What Do Pugs Usually Die From?

Despite their cuteness, pugs don’t have the best health. They are prone to some pretty terrible diseases. You may be asking, what do pugs usually die from? 

What Do Pugs Usually Die From?

Pugs are brachycephalic dogs which are prone to several health conditions from breathing, obesity, cancer, neurological disorders, etc that can have an impact on their life span. 

Like any other breed, a Pug’s life can can be affected by several health conditions, which we will discuss in further detail below.

what do Pugs usually die from

These adorable dogs with cute noses are some of the most popular lapdogs in the world. Their roots are traced back to Imperial China, in 700 B.C.

They were imported to England in the 16th century and quickly became a favorite among nobles. Pugs are amusing, charming, loving, and social. But, because of their poor health, pugs need tender care from their owner.

Here is a look at some of the afflictions a pug can suffer from. 

What is the Average Life Span of a Pug?

The average life span of a pug is between 12 and 15 years. The average life expectancy for females is around 13 years, while males only live an average of about 12.

But as long as your pug is cared for properly, there is no reason he or she can’t live until 15.

What Health Concerns Should I Look Out For?

Here is a list of the health concerns to be aware of if you own one of these friendly little dogs.


By nature, pugs are lazy and love to overeat (I could probably say the same about myself!). They also love nap time and hate exercise, which easily results in obesity. Obesity in pugs can cause heart problems and breathing difficulties.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)

PDE, an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, is usually fatal. If your dog has been diagnosed with PDE, it can be heartbreaking.

Veterinarians don’t know what causes it, and there is no cure. Young pugs, ages two to three, are most vulnerable, and female dogs are more prone. The disease is progressive, and most dogs won’t live past ten years.

Congenital Disease

Congenital disease is an ailment that is present at the pug’s birth. These can include stenosis, septal defect, or a heart defect.


Unfortunately, cancer is common in pugs. Tumors include skin tumors, mammary tumors, testicular tumors, mouth cancer, and lymphoma. If it isn’t treated or diagnosed too late, it can be fatal.

Neurological Disorders

This is the leading cause of death for these dogs. These ailments affect the nervous system, including the spinal cord, the brain, and the nerves.

These disorders can cause lethargy, brain inflammation, seizures, and loss of muscle control. PDE is the most fatal of the neurological disorders. 


While skin and yeast infections are not usually serious, other infections can be deadly. Bacterial infections or fungal infections can lead to death.

Pugs are also susceptible to viruses and protozoal disease, also known as, Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that starts by multiplying in the GI tract. It then spreads to the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. 

Poor Diet

A pug’s diet should be filled with proteins and vitamins, not sugar and fat. These, along with empty calories, can shorten your pug’s lifespan

Breathing Problems

Because of the pug’s stout body and short muscle, they can have breathing problems. Be careful about letting them overexert themselves, and if you allow them in the water, they will need a life jacket. Watch for exhaustion or any breathing trouble.

Dental Problems

Small dog breeds, particularly pugs, need a regular dental cleaning. These can be costly, so if you can brush your dog’s teeth, it may prevent some decay. When pugs grow into their senior years, they can lose their teeth, which can be painful or lead to infection. 

Joint Problems

Like many other dogs, pugs are prone to arthritis and joint problems that can affect their life expectancy. Especially if your dog gets overweight, it will cause her bones to become fragile. With their short little legs, they aren’t meant to carry excess pounds.

Glaucoma and Eye Problems

Glaucoma is a problem involving the pressure around the eyes. Because of their bulging eyes, pugs are more prone to this. As pugs age, their eyesight can be severely affected.

Bladder Control

As your pug grows older, its bowels can become weaker. You’ll need to consider taking them out more often. Your pug may already be having accidents, and it may be time to consider getting doggy diapers.

Too Little Exercise

While too much exercise can be risky for a pug, a total lack of exercise can be just as dangerous. Without light exercise, your dog’s health can fail quickly, including a weakened heart. 

Avoid the hottest time of the day to walk your pug, and bring plenty of water and allow them to rest.

Will I Be Able to Tell if My Pug is Dying?

Chances are, you will know well in advance if your pug is at the end of his life, whether through old age or illness. As a pet parent, you should be able to stop the Pug dying symptoms before it’s too late.

No one knows your pet better than you. If they are acting differently, certain behaviors can clue you in on knowing that the end is near.

Diminished Interest in Things

As your pug is nearing his last days, you’ll notice he may begin to lose interest in the things he used to enjoy. Such as his toys or his favorite people. Mental confusion in pugs can lead to detachment.

Diminished Energy

You’ll notice that your pug will have a significant loss of energy as the time of their demise creeps closer. You may notice that your once hyper dog is no longer playing and stays in one place to rest. 

Loss of Bowels

Any dying animal can lose control of its bowels. Their organs are slowly shutting down, and as this happens, the bladder and bowels are affected.

Decreased Appetite

You’ll notice your dog stops showing interest in their food and may stop eating altogether. Your pug’s digestive system is shutting down, and they will no longer experience hunger or thirst.

Changed Breathing

A true sign that your dog’s life is about to end is a change in breathing. You may notice your dog struggling to catch their breath. Their breaths may also become more and more spaced out.

This is the best time for you to stay by your pet’s side and offer comfort as they pass over the rainbow bridge.

Final Word

Like all living mammals, Pugs are prone to death for various health reasons. As a pet parent, you can take measures to ensure your pup lives a healthy life by implementing a high quality diet, regular exercise, and lots of love.

It’s also important to ensure your pet gets regular checkups. This will ensure the veterinarian catches anything before it’s too late. Regular checkups are easy to afford, if you plan in advance with the right pet insurance.

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