Hello everyone!

My name is Helen McKee. My husband Malcolm, and I are retired vets and we have been voluntary Veterinary Advisors for the Charity since 2018.

We set up our own Referral practice over our careers; Malcolm was previously a specialist orthopaedic surgeon and neurologist, whereas my background is both primary small animal, and latterly, Governmental work in Animal Health and Welfare.

We carry out the role of Veterinary Advisors for the PDWRA as we are both passionate about the health and welfare of pugs, who, through man’s making, have made pugs very prone to a large number of health issues.

In each newsletter I will discuss one particular health problem associated with pugs.

For my first topic, I am going to discuss the rather sensitive topic of a pug’s weight.

It is very easy to overfeed a pug; with their soulful eyes and appetite like a Labrador, they can trick you in to feeding them more than they need. Pugs are only little dogs and actually only need a small amount of food. Recommendations on the back of dog food are a guide only and pugs often need less than recommended. Basically, if your dog is putting on weight then it is eating too much, and the amount of food needs to be reduced.

When a pug is overweight, it becomes a health issue in itself. It also exacerbates health issues that pugs are prone to including breathing, spine and leg problems. Obesity in dogs is also now classed as a welfare issue by DEFRA under their welfare legislation.

I have attached a link to an article on our website ‘Fit not Fat’ which shows the ideal weight of a pug through how it looks; it’s not about weight as such, but a Body Condition Score (BCS) which should ideally be around 5/9. As you can see by the illustrations, 5/9 is nice and slim.

FIT not FAT! | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk)

This chart is issued by the University of Cambridge (2017 Copyright) and shows us how our pugs should look.

If your pug is kept slim, it will be so much healthier and happier!

Helen McKee (MRCVS)

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