Food

Best Dog Food For Pugs (Pug Puppies And Adults)

Best Dog Food For Pugs
Written by Graeme Hall

Who doesn't love the cheeky pug dog, I know I do. I like to think of pugs as the clown in the dog world they're always looking for mischief and they're loaded with personality and when they're not fooling around, they love to snuggle up on your lap; Pugs are great!

However, a question that often pops up in conversation via email or over on our Facebook page is what's the best food for pugs, do they have a special diet or is the regular dog food okay?

With so many dog lovers asking the same question I thought it would be a good idea to write a brief article on the best type of pug dog food for both puppies and adults.

Pugs are prone to weight gain so if they’re fed the wrong food your pug's weight can quickly spiral out of control and even an extra pound can have a detrimental effect on a breed of dog that's known to have breathing problems. 

But don't worry, feeding your pug the best dog food at the right time and with the correct portion sizes will ensure that your pooch will be healthy and happy.

Nutritional Requirements For Pug Dogs

Pugs seem to have a never-ending supply of energy, and they would probably run nonstop all day if they were allowed to, even though senior pugs may slow down this breed never seems to lose their playful energy.

Because pugs are such high energy dogs, they require a dog food high in protein, and that's also balanced with minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates to fuel their vast amounts of energy - and you should always try to source dog food that’s made from all natural ingredients.

Take time to read the detailed ingredients list and make sure that the dog food contains protein sourced from fish or the muscle meat of animals. Even is the label says the food contains lean meat often this also means that other parts of the animals have been added such as feathers, feet and even beaks!

When you're reading through the label look for carbohydrates from brown rice, potatoes, and even sweet potatoes. These sources of carbohydrates will be perfect for any high-energy pug and the carbs will slowly burn throughout the day ensuring that your pug is always full of energy.

Calorie Requirements Pug Puppy And Adult

Apart from nutritional requirements for pugs you also need to take into consideration the calorie intake for this high-energy breed.

How many calories does a Pug puppy need? 

A Pug puppy ideally requires about 50 calories per pound of body weight; however, this can vary depending on your pug's metabolism, health, and their activity level.

How many calories does an adult Pug dog need? 

An adult pug will require about 40 calories per pound of body weight to keep them happy and content. However, just like pug puppies, this can vary depending on your pug's activity level, health, and their metabolism.

How About Older Senior Pugs?

Older senior pugs will require fewer calories due to the natural slowing down of their metabolism; older pugs are not as energetic as they were in their younger years.

Common Diet Related Issues For Pugs

Pugs are prone to arthritis due to their compact and rock solid body type putting extra weight on their joints. Not only that, but pugs tend to have breathing difficulties due to their small, short noses.

Unfortunately, these issues can be exaggerated as soon as a pug puts on additional weight due to overeating or eating the wrong type of dog food, plus the extra weight can also increase the risk of other health issues such as heart disease.

But it's not all doom and gloom, by choosing the right food for your pugs and ensuring that your pooch is regularly exercised almost all of these elements can be reduced, if not completely eliminated.

Best Food For Pugs

So now you have a better understating of what your pug needs to be healthy and fit I've gone ahead and done the research for you and picked out some of the best dog food for pugs, both adults, and younger pups!

Pug Puppies Dietary Requirements

Just like any other breeds of dog, a pug puppy will require a special diet and planning should be done regarding dog food. When your pug puppy is eating solids, make sure that your pup doesn't suffer from any digestion problems related to a rapid change of diet.

If you purchased your pug pup from a private sale or breeder, you must make sure you ask for the brand of dog food they are accustomed to, this will ensure that your new puppy doesn't suffer from any digestion issues. If you are planning to change their dog food, you can do so by slowly incorporating the new food with their old brand of dog food over the course of one month.

Changing the brand of your pug puppy food can be done as follows, just make sure that both dog food varieties are mixed together well.

  • Week 1: ¾ old to ¼ new.
  • Week 2: ½ old to ½ new.
  • Week 3: ¼ old to ¾ new.
  • Week 4: A Pug can now be solely on the new food.

Dog Food For Adult Pugs

When your pup moves into adulthood, it's time to choose one of the countless brands of dog food that are all claiming to be the best for dogs. Which one do you choose? Which is the best dog food for your pug?

With so many choices it’s understandable to be confused, but don't fret because we’ve picked out some brands that will be the best food option for your pug and they all contain just the right amount of vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals that any active adult pug needs.

ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

As far as we're concerned, this is the best dry dog food for your dog. The primary sources of protein in ORIJEN are from real lean meats such as Turkey, Chicken, Mackerel, and Flounder, to name just a few. Healthy vegetables included in this dry food are beans (lentil and pinto), peas, and alfalfa.

ORIJEN is a great option for any active pugs diet and has a ratio of 25% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 35% healthy fats.


Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Another recommendation for your pug is Wellness CORE. Just like the above ORIJEN dry dog food, Wellness CORE contains real meat such as Turkey, Chicken, and various fish sources such as Salmon, Whitefish, and Hearing. They source carbohydrates from different vegetables like potatoes, peas, chicory root, and flaxseed.

Wellness CORE has a slightly different nutritional breakdown and has 37% carbohydrates, 34% protein, 29% fats.


What To look For When Buying Pug Dog Food

Both dog brands make excellent choices for any pug but if you decide to try a different brand of dog food, make sure you follow this checklist so you can weed out the low-quality foods.

Always, choose a brand of dog food that contains real meat and not meat by-products. With real meat you know what your pug is eating, with by-products it could be a mix of anything that's typically not fit for human consumption. Meat “meal” containing beef, chicken, turkey, etc. is perfectly fine. Meal is basically condensed meat that has had the solubles removed, and it’s packed full of protein.

Many cheap dog foods fill their products with artificial flavors, coloring's, and preservatives - you need to stay clear from these sorts of dog foods. Your pooch can have an adverse reaction to any one of these artificial additives ranging from dry skin, itchy coat, as well as various other gastrointestinal issues.

Also, avoid buying dog food for your pug that contains fillers. Fillers are basically cheaper ingredients that have been added to bulk up the food and often offer no additional nutritional value, and in some cases can be harmful. Often these fillers will pass straight through your dog's digestive system, causing bloating and diarrhea.

An excellent ingredient to look out for are added probiotics. These probiotics can be beneficial for your pug, and they ensure that your K9's digestive system is ticking over and working well. Additionally, probiotics can help to boost the immune system of your dog - it’s a win, win!

When choosing a dog food pugs tend to do best with dry food versus wet - however, you can add additional ingredients into the dry mix such as bananas or fresh vegetables if required.

pug dog eating food from bowl

Pug Feeding Guidelines by Age

Not sure how much to feed your pug? Don’t worry we have the answers. According to
Acclaimed dog trainer and behaviorist, Cesar Millan you should ideally feed your dog as per the below schedule.

  • 0-3 months/4 times daily.
  • 3-6 months/3 times daily.
  • 6-12 months/2 times daily.
  • After 1 year/1-2 times daily.

At 10-12 months of age switch to an adult dog food. Typically pugs require ½ to 1 cup of high-quality dry food per day. The brand listed above are a great place to start.

It might seem like your pug is still hungry even though he’s just eaten, and could probably continue eating endlessly if allowed. However, be careful that you don’t overfeed your pug and follow a strict feeding schedule, it's easy to overfeed your pug, and the last thing you want is your pug becoming overweight and suffering from health problems as outlined at the beginning of this article.


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About the author

Graeme Hall

Graeme is the founder of Doggytastic! which is where he blogs about dog training, health, nutrition and anything else related to keeping a dog happy and healthy. Want to know a little bit more? Make sure to check out his full bio.

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