Dogs of all breeds are notorious for their large appetites, but a pug should not be demanding to eat the same amount of food as a full-grown Labrador retriever, because pugs are so much smaller than Labs. Pug puppies and adult dogs that have a sudden, sharp increase in appetite may be suffering from a medical condition. Any sudden change in appetite should warrant a trip to the veterinarian.
Pug puppies will seemingly want to eat all the time because their bodies are growing. However, their appetites should slow down by the time they are 10 months to 1 year of age. They should have reached most of their adult size by then. At this time, pugs need to be switched to lower-calorie adult dog food or they may rapidly put on weight. Pugs that are more than 1 year old and still are as ravenous as when they were 2 months old need to be taken to a vet, according to "KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy." If the pug puppy is 1 year old and seems stunted in comparison to other pug puppies, yet has a ravenous appetite, the pug needs to go to a vet.
Internal worms, such as hookworms, tapeworms or roundworms, will rob a pug of needed nutrition. Worm infestations are particularly dangerous in smaller dogs like the pug, because they do not need as many worms as a large dog to become very sick. A pug with worms may also have diarrhoea.
Pugs are chubby dogs to begin with, but should not be allowed to become overweight because they are genetically prone to diabetes. Because they are so small and cute, it may be tempting to give them more treats than they should have. Obese pugs are prone to developing diabetes, or problems producing or absorbing blood sugar. The first symptoms of diabetes in dogs are increased appetite and thirst, and, as a result, an increase in a need to urinate and defecate. Diabetes in dogs is manageable, but if left untreated will kill the dog.
Dogs can get into the habit of overeating, just like people can. Pugs may expect to be fed as adults just as often as when they were as puppies. Part of this overeating habit could be due to boredom, especially if the pug is not getting enough exercise or is left home alone for many hours a day. Since pugs have such flat noses, they cannot exercise very long in hot and humid weather, or they may get heat stroke or asthma. They still need interaction with their owners and toys to keep from getting bored, even on hot days.
Female pugs that have not been spayed may become pregnant, especially if a male dog jumps into the pug's yard when no one is looking. One of the first symptoms of pregnancy in dogs is an increase in appetite. If a pug is pregnant, you must decide if the puppies will be allowed to grow to term. Because of the pug's body structure, female pugs cannot give birth normally and need a caesarean section in order to deliver live puppies.
- "KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy"; Liz Palika; 2002
- Dog Channel.com: Appetite Changes in Dogs
- PetPlace.com: Choosing a Pug
- Terra Linda Veterinary Hospital: Diabetes Mellitus