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Why Are Pugs Picky Eaters?


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Pugs generally have hearty appetites, so why doesn't your fur-baby scoff down their dinner? Pugs can be fussy eaters, and it's not uncommon for a Pug to turn their nose up at or even regurgitate their breakfast. Is there a medical reason for your Pug being a picky eater? Or is your doggo just a diva? Read on to find out!

Why won't my Pug eat their food?

Eating difficulties are common amongst flat-faced breeds that suffer from brachycephalic syndrome. Sometimes called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), brachycephalic syndrome is caused by the shortening of a dog's skull and muzzle, resulting in obstructed airways. Twenty-four breeds suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, including French Bulldogs, Boxers, and Pugs.

According to the University of Cambridge, Pugs have elongated soft palates and disproportionate pharyngeal folds. This elongated soft palate obstructs a Pug's airways, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. These obstructions mean Pugs will sometimes regurgitate their food. 

In addition, Pugs have a habit of swallowing their food without chewing, which can cause them to be sick. Their thick lips and awkwardly-shaped jaws can make it challenging to pick up food. 

Another common reason for Pugs being picky eaters is dental issues. Pugs have shortened jaws and 42 teeth. As a result, overcrowding and periodontal disease are common among Pugs. If their teeth aren't properly cared for, dental issues could cause your Pug to be picky. 

There are other medical reasons why your Pug is a picky eater, ranging from mild allergies to serious health concerns like cancer. Of course, your Pug could simply be a picky eater, in which case you may need to change up their food to find out what your dog likes.

brown and black pug dog looking upwards

What can I feed my picky Pug?

Picking the right food for your fussy fur-baby can be tricky. You'll want to choose a high-quality dog food formulated for small dogs that lists a good source of protein — such as chicken, lamb, or beef — as the top ingredient. 

Pugs have so many health issues due to selective breeding that some companies, like Royal Canin, sell dog food specially formulated for Pugs. Royal Canin Pug Adult Dog Food is designed to keep a Pug's skin healthy and help manage their weight. It's also a specific shape that makes it easier for your Pug to pick up, and its ingredients encourage chewing. 

Some Pug parents make their own dog food; however, this isn't recommended. It isn't easy to make a dog food from scratch that’s balanced and has all the nutrients your dog needs. If there's nothing medically wrong with your dog, you may need to experiment with your dog's diet to find something they like.

Unsure what to feed your picky Pug? Chat with a vet 24/7 through Wag! Vet Chat and discuss your dog's dietary needs anytime, anywhere.

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