Pugs are one of the oldest dog breeds and have been around since earlier than 400 B.C. Enthusiasts agree that they probably originated in Asia, based on their similarities to the Pekingese. Known as “a lot of dog in a small space,” the pug should be squarely built with compact, muscular limbs and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. Usually the males are slightly larger and heavier than the females, but a pug of ideal weight should show a waistline and you should be able to feel the ribs, even if they are not easily visible.
Obese pugs need to lose their excess weight, and a calorie-restricted diet works well for this purpose. If you feed commercial dog food, the best food to purchase is one intended for overweight dogs that comes in the form of reduced-calorie kibble or canned food. Some dog food manufacturers sell foods specially formulated for particular breeds’ nutritional needs. Look for a food that contains meat as the first listed ingredient. Avoid foods that contain meat or poultry by-products, as these are often inferior quality filler materials such as feathers and feet. Choose commercial foods that contain fruit and vegetable carbohydrates instead of corn or grains, which can aggravate joint problems.
Preparation of home-cooked food for your pug can ensure the dog’s diet contains the right sort of quality protein and a variety of fruit and vegetables. The best homemade dog food should contain approximately 50 percent meat, poultry or fish protein, such as lean muscle meat, skinless chicken or turkey, or oily fish such as salmon. Add 30 percent complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, brown rice, barley or quinoa, and the remaining 20 percent fruit and vegetables. Suitable items include pumpkin, green beans, carrots, apples, bananas and pears. Cook all the items together in a large pot with sufficient water to cook any rice. Avoid using excess water that must be thrown away, as this discards important nutrients.
Whatever type of food you offer, your obese pug is accustomed to eating a certain quantity every day. Even if you introduce a low-calorie diet, reducing feeding quantities will help to fast-track the dog’s weight loss. Measure your dog’s regular meal portion and weigh it, then reduce each meal by one-third, which should include all treats, snacks and leftovers. This will lower the dog’s daily intake by the same amount, and after two weeks, weigh your pug to see if the weight has come down. If not, reduce again by one-third for another two-week period. Check that nobody in the household is offering the dog snacks, and increase your dog’s level of activity with an extra walk per day to burn off excess calories.
Pug Health Risks
With their solid body bulk, pugs carry a proportionately large amount of body weight on their joints. This makes them prone to joint problems including arthritis, and their brachycephalic faces with flat snouts cause a tendency toward respiratory difficulties. Overweight and obese pugs have increased risk of heart disease, hyperthermia or heat stroke, and general difficulty remaining fit and healthy. For these reasons it is important to maintain the best food diet for an obese dog. Keep your pug on a high quality, low fat diet and add plenty of daily exercise and the dog is likely to recover a trim waistline.
References & Resources
More on Pugs