The Best Dog Food for Pugs | Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Last Updated on by Gail Ramirez

Pugs are adorable small breed dogs that bring a bundle of joy to their owners. These squish-faced, wonderful little pooches have unique personalities that match their looks. While it is adorable to have one or more of this dog breed in your home, you want to make sure that their nutritional needs are met.

Pugs have very specific nutritional requirements and they are also susceptible to being overweight. As such, choosing the right diet for your pug is very important.

The best dog food for pugs will ensure that your pug gets the right amounts of calories to maintain a healthy weight, the optimal level of energy, as well as the essential nutrients they need to remain healthy and happy.

Here are our top picks for the best dog food for pugs:

Our top pick for the best dog food for pugs is the Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food. This dog food is specifically formulated for pugs. It comes with the right amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs for adult pugs. It is well-balanced for a healthy weight, and it supports healthy skin and coat.

The Best Dog Food for Pugs Are:

ProductDetails
1. Royal Canin Pug Adult

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion
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2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free, gluten-free
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3. AvoDerm Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
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4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, wheat, soy
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5. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free
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6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion
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7. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • For healthy digestion
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1. Royal Canin Pug Adult — Best Dry Dog Food for Pugs

The Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog food for pugs. Royal Canin made this tasty dry dog food specifically for pure breed pugs. Experts at Royal Canin know the nutritional needs of this dog breed and they considered all the vital aspects of the health and overall wellbeing of this dog while making the food.

When looking for the best dog food for pugs, some of the vital things you need to consider are the tendency to gain weight, skin sensitivities, and vulnerability to allergies.

This dog food is ideal for pugs who are 10 months and older. The top five ingredients of this diet are brewer’s rice, chicken by-product meal, brown rice, corn gluten meal, and corn.

This food also contains ingredients that help maintain the healthy skin and shiny coat of your pug. It features adequate levels of protein with a blend of L-carnitine to provide your pup with a healthy weight.

It has clover-leaf-shaped kibbles, which makes it easy for your pooch to pick and chew. It is also highly palatable, making it hard for dogs to resist. The protein content of this food is 23 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 14 percent.

It contains a maximum crude fiber of 3.3 percent with a caloric content of 314 kilocalories per cup. This food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy bones and joints.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • Easy to pick and chew kibbles
  • Well-balanced for healthy weight
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Great protein sources

Cons

  • It is not gluten-free

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2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed — Best Dog Food for Pugs with Allergies

This grain-free formula from Wellness is another great dog food for pugs. This food focuses on balanced, complete nutrition using premium ingredients. The top five ingredients of this diet include deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, and peas. Chicken meal is a great source of chondroitin and glucosamine, which helps to promote the bone and joint health of your dog.

Turkey and chicken are the primary protein sources, and they help with the development and maintenance of lean muscle. It also contains a series of healthy veggies and fruits such as broccoli, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in this food promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

It also contains essential minerals and vitamins to boost the immune health of your pup. For optimal digestive health, this food features a precise mix of fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics. The essential nutrients in the diet also promote the gum and teeth health of your dog.

The high-quality protein also helps to support the higher energy needs of small dogs. It contains high-quality carb sources that are easy on the digestive system. This formula is completely free of grains and gluten, making it ideal for pugs with sensitivities and allergies. This food contains a whopping 36 percent protein with a minimum fat content of 16 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 5 percent while the caloric content is 396 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free, gluten-free

Pros

  • Quality protein sources
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Balanced and complete diet
  • Supports a healthy immune system and digestive health

Cons

  • It is expensive

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3. AvoDerm Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

This is another premium dog food for pugs that does not come with a premium price tag. It is formulated for dogs that weigh below 20 pounds. This food is also packed with high-quality protein and natural ingredients.

The top five ingredients of this food are chicken meal, ground whole brown rice, ground whole white rice, oatmeal, and chicken fat. The chicken fat is preserved with mixed tocopherols and it is a great source of omega fatty acids.

This formula also includes avocados and avocado oil, which contain about 20 essential nutrients. It also helps to promote the skin and coat health of your dog while enhancing a healthy immune system. If you are looking for the best dog food for pugs and you do not want to spend much, this is one of the best options to consider.

This food does not contain corn, soy, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which makes it a great option for pugs with sensitivities and allergies. It also contains balanced omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for optimal brain function. The protein content of this food is 26 percent while the fat content is 16 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 3.5 percent with a caloric content of 354 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Pros

  • Contains avocado and avocado oil
  • Optimal nutrition for you pug
  • A powerful blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants
  • Supports healthy skin and coat

Cons

  • It contains grains

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4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This life protection formula small breed adult dog food from Blue Buffalo made it to our list because of its unique formula and high-quality ingredients. This food features small-sized kibble that is ideal for the small jaw and mount of a pug.

The top five ingredients of this food are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. It also contains flaxseed and chicken fat, which both contain adequate levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

This food is available in different flavors, and you should be able to find one that the fussiest of dogs cannot resist. It does not contain by-product meals, artificial colors, flavor, preservatives, or other common allergens that could upset the tummy of your dog.

It features a blend of antioxidants, essential minerals, and vitamins to boost the overall health of your dog. This food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility. It contains 26 percent protein, 15 percent fat, 4 percent maximum crude fiber, and 397 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, wheat, soy

Pros

  • Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • Enriched with essential minerals and vitamins
  • High-quality protein
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • The carb content is a bit high

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5. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dog Food

If you have a pug that is allergic to grains, then the Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the best options to consider. This formula is completely free of grains and it is super rich in protein.

The top ingredients of this food are venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and Lentils. The first protein source, which is 100 percent pure venison, is a great energy source, and it will provide your pup with all the energy it needs for its daily activities.

It also contains other protein sources such as lamb meal, duck meal, pea protein, and ocean fish meal, which is also a great source of omega fatty acids for optimal brain function, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. It contains healthy veggies and fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and tomatoes.

It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help to boost the digestive health of your dog. The ingredients of this nutrient-rich diet are highly digestible, and it also contains a proprietary K9 strain probiotic to boost the digestive health of your dog.

This food contains 32 percent protein, 18 percent crude fat, 4 percent maximum crude fiber, with a caloric content of 370 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free

Pros

  • Sustainable and trusted ingredients
  • It contains probiotics
  • Real venison as the number one protein source
  • Highly digestible

Cons

  • The size of the food is not the same across various bags sometimes

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6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet is known for making some of the best dog food in the market, and it is one of the best dog food brands out there. This formula from Hill’s is one of the best the brand has produced and it is formulated to provide small dogs with all the nutrition they need as they grow up.

The top ingredients of this food are chicken meal, brewer’s rice, whole grain wheat, soybean meal, and whole-grain sorghum.

It also contains flaxseed, chicken fat, and soybean oil, which are super-rich in omega fatty acids to provide your pug with a shiny coat and healthy skin. It contains beta-carotene, L-carnitine, and other essential minerals and vitamins. This food contains real veggies and fruits, which are great for the stomach and overall health of small dogs.

Vitamin C, vitamin E, and antioxidants in this food work together to boost the immune health of your pug. It is free from artificial ingredients and common allergens. It contains 20 percent protein, 12.5 percent fat, 4 percent maximum crude fiber, with a caloric content of 371 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • Easily digestible
  • Supports a strong immune system
  • Made in the USA
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • Not the best option for dogs with allergies

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7. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws — Best Dog Food for Pug Puppies

If you are looking for the best dog food for pug puppies, then you should consider this small breed puppy formula from Hill’s Science. This food is formulated to provide your pug puppy with all the vital nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong. The top ingredients of this food are chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, chicken fat, and whole-grain corn.

It contains fish oil, which is a great source of DHA for healthy eye and brain development. Hill’s formulated this food for small dogs 12 months and younger. The food contains healthy ingredients that provide essential nutrients for skeletal development. It also promotes strong teeth and healthy bones.

In addition to the chicken, this food contains other great protein sources such as lamb and salmon. It does not contain artificial ingredients and additives. This food contains 24.5 percent protein, 15.5 percent fat, 3 percent maximum crude fiber, with a caloric content of 397 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • DHA for healthy eye and brain development
  • No additives
  • Highly digestible

Cons

  • It is not grain-free

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Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying Dog Food for Pugs

Quality Animal Protein

Every good dog food for pugs should contain quality animal protein. The food should contain high-quality animal protein such as beef, chicken, salmon, venison, duck, turkey, and fish.

The diet of your pug should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein. For pug puppies, the food should contain a minimum of 22 percent protein, as they need more of it for healthy growth and development.

If the diet contains animal by-product meals, then make sure it is balanced with other sources of protein such as fish. Pugs need quality protein, and you should make sure the diet of your pug contains enough of it.

Whole Grains

If your pug is not sensitive to grains, then you should opt for dog food with whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and oat, as they are a great source of complex carbs. If you are going for a grain-free formula, make sure the food contains slow-burning complex carbs to provide your pug with the energy it needs all through the day.

Nevertheless, this dog breed has a limited ability to digest plant fiber. As such, you should reduce the fiber and carb intake of your pup to about 5 percent. Other great carb sources include potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Healthy Fats

You should also make sure your pug’s diet contains healthy fats from sources such as fish oil and chicken fat. For adult dogs, the food should contain a minimum of 5 percent fat while that of puppies should be a minimum of 8 percent. Other great sources of useful fats are salmon oil and flaxseed oil.

Final Words

It is indeed an amazing experience to own a pug, as they are one of the most amazing dog breeds out there. However, to make sure your bundle of joy (your pug) remains healthy, strong, and happy, you need to provide it with a quality diet.

Our top pick for the best dog food for pugs is the Royal Canin Pug because it is specifically formulated for pugs. It contains all the adequate nutrients they need to remain healthy and strong.

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