Pugs are one of the oldest dog breeds and have been around since earlier than 400 B.C. Enthusiasts agree that they probably originated in Asia, based on their similarities to the Pekingese. Known as “a lot of dog in a small space,” the pug should be squarely built with compact, muscular limbs and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. Usually, the males are slightly larger and heavier than the females, but a pug of ideal weight should show a waistline and you should be able to feel the ribs, even if they are not easily visible.
Obese pugs need to lose their excess weight, and a calorie-restricted diet works well for this purpose. If you feed commercial dog food, the best food to purchase is one intended for overweight dogs that comes in the form of reduced-calorie kibble or canned food. Some dog food manufacturers sell foods specially formulated for particular breeds’ nutritional needs. Look for a food that contains meat as the first listed ingredient. Avoid foods that contain meat or poultry by-products, as these are often inferior quality filler materials such as feathers and feet. Choose commercial foods that contain fruit and vegetable carbohydrates instead of corn or grains, which can aggravate joint problems.
Preparation of home-cooked food for your pug can ensure the dog’s diet contains the right sort of quality protein and a variety of fruit and vegetables. The best homemade dog food should contain approximately 50 percent meat, poultry, or fish protein, such as lean muscle meat, skinless chicken or turkey, or oily fish such as salmon. Add 30 percent complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, brown rice, barley, or quinoa, and the remaining 20 percent fruit and vegetables. Suitable items include pumpkin, green beans, carrots, apples, bananas, and pears. Cook all the items together in a large pot with sufficient water to cook any rice. Avoid using excess water that must be thrown away, as this discards important nutrients.
Whatever type of food you offer, your obese pug is accustomed to eating a certain quantity every day. Even if you introduce a low-calorie diet, reducing feeding quantities will help to fast-track the dog’s weight loss. Measure your dog’s regular meal portion and weigh it, then reduce each meal by one-third, which should include all treats, snacks, and leftovers. This will lower the dog’s daily intake by the same amount, and after two weeks, weigh your pug to see if the weight has come down. If not, reduce again by one-third for another two-week period. Check that nobody in the household is offering the dog snacks, and increase your dog’s level of activity with an extra walk per day to burn off excess calories.
Pug Health Risks
With their solid body bulk, pugs carry a proportionately large amount of bodyweight on their joints. This makes them prone to joint problems including arthritis, and their brachycephalic faces with flat snouts cause a tendency toward respiratory difficulties. Overweight and obese pugs have an increased risk of heart disease, hyperthermia or heat stroke, and general difficulty remaining fit and healthy. For these reasons, it is important to maintain the best food diet for an obese dog. Keep your pug on high quality, low-fat diet and add plenty of daily exercises and the dog is likely to recover a trim waistline.
Pug Health Problems
The pug is a small dog with a wrinkled face, barrel chest, and short legs which is beloved by many around the world. In fact, the pug is one of the world's most distinctive dogs. The dog has Chinese origins with many speculating that early Pugs were the ancestors of the modern Pekingese. There's a lot to love about pugs. However, like other bred dogs, they're predisposed to certain illnesses. Let's take a look at some of them.
- Respiratory problems – Pugs with a reduced skull length are prone to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS). A pug that gasps for air and struggles to breathe after exercise may be prone to BAOS. You can protect your pug from BAOS by keeping him/her cool when the weather is hot, staying away from too much exercise, and keeping your pug close to the ideal weight for pugs.
- Eye problems - Part of the pug’s charm is its bulging eyes. However, these eyes do come at a cost to the pug. The eyes of a pug may develop eye issues that result in chronic pain as well as irritation. The large eyes of pugs mean that extra care must be taken as they may damage their eyes by running into objects.
- Hip problems – Pugs are also prone to canine hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia occurs when there is an abnormal development of the hip joint. Symptoms of hip dysplasia are bunny hopping and limping. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia can only be corrected with surgery or medical therapy.
- Seizures – Seizures are another potential health issue that pugs sometimes deal with. Seizures are normally a symptom of Epilepsy. Regular vet check-ups and medication can treat epilepsy. In addition to epilepsy, young to middle-aged pugs are prone to PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis). One of the main symptoms of PDE is seizures.
- Obesity – Pugs have a natural tendency to live a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle puts the majority of pugs at risk of developing obesity. Fortunately, a balanced and healthy diet combined with a regular dose of exercise is more than enough to keep your pug happily puttering through life.
- Skin problems – Itchy skin caused by allergies is another issue that pugs have to deal with. The wrinkled folds of a pug's skin have the potential to trap moisture and dirt, which is quite inviting for bacteria to spread. Regular trips to the vet are the best way of making sure that your pug doesn't have to deal with itchy skin.
Most bred dogs have health problems due to inbreeding and so on. However, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and regular trips to the vet will do a lot of good in preventing many common health problems. Regular attention is the key to making sure your best friend lives a long and healthy life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I feed my overweight pug?
If your dog is overweight, the best food option would be to make it homemade food. That way, you will have better control over what ingredients you're using. You can add more fish or chicken/turkey breasts to the diet, so your pug gets more protein and less fat. Additionally, you can restrict the amount of grains you add to the diet. You should also add fresh veggies to the homemade food for additional fiber and nutrition. If you don't have the time, make sure you buy products that contain chicken or turkey as the prime ingredient and are grain free. Some of the products are Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small Bites Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food, and Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food.
What do you do with an overweight pug?
Apart from regulating its diet, there are several other measures you can take to reduce your pug's weight. The first thing you should do is take your pug to a vet. The vet can tell you what the ideal weight should be, so you can work towards achieving that target. You should take your pug outdoors for regular exercise, starting with a walk. You can also use interactive toys indoors (without treats) to make sure your pug does not sit idle all day. If you use treats, make sure they are healthy and do not contain many grains. The best options would be pieces of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, celery, etc. Also, make sure you regulate your pug’s food intake to the desired levels.
How long do overweight pugs live?
The average life expectancy of a pug is between 12 to 15 years, but most pugs do not make it to the higher end. If your pug is overweight, that could reduce a couple more years of its life expectancy. On the other hand, a healthy pug can live up to 15-16 years. So if your pug is overweight, the best course of action would be to take immediate measures to make it lose weight soon.
What is the fastest way for a dog to lose weight?
A regulated diet and regular exercise are the two fastest ways to lose weight. Ideally, pugs need about 40-60 mins of exercise every day. However, if your pug is overweight, it might not be able to walk that long the first day. Make sure you do not over-tire your pug, as that can cause further complications. Pugs also like mental stimulation, so you can use that to get them to exercise more. Try to use a combination of walking and games while exercising your pug.
Do green beans help dogs lose weight?
Green beans can truly help your dog reduce weight. Green beans are high in fiber and nutrition and can be added to your dog's diet to help out reduce weight. But if you are thinking of the green beans diet, we would advise you otherwise. Green beans alone are not sufficient to provide your dog with adequate nutrition and must be supplemented with proteins. Animal proteins are a must for any dog since they acquire most of their nutrition from that. But you can add raw, canned, or cooked green beans to your dog's food to make it healthier. They can also be an excellent treat for your pug.
References & Resources
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