How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Pugs

Pugs are precious dogs which often crawl deep into their owner's hearts. If you have ever owned one, you will know how much these fantastic pups are worth.

Part of being a responsible pet owner is caring for your pet. To do this, you will have to make sure you feed them the best food possible.

That's why we are going to look and the best dog food for pugs. To do this, we are going to talk about the features that make each one stand out.


Top 5 Best Dog Food for Pugs: Comparison Chart

Here is a summary of the three highest rated products in this review.

Editor's Picks

Product​​​​ Name


Best Choices

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug

Best Food for Pugs of All Life Stages

Whole Earth Farms Small Breed Recipe

Best Dog Food for Pug Puppies

Cesar Puppy Wet Dog Food

Best Food for Supporting Pugs Mobility

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Best Grain-free Dog Food for Pugs

Solid Gold - Fit & Fabulous - Grain-Free

5 of the Best Dog Food for Pugs

best dog food for a pug
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food - The Best Premium Dog Food for Adult Pugs

First off, we are going to look at the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug. As the name points out this formula, the manufacturers produced this formula specifically for pugs. Therefore, they made it with these dogs nutritional requirements in mind.

The food is dry in the form of kibble. Royal Canin designed these pellets so that they are more comfortable for pugs to pick up and chew with their short, square muzzle and thick lips. The kibble is small, and the clover shape improves its grip.

You can feed this product to adult pugs. These are pets who are older than ten months old.

The product contains EPA and DHA which are essential for healthy skin and coat. So it can help you to protect your dog from skin infections.

Besides this, it contains L-carnitine and glucosamine. These nutrients support muscle growth and bone and joint health respectively.

The food is low in calories at only 315 kilocalories per cup. Therefore, it can be a great choice if you want your dog to lose weight or prevent them from becoming overweight in the first place.

But it still contains enough protein which is mainly sourced from chicken. On top of this, it is reinforced with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

  • Made specifically for pugs
  • Suitable for adult dogs
  • Tailor-made kibble for pugs
  • Contains EPA and DHA
  • The formula includes L-carnitine and glucosamine
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Low calorie
  • High in protein
  • Not suitable for puppies and seniors
  • Expensive
  • Only available in chicken

Whole Earth Farms Small Breed Recipe - The Best Food for Pugs of All Life Stages

The next product on the list is Whole Earth Farms Small Breed Recipe. This is also dry food in the form of kibble. The pellets are small enough that most adult pugs should be able to eat them.

One of the best features of this product is that it's suitable for dogs of all life stages. Therefore, you can feed it to your puppy, adult, or senior dog. But you should be aware that puppies younger than six weeks often struggle eating solid hard food like kibble.

The food is available in several recipes. But the one we are looking at the pork, beef and lamb version. This one is poultry free which could be beneficial for pugs with allergies.

Besides this, Whole Earth Farms made the product grain-free. It doesn't contain any soy, corn or wheat. Overall, you should consider this food for dogs with any allergies or sensitivities. Feeding them can prevent outbreaks of rashes or digestive issues.

Some pugs struggle with digestion and can struggle with gas and flatulence which makes this a good option for the breed.

The kibble is high in protein which is sourced from high-quality beef and lamb. This is supplemented with salmon oil which is beneficial for a shiny coat and healthy skin.

  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Small kibble
  • Poultry-free
  • Available in several flavors
  • Grain-free
  • Fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals
  • Contains salmon oil
  • No artificial colors, preservatives or flavors
  • Kibble might be hard for pups younger than six weeks to eat.

Cesar Puppy Wet Dog Food - The Best Dog Food for Pug Puppies

Now we are going to look at a product that you could feed to your pug puppy. It is Cesar's Puppy Wet Dog Food. The product is suitable for puppies of all ages once they have been weaned. But is unsuitable for adult and senior dogs.

Canned foods like this are soft which means it is more manageable for puppies. This also makes it a fantastic choice for pugs who struggle to chew and swallow hard food.

The product is available in several recipes like lamb, chicken, and beef or chicken and lamb. Dogs love all these flavors so keep this one in mind if your dog is a picky eater.

The formula contains meat from a variety of high-quality sources like lamb and beef. On top of this Cesar's manufactured it with several vegetables such as yam. But it doesn't contain any grains.

Overall, the product isn't difficult to digest. This is useful for puppies as well as dogs with sensitive stomachs.

It's enriched with multiple vitamins and minerals to help your puppy grow strong and healthy. Among these are calcium and vitamin D which can help you to support your puppies bone health and density. And it contains vitamin B12 and folic acids which are great for brain development.

One downside is the product is rather expensive, but it gives tons of value for the price.

  • Suitable for puppies
  • Available in several flavors
  • Grain-free
  • Very palatable
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • Soft food
  • Not suitable for adult or senior dogs
  • Expensive

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice & Barley Recipe - The Best Food for Supporting Pugs Mobility

Another of the best dog food for pugs in 2019 is Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food Healthy Mobility. Hill's made the product specifically for adult dogs. But it isn't suitable for puppies nor seniors. Adults are dogs which are older than one year but no older than seven years old.

The food is ideal for small and toy breed dogs like pugs. It is a kibble which is in the form of small bites. These are designed by Hill's to fit into their mouths.

Hill's only uses natural ingredients to make this product. Its flavor is chicken, brown rice and barley. These are the recipes main ingredients. 

One benefit is that the formula contains fish oil. This will supply your dog with omega 3 fatty acids and EPA. Therefore, it can be great for pugs with skin allergies.

Besides this, Hill's made the product with glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of these nutrients can help your pup build healthy cartilage, joints, and bones. This food can help to prevent older pugs from developing mobility issues.

In fact, the manufacturers made the formula specifically for improved mobility.

The food is high in protein and high in fat. Overall, it contains a bit more calories than other products. So it's not ideal for overweight pugs.

  • Suitable for adult dogs
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Contains omega 3 fatty acids and EPA
  • Includes chondroitin and glucosamine
  • High in protein
  • Not suitable for puppies and seniors
  • Only available in chicken
  • High in fat

Solid Gold - Fit & Fabulous - Grain-Free Natural Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean - The Best Grain-free Dog Food for Pugs

Solid Gold makes one of the best dog foods for pugs. It wasn't made specifically for the breed, but it is well suited for them.

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They made the product suitable for dogs of all life stages. So you can feed it to your puppy, adult or mature pug.

However, it is a dry food in the form of kibble. Younger puppies especially when they are pugs, might struggle to chew the pellets if they are younger than six weeks. And it would be impossible to eat before they are weaned.

Solid Gold formulated the food to keep your dog "fit and fab." To do this, it is low in calories and fat. So it is a brilliant option to consider if you are struggling to manage your pug's weight or if they are obese.

But it is still high in protein which is sourced from high-quality sources like real chicken.

The formula is grain and gluten free. On top of this, it contains prebiotics, probiotics and is high in fiber. All of this can help you to support your dog's digestion.

Another benefit is that it can be beneficial for your dog's eyes. It contains both eggs and blueberries which contain nutrients which supports eye health.

  • Low fat and low-calorie dog food
  • Grain free and gluten free
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Made with prebiotics and probiotics
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • High in protein
  • Support weight management
  • Kibble might be hard for pups younger than six weeks to eat
  • Only available in chicken

Feeding Your Pug

best dog food for pugs puppies

About the Breed

Pugs are probably one of the cutest breeds in the world. Their wrinkly faces and big round eyes endear them to many animal lovers. Not to mention their curly tails.

On average, these adults are ten to thirteen inches in height, and they weigh fourteen to eighteen pounds. This puts them squarely into the category of toy breeds. The group includes some of the worlds smallest dogs.

The breed standard of the AKC states that pedigree pugs should be black or fawn. Even the fawn colored animals have black noses and muzzles.

Overall, they have short hair. So these dogs don't have to be groomed and brushed more than once a week. But you have to clean the folds in their face regularly.

One of the most important factors to consider before buying a new pet is its temperament. They are an even-tempered breed and usually make loving and affectionate companions. Most of these individuals are easy-going.

But some of them can have a bit of a stubborn streak. However, it’s nothing that you can’t manage with some training and socialization.

Potential Health Issues

Just as with humans, diet plays a critical role in keeping dogs healthy and happy.

Each and every dog breed has health issues that they are more prone to. The same is true for pugs.

Through careful supplementation and feeding, you can help to decrease their risk of developing some issues.

Here are some health problems which pugs are typically susceptible to which can be supported through diet:

best wet dog food for pugs
  • Obesity: Pugs are one of those breeds which quickly pick up too much weight. You need to keep a careful eye on your pet too much sure they don't become overweight. It can be beneficial to feed adult dogs a low fat and low-calorie food to keep them in good shape.
  • Mobility issues: Like many breeds, senior pugs often struggle with mobility. They are prone to problems like hip dysplasia. Therefore, you should feed them food with additional supplements for bone and joint health like calcium.
  • Eye problems: Pigmentary keratopathy is a condition in which brown pigment slowly clouds the cornea which can eventually lead to blindness. This is a common disease among pugs. Medications are the primary treatment option, but it doesn't hurt to feed them food which helps to support eye health.
  • Brachycephalic syndrome: Pugs are known for their distinctive scrunched up faces. But the shape of their issues can be cause for concern. Short-headed dogs often suffer from something called Brachycephalic Syndrome which refers to the combination of an elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules. This can cause breathing and eating difficulties.
  • Skin infections: The wrinkles that these pups sport around their face make them adorable. But they can cause problems. Unfortunately, they often develop infections in these folds. Therefore, they can benefit some support for skin health.

You should note that there are tests that your vet can perform that can help predict the likelihood of your pup developing specific issues. If you are a concerned owner, this could be a smart move on your part.

Take a look at this youtube video on the breeds potential problems.

Critical Features of Dog Food for Pugs

Here are a few aspects that you should analyze for each product before making a choice

1. Size and Shape of the Kibble

Because pugs have shortened muzzles which are uniquely shaped they often struggling with chewing kibble.

They might even struggle to pick it up in the first place. That’s why you need to carefully choose food to make sure that they will manage with it.

It should be small and have something they can grip on.

2. Age Range

Secondly, you need to pay attention to which age the product is catered for.

Dogs at different life stages have different dietary requirements. So you have to check whether it will be suitable for your pet whether he or she is still a puppy or a senior.

3. Type of Food

best dog food for pugs with skin allergies

You should be aware of the different types of commercial food that are available.

The two main types are wet and dry. Most dry food is kibble, and most soft food is canned. Each dog will have their own preference. 

4. Nutritional Contents

No matter which product you choose, you need to make sure it is a complete food source.

This means that it contains all the nutrients necessary for a balanced diet. It should have enough calories, protein, and fats.

Besides this, it must have some additional nutrients like vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy.

Picking Favorites

The products in this review are five of the best dog food for pugs. There are foods for puppies, adults and senior dogs.

Each of them is balanced and complete food sources which are necessary to fuel your dog and keep it healthy.

However, you can pick only one. My personal favorite is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food. The brand designed the formula specifically for pugs.

As such it's low in calories to help you manage your pet's weight. It also contains EPA and DHA which are necessary to keep their skin and coat healthy. Besides this, it is made with glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health.

Its best feature is that Royal Canin designed the shape and size of the kibble specifically to make them easy for pugs to eat.

Feel free to share the article with your fellow pug owners. And tell us in the comments what you think about these products.

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