Pugs: Diet Do's and Don'ts
Who can resist the loving and comical nature of the pug, a breed of dog who's popularity has exploded since the release of movies such as "Men in Black," "The Adventures of Milo and Otis," and the animated Disney movie," Pocahontas". Pugs are an excellent breed choice for children, are inherently good-natured, and are particularly adaptable to apartment living due to their minimal exercise requirement. But before one decides to welcome a pug into the family, certain considerations must be taken, including concerns regarding diet.
There are a wide range of commercial choices available today for your dog, but choosing a dog food produced by a large, reputable company, or one recommended by your veterinarian, is probably your safest, easiest bet for insuring a healthy diet for your pug. These foods are generally produced and bagged in dry form or are available in the moist, canned variety and contain a healthy balance of essential grains and protein. There are many varieties available from puppy, weight control, to senior foods which are geared toward the particular canine consumer's needs. Depending on the variety necessary for your pet, nutrient and caloric content of these foods are altered to suit the dog's lifestyle or age.
Be mindful that pugs have a genetic disposition to becoming overweight if their diet is not monitored closely. These little pooches have a tendency to eat endlessly, as long as food accessible. Therefore, it is recommended that the quantity of food provided is closely monitored. It is suggested that meals are scheduled twice daily in order to develop a regular feeding routine and to help satisfy their insatiable desire to eat. Splitting meals into two separate feedings also aids digestion, and many believe, minimizes the dreaded passage of gas from your furry friend.
Still, some pug owners complain that their pet eats too fast, often resulting in upset stomachs and vomiting. Brent, the owner of two pugs complains, "Bug eats so fast that he is not chewing his food. He frequently throws up right after he eats."
There are a few tricks you may like to try with your pug to keep him from gobbling food too quickly: Before filling the dog bowl with food, place a large rubber ball or unopened soup can at the bottom of the dish. Then fill the bowl with the appropriate amount of food. Providing food in this manner may help to minimize your pug's ability to inhale food too quickly, since he is forced to take time to eat around the object placed in his bowl.
Another method that some pug owners have proclaimed "tried and true" in resolving a pug's gulping habit is to switch from a regular dog food bowl to a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with sides. Sprinkling the food across the cookie sheet will force the dog to graze a bit over his meal and may encourage more thorough chewing before he seeks out his next morsel or two.
"Recreational chewing time" must also be considered in regard to your pug's consumption and digestion. The incredibly strong jaws and chewing urges of the pug make it easy for the pug to tear even the strongest of chew bones or toys to pieces. Be careful when selecting leisure time chew-bones for the pug. Rawhide is a poor choice. More often than not, large pieces of rawhide are broken off and swallowed whole by the dog and are often vomited later or worse, may create an obstruction in the pug's digestive system. There are countless stories about owners who have helplessly watched as their beloved pet has choked on a chunk of rawhide that has become lodged in the animal's throat. Not only can they be dangerous, but a rawhide chew really contains no real nutritional value and only adds to the dog's caloric intake.
Many dogs enjoy gnawing on nylon bones which are often flavored with chicken or beef in order to make them more appealing to the pet. But be watchful of large hunks that can be chewed off and swallowed by the dog as well, which may also result in an expensive veterinary bill - or worse. Pig ears are the preferred choice for many dog owners. They last quite a long time, they are suitably sized, the flavor is appealing, and they are very difficult for a pet with even the strongest of jaws to ingest. They are hard, tough, and are a safe choice for hours of chewing satisfaction for the pug. Some pug owners have noted yeast build-up in their pet's ears or around the nasal area. The advice of many is to feed your pug a few tablespoons of yogurt daily which may help to combat this common ailment. Julie, the owner of two pugs said, "I give my dogs a few tablespoons of yogurt every day. Their ears used to constantly have yeast build-up, but since I've started the routine with yogurt, their ears have been clear." Many have realized the benefit of yogurt's combative acidophilus ingredient against these yeast infections and note a drastic improvement in the appearance and health of their dog's nose and ears. Be observant of your pug's diet and note any changes in digestive patterns. Staying keyed in on your pug habits and needs are the key to a long and healthy relationship between you and your canine companion.
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