Best Dog Food for Pugs

The Pug breed is becoming more popular because of its fun-loving nature and cute smashed-in-looking faces. However, some people have a hard time figuring out what the best dog food for Pugs is.

I am here to break down everything you need to know about a Pug’s diet. You will find different products below that contain the things necessary for a balanced diet for Pugs. Also, check out the best dog food for Pugs reviews below.

Dog Food For Pugs

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Best Dog Food for Pugs – Reviews

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food

This adult Pug food from the popular company Royal Canin has made a specific food just for your Pug. It meets nutritional guidelines to give your Pug a balanced nutritional diet.

The Royal Canin company works with veterinarians and nutritionists to make sure they are creating the highest quality food for that specific dog breed. The food is packed with vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy.

The food will make your Pug’s skin, coat, bones, and joint health so much better. The kibble’s shape has been designed small to be easy to digest and for your Pug to grab. This food aims to give your Pug adequate nutrition without excessive weight gain.

This food has a total of 23 percent protein. Protein is vital for your dog’s health. It also has a blend of 14 percent fat. Each cup contains 314 calories.

The company has also taken into account a Pug’s breathability issue, so they made the kibble size small, so it’s easy for your dog’s jaw and mussel to handle. In addition, they won’t have to chew the kibble a lot, so it won’t aggerate the breathability when chewing.

This is the best dog food for Pugs because it is specifically tailored to them. Everything gets considered when it comes to a Pug, and this company has done a great job making this perfect for your furry friend.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food

The Blue Buffalo brand makes sure they use the best quality ingredients that they can get. They make sure they use 100% all-natural ingredients like chicken breast. Protein is used in the first few ingredients.

They also make sure they add plenty of vitamins and minerals into their food to make sure your dog is getting the proper nutrition. They avoid food that could cause potential problems for Pugs, such as wheat, gluten, soy, and corn.

If your dog is typically a picky eater, one way to get them to switch to the Blue Buffalo brand is by mixing the food with their old food little by little. You can also try adding a little water to make it softer or give it a different texture.

Fish oil is also added to the food to give your dog essential omegas and fatty acids. Omegas help your Pug’s skin and coat to make it healthy and strong. This is the most affordable option for the best dog food for Pugs. You can get a big bag of dog food from Blue Buffalo at a very budget-friendly price.

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed

This is another great option for small dogs such as Pugs because it has a great protein to fat ratio. Your dog will get a 36 percent protein content and around 15 percent fat. Wellness Core is another great brand for healthy dog food.

This is a perfect grain-free option for your Pug. Some Pugs can be sensitive to gluten and have allergies to it. This dog food contains no corn, soy, or grains.

The kibble size is significantly smaller than regular dog food. This is great for your Pug’s smallmouth. They will be able to digest the smaller food easier.

Each cup of food given to your dog contains 396 calories. This is perfect for smaller breed dogs. Most dogs in the toy group category would benefit from this food.

Another great thing that I love about this brand is the added omegas into the food. These omegas benefit your dog in so many ways. They make your dog’s coat look shiny, healthy, and smooth. It can even help your dog with joint pains.

Also, this food is made right here in the United States, Which is another feature making it one of the best dog food for Pugs.

Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food Lamb

The Holistic brand is another that strives to use healthy all-natural ingredients in their food. They make all their dog food with a great amount of protein, healthy carbs, fats, fruits, and vegetables. All of these things help your dog have healthy digestion.

The main protein source in this food is lamb, followed by oatmeal, peas, pumpkin, apples, rice, and chicken fat. This dog food has all-natural ingredients that you can actually pronounce.

This food does not contain artificial ingredients, colors, preservatives, or fillers. The food offers your dog great digestive support, and it contains probiotics and enzymes.

The kibble is right around the size of an unshelled peanut. This isn’t as small as some of the other dog food products that I recommend for pugs. It still is small enough not to cause them trouble when they eat.

This dog food has more calories than some of the other dog foods. One cup of this dog food will give your dog around 454 calories. 23% of those calories are full of protein and 15% of fats.

This is one of the best dog foods for Pugs because of all the all-natural ingredients. This is a more expensive brand but a high-quality food brand.

Avoderm Natural Weight Control Dry Dog Food

Is your Pug slightly overweight? If so, then this may be the perfect dog food for your Pug. This dog food reduces the fat and calorie content for Pugs that may be overweight or not as active as they used to.

The dog food is made with 100% all-natural ingredients: gluten-free, corn-free, and soy-free. It also contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or by-products. The food is broken up into 20 percent crude protein, 8 percent crude fat, and 5 percent crude fiber. Each cup contains 329 calories.

You will find a blend of ingredients from chicken meal, rice, avocados, diced tomatoes, chicken fat, and much more. The avocados give the food a good blend of omegas and fiber.

The food is small and easy for your pug to digest. If your dog needs additional help eating the kibble, you can add broth or water to soften it up. The dog food is made and produced right here in the United States. It is made right in California, and most of the ingredients are sourced in the United States.

This is another affordable option for your dog, especially if they need help with weight management. Make sure you are following the guidelines on how much food to feed your Pug.

Best Dog Food for Pug Puppies

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food

As you know, we really like the Wellness brand. We reviewed another one of their dog food products above. This is a complete dog food for your growing Pug puppy.

The goal is to provide your puppy with complete nutrition by using whole foods. Some of the ingredients used are turkey, oatmeal, salmon, veggies, and fruits.

The turkey is the main source of protein. The blueberries and spinach contain high amounts of antioxidants. Also, the flaxseed contributes by giving your puppy a healthy coat and skin.

The food contains a 28% crude protein, 19% crude fat, and 4.25% of fiber. This is a great blend of protein to fat ratio. Your growing Pug will eat a lot but also play a lot, so they are constantly burning off that energy.

The kibble is the perfect size for your puppy’s small mouth. You can even soften the food further if needed with some water or broth.

The recipe used to make this high-quality dog food does not contain any artificial colors, fragrances, flavors, preservatives, wheat, or soy.

The last thing that makes this one of the best dog foods for pug puppies is the fact that it has a great source of DHA inside to promote a healthy brain and eye function. This is a great quality in a puppy dog food.

Best Dog Food for Senior Pugs

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 11+ For Senior Dogs

This senior dog food formula is designed for dogs older than 11 years old. This is a great option for all different type of dog breeds. This formula works great for aging Pugs.

The food formula is made with amino acids that help keep your dog’s organs working and functioning great. The antioxidants inside the food help to minimize the effects of aging in your dog. It will also help to boost your dog’s immune system.

This dog food is veterinarian recommended because of the specific formula the food uses to help with aging in your dog.

The Hill’s Science company uses all-natural ingredients that you can actually pronounce, like chicken meal, pearled barley, rice, beet pulp, chicken fat, and liver.

The kibble is made in an extra small size, so it’s easy for senior dogs of all sizes and breed to get the food into their mouth.

The kibble is naturally a little softer to be easier on your dog’s teeth and gums, but if you wish to soften it further, you can do so by adding some water or broth.

This food does all the things you want it to do for your senior dog, such as keeping their joints healthy and mobile, added minerals for heart and bladder health, and extra omegas for a shiny coat.

This is also one of the most affordable options you can purchase for your Pug.

Best Dog Food for Pugs

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Pugs

Choosing the right dog food for your Pug is very important. You want to make sure you give them everything they need in a good quality food. Check out each section in my buying guide to help you narrow down your decision.


Protein is extremely important when it comes to the health of your Pug. Their diet needs to consist of at least 18% of crude protein. In addition, when your Pug is a puppy, you need to give your dog at least 22% of crude protein.

You want the protein to be one of the main ingredients in the dog food. If your dog food lists the protein towards the end of the ingredient list, then you have a terrible dog food, and I highly suggest you switch it.

Also, make sure if you do have a dog food that contains animal by-products that there are other main sources of protein along with it. So don’t buy a dog food that only contains animal by-products.


You want to have a variety of healthy carbohydrates for your Pug that will slowly release over time, giving them energy.

The best forms of carbohydrates in dog food are sweet potatoes, brown rice, or even regular potatoes. Plant-based carbohydrates are great and should contain about 5% of your dog’s diet. You will find great carbohydrates in the best dog food for Pugs review above.


Another great source of energy for your Pug will be from the crude fats found in their food. This can come from chicken fat or even fish oil. Some dog food companies even use avocados for fats.

The fat in your dog’s diet can be anywhere from 5-10%. It really depends on how much protein is in the food than the percentage varies.

Fatty Acids/Omegas

Your dog’s diet should also contain some fatty acids or omegas. This is very important to keep your dog’s skin and coat, looking as healthy as possible.

Fatty acids can help to keep your dog’s skin moisturized and not so dry and cracked. However, pugs can get very irritated skin, so it is important to keep an eye on it.

Kibble Size

The size of your dog’s food is very important, especially if you are a Pug owner. Pugs have very funny-shaped heads and jaws. Therefore, they can have a very tough time chewing food that is entirely too big for them.

Pugs have an increased risk of choking on their food while eating, so that is why the size of the kibble is essential. You need to purchase food that is made for small breed dogs. The food should clearly state for small breed or large breed.

All of the products I have reviewed above come in very small pieces around the size of a dime. This will make it easy for your dog to grab with their mouth and chew it. If your dog is older, you can add a little bit of water to soften the food further.

Best Pug Food

Feeding Guidelines by Age

You need to understand exactly how much to feed your Pug from when they are puppies until they reach adult size.

0-3 Months Old: Your new Pug puppy should be eating around four times a day. This may seem like a lot, but it should be small meals throughout the day.

3-6 Months Old: Your puppy should transition from four down to three times a day.

6-12 Months Old: You can now switch your dog to have two meals during the day, once in the morning and in the evening.

Over a Year Old: Now that your Pug isn’t a puppy anymore, you can continue with the two meals a day. Some owners just feed one big meal during the day, but I think the food should be broken up into two meals for a Pug. It reduces the risk of bloat.

*You can switch to adult dog food once your Pug is over a year old. You can follow the feeding guidelines that either your veterinarian has set or listed on the back of your purchased food.

Nutrition Your Pug Needs

A healthy Pug will typically weigh around 15 to 18 pounds. They need a rough estimate of 50 calories per eat pound they weigh. So, an average size Pug will need anywhere from 700-900 calories a day.

Your Pug will need anywhere around one cup to a cup and a half of food each day. The food should be broken up into multiple meals throughout the day.

Pugs should only be fed twice a day. Anytime food is placed in front of a Pug, they are going to gobble it up and eat it.

Max The Pug

Pug Puppy Nutrition

Pug puppies have their own set of nutritional requirements. Puppies tend to need more calories than an adult dogs because their little bodies are growing so rapidly, and they are burning way more calories too.

Pug puppies need food with 22% crude protein inside. This will be sufficient to sustain your pup. If you can find one with more protein, then great! Your pup will also need about an 8% fat content. If it has more, then it is okay to balance out a high protein content.

DHA is another important thing to look for in your Pug puppy’s food. DHA helps develop brain and eye growth in your dog. Calcium found in puppy food is also important as it helps grow their skeletal system.


Below you will find common questions and answers to Pug-related dog food topics.

How Many Calories Should a Pug have a Day?

Pugs need around 50 calories per pound of weight they have. This is a general guideline, but you will still need to take into account your specific dog’s activity level, metabolism, and fitness.

If your dog is already overweight, then I suggest giving them fever calories than the recommended. At the same time, if your dog is very active, then it may need more calories.

If you have a Pug puppy, they will need slightly more calories because they are very active and also growing. Their metabolism is working very hard, so they are burning a lot of calories. You can adjust your dog accordingly, staying within a 30% range.

How Often Should You Feed a Pug?

When your Pug is a puppy, they will need multiple small meals throughout the day. As they grow and get older, you slowly reduce the amount of meals they have throughout the day.

You can take a look at my feeding guidelines by age section in this article to know exactly when and how many times a day to feed your Pug.

Eventually, once your Pug is over a year old, the goal is to have them eating only two meals a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening.

How Much Food Should You Feed Your Pug?

Every dog food is truly different when it comes to how much is recommended to give a dog. You need to follow the instruction on the back of the small breed dog food bags as well as use your own discretion.

Pugs only need a cup of food a day. This should be divided into two separate meals. So, a half cup in the morning and the other half in the evening.

Max Smiling
How Long Do You Feed your Pug Puppy food?

You should really continue feeding your Pug puppy food until they are over a year old. This will give them all the nutrients they need for their skeletal structure to keep growing. The food will have added DHA in it as well, so it’s great to have your puppy on for a whole year.

Is My Pug Overweight?

Pugs need to be within a specific weight range, not to be considered overweight. For example, if your Pug falls outside of the 14-19-pound range, then your dog is overweight.

No, if your dog is just outside of this, around 20 pounds or even 21 pounds, I wouldn’t be too worried because their individual shape and size may be a little different.

If you have a male over 22 pounds and a female just around 20, then they are most likely overweight. If you are concerned about your Pug’s weight, make sure you go see a veterinarian and see if there is any way they can get your dog on a good healthy eating plan or diet.

Should Pugs Eat Grain-Free Food?

There are certain dog breeds that will really benefit from a grain-free diet, but the Pug dog breed is not one that needs to be on a strict grain-free diet. However, it is still important to feed your Pug a diet that is full of nutrition, protein, carbs, veggies, and fruit.

What Protein is Best For Pugs?

Dog food can be made with a variety of different proteins; it really just depends on what that brand decides to use. Some common proteins used are chicken, beef, lamb, and fish. There is not one protein that is better than the other all will work great for your Pug.

Pug Dog Eating
Is Royal Canin Good For Pugs?

Yes, one of our favorite dog food companies is the Royal Canin. They make specially formulated dog food for different dog breeds, and as you can see above and below, this is one of the best options for the best dog foods for Pugs.

How Much Water Should a Pug Drink?

Water is essential for dogs and should always be accessible to your dog. Generally, your dog will need one ounce of water per pound it weighs. For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, it will need 20 ounces of water.

What is the Best Food for Pugs?

The best dog food for Pugs, in my personal opinion, is the Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food. This dog food has been formulated specifically for the Pug breed. The kibble is tiny enough that it is easy for your Pug to chew and handle.

The ingredients are all-natural, and there is a great source of protein and fats. This food gives your dog a balanced diet and all the calories they need.

What is the Best Food for Pug Puppies?

The best dog food for Pug puppies in my option is the Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dog Food. This is the perfect nutrition your puppy needs. The food is added with vitamins and minerals that are essential to a puppy’s growth.

The food also contains DHA, which helps develop a puppy’s eyes and brain. In addition, the kibble is extremely small, so your puppy will be able to chew through the food easily without hurting its jaw or teeth.


There is a wide variety of dog foods on the market, and it can be hard to distinguish which ones will work best for the Pug breed. I hope you have taken everything I have written about into consideration when picking out the best dog food for Pugs. I know that the above dog food products are some of the best for the Pug breed.

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