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The 6 Best Dog Foods For Pugs

The wrinkled face and curly tail of the Pug, one of the oldest and most popular dog breeds, are appreciated worldwide. With their endearing nature and lovely appearances (is there anything sweeter than a puppy pug? Pugs make excellent companions for people of all ages.

However, with tremendous popularity comes certain unfavorable health problems, and pugs are no exception. As a result, one of the most crucial things you can do to keep your pug healthy is to choose the correct food for them.

To assist you in making your selection, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled evaluations of the best dog foods for Pugs this year. To help you even more, we've put up a short guide to your pug's specific dietary requirements. Continue reading to discover more about our favorite options and how to get the best food for your pug!


Best Value: Small Breed Grain-Free Food with a Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley

  • Protein: 32% minimum
  • Fat: 18% minimum
  • 422 kilocalories per cup
  • Venison, lamb meal, and garbanzo beans are the top three ingredients.

Consider Taste Of The Wild Appalachian Valley Grain-Free Small Breed food for Pugs with food issues. While this is not a true limited-ingredient diet, it is produced using fewer common protein and carbohydrate sources, making it a better alternative for Pugs that may have food intolerances.

Taste Of The Wild is created in the United States by a smaller, family-owned firm, which will appeal to individuals who like to “shop local.”

The kibble is small since it is developed for little breeds, and the meal is abundant in protein from a variety of sources. This diet is also grain-free, which isn’t always healthier but is a popular food option among pet owners right now.

This meal has received great ratings overall, however owners have noted that pickier dogs prefer to reject it.


  • Utilizes uncommon protein sources
  • Excellent for dogs with dietary sensitivity.
  • Grain-free


  • Picky dogs may refuse to eat it.


Wellness Adult Healthy Weight Small Breed Complete Health

  • Protein: 28% minimum
  • Fat: 9% minimum
  • 341 calories per cup
  • Deboned turkey, chicken meal, and fish meal are the top three ingredients.

Wellness Small Breed Adult Healthy Weight food can help your Pug stay fit and trim. This low-fat meal gives all the nourishment your dog needs without adding extra calories.

It also contains antioxidants and fatty acids to help your dog’s skin and coat health, which is a good alternative for a breed that frequently has problems with these systems. Wellness Small Breed is created in the United States and includes no GMOs or meat by-products.

Despite being developed for tiny jaws, several owners claim that their little dogs have difficulty eating this kibble. Some dogs dislike the flavor of this meal as well.


  • Fat and calorie-free
  • Contains nutrients that promote the health of the skin and coat.
  • There are no GMOs or generic byproducts.


  • Some Pugs may still find Kibble excessively large.
  • Some dogs dislike the flavor.


Canned Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-free Chicken Food

  • Protein: 8.5% minimum
  • 4.5% minimum fat
  • 88 calories per 5.5 ounce can
  • Chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver are the top three ingredients.

Consider Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-free Chicken if you’re searching for a canned diet for your Pug. This diet is high in protein from genuine chicken and chicken liver.

Because it is soft food, this diet is also suitable for Pugs who have dental illness or are missing some teeth. In addition to the meat, Instinct incorporates healthful fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, kale, and peas.

Pugs, with their flat cheeks, may create a mess eating canned food, so be prepared to clean their nose and wrinkles after supper. Canned food is often more costly than dry food, and Instinct does cost more than some of the other diets on our list.


  • A good option for Pugs with poor teeth.
  • Made with premium meat, fruits, and veggies
  • Grain-free


  • Expensive
  • It may be difficult to eat.


Natural Balance Salmon And Sweet Potato Dry Food With Limited Ingredients

  • Protein: 24% minimum
  • 10% minimum fat
  • 373 calories per cup
  • Salmon, menhaden fish meal, and sweet potatoes are the top three ingredients.

A restricted ingredient diet may be advised for Pugs with food sensitivities. While dogs with severe allergies may require a prescription diet, ask your veterinarian whether an over-the-counter diet, such as Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Salmon And Sweet Potato food, can be tried.

Salmon may be prevalent in cat food, but it’s considered a new protein source for dogs, which means your Pug is unlikely to have eaten it before and hasn’t acquired an allergy to it.

Natural Balance is not the cheapest diet on the market, and it has a strong odor that some dog owners and dogs despise. The kibble is also a little huge for a Pug, and you may need to soak it to make it more digestible.


  • Using a new protein source
  • A fantastic choice for Pugs that have food allergies.
  • Grain-free


  • Expensive
  • noxious odor
  • kibble that is larger

Buyer's Guide: How to Select the Best Pug Dog Foods

Now that you know more about the food alternatives accessible to you, here are some points to bear in mind when you choose the best diet for your Pug.

Pug Weight: More Isn’t Always Better

You may have noticed that practically every diet we picked to examine focused on maintaining your Pug at a healthy weight. Obesity is a problem for many dogs, but Pugs are especially vulnerable. They not only like eating, but their flat faces also put them at danger of overheating during activity, especially in hot weather.

As a result, it is difficult for Pugs to obtain enough exercise to help regulate their weight if they consume too much or the improper diet. Calorie and portion management are your most effective tools for keeping your Pug in shape.

Overweight Pugs are more prone to respiratory problems and joint pain, making a healthy weight even more important for this species.

Controlling Itching

Aside from weight, allergies are a major issue in Pugs. If your Pug is sensitive or allergic to specific foods, it will have a significant influence on your diet.

Allergies do not affect every Pug, and those that do may be responding to environmental causes like as pollen or dust mites rather than food. Always check your veterinarian before believing your dog has food allergies and modifying its diet.

If your veterinarian believes that certain foods should be avoided by your Pug, they can recommend a nutritious restricted ingredient diet, such as Natural Balance Salmon And Sweet Potato, or a prescription allergy food.

What Is Written On The Label?

When investigating Pug diets, you will almost certainly come across people who have strong beliefs about what your dog should and should not eat. Food fads and trends in pet eating are as prevalent as they are in human food.

It can be difficult to tell what is true and what is just marketing when it comes to grain-free, raw diets, or just avoiding by-products.

Ask your veterinarian for advice and tools to help you learn to read pet food labels and understand exactly what “by-products” and “fillers” are before assuming they’re bad for your dog.

All commercial dog food, as well as the components used, must fulfill specific nutritional and quality criteria. However, you should strive to provide your dog the highest quality food possible.

Paying a little more for nutritious food now will save you money on vet expenses later. Another alternative is to supplement their kibble with fresh, healthy foods or toppers of high quality.


The Nom Nom Pork Potluck, our best overall dog chow for Pugs, is crafted with real, identifiable ingredients and provides balanced nutrition in a simple, at-home delivery approach. Purina One Healthy Weight, our pick for the finest dog food for Pugs for the money, is a low-cost, widely accessible diet that is great for keeping your dog in shape.

Hopefully, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) assessments of these diets will assist you in finding the best dog foods for Pugs.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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