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Not Eating

Pug Not Eating

Question:

Since the day I made Pugsy a part of my life, I have fed her "Bento Kronen-Mini Growth" which I believe is a very good pet food Also, it is slightly moist and not as dry as other pet foods in the market. However, in the beginning Pugsy was very eager to eat this, but over time she is not very keen on eating Bento. I feel as if my Pug is not eating enough.

I tried to give her some variety, by trying other brands like Purina and Eukanuba (as I said all are very dry and she doesn't like it!). Then I tried giving her the canned meat variety, which she really likes, but I give that to her only as a treat, when she finishes her actual food, as I am afraid she will not want to eat her regular food at all.
Owner with Pug that won't eat
Owner Neil, with Pugsy, a Pug that is not eating as much as before.
More over, lately I have to mix a very little quantity of the canned meat variety (just for smell or a little more sometimes!), so she at least has her meal.

Also, earlier, Pugsy used to happily eat 3 times a day but these days she barely manages to eat twice a day! Is that any cause for concern? She is 7 months old now!
 
Thanks for your wonderful suggestions/tips and techniques, as always! Cheers, Neil
Answer: Hi Neil and a big hello to Pugsy. There are a few elements that are coming into play when an owner feels that their Pug is not eating enough to stay healthy. 

1: The Bento that you are feeding her is indeed a good dog food. However, Origen, Back to Basics and Blue are also good choices. Although you are in the habit of feeding her the Bento, do not be afraid to switch to a regular diet of a high quality dog food if this is what Pugsy likes to eat.

In general, owners should stick with foods that do not contain any preservatives or coloring that can cause allergic reactions such as itchiness and other skin problems. Choosing healthy snacks for Pugs is important as well. Adding some fresh carrots or fruit such as blueberries or raspberries can make main meals more enticing and healthy. 
What we must remember, is that it is better for your Pug to eat a quality food that she enjoys than to have her not eat enough because she does not like the brand any longer.

We find your method of mixing the two to be a perfect idea for now ; we often suggest doing exactly that in cases of finicky dogs. However, soon the Bento should be out of the picture and we will explain this below.
2: The dog food that you are feeding her is for growing puppies. With your Pug now 7 months old, it is time to begin a slow progressive switch to adult dog food.

While she is still growing a bit, it will not be long before she has reached her adult weight and you will not want to be feeding her food that is meant to induce the rapid weight gain of a growing pup.
3: Do not be concerned about the fact that she is eating less unless there is a weight loss or stall OR if there are any signs of illness or a health condition. With your Pug in particular there are 2 reasons that stand out as possible causes for this decrease in appetite. The first reason that your Pug is eating less is that she is quickly maturing from a puppy to an adult dog; at 7 months it is normal and expected for a Pug to eat twice per day.

Some time between 1 year and 1 1/2 years old, she may be ready for one meal per day, usually given in the evening. Owners sometimes get into schedules of feeding their pets and it becomes such a normal part of the day that when the dog is ready for fewer meals, it can take an owner by surprise. Most likely, when your Pug refuses to eat, she is letting you know that 2 meals per day is just what her body needs right now.

Far too many Pugs are overweight, so it is a very good sign that your dog is down to 2 meals a day. If she continued eating puppy growth dog food 3 times per day, you could soon find yourself with an overweight dog!

The other reason that your Pug may be eating less is the summer weather. Dogs often eat up to 20% less when the weather is hot. It is best to not force her to eat more than she wishes for.

We realize that you are worried that your Pug will stop eating and suffer health issues. However, as long as your dog- at 7 months old- is eating 2 times a day, and slowly making her way to her adult weight, you need not worry.
Signs to Take your Pug to the Vet

You'll want to have your Pug examined if there is a severe decreased appetite or if a dog is eating less accompanied by clinical signs including but not limited to:
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Stool changes
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Changes to the skin and/or coat
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