How To Get A Pug To Gain Weight?

Everyone talks about overweight pugs and how to help them shed extra pounds. But what about a skinny dog? It is actually quite common to have a pet dog who is struggling to gain weight. This might seem worrying at first, but if you follow a few simple tricks, you will see your Pug getting healthier in no time. 

How to Get A Pug to Gain Weight?

You can help your pug gain weight by introducing various foods to their diet, taking it to the vet, resolving any possible health issues, and changing their lifestyle. 

So, let’s go through the process of weight gain for pugs and how you can take the necessary steps to ensure your pet dog is in good shape. That said, before you try to get your Pug to gain more weight, you should be aware of how much a Pug should weigh.

how to get a Pug to gain weight

How to tell if your Pug is underweight

A normal weight for a pug generally lies between 14 and 18 pounds. If your Pug weighs a little less than this number, it doesn’t mean it’s underweight. Contrary to what you may believe, a simple weigh-in on the scale will not give you an accurate idea. 

Rather than using the scale, simply use one or more of these methods to determine whether your Pug is underweight.

Start by taking a look at their rib cage while they are standing. Can you see your Pug’s ribs poking out from the skin? This indicates that your dog is too skinny. 

Another test is to look at your Pug’s waistline, the area between the hips and ribs. You should be able to see a small indent here. As pugs are naturally roundish and chubby, they won’t have a very prominent waistline. However, if there is too much indent, it means your Pug is underweight. 

I’ve written an in-depth guide on how to tell if your Pug is underweight, which can help you determine if your pup is. 

Tips For Getting A Pug to Gain Weight

Of course, feeding your Pug more food should help them in gaining weight. But you don’t want your Pug to gain unhealthy weight. To make sure that the weight gain is healthy and that it is effective and safe, you can use the following methods:

Feed High-Calorie Foods

Calories and protein intake are very important if you want your Pug to gain weight quickly and in a healthy manner. These nutrients are also essential for aiding in your Pug’s development. Incorporate a high-protein diet and fatty foods in your Pug’s daily diet. If you do this consistently, you will see a gradual weight gain over time. 

The best way to ensure that you have control over what your Pug eats is home-cooked food. You will be able to provide the most nutrient-rich foods this way.

Feeding a high amount of meat and fat can help them gain weight. However, pugs have a tendency to gain weight too fast, so you still need to give them a balanced diet. Some excellent food choices for weight gain in pugs are sweet potatoes and pumpkin. 

These vegetables are enriched with fibers and fat. If you are already feeding your pug lots of protein, you can balance it by adding pumpkin or sweet potato to their meals. They also help in keeping them hydrated and prevent an upset stomach.

You can also consider opting for a high-quality dog food rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. 

Feed Smaller and More Frequently

Let your Pug eat freely on demand all day. This will let them consume the maximum calories. When it comes to pugs, it is often recommended to practice portion control and restrict extra food as this dog breed gains weight quickly. 

However, for skinnier pugs, this is a highly suggested method for quick weight gain. You can also offer them treats more frequently.

Once your pup starts gaining weight, you can go back to feeding them the proper amounts and stop free-feeding them. Otherwise, they’ll gain too much weight and will need to go on a diet.

Regular Exercise

Let your Pug run free for some time every day. Start playing games with them such as fetch, frisbee and hide and seek. This may sound counterproductive, but it actually works. 

High activity levels will increase your Pug’s appetite, and in turn, they will eat more food. Regular exercise will increase their overall hunger level and make it easier for you to feed them more food. 

Find Out The Underlying Cause

If your Pug is extremely underweight or cannot gain weight despite your efforts, take it to a vet immediately.

An underweight pug needs to be checked by a professional in order to determine the cause. Sometimes, certain health conditions can cause your Pug to be underweight. 

Such a condition would also be why they are unable to gain weight even if you feed them high-calorie foods. So, it is always better to rule out such a possibility. 

Several factors may be at play, such as:


A diabetic dog is often underweight. Once diagnosed with diabetes, dogs can be put on medication to treat and manage the condition and eventually gain weight again. 


The presence of parasites can also lead to underweight dogs. They can suck out the nutrients from their body and leave them skinny and underweight. You should get a vet to check up in case you suspect that your dog has parasites.

Teeth problems

Inflammation in your dog’s mouth or gums can make it painful to eat. This makes them lose their appetite and, in turn, makes them lose weight.

Other diseases and medication can also play a part in the loss of weight in dogs. 

Hence, it is always advised to consult a veteranian when your dog has lost too much weight and cannot gain it.

Risks of Being Underweight for Pugs

An underweight pug is considered unhealthy, and this puts them at risk for many issues. Some risk factors associated with this condition include:

  • Shorter lifespan
  • Low bone density
  • Loss of hair
  • Loss of muscle
  • Weak immune system
  • Lower quality of life

With proper care, your Pug will be able to retain a healthy weight. Always track your Pug’s weight from time to time and keep a check on their health condition. 

Final Word

Getting a Pug to gain weight is not a widely discussed problem as most Pug owners are usually looking for tips to help their Pug lose weight.

Hopefully, these tips will help you get your Pug to gain some weight. 

We hope that this guide was helpful in determining whether your Pug is underweight and that you are now better equipped to manage this and improving your Pug’s health.

Black Pug Site