Pug Problems: Taking Care of a Pug Belly
Our pugs LOVE to eat. I am yet to meet a pug that does not like to eat. That being said, pugs also are really good at gaining a bunch of weight, as they love to eat. While we all love to see the pictures of cute, obese pugs because they look so warm and squishy, it is very harmful for their health to get fat.
One way to make sure your pug does not become overweight is to NOT develop the habit of feeding your pug off of the table. Yes, they are pugs. Yes, they stare at us with those big bulging eyes as we eat. We really love them and we want to make sure that they get a fair share of all the fun things we eat. That is however, not good for them. While there is a concern that a lot of the food might have ingredients not good for dogs, research also shows that a lot of our table food might not be safe for our dogs. For example, meat that we eat usually has been boiled. This means that the bones that comes with this meat has been in hot water and thus is a lot softer than the bones that dogs should be eating. They can have splinters and can easily break. This can be bad for your pug’s throat and their belly. Whether it is for safety reasons or for reasons concerning obesity, it is good to NOT feed your puppy pug or your adult pug any food off of your table.
A second way to make sure that your pug does not become overweight is to make sure that they are on a steady, consistent eating schedule. For example, our 5-month puppy pug eats two times a day. He eats 1/2 cup and 2 teaspoons full of kibble mixed with 3 teaspoons of hot water two times a day. He eats at the same times every day. He eats at 5:00 a.m. (right before we leave the house) and 5:00 p.m. (right when we come back to the house). The only other things that he eats throughout the day are little treats. Each of his treats is about the size of half a penny. If a treat is bigger (for example, some that we bought are about the size of a quarter) we break them up into 2 or even 4 different pieces and use it for 4 tricks instead of one.
Remember, pugs are foodies. They will eat as much as you will feed them. Once they are done eating they will stare at you will those beautiful, watery, bulging, over-sized pug eyes and those long, pink tongues until your heart melts. DO NOT GIVE IN! It is for their best. NOT giving them more food is really the way to show them that you love them. We want our little cuddly friends to be by our side for as long as possible. A recent study by Purina showed that lean dogs live an average of two years longer than overweight dogs and the lean dogs have far fewer health problems. Keep your pug on a consistent eating schedule. Pugs have a tendency of “acting” hungry even when they are well fed.
A third way to make sure that your pug does not become overweight is to have him on a health plan with your vet. This way every time he goes to the vet, you will be able to know whether he is getting too fat or too thin. Our vet at Banfield was also able to inform us that the way to “know” whether the pug is at a good weight is by touching his ribs. You should be able to feel the ribs through his skin but there should still be some meat on top. Too bony is not good but not being able to feel his ribs is not good either.