If you’re a brand new pet owner, then you’re properly wondering what do I need to know about feeding a Pug? As you know, this breed is prone to obesity, so it’s vital to put your pooch on an eating schedule that prevents them from gaining excess weight. Today, we’re going to answer all your questions about feeding your four-legged friend, as well as how to keep your Pug on a healthy and nutritious diet.
Feeding A Pug Overview
Basically, you want your Pug to consume the proper amount of calories they need to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Eating too much or consuming the wrong foods can cause your pooch to gain excess weight.
This brachycephalic dog breed is prone to breathing problems, joint problems, and other issues, especially, if they are carrying around excess weight.
That’s why I’ve put together some of the best dog foods and what to look for in your Pug’s diet.
How Many Calories Does A Pug Need Per Day?
A full-grown Pug can weigh 14-16 pounds and should not weigh more than 20 pounds according to VetStreet.com. Depending on the age of your Pug, their calorie intake will vary.
A Puppy will require 50 calories per pound of their body. While an adult will only require 40 calories per pound of their body.
I know that this sounds confusing if you don’t spend time reading the nutrition labels on dog food.
As your Pug ages, they will require fewer calories. Senior Pugs will gain weight easier because they are less active, and the metabolism and muscle mass of senior dogs is different than younger dogs.
At this point in their life, it’s best to switch them to food for seniors.
How Often to Feed Your Pug
As a pet owner, you’re going to have to decide if you’ll be setting a feeding schedule or investing in an automatic feeder that allows your dog to eat whenever they become hungry.
One of the things that I found out from my black Pug, was that she loved to eat. This is why she gained so much weight in such a short amount of time. Read this article if you’ve often wondered “why is my Pug always hungry?”
If you have a puppy that is still extremely active, you may want to invest in an automatic feeder. As your pup becomes older, you’ll want to change over to a feeding schedule.
Why A Feeding Schedule?
Dogs are creatures of habit and the sooner you can put them on a feeding schedule, the sooner they will learn when it’s time to eat.
Plus having a consistent feeding schedule will help ensure that your Pug’s bowel movements stay consistent and in sync on a daily basis.
Pug Feeding Chart
Here are a quick overview and table that will show you how to properly feed your Pug.
|Age||Times per Day||Amount Each Time|
|Puppy (3 - 6 Months)||3||1/3 cup|
|Adolescent (6 months to 1 year)||3||3/4 cup|
|Active Adult (1 - 8 years)||3||1/2 cup|
|Senior (8 years and older)||3||1/3 cup|
*Portion amounts will vary depending on different factors such as age, weight, and activity level of your pooch.
Now let’s break it down even further and talk about your dog’s daily eating schedule.
When to Start Feeding Schedule
As soon as your pup reaches 12 weeks you should consider developing new eating habits. This will allow you to control how much your Pug eats, which will keep your canine friend fit and healthy and can help increase their lifespan expectancy which is 12 – 14 years. (Mindy lived 16 years)
8 Weeks to 6 Months
Pug puppies require more food than an adult dog and should be fed at least 3 times per day. You’ll want to feed them in the morning, midday, and in the evening.
If your puppy is still being trained and rewarded with treats, you’ll want to make sure that you feed them healthy snacks with great nutritional value. Here’s a great food chart for puppies that will help you see how much food they need.
You’ll want to continue feeding them puppy food until they are at least 9 – 12 months old. Puppy food has all the nutrition they need to develop into a healthy full-grown adult.
Check out this list of the best puppy food for Pugs that will help your pup grow up strong.
6 Months and 12 Month Diet
Adolescent and adult Pugs can be fed two times per day, once in the morning and in the evening. If you choose to keep them on a 3x per day daily feeding schedule, just make sure that you adjust the amount of food they consume.
If they were eating 1/4 cup of their food as a puppy, you’ll want to decrease the amount to 1/3 cup at each meal. They are still consuming the proper amounts to maintain their health, you are just breaking the amount into different meals.
12 Months and Older
As your black Pug ages, you’ll want to pay special attention to their diet. Pugs have smaller stomachs than larger dogs and are not as active.
Feed them 2x per day once, in the morning and in the evening. You’ll also want to start paying attention to the type of food you feed them.
We fed Mindy holistic natural dog food throughout her life. As they get older, you’ll want to make sure that you feed them an adult maintenance food, for low active dogs.
How Much Food to Feed A Pug?
Knowing how much to feed your Pug can be confusing, especially, if your dog is always hungry like my black Pug used to be.
Let’s look at what the standards are for feeding your Pug. The amount of food your Pug eats will depend on the brand of food, and the feeding instructions on the package.
There are literally tons of different dog feeding charts to help you out. However, there is no universal feeding chart to follow. There are other things to keep in mind, to ensure that you’re feeding your Pug the right amount of food.
3 Easy Steps to Determine How Much Food To Give Your Pug
Step 1 Weigh Your Pooch
Take your dog to the vet or weigh them at home. Once you have their accurate weight. As long as you know your scale is accurate, you should be fine using your bathroom scale.
Step 2: Activity Level
Gauge your Pug’s activity levels to determine how much food they should get at mealtime. Pugs will not require as much food as an active hunting dog.
According to Hills Pet Care Center, a Pug has an average activity level, meaning they don’t require as much exercise as other breeds. I’ve discussed how much exercise this breed needs on this article.
If your dog lives a sedentary life, he/she will need fewer calories.
Step 3: Dependent and Brand of Food
Not all dog food is created equal. For example, Royal Canine adult Pug food (a brand I recommend) says to feed:
|Weight||Medium Activity: Cups||High Activity: Cups|
|13.2 LBS||1 1/4 cups||1 1/2 cups|
|15.5 LBS||1 3/8 cups||1 5/8 cups|
|17.6 LBS||1 5/8 cups||1 3/4 cups|
|19.8 LBS||1 3/4 cus||2 cups|
|22 LBS||1 7/8 cups||2 1/8 cups|
|24.3 LBS||2 cups||2 1/4 cups|
These are the amounts per daily feeding ate each meal. Personally, I NEVER followed any feeding chart when I fed Mindy. I pretty much fed her about a cup a day in her adult years.
However, I always monitored her weight and paid attention to the food, treats, and all the calories she consumed. I also made sure that I was walking her on a daily basis.
Feeding A Pug Puppy
A growing puppy requires more food and specific nutrients to help their bodies develop correctly. I’ve put together a list of some of the best puppy foods for Pugs, to help you out.
The amounts you feed your pup will depend on the type of food you’re feeding them. If you’re unsure of how much to feed your pup, contact your veterinarian to get the proper feeding amounts.
What Are The Best Times for Feed Your Pug?
Everyone is different and it really just depends on your schedule. We fed Mindy at 6:30 AM and 4:30 PM every day. It was as if she grew an internal clock in her belly because she knew every day when she would be fed.
This made it so much easier to potty train her because we took her outside at the same time pretty much every day. Of course, there were some instances when we had to feed her a little later or earlier if we had plans.
Feed them at the same time every day and it will make your life so much easier with training and everything else.
Diet Change Tips
We didn’t have to change Mindy’s diet too often, but when we did, we realized how challenging it can be. You want to change their food slowly.
Mix their old food with some of the new food. I’d recommend giving them a larger portion of their old food at the beginning. Most dogs will have some type of reaction when their food is switched.
Eventually, when you see that they are not having any digestive issues, you can slowly start weaning them off the old food.
The goal should be to make a gradual incremental change over a 3 week period. Follow these incremental amounts for the best results:
Week one: 3/4 old food to 1/4 new food (mixed properly)
Week Two: 1/2 old food and 1/2 new food.
Third Week: 1/4 old food to 3/4 new food.
By the fourth week, your Pug will be able to start eating their new kibble without any side effects.
Final Word On Feeding Your Pug
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into determining how much to feed your Pug. It’s important to avoid overfeeding them and giving them enough to where they are not constantly starving.
If you’re still confused, I highly recommend you consult with your veterinarian to ensure you understand the correct portion sizes for a dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can a Pug go without eating? Most dogs can go without food for about 3-4 weeks as long as they have access to water. However, if your pooch has not been eating normally, you should contact your veterinarian in no less than 48 hours.
References and Further Reading
PetMD – Food Measuring Math: Learn How Much To Feed A Dog
Association for Pet Obesity Prevention – In 2018, An Estimated 60% of Cats and 56% of Dogs In The United States Were Overweight or Obese