Having a pug is all fun and games until your little doggo starts to look rounder and gains a few extra pounds. If you’re a dog owner, you must know that keeping your pet at a healthy weight is important. Once overweight, dogs can start to face many health complications and become more prone to them. If you’ve ever wondered how to put your Pug on a diet, these tips will help you get your dog back in shape.
How to Put Your Pug On A Diet?
Putting your Pug on a diet involves a number of different steps like altering their food and quantities and making some lifestyle changes like exercise.
So, if you have an overweight pug, you need to act fast. According to the statistics, 50 million domesticated dogs were obese in 2018. It’s up to you as a pet parent to know how much Pugs should weigh and how to keep their weight in check.
Let’s take a look at the factors that pug-owners need to keep in mind and the right way to put your Pug on a diet.
Why Do Pugs Become Overweight?
Pugs are very susceptible to gaining weight. This dog breed is a true foodie and loves to eat. They will eat literally anything you place in front of them. Pugs are naturally inclined towards eating. And pug owners often believe their pet is hungry because of their over-enthusiasm towards food.
If they get a whiff of something cooking, they will run to get some food. Often, they do not even know they are already full. Hence they can indulge in over-eating.
If you feed your Pug in very small portions, they are likely to overeat because they tend to gobble down food. This makes them feel hungry again shortly afterward.
Another reason for quick weight gain in pugs is their small stature and roundish features. This means that even a few pounds will show a lot on your pet pug. So, these dogs simply have a natural tendency to look fat.
As a brachycephalic dog breed, pugs have flat faces, making it hard for them to tolerate heat. It becomes very difficult for them to exercise and run in the warm weather as it makes breathing a struggle. Pugs are not the most athletic and active dogs- they can gain weight pretty quickly.
How too Tell if Your Pug is Overweight
If your Pug has gained weight and is showing signs of obesity, you have to take action. Before putting your dog on a diet, ensure you know how much they are supposed to weigh and if they are overweight.
Determining if your Pug is overweight is simple.
Look at them from the side, and if you see a sagging or round belly, that’s a sign they are carrying extra pounds.
Feel their ribs and backbone. You should be able to feel (not see) their ribs and backbone. If you can’t feel them, then your dog is overweight.
If you’re still unsure, then consult with your veterinarian.
Consulting a vet is the best way to discuss and create a personalized diet for your pet. You should make a diet plan and stick to a sufficient amount of nutritious food to keep your Pug healthy.
Once you’re positive your Pug can stand to lose a few pounds, you can start taking matters into your own hands.
Here are the steps you can take to help your Pug shed some weight, safely without trying to get them to lose weight too fast.
Tips for Losing Weight
Shedding weight for a Pug is similar to how we lose weight. To get your dog to shed pounds you just have to follow these tips:
- Exercise More
- Reduce portion sizes
- Don’t Overfeed Them
- Cut back on treats
- Feed them more often
- Choose the right food
- Don’t leave food lying around
- Keep them out of the kitchen
- Teach them not to beg
Don’t worry; we’ll cover these steps further below to ensure your Pug loses safely without feeling hungry all the time.
Get your Pug off the couch and get them moving more often. Dogs that lay around all day will gain weight more easily.
If your Pug isn’t getting the proper amount of exercise, it’s time to get them moving more.
One crucial lifestyle change is making sure your pug exercises. Take them for a walk every day to keep their metabolism high and reduce weight.
Reduce Portion Sizes
When putting your Pug on a diet, strict portion control is key. This means only feeding a set amount of food at the allotted time.
As mentioned earlier, pugs love to eat fast, and this makes them hungry again quickly. You may want to consider getting a slow feeder bowl or snuffle mat that are tools designed for slow eating.
They will also help prevent bloating and will make it easier for you to control portions.
Remember that your Pug is accustomed to eating a fixed quantity each day. First, measure the portion your Pug regularly eats and then divide it into three parts. Reduce the amount of food slowly with time. Keep tracking your Pug’s weight from time to time and track if it has lost any weight.
Don’t Overfeed Them
It’s easy to overfeed a Pug, especially when they look at you with those big bulging eyes whenever you’re eating. No matter how much they beg, don’t feed them more than they should eat.
One method to help your Pug lose weight is calculating 2% of their ideal weight and feeding this set amount to them. This works if your Pug is on a raw diet.
To ensure that you do not overfeed your Pug, you can store their food in fixed portions.
Weigh out the desired portion and keep them in separate bags or containers, ready to be used for mealtime. Here’s how much a Pug should eat, based on their weight.
Cut Back On Treats
Everything your dog eats increases its calorie intake. Reduce or eliminate snacking from your pet dog’s routine.
Cut the number of treats in half and consider giving them a low-calorie treat like green beans, carrots, or broccoli. These treats are much healthier and have fewer calories than regular dog treats.
Feed More Often
If you’re feeding your Pug once a day, consider breaking their portion sizes into several smaller portions per day.
Eating several smaller portions throughout the day will make your Pug feel like they are eating more often and will be less likely to feel hungry throughout the day.
Food Choices for Pugs On A Diet
An expert is the best person to recommend high-quality meals for your Pug. However, it is essential to know that many dog food brands are packed with high-calorie content and carbs like corn and wheat to make pets feel full.
Not only can these lead to obesity, but need to provide more nutrient-dense foods instead.
There are some types of commercial food specifically formulated for obese dogs. They contain fewer calories and higher nutritional content to meet the dietary needs of overweight dogs. You should check the ingredients and choose the commercial food containing vegetable carbohydrates.
Alternatively, you can focus on a tailored, homemade diet for your Pug. A high-quality diet should contain protein, fiber, minerals, and also vitamins.
You can incorporate quality meat with fruits and vegetables that are beneficial to pugs. Ideally, your Pug should be consuming 50% meat and 30% good carbohydrates like rice or barley, and 20% fruits and veggies.
Don’t Leave Food Lying Around
Avoid “free feeding” your dog. Free feeding is when you leave the dog’s food bowl out 24/7, so they can eat whenever they are hungry. This is a big no-no, especially for this breed.
If food is left out 24/7, your dog will overeat and continue eating throughout the day. Instead, feed them on a regular routine and pick up the food bowl after they are done eating.
The only bowl your dog should have access to throughout the day is a water bowl with fresh, clean water.
Keep Them Out of The Kitchen
Food and table scraps that fall on the floor add calories to your dog’s daily intake. Teach them to stay out of the kitchen while you’re cooking or keep them in another room.
Teach Them Not to Beg
A dog that begs gets fed more food than one that has learned not to beg. If your Pug begs whenever someone in your household eats, it’s time to implement obedience training and teach them NOT to beg.
It will take time to get your dog to stop begging. Once they understand they don’t get to eat whenever you’re eating, this will prevent you from overfeeding them.
Risks of Being Overweight for Pugs
Due to their body shape and size with a lot of bulk, pugs carry most of their body weight on their legs and joints.
This means that there is an increase in pressure on the joints with any extra weight, which may result in arthritis and even respiratory problems.
Besides, obesity in dogs also increases the risk of heatstroke, hyperthermia, and heart disease.
Overweight dogs also have a reduced quality of life, face an overall decline in health, and may even have a shorter lifespan than fit dogs at an ideal weight.
How To Manage Your Pugs Weight
How long it takes your Pug to lose weight will depend on how consistent you are with following through on the steps above. Unlike us, a dog will lose weight a lot faster than us.
Depending on how much extra weight your Pug was carrying around, according to this site, it can take about six to eight months for your Pug to reach her ideal weight.
Once they have dropped the extra weight, you can start regularly feeding them 2 to 2.5% of the current weight to maintain it.
We hope this article was helpful, and you are now better aware of how to put your Pug on a diet. These tips can make it possible for your Pug to achieve their ideal weight and improve their health and well-being.
Ensure everyone in your family understands your Pug is on a diet. This means no one is allowed to overfeed them, or feed them unnecessary scraps.
Everyone in the family has to do their part in helping the family pet lose weight. Otherwise, you’ll be wondering “why isn’t my Pug losing weight” and if something is wrong.
Always consult your vet before making significant changes in your Pug’s diet or lifestyle. If your Pug is too skinny and needs to gain weight, be sure to read the article on how to get a Pug to gain weight.