Are you the proud owner of an adorable pug? Do you want your beloved companion to live a healthy lifestyle? Well then, you’re in the right place!
Pugs are intelligent and affectionate creatures. They bring immense happiness wherever they go. However, small breed dogs like pugs need a very specific diet to stay healthy. If they don’t get the right nutrients, pugs can suffer from all sorts of health problems.
Don’t worry though, because FeedFond is here to help! Keep reading to find out all about the best dog food for pugs, along with some very helpful information for caring for these cute little creatures.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Best Dog Food for Pugs in 2019
- #1. Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed
- #2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- #3. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free
- #4. Wellness Complete Health Natural
- #5. Purina Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs
- #6. AvoDerm Natural Dog Food
- #7. Taste of The Wild Grain-Free High Protein
- #8. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food Lamb & Rice
- #9. Orijen Original Dry Dog Food
- #10. Royal Canin for Pug Adult / Junior
- How Much Should you Feed your Pug?
- Common Health Problems in Pugs
- What Makes the Best Dog Foods for Pugs?
- Toxic Food Ingredients for Pugs
- What Kind of Diet Should you Choose for Pugs?
- Guide to Picking the Right Dog Food for Pugs
Best Dog Food for Pugs in 2019
It’s extremely important to make informed decisions when buying your pug’s food. However, this isn’t always an easy task. The endless options of dog food on the market can be overwhelming and confusing. That’s why we at Feedfond, being diehard dog lovers, have decided to make your life easier.
Here’s a well-curated list of guaranteed, tried and tested best dog foods for pugs.
The Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food is a clinically proven, especially balanced formula for small breed adult dogs. This recipe is ideal for strong bone and muscle development because of its high protein and calcium content.
Real lamb, salmon, and chicken are used as protein source which makes, the formula a premium quality mix.
What’s more, the minerals, antioxidants and Vitamin C and E supplements found in the formula are guaranteed to improve your dog’s immune system. It also contains Omega 6 fatty acids which give dogs a smooth and shiny coat.
What We Love About It
Hill’s prides itself on being pretty strict about their food standards and the ingredients they use. They have a team of educated vets, nutritionists and other specialists that analyze the ingredients of each food package. So, you know for sure that it’s the best dog food for your pug.
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food is top tier dog food made from natural ingredients. The recipe caters specifically to the nutritional requirements of small breed adult dogs.
The formula has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates and protein. This maintains your dog’s energy levels and promotes lean muscle growth.
The main ingredient of this formula is real meat from deboned chicken. Other ingredients include whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruits. The recipe is also fortified with essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This ensures that your dog has a healthy immune system and oxidative balance.
What We Love About It
The nutrients in this recipe are processed at temperatures much lower than the other ingredients. This ensures that there is no nutrient loss during processing. So, each bite is concentrated with the optimum amount of nutrients that your pug needs!
On number six of this list is the Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed Health Turkey & Chicken Recipe. This healthy mix contains a balanced amount of natural nutrients for your small breed dog.
Based on the raw feeding philosophy, this dog food has 80% more meat than other dog foods on the market. he high-grade meat is mainly turkey and chicken. The recipe also includes fruits, vegetables, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
The mixture of fish and flax Omega in this formula are known to improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Also, the chondroitin and glucosamine present in the food help to keep the bones and joints strong.
What We Love About It
This dog food is 100% grain free. So, it’s the best dog food for pugs that have grain allergies.
The Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food, Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal Recipe is ideal for small breed dogs. It has a special formula with all the nutrients necessary to keep them at their best.
It ensures that your tiny dog gets the optimum calories to maintain the right body weight. The ingredients are also all completely natural and non-toxic. This food is a well-balanced mixture of premium proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Its main ingredient is the universal canine favorite – turkey. Other healthy ingredients include oatmeal, salmon, fruits and vegetables. It also contains flaxseed, salmon oil and Omega 3’s and 6’s which gives your dog healthy skin and coat.
What We Love About It
The Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food, Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal Recipe has very small kibble sizes, which are perfect for small breed dogs like pugs.
Purina Beneful IncrediBites has 27g of high-quality protein as its main ingredient. It comes in two flavors– either beef or chicken and is loved by many dogs. This formula is rich in nutrients and contains 23 essential minerals and vitamins. So, if you want to increase your small dog’s metabolism, this is the product for you.
The unique part of this dog food is that its protein is sourced from farm-raised animals. What’s more, it has actual vegetables like carrots, peas, and spinach in the mix as well.
This combination of ingredients gives Purina Beneful Incredibites a unique flavor and makes it a healthy meal for dogs.
What We Love About It
Purina Beneful Incredibites has both tender and crunchy bits, which makes it a very likely option to be your pug’s new favorite food. The interesting texture makes for a fun eating experience for dogs.
AvoDerm Natural Dog food is ideal for dogs under 20 pounds. This special formula is perfect for keeping up your small dog’s energy levels. It’s also beneficial for your dog’s immune system and overall health.
An added bonus is that the food is actually pressure cooked, ensuring optimum nutrients in each bite. This delicious dog food contains just the right blend of premium proteins, and essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
What We Love About It
AvoDerm Natural Dog Food is unique because it’s made with California Avocados. This special ingredient will keep your pug’s skin looking glossy and smooth, and as healthy as can be!
The Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Dog Food, as its name suggests, is a premium, protein-based canine diet. This 100% grain-free recipe is made with all-natural ingredients. The high protein and fat content in this formula support the development of strong and lean muscles.
Each bite-sized kibble is a perfect mix of nutrients, superfoods, vitamins, and minerals. The recipe’s main source of protein is real venison. It also includes ingredients like lamb, duck, egg and ocean fish. This combination is tasty and provides all the necessary amino acids for your dog.
What We Love About It
What makes this dog food special is that it contains proprietary probiotics that are perfect for the canine GI tract. This allows your dog to digest food more easily.
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food Lamb & Rice is one of the most top-rated dog foods out there. It caters for the nutritional needs of dogs that are over a year old.
It has also built up a well-known reputation for improving the digestion, immunity, eyesight, coat health, and energy levels of dogs. This tested formula consists of the perfect combination of essential nutrients necessary for keeping a dog healthy.
The main ingredients include a balanced mixture of top-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It’s also loaded with extra beneficial ingredients such as fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, Omega fatty acids, and glucosamine hydrochloride.
What We Love About it
As its name suggests, this dog food’s contents are all natural. There is absolutely no meat by-products, artificial flavors or preservatives.
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food is a well known, delicious food option for dogs. It consists of organic, wholesome ingredients that ensure a high-quality canine diet. With 38% protein and only 19% carbohydrates, this formula has the perfect ratio of nutrients to keep your dog healthy.
This dog food will put your dog on a diet that’s similar to that of wolves in the wild. It consists of a variety of protein sources such as fresh meat, whole fish and even whole eggs. It also contains cartilage, bones, and organs.
What’s more, this formula has absolutely no grains, potatoes or plant proteins in it.
What We Love About It
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food has got bits of dried chicken and turkey liver. These ingredients add an amazing flavor that your dog will love. So it can easily become one of your pug’s favorite foods.
#10. Royal Canin for Pug Adult / Junior
A favorite of most pug owners, the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food stands at number one on the list. It contains a balanced blend of nutrients to give pugs the energy and nutrition they need. This delicious formula also helps pugs maintain their appropriate body weight.
The high protein content has been specially formulated to ensure that pugs on this diet build strong muscles.
The formula also contains fish oil rich in EPA and DHA, which provides extra nutrition for the skin that pugs need. Royal Canin’s recipe is well known for promoting strong joint and bone development in pugs.
What We Love About It
The Royal Canin Pug Adult Dog Food has specially designed kibble for pugs. The clover-shaped kibble makes it easier for pugs to grab the food with their flat muzzles.
How Much Should you Feed your Pug?
The pug feeding chart isn’t overly complicated. But of course, it varies according to your pug’s lifestyle, weight and health condition. It’s also very important to set up feeding schedules for your pug.
Having regular feeding intervals, especially at the puppy stages, will help your dog’s digestive process.
Generally, an adult pug weighing 18 pounds should be getting an average of 727 calories daily. However, pug puppies in the process of growth will need more calories than adult dogs. Senior pugs, or less active pugs, on the other hand, will need fewer calories than the general requirement.
Pug Feeding Chart: A General Guide
You should take your vet’s advice when it comes to feeding schedules and proportions. However, here’s a rough guide to give you an idea of what a pug feeding chart might look like.
8 Weeks to 3 Months
At this stage, your pug is just a puppy. So, enjoy it while you can because it’s in its most adorable form!
Pug puppy food should be measured out as ¼ to ½ cups and given four times a day. It’s best to stick to scheduled feeding at this stage, such as at 11 am, 3 pm and 7 pm.
Tip: If you have a high-end brand or some type of wet food, ½ cups will suffice. You don’t have to go overboard because the food is already concentrated in nutrients.
3 to 6 Months
At three to six months, your puppy will start teething. During this stage, your pug should be fed three times daily. As for the quantity of food, you need to feed it at least 1/3 cup of pug puppy food every day. A good feeding schedule would be to feed your dog at 8 am, 1 pm and 6 pm.
6 to 12 Months
At this stage, your pug is hitting puberty. Food portions should now be reduced so your pug doesn’t gain weight. Simply feeding your pug 1/3 cup of pug puppy food twice a day should be enough. An ideal schedule would be feeding your pug once at 9 am and then again at 5 pm.
1 Year Old and Above
At one year old, your pug is finally an adult. You can continue feeding your adult dog twice a day. Since pugs have small stomachs, reducing their meals to ½ cups of adult pug food daily would be wise.
Tip: Gradually introduce the adult dog food into your pug’s diet. Or else it might suffer from digestive issues.
Important Read: Can Dogs Eat This? Foods You Can and Can’t Share With Your Dog
Common Health Problems in Pugs
Pugs are wonderful pets to have. With proper diet and exercise, they can live up to 15 years. However, this small toy breed is also prone to many severe health issues.
Here are some of the most common health issues pugs suffer from:
Pugs are a breed that can gain weight easily. They’re also not as physically active or as energetic as other dogs. Their never-ending appetite doesn’t do them any favors either.
All this makes obesity in pugs a common problem. Obesity leads to many other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and breathing problems. Also, more weight means there is a strain on the tiny pug’s joints and hips.
Pugs should weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. Even two pounds above this weight means your dog needs to make a lifestyle change.
Tip: Want to know if your pug is overweight? Pugs should have broad shoulders and a comparatively narrow body. They should also be a bit wider around the rump region
2. Eye Problems
Pugs have beautiful big eyes. Unfortunately, their characteristic bulging eyes are prone to a lot of complications and injuries.
If your pug has eye problems, it will be running into objects and furniture. There might also be eye discharge, squinting, watering or discolored eyespots.
Pugs can also suffer from having dry eyes. In this condition, not enough tears are produced. This can be easily treated with medication.
Since eye problems can be quite painful and severe, it’s best to consult a vet as soon as you notice any symptoms. But in general, quality dog food actually does help in keeping your pug’s eyes healthy.
3. Skin Ailments
Pugs have very wrinkled skin that’s fun to pet. Unfortunately, these folds can accumulate dirt and moisture, becoming breeding grounds for bacteria. One such common skin infection in pugs is Pyoderma.
Pyoderma is characterized by pimples, tiny red bumps, and blisters all over the skin. Pugs might also suffer from allergies that make their skin itchy. In such cases, vets suggest specific shampoos. Sometimes they even recommend a change in diet.
That’s why your pug’s food should contain supplements that promote healthy skin.
4. Joint Problems
Pugs are second in the list of breeds likely to have hip dysplasia. They are also prone to getting arthritis and luxating patella.
If your pug has hip dysplasia, it will most likely limp or hop. Its leg movements will be stiff and extremely painful. Your pug will also be very reluctant to move around.
Pugs are already genetically at risk for joint issues. When they become overweight, there is added pressure on their joints. Managing your pug’s weight through diet control will help relieve joint pain.
Keep an eye out for food that has glucosamine, chondroitin, and calcium. This will promote the development of strong bones and healthy cartilage in your dog. Vitamin D is also helpful for absorbing calcium and rebuilding connective tissues. And of course, avoid inflammatory ingredients in dog food like salt, sugar, artificial flavors and corn oil.
5. Neural Disorders
There are some life-threatening diseases that are unique to pugs. One such rare disorder is the Pug Dog Encephalitis. This occurs due to the inflammation of brain tissue.
Not much is known about this disease and unfortunately, there is no treatment. The disorder can cause seizures and blindness. In some cases, it can even cause comas or death.
Pugs are also at risk of suffering from epilepsy and nerve degeneration. Nerve degeneration symptoms include problems in jumping and movement and walking by dragging the rear. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult a vet.
To help your dog’s brain development, pick food that is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. This is usually found in fatty fish salmon, krill and flax, as well as fish oils. Antioxidants and DHA are also known to improve cognitive brain function in dogs.
Related Read: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule
What Makes the Best Dog Foods for Pugs?
Similar to other dogs, the best dog food for pugs contains high protein and fat content. However, their diets should include a blend of other nutrients like complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals as well.
Here’s a breakdown of the main nutrients you should look out for in your pug’s dog food.
1. High-Quality Proteins
A good pug diet will contain premium quality protein. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), pug puppy food should have at least 22% protein while adult pug food should have at least 18%.
The best dog food for pugs, however, will contain more than these stated percentages. Good quality pug food will have meat in at least the first three ingredients.
2. Whole Meat Vs Meat Meals
These are two terms you’ll be seeing quite often in the packaging of dog food. Now, dog food packages are required by law to state ingredients according to their weight. That’s where the confusion with whole meat and meat meals come in. These are both good sources of protein, but there is a slight difference.
Whole meats are protein sources like whole chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, and fish. But these sources also have a very high water content. Because of the added water weight, these ingredients are usually found at the top.
Meat meals are concentrated sources of protein, with no water. So, these might actually be found lower on the ingredients list. This doesn’t necessarily make the dog food bad quality. The protein content is still there.
3. Healthy Fats
Fats are a very important part of a pug’s diet. They are the ultimate source of energy for dogs. What’s more, they keep your pug’s skin, coat, hear,t and brain in a healthy condition.
According to AAFCO, pug puppy food should contain at least 8% fat while adult pug food should contain at least 5%. The best dog food for pugs will have good quality fats, and not the ones that have no nutritional value.
Chicken fat is a pretty popular ingredient in dog food. Other quality fat sources include fish oil, flaxseed oil, and canola oil. Good fat contains substances like DHA and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are essential for your dog’s health.
Tip: A pug’s favorite food will most likely be the one that has a high-fat content. This is because fats add flavor and smell to dog food, which keeps them hooked.
4. Wholesome Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide a stable source of energy for pugs. Having carbohydrates in their diet prevents pugs from experiencing abnormal spikes and crashes in their sugar levels. Carbohydrates also add texture to commercial food, making it easier for pugs to eat.
The fiber in carbohydrates isn’t an essential nutrient. However, it does a great job of keeping your dog full for longer. That’s why they’re pretty common in dog food ingredients. What’s more, carbohydrates also limit tartar build up in canine teeth and helps with their digestion.
The best dog food for pugs will usually have the word “whole” before their carbohydrate sources. Popular and healthy carbohydrate ingredients include potatoes, brown rice, oats, barley, and sweet potatoes.
Important Read: Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs- Benefits and Usage
Toxic Food Ingredients for Pugs
There are certain foods that are toxic to pugs. When looking at dog food for pugs, you should always avoid these ingredients:
- Grapes and currants
- Fruit pits
- Mushrooms, garlic, and onions
- Coffee, caffeine, and chocolate
- By-products containing food waste and dead animals
- Chemicals & preservatives like Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT
- Food dyes
- Rendered fat
- Corn and syrup
- Wheat and soy
Related Read: Upset Stomach In Dogs – Symptoms, Remedies & Medication
What Kind of Diet Should you Choose for Pugs?
Some pet owners prefer to stick to homemade meals. They believe that it is more nutritious and affordable than buying pet food from the store. Still, commercial diets are a more popular option for most dog owners.
It is undeniable that store-bought food is convenient and easily available. These packages are also formulated to contain the right blend of nutrients, often for specific breeds.
At the end of the day, both diets are good for your dog. You can even keep your pug on a combination of both diets. However, you need to ensure that your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients it requires.
Wet Food Vs Dry Food
Dry food or kibble comes in packages. There are numerous reasons behind the popularity of this food type. Kibble is affordable and easy to store and transport. It also makes less of a mess during meal times.
Wet food comes in cans, and is more expensive than dry food. It has a higher content of meat protein in its ingredients. It also has fewer carbohydrates than dry food.
A diet based solely on wet food encourages plaque buildup. However, wet food does taste a lot better to dogs than dry food. To resolve this, most dog owners follow a mixed meal plan of both dry and wet food.
Tip: Pugs aren’t usually picky eaters, so dry food shouldn’t be a problem. But if they are fussy, a normal kibble meal can turn into your pug’s favorite food simply by adding some water.
Guide to Picking the Right Dog Food for Pugs
Before buying your pug’s food, you need to be aware of its nutritional requirements and foods to avoid.
Here’s a list of things you should check to make an informed decision when buying food for your dog.
1. The Nutrition Label
Always check the nutrition label on dog food packages. This will show you the number of nutrients it contains, so you know whether it has more protein, carbohydrates or fat.
Ideally, a healthy adult dog should be getting a protein-based diet from its food.
2. The Ingredients
The ingredients list allows you to judge the quality of the food at a glance. Ingredients are listed by weight and will give you an idea of what exactly the food contains, in detail.
The list will let you know the of by-products, preservatives, and fillers there are. It will also help you avoid food that your dog may be allergic to.
3. The Complete and Balanced Seal
You should also look out for the ‘complete and balanced’ seal, by the Association of American Feed Controls.
Dog foods claiming this title are supposed to contain the exact amount of each nutrient needed by dogs. So, make sure the food you buy really is AAFCO approved.
4. Age Appropriate Food
The best dog food for pugs will vary at different stages in their life. This is because at each stage they have different bodies, health issues, and dietary requirements.
For instance, pug puppy dog food should have a diet that’s high in protein and fat to develop their brains and bodies. They also need a lot more calcium and phosphorus to ensure strong bones.
Senior dogs, on the other hand, need diets with more protein content and fiber. This keeps their muscles healthy and prevents obesity.
Pregnant dogs will need a lot more calories and lactating dogs will need a diet similar to a puppy.
5. Special Diets for Health Problems
If your dog has a medical problem, its diet will be very different. Your vet will give you the right nutritional requirements and suggest a special diet.
For instance, dogs that suffer from cancer need a low carb diet that’s high in fat and protein. On the other hand, if your dog has kidney disease or liver problems, it might need a low protein diet. And if it suffers from pancreatitis or intestinal issues, it will most likely need a low-fat diet.
6. Weight Control for Dogs
Weight control is very important for dogs. Obesity is the root of many diseases and diet plays a key role in this. Your vet will be able to recommend a proper diet plan if your dog needs to lose or gain weight.
There are special formulas for overweight dogs that help them lose weight. Follow the feeding instructions on the food package for best results. You can also just give your dog smaller amounts of their normal food to reduce their weight.
7. Dogs with Allergies
Dogs suffering from allergies need to be careful with their food. First of all, it’s necessary to understand what the allergens are. Do the necessary tests and get the list from your vet, and avoid them in the dog food you buy.
The best dog food for pugs with allergies will usually have a shorter ingredient list, compared to others. If your dog is allergic to grains or chemicals, there are grain-free and organic options available as well.
8. Dog Food Flavors
Dog foods also have different flavors. This usually depends on what type of protein it contains. Now when picking a flavor, of course, your dog has to find it yummy. But the food should also be easily digestible.
Dogs love everything chicken flavored and it’s also easy on their stomachs. So this is usually the best option if your dog has a sensitive tummy.
Turkey is also a good choice as it’s very similar to chicken. However, there are also other flavors that you could consider like lamb, salmon, and duck.
9. Premium vs. Value
When it comes to the right dog food for pugs, premium is always better. They use better quality ingredients that will ultimately be better for your dog’s health.
Expensive brands contain more protein than cheaper brands. You’ll find that in premium dog food, protein content is usually 40 to 60% whereas, in other dog foods, it’s 10 to 20%. The cheaper brands mostly contain fillers and ingredients that simply add volume, but no nutrition.
10. Dog Food Safety
The commercial dog food you buy should be of a trusted brand. However, you should always make sure you receive the food package in good condition.
If you’ve ordered dog food and you find it open, do not feed it to your dog as it might be contaminated. Storage is also an issue. Some dog food comes in resealable bags, which keeps it fresh.
If your pet food does not have that, make sure you keep it in a tightly closed plastic container. Always follow the instructions for storage instructions on the packaging to avoid contamination.
Important Read: Best Dog Food in 2019 – Guide to Choosing the Right Dog Food
As a dog parent, it’s your job to keep your dog healthy and happy. And we all know the key to a healthy canine lifestyle is a balanced diet. Hopefully, all this information has given you a clear idea about the best dog food for pugs.
It might seem difficult but your dog’s nutrition is not something to take lightly. All you really have to do is keep an eye out for ingredients and follow your pug feeding chart.
So, use your newfound knowledge and buy your pug the quality food it deserves!