What Is a Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet contains all the nutrients dogs need in appropriate proportions to one another. The nutrients are also balanced to the energy level of the diet. For example, a diet formulated for older dogs provides a lower energy level than one formulated for puppies.
Read the Label
You can find out whether a food is complete and balanced simply by looking at the label. Manufacturers must state whether their foods meet the nutrient profiles set by a group called the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Puppy food and adult food have different nutrient profiles. Some foods are labeled for “all life stages,” but a puppy should eat a food labeled for growth. Beyond that, look to see whether the manufacturer conducted feeding trials to test the food's adequacy. Look for a nutritional adequacy statement that says something like, “This food is complete and balanced for maintenance [or for growth] based on AAFCO feeding trials.”
Is there a balanced diet that's right for every dog? No. Dogs are individuals. A majority of them might thrive eating a particular diet, but there will always be a few that have special needs. A dog's nutritional needs can be affected by stress, environment, and other factors.
Can a pug be a vegetarian?
Commercial vegetarian diets exist for dogs, but they don't contain the high-quality protein provided by meat.
When you wheel your grocery cart down the aisles at a pet supply store or grocery store, you may be overwhelmed by the variety available. You'll see foods for puppies, large-breed puppies, overweight dogs, and dogs with allergies. While it's nice to have a selection, it can be difficult to decide which food is right for your pug. Knowing the pug's special needs will help.
Watch Those Calories!
One thing to consider is growth rate. Although the pug is a small breed, it is prone to hip dysplasia. Your breeder or veterinarian may recommend starting your pug pup on adult food as early as ten to twelve weeks of age. That helps slow the growth rate and reduces the amount of calcium in the diet. Veterinary researchers have discovered that when they reduce calcium and control calories, puppies grow less quickly and develop fewer musculoskeletal problems.
An adult or aging pug usually has a lower activity level and metabolic rate than a young dog. He can eat less food and still maintain a good body weight. He still needs the same amount of nutrients, though, so it's important that he get a high-quality, nutrient-rich food.