As a small breed, the Pug doesn’t need a large amount of food each day. Though he may want to eat every minute of the day, he has specific nutritional needs that need to be met to sustain his health and wellbeing. The quality of your Pug’s diet is directly related to his health, so don’t skimp. Keep reading to learn the basics about your Pug’s nutritional requirements and to receive simple tips for choosing a high-quality pet food for your pup.
Understanding Your Pug’s Nutritional Needs
Dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements, though the ratios may vary a little from one breed to another based on factors such as age, size, and activity level. The most important nutrient that any dog needs is protein – this nutrient is essential for growth and development in puppies and, in adult dogs, for maintaining lean muscle mass. Puppies require a diet with at least 22% protein and adult dogs need at least 18%, though more is always better for this essential nutrient. The second most important nutrient is fat – puppies need at least 8% and adult dogs 5%. Fat provides your dog with essential fatty acids and with a concentrated source of energy – this is particularly important for small-breed dogs because of their fast metabolisms.
Dog’s generally don’t require carbohydrates in any specific amount, though they can provide beneficial nutrients and dietary fiber. Just make sure that your Pug’s carbohydrate intake comes from nutritious, highly digestible sources and that it doesn’t contain more than 5% crude fiber. Other nutrients your dog needs include vitamins and minerals – these are important for nutritional balance. Your Pug may also benefit from probiotic supplements to support his digestion. To determine whether a dog food will meet these basic needs, look for an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy on the package.
Tips for Feeding Your Pug
Small-breed dogs have very fast metabolisms compared to larger breeds. This means that, while smaller dogs may not need as many calories in total, they need more calories per pound of body weight than larger dogs. On average, an adult dog needs about 30 calories per pound of body weight but small breeds may need closer to 40 calories per pound. Because Pugs weigh 14 to 18 pounds at maturity, that puts their ideal calorie range between 420 and 720 calories per day. The best thing you can do is to choose a high-quality dog food formulated for small-breed dogs and then follow the feeding recommendations according to your Pug’s weight. As you do so, monitor his body weight and condition to make sure he isn’t losing weight or gaining too much weight. Make adjustments to his intake as needed with your veterinarian’s guidance.
All it takes is a quick stroll through your local pet store to see that there are myriad options for dog food. With so many choices, it can be difficult to make the right decision but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still do it. By following the tips above you can select a healthy, high-quality diet for your Pug that will sustain his health and maximize his longevity so you can enjoy a long life together.