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Feeding Tips for Your Pug

When you bring your Pug puppy home for the first time it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of having a new pet. What you need to remember, however, is that you are your Pug’s caretaker and it is up to you to meet his needs – this includes his need for quality nutrition. Keep reading to learn some helpful feeding tips for Pugs.

Choosing a High-Quality Diet for Pugs

When it comes to feeding dogs, they all have the same basic nutritional requirements. Dogs are mostly carnivorous, so the majority of their nutrition should come from high-quality, animal-based sources. Animal sources of protein like fresh meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs are all considered complete proteins which means that they contain all of the essential amino acids your Pug needs. Your Pug’s diet should be concentrated around complete protein sources like this with moderate amounts of animal fat. Fat is the most highly concentrated source of energy available to dogs and it helps provide support for his skin, coat, and immune system.

Aside from protein and fats, your Pug also has a limited need for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide your dog with dietary fiber to support healthy digestion and they also provide supplementary nutrients. When it comes to carbohydrates for dogs, however, you need to make sure that they are highly digestible carbohydrates – whole grains, starchy vegetables, and various grain-free options are best. Make sure that the dog food you choose for your Pug contains a high-quality protein as the first ingredient with the addition of digestible carbohydrates and healthy fats near the beginning of the ingredient list.

General Feeding Tips for Pug Dogs

Although the basic nutritional requirements are the same for all dogs, small-breed dogs like the Pug have higher energy needs than large-breed dogs. Small dogs have very fast metabolisms so they need a diet that provides plenty of healthy protein to maintain lean muscle mass as well as plenty of fat for extra energy. The best way to ensure that your Pug’s energy needs are met is to feed him a small-breed specific formula. Just make sure that the recipe features a quality animal protein as the first ingredient with digestible carbohydrates and healthy animal-based fats near the beginning of the list as well.

In terms of actually feeding your Pug, you should plan to offer him several small meals throughout the day instead of one or two large meals. Pugs love food and they have a high risk for obesity as a breed in general, so you may need to portion out your dog’s meals instead of letting him feed freely. Offering him several small meals throughout the day ensures that his metabolism has a steady stream of energy to draw from and it also keeps him from eating too much at once. If you only feed your Pug once or twice a day he could get very hungry between meals and end up eating too quickly – this can exacerbate the symptoms of brachycephalic syndrome which is very common in short-faced breeds like Pugs.

If your Pug starts to show signs of digestive upset or if he experiences recurrent skin or ear infections, it could be a sign of a food allergy or sensitivity. Food allergies are not uncommon in Pugs and they can be triggered by low-quality ingredients as well as grains and certain types of protein. If you suspect that your Pug is having an allergic reaction to something in his food, switch him to a Limited Ingredient Diet for 12 weeks. Once his digestive system heals from the damage you can then reintroduce potential allergens one at a time to determine which one is the culprit. Just be sure to transition your dog slowly any time you make a change to his diet.

Making sure that your Pug’s nutritional needs are met is one of your biggest responsibilities as a dog owner. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to accomplish – you just have to choose a high-quality small-breed dog food formula and feed your Pug according to the tips provided above.

Photo credit: Matt Miller/Flickr

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