How Much Exercise Does a Pug Need?

Pug owners, who are wondering how much exercise does a pug need should keep reading to see how to keep your dog busy, what are the best pug exercises to maintain muscle tone and what about exercising a pug puppy or elderly dog?

Pugs are often stereotyped as lazy, but in reality, they need moderate exercise, with the Kennel Club recommending about 40 minutes of exercise per day.

This includes running around the yard, playing with toys or other dogs. You can also throw a ball for your Pug to chase or use an interactive toy that will keep their attention while getting some exercise.

It’s important not to overdo it though – pugs have short legs and shallow chests; they are classed as a brachycephalic breed which means they can easily overheat and experience breathing difficulties due to their flat faces and short nasal passages, so don’t push your pup beyond what feels comfortable for them!

Let’s get started; keep reading to see how to exercise Pugs

Why is Exercise Vital for your Pug?

Your Pug will need up to an hour of exercise a day. This should include shorter walks, extra playtime, and lots of brain-stimulating activities so they don’t become too tired or overheated, which could worsen breathing problems!

Several short walks throughout the day help maintain your dog’s muscle tone and prevent weight issues common in these dogs.

Free play with moderate cardio, self-playing dog toys and training should also be incorporated into their daily routine to provide mental stimulation and release pent up energy.

How Much Exercise Does a Pug Need?

This dog breed was intended as a lap dog and pugs love nothing more than cuddling with their humans on the sofa.

They don’t need long walks or very strenuous activity because as mentioned above, they are classed as a brachycephalic breed, but regular exercise helps maintain muscle tone, so it’s crucial to keep your Pug moving to prevent them from weight gain and suffering from any health problems such as diabetes, cardiac disease and arthritis as they get older.

Along with a daily walk, you should consider playing fetch, games that help with training, such as teaching them to take a bow or hold a position for a few seconds. Introduce chew toys; chewing dog toys is ideal for preventing boredom. You could even consider taking your Pug swimming if they like water.

Best Types of Exercise for Pugs

The pug breed isn’t known for its athletic prowess and excessive exercise can do more harm than good, especially in hot weather when they can suffer from heat stress due to their barrel-shaped body and flat faces.

As soon as you notice noisy breathing in your Pug, especially on hot summer days, physical activity should stop in case they get heatstroke

Below are some activities for you and your Pug to enjoy together

A daily stroll

A daily walk is the most simple way for your Pug to release some pent-up energy and regular walking isn’t excessive. It also stimulates their mind with sights, sounds, smells and other dogs they come across! Here are a few tips on how you can make sure that this low-intensity activity doesn’t get boring:

1) Mix it up

Change where or when you go, so every day is a new adventure. In the Summer months, it’s best to take them out in the early morning to avoid overheating.

2) Visit the dog park

On cooler days, pugs love to run around and play games with other dogs, so check out your local dog-friendly park or go online and search for breed meetups in your area

3) Let your Pug explore

Give your Pug time to stop and smell the roses (literally). Sniffing and getting information from scents is highly stimulating for dogs, so let your Pug explore the smells around them on a walk.

4) Walking on an uneven surface

This can be great for your dog’s balance and coordination and help use muscles not used in normal walking. Obviously, your Pug is not equipped for mountain climbing, but stepping over twigs in the woods or tackling small slopes are perfectly within their capabilities and this helps maintain good posture.

Chewing will keep your dog happy.

Pugs love to chew, so providing them with an outlet for this natural instinct will prevent them from chomping down on your expensive shoes or iPhone cable. They don’t need hard rubber chew toys, plush toys that rattle or squeak are good for keeping them entertained, or you can make your own at home.

This video shows how to make a healthy sweet potato rope chew toy

Never leave Pugs unsupervised when playing with a chew toy


With their cute faces, it’s easy to give in to Pugs and they can also be stubborn, so training is essential if you want a well-behaved, balanced dog.

Spending a few minutes each day teaching them basic commands such as sit, come, leave etc., will not only result in a well-mannered dog, it will offer them mental stimulation and tire them out almost as much as physical activity.

Fetch/Tug Of War

Fetch and games of tug are a great alternative to a long walk; you can spend a few minutes each day playing with your pooch in the house or garden to relieve boredom and give your dog a bit of a workout.

When you play fetch, why not mix it up a bit, incorporate some training, make your dog wait for the command before charging after the ball, or get them to drop it at your feet.

Balance exercises

One of the best activities for Pugs is balance exercises which offer several benefits. You can use a proper balance board designed for the purpose, which can be found online or in pet stores or even a sofa cushion.

Balancing increases core strength and your dog’s muscle condition will improve, helping to provide the proper support to their joints and protecting against injuries.

Balance exercises also delay ageing, reduce anxiety and give Fido a mental workout; what’s not to love

This video shows some practical balance exercises on discs

Can a Pug Have Too Much Exercise?

You should never overdo Pug exercise as Pugs tend to overheat easily, especially in hot weather. Avoid exercising your furbaby in the heat of the midday sun as they can easily suffer from heat stroke and avoid hot walking surfaces as it can damage their paws.

A short 10-minute walk early in the morning and evening will suffice and let them have access to their favourite toys throughout the day. Many pug owners find a paddling pool great for cooling down their pups during the summer months.

Keep any activity sessions short 5-10 minutes is plenty, so your Pug doesn’t get out of breath!

How Much Exercise Does a Senior Pug Need?

As your Pug gets older, you will notice them start to slow down. They are considered a senior at around nine years of age and may suffer from health issues such as elbow dysplasia, heart conditions, or arthritis.

So how much exercise should your golden oldie be getting? Exercise will still benefit their heart, lungs, circulation, joints and digestive system and prevent weight issues. However, the type and duration of activity may need to be adjusted.

You will need to observe your pooch and be aware of any breathing issues or signs of tiredness.

How Much Exercise Does a Pug Puppy Need?

Pug puppies are little bundles of energy, but under a year old, too much exercise for puppies can lead to serious problems later in life.

This is because their bones are not fully formed during this period of growth. Cells continually divide and can become malformed or permanently damaged by strenuous activities like running, twisting and jumping. Your beloved pet may even develop hip dysplasia in later life.

Short walks and lots of training and free play are the best ways to tire out your exuberant Pug puppy. This is also the time to consider buying pet insurance.

As they get older, there is no need for this to be greatly extended 3 or 4 10-minute walks a day is plenty for these little dogs; although a healthy adult Pug may well walk for an hour or two its a good idea to take a backpack with you in case, they need to rest.


After reading this post, you should have a good idea of how much exercise is recommended for your Pug as well as what type of activities to engage in with them. Whether they are a senior Pug or a puppy, it’s important not to overdo the amount of exercise that they get and instead focus on quality time spent together, building their trust.

If you’re not sure about how much your Pug needs, consult with a veterinarian or ask for help from an expert. It’s essential to stay within the recommended guidelines and be mindful of any health issues that may come up as they age, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes etc…

Pugs also need mental stimulation; they are intelligent dogs that can get up to all sorts of mischief if left to their own devices, So dog owners should ensure they get plenty of brain activity alongside moderate exercise.

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John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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