8 Best dog food for pugs – 2020 review

dog food for pugs

Looking for the best dog food for Pugs. Let us help you with our list of top 8 recommended dog food for pugs and a buying guide to let you know why they are best.

Pugs are full of character. Sometimes playful & clownish and sometimes sober & calm. They love to be the center of attraction and amuse us with their naughty tricks.

We as pet owners think the best for them and what more could be better than great food for this cute square-faced wrinkle dog.

Features you should look for

Let us look at features that you should look for while selecting the right food for your pug –

Low calorie food

Pugs are greedy eaters who are prone to obesity. You should choose food which has fewer calories. Also don’t allow them to freely eat as and when they want. This may lead to obesity.

Small Kibble size

Pugs are small dogs and they may not be able to chew a large size kibble. It is recommended to have dog food that has a smaller size kibble so they can chew it easily.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids

Pugs are prone to atopy – skin allergy which causes itchiness. Also, most of the pugs except black pugs have a double coat and hence they shed a lot.

Dog food for pugs should help to keep skin and coat healthy. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids help with the same. So look for food which contains them.

Best dog food for pugs – 2020

  1. Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog FoodRecommended dog food for Pugs
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs
  3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
  4. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog FoodBest grain-free dog food for Pugs
  5. AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Small Breed
  6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food
  7. Wellness Complete for Small Breeds – Turkey and Oatmeal
  8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small & MiniBest dog food for promoting weight loss

Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food

The Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food is our recommended dog food for pugs.

Royal Canin is popular for producing dog-specific food. They address common health issues while creating dog food. They also designed the kibble size and shape to match the mouth.

In the case of Pug, they are prone to allergies and can become obese. Royal Canin designed this dog food to specifically serve the nutritional needs of a pug that can aid them in keeping allergies at bay and keeping them fit.

This dog food contains Omega 3 Fatty acids that help in keeping the skin and coat healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids also help in reducing shedding.

It also contains 23 % protein and 14 % fat that helps to keep the pug healthy and prevent obesity.

L-Carnitine in this dog food for pugs helps in keeping the muscles toned.

The kibbles are designed to help Pugs easily pick up and chew their food and also improve their dental health.

Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food is suitable for Pugs older than 10 months. Royal Canin has a different product for Pug puppies.

This dog food is not grain free and hence not suitable for pugs who are allergic to corn etc.

ProsCons
Dog food specifically designed for pugsIt is not grain-free and has corn that some pugs may be allergic to
Helps to keep Pug skin and coat healthy and allergy-free
Low in calories so helps preventing obesity
Kibble size is perfect for small dog like Pug

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs

Hill’s are a popular name in Pet food industry. This Dry Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs by Hill’s Science is made specifically for the needs of small dogs like Pugs.

It has the right blend of chicken meat and whole grains. There are no added flavors. The protein helps in building and keeping the muscles healthy.

Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E in this fog food help in keeping the skin and coat of your pug healthy. It also contains a proprietary antioxidant blend that will promote the lifelong health of your dog.

This food does not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or chicken by-products. The kibble size is small that is suitable for a small dog breed like Pug.

As per the manufacturer, this is not recommended for puppies or for dogs aged more than 6 years and we will also recommend avoiding this dog food for your pug if your dog’s age is not between 1 – 6 years.

ProsCons
High in protein that helps in keeping muscles healthyIf the dog is sensitive to food allergies, he may face issues with this as well
Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E help in keeping the skin and coat of pug healthy
Contains Hill’s proprietary antioxidants for a strong immune system
Small Kibble size is suitable for small dog breeds like Pug

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food

Pugs are prone to become overweight and Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dog Food is designed to keep them healthy and fit.

This dog food has got high-quality protein that helps to build and maintain muscles healthy. It also has essential Vitamins and minerals that help to keep the immune system healthy.

Omega 3 fatty acids in Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dog Food help keeping the skin and coat of the Pug healthy.

This pug food does not contain corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives which makes it good for pugs having an allergy to them.

There are 3 flavors to choose from.

1) Small Breed Chicken & Brown Rice

2)Small Breed Fish & Brown Rice Recipe

3)Small Breed Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe

ProsCons
No additional flavors or preservativesHigh in carbohydrates due to whole grains which can lead to weight gain
No corn, wheat or soyThere are some reviews on Amazon, where some particular batches of food were not palatable.
small kibble size for small dog breeds
High Protein content (26 % )
De-boned meat
Omega 3 fatty acids help in keeping skin and coat healthy

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is made up of farm-raised chicken, brown rice, and sweet potato base. Meat Protein in this food helps in building and maintaining of Pug muscles.

This food also contains highly digestible whole-grain carbohydrates like brown rice and oatmeal. They are a great source of fiber, energy, and essential nutrients. The natural fiber in this food will help in your dogs’ digestion.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in this dog food help to keep the pug skin and coat healthy.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food contains no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy protein, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

ProsCons
Digestible whole grainsHas an unpleasant smell
Protein for building the muscles and keeping them healthySome sensitive dogs may be allergic to it
Omega fatty acids keep the skin and coat healthyNot completely grain-free so may not be suitable for pugs who are allergic to grains
No additional flavors and preservatives
Does not contain corn or wheat so this food is suitable for pugs who are allergic to them

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food is our choice if you are looking for grain-free food. Nature’s Recipe has been making dog food for over 35 years and has nearly perfected the art of making some of the best pet food.

The food contains high protein (25 %) and fat content of only 15 %. Chicken in the dog food help with proteins that build muscles and keep them healthy.

Sweet potatoes and pumpkin provide carbohydrates with grain-free, easy-to-digest dog food to complement the delicious chicken.

Copper and zinc proteinate in this dog food help supports healthy skin and a shiny coat. This does not contain any grains like corn, wheat, or soy so this is suitable for dogs having an allergy to grains.

The size of the kibble is small that helps small dogs like Pugs to easily eat the same. This is a good option to consider if you are looking for grain-free dog food for Pugs.

ProsCons
High Protein help in building and maintaining musclesWhile it is grain-free, there is a study by the FDA being done to check the correlation between a grain-free diet and certain heart disease.
Small kibble size is suitable for pugs
Grain free – Suitable for dogs allergic to grains

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Small Breed

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Small Breed Adult Formula is specifically made to cater to the needs of small dogs that are under 20 lbs. The manufacturer focused on healthy skin while designing this food.

Chicken is the base ingredient that gets this food the high-quality protein required for the pugs. It has 26 % protein and 16 % fat. It contains whole grain carbs in the form of brown rice and oatmeal.

The food also has California Avocado and Avocado oil which is rich in Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids. They help to ensure that your Pug would have healthy skin.

AvoDerm Natural pet foods have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help protect your pet’s immune function.

This dog food is corn, soy, or wheat-free and hence can be given to pugs who are allergic to them. It contains only natural ingredients and does not have any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Kibble size is small to suit the needs of small dog breeds like Pugs.

ProsCons
Protein from chicken help in building up of musclesNot completely grain-free so may not be suitable for pugs who are allergic to grains
Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids from the avocado help in keeping the skin and coat healthySome sensitive dogs may be allergic to it
Has antioxidants that protect the pet’s immune system
No artificial additives
Small kibble size is suitable for Pugs

Wellness Complete for Small Breeds – Turkey and Oatmeal

Wellness is one of the respectable brand in the USA.

This dry food has a high protein base made up of Turkey, chicken, salmon, and oatmeal which is easy to digest and helps building and maintaining muscles.

It has all-natural ingredients without any chemical preservatives or artificial additives.

Wellness Complete for Small Breeds also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals for complete balanced nutrition. It also contains Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which help to keep the skin and coat healthy.

Glucosamine and chondroitin in this food are extremely beneficial joint supplements for Pugs.  

Size of kibble is small to suit the needs of small breed dogs like Pugs

ProsCons
High in proteinsIt is not grain-free so not recommended for pugs who are allergic to grains
All natural ingredients
Has omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin
small kibble size

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small & Mini

Hill’s science claims that Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small & Mini reduced weight in over 70 % of dogs within 10 weeks of consumption.

This food is designed for losing weight and keeping your small dog healthy and fit.

This is ideal for Pugs as they are prone to obesity and keeps their weight in check. With the right amount of exercise and using this food, you can keep your pug healthy and in shape.

The base ingredient in this dog food is chicken that provides proteins supported by barley, brown rice, and pea bran to give a balanced diet.

The mix promotes good digestion because it has prebiotic fibers. Flaxseeds in this food is an excellent plant source for omega-3 fatty acids.

This food is not recommended for Puppies or pregnant/nursing dogs.

ProsCons
Promotes weight lossThis food is not recommended for puppies or pregnant/nursing dogs
It has chicken as the main ingredient which is a good source of protein.Pugs who are underweight should not be fed this
Has Omega 3 Fatty acids from Flax seeds.
Kibble size is small
best dog food for pugs

Best dog food for Pug Puppy

The requirement for puppy pug would be different from a grown-up. At this stage of growth, they need more proteins for growth and proper development. Let us at our recommended dog food for Pug Puppies.

Royal Canin Pug Puppy Dry Dog Food

The Royal Canin company is known to study dog breeds and make breed-specific dog food. Royal Canin Pug Puppy Dry Dog Food is specifically made for Pug puppies to meet their nutrition requirements for health and growth.

It has got chicken meat that helps with the protein. It has brewers rice, corn for carbohydrates, and fiber.

An exclusive mix of antioxidants including vitamin E supports their developing immune systems and keeps their bodies growing strong.

Essential nutrients like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from fish oil help nourish healthy skin and coat.

Kibble size is tailored for pug puppies small jaw so they can chew the food easily.

This food is recommended for pug puppies who are 8 weeks to 10 months old.

ProsCons
Tailored for Pug PuppiesIt has corn and other grains so not suitable for dogs allergic to these grains
High Protein
small kibble size for pugs

Best dog food for senior Pugs

Once Pugs reach 7 + years, they may become a bit dull due to aging. This may lead to a slow metabolism.

They need nutrients that will keep them healthy with strong bones and muscles. Let us look below our recommended choice of dog food for senior pugs.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Dog Food is specifically made for senior dogs of a small breed like pugs.

The Blue Buffalo Company has made this food to cater to the needs of senior dogs with balanced nutritious food.

This food contains high-quality protein from deboned chicken and L-Carnitine that helps in maintaining healthy muscles.

It also contains wholesome whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit which has less fat and more digestive fiber to aid digestion.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin in this food help in keeping healthy joints. This dog food does not contain any artificial flavors or additives.

ProsCons
Tailored for senior pug needsSome sensitive dogs may be allergic to this food
Supports joints
Easy to digest
All natural ingredients
best pug food

What are nutritional needs of Pugs?

Pugs are greedy eaters. They are typically not much picky of the food they eat. But we, as responsible pet owners, should give them the right diet that has a balance of all the required nutrients.

Proteins

Pugs like any other dogs need protein as their essential requirement. The most popular source for protein in dog food is chicken.

Pet food manufacturers also source it from beef, turkey, fish, etc. An average adult pug is not as active as some other dog breeds.

Pug needs at least 18 % protein in their diet. A puppy Pug may need more (at least 26 %) considering their growing stage.

Healthy Carbs, Vitamins and Minerals

Pugs are prone to obesity and the primary ingredient in their diet should be meat. This should be followed by healthy carbs, vitamins, and minerals that should come from brown rice, sweet potato, green beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, and fruits.

This helps them to have a balanced nutritious diet.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids

Pugs are prone to skin allergies. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids may help in keeping their skin and coat healthy. Most of the dog food manufacturers source them from fish oil.

Anti Oxidants

Antioxidants in dog food help protecting the immune system. This also helps in fighting the effects of aging.

Should I feed grain free diet to my Pug?

These days, there is a craze for specialty foods like sugar-free, dairy-free, etc. Similarly, many pet food brands started promoting grains free dog food as well.

But is grain bad for your pug?

No! Grain also provides important nutrients in the dog diet. While dogs are carnivores and the number one ingredient in dog food should be meat, the grain is also required for providing essential nutrients like carbs, vitamin E, and Linoleic acid.

Thus, grain-free dog food does not mean it is healthier dog food.

Contrary to popular belief, allergy in dogs due to grains is very rare. If you feel or find that your dog is allergic to grains, check with a Vet first before switching to a grain-free diet.

Also, note there is a study being done by the US FDA on the reported cases of cardiac disease (DCM) due to grain-free food.

dog food for pug

What you should not feed your Pug?

Commercial products would typically take care of this, but if you are giving any homemade food, avoid giving below food to your pugs. This is not a complete list of food to avoid.

  1. Onion
  2. Chocolate
  3. Grapes
  4. Chicken bones
  5. Peaches
  6. Plums or cherries
  7. Coffee

You should not switch to grain-free as this is not any healthier. Grains are also required for essential nutrients. Also, dog allergies due to grain are rare (less than 1 %). But if your Pug is allergic to grains, choose a grain-free diet after speaking to your vet.

FAQs

How many calories are required for a Pug?

The calorie requirements of the pug depend on his age.
Puppy Pug – When a puppy, Pug requires more calories to enable his growth. It is recommended to give him 50-55 calories per pound of his body weight.
Adult Pug – When an adult, Pug requires 40-45 calories per pound of their body weight.
Senior Pug – Senior Pugs usually require fewer calories based upon their activity level.

How much food should I feed my pug?

Pugs are greedy eaters and free feeding may make them prone to become obese.
Typically a puppy pug should be given 1 ounce of food per one pound of his body weight.
For adult pugs, the amount is halved and they should have 1/2 ounce per pound of their body weight.

Pug puppies up to 8 months of age should have three meals a day. Adult Pugs should get the right amount of food divided into two or three meals. Senior Pugs would need multiple smaller meals a day to facilitate digestion.

Is my Pug overweight?

The recommended weight for Pug is 14 to 18 pounds. Anything above 22 pounds should not be normal for a male and 20 pounds for a female. Some signs to know if your pug is overweight are:
1. Check if his waist between ribs and hips is slightly leaner
2. Gently press at the rib cage and check if you can feel his ribs. Ribs should have a thin covering of fat. If you are not able to feel, your pug is likely overweight.
3. Shortness of breath may also happen due to obesity.

Final Thoughts

Our best pick for the dog food for pugs is Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food

This is specially designed for pugs to help them with skin allergies, keeping them fit as pugs are prone to obesity.

You should also keep below factors in mind while choosing your dog food –

  • Allergies
  • Health Conditions
  • Digestive Issues
  • Age
  • Activity Levels

While changing your dog food, start small, and see if there are any allergic reactions. Stop using the new food if you see any negative signs. Even the best food may not be right for your dog if he is allergic to any of its ingredients.

Hope we gave you some good insights but if you have any thoughts that you want to share on best dog food for pugs, please do share the same in the comments below

References:

  1. https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/full/10.2460/javma.253.11.1390
  2. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-fdas-grain-free-diet-alert/
  3. https://www.ufaw.org.uk/dogs/pug-skin-fold-dermatitis
  4. https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/wellness-dog-food-super-5-mix-dry/

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