Huge personality in a tiny package, the pug is one of today’s most famous lap-dogs.
Source: Stock Snap.
There’s no going back once you’ve shared your home with a pug – loveable, affectionate and people-oriented, these adorable pups won’t leave you alone. They’re also incredibly intelligent, if a little mischievous, making them the perfect companion.
One of the most important things that you can do for your pug is make sure they follow a well-balanced diet that’s full of vitamins and nutrients. Go for dog food that is as nutritious as it is delicious, from a reputable retailer and preferably hypoallergenic to keep them fit and healthy.
Keep reading to find out everything about feeding your favourite canine companion.
A Brief History
One of the bred oldest dog breeds in the world, pugs are generally accepted to have been first introduced in China, sometime during the Han dynasty from 206 B.C. to 200 A.D. These delightful pups were beloved by the Chinese Emperors and other nobles, occupying luxurious palaces and eating only the very finest foods. When the Dutch East India Company began to trade with China, the pug found itself in Europe to great success. And when William and Mary of Orange travelled to England to ascend the throne, their pugs came with them.
It was during the Victorian era that the pug gained even further notoriety. Queen Victoria was a particular fan, herself breeding several dogs, adopting a particular fondness for the black-coloured pug. The breed quickly became fashionable, could be seen on postcards and made into figurines wearing decorative collars and huge bows, and were even famously painted various times by celebrated British artist William Hogarth. Since then, the pug has never really lost its fundamental popularity.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Size & Life Expectancy
These little canines are classified as companion dogs, with a need for affection and loving personality to match. Pugs are small, generally weight 6 to 8kg, and have compact, stocky bodies that make them look a little square. This is exacerbated by their adorable wrinkles and exceptionally expressive (and convincing!) ‘puppy dog eyes’.
Your pug will be with you for about 12 to 14 years, as long as they lead happy and healthy lives. Some dogs can suffer from health issues like eye diseases and hip dysplasia but on the whole pugs are a fairly robust breed.
Thanks to their social media presence, pugs are all the range. That’s not to say, however, that they haven’t been beloved in the past: legend has it that William of Orange’s grandfather was saved from assassination by a pug’s timely bark, leading him to promise to always keep a pug as part of his household from then onwards. Also in demand for their characteristically unconventional appearance, this loyalty and sensitivity is one of the reasons that people still flock to the breed today.
Famous pugs and their owners include Kelly Osbourne (and Prudence), Gerard Butler (and Lolita), Jessica Alba (with Sid and Nancy), Jonathan Ross (and Mr Pickles) and Billy Joel (with Sabrina).
Pugs are also frequently featured on the big screen. You might remember Otis from the 1986 film The Adventures of Milo and Otis, where the pooch teams up with an orange tabby cat. In the Men In Black franchise, Frank the Pug can be seen outshining the leads, sometimes in an ‘I Heart NYC’ sweatshirt. And, of course, nobody can forget pug royalty Percy, the Governor’s dog in Pocahontas.
The Pug Diet
There’s one thing about pugs that goes without saying: these little dogs will eat their weight in food. This makes feeding your pug appropriately-sized meals is even more important, to help it stay at a healthy weight. Luckily, their love of food means pugs are far from picky eaters, so finding the right food is made undoubtedly easier.
We recommend a hypoallergenic diet to remove any pesky allergens from your dog’s diet. This also means that there will be no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in your dog’s food - their diet will as pure as it can be.
Make sure to feed your pug a well-balanced meal. Go for adult dog food that has an optimal level of protein (around 25%) and is full of necessary nutrients to keep your dog fit and strong, and their coat and skin glossy and smooth.
Natural additives can also help your dog reach its full potential: yeast boosts the immune system, glucosamine and chondroitin aids healthy joints, seaweed oil supports brain and nerve health, and cranberry helps to prevent urinary tract infections.
Feeding your pug puppy a hypoallergenic diet is made doubly important as this will help you to find out if it is allergic to any flavours. Your pug puppy should also only eat specialised puppy food, generally until they are nine months old, though you should always discuss any dietary changes with your vet. Following this, if your pug has a particularly sensitive tummy, you can always try grain-free dog food to keep up their energy.
Puppy food comes in wet and dry varieties in a range of flavours. As good nutrition is essential to your dog’s development, puppy food is enriched with extra vitamins for strong bones and joints, as well as high in healthy fats and proteins.
As your dog gets older, their lifestyle will also change. While many pug owners continue to feed their ageing dog the same high quality food, it’s worth looking at senior dog food, as this will comprise fewer calories to complement their lower energy status. Speak to your vet about including nutritional supplement in your senior pug's meal, as this can help them with conditions such as arthritis.
Pug Feeding Guide for Adults & Puppies
We all know that no two pups are the same; how much food they eat also follows the same route. The amount of dog food you should feed your pug is dependent upon their levels of physical activity, as well as taking into account any treats. To maintain your dog’s healthy weight, we’ve included charts to help you make the right choice.
We recommend that you stick vigilantly to this chart (or the branded chart on the back of your dog food packaging) when feeding your pup. It’s more common for pet owners to over rather underfeed their dogs and pugs are voracious eaters that will gobble up whatever you put in front of them, then beg for more.
Feed your dog an equal portion (half the recommended amount) twice a day, in the morning and evening, leaving enough time for a walk before bed. Always give your dog some water and make sure they have access to this during the day.
Prevent your pug from the health problems associated with weight gain, obesity being a risk associated with this breed, by choosing the right activity level. If your pug is incredibly active, playing high impact games and running around the park for 1-3 hours, then it will need the extra calories on the High Activity diet. If you have a slightly less boisterous pup that’s more likely to wander through the green or enjoys a long daily stroll that lasts over an hour, choose the Medium Activity plan. If your pup gets just enough exercise on a couple of short walks a day but mostly spends time being pampered at home, the Low Activity diet is all it needs.
Your pug puppy should follow a different diet than its adult counterparts, stemming from specialist (hypoallergenic) puppy food. Puppies should be fed four little meals a day for the first three months, and three smaller meals until they real adulthood. This helps with digestion, making sure that the food doesn’t overwhelm their tiny tummies. Always feed your puppy two to three hours before their evening walkies for successful housetraining.
Don’t make the mistake of lovingly overfeeding your pug - instead, treat them to some personal attention with a spontaneous game of fetch and lots of cuddles. Adjust the amount of dog food you feed your pup in accordance with their average number of edible treats.
First and foremost, the best way to keep your pug from nasty allergic reactions is to go for hypoallergenic dog food, which deliberately removes most known allergens. Introducing your puppy to this food early on will also help you figure out what else to which it might be allergic.
Symptoms that your pug may display include coughing, wheezing and congestion; irritated or bloodshot eyes; skin sores or a rash (even only on a small parts of the body); vomiting or diarrhea, and unusual upset behaviour, such as chewing or scratching affected areas.
Dogs in general are very allergic to sweet treats like chocolate and certain dried fruits, so limit the number of table scraps you give in to and always check if an ingredient makes you unsure.
Keeping Your Pup Active
Pugs are homebodies, fans of daydreaming on the couch and snuggling up under a blanket - the perfect Netflix companion. But while your pup’s first priority is your attention, food is a close second.
Feed your pug the right amount each time, every time (a few extra grams add up!) and try not to give them too many treats. Obesity is a very common health concern for this breed and can be a significant problem for small dogs, as it impedes their ability to move. If you do begin to notice that your pup has piled on a few pounds, consider reducing their food intake to match this.
Pugs are not an especially active breed but some exercise should be included in their daily routine. Two brisk 20 minute walks a day are a good idea, as well as a short time playing in a local park or garden to increase fitness and help the two of you bond.
Watch out for your pup in the summer, however, as pugs can become overheated in warm weather. Accommodate this by walking your pup earlier in the morning and later in the evening on hotter days, to keep it out of the sun.
Taking care of your dog is one of the most important jobs in the world. Do it right with delicious, nutritious dog food.