Pugs are prone to obesity so it’s important to make sure you are feeding them the right amount. Pugs are not dogs that do well with being free-fed.
How Many Calories Should Pugs Eat?
A 15-pound adult pug needs about 413 calories a day to maintain their weight. A 20lb adult neutered or spayed pug needs to eat about 514 calories per day. Intact pets need more calories per day, and growing puppies or pregnant dogs need to eat more as well.
You can use the pet nutrition calculator to find out exactly how many calories your pug should eat based on their current weight, body condition score, and whether they are intact or neutered/spayed.
The amount of food that it will take to meet your dog’s calorie requirements will vary depending on what kibble you feed them. Some brands of dog food are more calorie dense than others. However, here is a rough estimate.
How much to feed your pug.
|8 weeks to 12 weeks
|1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of puppy food
|¼-1/3 cups of puppy food
|3x a day
|1/3 to ½ cups of puppy or adult food
|2x per day
|½ cup of adult food
|1-2x per day
Always make sure to check the calorie range anytime you change dog foods. The calorie count per cup can vary quite a bit. If your dog needs 1 cup a day of one food, that doesn’t mean they will need 1 cup of a different brand or style of dog food.
Body Condition Score Is Key
Know the body condition score and adjust feeding needs accordingly. More than you follow any calorie limit or measured amount, you should pay attention to your dog’s body condition score.
If your dog has protruding ribs, they need to be fed more. If they don’t have a visible waist and it’s hard to feel their ribs when you press on their body, they are overweight and you should cut back what they eat.
It’s also important to consider any treats or snacks that you give to your dog. Some dog treats can be really high calorie, so feeding a large dog treat to your pug can be half of their daily calorie needs if they eat the whole thing.
If you’re feeding a puppy, makes sure they are on a puppy-specific food. Growing puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs.
How much food should pregnant pugs eat?
Pregnant pugs need up to twice as much food as they would eat while not pregnant. In many dog food brands this will be 1 to 2 cups per day for pregnant pugs.
Is dry or wet food better for pugs?
While most dogs will gt more excited over canned food, eating dry food is a key part of how dogs get their teeth cleaned. The kibble scratches their teeth a little as they eat, removing build up. In most cases, sticking with dry food is best.
Should you feed an adult pug once or twice a day?
Whether you feed your adult pug once or twice a day is up to you. If you feed once a day, it should be the full amount of calories for the day, while if you feed twice it should be 1/2 of their daily calorie needs.
Adult pugs who are fed their daily calorie needs are okay with going 24 hours between meals. Meaning, they won’t experience hunger pains or other problems. However, some dogs may just seem happier or more content if they get to eat two smaller meals twice a day.
What if my pug wants more food despite eating enough calories?
Many pugs will always act hungry – I have a blog post titled why is my pug always hungry? that goes into this in detail. In short though, many pugs will beg for food no matter how much they’ve eaten. Pugs just are really food driven. You can reduce this by keeping them mentally entertained. A bored pug will be a pug who begs for food!
So, don’t assume they are actually hungry just because they want more food. Keep them busy. Keeping your pug mentally engaged will usually do more to keep them from boredom than physically trying them out will, but of course exercise is important, too.
What if my pug doesn’t chew their food?
If your pug doesn’t chew their food thoroughly or eats too quickly, buy a slow feed dog bowl. These are specifically designed bowls that are shaped so that dogs can’t scarf food down all at once.
What if my pug won’t eat dry food?
A picky pug is a rare pug! Most pugs are obsessed with food and will eat most anything. If you have a pug who turns their nose up at dry food, you can try a few “tricks”.
Try adding a treat to the bowl of kibble. Sometimes when my pugs were sick, they’d refuse their kibble util I pu a treat i the middle. They’d then try to eat the treat, and would end up eating the food with it. Almost like they’d go into the bowl for the treat, and then ‘forget’ that they were rejecting the kibble!
Try adding some warm water to their food and let it sit for a couple of minutes before trying to serve it to your pug. This will softe the kibble a bit and make the smell stronger. To me, wet kibble stinks – but it made my pugs get super excited about their food!
Food toppers. Some dog food brands make ‘toppers’ that can be added to kibble. Some are dry sort of like a seasoning you can add, and others are liquid so they act more like a gravy. In either case, the idea is to bring your dog to the bowl of food based on the smell of the topper, and then get them to eat the kibble.
If your dog seems hesitant to chew in general, head to the vet. Sometimes a reluctance to eat kibble is due to tooth or mouth pain.