What to Do if Your Pug Needs to Lose Weight

How many of you have taken your pug to the vet for an annual check up and been told that your pug is over weight? I know I have and not just once either. The vet makes it sound easy but are you still struggling to get the weight off your pug? Have you tried several options and it’s still not happening? So what do you do if your pug needs to lose weight? That’s what I’m here for. To give you some tips on what to do if your pug needs to lose weight.

What to Do if Your Pug Needs to Lose Weight | www.thepugdiary.com

Assess The Quality of Your Pug’s Meals

The quality of your pug’s meal will make a huge difference to their weight. A natural unprocessed diet is always the best option but if a kibble diet is the only option, you need to look at the quality of the food you are feeding. Kibble ranges is quality from supermarket bought all the way to grain free kibble.

If you are feeding store bought food, choose a grain free option as dog’s don’t need nasty cheap fillers that are high in carbohydrates like corn. Not only is it unnecessary for your pug to have carbohydrates as there are no nutritious benefits to it, it will help to keep unnecessary weight around their belly. Switch to a grain free kibble and add in some healthy low carbohydrate fruit & vegetables that have loads of health benefits and you’ll be on your way to a lighter and healthier pug.

What to Do if Your Pug Needs to Lose Weight | www.thepugdiary.com

Switch to a Healthy Natural Diet

It is known that I feed my pugs a raw food diet and that I truly believe it is the best diet for a pug, or any dog for that matter, to be on. Dogs are carnivores and are designed to eat meat, organs and raw meaty bones like their wild ancestors. I know a lot of people say “but they aren’t in the wild anymore” but the essence and structure of the dogs mouth is still the same. And it shows their teeth are designed to tear apart meat.

But not only are they designed to eat meat, it is completely natural meaning there are no hidden nasties that help to keep the weight on your pug. By choosing a raw diet that consists of meat, organ and raw meaty bones, you are providing your pug with all of the nutrients they need to live a long healthy life. Adding a small amount of vegetables, around 10% of their diet, adds many healthy benefits and helps to reduce the calorie intake whilst keeping your pug full.

To help your pug lose weight, you will need to be strict in the amount of food you feed. On a raw diet, feeding 2% of their ideal weight will see your pug dropping the weight in no time. And once there choosing 2-2.5% of their current body weight will help to maintain that healthy body your pug deserves.

If choosing a raw diet isn’t right for you or your pug, there are alternatives that are healthier than choosing a highly processed diet such as lightly cooked meals prepared at home.

What to Do if Your Pug Needs to Lose Weight | www.thepugdiary.com

Choose the Right Treats

We all know pugs love their food and will give you that look for extra treats which is bound to help put the weight on your pug. Before you go worrying about stopping the treats altogether, there is another option. It is quite simple. You just need to choose the right treats. And the best treats for your pug are single ingredient treats. What’s a single ingredient treat? A healthy treat that contains only one ingredient that your pug will love. Low fat options are a good choice such as dehydrated kangaroo, venison, goat and some fish. Dehydrated vegetables are also a good option. Try making your own dehydrated meat or vegetable treats for a more budget option to buying them.

Keep homemade special treats such as pupcakes, biscuits, frozen and sweet treats like carob or yoghurt drops to special occasions and in small quantities. They are higher in carbohydrates meaning they should be fed infrequently.

Create a Meal Plan for Your Pug

Once you have worked out how much to feed your pug daily and what food you are feeding, the best way to stay on track with a healthy nutritious diet for your pug is to create a meal plan. Not only will it keep your pug on a healthy path to weight loss, it will also help every person in your home to know what your pug can or cannot have.

Have your pug’s meals weighed out in bags or containers in portion sizes for each meal so there is no chance of over feeding your pug. And so your pug doesn’t miss out on enjoying some delicious healthy treats during the day, be sure to include treats in your pug’s daily food intake.

Having a meal plan worked out for meals and treats and keeping to it, your pug will start to lose weight in no time.

What to Do if Your Pug Needs to Lose Weight | www.thepugdiary.com

Increase Exercise Routine

Do you have a lazy pug? Then that can contribute to your pug having some extra weight. Increasing your pug’s exercise will help to lose some weight. Whilst it isn’t the main solution to lose weight, it will certainly help. Not only will an exercise routine help with some weight loss, it will be great for your pug’s mind and general wellbeing. It will help to create a happy healthy pug.

Choose some fun activities that your pug will enjoy. Going for short walks a couple of times of days, doing some agility activities at home or the park or even give your pug their daily treats in a treat dispensing toy that will get them moving at the same time.

What to Do if Your Pug Needs to Lose Weight | www.thepugdiary.com

It may seem daunting to get your pug to lose some weight but it is very manageable. With these tips I am sure you will be able to help your pug to lose some weight that will help to lead a long healthy life. Do you have some other tips for pug parents if their pug needs to lose weight? Leave some of your favourite tips in the comments below.

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Kristy Beck

Kristy Beck

Owner & Content Producer at The Pug Diary
Kristy is the founder and editor of The Pug Diary, a photographer and pug mum extraordinaire to Ref + Serina. Kristy has combined her passion for photography with the love of pugs to bring you all of her knowledge of pugs and more to you through The Pug Diary.


  1. Avatar Lana on July 5, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Dogs are omnivores.

    • Kristy Beck Kristy Beck on July 8, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      Based purely on the construction of a dogs teeth and digestive system, they are carnivores. However, they are also able to eat plant matter unlike cats who are obligate carnivores.

  2. Avatar Jeneice Kingston on June 25, 2019 at 10:41 am

    My name is Jeneice and Bailey is 11months. I have cut the size of her meals down but her weight doesn’t seem to get any less but then I haven’t weighed her for a while.I am giving her a little bit of raw chicken as I thought she seemed to struggle with chewing chicken niblet, but I may try it again. With losing weight doesn’t happen over night either. Does being overweight affect her hair. I also have a 10 year old dog which proves a bit of a challenge. Jeneice

    • Kristy Beck Kristy Beck on June 26, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Jeneice,
      It really makes a difference in what goes into their body. So whilst being overweight specifically wouldn’t cause an issue with Bailey’s coat, what you feed Bailey would. If you are feeding a highly processed diet of kibble or canned food, this is probably what is preventing Bailey from losing weight even with the amount you feed being reduced. I had this exact problem until I switched Ref to a full raw diet. His coat is amazing, he lost weight and he calmed down. Have a read of the articles in my nutrition section about raw feeding. A balanced raw diet can be an amazing option. You can start by removing 20% of current processed food and replace it with fresh meat, organ, bone, fruit & veg. Try just one thing at a time to ensure Bailey is ok eating it and then introduce something new. If adding fresh food starts to help, then switching to a complete fresh food diet could be the best answer. I have a private facebook group you can join to learn more about raw feeding pugs. It is http://www.facebook.com/groups/rawfedpugs

  3. Avatar Ann Figueroa on January 8, 2020 at 3:47 am


    I have 3 pugs that’s on raw diet for the past 3 years. Is the 2% of their ideal body weight per day or per meal? I feed my dogs 2x day.

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