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Life Expectancy for a Pug

Black pug puppy on a park bench outdoors

The average life expectancy of a male pug is 12.8 years while in the case of females, it’s 13.2 years. Most pugs can live for a maximum of 15 years while the minimum lifespan is 12 years. However, some exceptional cases have even lived close to 20 years. Snookie, a South African pug, won the Guinness World record for living for 27 years. Keep reading to know more about the life expectancy of a pug and learn the major causes of death for this breed.

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Average Weight for a Pug

Pugs are small purebred dogs that have their origins in China. Because of their small stature, they are considered to be toy dog breeds. Typically, a female weighs between 6.1 and 9.1 kilograms, and a male weighs between 7.6 and 10 kilograms. That is 16.8 lbs. to 22 lbs. for men and 13.4 lbs. to 20.7 lbs. for women.

What is the Main Cause of Death in Pugs?

Portrait of an old pug against a dark background

Pugs have abnormally short faces which makes them suffer from a disease known as a brachycephalic syndrome. Lack of space in the face anatomy to accommodate the huge eye, nose, and mouth is the condition’s most frequent cause. This condition can increase the intensity of heat strokes and breathing problems (known as BOAS) to a lethal level. This is one of the leading causes of unexpected deaths of pugs.  

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Other Causes of Death in Pugs

Apart from brachycephalic syndrome, there are several other causes of death in Pugs. Some of them are discussed below.

Heart Issues

Heart issues are among the more frequent causes of mortality in Pugs. Dogs who have heart issues may exhibit signs like sudden weakness, rapid breathing, coughing, lack of coordination, collapse, and a blueish-purple tongue, which typically indicates that they are having difficulty breathing.

Pugs might have cardiac issues from birth, but they can also develop for other reasons. Heart issues become worse with advancing age or when they occur in conjunction with other infections. It’s not always simple to determine whether your Pug has cardiac issues. The best practice is to have your Pug physically examined by your veterinarian so they can determine your Pug’s current health and risk factors and suggest medications accordingly


Pug laying on its back with paws in the air, outdoors

Obstruction of the digestive tract is a symptom of the disorder bloat. Gas fills the stomach, bends and stretches it, and cuts off the blood supply, causing a slow death.

Intense pain, retching, an enlarged abdomen, and a painful belly are all symptoms. Bloat’s origin is uncertain and it’s common among elderly small dogs. Without medical attention, your Pug may experience shock and eventually die. If discovered early, vets would probably undertake surgery to decompress the stomach and reposition the internal organs.

Toxin Ingestion

Ingestion of substances that can poison the body is called toxin ingestion. Toxins include substances like nicotine (found in cigarettes), chocolate, raisins, grapes, xylitol (found in sugarless gum and candies), onions, and garlic (in larger quantities). Small dogs like pugs are particularly vulnerable to poisoning from toxin intake because they don’t have enough room in their body for dilution.

You should always be on the lookout for any harmful substances in your home or yard that could harm your dog. Pug’s instinct is to eat objects they discover on the ground, which makes them easy victims of toxication. You should immediately take him to the veterinarian for medical attention and treatment if he consumes something harmful.

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Overweight pug with a yellow bow tie against a green background

Pugs are naturally lethargic and fond of overeating. They also enjoy taking naps and despise working out, which inevitably leads to Obesity. Pug obesity can lead to respiratory issues and cardiac problems.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)

PDE is an inflammatory condition of the nervous system which is usually fatal. Hence, it might be upsetting to learn that your dog has PDE. It’s an incurable disease and the cause is also not known.  Female dogs are more susceptible, and young pugs between the ages of two and three are most at risk. Most canines won’t survive past ten years due to the disease’s progressive nature

Congenital Dysfunction

The congenital disease is a condition that exists from the time the pug is born. Stenosis, septal defect, or a heart defect are examples of these.


Pug being examined by a vet

Cancer is the most common cause of death in the growth years of Pug dogs. They suffer from various cancers including Skin, breast, testicular, oral, and lymphoma cancers. These can be lethal if untreated or detected too late.

Neurological Syndromes

This is one of the main causes of Pug’s death. These conditions have an impact on the neurological system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves. Lethargy, brain inflammation, seizures, and loss of muscle control can all be a result of these illnesses. The most lethal neurological condition is PDE.

Joint Issues

Pugs are susceptible to joint issues like many other dogs, which can shorten their lifespan. His/her bones will weaken if your dog gains weight. Their frail short legs aren’t capable of carrying excess pounds and thus Joint problems become inevitable for them.

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