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What Pugs Should & Should Not Eat

| Updated September 26, 2017

A healthy diet is the key to a healthy pug, but with so many choices available it can be hard for owners to decide what to feed their little dogs. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian, but a few guidelines can help you determine what your pug should and should not eat. Remember though that pugs are genetically susceptible to obesity. They eat until the food is gone, so you will need to control your pug’s portions and meal times to avoid unhealthy weight gain. Feed your pug two smaller meals each day. The exact size of the meal will depend on the type of food you are feeding it. Check the package for daily recommended feeding amounts.

Dry Dog Food

Pugs can thrive on dry dog food that is formulated for small breeds. There are countless commercial brands to choose from, so find one that your pug likes and seems to do well on. The best foods include a real source of protein, such as chicken, beef or lamb as the heaviest weighted ingredient. Check the ingredient list on the package. The first item listed is the food’s main ingredient. Purchase foods for your pug that contain real meat first. The food will also contain carbohydrates such as rice, soy or wheat as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods that are formulated for large breeds. The kibble may be too large for your pug’s teeth and can damage them. Large breed food can also help your pug get fat quickly.

Wet Dog Food

Commercially prepared wet dog foods are also available. Your pug will enjoy these, but use extra caution if you choose to feed your pug wet food. Canned or wet foods can contain extra calories or fat. Your pug doesn’t need help gaining weight, so feed smaller portions of wet dog food. They can also be more expensive. If your pug really enjoys wet foods, try giving it special meals once a week or on holidays and special occasions. Feed your pug dry food the rest of the time.

Homemade or Raw Diet

If you have time and money to spare, you can feed your dog a raw or homemade diet. You can cook meat or leave it raw. Use chicken, beef or lamb. Grind meat up and combine it with carbohydrates such as cooked potatoes. Always store homemade food in the freezer and thaw before mealtimes. Otherwise the food may spoil and make your pug sick. Talk to your veterinarian before choosing a homemade or raw diet. He can recommend portion sizes as well as fruits, vegetables or supplements to help your pug get all of the nutrients it needs.

Treats, Bones and Chews

Rawhides, real beef bone and pig ear chews are safe for your pug. Avoid giving your pug chicken bones or other small bones (such as fish) that can splinter and cause choking. You can also give your pug the occasional treat. There are hundreds of treats to choose from at any pet store, and your pug will probably have its favorites. Cheese, cooked hot dog, and small bites of cooked meat are also popular dog treats that many trainers rely on. They are safe for your pug as well, but remember that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that treats make up no more than 5 percent of your pug’s daily diet. Treats can be fattening, and limiting them will keep your pug at a healthy weight.

Fruits, Veggies & Other Human Foods

Some fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, green beans and potatoes, are not only harmless but can be healthy for your dog. Other foods, however are toxic and should be avoided as much as possible. Fruits such as grapes and currants, as well as the pits of peaches, plums or cherries can be harmful for your pug and cause a variety of health problems from kidney failure to heart disease. Avocado, mushrooms, garlic, onions, green tomatoes and raw potatoes can also be harmful. Never give your pug alcohol or drugs such as tobacco. Keep coffee, chocolate and other foods containing caffeine away from your pug as well. If you can, keep your pug out of your garbage can. Spoiled food can make your dog sick, even if it isn’t otherwise toxic.