What’s the Lifespan of a Pug?

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They say that small dogs live longer than large ones, which is comforting to pug owners. But is that yet another saying to add to the myth list? Or are there scientific studies to back it up?

You can breathe a sigh of relief because, according to researchers, your pug will statistically live longer than the Great Dane next door.

While there are many theories why pugs have a longer lifespan than large dog breeds, one of the most prominent is that small dogs undergo less strain on their physiological functions, allowing them to live longer.

So, how long do pugs live?

The lifespan of a pug is 12 – 15 years. 

Of course, many factors can influence the lifespan of your pug, along with a dose of luck. We’ll help you unravel them here.

Factors that Impact a Pug’s Lifespan

In the perfect world, our pugs would live as long as we do. But since that’s not the case, below are items that are within—and outside of—our control to help pugs live their longest, healthiest lives.

1. Diet

Let’s face it—there’s nothing cuter than a chubby pug. And while pugs are stocky by nature, it’s your job to ensure your pooch doesn’t tip the scale from cute chubby to unhealthy chubby.

Your pug’s dietary needs will change with age. But as a general rule, their diet should consist of no more than 50% carbohydrates. Meals rich in high-quality protein and fat are essential for pugs.

2. Genetics

Yes, just like you can trace heart disease down your family tree, you can do the same with health issues in pugs. So, if you purchased your pug from a breeder, inquire about the pug’s family lineage, the lifespan of the pug’s relatives, and any recurring health conditions. 

That said, the possibility of a genetic health condition isn’t always a reason not to bring a particular pug home. After all, no genes in dogs or humans are perfect.  

lifespan of a pug

3. Loving Environment

Emotional health directly impacts the lifespan of a pug. So the more time your pug spends with you, other humans, and other dogs, the happier they’ll be and the greater the chance they’ll have of longevity.

It’s also essential to keep your pug mentally stimulated. Introduce them to different toys, play games with them in the yard, and teach them new training commands.

4. Plenty of Exercise

Daily exercise is crucial for your pug’s lifespan. Going for leisurely walks counts. However, if you have a younger pug without physical limitations, ensuring they have access to more rigorous exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle.

If you don’t have a large backyard, consider bringing your pug to the dog park, where they can run around with other dogs and chase balls. Setting up an agility course is another excellent way to get them moving and stimulate their mind.

life span of a pug

5. Avoiding Toxins

Environmental threats are as significant as—if not more significant—for pugs than humans due to their small size. Toxins and pollutants can cling to your pug’s fur when they lick and wander up their nasal cavity when they’re sniffing around the ground.

It’s impossible to avoid toxins. But you should be conscious of keeping your pug away from recently fertilized grass and out of contaminated water and other obvious hazards.

6. Annual Check-ups

One of the best ways to increase the lifespan of a pug is by taking them to the vet for an annual check-up. Your veterinarian may be able to detect tumors and other health issues in their early stages.

Furthermore, consider taking your pug to the groomer a few times a year. Regular grooming helps keep your pug free of debris that can injure their skin or promote infections.

Common Causes of Death in Pugs

Even though pugs can live up to around 15 years old, it can feel like a flash between their mischievous puppy years and when they start showing signs of old age. 

Are you wondering how long can pugs live for and what are the common health ailments they face? We’ve got you covered.

1. Tumors

Cancerous tumors are one of the most common causes of death in pugs. Mammary, skin, mouth, and testicular are some of the many cancers that pugs can develop. You can decrease the likelihood of mammary and testicular cancer from setting in by getting your pup spayed or neutered.

As your pug gets older, you should check them regularly for tumor growth. Many tumors are benign, and if you catch a cancerous tumor early enough, your pug may be able to continue enjoying a long lifespan. 

2. Viral, Bacterial, or Fungal Infections

Parvovirus, leptospirosis, and histoplasmosis are some of the many viral, bacterial, and fungal infections that can end a pug’s life. While some conditions are challenging to prevent, keeping your pooch up-to-date on tick and flea medication will help prevent tick-related deaths.

With so many (adorable) wrinkles, it perhaps comes as no surprise to pug owners that their four-footed love is susceptible to infection-related illnesses. Luckily, most skin infections in pugs are treatable.

3. Neurological Diseases

Encephalitis is one of the most deadly neurological diseases in pugs. It occurs due to the swelling of the brain and seems to affect pugs more than other dog breeds.

Necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME) is another form of encephalitis that your pug can suffer from. According to researchers, symptoms of NME in pugs set in at an average of 18 months old. 

4. Congenital Issues

Like humans, some pugs have diseases or disabilities at birth that end up shortening their lives. Some common congenital disorders in pugs include:

  • Septal defect
  • Heart issues
  • Stenosis

If your pug has a congenital disease, working closely with your veterinarian to keep your pup comfortable and happy will help increase its lifespan.

Letting Your Pug Live Its Best Life

Death is inevitable, but so are the many years that you’ll get to enjoy your pug showering your home with love (and pug fur!). The good news is that as a small dog breed, the lifespan of a pug is longer than many other canines.

So, how long do pugs live for? Up to around 15 years.

By doing your due diligence to keep your pug healthy by giving them regular exercise, a healthy diet, and lots of socialization, the two of you can enjoy a long life together.

rachael barkzine

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.

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About PugFacts

PugFacts is a small team of devoted PUG owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.

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Expert tips, advice, and inspiration to keep your PUG healthy and happy

PugFactsGuide is a small team of devoted Pug owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your Pug! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.