Why Your Pug’s Weight Matters
Photography by Pug Patrol Rescue Australia
If you haven’t worked it out yet, I have a strong belief that fat pugs are not normal. I’m not here to name and shame people who have overweight pugs. I am here cause your pug’s weight matters and I want to help you understand why.
I’ve been seeing more and more morbidly obese pugs on social media lately and it breaks my heart. I saw this one photo on Instagram of a pug that was literally twice the size it should be and people thought it was great. It had over 17,000 likes. Do those 17,000 people not realise that a pug that fat is not cool? That it’s not ok? That it should never be normal?
A lot of people think a fat pug is a loved pug. It goes for any dog really but a brachycephalic breed’s weight matters more than a lot of other breeds. So let me share with you why your pug’s weight matters.
A fat pug cannot breathe properly
Because a pug is a brachycephalic breed, their nasal passages are narrow. Their airways are also narrow. Their face being squished means the opening to their airways at the back of their throat is shortened. That means it is so common that the little flap at the back of their throat blocks their airways leading to heavy breathing and in severe cases, stopping to breathe altogether. A pug that sits in the healthy weight range can still have these issues but it is greatly reduced. An overweight pug has all of this extra fat adding to the constrictions of their already narrowed airways making it so much worse for them to breathe easily.
I recently read an awesome post from Pug Patrol Rescue Australia on Facebook that gave the best description of understanding what it would feel like for a pug to breathe. Their specialist vet said to put a straw in your mouth, pinch your nose and try to breathe just through the straw. Try it and see just how hard it is to breathe. They then explained that the fatter the pug was, the narrower the straw is meaning it is even harder to breathe. But when a pug is skinnier, that straw is wider meaning it is easier for the pug to breathe. I’m struggling to breathe just thinking about it.
If seeing your pug strugging to breathe because they are overweight isn’t enough to convince you, here’s some more reasons why your pug’s weight matters.
A fat pug will struggle to walk
I know so many people think it’s adorable seeing a pug waddle. But it’s not. It’s painful. It’s a real struggle for the pug. And it’s totally not fair on the pug. A pug should have a strut, not a waddle. It’s legs shouldn’t be strained to hold the weight of its overweight body.
If a pug struggles to walk, the strain put on their body is terrible. Their breathing becomes laboured so quickly. Their little legs and knees have unnecessary strain put on them making it even more difficult for them to walk. And as they age, even if they lose weight, the strain put on their little body and legs is just too much that they will continue to have issues with walking. So how much your pug weighs matters so much to how well they walk.
A fat pug will have increased health problems
As a fat pug struggles to breathe, puts strain on their joints and organs, the cost of caring for them significantly increases for you. You will have to take them to the vet more frequently. There is the increased chance of surgery to help their little body cope with breathing and walking. There is the increased chance of long term costly medications to keep them living. Physio. Time off work having to take them to the vet. And not only will your pug’s health worsen, their life span will shorten. So keeping your pug’s weight in a healthy range is critical to their life.
With keeping all of this in mind, not only will the life of your pug be greatly improved by keeping their weight healthy, your wallet will enjoy it too as with a healthy pug comes less vet visits. Everyone loves to save some money and wants to have their pug around for as many years as possible so when feeding your pug, remember why your pug’s weight matters!