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Pug Life Span: How Long Do Pugs Live? Tips for Healthier (2023)

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If you are looking for a charming, funny, loving, and sociable dog breed, then a pug is your best option.

pug life span: how long do pugs live?Pugs are adorable, with their pinched faces, wrinkly foreheads, and large beady eyes.

So, how long do pugs live? If you want to share your home with a pug, you probably want to learn more about the concept of the pug life span.

We all know the sad truth is that dogs age a lot faster than humans. One of the reasons we love our dogs so much is that they are unselfishly willing to devote their entire lives to simply being our best friends.

Pugs can live up to 12-15 years old. However, most of them don’t make it to their 11th birthday.

This doesn’t take long for a dog their size – small dogs usually outlive large dogs and often survive well into their teens.

This is because they are generally very sickly dogs. Most of the diseases that plague their lives are related to their brachycephalic facial structure.

Their brachycephalic faces and screw tails are distinguishing features of the breed but can negatively impact their lifespan.

How can you be sure to get the best out of each day and give your pug the best quality of life possible? Keep reading to find out.

Health Problems Do Pugs Have

Like almost all dog breeds, pugs have many common health issues. It is always advisable to be aware of these possibilities for any dog parent.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOARS)

Dogs with BOAS can have a variety of problems related to reduced airflow to the lungs. They include:

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty exercising, including the exercise-induced collapse
  • Overheating, including heat stroke
  • Low-oxygen blood
  • Sleep apnea
  • Vomiting and retching.
  • Reverse sneezing is a sign of soft palate malformations.

Some of these problems, such as heat stroke and collapse, can be life-threatening and lead to death if a dog does not receive immediate veterinary care.

Eye Injuries

Pugs have huge eyes that are exposed by the shape of the head. If they come into contact with something first, injuries are inevitable.

Legg-Perthes Disease

Legg-Perthes DiseaseThis condition usually affects toys or smaller breeds, causing them to limp constantly, which is usually very painful. If left untreated (and often anyway), it can lead to cartilage loss, arthritis, muscle mass loss, and others.

When the head of the femur has an insufficient blood supply, it becomes necrotic. And death.

Bone loss in any area can be a huge problem, but especially if you are dealing with a joint designed to support your dog’s weight.

Neurological Issues

Some pugs can also be prone to certain neurological disorders of the brain.

This includes epilepsy and a serious genetic condition unique to the breed called pug dog encephalitis.

Pug encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by the immune system and, unfortunately, is often fatal. It can affect pugs and lead to death in a short period of time.

Skin Irritation And Infections

This is often associated with the folds of skin that pugs are known and loved for. They provide the perfect place to hide everything from germs to pests. They are, therefore, the focus of various infections and irritations if proper care is not part of the routine.

Lip-Fold Pyoderma

This form of dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) is another term for pyoderma, the medical term used for a bacterial skin infection. Increases the chance that this will develop.

The condition can usually be treated very easily by keeping the area as clean and dry as possible. This is also a good prevention method.

Top Causes of Death for Pug Dogs

Top Causes of Death for Pug DogsA 20-year study recently concluded that looked at the leading causes of death for purebred and mixed dogs. Medical records of 74,556 dogs were studied, and those results were recently published.

More than 100 Pugs were involved in this two-decade study.

Puppies were individually categorized because they did not—death from a disease affecting older Pugs who have reached typical life expectancy.

Congenital Disease

These are conditions that are present in a pug’s life at birth.

They include stenosis (abnormal narrowing of spaces in the spine), heart defects, or septal defect (incorrect blood flow).


This is the number 2 cause of death for the Pug breed (12.5%). The most common cancers in this breed are skin tumors, breast tumors (spaying a female significantly reduces the likelihood of this development), testicular tumors (neutering a male eliminates the likelihood of this development), oral cancer, and lymphoma.

Skin cancer is leading cancer in Pugs; 1/3 of all breed tumors are skin tumors. Of that number, 20% are mast cell tumors. Mast cells are cells normally found throughout the body that help a dog respond to inflammation and allergies.

In deadly mast cell cancer, the most common areas of the body where tumors are found are the main body (45%), hind legs (40%), head or neck (10%). Ten percent are found in other areas, and of the Pugs, they are diagnosed with, 11% have tumors in more than one part of the body.

Extreme Lethargy

Extreme lethargy is one of the main symptoms of a dying dog, regardless of the cause. They may be reluctant to engage in even the bare minimum of activities, such as short walks. And when they do, it takes a very long time for them to regain energy.

Pug Dog Encephalitis

Pug Dog EncephalitisMore specifically called Necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME); this disease causes inflammation of the brain and is normally fatal to the dog.

Scientists have linked this to certain genetic markers more commonly found in female Pugs.

Symptoms often include depression, seizures, blindness, ataxia (loss of muscle control), and an unusual gait. An estimated 1.2% of all Pugs will die from this, which is actually a significant number given the breed’s popularity.

Neurological disorders

This is one of the leading causes of pug death. These are conditions that affect a pug’s nervous system.

The latter includes the spinal cord, nerves, and brain. The most common fatal neurological condition in pugs is PDE.

The latter causes encephalitis, which causes lethargy, loss of muscle control, and seizures.


Seizures are associated with pug encephalitis and can occur at any stage of the disease. If the attacks become longer, more vigorous, or shorter intermittently, this could signify that the condition progresses to the final, fatal stages.

Skin Infections

This is one of the causes of death of adult Pugs (10.9%). This includes a range of diseases, including viral diseases (parvovirus, distemper), bacterial infection (leptospirosis and most tick diseases), fungal infections (blastomycosis, histoplasmosis), and protozoal diseases (babesiosis and leishmaniasis).

This does not include the common skin infections seen in Pugs, including fungal wrinkle infections, as these problems can be serious but not fatal. Staph infections, often caused by allergies, are treatable and lead to death in very few cases.


Do you know the old saying that you are what you eat? It also applies to dogs.

A poor diet full of sugar, fat, and empty calories can affect a pug’s life span.

What Changes Do Pugs Undergo as They Get Older?

What Changes Do Pugs Undergo as They Get Older?A Pug is classified as a senior between the ages of 7 and 9 years; this is up to his or her vet to do this. The transition from adult to senior is so gradual that some owners don’t notice their Pug’s changing needs until he or she is really struggling.

Here are signs your pug is getting old and in need of senior care:

  • Hearing loss: This can be especially difficult because dogs have excellent hearing skills. Before this happens, learn your Pug Signals to help them understand what you are asking.
  • Physically slowing down: The body structure of a pug, which is barrel-shaped, puts a lot of weight and stress on the hips, legs, and knees. This can take its toll over the years. Arthritis is also a problem for many older Pugs.
  • Muscle/fat ratio: Just like humans, dogs lose muscle as they age and store more fat in their bodies.

How Long Do Pugs Live In Human Years?

Most pet owners don’t think about their dog’s human life. We just read online information and facts about how long a breed should live. You’ve probably read that a pug life span average is about 12-15 years old.

But do you really know how long that is in human years? As I mentioned above, Mindy was 16 years old in dog years and 80 years old in human years.

Knowing how old your dog is in human years can help you understand whether your dog is still a puppy, an adult dog, or a dog. Senior. Understanding this will help you take better care of your furbaby.

Longest-lived Pugs

Potential owners who are deeply concerned about their prospective dog’s longevity and quality of life should know that many of the healthiest and longest-lived dog breeds look more natural than the Pug.

Longer lifespan dogs. Muzzles and backs and long straight tails do not suffer from the health problems found in pugs, bulldogs, and similar breeds.

Fans of the Pug should consider a Pug Mix if they are concerned about the Pug’s health issues. Pug.

But if your heart is with a pug, how can you help your dog live longer?

How to Extend a Pug Life Span

How to Extend a Pug Life SpanThe question “ how long the Pugs live ” depends on the individual dog and the genetic health condition it inherited from its parents.

The best way to ensure that your Pug has a long, happy, and healthy life is to choose a responsible breeder.

This person should perform health tests for hereditary health problems in all dogs.

With proper care, you can extend the number of years your Pug lives.

Here are the secrets to prolonging a pug’s life:

An excellent diet

This breed is very prone to obesity, leading to heart problems, respiratory problems, and damage to the hips and joints. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important for a Pug to live a long and healthy life. Here are some tips:

  • Choose high-quality food or choose to cook at home.
  • Replace fatty and unhealthy snacks with healthy foods, such as raw carrots.
  • Have planned meals for your Pug and stick to the meal plan. Knowing in advance what you will be feeding your pug will help eliminate the supply of unhealthy foods.
  • Even if you keep your pug healthy, you should give a daily vitamin and mineral supplement specific to your pug’s age: puppy, adult, or senior.


When your pug reaches the age of 8, it is time to pay more attention to your grooming techniques. These brushes make it so easy to groom your pug and keep the shedding problem under control.

Make sure to clean their wrinkles and trim their nails. I highly recommend these guillotine trimmers for this small breed.

Your Pug becomes more susceptible to infection as it gets older; make sure to groom it more often.

Be Cautious With This Brachycephalic Breed

The pug’s structure (sturdy, heavy body and short muzzle) makes swimming very difficult for them.

For this reason, you should supervise your pug if you allow him to approach a body of water and buy him a life jacket.

Also, avoid overexertion or getting excited, as this can lead to breathing difficulties.

Do not interrupt training completely; take it easy and watch out for exhaustion or breathing problems.

Veterinary Care

Always have current medical care with regular checkups. Always keep your pet up to date on vaccinations and never ignore potential medical concerns.

Even the most devoted owners may miss subtle physical cues that indicate problems or behavioral changes. If you notice any signs of illness, don’t wait and take your dog to the vet sooner rather than later.


This is a matter of finding the right balance. A sitting pug will not be a healthy dog, but too much exercise can lead to health and respiratory problems.

On warm days, walking in the morning (before 10 am and again in the evening (after 5 pm) prevents a pug from exercising during the hottest parts of the day. It is recommended to stop in the shade to rest and drink water.

Dental Care

Just like you, pugs need a regular dental cleaning. If the dental visits are expensive, take care of their teeth by brushing their teeth.

As your pug gets older, they may lose their teeth if they are not at their younger age.

In this case, you may need to change their diet from dry food to soft food that they can digest.


One of the biggest problems with Pugs is obesity. As a pet owner, pay attention to whether or not your pet is overweight. Being overweight can put stress on the joints and cause other health problems.

Here is a guideline for how much your pug should weigh at different stages of life:

  • Puppy: 7 pounds -12 lbs Your dog is considered a puppy for the first year of its life. I highly recommend feeding them Blue Buffalo Blue Protection puppy food.
  • According to the AKC’s nutritional weight table, adult and Seniors: An adult pug 2 years and older weighs 14-18 pounds. Mindy weighed 21 pounds, and we didn’t think she was overweight, so pay close attention to whether your dog has joint problems or not.

Eye Care

Pugs are prone to glaucoma because of their bulging eyes.

If your pug loses sight (usually occurs in old age), make sure to keep all furniture positions.

And your pug will still move without problems.

Spending Time Bonding with Your Pug

Dogs are very social animals and rely heavily on family members (be they dogs or humans) for their support. No dog will be thrilled unless he can spend a lot of quality time with his owner.

The binding should never stop on a single human lead. Socialize your pug at an early age so that he can enjoy life with other animals and people.

Train your pug to eliminate the risk of separation anxiety. Some dogs have become so anxious that they have physically injured themselves, and fear is not good for general mental health.

How Much Should I Exercise a Pug Senior Dog

One of the things I noticed when Mindy was about 12 years old is that we needed to reduce her daily exercise intensity. I no longer took her for her daily 2 mile walks.

I still took her for a walk, but I just let her decide how much to walk. It’s important to keep your dog active and move; just pay attention to what he can do.

Is It Bad to Own a Pug?

Is It Bad to Own a Pug?There has been a long debate as to whether it is ethical to own or breed purebred pugs. This is because their genetics and anatomy put them at risk for so many diseases and such discomfort throughout their life. While it is not illegal to breed a Pug, it is frowned upon by many regulatory authorities around the world. Ownership, on the other hand, is a completely different story.

Let’s look at it in two ways. If there is already a pug in a shelter who needs a loving home, it’s okay to have one. After all, they are already there and need a good home, so why not. You have to be prepared for all the effort it takes to adopt, love, and raise these vulnerable fur babies.

However, if you want one for aesthetics and plan to order from a breeder, you probably don’t make that the best decision. This is because you would create a market for harmful breeding that does not do the little dogs well.

If you really must have a pug, we recommend going for a mixed breed, such as a retro pug. These are mixed with long-muzzle breeds to create healthier versions of the small, wrinkled beauties. Especially with retro pugs, you could even extend the dog’s life expectancy to 16 years. Best of all, they don’t have to suffer much, if at all, from the complications of brachycephaly.

Making the Last Moments Unforgettable

One of the things I regret is that I refused to believe that Mindy would ever not be here. Yes, I realize that all living things will eventually disappear.

Mindy’s life flew by, and one of the biggest things I regret is NOT getting the best out of her senior years.

Lots of photos, because those are the memories that are dear to you. Please do everything you can to show them that you care and that they have had an impact on your life.

Spend every moment you are awake, showing them compassion and caring as they reach their senior years. Because unfortunately, it goes much faster than you think.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Life Expectancy of Black Pugs?

Black Pugs have the same lifespan as any other color Pug. You can expect your pet to live to about 12-15 years old with proper care and nutrition. Some will live longer; Mindy, my pet, could live 16 years.

How Old Do Pugs Live?

As we’ve discussed before, it depends on a pug’s health condition.

You can extend a Pug’s life through exercise and proper nutrition.

What is the Oldest Living Pug?

Pugs have a short life expectancy for small dogs, with an average of 11 years. However, they can live up to 15 years and even more. A fantastic example is King Tug the Pug of America, who lived the 18-year-old adult dog.

What Do Pugs Die From?

Many things can shorten a Pug’s life. Many old dogs die from conditions such as heart failure, kidneys, and cancer.

Immune-mediated illness and bloating are the major deaths among younger pugs.

Are Girl or Boy Pugs Better?

Pugs are generally very calm and affectionate. Boy pugs, however, are generally more loving and friendly than female pugs. They are, therefore, the better option if you want an affectionate lap dog relationship with your dog. Females are also pretty cool, despite being more aggressive and aloof. All you need to do is show them consistent affection and care, and they will start to trust you.


The pug life span average differs from dog to dog. However, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of a Pug.

They include lovingly showering your pug, giving him the right food, and proper exercise.

Remember that they can be prone to skin and eye problems, so it is important to keep the skin folds clean and dry and the eyes clean and moist.

With the right selection of breeders and good veterinary and home care, your Pug can live a long and happy life.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.