What Is the Best Dog Food for a Pug?

Pugs are classed as a small breed, but are the largest of the Toy dogs, with a standard weight of at least 14-18lbs. They are popular pet dogs because they are relatively low-maintenance as they don’t need huge amounts of exercise or grooming, and generally have affectionate and intelligent characters. Although Pugs may be prone to certain health issues, changing their dog food and improving their diets may help.

Pugs usually enjoy their food, so as a breed they can be prone to becoming overweight or obese. Although they don’t need a lot of exercise, some regular daily exercise is necessary to help maintain a healthy weight and avoid health issues associated with excess weight.

How much food a Pug needs to eat depends on things such as its weight, level of activity and age. For example, an 18lb adult Pug requires an average daily calorie intake of 727 calories. Puppies that are still growing and active young adult Pugs will expend more energy and need more calories, whereas older dogs or those with a sedentary lifestyle will need fewer calories.

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Pugs have the same nutritional need for protein and fat as other breeds of dog. Most kinds of wet and dry dog food contain higher amounts of protein and fat than the minimum recommended percentages, even the cheaper brands. However, it is important to look for a food made from top quality sources of protein and fat, not just the overall content. A meat protein such as poultry, beef, lamb or fish should be the number one ingredient in a decent kibble or wet dog food.

After Bulldogs, Pugs are the breed most likely to suffer from hip dysplasia. In a test, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) found around 64% of Pugs had hip dysplasia to some extent. This is an issue with the hip joint that can cause arthritis or mobility problems, although Pugs can often have some degree of hip dysplasia and not show any outward physical signs of a problem. Pugs that overeat and become overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from health issues linked to hip dysplasia, so it is important for owners to control portion size and not put too much dog food in the dish. Some Pug owners prefer to use a dog food that has added glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help support joint health and ward off the symptoms of arthritis.

In common with other dog breeds, some pugs suffer from skin allergies or dermodectic mange, or issues related to a sensitive stomach such as gas. Many owners find these conditions can be managed by changing their Pug’s diet. For instance, switching a Pug to a grain free or low carbohydrate dog food recipe made from natural ingredients and free from artificial additives and by-products may help improve skin complaints and digestive issues caused by food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances.

Pugs have a sturdy build and can often weigh over 20lbs, so some owners believe the best dog food for their Pug is one aimed at medium sized breeds rather than small dogs. It really depends on an individual dog’s weight and smaller Pugs will do well on a small breed dog food, which usually has more calories per ounce.

The best dog food is one that an individual Pug seems to thrive on and is likely to vary according to each Pug’s preferences for particular flavors and foods, and whether they need a special diet because of joint issues or allergies.