Best Dog Food for Pugs in 2020 - How to Feed and What to Feed Pugs featured image

Pugs can be a problematic breed to feed because of the anatomy of their face, jaws, and nose, and they require special attention to feeding with specific nutrient requirements.

Pugs are prone to obesity and diabetes, and some Pug dogs tend to be lazy, so calorie counting and limited carbohydrate intake are also crucial.

Interestingly, even though these small dogs gain weight quickly, the shape of their jaws sometimes makes chewing of sizable kibble problematic.

Pairing that with some of their most common ailments may consequently lead to weight loss and not weight gain. Therefore, how to feed Pugs needs to be the primary concern of their owners.

Below are some of the best dog foods for Pugs and a discussion of their nutrition requirements.

Calorie Requirements for Pugs

On average, Pugs weigh from 14 to 18 pounds (6 – 8 kg), and they need to eat at least 50 calories or 0.5 ounces (14 g) of food per pound of their weight. That means an adult Pug requires approximately 700 to 900 calories a day.

As for the puppies, they need about 1 ounce (28 g) of food for each pound of their weight. It is necessary to calculate the calories of healthy snacks, as well. Any exaggeration in food will result in the uncontrolled weight gain of these dogs.

Feeding Guidelines Based on the Age of Pugs

The proper feeding schedule for Pugs depends on their age. Therefore, the recommended number of meals a day will decrease over time.

  • Pugs up to 3 months old should eat four times a day
  • Pugs 3 to 6 months old should eat three times a day
  • Pugs 6 to 12 months old should eat two times a day
  • Pugs older than one year should eat once to twice a day

Puppies 10 to 12 months old can start eating adult dog food. They will need about 0.5 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food daily.

Nutritional Requirements for Pugs

Pugs are extraordinarily energetic and active dogs. They love two things – playing and eating. Therefore, the food needs to provide enough energy for the dog without the risk of getting fat.


Healthy proteins are vital for Pugs, especially those coming from beef, chicken, and turkey. The best food for this particular breed contains 18% proteins for adults and 30% for puppies without processed by-products.


On average, Pugs need 5% of fats to get enough energy, while Omega fatty acids boost their immune system. Plus, fats from fish and flaxseed oil will improve the taste of food and save the dog from cardiovascular issues.


Even though there is no data on how many of these ingredients Pugs need daily, the fact is that the complex carbohydrates from peas and sweet potatoes are a better choice than simple carbs.

Vitamins and minerals

Fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals are an excellent option for Pugs. They will keep the dogs healthy and active.


Food products with added antioxidants, chondroitin, and glucosamine are excellent for Pugs and their joints.

Top 5 Best Dog Food for Pugs Brands

1 Royal Canin Dry Dog Food for Pugs
by Royal Canin

This specially formulated grain-free dry food is an excellent choice for Pugs over ten months old that will prevent excessive weight gain. Plus, there is a puppy-specific formula available on the market. Once digested, the ingredients support the body of this particular breed and improve the health of their bones and joints.

Royal Canin Pug Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food,...
1,752 Reviews
Royal Canin Pug Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food,...
  • SKIN SUPPORT: Reinforces the...
  • MUSCLE SUPPORT: Adapted...


  • The size of the cloverleaf-shaped kibble is designed for the specific jaws of the Pugs
  • The formula contains L-carnitine to keep the dog in shape
  • It supports the health of dogs' skin and coat


  • Some picky eaters may not accept this food
  • It contains allergens, such as corn
  • It is not the best option for dogs with sensitive stomachs


2 Wellness Complete Health Dog Food for Pugs
by Wellness

Made of deboned turkey, chicken, salmon, and oatmeal with ground brown rice, this food provides balanced nutrition for Pugs to maintain their weight in desirable values. It contains 31% high-quality protein, 18% fat, vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and glucosamine.

Wellness Natural Pet Food Complete Health Natural...
890 Reviews
Wellness Natural Pet Food Complete Health Natural...
  • ALL NATURAL: Created by...
  • NO CORN, WHEAT, OR SOY: Adult...
  • MADE IN USA: Using only the...


  • This food contains natural ingredients without meat by-products, wheat, soy, and corn, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • The size of the kibble is ideal for small breeds like Pugs
  • This high-quality food is made in the US


  • This food may cause an issue with digestion
  • It contains grains, including rye, oatmeal, barley, and rice


3 Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Pugs
by Hill's Science

This canned food provides balanced nutrition for puppies under a year old. It includes selected, easily digestible ingredients and a few desirable flavors that promote digestion and improve the body condition of the dog. The formula contains high-quality lean protein, vitamin E, and Omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small...
3,648 Reviews
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small...
  • A dry dog food with...
  • This dry food for small-breed...
  • Provides your adult little dog...
  • Promotes healthy digestion for...
  • Made in the USA with global...


  • This food helps Pugs to keep ideal body weight
  • It doesn't include preservatives and artificial colors
  • Since it is wet and soft, this food is an excellent option for dogs with a dental issue
  • Most vets recommend this food made in the US


  • The level of vitamin D is too high, which doesn't suit every dog
  • The containers can be dirty and rusted


4 Blue Buffalo Dog Food for Small Breeds
by Blue Buffalo

With an ideal ratio of deboned chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, and barley, this food is a perfect option for small breeds, including Pugs. The recipe contains 29% protein and 17% fat, as well as necessary Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to boost the dog's immune system.

Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dog Food, Life Protection...
12,660 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Small Breed Dog Food, Life Protection...
  • PACKAGING MAY VARY: Contains...


  • Small-bite kibble is an ideal option for the Pugs' chewing mechanics and the skeletal structure of their jaws
  • The brand offers multiple flavor options
  • This food doesn't contain meat by-products and common allergens, such as soy, corn, and wheat


  • It contains a high level of carbs, which can cause quick weight gain
  • Not all the packages are the same, and some series are not tasty


5 Taste of the Wild High Protein Dog Food
by Taste of the Wild

Thanks to high-quality ingredients, including lamb, venison, duck meat, fish, egg products, peas, garbanzo beans, and lentils, this is the food of choice for adult Pugs. This grain-free recipe has 36% protein, 5.5% fiber, and 20% fat without artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Plus, it is rich in vitamins E, A, D, B2, B3, B12, folic acid, and biotin.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry...
21,676 Reviews
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry...
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific...
  • Nutrient-rich and provides the...
  • Each serving includes high...
  • FAMILY-OWNED and MADE in the...


  • This food contains probiotics for healthy guts
  • Small-sized kibble is convenient for chewing
  • The US family-owned company produces this food


  • The size and shape of kibble can vary by bag
  • It contains common allergens

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Top Rated Best Dog Food for Pugs and How to Feed

In the last 8 years, Dr. Shores has worked as a clinical veterinarian for dogs, cats, small mammals and non-human primates as well as a writer on the subject of pet health. Her passion is breaking down the intricacies of proper dog health care and dog nutrition.