HOW TO EXERCISE YOUR PUG
The Pug is a lively, intelligent dog and will thoroughly enjoy both physical and mental stimulation. Off the lead exercise and game play in a secure area will benefit him greatly. While they are happy to have an afternoon siesta your Pug will be even happier and healthier with regular daily exercise.
Pug’s are a brachycephalic breed and prone to heat sensitivity, your Pug should not be exercised during the hottest part of the day, so exercising either early morning of late evening time is advisable. It is equally important that you do not overfeed your Pug as an overweight Pug will find it difficult to sustain any form of exercise. Pugs love their food, but as with all of us, food intake has to be balanced against exercise taken. Please, don’t kill your Pug with kindness.
There are several important benefits to giving your Pug regular exercise:
1) It helps maintain muscle tone which helps maintain good posture and allows the muscle surrounding the hips and knees to be strong and supportive.
2) It is good for the heart and reduces the risk of heart disease.
3) It revs up the metabolism and burns calories, an important exercise benefit for the Pug, a breed that is prone to weight gain and obesity issues.
4) It allows a release of pent up energy, which in turn gives you a better behaved dog.
An exercise regime starts from when your Pug is a puppy and should be strictly controlled. Your puppy should not be taken on excessively long walks, be allowed to run up and down stairs or jump on and off furniture. This type of activity can lead to joint problems, so stick to gentle play. Free access to a secure garden is a great start gradually incorporating lead walking, initially on grass before moving onto harder surfaces.
Guidelines and Requirements
Keep to a routine, this is helpful to both Pug & owner. When walks are incorporated in the daily routine, owners are more likely to follow through and dogs with their inner time clocks, quickly learn to look forward to this time. Weather permitting, there should be at least 1 daily walk to suit your dog. A good alternative to this is 2 shorter walks, spaced well apart. The benefit to exercising a Pug in shorter intervals is that he can receive a higher amount of exercise over the course of the day, yet will be less prone to overheating since the sessions are kept short. (A walk consists of walking, running and playing off lead).
Tips for keeping walks safe and fun:
1) Do take the time to teach your Pug to heel. Walking in tandem without a dog pulling on the lead makes moderate exercise more enjoyable for both dog & owner.
2) If the temperature is over 90’ (32.2C) it is best to not exercise your dog and will prevent it overheating too quickly.
3) During warm to hot weather, aim to exercise your dog early morning or evening time, always avoid the hottest part of the day.
4) Always take water and a collapsible bowl, your dog will appreciate a break for a quick drink.
5) Always be aware of how hot walking surfaces can become in the summer. Paws are made of skin, and are vulnerable to cuts, scrapes and burns.
6) Also be aware of ground surfaces in winter, chemicals used to thaw ice can melt into puddles and damage the paws. Ice, snow and frozen ground surfaces can cause an unstable traction. In very low temperatures some pugs may benefit from wearing a waterproof coat or jumper and even foot protection.
7) Many Pugs dislike rain and damp conditions. Very wet, cold and gusty conditions can play havoc with a Pug’s eyes, use your common sense and keep exercise to a minimum.
8) Weather permitting some Pug’s love to swim. Though the barrel shaped body is not ideal for skimming through water, some do very well in shallow pools and swimming is a very good way of cooling down on hot days. In pools where chemicals have been added to the water, rinse the coat and skin with clean water to remove traces of any chemicals used eg chlorine.
Since the Pug breed is prone to weight gain, exercise is an important part of keeping you Pug fit and healthy, maintaining a good body shape, muscle tone, healthy heart and burning calories. Owners are encouraged to make sure their Pug exercises on a daily basis while keeping an eye on any potential breathing problems or health issues. See the Body Conditioning Chart for more information on the ideal body shape!!