Friday, September 4, 2015

Fat pug? No way! Liam's top pug weight loss tips

Slender pug Liam waits for instructions
Liam is a slim pug, and that's great for his health. Since he is so small around the middle, he doesn't struggle overmuch when he's engaged in active play. And, he's less likely to deal with obesity-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and kidney stones, too, so his weight really helps him in all sorts of ways.

But keeping this guy on the trim side isn't always easy. Here's what I do to help Liam maintain his pretty pug figure.

Go easy on the treats. 

It's been said that pugs live to eat, and I think that's certainly true. Liam would do anything for a cookie, a piece of cheese or a snippet of hot dog. He gets so excited for these snacks, he'll even bite the hand that distributes the goodies. Not nice!

Pug Liam really wants to eat a cookie

Unfortunately, a lot of dog cookies are really large, and they're packed with calories. Look how big this cookie is, for example. That's a serving size made for a large dog, not a little pug.

I want treats to be a part of Liam's life, since he loves them so very much. But, he's limited to 1-2 per day, and in most cases, he only gets a tiny bit of cookie at a time. The treat in my hand, for example, can be broken up into 3-4 pieces.

And Liam needs to work for those treats, too. I ask him to do active things like shake my hand, back up or bring me a toy. That way, he burns calories before he eats.

Get active!

Liam goes for two walks almost every day (weather permitting). And if he seems energetic at the end of all that, we play rambunctious games, too. 

Tug of war with a pug
Liam is more energetic than the average pug, I'll admit. But keeping him so busy and active is certainly a part of keeping him slim. If I let him sleep through the day and the night, his body would be in hibernation mode, and that might mean he'd pack on pounds he'd never get off again. So I keep him on the go.

Mealtime matters

Whenever I'm eating something tasty, Liam looks a lot like this. Notice the wide eyes and the moving tail. He really wants a slice of anything I deem good enough to snack on.

Pug begging for food in his bed
Pugs can be master manipulators, but it's vital to resist their allure. These dogs just can't handle the added calories that come from human food. Liam rarely gets up from bed to beg simply because he knows he won't get extra food. It's not good for him.

And I make sure that he only eats a specific amount of his own food when his mealtime comes around. I measure it carefully, dole it out once and let him have at it. By watching his portions closely, I can make sure he doesn't eat too much.

So that's it! Any readers with their own pug slim-down tips should share in the comments section. Love to hear from you!