How Much Exercise Does A Pug Need and Why It’s Important

Maybe you’re considering getting a Pug? But you want to know how much exercise does a Pug need because you don’t want an overactive dog. Well, I’ll share what you need to know about exercising a Pug and what I used to do with Mindy my black Pug.

Pugs require a moderate amount of exercise, such as walks or playing around in the yard with their favorite toys. Because of their intolerance to warm or humid weather, it’s important to remember to exercise them in the cool weather.

Now let’s take a look at some different Pug exercises you can do. I’ll also share how much I exercised Mindy and what her favorite activities were. But first, let me share the importance of your Pug’s health and what you need to pay attention to.

how much exercise does a pug need

Check out these pug playpens you’ll absolutely love.

Pugs Health Issues and Exercise Limitations

According to the American Kennel Club, a Pug would be happy snuggling on the sofa next to their owner. This breed loves to eat food and this is what makes them prone to obesity.

It’s up to the owner to make sure that they are receiving the proper amount of physical activity without overdoing it.

Pugs are a part of the short-faced breed, also known as ‘brachycephalic.’ This issue causes them to have a flat face. Their bottom jaw is longer than their upper jaw and it can cause their lower jaws to stick out.

Every Pug is different and it’s more noticeable on some than others.

If you overexercise your Pug, you’ll notice that your Pug will snort and have issues with breathing properly. You may even notice that their tongue will start to hang outside of their mouth.

Any type of exercise that increases the demand for oxygen should not be overdone. They do not require as much physical activity as other breeds.

Now, let’s take a look at what a good temperature is for your Pug while exercising inside and outside.

Ideal Room Temperature for Pugs

If you’re exercising your Pug indoors and playing hide and seek with them or just playing with their favorite toy, it’s important to make sure that you keep the room at an ideal temperature.

Mindy was always comfortable when we set the thermostat around 70℉ and she was fine. If the temperature in the room ever crept up to 74℉ or higher, she would struggle to breathe.

There were plenty of times that she would let us know whether it was too hot inside or not.

Exercising Your Pug Outdoors

Every dog loves spending time outdoors and there’s nothing walking your dog outdoors. I used to take Mindy for a 2-mile walk every day when she was younger. I tried running with her, but Pugs are just not built to jog or run for very long.

However, I made sure that we went for the walk early in the morning around 6:00 AM. It was cool and this made it comfortable for her.

If you’re working a 9-5, you could take your Pug for a walk in the evening when the sun starts going down.

As long as you’re not walking them in the midday heat, they should be fine.

Now let’s take a look at the different types of mild exercises you can do with your Pug.

Their exercise needs can be broken down into three groups

  • Daily Walks or hiking
  • Free play with toys or balls
  • Mental stimulation exercises

We’ll take a look at each of these categories and I’ll even suggest some activities and types of exercises you can do with your pet and create a daily routine.

Daily Walks With Your Pug

Pugs make great companions when leisurely walking around the park, block or around the park. Pugs require 20-30 minutes of moderate daily exercise, here’s how far this breed can walk.

When walking your Pug, you’ll want to make sure that you walk them at a comfortable pace for them. You don’t want them to have to jog beside you because they have short legs and stalky bodies which will tire them out quickly.

How Much Walking Does A Pug Need?

As I mentioned, a Pug doesn’t require a lot of exercise. I wouldn’t recommend walking them 3 miles a day, on their first day out with you.

I used to take Mindy for 2-mile walks, but we built up to that slowly. The very first time I put her harness on to take her for a walk, we just went around the block and she really enjoyed it.

We started making this a regular morning routine and eventually, she was able to walk 2 miles without breathing hard.

Dogs love going for walks and it’s a great way to provide mental stimulation by way of the smells, sounds, and social interaction with other dogs and people you meet on your walk.

If you do start walking them, make sure that you’re using a comfortable leash and they are properly trained not to pull or won’t try to run away.

Do Pugs Like to Hike?

It took a while for Mindy to love hiking and the very first time I took her, I totally regretted it. She was overweight and she refused to walk.

I had to carry her and everyone around me kept saying “oh look at that cute puppy.” It was a while before I took her back because it wasn’t a great experience.

After she had lost some weight we tried hiking again. She wasn’t extremely crazy about it because of the rocks and twigs on her feet.

Mindy was a very prissy dog and didn’t even like walking on wet grass. If you do take your Pug hiking, make sure that you have travel water and bottles to keep them hydrated.

Your pet will let you know whether they are enjoying the activity or not.

Overwalking Your Pug Symptoms to Look For

overexercise pug symptoms

I love walking and one day, I took Mindy for a 4-mile walk and never knew that I was actually hurting her. She wasn’t having any issues breathing, so I thought all was good.

However, when I got home and looked at her paws, I realized that I never should’ve taken her for a long walk like that. If you’re walking your furbaby, you need to know what to look for so you don’t hurt them.

Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  • Breathing problems such as snorting or their tongue hanging out.
  • Struggling to keep up with you. (your Pug will try to keep up with you even if they are having issues)
  • Check their pads on their paws and make sure they are not bleeding.
  • Make sure their nails are not hurting them. (Keep their nails trimmed and short to prevent injuries)

Free Play With Toys

Every dog loves toys and eventually, they’ll have their own favorite toys they always play with. Pugs are playful dogs and can be satisfied with playing in the yard or house with toys, balls, cats, or other dogs.

Taking the time to play with them will strengthen their bond with you and help them burn energy and stimulate their minds. Here are some things that Mindy used to love doing.


When Mindy was older, she loved playing and spending time chewing her favorite toys. Pugs do not require destructive toys and will do fine with plush toys that squeak.


Mindy loved chasing tennis balls and her toys. At one point we thought she wanted to play fetch, but instead, she loved playing keep away from us. Whenever we tried to grab the ball or toy from her, she’d run around the yard while we chased her.

Playing With Other Dogs

Pugs are sociable creatures and get along great with cats or dogs. Mindy lived with other dogs throughout her life and we never had any issues. When she was older, she enjoyed running around the house or yard playing with the other dogs.

If you don’t have more than one pet, you can consider taking them to your nearest dog park so they can meet other dogs.

Dog Toys That Move

It’s not hard to find dog toys that shake, rattle, and roll to keep your furbaby busy. These types of toys are perfect if you just don’t feel like playing with your pup. Mindy used to love playing with these toys in the evening when we were watching television.

Self Playing Dog Toys

You’ll want to have some toys that keep them busy while you are away from home. Make sure that these toys are not harmful but can keep them busy so they don’t get bored.

These types of toys are perfect for providing your dog with physical activity and mental stimulation while they are playing alone.

Mental Stimulation

Every living creature requires mental stimulation in their daily lives. If you don’t feel like taking your dog for a walk, here are some of the other activities that will help stimulate their mind. Mental energy can help burn energy and will prevent them from getting bored.

Some things you can consider doing are:

Chew Toys

Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs and it’s perfect for stimulating their minds and preventing boredom. As a pet owner, you want to make sure that you have chew toys available in the home.

These toys are lifesavers for keeping your dog busy and can help protect your belongings so your dog doesn’t chew your property.

Teaching Them New Tricks

Pugs love learning new tricks and taking the time to teach them new commands will help keep them on their toes. We loved teaching Mindy new things and at one point we taught her the name of her favorite toy.

Whenever we said the word, she would run and grab her toy. Pugs are smart and if you’re willing to take the time to train them, they will surprise you.

Hide and Seek

Playing a game of hide and seek with your Pug will help stimulate their minds and increase their problem-solving skills. Mindy loved playing hide and seek, but she’s not a Blood Hound and got bored easily.

If you’re playing hide and seek, you’ll want to make sure that you have snacks available. Pugs love to eat and if they know you have a snack, they will be more likely to actually search for you.

How Much Exercise Does A Pug Puppy Need?

Pug puppies are active little fireballs and are full of energy. They love playing with other animals, toys, and their owner.

Make sure that you’re giving them attention, otherwise, they may get into trouble. You don’t want to take them for long walks as their bones, joints, and muscles are still growing.

I probably would avoid taking them to the park around other dogs until they are around 5 months old. You’ll also want to make sure that your baby has been properly vaccinated before taking them around other dogs. I recommend getting Pug pet insurance that pays for routine preventative check-ups.

If you do take your Pup for short walks, you’ll want to make sure you don’t overdo it. A full-grown Pug only requires 20-30 minutes of daily walking.

This means that your puppy only requires around 5 minutes or so. Pay attention to whether they are lagging behind, refusing to walk, or just lying down panting.

How Much Exercise Does An Older Pug Need?

As your Pug ages, they will have lower energy levels and not want to do a lot. However, it’s still important to make sure they are getting proper exercise to prevent obesity and keep their joints moving.

We used to take Mindy outside with us and just let her roam around the yard so she was walking around. At this point, she was so well trained, she didn’t really need a harness anymore.

Avoid any strenuous activities that can cause them injuries. A senior Pug will tire more easily than a younger dog.

Do Pugs Need A Lot of Exercise?

According to the AKC (American Kennel Club) this breed requires only 30 minutes of daily exercise. This can consist of short daily walks around the block or playing with them out in the back yard.

If you don’t feel like playing with them, make sure that you check out these dog toys that will keep them busy and still give them the proper amount of daily exercise.


Although Pugs don’t require a lot of daily exercise, they do require a moderate level. If you’re providing them with the proper nutrition and exercise, they can live a healthy long life.

Just like humans daily exercise helps maintain muscle tone and relieves boredom. Pay attention to them while exercising, they will let you know how they are feeling.

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