The Pug is one of the most easily identified dog breeds, known for its wrinkled light-colored coat, dark face, and curled tail. These little dogs are ranked as the 32nd most popular breed according to AKC registration statistics and there are many reasons to love them. For one thing, the small size of this breed makes him an excellent choice for small living quarters like apartments or condos. Pugs also do not tend to be overly active, so they only need a moderate amount of daily exercise. It also doesn’t hurt that Pugs are incredibly friendly and likely to get along with anyone they meet.
The Pug was developed as a companion breed and it continues to be popular in this vein today. Pugs may be small, but they have big personalities and they form very strong bonds with their human companions. If you want to make sure that your Pug remains your faithful companion for as long as possible, be sure to feed him a healthy diet that meets his nutritional needs. Below you will learn the basics about the nutritional needs for Pugs – you will also learn about some special considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog. You will also receive recommendations for three top-quality commercial dog food products that would be ideal for your Australian Shepherd.
Nutritional Needs for Pugs
The Pug is a small-breed dog that stands about 12 inches tall and weighs between 14 and 18 pounds at maturity. Although these dogs may not be very large in terms of their size, they do have big personalities and they love everyone they meet. The Pug is a very friendly and loyal breed that forms strong bonds with its human companions – they also love to meet new people. Pugs were originally developed as a companion pet and they continue to serve that purpose today. These little dogs have wrinkled skin and short faces which sometimes leads to breathing problems, but a healthy diet will help to keep your Pug in good shape. The best way to maintain your Pug’s health is to feed him a commercial dog food diet that is formulated for small-breed dogs.
Like all dogs, the Pug requires a balance of nutrients in his diet – the most important nutrients are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Protein is the most important consideration and it should come from high-quality animal-based sources like fresh meats and meat meals. The name “meat meal” might throw you off but it is actually a valuable addition to a dog’s diet. Fresh meats contain up to 80% water so, once the dog food is cooked, the actual volume of meat is much lower. Meat meals, on the other hand, are already cooked down to a moisture level of 10% so they are a highly concentrated form of protein. Just be sure that the meat meal comes from a named source like chicken meal or salmon meal rather than a generic source like poultry meal or a byproduct meal.
In addition to protein, your Pug also requires healthy fats in his diet. Fats are particularly important for small-breed dogs because they provide concentrated energy as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. Like protein, your Pug’s fats should come from animal-based sources like chicken fat and salmon meal rather than plant sources like flaxseed and canola oil. The third most important nutrient for dogs is carbohydrates which provide your dog with vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber to promote healthy digestion. Dogs do not have specific requirements for carbohydrates but this nutrient should come highly digestible sources like whole oats and brown rice. If you are worried about food allergies, look for a product that uses gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potato and tapioca starch.
Special Considerations for Feeding Pugs
As a small-breed dog, the Pug has a very fast metabolism. This being the case, you need to make sure that your Pug’s food provides for his energy needs – this is why you need to feed him a small-breed specific formula. These formulas are typically more energy-dense and nutrient-dense than large-breed formulas because they need to provide your small-breed dog with the calories and nutrients he needs in a smaller portion size. Small dogs like the Pug should be fed more frequently during the day than large-breed dogs to make sure their metabolisms stay at the right level. You can feed your Pug puppy freely but when he gets older you should ration his daily portion into three or four small meals. This will ensure that his metabolism gets the fuel it needs without putting him at risk for obesity. Pugs have a tendency to gain weight, so monitoring your dog’s portions is very important.
In addition to being mindful of how much food your Pug eats, you also need to be sure he gets enough calories. Small-breed dogs like Pugs have much higher energy needs than large-breed dogs. Consider this – a 110-pound Akita might need a total daily ration of 2,500 calories while an 11-pound Pug might only need 450. If you divide it out, however, the Akita needs about 23 calories per pound of bodyweight while the Pug needs closer to 41 calories per pound of body weight. Because small-breed dogs have small stomachs and can’t eat large amounts of food at one time, it is especially important that you choose a small-breed specific formula that offers the calories your dog needs without making the portion size too large.
Top-Recommended Foods for Pugs
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Pug, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Bite Chicken and Brown Rice
The Blue Buffalo pet food company has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and it has a reputation for producing high-quality, all-natural diets for dogs and cats. Blue Buffalo offers four different lines of dog food products – the Life Protection line, the Freedom line of grain-free foods, the Basics line of Limited Ingredient Diets, and the Wilderness line. Within the Life Protection line of dog foods there are both small-breed puppy and small-breed adult formulas which are perfect for the Pug. All of Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection formulas are made with LifeSource Bits which contain a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support whole-health and nutrition. The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Bite Chicken and Brown Rice formula is made with deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice as the top three ingredients followed by barley, oatmeal and chicken fat. This formula is rich in protein and fats with moderate amounts of carbohydrate – this makes it a great choice for Pugs.
2. Earthborn Holistic Small Breed Natural Dog Food
The Earthborn Holistic pet food company believes that nutrition should be approached from a holistic view, rather than focusing on specific ingredients. Earthborn Holistic offers three different lines of dog food products – Natural, Natural Grain-Free, and Moist Grain-Free. The Earthborn Holistic Small Breed Natural Dog Food formula is particularly well-suited to small-breed dogs like the Pug because it is made from high-quality animal proteins to help your Pug maintain lean muscle mass while also fueling his metabolism. This formula is made with chicken meal, whitefish meal, and oatmeal as the top three ingredients followed by ground barley, ground brown rice, and chicken fat. The Earthborn Holistic Small Breed Natural Dog Food formula is supplemented with probiotics and chelated minerals, plus it contains a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Nutro Small Breed Adult Dog Food Formula
The Nutro pet food company offers an assortment of all-natural pet food products that were designed by an expert team of animal nutritionists. This company uses only the freshest, highest quality ingredients available and their formulas are loaded with natural flavor. The Nutro Small Breed Adult Dog Food Formula is one example of many high-quality products and it is a great choice for small-breed dogs like the Pug. This formula is made with chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients followed by brewers rice, split peas, and whole brown rice. This dog food also contains chelated minerals for increased nutrient absorption and plenty of antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
The Pug may be a small dog but he has a large personality and a lot of love to give. If you want to enjoy as much time with your Pug as possible, make sure to choose a high-quality dog food that will fuel his health and keep him strong for many years to come.