If you’re a first-time dog owner it’s often difficult to know exactly how much food you should be feeding your new dog, especially if they’re only a puppy. For Pugs this is no different.
While most dogs are able to self-regulate and stop eating when they reach capacity, Pugs don’t possess the ability of knowing when to stop. In fact, if they had it their own way, they’d be happily eating 24/7.
Therefore, it’s particularly important for Pug puppy owners to closely control their dog’s intake of food. If you allow your Pug puppy to eat whenever and however much they want, you’ll be left with a rather round dog in no time.
A Pug puppy should typically be fed three times a day. This feeding routine should be closely followed from eight weeks to six months old.
When your Pug reaches six months of age, you should then slowly start to reduce the frequency, changing their feeding schedule to two times a day. If you follow this schedule it’s unlikely that you’ll experience any problems.
I’ll now take a look at the exact amount of food that should be included in each feeding session.
Feeding Chart For Pug Puppies
Produced by the Royal Canin brand of dog food, the following Pug feeding chart is excellent for providing some rough guidelines on how to plan and schedule your puppy’s meals.
These guidelines state you should feed a Pug puppy of 8 to 20 weeks different cup sizes depending on their weight.
Therefore, I’ve included recommended amounts for three different adults target weights: 6kg, 8kg and 10kg.
- 2 months: 105g (6kg), 127g (8kg), 149g (10kg).
- 3 months: 121g (6kg), 149g (8kg), 176g (10kg).
- 4 months: 128g (6kg), 158g (8kg), 187g (10kg).
- 5 months: 129g (6kg), 160g (8kg), 190g (10kg).
- 6 months: 128g (6kg), 159g (8kg), 189g (10kg).
- 7 months: 115g (6kg), 144g (8kg), 171g (10kg).
- 8 months: 103g (6kg), 129g (8kg), 153g (10kg).
- 9 months: 92g (6kg), 115g (8kg), 136g (10kg).
The typical cup of food is roughly 98g. In terms of regularity, the amounts above should be supplied three times a day initially, then twice a day as your Pug puppy grows beyond six months.
Early Age Pug Puppies
Before you feed your Pug puppy a standard dog food diet, it’s important to make sure that they’ve been weaned off their mother’s milk.
The vast majority of the time this will have happened by the age of three weeks. It’s worth noting that puppies shouldn’t leave their mother until at least eight weeks of age.
All things well, this should mean that by the time you get your new Pug puppy home, they will already be accustomed to eating proper puppy food.
If however they can’t, this is a telling sign that they were taken from their mother too early.
When you start feeding your young Pug puppy, don’t be surprised at just how much they can put away.
Feeding them three substantial portions may seem a lot at such a young age, but with so much energy to burn, three times a day is the perfect frequency for a healthy puppy.
As mentioned earlier, the amount you feed your Pug puppy will need to be altered with each month they age. This all comes down to how much they weigh.
Vet guidance and the general belief is that puppies should be fed between 25 and 30 calories for each pound they weigh. Therefore, a Pug puppy weighing nine pounds should consume between 225 and 270 calories.
Admittedly, it’s hard enough to keep track of calories for a human diet, let alone a dog’s diet, so don’t stress yourself out too much about being one hundred percent accurate.
So long as your Pug consumes roughly the right amount, as depicted in the feeding chart, you’ll be fine.
A lot of people don’t have easy access to a set of scales so weighing your pug can be a little difficult. However, most vets will have a set of scales in their waiting room.
Unsurprisingly, it’s quite a challenge to get your Pug puppy to sit still on the scales for long enough to accurately record their weight.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to weigh yourself first, and then get someone to pass you your puppy to see what the difference is.
If you’re worried about your Pug being overweight, there are a few easy methods of finding out.
One effective method is to apply a little bit of pressure to their chest and see whether or not you can feel their ribcage. If you can’t, this suggests that there’s more fat than ribs to touch and your puppy is likely overweight.
Other telling signs include fat deposits over lumbar and neck, obvious abdomen rounding and an unclear waistline.
Some Pug puppies will take longer to adjust to commercial dry food than others. This slow adjustment is when they’re getting used to not having their mother’s milk.
All commercial food however, should be packed full of enough calories and nutrients to make up for what they used to consume from the milk.
Therefore, if this adjustment period carries on for an extended period and your puppy is refusing to eat what’s in front of them, it’s probably best to consult with your vet.
In terms of altering their meal servings in line with their age, Pug puppies of eight to 12 weeks can typically have one and a half cups of food per day, split into three equal servings.
Making sure these meals are small and regular also helps to keep their blood sugar levels in good condition.
As your puppy reaches the age of six months, they should be slowly moved to a regular eating routine of two meals a day. This schedule will then remain in place for the rest of their life.
Due to the speed in which their puppies consume the food, many Pug owners decide to slightly increase the feeding routine to four meals a day.
This is similarly the case for owners with super-small Pugs that may struggle with the quantity of food in three servings of half cups a day.
Overfeeding is something to be avoided. If you overfeed your Pug puppy regularly, they could be susceptible to gastric dilatation-volvulus – also known as a twisted gut. In certain cases, this condition can be potentially fatal.
This is just one reason why it’s extremely important for Pug owners to be vigilant, and make sure they don’t give their Pugs the opportunity to overindulge and potentially harm themselves.
Excessive feeding regimes are often the chief source for a Pug’s problematic weight.
Overweight or Underweight
In the first few months of feeding your Pug puppy, it’s useful to use the average Pug weights as a guiding framework. The healthy weight ranges are as follows:
- 8 weeks: between two to four pounds.
- 6 months: between seven to 12 pounds.
- Adults: anywhere between 13 to 20 pounds.
If you have a Pug puppy that’s visibly underweight, you can add a little extra food to each of their daily servings until they gain weight and fall back into the healthy weight range.
Some of the best signs of an underweight Pug are visible ribs and tops of lumbar vertebrae, as well as prominent pelvic bones.
It’s worth noting however, don’t add too much food to their diet at once as they could become at risk to the twisted gut condition mentioned earlier.
For overweight Pugs, it’s simple, just do the opposite. Reduce their portion sizes and try to get them doing more daily exercise. If you feel guilty about reducing their food, exercise alone can be enough to shed some weight.
In situations where your Pug puppy continues to either lose weight or gain weight irrespective of the changes to their diet, it could be a sign of something more serious such as an underlying health issue.
If this is the case and you’re worried, contact your vet and schedule a check-up for your pooch.
It’s worth remembering that all Pugs are different. So long as your puppy isn’t too far on either side of the weight spectrum, you should be okay.
Type of Food
There’s much debate about whether raw food is better for dogs than dry and wet food.
Raw food is becoming increasingly popular among many dog owners, with their argument asserting that dry and wet commercial food contains too many additives, as well as other ingredients such as preservatives, fillers and wheat.
While this may well be the case, there isn’t any hard evidence as of yet that supports the benefits of raw food, so if you’re struggling to decide, it’s best again to get a professional opinion from your vet.
Admittedly, a raw food diet is going to be more natural. However, it’s not as easy as it may seem to judge the exact amount of vitamins and minerals that need to be included.
Pug puppies need a certain amount for healthy development, so for many skeptics, it seems a risk that isn’t worth taking.
Another factor which can contribute to the health of your Pug puppy is the speed of its eating.
Most puppies are used to having to compete for food, so as a result they often wolf it down in a matter of minutes. This can however, cause discomfort, indigestion, and even vomiting.
The best method of slowing your Pug’s intake is using a slow feeder bowl. These specially-designed devices help to prevent dogs inhaling air with their food the second you put the bowl down for them.
By significantly slowing down their rate of eating, these bowls also facilitate better levels of digestion, which can subsequently prevent bloating and obesity.
Another consideration to take into account is whether you have another dog, in addition to your Pug puppy. If so, make sure they’re fed in separate bowls, removing the possibility of the Pug wolfing down both portions.
In terms of choosing some specific foods well-suited for Pugs, it’s best to avoid foods with a significant amount of fillers, wheat, corn and preservatives.
Not only are they less nutritional than others, they can also cause allergies for some skin-sensitive Pugs.
The ideal dry foods you should be considering will contain a high percentage of meat and fish.
Other beneficial foods include plant-based proteins such as lentils, peas and chickpeas. Omega-3s are also healthy fats, so if these are listed on certain foods, you’re good to go.
As Pugs get older, they’ll invariably become less active, and subsequently, less efficient at burning calories. As a result, you may start to see them gain weight with age, which isn’t too dissimilar to humans in this respect.
To help combat this, it’s important to amend and control their portion sizes in the best way possible.
A lot of professional advice recommends opting for a higher frequency of daily meals, albeit with smaller portions. This is similar to the approach used for puppies, and helps senior Pugs with weaker stomachs.
Hopefully reading this guide will have helped inform you on how much you should feed your Pug puppy, as well as some of the other important considerations to take into account.
So long as you stick to the guiding framework and keep your Pug on a regular feeding routine with consistent daily exercise, your Pug will grow into a healthy and happy dog!
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Pugs always hungry?
Pugs are renowned for their ferocious appetite, so it’s an important issue to take into account. The majority of Pugs simply don’t possess the ability of knowing when to stop.
In fact, if they had it their own way, they’d be more or less eating 24/7.
For puppies this is less of a worry. It’s expected for them to have a big appetite as during the first 11 weeks they grow at an average of 13 to 17 percent body weight.
Fuelling this exponential growth is food, which is why puppies need to eat more food per pound of body weight than their adult counterparts. This insatiable appetite should level off around the 10-month mark.
Do overweight Pugs typically struggle more with their breathing?
If your Pug becomes easily fatigued and starts breathing heavily after the most simple exertions, whether that’s walking up the stairs or walking to the corner shop, it’s a strong indication that they’re out of shape and overweight.
While it’s worth noting that Pugs are a brachycephalic breed and pant almost all the time, they still shouldn’t experience any type of fatigue this quickly.
As a general rule, any extra weight gained through overeating can lead to an increased likelihood of breathing problems.
What’s the ideal weight for a Pug at 4 months?
A Pug at four months old should weigh somewhere between 2 kg and 3.5 kg (4.4 – 7.7 pounds). Then as touched upon earlier, a couple of months later at six months, should weigh around 3.2 kg to 5.4 kg (7-12 pounds).
These are the healthy ranges and should be used as a framework when figuring out how much to feed your Pug in its early months.