11 Best Puppy Foods for Pugs 2023 - Jaxery

11 Best Puppy Foods for Pugs

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You will never have trouble figuring out your pug’s favorite food. It’s whatever food is in front of them!

Pugs of all ages love to eat. They will eat as much as they can. It is up to you to start choosing the best pug puppy food, starting just as soon as they are weaned so they will have long, happy, healthy lives.

In this article, we will introduce you to the 11 best pug puppy foods. We will tell you which of the 11 best puppy foods for Pugs are must-haves, which are great additions to your pug’s diet, and which you can use for training treats.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the 11 best pug puppy food brands.

1. Best Milk Substitute for Bottle Feeding Pug Puppies: PetAg Milk Products

Mother pugs typically give birth to a litter of four to six adorable pug puppies. Sometimes the mother pug will only have one puppy, and sometimes a litter of newborn pugs can number as many as nine.

Every pug puppy needs a mother’s milk for three or four weeks to mature into the lovable pug that starts exploring the world on its own. When the mother can’t make enough milk, bottle feeding with PetAg milk products is the next best thing,

PetAg Esbilac Liquid

PetAg’s Esbiliac Liquid puppy milk replacement is formulated to as closely as possible to the nutritional composition, flavor, and odor of a mother pug’s breast milk. PetAf adds extra vitamin B12 for  your growing pug’s eye and brain health. They also add biotin, folic acid, and vitamin E for strong nails and a healthy coat. Just open the can, heat the milk on the stove instead of the microwave so it does not get too hot, and bottle feed your hungry pug. 

PetAg Esbilac Powder

PetAg’s Esbilac powder keeps for up to two years. It is great to have some on hand for emergencies, just in case something happens to your mother pug’s ability to nurse her puppies.

Esbilac Powder doesn’t have the same flavor and odor as mother’s milk, but it has all the nutrition your pug puppies need. And because it does not have to be heat treated, it contains live probiotic bacteria that enhance your puppy’s immune system. 

Don’t kill them by bringing the milk mixture to high heat before giving it to your dog.

PetAg Products for Special Situations

Have to isolate a puppy that has diarrhea or that vomits a lot? Give them Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder just in case they have developed an allergy to other milk products.

Have a puppy recovering from scrapes, cuts, wounds, or broken bones? Give the Esbilac Pet Lac products fortified with extra amino acids for faster recovery.

2. Best First Dry Dog Food for a Pug Puppy: Royal Canin Pug Puppy Dry Dog Food

When the mother pug decides it is time for her puppies to be weaned, you need to have their first puppy food ready to put in their bowls. Our recommendation is Royal Canin Pug Puppy Dry Dog Food.

People who know the secret to success in feeding dry dog food to pug puppies know this: Pug puppies need food that is easy for them to get inside their mouths.

Pugs have flat faces. They don’t have a lot of room to line up their dry dog food with their mouths. As a result, they tend to spill as much food as they eat, unless their dry dog food is the right size and the right shape,

Royal Canin Pug Puppy Dry Dog Food is boomerang-shaped. If it starts to slide out of your puppy’s mouth, it slides right back in. Your puglet will get more food into her stomach from Royal Canin than from any other brand of dry dog food.

Like other Royal Canin products, their dry dog food for pug puppies has a special antioxidant formula to support your puppy’s immune health. And it also contains ingredients like biotin that strengthen the skin so your puppy will get fewer infections in the folds of his beautiful face.

3. Our #2 Choice of Dry Dog Food for Your Pug Puppy: Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food 

It is hard to think of your pug as a discerning gourmet. But the variety of flavors in Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food can be a welcome change of pace for your pug after you have been feeding Royal Canin for a while.

Making sure your pugs get used to the flavor and texture of Wellness Small Breed Complete makes it easier for you to use this brand in case there is some problem getting Royal Canin. And keeping a bag or two of both brands on hand for emergencies can be very useful for those times when you can’t get deliveries and you can’t get to the store.

You may wonder why we would recommend a brand that contains grains. First of all, it does not contain grains as a first-listed ingredient. It is more meat than rice,

The other reason is that this particular product provides an essential nutrient that is often overlooked; omega-6 essential fatty acids. They come from brown rice. These fatty acids are often misunderstood as “bad” fatty acids, but they are still essential. They power inflammation, which in turn powers your puppy’s ability to generate new skin and fur, and to fight infections.

4. Best First Wet Food for Pug Puppies: EUKANUBA Puppy With Lamb & Rice Canned Dog Food

EUKANUBA’s wet food for puppies makes smart choices of three plant foods that can actually do your pug puppy good.

One of them is tomato. Your pug probably won’t stop to savor the tomato-y taste of this EUKANUBA wet puppy food, but the lycopene in the tomato contributes to brain and skin health.

Another smart choice in plant foods in this product is pumpkin. It’s a great source of beta-carotene, which your dog’s body transforms into vitamin A for healthy skin. Maintaining the integrity of a pug’s skin is very important for preventing pyoderma, a painful infection of the folds in the skin in a pug’s face.

And this dog food contains a small amount of brown rice for essential omega-6 fatty acids.

The flavors your pug will actually notice are lamb and liver. Just about all dogs love them. They can be a nice change from the chicken and fish flavors that predominate in most brands of puppy food. 

In the unlikely event your pug puppy has food allergies (food allergies don’t usually occur before the age of two), lamb and liver are likely to be easier for your dog to tolerate than chicken, salmon, or beef. 

5. Best Treat for Active Pug Puppies: EUKANUBA Healthy Extras Puppy Dog Treats

Pugs are natural people pleasers. They thrive on petting, praise, and attention for doing the right thing. Sometimes, however, a crunchy treat helps reinforce learning how to obey a new command.

EUKANUBA Healthy Extras Puppy Dog Treats reward your dog with a crunching sound and a quick taste of meat. There aren’t so many calories in EUKANUBA Healthy Extras Puppy Dog Treats that they will make your pug puppy gain too much weight (unless you feed them all day long), and they won’t introduce your pug to any new flavors they might just find irresistible. They offer the added benefit of helping to keep your pug’s teeth clean.

We recommend a balance between petting, praise, attention, fun activities, and treats for motivating your dog to obey your commands. But when one treat doesn’t seem to be motivating your dog as much as it used to, we recommend trying two more.

6 and 7. Two More Pug Puppy Treats: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats and Wellness Crunchy Puppy Bites Chicken & Carrots Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats

Pug puppies are smart. They are observant. They learn quickly. And they will learn where you hide their puppy treats and try to eat the entire container if you aren’t careful.

One way to keep your pug puppy from becoming fixated on puppy treats is to use a variety of brands of treats. Include Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats and Wellness Crunchy Puppy Bites Chicken & Carrots Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats in the mix.

We don’t really know what pugs think, since they can’t tell us. But there is a high probability that your pug mostly thinks about food, and your pug likes some food treats better than others.

Unless you have a psychic pug, your pug will never know which treat he can earn if you keep a variety of treats on hand. Your pug will try just a little harder to get the treat he wants if he never knows which treat he will get for obeying a command.

When you use a variety of treats, you can apply the training principle of continuous reinforcement. You can reward each and every time your pug puppy gets the response to a command right.

You can also apply the principle of intermittent reinforcement. Your pug puppy will know she will get a reward for obeying, but she will try just a little harder when there is a one in three choice of getting the really good treat for learning a new command.

But you don’t have to limit your pugs to just three choices of treats. When they are little older, you can use two more.

8. Best Pug Puppy Treat to Introduce at the Age of Six Months: Milk Bone Original Puppy Biscuit Dog Treats

Pug puppies go through a long phase of being excited to explore their world during the first six months of their lives. Then they go through a long phase of learning what to avoid in their world during the seventh through eleventh months of their lives.

Your pug puppy may suddenly and inexplicably stop being enthusiastic about her old puppy treats around six months of age. That doesn’t mean your pug doesn’t still enjoy treats. She just wants a different treat.

We recommend Milk Bone Original Puppy Biscuit Dog Treats.

If you are feeding your pug raw (never cooked!) beef (never chicken!) bones by this point, chances are that you will have quickly discovered (1) that your growing dog loves bones and (2) they make a real mess around the house. The way to deal with this situation is Milk Bones.

Milk Bones contain added calcium and vitamin D for healthy bone and joint development. Along with avoiding overfeeding, avoiding sending your pug up and down steps and stairs, and avoiding excessive exercise, these two nutrients lower the risk of hip dysplasia.

These tasty, crunchy treats are large enough that they last more than one bite. They are easy to find, and easy to keep fresh. Milk bones can be just what you need to continue training your pug with a healthy food they will love.

9. Best Alternative Treat for Older Pug Puppies: Get Naked Puppy Health Grain-Free Small Dental Stick Dog Treats

Remember what we said about keeping your pug guessing which treat they will get for doing the right thing?

Here is another way to keep your older pug puppy guessing about which treat comes next: Get Naked Puppy Health Grain-Free Small Dental Stick Dog Treats. 

Get Naked Dental Stick Dog Treats help keep your pug’s teeth clean and breath fresh. They are a great treat for pugs of all ages, but especially for older puppies.

10. Best Backup Dry Dog Food for Older Pug Puppies With Hip Problems: EUKANUBA Small Breed Dry Puppy Food

Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and other joint problems sometimes show up in older pug puppies. When they do, EUKANUBA Small Breed Dry Puppy Food is a great choice.

This product offers the calcium and phosphorus pugs need for healthy bones, without the excess fat they don’t. It is enriched with biotin and vitamin E for skin health, keeping your pug’s adorable face infection-free. And because the main flavor in this brand is chicken, almost any pug can enjoy it.

11. Best Food for an Almost-Adult Pug: Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food

Pugs don’t miraculously stop being messy eaters when they reach maturity, about the age of one. Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food offers the balanced nutrition pugs need for healthy adult lives, in the easy-to-eat curved shape your pug needs for easy eating.

The Most Important Thing to Remember About Feeding Your Pug Puppy

Never free feed your pug puppy.

Free feeding is leaving dry food out for your dogs to eat when they feel hungry. If you leave a bowl of dry puppy food out for your pug puppy, they will eat the whole thing. If you fill it up again, they will lick the bowl clean again.

Young pugs gain weight very easily. It is very hard for them to exercise hard enough to melt the fat on their compact, muscular bodies. Pug puppies need measured amounts of food on a schedule they can learn and count on.

Never feed your pug puppy table scraps. Pug puppies that get a taste of the foods their humans eat, most of which are not good for them, will beg and whine and try to sneak a bite every time you forever after. It’s fine to reward your puppy with a treat for good behavior, but don’t get your growing pug into the habit of eating anytime except at mealtime.

We will help you navigate the maze of choices among puppy foods for your pug, but first let’s review some of the basic principles of canine physiology that will help make the best choices in food for your pug.

Pug Puppies Need Milk and Meat

Canines are natural carnivores. The natural food for pugs and all other dogs is meat.

It is easy to think of your adorable little pug puppy as a tiny person. Human beings can get all the nutrients they need from plant foods, and almost all the nutrients they need in the amounts they need from animal foods, or better from an omnivore diet, a mixture of foods of plant and animal origins,

Dogs can tolerate some plant-based food in their diet, but it isn’t natural for them to eat more than tiny amounts of plants.

One reason your pug needs a mostly-meat diet is anatomy. Humans have molars, teeth for grinding seeds and plant parts. Dogs only have canine teeth, designed for holding onto meat and tearing it apart.

Humans make most of the glucose fuel that their cells use for energy from carbohydrates. We can also turn amino acids from excess protein into sugar, and make ketones from fats.

Your pug’s metabolism is designed to reassemble its own proteins from the amino acids she gets from high-protein food. Dogs also make glucose from excess amino acids. Unlike cats, which are obligate carnivores, who can’t digest plant foods, dogs can turn small amounts of carbohydrate into sugar and even into fat. But they do not do well on as much plant-based food as there is in cheaper, mostly-grain dog foods.

Dog food manufacturers make their products sound like a great combination of grains, veggies, and meats, and they would be—if people ate them. The real reason dog food manufacturers use grains in their products is that they are cheaper than meat. 

The first-listed ingredient in all of the best pug puppy food choices is always meat or milk. In 2006, the committee for nutrition of the Animal Research Council confirmed that dogs have no nutritional needs for carbohydrates. In their Pet Food Nutrient Profiles in 2020, the American Association of Feed Control Officials concluded that dogs have no need for carbohydrates in their diet. The best foods for your pup puppy will always list meat or milk as their first ingredient.

10 Ways the Best Pug Puppy Foods Keep Your Pug Puppy Healthy

The best pug puppy foods provide your pug puppy with all the protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and calories he needs. Choosing the best pug puppy foods makes good nutrition easy. A single choice of best pug puppy food is all you really need to buy, although you can certainly give your pug puppy treats for training.

And making the right choices of pug puppy food keeps your pug puppy healthy in at least 10 different ways.

  • Pug puppies should never be given dog foods designed for larger breeds. Smaller-breed dogs like pugs need to get their food in smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are easier for them to chew and easier for them to digest. 
  • Always get puppy food that you can measure, and stick to the recommended amount of food for your puppy’s weight. Pugs that are overfed as puppies are more likely to develop hip dysplasia and/or elbow dysplasia by the age of two. Stimulating more muscle growth than cartilage growth causes imbalances in these joints.
  • Pug puppies can have allergic reactions to dyes, flavorings, preservatives, and other chemical additives to their food. Avoid any pug puppy food that lists erythrosine (also known as Red No. 3), preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, and sweeteners of any kind, especially sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • If you want to give your pug puppy food with some plant ingredients, choose barley, brown rice, white rice, or sweet potato. They are much less likely to cause allergies than corn or wheat.
  • Pug puppies are prone to gas attacks. Avoiding pug puppy foods that contain soy helps to reduce the frequency of this problem.
  • Pugs are messy eaters. Minimize the mess with weighted food and water bowls made of stainless steel. Your pug puppy is less likely to tip them over in her enthusiasm for her food. Stainless steel is easier to clean than plastic, and it does not hold odors or bacteria.  You should also take into consideration that pugs are brachycephalic, that is, they have short snouts and flat faces. Bowls elevated on a short stand make it easier for them to eat and drink.
  • If you have more than one pug puppy, make sure they all have their own food and water bowls. This reduces anxiety and mealtime aggression. You also need to get into the habit of staying out of the way of your pug when she is eating. Pugs don’t like competition with their favorite activity, eating.
  • Feed your pugs in their crate or kennel. This gives them happy associations with being crated, and makes it easier to confine them when you have to take them places. 
  • Leave food in front of your pug for 15 minutes. If some food is left over, remove it and store it to be served again later. Make sure your pug learns that meal times aren’t all the time.
  • Try not to make an abrupt switch in the brand of puppy food you feed your pug. This can cause them to get gas and diarrhea. Maintain a steady feeding routine to the greatest extent possible.

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