The Best Food for Your Pug’s Joint Health and Weight [2023]

*This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.

best food for pugs

Choosing the best food for Pugs can be challenging, especially since Pugs tend to be prone to obesity and joint problems.

You need food that will offer your dog all of the nutrition they need without causing them to gain weight.

You want food that has supplements for your Pug’s joints and other specific health concerns.

Finally, you need food that will taste good enough to satisfy your Pug’s desire to work for treats.

Here’s what you need to know about how to pick the best food for your Pug.

How to Pick the Best Food For Your Pug

If you own a Pug you know how much they love their food. This is a breed that treats mealtime like an Olympic activity.

Most Pugs are highly food-motivated and are easy to train using treats.

In fact, many Pugs love food so much that they can be trained to just using their regular food as treats.

Here are some things to look for in the best dog food for your Pug.

1.Won’t Cause Excessive Weight Gain

Pugs are prone to obesity so it is very important that you choose food for them that will not cause them to gain excessive weight.

You want the food to taste good and you want to be able to feed enough of it to fill up your Pug without causing them to gain weight.

Since Pugs are also prone to joint problems, which are aggravated by obesity, it is even more important that you not allow your Pug to gain any excess weight.

2.Supplements for Joints

Pugs can be prone to various joint and back problems. They may develop luxating patella or hip dysplasia along with other joint issues.

By providing your Pug with plenty of cartilage building and joint supporting material in their food, you can help them to remain symptom-free for longer.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are both important ingredients to look for in good Pug dog food.

These supplements help your dog build the connective tissue that they need in order to have healthy joints and also support the spine.

Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease inflammation and pain that help your Pug to retain muscle mass and improve their strength.

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids decreases pain and symptoms from arthritis.

Several types of omega acids are best absorbed when consumed in the diet, so it is important to choose a diet that is rich in omega acids, especially for older Pugs who may be at risk for arthritis.

Set your plug up for success by giving them food that has these supplements to help their joints long before they show symptoms of joint problems.

3. Support bladder health

Smaller dogs in general and Pugs in particular may be more prone to bladder stones and urinary tract infections than other dogs.

Bladder stones seem to be more likely when dogs eat foods that are high in phosphorus, protein, magnesium, and calcium.

Therefore, it is wise to limit how much of these minerals go into your Pug’s food.

The best food for Pugs will carefully manage how much of these minerals are present.

4.Supplements for skin

Because Pugs have adorable wrinkles and a somewhat harsh coat, they can sometimes be prone to skin issues and irritation.

Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a dog food with ingredients that are good for the skin, like Omega 3 and 6.


You don’t want to give your Pug any more food than necessary, so it is very convenient if the kibble that you normally give your dog is also yummy enough to serve as treats for training.

Look for foods with meat as a first ingredient so that you can find a food that your dog will love.


Pugs have a tendency to have a lot of gas, especially for such a small dog. Not only is a smelly Pug inconvenient for you, but having lots of gas can also be uncomfortable for your dog.

Choose a dog food that is easy to digest and contains ingredients to help the digestion process such as probiotics.

A Quick Pick of The Best Dog Food for Pugs

Best Food for Pugs

We examined all of the options available for feeding your dog in order to determine the absolute best food for Pugs.

With years of experience owning and feeding Pugs, we know what matters when choosing the food that will keep them healthiest.

1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Dog Food

Best food for Pugs who need to keep their weight down


  • Choose between 6 lb, 15 lb, and 30 lb bags
  • Chicken and brown rice formula
  • Dry kibble

Who is this for?

This formula by Blue Buffalo is an excellent choice for Pugs because it helps to manage weight while also providing supplements for joint health.

This food is tasty that many Pugs like it even to take it as a treat, but it does not have extra fat or calories.

This may be the best food for Pugs who need to lose weight.


Weight Management Formula—This food is formulated to offer nutrition and taste that won’t cause your Pugs to gain weight.

Contains Chondroitin and Glucosamine for Joints—Joint health is very important for Pugs, so it is a huge benefit that this food contains supplements to help your dog’s joints.

Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids for Skin Health—You want your Pug’s skin to be resilient and healthy, so the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in this food are very helpful.

Chicken is the First Ingredient—Most dogs love the taste of this kibble because chicken is the first ingredient. Chicken is a lean protein that will help your Pug develop muscle, not fat.

Probiotics for Digestion—This food contains multiple sources of probiotics including multiple fermentation products that provide a wide variety of probiotics to help your dog’s digestion.


Some dogs are allergic to chicken, which is the primary protein in this food, so if your Pug is having indigestion or other allergy symptoms it may be the chicken in the diet.

Additional tip:

If you have a higher energy Pug and need more protein and less weight control in your dog’s diet but still want a diet with probiotics, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Best food for energetic Pugs of a healthy weight


  • Choose between 4 lb, 15.5 lb, and 30 lb bag
  • Chicken & Rice formula
  • Dry kibble

Who is this for?

This is a great diet for Pugs who are maintaining a healthy weight and are quite active.

This food is rich in natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to help your Pug develop healthy joints even when they are very active.

The first ingredient is chicken meal, which offers a dense source of protein.

This kibble is specially made to be small enough for your Pug to eat easily, so if your dog seems to be struggling with regular-sized kibble this may be a great choice.


High Protein Formula – If your Pug is on the go, this is a great source of protein to help build healthy muscles and feed their energy.

Contains Chondroitin and Glucosamine for Joints – This food is made with a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine to give your Pug excellent joint health and develop healthy cartilage.

Chicken Meal is the First Ingredient – Chicken meal is a concentrated source of chicken protein, making this an excellent ingredient for high-energy dogs. It also tastes great so Pugs will be more likely to like this food as a treat.

Small Kibble is Easy to Eat – This kibble is designed to be small and easy on little dogs’ teeth.


This kibble is not made with probiotics, so while there is no reason to think that it is difficult to digest, it is not formulated to make digestion easier.

Since this is not a weight control diet, it may be too prone to making your Pug gain weight unless they are very high energy.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 11+ For Senior Dogs

Best food for older Pugs


  • Choose between 4.5 lb and 15.5 lb bags
  • Chicken, barley, and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble

Who is this for?

This food is ideal for older dogs who may be developing the symptoms of arthritis.

If your Pug isn’t as playful or agile as they used to be, they may be experiencing arthritis. This disease is painful and can even be debilitating as it progresses.

This Hill’s Science Diet has omega 3s from fish oil to support your dog’s joints and mobility, increase their muscle mass, and decrease inflammation and pain from arthritis. An extra small kibble is easier for your older dog to chew and digest.

This food also contains minerals in the perfect balance to support your older dog’s kidney, heart, and bladder.

Minerals to support bladder health is especially important, since older Pugs sometimes experience bladder stones and urinary tract infection.


Support joints and mobility with natural omega-3 from fish oil. These oils also decrease the symptoms of arthritis, which many older Pugs are prone to. Furthermore, these oils help to keep your Pug’s coat in top condition.

Balances minerals to support the heart and kidneys while not providing too many minerals so as to cause bladder stones.

Chicken meal is the first ingredient, offering a high-quality source of protein to feel muscle development without causing your older Pug to gain weight.

Barley and brewers rice are the next two ingredients, offering excellent sources of vitamin D for healthy bones also carbohydrates for ongoing energy


This food does not contain glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, so while the omega-3s from fish oil are great for the joints, it may not be as good at building cartilage to support healthy joints.

Extra small kibble is easier to chew but maybe a choking hazard for Pugs who tend to inhale their food.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Purina Pro Plan Weight Control High Protein Dry Dog Food

Best food for Pugs on a budget


  • Choose between 6 lb, 18 lb, and 34 lb bags
  • Chicken with shreds recipe
  • Dry kibble with meat shreds

Who is this for?

If you want to feed your Pug well but can’t afford to spend an arm and a leg on dog food, this diet by Purina may be the perfect choice for you.

This food is formulated with glucosamine for your Pug’s joints and also contains probiotics to help your Pug digest the food fully.

If you know how much Pugs love to eat, you’ll appreciate the tender meat shreds added into this food in order to create an enticing texture that your dog will absolutely love.


This is an affordable diet that you can afford to feed your dog throughout their life.

Offers weight control benefits to keep your dog from getting too chunky while also providing meaty shreds to entice your dog.

This food is supplemented with glucosamine which will support your dog’s joint health.

It is important that your Pug gets plenty of glucosamine throughout their lives so that they develop healthy joints, so it’s a good ingredient to find in an adult dog management diet like this.

Live probiotics to support your dog’s digestive health are an important benefit for a small breed dog that sometimes tends to wolf down their food like the Pug. Probiotics make it easier for your dog to digest their food fully.


Whole grain corn is the third ingredient in this diet, followed by corn germ meal.

Some dogs tolerate these ingredients without any trouble and they are a good source of some healthy oils, but some dogs have an allergic reaction to corn and it is not considered one of the most ideal sources of grain for your dog’s food.

This food contains glucosamine, which is wonderful for your Pug’s joints, but it does not have chondroitin or Omega 3 or 6 oil, which can also help build joints.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5.Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food

Best food for Pugs who eat too quickly


  • Choose between a 2.5 lb and a 10 lb bag
  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Specially shaped dry kibble made for a Pug’s mouth

Who is this for?

Pugs are well-known for their tendency to devour food at an astounding rate, sometimes without chewing carefully.

This kibble is specially shaped to prevent your dog from eating it too rapidly and avoid having them choke on it.

It is easy for your dog’s specially shaped head and mouth to chew and swallow this kibble.


The shape of the kibble is especially made for Pugs so that they won’t choke and are encouraged to chew it slowly.

This food is designed to control your Pug’s weight so that they will not gain weight too easily, which is a common problem for the breed.

There is plenty of protein and L-Carnitine to help your dog develop a great muscle tone.

essential nutrients are designed to maintain healthy skin and allow for problem-free wrinkles.


Ground corn is the fourth ingredient in this diet. While corn can be a great source of carbohydrates many dogs are allergic to it or have trouble digesting it.

This food is quite expensive, especially considering the ingredients contain corn and corn gluten meal quite high on the list.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Feed Your Pug Well

The best food for Pugs offers excellent supplements for joints and skin while offering protein to fuel energy but not too much fat or calories to cause your dog to gain excessive weight.

Think carefully about your Pug’s needs and choose food that is right for their activity level, age, and special needs.