10 Best Dog Food for Pugs: 2021

Keep reading for our 2021 review of the best dog food for Pugs.

Whenever you think of a pug, you’ll think of their cute, tiny snouts and “bug eyes.”

But they’re a rather unhealthy breed. Joint problems, obesity, cataracts, and breathing problems are common health problems pugs can face. So they must have a healthy diet that gives them plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

For most adults, we’d recommend Wellness’ Small Breed Complete Health dog food. It has plenty of omega fatty acids for their joints, probiotics for their gut, and antioxidants for the immune system.

Plus, it has turkey, chicken, and salmon, all in one luscious meal.

But we understand that every pug is different. So we’ve found nine other diets for various scenarios and ages, from food allergies to weight control, seniors to puppies.

Let’s get started. 

10 Best Dog Food for Pugs

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food
  • Plenty of high-quality protein
  • Include nutritious whole grains
  • Specifically made for small breeds
  • Unique kibble size
Buy Now On Chewy
Best for Puppies
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food
  • 10-20% superfoods included in recipe
  • High 32% protein and 22% fat
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids
Buy Now On Chewy
Best for Seniors
Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken Senior Dog Food
Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken Senior Dog Food
  • Low sodium content
  • High amounts nutrients
  • Chicken as main source of protein
  • Made for seniors aged 7 or older
Buy Now On Chewy
Best Budget
Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs with Farm-Raised Beef
Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs with Farm-Raised Beef
  • Contains farm-raised beef
  • High amounts of vitamin B
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains whole fruits and veggies
Buy Now On Chewy
Best Wet
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Small Breed Chicken Canned Food
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Small Breed Chicken Canned Food
  • Great for fussy eaters
  • Chicken broth used for added nutrients
  • Contains plenty of protein and fat
Buy Now On Chewy
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food (Best Overall for Adults)
  2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food (Best for Puppies)
  3. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken Senior Dog Food (Best for Seniors)
  4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Small Breed Chicken Canned Food (Best Wet Dog Food)
  5. Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs with Farm-Raised Beef (Best Budget Dog Food)
  6. Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food (Best Breed-Specific Dog Food)
  7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best High Protein)
  8. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Lamb Small Breed Dog Food (Best for Allergies)
  9. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Formula Dog Food (Best for Weight Control)
  10. Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Sensitive Stomach Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Tummies)


Best Dog Foods for Pugs Reviewed

All the dog foods we are about to go through meet an AAFCO daily nutrient profile for dogs. Before switching your dog’s food, consult your veterinarian. [1]


Best Overall
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Calories: 408 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Help your little Pug thrive with Wellness Complete Health Adult dog food. This natural formula is made explicitly for small breeds. It has a small kibble size that is easier for pugs to digest.

Deboned turkey is the first ingredient on the list. However, there are other animal protein sources, too, with chicken and salmon meals also included.

These healthy meats ensure your pup is getting plenty of healthy fats such as omega fatty acids. These will help improve your canine’s skin and coat and combat any joint conditions later in life. 

Added antioxidants and taurine are used to improve the overall well-being of canines. In fact, taurine plays a vital role in preventing heart diseases like Dilated Cardiomyopathy. [2]

The recipe does include nutritious whole grains like ground brown rice and oatmeal. They act as an easy, digestible energy source, which Pugs need. Carbohydrates like these are essential for preventing conditions like hypoglycemia. 

Wellness has made this food without corn, wheat, or soy. Plus, they’ve excluded GMOs, artificial ingredients, and meat by-products. Instead, it’s made in the USA using only the finest ingredients globally. 


What We Like
  • High-quality animal protein sources
  • Made without GMOs, meat by-products, and artificial ingredients
  • Specifically designed for small breeds
  • Unique small kibble size is designed for small mouths
  • Includes nutritious whole grains for extra energy
  • Made in the USA
What We Don’t Like
  • Grains included in the recipe, which may be unsuitable for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities
  • Can cause softness in stool or gassiness




Best for Puppies
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat, Cracked Pearled Barley
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 22% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 453 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Growth

Diamond Natural Puppy dog food gets your pug puppy’s development and growth off on the right food. It offers superior nutrition from real meats, vegetables for antioxidants and added nutrients to support their growing organs. 

Real cage-free chicken and chicken meal offer reliable sources of protein for puppies. These high-quality meats contain amino sugars like glucosamine to support their growing joints, preventing joint conditions like arthritis later on. 

Chicken is also an excellent source of omega fatty acids. These help nourish your pug’s skin and coat to make it nice and shiny. 

However, omega fatty acids like DHA are most important for your puppy’s brain development and aid their vision. Plus, they work alongside glucosamine to support their joints.

This dog food does use grains, so it’s not grain-free. But unless your canine suffers from gluten sensitivities, then there’s little reason to give them a grain-free formula. [3]

Each serving of this high-protein puppy food contains Diamond Natural’s exclusive K9 Strain Proprietary probiotics. These aid your pup’s digestion while giving support to their growing immune system.

It’s made without artificial colors, flavors, corn, wheat, and soy. 

Instead, they use superfoods like blueberries, chia seeds, pumpkin, quinoa, coconut, and spinach for nutritious antioxidants. 


What We Like
  • Contains 10-20% superfoods for nutritious antioxidants
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids for brain and eye growth
  • Made without artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Chicken and chicken meal are used for protein
  • Specifically made for puppies
  • High 32% protein and 22% fat content
What We Don’t Like
  • Grains included in the recipe, which may be unsuitable for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities
  • Can cause diarrhea initially
  • No indication whether artificial preservatives are used in the formula




Best for Seniors
Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken Senior Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Calories: 388 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten Free, Weight Control, Sensitive Digestion
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Senior

Not all pugs need dog food made for seniors. But as they age, they may benefit from tailored nutrition that gives them specific nutrients to support their older body. 

And if they suffer from certain health conditions, then this dog food from Merrick could be the perfect solution.

It uses quality meat-based protein sources like deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal for high amounts of omega fatty acids. While these healthy fats will improve and maintain your canine’s coat, they also offer support for their tender joints.

However, these high-protein ingredients give pugs ample amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin too. These amino sugars are naturally found in meats and aid joints by growing cartilage tissue around them, preventing them from rubbing. They also prevent morning stiffness.

Merrick has designed the kibble to be slightly smaller than other brands, making it easier for pugs to eat. Plus, the kibble’s unique crunchy texture prevents plaque and tartar buildup.

Pups that suffer from gluten sensitivities can safely eat this dog food because it’s made without any grains. And added taurine helps prevent cardiovascular diseases like DCM in dogs. 

Merrick crafts their formulas in Hereford, Texas, and is cooked in the USA. 


What We Like
  • Excludes grains suitable for pups with gluten allergies and prevents gassiness in dogs
  • Deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal all included for high-quality protein sources
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Small kibble size ideal for Pugs
  • Made explicitly for seniors ages 7 or older
  • Low sodium content is ideal for canines with heart conditions
What We Don’t Like
  • Includes potatoes which may trigger some food allergies
  • Lower fiber content compared to other brands




Best Wet
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Small Breed Chicken Canned Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Peas, Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Crude Protein, 7.5% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Calories: 214 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Is your Pug a fussy eater? Or are you worried about their weight? Then try this high-protein wet food made by Blue Buffalo.

It contains several high-quality ingredients that many wet food brands lack. For example, chicken is the first ingredient on the list, closely followed by chicken broth.

Chicken broth is an excellent ingredient to include due to its rich amounts of protein, fat, and nutrients. Most formulas will use water instead, which simply doesn’t do anything but hydrate your canine. We always recommend broths over water in most wet food diets.

Whole fruits and veggies are also included. Ingredients like carrots and peas offer your pug numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that’ll improve their overall well-being.

Brown rice is featured in the recipe too. So it’s not a grain-free diet. However, unless your pup suffers from grain allergies or intolerances, they’ll be fine.

It is made without any corn, wheat, soy, or by-products and artificial ingredients. 

But before considering this diet, consider your pug’s dental history. Wet foods can cause teeth or gum problems. And unfortunately, Pug’s frequently suffer from dental issues. So if your pup does suffer from a dental issue, it’s best to choose a dry kibble. 


What We Like
  • Contains high-quality protein sources, fruits, and vegetables
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, and by-products
  • Great diet for fussy eaters due to soft texture
  • Chicken broth is used instead of water for added nutrients
  • Plenty of protein and fat suitable for pugs
What We Don’t Like
  • Includes brown rice, which may trigger some gluten allergies
  • Contains peas which may be unsuitable for pups with existing pea sensitivities
  • Can cause dental issues for pugs




Best Budget
Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs with Farm-Raised Beef
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Whole Grain Corn, Barley, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 13.5% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Calories: 404 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: High-Protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

This high-protein dog food is really high-quality, considering its price. It uses real farm-raised beef as the primary source of protein and is a high-end ingredient for any pup. 

Plus, using this red meat offers pugs who are allergic to chicken a suitable diet too. Beef is a rich source of amino sugars like glucosamine and helps prevent loss of muscle mass.

Real vegetables and fruits are provided in the recipe to give dogs vitamins, minerals, and added antioxidants.

Peas and carrots are included to support the immune system and act as natural probiotics that aid the digestive system. Essential B vitamins are supplemented to provide further support for your Pug’s digestive system. [4]

Pugs can suffer from digestion issues, so eating a diet with these additives and vitamins can be a real help.

Purina has crafted this diet in the United States using globally trusted, quality ingredients. And you can rest easy that it’s complete, nutritious dog food for your pug because of their rigorous safety and quality standards.


What We Like
  • Real farm-raised beef for protein
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Several high-quality fruits and vegetables included
  • Supplemented B vitamins for digestion
  • Made in the USA using global, trusted ingredients
What We Don’t Like
  • Contains several common allergens
  • While it does feature some high-quality fruits and vegetables, it would be nice to see more
  • Can cause soft stool




Best Breed-Specific
Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food 
  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice, Corn, Corn Gluten Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 3.3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 314 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Breed Specific Food
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Your pug is a special part of your life, so they deserve only the finest diet that gives them everything they need. Royal Canin Pug formula is tailor-made and designed just for your dog.

This exclusive breed-specific diet concentrates on a pug’s specific needs. And the kibble is made with their short, square muzzle in mind, making the food easy for them to pick up and chew.

Corn is included to promote a healthy digestive system and help regulate your Pug’s stool.

Chicken by-product meal offer canines’ tones of protein and essential B vitamins for their high energy levels. And fish oil is used as a rich source of DHA and EPA. These healthy fats give your pug a shiny coat and improve their skin.

Taurine and L-Lysine are supplemented for heart health and help to maintain lean muscle mass in dogs. Taurine also plays a vital role in preventing heart diseases like DCM, which can be fatal for pups.

This dog food is made for Pugs at least 10 months old, suitable for most adults.

Plus, all the recipe contents, alongside the lower 314 kcal/cup caloric content,  helps prevent weight gain. Pugs are prone to growing overweight if they aren’t fed an appropriate diet.


What We Like
  • Tailored nutrition specific for Pugs 10 months or older
  • Unique kibble design helps pugs easily pick it up and chew
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids
  • Low-calorie content and considered ingredients help prevent weight gain
  • Nutritional protein sources that maintain less muscle mass
What We Don’t Like
  • Contains corn and wheat, which may be unsuitable for some allergies
  • Doesn’t have meat protein as the first ingredient




Best High Protein
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 422 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High-Protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Even the healthiest of Pugs can need extra energy. And a high-protein dog food can make all the difference.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie dog food features novel protein sources like roasted bison and venison, all of which contribute to the impressive 32% protein. These premium animal sources help maintain your pug’s muscle mass and support their joints and bones.

Plus, these novel proteins give high concentrations of glucosamine and taurine. These additives maintain a healthy heart and joints. 

And, ocean fish meal is used for a rich supply of omega 3 fatty acids to help keep your canine’s skin and coat healthy. Plus, they work alongside glucosamine.

Blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes are included for antioxidants that improve immune health. These high-quality fruits and veggies also act as natural sources of probiotics to aid digestion. And they’re rich in vitamin A for your Pug’s eyes too.

Taste of the Wild has crafted this dog food without any gluten, grains, or artificial ingredients. It is made in the USA using high-quality ingredients from local and global sustainable sources. 


What We Like
  • Features novel protein sources and high-quality ingredients
  • High amounts of omega 3 fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Powerful antioxidants that improve immune health and overall well-being
  • Made in the USA using sustainable local and global sources
  • Excludes grains, corn, wheat, and artificial ingredients
  • Impressive 32% protein content
What We Don’t Like
  • Contains potatoes; a common trigger of food allergies
  • Could contain slightly higher amounts of dietary fibers for digestion




Best for Allergies
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Lamb Small Breed Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Pugs can suffer from food allergies. And these can be caused in many ways, from the environment to their food.

While no dog food helps specifically with allergies caused by the environment, several high-quality dog foods can help with food allergies. And this limited ingredient diet by Natural Balance is one of them.

The food is made with very few ingredients, which helps pups avoid common allergens. For example, Lamb and lamb meal are the only protein sources in the recipe, instead of chicken.

So if your Pug isn’t allergic to lamb, then this is a solid choice for your furry friend.

Unlike other limited ingredient dog foods, this is made for small breeds. So the kibble is the right size for your Pug’s unique jaw size, making it easy for them to eat.

There are also high amounts of omega fatty acids that help to improve your dog’s skin and coat. Allergies can commonly cause dry skin and coat problems for dogs, so these healthy fats will significantly help. 

This chicken-free dog food is made and produced in the USA and eliminates corn, wheat, soy, and gluten to give your Pug optimal nutrition from their diet.


What We Like
  • Made for allergies using a select amount of ingredients
  • Lamb is the sole protein source
  • Made without chicken, corn, wheat, and soy
  • High amounts of amino acids to maintain muscle mass
  • Omega fatty acids help combat dry skin and unhealthy coat
What We Don’t Like
  • Contains grains
  • Unsuitable for dogs with food allergies caused by lamb




Best for Weight Control
Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Formula Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 5.5% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Calories: 364 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: High-Protein, Weight Control, High Fiber, Low Fat
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Pugs are known for becoming overweight. They’re not a particularly active breed, and if they don’t get proper exercise, they can quickly pile on extra pounds. [5]

And unfortunately, weight issues can often lead to other severe health problems too.

For example, pugs can develop breathing difficulties because of their squished faces. And weight issues can make this even harder for them.

So if you’re worried about your pug’s weight, it’s worth trying a weight control formula. This is where Purina Pro’s adult weight control dog food comes in.

It features a high 5.5% fiber content to help keep your pup full for longer, making them eat less. Chicken is the primary source of protein in the diet too. However, it is a grain-inclusive diet, as it uses whole grain corn.

But this high-protein, low-fat dog food is an excellent choice for pups that aren’t allergic to chicken or grains. And the recipe includes shredded meat to help entice fussy eaters too. All of which is made in the USA.


What We Like
  • The high fiber content aids digestion and helps keep your dog full for longer
  • Real chicken meat used as the primary protein source
  • Full of prebiotic fiber to aid the digestive system
  • Ideal protein to fat ratio to maintain muscle mass
  • Much lower fat content compared to other brands
  • Shredded meat included, enticing picky eaters
What We Don’t Like
  • Contains grains which will make it unsuitable for grain sensitive dogs
  • Can cause diarrhea when initially switching to the diet




Best for Sensitive Tummies
Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Sensitive Stomach Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Peas, Ocean Fish Meal, Dried Eggs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 18% Crude Protein, 6% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 340 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Solid Gold’s Holistique Blendz dog food uses high-quality, easily digestible ingredients, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help combat sensitive tummies.

It includes ocean fish meal and salmon oil for a rich supply of omega fatty acids. 

These healthy fats help nourish dry and itchy skin, which is a common problem pugs face. Brown rice and pearled barley work alongside these nutritious ingredients to give the recipe an appealing taste and several beneficial nutrients.

The high fiber content includes prebiotics and probiotics that aid the digestive system and help calm their tummy. But you may see that their stomach issues get worse initially, as probiotics take time to get to work.

Several superfoods, like carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, and cranberries, are included for crucial antioxidants that improve your canine’s immune system. 

But these healthy fruits and veggies will improve the digestive system too. 

This diet is made without corn, wheat, and soy. And all of the ingredients we’ve discussed above are easy to digest, preventing excessive strain on your pug’s tummy. It is also potato-free.


What We Like
  • Made with whole fruits and vegetables, and high-quality protein sources
  • Supplemented calcium, phosphorus, and sodium to improve overall well-being
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids to combat dry, itchy skin
  • Wide variety of natural fibers for healthy digestion
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, and potato
What We Don’t Like
  • Recipe includes grains
  • Could have included more protein sources for higher amounts of amino acids
  • It can make upset tummies worse before it gets better



Buying Dog Food for Your Pug

Pugs can, unfortunately, suffer from a variety of health problems. So there needs to be plenty of thought when it comes to their diet. After all, you are what you eat.

Here are some of the essential things you need to keep in mind.

Dietary Needs of Pugs

Most canines need similar nutrients in their diet. In fact, recent studies have shown that the carbohydrate, fat, and protein needs across multiple breeds are remarkably similar.

Any dog needs a steady supply of healthy fats, small amounts of carbs, and plenty of high-quality protein in their diet. Pugs are not that much different.

Carbohydrates

Most dry kibbles will have high amounts of carbohydrates. And most pugs will be fine. 

Most of the time, whole grains are a better source of carbohydrates compared to refined grains. In fact, whole grains provide added nutrients to your canine’s diet. Whereas refined grains are no better than sugar. 

But the best nutritional sources of carbs come from whole fruits and vegetables. And they’re the best solution for pups with grain sensitivities too.

However, if you’re considering a diet for your Pug, try to find one that isn’t mostly carbohydrate content. Carbs are not an essential part of your dog’s diet. They mostly need protein and healthy fats.

Dietary Fiber

Again, fiber isn’t a crucial part of a dog’s diet. However, they are vital for a healthy digestive system.

Pugs can benefit from higher concentrations of fiber in their diet. They’re prone to weight issues, and fiber can help combat obesity or excess weight by making them feel full for longer, meaning they’ll eat less. 

Healthy Fats

We usually look at fat as a common cause of obesity. But fats are essential for your pug’s overall well-being. In fact, most of their calories should come from fat. 

But some are better than others. For example, when choosing your dog’s food, you should find one that has high amounts of omega fatty acids. Look for ingredients like fish oil, as it’s one of the best sources of these healthy fats. 

This is because they can suffer from dry skin and unhealthy coats, which can often develop allergies. So omega fatty acids are an essential part of their diet. 

Plus, these healthy fats help to support their joints because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

High-Quality Protein

Dogs need protein in their diet.

And because pugs aren’t particularly active, many dog parents will think they don’t need them. But if you want your furry friend to live a healthy life, then give them plenty of it. 

Protein also has rich amounts of vitamins and minerals that can play a vital role in alleviating symptoms of several health problems.

But, as usual, there are better quality protein sources. Your pup’s protein should come from real meat or meat meal. Both of these ingredients are excellent sources of protein. In fact, meat meal is more concentrated than whole meat because it’s been cooked to remove the moisture.

You should try to steer clear of by-product meals. This is because these meats are difficult to digest. Plus, they can include low-quality parts of the animal, such as feathers.

Avoid, at all costs, any food that includes unnamed meat protein ingredients. If it simply says “meat,” then you don’t know where it comes from. 

Vitamins & Minerals

Most formulas will adhere to an AAFCO nutrient profile. This means that the food is a complete, balanced diet that will help your Pug live their best life. 

However, try to find dog food using several fruits and vegetables. These ingredients will contain several beneficial vitamins and minerals to improve their well-being.

Any food you’re considering should have the AAFCO seal on it. Be sure to double-check before purchasing.

Pugs, otherwise, do not have any specific nutrients that are different from any other breed. But if they are suffering from a health problem, added sources of particular vitamins and minerals may help. 

What Is the Recommended Caloric Count for Pugs?

Firstly, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to develop a tailored diet for your Pug. They will be better equipped to make recommendations.

However, below is a typical example of how many calories you need to feed your pug.

Body WeightTotal Daily Calorie Intake
14560 kcal
15600 kcal
16640 kcal
17680 kcal
18720 kcal

Pugs generally weigh anything between 14-18 lbs when fully grown into an adult. And so, they need around 40 calories per pound of their weight.

For puppies, this will be slightly higher because of their rapid growth and development. They usually need around 50 calories instead.

But several things will vary the number of calories your Pug needs. For example, if they are more active, they’ll need higher concentrations of calories to maintain their energy. 

Use the above table as a rough guideline. And if you start noticing they’re gaining weight, decrease the amount they’re eating.

Want to find out more about how much you should feed your dog? Check out our guide written by our in-house veterinarian here.



Common Health Issues for Pugs & Their Diet

Pugs do suffer from a wide range of health issues. And their diet can play an essential role in managing these conditions.

Here are some health problems that can be controlled with a balanced diet. 

Allergies

Pugs can suffer from a variety of allergies. In fact, they’re pretty likely to suffer from skin allergies. [6]

Most of the time, skin allergies are linked to food allergies. And these allergies can cause dry, itchy skin that can be difficult to live with. Or worse still, they can cause inflammation in their ears.

Several ingredients cause allergies for dogs, such as chicken, dairy, gluten, and grains. But luckily, there are limited ingredient diets where they eliminate ingredients that cause food allergies.  

Omega fatty acids can also play a role in managing food allergies because of their anti-inflammatory properties. 

Eye Issues

Pugs stand out because of their unique eye shape. 

But, they get their unique shape because of an abnormality in their skull. This can lead to a wide variety of health issues.

Some of these eye problems cannot be aided by their diet alone. Many of them are because of trauma.

However, nutrients that aid their eyes can speed up the healing process if trauma does happen. And these nutrients can help prevent severe eye problems, like cataracts.

Joints

Pugs can suffer from a variety of joint problems. Mainly, they suffer from gait abnormalities or issues with their mobility and movement. [7]

For example, they can suffer from herniated discs because of excessive stress on their spine.

It’s best to find a dog food with plenty of amino sugars like glucosamine. These helpful additives help their vulnerable joints by growing cartilage tissue. And by doing so, stop them from rubbing and causing them severe discomfort. 

Overweight or Obesity

Sadly, more and more dogs are overweight or obese. Especially in the United States. [8]

Pugs are particularly prone to this issue because they’re a less active breed. Their small snouts make it hard for them to breathe, which can be a common reason why they don’t like to exercise. 

And many dog parents mistake their laidback nature as a reason not to give them regular exercise.

If your pup starts to become overweight, then it’s worth considering a weight control dog food. These contain higher amounts of fiber and other nutrients that’ll help your loveable pup maintain their healthy weight. And some fibers will help them feel fuller for longer.

But overall, regular, frequent exercise is the best way to combat weight issues or obesity. You can’t fight them on a nutritional diet alone.

Worried about your Pug’s weight? Check out our complete guide on how to help canines lose weight with practical tips here.

Final Verdict

Most pugs love food designed for small breeds. Their tiny mouths can sometimes struggle with some kibble sizes. 

Most adult pugs will thrive on Wellness Small Breed Complete Health dog food. It has ample protein for their overall well-being, glucosamine for their joints, and probiotics for their digestive system. 

Plus, your pug will get a variety of flavors from the turkey, chicken, and salmon in the recipe. Which pup wouldn’t love that?

But if these high-quality protein sources won’t do it for your loveable furry friend, you won’t go wrong with any of our recommendations above. All of them are complete, balanced diets that’ll give your Pug the best possible nutrition. 

James Fuller

James Fuller

Founder of Honest Whiskers

Hey! I’ve owned a pet pretty much all my life, in fact, I currently have both a cat and a dog! My mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information

Dogs and Cat
Looking for pet food?

Save 30% on your next order

We have partnered with Chewy.com to give you the best deals on top brands of pet food for our readers. Simply click the button below and we’ll take you to their exclusive discount page!

Looking for pet food?

Save 30% on your next order

We have partnered with Chewy.com to give you the best deals on top brands of pet food for our readers. Simply click the button below and we’ll take you to their exclusive discount page!