How Long Do Pugs Live? A Guide To Their Lifespan

If you’re looking for a cute, adorable, and charming dog breed to be your next or first pet, a pug is your best option, without a doubt. 

However, pugs need tender and special care throughout their life as they’re vulnerable to rare diseases, mostly because of their rare looks. Don’t worry, though, as here we will be discussing how long a pug lives and how to prolong the lifespan of a pug. 

One of the recent studies shows pugs live for around 12 to 15 years. The average lifespan of male and female pugs is about 12.8 and 13.2 years, respectively. 

The good news is that with good, healthy, and social living conditions, a pug can live more than 15 years. One of the examples of this is ‘King Tug the Pug,’ who is 18 years old and the oldest pug in the United States. (At the time of publishing this article)

One of the limitations putting strain on their health and overall lifespan is pug’s ability to gain tremendous weight quickly and attract respiratory issues. Mostly, pugs prefer to live in a cool climate due to the breathing difficulties they often face. Talking about health issues, pugs are also prone to issues with their eye health. 

Pugs have bulging eyes that almost seem like they are popping out and are known to suffer from glaucoma or other eye issues in their lifetime. Having briefly discussed how long do pugs live, let us explain the top causes of pugs’ death.

What are the Leading Causes of Death Among Pugs?

While there are many reasons contributing to pug’s death, there are some commonalities we’ve found over the years after studying death in 100s of pugs. These causes of death in pugs are –

Neurological Disorders

This is the major cause of death in pugs, accounting for the death of over 27.4 percent of the pug’s population. Neurological disorders are ailments related to nerves, the brain, and the spinal cord. 

Of all the neurological disorders pugs are afflicted with, Pug Dog Encephalitis is the most common and fatal. In this pug disease, there’s severe inflammation in the brain, causing loss of motor and muscle control, seizures, and lethargy. 

While there’s still research going on about Pug Dog Encephalitis, nothing conclusive is available yet due to a lack of data and it being a breed-specific disease. 


Many different types of cancer can afflict pugs, but the most common cancers among pugs are skin tumors, testicular tumors, mammary tumors, mouth cancers, and lymphoma. It is the second most common cause of death in the pug breed, accounting for nearly 12.5 percent of all deaths. Early treatment of cancer helps in timely diagnosis and recovery. 

However, if cancer remains undetected for a prolonged period and has progressed massively, it will, unfortunately, lead to the pug’s death. Skin cancer and mast cell cancer are more common cancer forms that pugs are afflicted with. 


Being the third leading cause of death in the pug breed. Infections can often lead to fatality if timely treatment is not available. 

Some skin infections, staph infections, and yeast infections are serious issues among pugs but are not lethal. These are treatable and do not cause a large number of deaths.  

But, there are other infections that adult pugs are prone to. Infections like viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and some protozoal diseases can lead to death. 

Congenital Diseases

Congenial diseases are also a major leading cause of death in pugs. These are mostly health issues present at the time of birth. These conditions include septal defect, stenosis, and a heart defect.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Pet Pug?

You may have to bid goodbye to your pug at some point, but it does not have to be very soon. Extending your pug’s life is possible. 

If you are wondering how to extend the life of your pet pug lives, here are some great tips:

Keep the Weight in Check

Pug obesity is very common as overfeeding your pug is easy. The added weight can lead to many health problems, increase your vet’s bill and shorten your pug’s life. Thus, it is not something you should laugh off. It is serious.

Overweight pugs are at risk of diabetes, arthritis, and liver and kidney diseases. It can also cause heart problems and breathing problems. Weight can also put more pressure on the joints and hips.

Even though pugs are obsessed with food, and it can be difficult to say no, keep a close eye on their weight. Have your vet assess the pug’s weight to ensure they have an hourglass figure. 

Choose a healthy, nutrient-filled, and balanced diet for your pug. Good physical weight will prolong your pug’s life and save you from multiple visits to the vet.  

Proper Grooming is Important

With all those wrinkles and ears to take care of, regular grooming is essential to maintain healthy skin and avoid skin infections. It is also critical to care for teeth since mouth infections can spread to the bloodstream if not treated properly. 

Regular brushing and baths can help keep the pug’s coat silky and healthy. Trimming the nails can also prevent irritation and infections.

Regular Exercise

Exercise is essential for pugs no matter their age. They need regular exercise to remain fit. Just bringing your pug outside for a pee is not enough.

Playing with them and encouraging physical stimulation can keep them active. Ensure not to take them out when it is too hot, allow multiple drink breaks, and allow them to rest in the shade.

See a Vet Regularly

Do not wait for health problems to arise before taking your pet pug to a vet. Routine vet visits are important to stay on top of your pug’s health. Your vet will be able to pick on any health issue and provide you with the recommendations necessary. 

Adult pugs need yearly check-ups, while senior pugs should be taken for vet visits twice a year.

How to Know if Your Pug is Dying?

As a pug owner, you know your pet better than anyone else, and you should know if they are acting differently. While all pugs are different, some behaviors are common among sick or dying pugs. 

 Some of the common symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Loss of interest in people and toys they loved before.
  • Pugs may seclude themselves and show significant loss of energy.
  • As pugs are dying, their organs may start to shut down and lead to loss of bowel control.
  • As pugs are close to their death, their appetite decreases.

It can be devastating for the entire family when it is time to bid goodbye to your pet. But you can make the farewell for your pet pug memorable by spending the last moments together and letting them know how much you love them.

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