The Best Dog Food Brands For a Pug (2019) - Dog Food Network
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The Best Dog Food Brands For a Pug (2019)

Finding the best dog food for a Pug is one of the most important decisions you will need to make as a dog owner. Searching online you may find thousands of dog food brands available online and they all claim to be the best dog food for a Pug.

As a responsible Pug owner, you need to take in consideration a number of factors before purchasing the right dog food. First, According to  the National Research Council of the National Academies pugs that weigh between 14 to 19 pounds should intake approximately 727 calories per day.

Second, Pugs need 5 essential nutrients to maintain a healthy body including protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Third, Pugs need a specifically formulated small breed diet with plenty of exercise to help keep the weight off.

So what’s the best dog food for a Pug? Our team of dog food nutritionists researched and analyzed over 400 small and toy breed brands to find the very best dog food for your Pug.

Each brand must meet the following nutritional requirements to qualify:

  • Real Meat is the #1 Ingredient
  • Small or Toy Breed Specific Formula
  • Protein and Fat Levels Balance
  • No Corn, Wheat or Soy
  • No Artificial Flavors, Colors or Preservatives
  • Exceeds AAFCO Standards



The Best Dry Dog Food For Pugs

If you are looking for a premium dry dog food brand for your Pug, check out our 5 top-rated brands below.

5. Wellness® CORE Grain Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe has been crafted on the nutritional philosophy that Pugs thrive on a natural diet comprised of meat. Wellness CORE  features a protein rich diet that includes Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal and Chicken Meal. The combination of these 3 rich protein ingredient give this small breed dry dog food a high 36.0% min crude protein level.

Additionally, the proprietary blend of whole ingredients, essential antioxidants, vitamins and mineral makes the formula complete and balanced as well. Glucosamine and chondroitin is also included and help maintain joint health in your Pug. Made in the USA, Wellness CORE is free of grains, gluten, corn, wheat and soy as well.


Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Spearmint, Mixed Tocopherols Added to Preserve Freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 36.0% min
CRUDE FAT 16.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 2.0% max
PHOSPHORUS 1.3.0% max
VITAMIN E 400 IU/kg
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 3.0% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.5% min
GLUCOSAMINE 250 mg/kg min
CHONDROITIN SULFATE 200 mg/kg min
BETA-CAROTENE 5 mg/kg min
TOTAL LACTIC ACID MICROORGANISMS* +80,000,000 CFU/lb min



4. Blue Buffalo® Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for a dry dog food brand specifically formulated for a Pug, take a look at Blue Buffalo Life Protection Toy Breed Formula. The 5 star toy breed dry dog food starts with real deboned chicken as the #1 ingredient. In addition to healthy deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 And 6 Fatty Acids) is also included. A Super 7 package of antioxidant-rich ingredients enhances the nutrient-rich blend and helps maintain a healthy immune system as well. 


Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 And 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dried Tomato Pomace, Peas, Pea Protein, Turkey Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine,, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

Caloric Content: 3,652 kcal/kg, 415 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis:
CRUDE PROTEIN 26.0% min
CRUDE FAT 15.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 1.2% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.9% min
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS 0.5% min
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS 3.0% min
GLUCOSAMINE 400 mg/kg min



3. Taste of the Wild® Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Formula is one of the most popular brands among Pug owners. The novel proteins are formulated from venison, lamb and duck. The small-size kibble includes healthy garbanzo beans, peas, lentils and ocean fish meal as well.

Additional pro and prebiotic fibers are added and help support healthy digestion in your Pug. Yucca Schidigera is also added to the formula and can reduce waste-odor in your Pug by as much as 26% as well. Taste of the Wild is perfectly balanced and a great dry dog food formula for a Pug.


Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils, Pea Protein, Canola Oil, Egg Product, Duck Meal, Pea Flour, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried BiFidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, RiboflAvin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

Caloric Content: 3,719 kcal/kg, 370 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 32.0% min
CRUDE FAT 18.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
ZINC 150 mg/kg min
TAURINE 0.12% min
SELENIUM 0.35 mg/kg min
VITAMIN E 150 IU/kg min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 2.8% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.3% min
TOTAL MICROORGANISMS Not Less Than 80,000,000 CFU/lb min



2. CANIDAE® Grain-Free PURE Fields with Chicken Small Breed Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

If you have a food and allergy sensitive Pug, you may want to consider a limited ingredient diet. CANIDAE PURE is a flavorful, allergy sensitive dry dog food that your Pug will love. The recipe is simple and contains just 9 key whole ingredients.

Real chicken is the #1 ingredient which provides a healthy mixture of proteins that is ideal for a Pug’s diet. In addition to rich proteins, the formula contains a healthy variety of vitamins, minerals and probiotics. CANIDAE PURE is made without gluten, grains, antibiotics, hormones, corn, wheat or soy as well.  


Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Lentils, Potatoes, Dried Whole Egg, Chicken Fat, Suncured Alfalfa, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (a Source of Vitamin E).

Caloric Content: 1,573 kcal/lb, 520 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 30.0% min
CRUDE FAT 12.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA-6) 3.0% min
VITAMIN E 50 IU/kg min
ALPHA LINOLENIC ACID (OMEGA-3) 0.4% min
LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS 100,000,000 CFU/lb min
CELLULASE 100 CMCU/kg min



1. Natural Balance® Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Chicken Meal & Duck Meal Formula Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food

Real farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient in Natural Balance Original Ultra Dry Dog Food. Chicken provides all the nutritional protein your Pug needs. Antioxidant rich fruits and wholesome vegetables are additionally added to help balance out 5 star small breed dry dog food formula.

The gluten-free diet also contains oat fiber which helps aid in proper digestion. To help with hip and joint health in Pugs, Natural Balance includes zinc and manganese as well. If your’e looking for high quality ingredients at an affordable price, Natural Balance is a great choice for a Pug.


Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Pea Protein, Carrots, Duck Meal, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Menhaden Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Hulls, Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Vitamins(Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), L-Tryptophan, Dried Kelp, Dried Spinach, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Cranberries, Blueberries, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Caloric Content: 3750 kcal/kg, 410 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 23.0% min
CRUDE FAT 13.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 3.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 1.2% min
PHOSPHORUS 1.0% min
VITAMIN E 100 IU/kg min
ASCORBIC ACID 200 mg/kg min
TAURINE 0.05% min
DHA & EPA 0.25% min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 2.5% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.4% min

The Best Wet Dog Food For Pugs

If you are looking for a premium wet dog food brand for your Pug, check out our 5 top-rated brands below.

5. Blue Buffalo® Wilderness Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Grill is a high protein, low carbohydrate wet dog food that your Pug will love. Turkey and chicken are the 2 main ingredients in this 5 star formula. Made without any grain, corn, wheat, soy, preservatives or by-products, Blue Buffalo is a wonderful choice for the most sensitive Pugs. Additionally, B12 supplement and flaxseed is added to boost gastrointestinal function and overall immune system. The pate texture is perfectly palatable for any Pug.


Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey Liver, Potatoes, Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).

Caloric Content: 1,382 kcal/kg, 216 kcal/can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 10.0% min
CRUDE FAT 8.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.5% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max
GLUCOSAMINE 380 mg/kg min



4. Instinct by Nature’s Variety® Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Beef Recipe Natural Wet Dog Food

If your pug needs a protein-focused diet, turn to Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Wet Dog Food.  The 5 star small breed focused recipe is made with real beef as the #1 ingredient. Further down the ingredient list, beef liver, ground dried peas and cod are also included.

Additional antioxidant rich pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage and kate are added to finish the formula. The complete formula is then simmered in flavorful beef broth to lock in the nutrients and flavor. Made in the USA, Instinct Original contains no grains, wheat, soy, potatoes, by-products, artificial colors or preservatives as well. 


Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Ground Dried Peas, Cod, Pea Fiber, Tricalcium Phosphate, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley

Caloric Content: 1,013 kcal/kg, 153 kcal/5.5 oz can, 86 kcal/3 oz can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 8.5% min
CRUDE FAT 4.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 2.0% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.% min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 0.45% min



3. Merrick® Grain-Free Cowboy Cookout Small Breed Wet Dog Food

Merrick Cowboy Cookout is a grain-free, wet dog food brand that’s blended with rich, deboned-beef, chicken liver, egg, peas, green beans and potatoes. The 5 star formula is then simmered in both chicken and beef broth for extra flavor and additional moisture.

In addition to the delicious beef, wholesome vegetables and rich broth, chelated minerals and vitamins and added to complete the formula. Made in the USA, this palatable wet dog food is nutritionally complete and balanced for a Pug. 


Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Dried Egg Product, Dried Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans, Apples, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Oil, Salmon Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Flaxseed Oil, Gum Ghatti, Xanthan Gum, Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Caloric Content: 804 kcal /kg, 304 kcal/13.2 oz can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 9.0% min
CRUDE FAT 3.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.4% max
MOISTURE 81.0% max



2. Whole Earth Farms® Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe Chicken Dinner Wet Dog Food

Price compared to ingredient quality, Whole Earth Farms Small Breed Wet Dog Food is a great choice for your Pug. The recipe includes real chicken as the #1 ingredient. Whole ingredients including chicken liver, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes are also included in the 5 star formula. Additionally, it is grain-free, palatable and made in the USA.


Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Peas, Carrots, Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Egg Product, Yeast Culture, Apples, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Dried Cranberries, Xanthan Gum, Cinnamon, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Caloric Content: 994 kcal/kg, 84 kcal/3 oz can, 1193 kcal/kg, 108 kcal/3.2 oz can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 9.0% min
CRUDE FAT 5.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.4% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max



1. Castor & Pollux® PRISTINE Grain-Free Small Breed Cage-Free Duck Stew Wet Dog Food

If you are wanting to feed your Pug an organic diet, Castor & Pollux PRISTINE is an excellent choice. This easy-to-serve organic formula is focused on using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients from the most trusted suppliers. Lean duck meat is the #1 ingredient found in this small breed wet dog food formula. 

Castor & Pollux PRISTINE protein level gets an additional boost adding organic chicken liver to the formula. Real organic spinach, carrots and peats is also included to help balance out the flavorful stew. This organic produced is proudly made without any harmful synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides and is made in the USA.


Ingredients: Duck, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Chicken Liver, Chicken, Dried Egg Whites, Organic Spinach, Organic Carrots, Organic Dried Peas, Organic Apples, Guar Gum, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Tricalcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum.

Caloric Content: 878 kcal/kg, 87 kcal/bowl

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 9.0% min
CRUDE FAT 3.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.4% max
MOISTURE 81.0% max