The Best Food for Pugs - Portion Sizes for Puppy and Adult Dogs
Animal file: Pug
As with any dog breed, nutrition is incredibly important. While some people think dogs are straight carnivores, they are actually omnivorous animals. This means they eat various types of food for sustenance. However, meat contains a lot of the protein, fats and minerals dogs need for survival. Pugs are no exception, but there are some specific concerns we may need to consider when feeding a pug. The most important factor is the status of the individual pug. Their age, weight, state of health and more will impact what type of food you should be giving them.
AnimalWised not only looks into the best food for Pugs, but we let you know how much you should be giving them. This will change throughout their lives, so we also provide the age-specific amounts they will need for optimum health.
What factors influence how much food to give a pug
During their lives, a dog has various developmental stages. First they are a newborn, then they enter the puppy stage, then they become adult and, if we are lucky, they become elderly dogs. During each stage, their nutritional needs change, so the amount and type of food needs to change accordingly.
There are other factors which influence the type and amount of food a pug will require:
- Physical activity
By taking these aspects into account, we can better understand our pug's nutritional requirements. We do these to ensure you pug lives a happy and healthy life. It will also help us to best influence their life expectancy.
Before we go into the nutritional composition for a Pug's food, it is important to stress a newborn Pug needs its mother's milk. This is nutrient rich and helps to strengthen their immune system when at their most vulnerable. This is why they need to stay with their mother for a minimum of 8 weeks. If you need to feed a newborn Pug puppy because they have been separated from their mother, we can help with our diet for a prematurely weaned puppy article.
What is the best food for a pug?
As we have intimated above, the best food for a pug is one which meets all their nutritional needs. On the market, you can find various types of commercial food. There are different brand with various types of wet and dry food. There are also some newer brands which focus on certain dietary requirements for dogs. For example, there have been a lot more grain free dog food options available and some even offer vegetarian food options for dogs.
For any dog, you should invest some time in researching your dog food brand. Just because a brand is expensive, doesn't necessarily mean it is best. You can look up reviews online of certain commercial brands and see what other consumers are saying about it. Animal feed doesn't go through the same rigorous checks and balances as food intended for humans. Still, a responsible commercial dog food company will ensure their product meets the nutritional requirements of dogs.
In commercial dog food, canine nutritional requirements means it should contain around 30% protein and 20% fat. The rest of its composition should be carbohydrates, vegetables, vitamins and minerals. Not all meat will have the same protein content, so you should choose animal food which gives you the specific animal the meat comes from. The same goes for ‘animal fat’. The more specific the ingredient list the better. This will help us to avoid products containing low-quality and waste materials.
More specifically for a pug, we need to consider their general health issues. Most good commercial feeds will be suitable for pugs if they are good quality. You can buy food which claims to be specially created for pugs. However, some companies may just be using quite generic dog food and charging more by claiming it is Pug-specific. If your dog has any food allergies, you also need to amend their diet accordingly.
Whatever food you decide on for your Pug, you need to be careful with its fat content. This is because Pugs have a tendency toward obesity. They need carbohydrates which will be broken into sugar by the body, but you should never give your dog sweets. This kind of sugar can be dangerous to their health, especially for Pugs. If you want to give your dog a treat, lean meat or some small pieces of fruit are better. We can even help by giving you more information on fruit suitable for dogs.
Finally, don't forget to establish a fixed meal schedule. While an individual Pug may be different, many find it difficult to ration their own food. Instead of giving them all their food at once, parse it out during the day at regular intervals. If you don't establish a sold routine, it can lead to insecurity in the dog.
How much food should I feed my Pug puppy?
The amount of food you should give to your pug puppy will depend on how many months of age they have. Here is a general overview:
- 0-2 months: infant formula
- 3-6 months: dry food for puppies
- 6-11 months: dry and wet food for puppies
As we state above, from the moment of birth to 2 months of age, your Pug must feed on either their mother's milk or a specially formulated alternative. The veterinarian should advise you on the specific needs of your individual dog, but it is likely they will need bottle fed every two hours or so.
From between the ages of 3 and 6 months, you should gradually introduce dry food specially formulated for puppies. Adult foods are not recommended for young dogs as adolescent Pugs will need specific food to help them grow strong. How much food should you give to your Pug puppy?
- A Pug of 3 months of age weighing between 1 and 2 kg should eat between 60 and 90 g of puppy feed 4 times a day.
- After 5 months, they will need to gain more weight so a Pug between 3 and 5 kg should eat 90 to 130 g of puppy food per day. During this stage, you can gradually incorporate some wet food for puppies, in this way diversifying their diet.
These proportions are approximate. You will need to keep your Pug in close observation to ensure they are getting the right amount. If you notice your Pug is very thin or a little too fat, vary the amount of food accordingly. However, if your Pug is eating the amount they should be, but their weight is not what it should be, it is possible there is an issue. The dog may have an intestinal parasite or even be suffering from a hormonal imbalance. It is important to take them to the veterinarian for an examination just to be sure.
How much food should I feed my adult Pug?
A Pug will be considered an adult between the ages of 12 months and 7 years of age. After this time, they will be considered a senior dog. The recommended food for an adult Pug should be administered twice daily. This will help to avoid stomach problems common in the breed.
The amount of food your adult Pug requires will depend on their weight and physical activity. For Pugs of 6 kg and above, they should be given between 120 and 150 g of food. However, you should stay alert to any signs of obesity. While these general amounts are a useful guide, you will need to check the specific brand to know how much. Some commercial brands will be richer in nutrients and may need less amounts for the same benefit to the dog.
An adult Pug will need a mixture of both dry and wet food. However, there is another important factor in what you need to feed your Pug: their personal preference. Any dog can be fussy when it comes to what they eat. This doesn't mean you should only give them wet food. It has a higher calorific intake and can increase the risk of obesity. You may simply need to use some trial and error in finding the right food for your Pug. If you need a little help, he's some more information on how to stimulate your dog's appetite.
How much food should I feed my elderly dog?
From the age of 7 onward, a Pug will be considered a senior dog. This is not the same for every breed as their health standards and life expectancy can vary, but it is around the average age. It will depend greatly on the individual dog and there are many which will stay sprightly and energetic, even after the age of 7. Unfortunately, this is the time at which dogs start becoming more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and conditions. Feeding them properly will help us to best avoid them.
A senior Pug should eat twice a day in similar portion sizes to other adult Pugs. The composition, on the other hand, will need to be amended. With commercial dog food, you can purchase special formulas made for senior dogs. One of the biggest changes is that they tend to have less calories. As a dog gets older and slows down, they are unable to exercise as much as before. Their metabolic rate slows down, making them at greater risk of obesity if they keep eating food of the same calorific level.
Another aspect is their general state of healthy. Older dogs are at greater risk of diseases such as kidney failure. You will need to take them to the vet more regularly than before to ensure you catch any ailments early. If kidney disease is detected, you will need to amend their diet accordingly. Check out our article on what foods a dog with kidney disease should eat for more information.
As a senior dog's bones become more weary, you may also need to add some more vitamins and minerals to counteract the effects of age. This is why senior dog food should contain supplementary elements such as added calcium. This article on foods rich in calcium for dogs can also help supplement them if necessary.
Homemade food for Pugs
As with all dogs, it is possible you can create a homemade diet for Pugs. Equally, as with all dogs, you need to know what you're doing. Some people will recommend a BARF raw food diet for dogs. This can be a good option as long as all of the nutritional elements are well met. To know if this is the case with your Pug, you will need to speak to a veterinarian before changing their diet radically in this way. They should perform tests to monitor any dietary deficiencies they may have. After you have had your Pug on the diet for some time, you will also need to take them back to ensure it is working for them.
A BARF diet is used to mimic the more natural diet a dog in the wild might expect to eat. While this can be beneficial, it also comes with certain risks such as disease transmission. There are some more natural dog food options available from commercial companies. These may be more expensive, but if they have been well tested, they can be a good option.
Grains and flours should generally be avoided by dogs. However, you may want to add some cooked rice to a dog's diet sporadically, especially older dogs or those suffering from obesity. In general BARF diets should include:
- Lean meat (chicken, fish, turkey, etc.)
- Offal (tripe, liver, kidneys, etc.)
- 1 egg sporadically
- 1 tbsp cod liver oil (buy dog specific treatment)
As long as the meat is fresh and of good quality, it can be served raw or semi-cooked. You mix the meat with the vegetables, the egg and a tbsp of cod liver oil. The cod liver oil needs to be of good quality and specifically for canines. It should not be overused, so only provide it every couple of days. Some dogs may require some specific dietary supplements which can be added to this food to ensure their health.
The portion sizes will vary according to the size and health requirements of the individual dog. As a general guide for Pugs, a homemade daily diet should consist of:
- 120-150 g of meat or fish
- 10-30 g rice
- 20-30 g vegetables
These proportions are a general guideline for their daily amount. It should be divided up into at least two portions. This is partly because raw food can spoil and provide practical issues if left out. The amount may be adjusted according to the amount of exercise a dog carries out. Even older dogs should avoid a sedentary life if possible as exercise is important until the end of their life.
You can supplement their main diet with some homemade treats. Ideally, this should be a piece of lean meat or a suitable piece of fruit or vegetable. Some recommended fruit and vegetables for dogs include:
- Green peas
- Banana (sporadically)
If you want to read similar articles to The Best Food for Pugs - Portion Sizes for Puppy and Adult Dogs, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.