The pug breed is a happy and affectionate one. Thanks to their playful, mischievous, and good-humored nature, these dogs make excellent companions for all kinds of families. But like most dogs, pugs are prone to weight issues that can affect their health.
So how much should a pug weigh, and how can you tell if yours is overweight or underweight? This guide will cover everything you need to know.
How Much Should a Pug Weigh?
We can look to the American Kennel Club Official pug standards for guidance.
The AKC says that pugs should weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, and their body should measure ten to 13 inches. However, some pugs weigh a bit more and others a bit less as several factors affect pug weight. These include:
- Activity level
If your dog weighs more than 18 pounds, it might not necessarily be overweight. We’ll go over some common signs of overweight pugs below.
Male Pug Average Weight
Male pugs often weigh more than females. It’s not uncommon to see 20- to 22-pound pugs that are still considered within a healthy weight range.
Because female pugs are slightly smaller, they tend to fall more in the 14- to the 18-pound range.
A dog’s metabolism changes as it ages and gradually slows down. By the time it reaches senior age (around ten to 12 years for small breeds), you’ll probably notice changes. These changes include reduced muscle mass and weight loss.
Weight recommendations vary considerably for puppies depending on their age. A four-month-old pug puppy should weigh between 4.4 to 7.7 pounds. Once your dog reaches six months of age, it may weigh anywhere from seven to 12 pounds.
Why Pugs Are Prone to Obesity
You may have heard that pugs get fat quickly, and there are two primary reasons for this.
The first is that most dog breeds can self-regulate when they eat. Once the dog is full, it will stop eating. However, the same cannot be said for pugs. If you let nature take its course with this breed, they can eat to the point of killing themselves.
The second reason pugs are prone to obesity is that they’re not especially active, but not because they’re lazy. Instead, they have a short snout, which makes it difficult for them to breathe.
Because it’s difficult for them to get the oxygen they need, most pugs tire quickly and can only deal with exercise for short periods.
How to Tell If Your Pug Is Overweight
It can be hard to tell if your dog is overweight. Here are some ways to help you determine if your pug needs to shed a few pounds.
Evaluate Its Appearance
Your dog’s appearance can give you some clues about its weight.
- Look at your pug’s waist. Pugs have a less defined waistline than other breeds, but you should still be able to see it. Stand directly above your dog and look down. You should be able to see a small indentation in their waist.
- Feel your dog’s rib cage. You shouldn’t be able to see your pug’s rib cage, but when you press down gently, you should be able to feel their ribs. If you can’t, it’s a sign your dog needs to lose weight.
Your Pug Gets Tired Easily
Just like overweight humans, overweight dogs have trouble with physical activity. You may notice that your pup starts panting just a few minutes into a walk or that she wants to stop altogether.
If you notice this happening more often (and hot weather isn’t to blame), it’s a good sign your dog needs to shed some pounds.
Your Pug Can’t Groom Itself
Finally, if you notice your dog having difficulty grooming itself, it’s probably time to assess his diet. Rounder pugs have a more challenging time reaching spots they’re generally able to groom or scratch.
How Do I Help My Pug Lose Weight?
The first order of business if you think your pug is overweight is a visit to the vet. Weight gain may be a sign of an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed, especially if your dog has gained weight suddenly and unexpectedly.
If your pug receives a clean bill of health, your vet will likely advise you about the two best ways for your pup to lose weight: diet and exercise.
The first recommendation is to ditch the treats when it comes to diet. Cutting out treats entirely may be enough to notice a difference if you’re unknowingly giving your dog too many.
Next, you should reduce the amount of food you give your dog by a third for a few days. Once four or five days have passed, assess whether your pug has lost weight.
If it has, continue this regimen until they’re at a healthy weight. Otherwise, you may need to further reduce their food by another third. It can be tricky, but you can increase their food a bit once things stabilize.
We’ve already talked about the issues pugs have with exercise because of their anatomy, which is why it’s best to prioritize dietary changes instead. However, there’s no reason to avoid exercise altogether.
Brief walks are beneficial to helping your dog lose weight, as long as you avoid hot days. You can add in some short exercise sessions, too. Just make sure to monitor your dog for any signs of exhaustion.
Final Thoughts – How Much Should A Pug Weigh?
As a pug parent, it’s your job to ensure your pug lives its best life, and controlling your dog’s weight through diet and exercise is the best way to do so.
Proper dog weight is serious business. While it may be tempting to feed that sweet face all the time, you may be unwittingly harming their health. Left unchecked, obese pugs may suffer from other health problems to reduce their life expectancy. And when in doubt, your vet is your number one ally for keeping your pug healthy.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.