How Old is the Oldest Pug Ever?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: December 2, 2021
Image Credit Finnegan's Fotos/Shutterstock.com
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Pugs are small dogs that have big personalities. They have a friendly, loyal disposition and make friends with humans and other dogs easily. Pugs also rank among the happiest dogs, making them the perfect companion for people that want a companion that will boost their mood.

Although people often bemoan the relatively short lifespan of certain dog breeds, some pugs have managed to defy the odds and live to a nice old age. We are going to examine the oldest pug to ever live and explore the behavior of these fascinating pups.

What Types of Pugs Are There and Where Do They Live?

pug on treadmill
Pug on treadmill

The pug is an iconic dog breed that is easily identifiable by its bulging eyes, flat and wrinkly face, and small stature. As toy dogs, pugs were bred to be companions to people, so their needs for exercise and attention are less than other breeds.

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Pugs are often differentiated by the color of their fur coats which can come in silver fawn, apricot fawn, fawn, and black.

Pugs originated in China, and records indicate that they have been around since around 400 B.C. They were companions for the wealthy. At some point in the 16th century, the pug was introduced to Europe, particularly the Netherlands and England.

Today, the pug is a relatively popular breed of dog that is found throughout the world. It’s a common breed in cities because of its small size and lower exercise requirements.

The Lifespan of a Pug

Oldest Dog: Snookie the Pug
A happy Pug, like Snookie, running through the grass. Pugs are the perfect type of dog to have if you need a charming, amusing, and affectionate companion.

Khilenko Anastasiia/Shutterstock.com

A rule of thumb when discussing the lifespan of a dog is that the smaller the dog, the longer the lifespan. Pug owners are often thrilled by this notion because few dog breeds are smaller than this one.

The average dog lives between 10 and 13 years, with many smaller breeds populating the upper limits.

On average, owners can count on the pug to live on the far side of average, about 12-14 years. Like any other breed, some pugs exceed 14 years, but it’s rare for any dog to reach 20 years of age.

Pugs, like other dogs, represent a time investment for their owner.

The Oldest Pug Ever

Oldest Pug Ever - Old Pug Sleeping
An elderly pug sleeping on the floor

Finnegan’s Fotos/Shutterstock.com

Since pugs have been around for such a long time, it should not come as a surprise that several noteworthy dogs have lived far longer than their average lifespan. In the case of this delightful young breed, the oldest pug that has ever lived was 27 years old and went by the name Snookie.

Snookie lived in South Africa and was verified by Guinness World Records before passing away in 2018. That means he somehow reached an age doubling the average. Few records exist about his treatment or  any unique characteristics that allowed him to reach 27 years of age.

He was by far the longest-surviving pug on record even compared with other pugs that have reached a greater-than-average age. In fact, on our ranking of the top 8 oldest dogs ever, Snookie the pug came in 4th place!

Other Pugs That Reached a Great Age

Several other pugs have exceeded the average lifespan, but none have come close to Snookie. Currently, King Tug the Pug is the second-longest living member of its breed, having reached the age of 18 in 2020.

Other people have made informal claims about their dog’s age, such as a pug named Ginger that had reached the age of 17.

As you can see, these pugs are not exceeding the typical lifespan by a great deal. Nevertheless, it’s always a joy when pets live longer than one expects.

Pugs’ Lifespans Compared with Other Dogs

Oldest Pug Ever - Group of Dogs
How do pugs compare to other dog breeds?

Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

As we have already mentioned, smaller dogs tend to live longer than big dogs.

The average dog lifespan ranges between 10 and 13 years, with some far below that range and others living longer. Here is an assortment of dogs to which we can compare the pug’s lifespan.

  • A Bernese Mountain Dog tends to live between 6 and 8 years, making it one of the most short-lived dog breeds. They are prone to many forms of cancer that cut their lives short.
  • An Irish Wolfhound typically lives between 6 and 10 years.
  • Labrador Retrievers are a medium dog breed that can live between 10 and 12 years.
  • Jack Russell Terriers average 12–14-year lifespans, and they regularly make it to the higher end of that range.
  • The Beagle breed lives a long time, between 12 and 15 years, making it a long-lasting pet companion.

It is clear that pugs tend to live longer than many other dog breeds, making them a great option for those that want a companion that will survive for quite some time.

How to Keep a Pug Healthy

pug ready to eat
Diet is an important component of keeping your pug healthy!

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Overcoming the potential for negative health problems is a task faced by every pug owner. Due to their unique behavior and body type, pugs run into some noteworthy health problems. For example, pugs are predisposed to the following problems:

  • Pug Dog Encephalitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the nervous condition
  • Hip dysplasia (over 50% of pugs suffer from this ailment)
  • Obesity due to their low-energy lifestyle
  • Skin infections from their wrinkled skin
  • Eye injuries due to their bulging eyes

Keeping your pug healthy will require a good diet, plenty of exercise, and frequent checkups at the veterinarian. The first step to keeping your pug healthy is being aware of their potential health problems so you can identify and mitigate them.

Pugs are a unique dog breed that can live a long life if they receive proper care. The oldest pug to ever live, Snookie, was supposedly 27 years old when he passed away in 2018, and his record has yet to be matched.  

Now that more people know how to care for a pug, have access to quality dog food, and understand the importance of proper exercise, more pugs are bound to reach the upper limits of their lifespan and possibly match Snookie’s record.

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with 8 years of experience. I've written in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014 with degrees in English and Education. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading, and writing for fun.