Best Dog Food for Pugs: What to Feed Your Pug & Feeding Tips

Pugs have a very rich and amazing history that can be traced way back to 700 BC China where they’ve been revered to and treated as a part of the emperors’ family, being fed only the best.

Nowadays, these dogs are common all around the world, and although we might not have a palace to share with them, we still wonder:

What is the best dog food for pugs?

We love our pets and wish to feed them the best we can.

It is not by chance that this breed is the most common in the world. These dogs are ingenious and fun. Their intelligence level is outstanding, making them excellent companions and easy to train.

The ideal pug dog food must be such that will answer all their dietary needs, according to their age, activity status, health situation, etc.


Top Picks for Best Food for Pugs*

Note: Above ratings are based on our experience with the product and/or expert opinions. Click the link above to read best dog food for Pug reviews in 2016 and see the current prices on Amazon.

  skip to recommendations  


Calories Requirements for Pugs

This breed can easily become overweight, and as we all know, it is usually simpler to put on weight than to get rid of it. We need to remember this when feeding our adult pug.

Calories Requirements for Pugs

To keep weight in control, we shouldn’t be free-feeding. Generally speaking, free-feeding isn’t right for pugs which are older than three months.

The regular feed also means that you, the owner, can predict with relative ease the toileting schedule of your pet.

A pug will need roughly around 50 kcals per one pound of its body weight. This amount can vary down or up by 30%, depends on the activity levels of the dog as well as their metabolism and health.

400 Cal
Older Pugs
500 Cal
Typical Adult Pugs
750 Cal
Active Pugs

Note: Above estimated calorie requirements are primarily based on an average weight of Pugs. Before making any significant changes in your dog’s diet, please consult with your veterinarian.

Pug dog food for active dogs will obviously have to answer a bigger demand, providing more calories. Snacks should be considered within the nutritional limits. Puppies are extremely active; high quality food for pug puppies would have taken it into consideration.

Older dogs tend to be less mobile and need fewer calories. Obesity is a common problem for aged pets. By reducing your pooch’s calories count, you will do them a favor. When pugs grow older, you can put less stress on their protein intake.


Micronutrient Requirements for Pugs

There are quite a few elements which are critical to include in the best diet for pugs.

Micronutrient Requirements for Pugs

Best food for pugs will inevitably maintain certain levels of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals and surely, the life’s most important substance – water.

Let’s dive into the facts. I promise that it won’t be just hard numbers.



Protein Rich Pug Food

The days of beefy bodies, steroid junkies, and everyday body-builders are maybe behind us, but the truth is that protein in our food is still imperative.

Dogs in general and pugs, in particular, are powerful creatures. It is crucial for them to receive the amount of protein needed for their muscles build-up and repair.

Protein tends not only to muscles. It is also responsible for new cells formation, hair growth, and more. It assists in the creation of hormones and enzymes needed to support normal function.

Dog food that takes all of the above into consideration will allow your pooch to develop and maintain a healthy immune system, keeping their energy levels high.

Pups are much more active than older dogs; they demand more energy for their growth. It is crucial that we bear this in mind when considering their eating habits.

According to the AAFCO’s (The Association of American Feed Control Officials), the recommendation of protein consumption for growing dogs is 22%, being 18% for adults. That is the minimum, remember. Most high-quality dog foods will exceed these amounts.

You want to make sure that your dog’ protein comes from good, reliable sources. Good quality protein derives from trusted meat source: chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, and fish.



High Quality Pug Dog Food

With all the media hype in the recent years about disadvantages of fat, we might get the misleading opinion that fat is bad.

But it isn’t bad; it is good. It is paramount for many crucial functions in our body, like heat regulation, vitamin absorption, and essential acids.

Why, therefore, has fat received such a negative fame? It’s due to obesity, surely.

While fats are vital, it is crucial we keep their consumption at bay. Too much fat isn’t good. Some of it is a must. Glad we got that cleared.

Pugs’ fur isn’t a thick one, although their skin is. Since they lack sufficient hair to protect them from the cold, it is important to provide them with enough fat in their diet. This fat will insulate their cells, acting as a warm duvet.

As with any other ingredients, it is important where you get your fats from. Junk food will not give your dog the fat that they need. It will only stuff them up and add to the obesity problem. Good fat, on the contrary, will add to their overall health, coat and skin condition, and heart and brain function.

Fat in the diet also adds flavor and lets the pooch to enjoy their food even more.

Most dry dog foods out there contain 9-14% of fat (2-4% in wet foods). If your pet is more on the obese side of the weight scale, try to give them food with no more than 10% fat (2.5% wet).



Pug Puppy Food

Carbohydrates are the fibers, starches, and sugars which can be found in grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk products.

When given in an adequate amount, they provide a useful source of energy.

Since dogs are omnivorous creatures, they will use carbohydrates as a source of available energy. This ability to use both proteins as well as carbs allows healthy pugs to perform well on the majority of commercial diets.

The kibbles structure and texture are created with the help of common cereal grains, such as rice, wheat, corn, oats, and barley. These processed ingredients are also simple for the dog to digest.

For an active dog, carbohydrates will become the first source of available energy once they start exercising.

Not all sources of carbohydrates are equal, so when purchasing dog food for your pet, you might want to keep that in mind. Some are supposed to be better than others. Generally speaking, when buying dog food it makes sense to aim for products with a lower carbohydrate count.

If you try and imagine your lazily slouching pooch in ancient times where there were no couches to lounge on, you will see that they would doubtfully choose grain over rib rack. Dogs are omnivorous. However, the thicker accent is on the meaty side rather than the vegetarian.


Vitamins and Minerals

Dog Food for Pug

These essential nutrients seem never to go out of fashion, or should I say health.

They carry out many essential functions within the body. We are constantly reminded of their importance by our parents.

So, it’s only natural that when we become parents (to kids or pets) we suddenly really care to feed them vitamins and minerals.

Rest assured that best food for pugs would have these necessary ingredients included in its recipe. Dogs happen to like veggies and fruits, and it is a magnificent idea to enrich their diet with those. Carrots, apples and celery, as well as pieces of sweet potatoes or melons, make for a beautiful and healthy treat. They quench the pup’s thirst and help the digestive system.

Vitamins and minerals support and enhance the immune system too.

The crunchiness and freshness of fruits and vegetables are highly appealing to pets making it easy to keep them healthy.

Things like avocado and broccoli are real nutritional bombs. But really, it hardly even matters which vegetable you choose to get your benefits from, they’re all excellent.

Whether it is shoring up bones, helping the wounds to heal or nurture your immune guards, vegetables, and fruits, the loyal friends, are at your service.



Pug Food Allergies

The essence of every living organism, this basic is as crucial for dogs as it is for the humans.

Throughout the seasons, summer or winter, it is important to maintain the water levels of your pug. Surely, during the summer, the intake will probably triple, and it’s ok.

Aim to let your dog drink a minimum of 40 ounces of water per day, and if they want more, let them have it. Getting an overdose of water is hard.

If you have doubts as to how much water is needed, then you can stick to the rule of 1.5 ounces for each pound of weight.

Look that your pooch drinks from reliable sources. As reasonable as it might seem to some to let a dog drink out of a puddle, it might, in fact, prove fatal. Dogs can quickly contract leptospirosis by drinking from sources contaminated with urine of infected animal.

Another thing to avoid is water with chloride. While tiny amounts of chloride are considered to be harmless, it is often hard to tell how much has been ingested.

Therefore, it is best to prevent your pooch from drinking pool water altogether. Chloride can induce symptoms of severe discomfort, burning, and digestive upset, and pose a threat to the respiratory system.


Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Food

Best Dog Food Brand for Pug

When you get to the dog food shelf in a shop and pull out a pack that looks like it will be appealing to your pet, make sure to read the label.

Sometimes, not everything inside is as it should be, shame, but it’s true.

There are certain ingredients that best pug food will not have. Look out for as following:


Propylene Glycol

If you haven’t recognized the name already from being familiar with auto care products, let me introduce you. This element can be found in… antifreeze.

What is it doing in dog food for pugs? You might legitimately ask.

It is there to prevent bacteria growth and assist with reducing moisture. Sounds okay? Not really.

This ingredient decreases bacteria development, but dogs, as humans, need the good bacteria. The moisture that it aims to eliminate is also needed to help digestion. This ingredient might cause dogs to develop lesions (also cancerous) or intestinal blockage.



Food for Pug

These are the internal leftovers of an animal and do not include any of the muscle meat.

Often, by-products will comprise diseased organs and tissues.

When choosing food for your beloved pet, pick something not too artificial in color and which doesn’t include artificial preservatives and fillers.



It is used as a preservative. Want to know what it is? It is an herbicide, and it is toxic.

With the increasing awareness around the quality of dog food, veterinarians started noticing this ingredient being frequently associated with cancer, kidney and liver damage, immune deficiency syndrome and blindness.


Corn/Corn Syrup

Corn is cheap filler which over time might cause to develop fungus or mold and even result in death. Corn syrup is used to sweeten the taste and make it nicer for your dog, but all it does is leading to weight gain, hyperactivity and even a change in their behavior.

Best Dog Food for Pugs Recommendations

Pets are like children, and we want to make sure we take good care of them. Most of us feel that it isn’t enough just to eat something for the sake of having done it.

We want to know that what our dogs eat will benefit them. Pugs are a small breed with unique muzzle shape. Some food makers are considerate of this fact. Here’s a review of 4 different formulas, all of which are good, but some might appeal to us more than others.


1. Holistic Select Lamb Natural Dry Dog Food

Holistic Select Lamb Natural Dry Dog Food

This top quality food for dogs is made with superb ingredients. It contains only natural premium protein derived from real meat, be it lamb, beef, chicken, duck or else.

Offered in a variety of tastes, this dry formula offers a unique system to support healthy digestion. It is focusing around natural fibers, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

The size of the nuggets is perfect for smaller breeds of which the pugs are.

This food is one of the best foods for pugs. It will make your pooch healthy and happy from inside out, taking care of their coat, skin, bones and the rest of it.

It also seems to work well for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This food may seem a tad pricey, but it is well worth the investment. After all, it is the health of your pet you are investing in. The formula will provide proper nutrition, high-quality protein, and top ingredients.

Check reviews and latest price on Amazon.


2. Royal Canin Pug Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Pug Dry Dog Food

This premium dry food is engineered specifically for pugs.

The kibbles are designed to make it convenient for these short-muzzled dogs to grab and enjoy.

This formula is suitable for pugs that are over 10 months old, making it the best food for pug puppies as well as adults.

You can always conclude about the quality of the food you’re feeding your dog by the state of their coat and skin.

The formula of this dry food encourages the skin’s role as a barrier by providing an exclusive complex of vital nutrients to support the skin’s health.

Maintaining healthy weight balance is important, especially as the dogs leave the puppy stage. To keep pugs healthy, appropriately balanced diet is an imperative.

Check reviews and latest price on Amazon.


3. Eagle Pack Lamb & Rice Natural Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack Lamb & Rice Natural Dry Dog Food

This formula will provide your pooch with all natural, everyday recipe of nutritional delight. Its complete and balanced quality ingredients include premium protein from real meat.

That might be the best dry dog food for pugs; it all depends on your pooch’s taste, really.

Most dogs love this formula and once introduced, are happy to stick to it.

Kibbles’ size suits perfectly the little muzzles of pugs, encouraging them to chew.

This dry food offers a variety of tastes as well as sizes. They have an option for larger dogs’ formula too.

When purchasing this food for your dog, you ensure to give them the right balance of carbs, fats, and protein as well as health-boosting antioxidant support, acids and anything else that your pet needs for excellent health.

Your adult pug will get their everyday well-balanced levels of superb nutrients to keep them healthy and happy for many years to come.

Check reviews and latest price on Amazon.


4. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal

This formula is just what a small breed like pugs need.

Some dog owners are so excited about it that they call it the best puppy food for pugs, and well, they’re not wrong.

This dog food’s mission is to provide your pet with total health. It takes into consideration all of its systems and functions.

Full and balanced everyday nutrition is the key to managing them right. The body is an intricate net of organs and actions, and it takes a professional to keep it all working at its utmost.

Designed specifically for smaller mouths, the kibbles of this food are small to fit in comfortably and encourage chewing. Deliciously tasting, all natural ingredients have been added DHA to support a healthy development of the brain and the eye.

In this great formula, you won’t find and meat by-products and things like corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, preservatives or colors.

Check reviews and latest price on Amazon.


Common Health Problems in Pugs

Let’s take a look at three common health problems Pugs can develop. Some of these might happen at any age while others tend to appear due to aging.

None of these is unique to Pugs only, but they are more prone to develop them because of the breed’s shape and tendencies.


Walking Dandruff

Pug Food Recipes

That is the layman’s term for what is known in Latin as cheyletiellosis or skin mites.

It is dermatitis (skin infection) which is caused by the mite Cheyletiella and can affect dogs, cats, rabbits, and humans.

This type of parasite doesn’t burrow under the skin. It lives on and feeds off the outer layer of it. The walking dandruff is highly contagious and transmitted through a direct contact with the infected animal.

Symptoms vary from none at all to strong itching, hair loss and scaled skin. These will usually be on the back of the animal. The symptoms can sometimes be confused with pug’s food allergies.

The treatment is a weekly application of a kind of topical pesticide, an anti-flea product, like Fipronil.



What Food Does a Pug Eat

It’s true that obesity is one of the major health problems of the modern world, and it didn’t skip our pets.

However, we need to remember that pugs possess a unique shape to differ from some of the sleeker looking canines out there.

The pug is what can be called a log shaped dog. Does a log look fat? It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? Our beloved pug will still look stocky and stout even with minimum fat under its skin.

Shapes and sizes aside, pugs do have an actual tendency for obesity. Why is that? To begin with, they aren’t too picky with their food and have a hefty appetite, bless them, being able to eat almost anything.

That is why it is so important to feed them the right food, to get into good habits right from the start.

Also, their short legs make them not big fans of exercising.


Nerve Degeneration

Pug Favorite Food

Degenerative myelopathy is a condition affecting older dogs.

The insidious onset is happening around 8 to 14 years and appears as coordination loss in rear limbs, resulting in gradual paralysis. This condition affects many dog breeds, and the pug is one of them.

That might initially occur in one leg and appear as a weakness, then progressively to worsen over the years until the dog is unable to walk.

Why is this happening?

Although affecting the hind legs, it begins in the thoracic (chest) spinal cord where there is a degeneration of the white matter. This matter contains fibers responsible for the transmission of movement commands and sensory information between the brain and the limbs.


Feeding Schedule for Pug Puppies and Adults

For the first three weeks, your puppy pug needs nothing else than his mother’s milk.

Then the weaning begins and, as it is done gradually, ends around when they’re seven weeks old. That’s right for those who have their moms.

Motherless puppies should follow a similar schedule but with a specially developed formula, not cows’ milk!

This specially developed formula is designed to contain everything a pup needs and is the best food for pug puppies in the early stages of life.

Good Dog Food for Pug

Once the pup is weaned, the only drink it needs is water.

Puppies aged three to six months should eat three times per day, a third of a cup each time. When buying dog food for pugs, look for a puppy formula.

Coming into adolescent, aged six months to one year, the feeding schedule changes slightly into twice a day, and three-quarters of a cup each feed.

From then and up to eight years, it stays twice a day, but the amount moves into half a cup. (Good luck with that. It is still a pug we’re talking about, and they love their food).

Once the dog is a senior, less should be given once yet, since with age comes the danger of obesity. It is twice a day then, and a third of a cup for each feed.


Frequently Asked Questions about Food for Pugs

Kids learn by asking endless questions. Why? Because that’s the best way to cover a subject matter.

Let’s expand our knowledge pool by answering the next six burning questions, one for each day of the week, the seventh day excluded.


1. How is Pug puppy food different from adult food?

Puppies are still developing and growing each and every day, meaning that they require more food. They need to obtain more essentials like proteins, fats, amino acids, minerals, etc. to let their bodies grow properly.

So, while after weaning, their food is the same as of an adult dog, the amount is larger. Feeding times don’t have to be as strict as of an adult pug.


2. Is meat meal good for Pug puppies to eat?

It certainly is. However, you need to know that it is free of low-quality by-products like horns, hoofs, etc. Meat meal is essentially ground meat, highly concentrated with nutrients.

When choosing the best puppy food for pugs, see that the meat meal comes from an easily digestible source, like chicken for example or turkey. It is best to get a specially formulated puppy food. You can also ask the breeder for advice.


Best Dog Food for Pug With Skin Allergies


3. How much should I feed my pug? What about feeding pug puppy?

Pugs and food are an everlasting romance. Pugs love to eat, but they are also prone to developing obesity, so, the answer is not too much, if you manage to resist their begging.

Pug puppy should be fed around three times a day, not included snack which should be saved for training and rewards. Adult pugs should eat twice a day and a lesser amount.


4. How do I select a high-quality pug puppy food?

When picking the best food for pugs, puppies or adults, look at the label. See that it doesn’t include by-products, artificial flavors and preservatives.

When reading about meat meal, see that it specifies which animal the meat meal derives from. If it isn’t stated, it might be because the company doesn’t want to put you off, which should raise red flags for you.


Recommended Dog Food for Pug


5. When is the right time to start giving treats to Pug puppy?

Treats should never comprise to more than a 10% of the dog’s diet and best if they’re used as a reward for training. Training can start at six weeks of age. Your dog will benefit a lot from healthy snacks.

Of course, you can buy a readymade version of those. You can, however, also use vegetables and fruits as treats. Dogs love them, and they are healthy and low in calories, probably less pricey too.


6. What about pug food allergies? Do pugs catch food allergies?

There are foods which are purely toxic to pugs like chocolate or macadamia nuts. Others are likely to cause allergies not because of their toxicity but as such. These include onions, raisins, grapes and the white of an egg.

Pugs should avoid those altogether. If your pug’s scratching seems to be food related, check for ingredients. Corn and wheat are more likely to provoke sensitivity than rice.


Pug Dog Food Recommendations



The best dog food for pugs is such that comes from trusted sources. You should be able to read and comprehend the label.

Some dog products are of a better quality than others. You will be able to tell nearly straight away by your pooch’s skin, coat and overall health if what they eat is good for them.

You might be better off choosing pug dog food with shorter kibbles size to suit the short muzzle of your dog.

Look for fresh ingredients deriving from real meat. Vitamins, minerals, fats and last but not least proteins are all imperative for a balanced and healthy diet. Water’s vital; make sure your dog gets plenty of it.

If your pug starts scratching, and you’ve excluded the option of mites, you might have to consider changing their diet, something in it might cause allergies.

Pugs will benefit greatly from exercise since obesity is definitely on the list of their potential health risks.

Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food, Lamb was reviewed by Brian Hersh on March 10, 2018.

*Disclaimer: Our best dog food for Pugs reviews are based mostly on our expertise and the experts/veterinarians we consulted with and the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many products, but it’s not possible to test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and before changing your dog’s diet, please consult with a local veterinarian.

Share the article
LinkedIn Pinterest
Get exclusive tips

Learn how to keep your dog safe, healthy and happy with exclusive tips, insights and discount coupons that we only share with our private newsletter subscribers.

Get Exclusive Tips & Offers

Comments →

  1. Frank Kane

    Wonderful blog! Definitely worth sharing with our fellow pug lovers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PeanutPaws is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Fantastic Deals on Dog Supplies at!
View The Deals!
Stay up to date. Like us on Facebook.

Close: I already like PeanutPaws