Knowing how much to feed a Pug is the first thing you should know as a Pug owner. Your Pug’s general health and well-being are influenced by how much food you feed it.
As a small breed, Pugs are expected to eat less than other dog breeds. However, feeding your Pug entails a variety of factors and considerations.
A strict meal plan and a balanced diet will ensure that Pugs grow healthy and active. Furthermore, good eating habits should be incorporated into your Pug’s overall care.
Let’s look at all the details about the best food, variety, amount, feeding schedule, and other tips for feeding a Pug.
Pug Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Pug?
As a general rule, the amount of food given to adult dogs should be at least 2% to 3% of their body weight. Ideally, adult Pugs can be fed ⅓ to ½ cups of food per day, divided into two meals. However, this will still depend on a Pug’s activity level, age, and health.
The amount of food Pugs need is primarily determined by their age. Puppies and seniors, for example, require less food to maintain their energy levels, whereas adults, pregnant dogs, and lactating Pugs need more.
Pugs are also prone to obesity and have sensitive stomachs. As a result, selecting the appropriate amount is critical to keeping them strong and healthy.
The chart below shows how much food should be given to Pugs. While beneficial, it should not be one’s sole basis for determining their food intake. It is necessary to follow the vet’s advice and closely monitor your dog’s needs.
Pug Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)
When Pugs are still puppies, it is critical to feed them Pug puppy food that will support their growth and development.
Pug puppy food is specially formulated to keep them healthy, with higher protein content and immune support. Once they are two months old, gradually introduce Pug puppy food to aid their weaning process.
A Pug puppy should be fed ¼ to ¾ cups of quality food per day, with an average of 50 to 300 kilocalories per day. This can be challenging; hence, asking professionals for Pug puppy feeding tips may help.
On average, puppies need 40 calories per pound of their body weight, while adults need at least 30 calories per pound of body weight to support their nutritional needs.
The chart below shows a summary of the calorie requirements and what macronutrients are needed by a Pug puppy:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|2 – 3 months||0.25||50 – 130||30%||10%|
|3 – 6 months||0.33||130 – 250||30%||10%|
|6 – 12 months||0.75||250 – 300||25%||10%|
During their first year, a puppy Pug will primarily rely on protein and healthy fats. Both are required for muscle development and growth. It also aids in the strengthening of their immune system.
After a year, a Pug’s growth will begin to slow, so it is critical to support its growth as early as possible. However, what you feed a Pug puppy is done on a case-to-case basis, and the above chart is only meant to provide estimates.
Adult Pug Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)
Generally, an adult dog will eat at least half a cup of commercial food daily. However, it should be noted that this will still depend on certain factors such as their lifestyle, spay or neuter status, pregnancy, and more.
The chart below shows how much food an adult Pug should eat:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|1 – 7 years||0.5||200 – 250||20%||5%|
Pugs tend to overeat and become overweight. To avoid its negative consequences, keep a close eye on how much food a Pug eats.
The table above is a helpful guide and may serve as a basis when one needs to adjust an adult Pug’s food portions accordingly, such as when they are spayed, neutered, pregnant, or lactating.
In essence, spayed or neutered Pugs require fewer calories. Limiting their food intake keeps them healthy. Meanwhile, pregnant, lactating, and active dogs require more calories and nutrition.
Senior Pug Feeding Chart (8 years and above)
Similar to other dog breeds, senior Pugs become more sedentary and lose muscle mass. Thus, they do not require much food. Aside from needing fewer calories, seniors also have a slower metabolism.
This makes it difficult for them to digest and absorb nutrients. Their stomachs become more sensitive to artificial preservatives, fats, and raw meat.
To prevent upset stomachs among seniors, giving the right amount of food and preparing the right kind of diet is important. Increasing their water intake will also help them chew and digest food easily.
The table below shows how much dog food senior Pugs need:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|8 years and above||0.3||200 – 225||20%||5%|
Feeding the right quantity of dog food with the correct percentage of protein and fats can be a laborious task.
Fortunately, there is a commercial dog food specifically formulated for senior dogs to strengthen their immune systems.
Pug Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Pug?
Generally, Pug puppies should be fed 3 to 4 times per day. Meanwhile, adults and seniors should eat at least twice daily. Both puppies and adults should eat at regular intervals.
The frequency of feeding your Pug, paired with a good feeding schedule, is as important as knowing how much to feed a Pug.
The table below shows a summary of the corresponding feeding frequency according to a Pug’s age:
|2 to 3 months||Four times a day|
|4 to 6 months||Three times a day|
|7 months to 7 years||Twice a day|
|7 years and above||Once or twice a day|
A Pug puppy below three months should be fed four times daily at four-hour intervals. Once they turn four months, they can be fed thrice daily at six-hour intervals until they reach six months.
As puppies, their small tummies may get easily overwhelmed by the amount of dog food. Hence, it is important to strictly give small meals four times a day and follow a strict Pug puppy feeding schedule.
Ensure that they are getting enough food until your Pug puppy reaches six months to avoid the complications of over- or under-feeding.
Free feeding is not recommended for Pugs, especially for Pug puppies.
Feeding them once or twice a day is an effective way to help them adjust to their slower metabolism once they reach their senior age. This will keep them from developing indigestion or other health problems in the future.
Regardless of their age, it is best to follow a consistent feeding schedule and vet-approved feeding guidelines to prevent any weight-related problems.
Optimal Feeding Times for Pugs
Once a Pug’s feeding frequency has been established, the next question is when it should be fed. This will help a Pug maintain a consistent energy level throughout the day.
A Pug puppy should be fed four times every day starting at 6 AM with a four-hour interval for each meal. Meanwhile, adults and seniors should be fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
The table below shows the recommended feeding times for your Pug:
|Age||Optimal Feeding Times|
|2 – 3 months||6:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM|
|4 – 6 months||6:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 6:00 PM|
|7 months – 7 years||7:00 AM and 7:00 PM|
|7 years and above||7:00 AM or 7:00 PM if fed once a day;|
7:00 AM and 7:00 PM if fed twice a day
Because their tummies are not fully-developed yet, puppies aged six months and under should not be fed after 6:00 PM to avoid indigestion.
While the table above can be useful, keep in mind that each Pug is unique, and dog owners should make adjustments based on their Pug’s preferences and overall health.
Best Dog Foods for Pugs
Choosing the right dog food for a Pug is essential as this will ensure that it gets proper nutrition. However, this can be challenging and time-consuming, considering that there is a lot to choose from.
Whether you choose to feed your Pug commercial, homemade food, or raw food, make sure that they are of good quality and recommended by a trusted veterinarian.
Proper nutrition is one of the factors that affect their lifespan.
Below is a list of the best dog food choices for your Pug:
- Dry Food: One of the best options for Pugs is dry dog food as it is widely available, cheap, and has a long shelf life. These are packed with all the nutrients essential for your Pug. Some brands offer Pug-specific kibbles to keep a Pug’s skin, coat, digestive system, and immune system healthy.
- Wet Food: Wet dog food is another good option for Pugs. Its flavor and texture make it more appealing to Pugs than dry food. Wet food contains fewer grains, making it healthier and easier to digest. However, wet canned food has a shorter shelf life and should be consumed immediately after opening. Wet foods are also more expensive than dry foods.
- Homemade Food: Your Pug may benefit from cooked food consisting of chicken, eggs, fish, rice, and vegetables. The process is time-consuming, but it is less expensive and more convenient in the long run, especially if you plan on giving them a grain-free diet.
- Raw Food: Raw food diet for most Pugs results in better digestion, healthy skin, and a stronger immune system in Pugs.
Mixing any of the aforementioned food choices is also good. For instance, a diet consisting of 80% commercial dry food and 20% wet food is recommended by most veterinarians.
A Pug’s average price and expenses are already costly. Hence, you may want to try dog food alternatives to fit your budget. Check the video below for an idea on Pug food alternatives:
Ultimately, whichever food you choose should depend on what would work best for you, your dog, your lifestyle, and your budget.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pug
One of the responsibilities of a Pug owner is knowing what foods to avoid. With their sensitive little stomachs, some foods can be poisonous, cause allergic reactions, and can even be lethal.
Below is a list of food that you should completely avoid feeding to your Pug:
- Alcohol: Any amount of alcohol is hazardous for Pugs. Pugs do not have the enzyme to metabolize alcohol. Ingestion can cause hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis, breathing problems, and central nervous system (CNS) impairment.
- Avocado: Avocado contains persin, a fungicidal toxin that has been linked to the death of many animals, including Pugs. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart damage in large quantities.
- Chocolate: Pugs’ smaller stomachs lack the enzyme required to metabolize theobromine, the primary alkaloid present in cocoa and chocolates. As a result, even small amounts of chocolate can cause poisoning.
- Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins contain tartaric acid, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure among Pugs. Unfortunately, even one whole grape can cause irreversible damage and death in small breeds like Pugs.
- Macadamia nuts and walnuts: While the exact reason why they are poisonous is unknown, it is best to avoid giving them to your Pugs entirely. In Pugs, macadamia and walnuts can cause diarrhea, weakness, breathing problems, and pancreatitis.
- Onion, garlic, leeks, and chives: All these vegetables contain N-propyl disulfide, which damages the oxygen-carrying substances in red blood cells. Ingestion of these vegetables can eventually lead to hemolytic anemia.
- Xylitol: In Pugs, xylitol can cause a rapid release of insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia, lethargy, collapse, and seizures. It is frequently found in gums, candies, syrups, and toothpaste.
Pugs should avoid the foods listed above at all costs. Now, let’s discuss foods that are seemingly harmless but are found to be hazardous for Pugs:
- Cooked bones: Cooked bones are harder and more likely to splinter into shards. They can clog your Pug’s mouth, throat, and stomach and cause injuries.
- Food with high sugar content: If your Pug consumes too much sugar, it is more likely to develop health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. Food with high sugar content can also give Pugs an upset stomach.
- Salty food: Just like sugar, too much salt can cause health problems in Pugs. If left unchecked, it has the potential to poison your Pug. Excessive salt consumption can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and kidney failure.
- Milk and dairy products: Because the majority of Pugs are lactose intolerant, dairy products can make them sick. They will have digestive problems because they are unable to break down lactose.
- Yeast dough: Yeast will continue to make the dough rise in your Pug’s stomach even after ingestion. This causes gastrointestinal blockage and death if left unattended. It may also cause toxic levels of ethanol in your Pug’s bloodstream.
If you think your Pug has accidentally ingested any of the aforementioned foods, bring your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic for appropriate treatment.
How to Transition Your Pug to a New Food
As a Pug ages, it will need different nutrients. Transitioning to a new brand or type of food may be beneficial to their well-being and development.
For most dogs, transitioning to new dog food can be difficult. Fortunately, Pugs are not born picky eaters, so changing their diet will be easier.
The ideal transition for Pugs should be gradual changes spread over three weeks.
Add the new food to your Pug’s regular diet and gradually increase the amount each week. Do this until they are comfortable with the new food.
Below is a more detailed breakdown of how to transition your Pug to a new food:
|Days||Old Food||New Food|
|Day 1 – 7||75%||25%|
|Day 8 – 14||50%||50%|
|Day 15 – 21||25%||75%|
|Day 21 onwards||0%||100%|
It is critical to mix old and new food well during the first seven days to help your Pug adjust easily.
There could be several reasons why you need to introduce new food to your Pug. Regardless, it is best to make gradual changes to avoid digestive complications.
Feeding an Overweight Pug
Pugs tend to overeat, ask for more food, and gain weight. Our responsibility as Pug parents is to control their diet and prevent the unwanted consequences of weight gain.
Sometimes, owners can’t help but give in to the cuteness of their Pugs and reward them with too much food. However, it’s never too late to adjust their food proportions and help them lose weight.
If you’re used to rewarding them with treats or giving them more food, try switching to healthy snacks such as sweet potatoes, dried fruits, and vegetables to maintain a healthy weight.
Avoid giving them generic meat or by-products as much as possible.
Moreover, you should know how much your Pug weighs and adjust their food proportions to address the issue. Stick to the recommended calorie intake and the number of meals per day.
Being overweight also means your Pug has a lot of unused calories. Training them to be active dogs may help solve the problem. You can reduce their caloric intake gradually until they reach a healthy weight.
Overall, consulting a veterinary professional is the best way to handle overweight Pugs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Pug Not Eating?
Overfeeding is the most common reason why your Pug is not eating. If your Pug does not want to eat, their tummies could simply be full.
However, there may be other reasons why they are not eating. These include illness, dental problems, vaccinations, and feeling uncomfortable. Check with your vet to address the issue as soon as possible.
Do Pugs Eat a Lot?
Yes, Pugs eat a lot as they tend to eat whatever is given to them. In fact, they will eat what’s in front of them despite being full. Because of this, they tend to become overweight or obese.
To prevent the unwanted complications of being overweight, control your Pugs’ food proportions and strictly follow their feeding schedule.
Can Pugs Eat Bones?
Pugs can eat bones only when they are uncooked. As a tiny dog, your Pug may not be able to digest cooked bones properly.
In addition, cooked bones tend to splinter into shards and may cause choking, gastrointestinal blockage, and ulcers in Pugs.
Can Pugs Be Vegetarians?
Yes, Pugs can thrive on a vegetarian diet. If you plan on making them vegetarians, ensure that they are getting the right amount of nutrients that they need.
Consulting with a veterinary professional is the best way to ensure that you give them the right food. It is also noteworthy that a vegetarian diet is more costly than feeding commercial dog food.
Pug feeding is a crucial responsibility for Pug owners. What food you provide them directly impacts their overall health and well-being. Following the instructions above is an excellent way to avoid unnecessary vet visits.
Pugs are not picky eaters and will eat almost anything. But it is important to ensure they get the right amount of nutrients their bodies need.
You have complete control over what you feed your Pug. Make sure that it has a healthy and nutritious diet that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
If you have any Pug feeding tips, we’d love to hear about them! Share them in the comments below.