play with you or his fellow furry canine friends, it affects his morale. It can even make him feel sad and unhappy.
As his owner, it is your job to make some changes and restore his happiness. The only way to do this is to make him lose weight.
You can easily help him shed weight by switching his diet and feeding plan and getting some exercise in there. It also means you as an owner need to change your habits!
Tips to Prevent Pug Weight-Gain
At this point, you are probably thinking about what you can do to prevent Pug weight gain and the troubles associated with it.
Follow these tips to avoid making your Pug fat unintentionally, that is!
a. Adopt a Feeding Routine
Feeding your pet anytime won’t do. You have to make a routine and stick to it. Remember this routine must not only suit you but satisfy your dog’s hunger needs as well.
Generally, feeding twice a day is just right for every dog. Here’s the catch, you have to measure the amount well. Make sure it is enough to power your dog and get digested in time for the next meal.
Stick to this schedule to make your dog accustomed to this feeding schedule.
b. Ignore Begging Behavior!
Does your Pug beg for food when you eat? If you are giving him food during this time, you need to put a stop to it immediately.
You may think of it as kindness but you are enabling him to get fat! If you give him a taste once, he will grow to expect it every time.
Another point owners forget is that human food is not dog-friendly! If you want to give your dog extra food, use canine-friendly treats and snacks. But never offer fast food and carby human treats.
c. Balance their Diet
What you feed your dog does matter. Some ingredients have a greater tendency to induce weight gain compared to others. This makes it ever so important to read the labels of your dog food and assess the ingredients and their amounts.
Carefully watch what you feed your dog throughout the course of the day. Dogs need a diet that has minor carbohydrates but more protein and fatty acids.
Depending on the treats and dog food you use, you can strike a balance between the necessary and unnecessary items. Accordingly, you can increase or decrease some food items from their diet.
d. Feeding Limits
Food portions should be proportional to your dog’s size and activity levels. Large amounts of food for a Pug are not ideal.
Especially since they are not the most energetic and active dogs out there. They spend most of their time sitting next to their owner and getting cuddles.
For this, you do not need to provide an enormous amount of food. Plus the Pug is quite greedy and will eat as much as you give it.
It is up to you to take control and set a limit. Even if he begs and pleads for more food, put your foot down with a limitation! Avoid giving treats after a certain time at night. Night treats do no good to your pet.
e. High-Quality Dog Food
Offering your dog the right food from puppyhood is crucial for weight management. Low-cost dog food comes with a catch. The bulk of these foods is filled up with grains.
These high-grain foods are full of carbohydrates that are fattening. Also, grains may not sit well with your dog as many dogs can be allergic to grains.
Another worry about cheap to low-cost dog foods is the legitimacy of their nutritional labels. They often lie about the ingredients and their quantities.
High-quality dog food usually has the required proportions for all food groups. Necessary vitamins and minerals are also usually present in good-quality dog food brands.
f. Exercise is Unavoidable!
The most obvious way to prevent weight gain in any dog breed is to exercise your dog. Since the Pug is a brachycephalic dog breed it is slightly more difficult but manageable.
The key is to keep exercise regular and not skip out. Also, stick to the right exercise (nothing too demanding) throughout.
Pugs are naturally not active dogs and therefore weight gain can be a constant fear if their food is not managed well.
If good amounts of exercise are not possible, you must keep up with the right foods and feeding habits. This will greatly increase your Pug’s chances of avoiding excessive weight gain as time goes by and they age.
Why are Pugs prone to obesity?
Pugs are a brachycephalic dog breed. This means they have a short snout and small nasal openings that lead to a narrow air passage to the lungs. This makes the Pug intolerant to most exercises. Evening walking for long periods will exhaust this dog.
Exercise limitations that apply to the Pug make them prone to obesity in most cases. This is especially true for senior Pugs or overfed Pugs.
How much should a Pug weigh?
Ideally, a Pug should weigh around 14 to 18 pounds. Falling slightly over or under this range is permissible and no reason to be concerned.