Like people, pugs need exercise. This is especially true as many pugs spend up to 14 hours a day sleeping. Pugs are prone to obesity, especially under the watch of a careless owner. While they don’t need to exercise as hard as the fitness trainer at your gym, they do require regular exercise on a daily basis. As a dog owner, you need to closely monitor your pug’s exercise routine and food intake.
Each morning, before work, you’ll want to take your pug for a fifteen to thirty minute walk so that they get some exercise and, of course, use the washroom since they haven’t gone for hours. This doesn’t need to be an intensive walk. You don’t need to make your pug run laps or anything like that. Just as most people are quite sleepy in the morning, your pug will likely not be excited for his morning walk and would likely rather sleep. However, you’ll need to allot some time each morning to get your pug moving and you may need to gently wake him up for his morning walk. If there are extreme weather conditions, like extreme heat or a snowstorm, feel free to go outside for a short while, after they go to the washroom come back inside. They hate bad weather just as much as you do.
In the evening, you’ll want to take your pug for another walk around thirty minutes as he’s likely restless from being home all day and in need of a bathroom break. After your walk, you may want to play fetch in the yard with your pug to get him running a little bit. You can also take him to a dog park so that your pug is free to run wild.
On weekends, on those hot summer days, you and your pug can hang out in the pool in the yard or you can set up a kiddie pool with cold water for them to play in. Be sure to monitor them at all times and be within an arm’s reach without exception. Just as you wouldn’t leave a toddler alone in a pool, you shouldn’t leave your pug alone either. Pugs are not known for being the best swimmers. They need life jackets, if they’ll be swimming, and adult supervision.
Pugs are known for getting overheated so you’ll need to bring cold water on walks in the summer. If your pug seems to be suffering during your walk and shows signs of heavy panting, give him water, pick him up and walk back home immediately. If your pug starts vomiting, has diarrhea, is dizzy and has thick saliva these are other red flags to alert you that it’s time to bring your dog home. Just as you can get overheated, so can your pug. Unfortunately, your pug can’t directly tell you that he feels sick so you need to be alert and aware of his symptoms on hot days.
On average, you should give your pug an hour of exercise per day. However, as they’re prone to overheating, you’ll need to break up the exercise into two to three chunks throughout the day. You might want to mix up some of the activities every now and then. During the week, when you’re tight on time, you can go for a couple walks. On weekends, you can mix up the routine with playing fetch, going to pug meetups, hanging out at a dog park, going for short jogs, playing in a pool or keeping it simple with a walk. Remember that while your pug is getting exercise you can be moving around with him so that you benefit as well.
Tips for Pug Exercise
Establish a Routine – It’s extremely important to incorporate regular exercise for your pug as part of the daily routine. Pugs respond well to routine. Also, it’ll be easier for you once you get into the habit of doing it daily. For example, if you wake up at 7 am each morning, wake up your pug at the same time and head straight for your walk. Eventually, your pug will realize that when he gets woken up, it’s time for his walk. Also, when you get home from work, if you take your pug for his walk immediately. He will associate you coming home for his walk time and will naturally be even more excited to see you after work. On weekends, you may want to keep the same habits or roughly same times.
Be Prepared – Like mentioned throughout this blog post, pugs tend to overheat. As a result, when you take your pug for a walk you want to come prepared with some goods. You can take a fanny pack or a backpack with you loaded with a water bottle, possibly a small water bowl, some treats, and some booties (for snow or hot pavement).
Pick the Perfect Time – As pugs get overheated in the summer, be aware that the heat is most overpowering from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Try heading out for your morning walk before 9 a.m. and your evening walk after work or dinner. Those times tend to be a bit cooler on warmer days to ensure your pug doesn’t overheat.
Teach your Pug Commands – Exercising with your pug usually happens outdoors, though I have seen pugs use treadmills indoors. As a result, you’ll want to teach your pug important commands to keep them safe. If another dog is barking at your dog, you’ll want to keep him moving. You have a responsibility to keep your pug safe from other dogs. You have no control over how another dog owner treats his dog and so if your dog could be bit or attacked by another dog while out and about you need to be aware of any dangers. You’ll also want to ensure that they stop when you tell them to so that they don’t run into traffic.
Get them Moving Indoors – During severe winters, it can be too cold for a person let alone a pug to spend more than five minutes outside. As a result, you’ll of course want to take your pug out for a quick washroom break but limit his exercise to inside the house. If you have space in your basement, you can play a small game of fetch. If you have exercise equipment in your house, you can have your pug walk on a treadmill while you use the elliptical. Sounds silly but at least it gets them moving a bit.
Build Up a Pug’s Endurance – Just as you can’t wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon that day without training, a pug’s endurance needs to be built up over time. It is possible to make a pug your running buddy, but you’ll need to start slow. You’ll want to start with a ten minute walk, to a ten minute jog, to a fifteen minute walk, to a fifteen minute jog and so far. You’ll need to build it up slowly so that they don’t get injured or severely out of breath.
Reasons to Exercise with Your Pug
Pugs prone to obesity – Pugs always find a way to get more than their allotted food. They tend to eat or chew things that you’d never expect them to eat. Have you ever seen the video of the pug running away with a butterfly in its mouth? Everything looks appetizing to a pug and while you have control over what you feed them, you’ll need to realize that they’ll find things to eat when you’re not around. Most people know that the way to lose weight is to portion control your meals and increase the amount you exercise. As a result, to keep your pugs at a healthy weight you’ll need to do both. These aren’t the type of dog you’ll want to overexert as they can have seizures, faint or become overheated. A casual walk twice a day (morning and evening) and maybe a little running around in the yard or at a park to get their intensive cardio every now and then should do the trick. This will help promote a healthy heart as pugs are prone to heart disease.
Build a bond with your pug – Most people work 8 hour days, as a result, your pug is often left home alone with no one around. The social interaction of exploring during a walk or playing fetch in the yard is typically the highlight of your pug’s day. As pugs are a social breed, they usually appreciate and get excited to see the person who plays with them the most. Your pug like be more likely to bond with the person who spends the most time with him or her. If you’re constantly chasing them in the yard because they refuse to give you the ball, they’ll be more likely to wait by the door for you when you come home. A daily walk may be a hassle for you, especially if you know you have a lot to do when you come home, like taking care of the kids or cooking dinner, however, remember how happy and excited your pug will be every single time you grab his leash. They’ll never be apathetic to the attention you give them. They’ll always love you (and show you they do) for life.
Prevent destructive behaviour – If you’ve ever left a dog home alone for too long, you might be shocked when you come home as it’s possible that your dog has destroyed furniture and made your house look like a hurricane just went through it. Exercising with your pug multiple times a day (morning, evening, and some outdoor playtime) will allow your pug to use up all of their energy. As a result, they’ll be too tired to wreak havoc and will likely sleep.
Socialize pugs – It’s abusive to leave your pug locked up in your house without ever taking it for walks. Those who don’t regularly walk their dogs will likely find that it will be more aggressive to people and animals than most other dogs. Its important to have your pug socialize with other dogs and animals when you go for walks. Allow your pug to sniff other animals and people that walk by as it allows them to recognize others. Be sure to bring your pug to meetups so that they can play games and chase other pugs around and make a couple of new friends.
Keeps pug owner healthy – Countless people all over the world have noticed significant weight loss after getting a pug or other dog breed. The main reason for this is owning a dog requires an owner to take the dog out for walks a couple of times a day. A great pug owner walks and exercises with their dog. On cold winter days, when all you want to do is stay curled up in a warm blanket, your dog looks at her leash and brings it to you and you know that it’s time for their walk. So you wear a warm jacket, and head outdoors with your pug for a walk. Those who don’t own dogs, typically hibernate in the winter and avoid the outdoors at a costs.