Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Dog Foods for Puggles – 2022 Reviews and Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

puggle

The Puggle combines features of the Pug and the Beagle. It is a small breed and may adopt the flat, brachycephalic face of its Pug parent or the healthier face of the Beagle. The designer breed can be prone to putting on a lot of weight. As well as ensuring your Puggle’s nutritional requirements are met, you will need to stick closely to a calorie-controlled diet and may want to choose a food specifically for small breeds and those with brachycephalic faces, so it is easier to pick up, chew, and digest.

Below are 10 of the best dog foods for Puggles, as well as a guide to choosing the best food for you and your dog.

Divider 2

A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2022

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food
  • Made from high-quality fresh ingredients
  • Pre-portioned
  • Delivered to your door, according to your schedule
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Cheap
  • 26% protein is good for adult dogs
  • Main ingredients are chicken and chicken meal
  • Third place
    Wellness Core Small Breed Dry Dog Food Wellness Core Small Breed Dry Dog Food
  • High in protein
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics for gut health
  • Main ingredients are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal
  • Best for Puppies
    Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Primary ingredient is lamb
  • Reasonable price for puppy food
  • 27% protein is suitable for puppies
  • Vet’s Choice
    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed
  • 27% protein is suitable for adult dogs
  • Formulated and made for small dogs
  • Primary ingredients are deboned chicken
  • The 10 Best Dog Food for Puggles

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food – Best Overall

    Main ingredients:  varies by recipe
    Protein content:  varies by recipe
    Fat content:  varies by recipe
    Calories:   varies by recipe

    The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food is a fresh food subscription service that is tailored to your dog’s requirements and delivered according to yours. Food can be delivered weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and you can pause or cancel your subscription whenever you need to.

    The food uses high-quality ingredients that the manufacturer says are human-grade ingredients. When you sign up, you provide details of your dog, including age and breed, which means that when the food is delivered it is not only conveniently packaged but is also portioned so you can open a single pouch and pour the contents into your dog’s bowl without the need to scoop or measure. Because the food is fresh and delivered within days of being prepared, it is highly palatable and appealing to doggy diners.

    There are four recipes to choose from: beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. They all have between 38%–49% protein, which is a lot higher than commercial dry and wet foods, so you will need to introduce the food gradually. The quality of the ingredients means that The Farmer’s Dog is an expensive food, but the fact that the fresh texture is easy for Puggle to eat makes it our choice as the best overall dog food for Puggles.

    Pros
    • Made from high-quality fresh ingredients
    • Pre-portioned 
    • Delivered to your door, according to your schedule
    • Easy survey to fill out and get to know your dog
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Value

    Nutro Ultra Small Breed

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 17%
    Calories:  442 kcal/cup

    Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is a dry kibble designed for small breed dogs like the Puggle. Its primary ingredients are chicken and chicken meal, as well as sorghum, and the food also includes superfoods and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. Nutro has 26% protein, which is suitable for adult dogs, but a recent recipe change means that the new formula contains 442 calories per cup of food, which is a lot and may make it unsuitable for dogs that need to lose weight or that have a very big appetite. 

    Although the use of whole chicken as the primary ingredient isn’t always desirable because it loses a lot of its nutritional content once the food has been cooked, chicken meal is the second ingredient and it looks as though much of the protein content in this food does come from high-quality meat sources.

    Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is an inexpensive food that meets the protein and other nutritional requirements of dogs, making it the best dog food for Puggles for the money. However, its high calorie content means that it won’t be suitable for dogs on a strict diet. 

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • 26% protein is good for adult dogs
    • Main ingredients are chicken and chicken meal
    Cons
    • High calorie content

    3. Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey

    Main ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
    Protein content: 36%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories:  412 kcal/cup

    Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food is a dry kibble food that uses deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal as its primary ingredients. It has 36% protein, which is higher than most dry foods and may be too high for some dogs, especially those with existing kidney conditions, but is suitable for dogs that need a high protein diet. 

    This is also a grain-free diet, which isn’t necessary or beneficial for most dogs. Speak to your vet if you believe your dog has a food allergy or sensitivity and before moving to a grain-free food. At 412 calories per cup, it is quite high in calories, but its primary ingredients are good, and it contains prebiotics and probiotics that promote good gut health. 

    This is a premium dry food, so it costs more than a lot of the superstore alternatives, but it is a good food for young and senior dogs that need more protein for good muscle maintenance, and its high protein ratio should be fine for energetic, active adult dogs that do not have existing kidney problems. 

    Pros
    • High in protein 
    • Contains prebiotics and probiotics for gut health
    • Main ingredients are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal
    Cons
    • High in calories
    • Expensive

    4. Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Lamb, Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal
    Protein content: 27%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories:  410 kcal/cup

    Puppies have different dietary requirements to adult and senior dogs. They need more protein to help build and maintain strong muscles and because they are active and energetic. They also need more calories to give them this energy. 

    Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food is formulated specifically for puppies and keeping these nutritional requirements in mind. The food is reasonably priced for a puppy food. It uses lamb, brewers rice, and chicken by-product meal as its main ingredients, and has 27% protein content which is suitable for puppies. It also contains calcium and phosphorus as well as DHA omega-3 fatty acids.

    The food is well-priced and of decent quality, although the chicken by-product meal is a less than ideal ingredient because by-products are the meat and other constituent parts of the animal that are left over after processing. They do not necessarily have the best protein ratio and are unidentifiable. 

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is lamb
    • Reasonable price for puppy food
    • 27% protein is suitable for puppies
    Cons
    • Chicken by-product meal is not the best quality meat ingredient

    5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Adult – Vet’s Choice

    Main ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
    Protein content: 27%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories:  404 kcal/cup

    Small breed dog foods are not only formulated to have appropriate levels of protein, fat, and other contents, but they also tend to be smaller biscuits. This makes the kibble easier for small mouths to eat, and it reduces the chances of choking and other problems. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food is a small kibble that uses deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice as its primary ingredients. It has a 27% protein ratio and contains brown rice, ancient grains, and vitamins and minerals to ensure it is perfectly balanced for your little Puggle.

    The food is expensive, but it is fortified with vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics to promote good gut health, and it uses good quality ingredients. 

    Pros
    • 27% protein is suitable for adult dogs
    • Primary ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice
    • Formulated and made for small dogs
    Cons
    • Expensive

    6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Dry Dog Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult

    Main ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice
    Protein content: 15.5%
    Fat content: 10.5%
    Calories:  353 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe is a dry kibble aimed at senior dogs aged 7 years and older. Its primary ingredients are chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, and brewers rice. The kibble is small enough for Puggles, and its ingredients include omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat conditioning. Plus, it has low fat and calorie content to help senior dogs maintain a healthy weight. 

    The protein content is on the low side at about 19% by dry matter, but the food does not contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. This senior food is reasonably priced and free from artificial ingredients, but it also lacks probiotics, which can be especially beneficial to senior dogs, and the minerals are not chelated, which means that they are not as easily absorbed by the body.  

    Pros
    • Small kibble suitable for small dogs
    • Low in calories to ensure healthy weight for senior dogs
    • Inexpensive food
    Cons
    • 15.5% protein is low
    • No probiotics

    7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Bite Adult

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formulas

    Main ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories:  391 kcal/cup

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Bite Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is a dry food with small kibbles that are suitable for small breeds, including Puggles. It has deboned chicken and chicken meal as its primary ingredients and 24% protein ration and 14% fat ratio. It has reasonable calories, with 391 calories per cup of food, and also contains probiotics and chelated minerals. Chelated minerals are bound to amino acids which means that they are better absorbed by the body and more effective than non-chelated minerals. 

    The kibble has a variety of textures, as it includes Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which contain the vitamins and minerals. Blue Buffalo is reasonably priced and a decent quality food with beneficial additional ingredients. It does contain some controversial ingredients: garlic is toxic to dogs, although only a very small amount is included and is deemed safe, while a natural source of selenium would be preferred to sodium selenite. 

    Pros
    • Inexpensive food
    • Contains probiotics and chelated minerals
    • Primary ingredients are deboned chicken and chicken meal
    Cons
    • Contains garlic, albeit a small amount
    • Contains sodium selenite

    8. Purina Beneful IncrediBites Variety Pack Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Beef Broth, Beef, Wheat Gluten
    Protein content: 11%
    Fat content: 2.5%
    Calories:  86 kcal/can

    Purina Beneful IncrediBites Variety Pack Canned Dog Food is a wet food for small breed dogs. The pack contains a variety of flavors: real beef, real chicken, and real salmon. Each recipe has the same 11% protein and 2.5% fat. They all incorporate additional ingredients like carrots and tomatoes and are fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure that they meet a dog’s nutritional requirements. 

    Although the main ingredients do vary a little according to the recipe, they each start with a broth. Broth is a moist ingredient, which makes the food palatable and gives it moisture, but it doesn’t contain the same level of vitamins and minerals as the meat itself would. The food, which is inexpensive for a wet food, looks as though it gets quite a lot of its protein content from non-animal sources. It also contains sodium selenite and one of its ingredients is “meat-by-products” which could be virtually any part of almost any animal. 

    Pros
    • Cheap wet food
    • Decent calories
    • Small pouches for small dogs
    Cons
    • Primary ingredient is broth, rather than meat
    • Contains unnamed “meat by-products” 
    • Contains sodium selenite

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

    Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition

    Main ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice
    Protein content: 23%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories:  314 kcal/cup

    Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food is a breed-specific food from Royal Canin. The manufacturer says that the kibble has been designed to be more easily picked up by the brachycephalic snout of the Pug, making it easier to eat and digest. 

    The food’s main ingredients are brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, and brown rice. This means that a lot of the food’s 23% protein content comes from rice, and it would be better to see a meat product at the top of the ingredients. Chicken by-product meal isn’t the best ingredient, either. 

    Although chicken is considered a good source of protein and chicken meal is a more concentrated source of protein, by-product meal can contain virtually any part of the animal, including those parts that have low protein content and nutritional benefits. Despite the less than desirable ingredients, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Pug Adult Dry Dog Food is an expensive food.

    Pros
    • 23% protein is reasonable
    • 314 kcal/cup is quite low so good for dieting dogs
    Cons
    • Expensive food
    • Main ingredient is brewers rice
    • Chicken by-product meal is not the best meat ingredient

    10. Iams Proactive Health Classic Ground Adult Wet Dog Food

    Iams Proactive Health Classic Ground with Chicken

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Meat By-Products, Brown Rice
    Protein content: 8%
    Fat content: 6%
    Calories:  425 kcal/can

    Iams Proactive Health Classic Ground with Chicken & Whole Grain Rice Adult Wet Dog Food is a wet food with chicken, meat by-products, and brown rice as its main ingredients. Chicken is considered a beneficial ingredient and a good source of animal protein for dogs. However, meat by-products are unlabelled and opaque ingredients that could consist of almost any part of any animal. 

    Further down the ingredient list, you will also find feeding oatmeal, which is a by-product of oats and rarely only fed in hog feed. The food also contains carrageenan, which is a controversial ingredient, although it is currently considered safe for use by the FDA. The food also contains artificial colorings, yellow 5 and yellow 6, which are considered safe but are unnecessary in dog food.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is chicken
    Cons
    • Contains meat by-products
    • Feeding oatmeal is a low-quality ingredient
    • Artificial coloring is unnecessary in dog food

    Divider 2

    Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Dog Food for Puggles

    The Puggle is a designer or hybrid dog breed that crosses the Pug and the Beagle—two very popular pet breeds. It is a small to medium breed, depending on whether it has more Pug or Beagle in its genes, and it may or may not have the squashed or brachycephalic face of the Pug. The best food and the right quantity of food will depend on the size of your Puggle, as well as its physical characteristics, age, and its personal preferences. Below, you can find more information about the Puggle breed and the best dog food for Puggles. 

    About Puggles

    The Puggle is a designer breed, which means that it was first bred to take the positive attribute of both parent breeds, while avoiding some of the negative attributes. The resulting dog will usually be somewhere between the small size of the Pug and the medium size of the Beagle, and the combination of facial features means that the Puggle typically has the look of a small mastiff rather than either of the two original breeds. 

    The Puggle makes a good family dog, is loyal and loving, and it does have plenty of energy and character. Hopefully, your Puggle will inherit the intelligence and trainability of the Beagle but will not be prone to its vocalizations. Similarly, the breed can benefit from the fun character and the lapdog attributes of the Pug but without the concerns of the brachycephalic facial features. 

    The Puggle is somewhat prone to putting on too much weight, however, and this can lead to a host of physical and physiological problems, so choosing a good-quality food and sticking to a strict feeding regimen will help prevent this. 

    Pawn pug sitting on beige floor
    Image Credit: Steshka Willems, Pexels

    Dry vs. Wet Food

    The first question most dog owners have, when it comes to feeding, is whether to give dry food or wet food. 

    Dry food is cooked and processed into a small biscuit, or kibble. Dry food has a long shelf life and can be left down for several hours, making it a good choice for grazers, which are dogs that like to eat their food over the course of several hours rather than during a set and specific mealtime. However, dry food is not usually as palatable or appealing to dogs. It also has less protein and more carbohydrates than wet food, although this does depend on ingredients and brand.

    Wet food is palatable, contains moisture to ensure your dog remains hydrated, but can be higher in fat and protein. Wet food has a shorter shelf life and open cans or pouches need to be stored in the fridge between meals. Any food left after an hour or two of being fed needs to be lifted to prevent it going bad and potentially making your dog ill. 

    You can feed a combination of dry and wet food, either in the same bowl or separate bowl. If you do this, you will need to adjust the amount of both foods so that you do not give too many calories. The easiest way is to feed 50% of the recommended dry food total and 50% of the recommended wet food total. 

    Life Stage

    Dogs have different nutritional and dietary requirements at different stages of their life. 

    • Puppies benefit from more calories to help them grow, and additional protein to help build and maintain muscles. 
    • Senior dogs, on the other hand, usually benefit from consuming fewer calories because they move around less so are unable to burn off as many calories. They do need more protein than adult dogs, however, because their bodies use more protein for maintenance. 

    Check the food you buy is considered nutritionally suitable for your dog, according to its age or life stage. Puppy food is usually suitable for Puggles up to the age of between 10–12 months, while senior food is recommended or dogs aged 7 years and over. 

    Smaller Kibble

    The Puggle can range from small to medium size, depending on whether it is more like a Pug or a Beagle. Dog food formulated for small dogs not only includes appropriate vitamins, minerals, and protein and fat ratios for diminutive dogs, but it also has smaller pieces that are easier to pick up and digest for your small breed. 

    close up of a puggle dog opening its mouth
    Image Credit: caprarola26, Pixabay

    How Many Times a Day Should a Puggle Eat?

    Generally, it is recommended that dogs should eat at least twice a day and that the meals should be approximately 12 hours apart. Some people choose to feed three meals, but most Puggles will do well with two specific meals. A gap of more than 12 hours between meals can cause nausea in your dog. 

    Food portioning requirements are detailed per day, or 24-hour period, so you will need to divide this by the number of meals you feed. And don’t forget to reduce the daily amount according to whether you feed treats or use food as a training tool.

    How Much Dog Food Should a Puggle Eat?

    The amount of food a Puggle eats depends on its size, age, and its general activity levels. Generally, though, this breed needs between ½ and 1½ cups of dry food per day. For wet food, check the manufacturer guidelines on the packet and weigh your dog to ensure you feed an accurate amount.

    Divider 2Conclusion

    The Puggle is an active breed that requires good-quality food according to its size, age, and activity levels, as well as any health or specific dietary requirements. The breed can be fed either wet or dry food, or a combination of the two, and there are plenty of good-quality foods available. 

    The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food is expensive, but it uses high quality ingredients and is highly palatable. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Dry Dog Food is inexpensive and has good protein levels, although its calorie count will be too high for some dogs. Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed food is a quality food for dogs diagnosed with grain allergies. Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food is formulated for puppies and has small kibble pieces. And Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe is our vet’s choice with 27% protein but a high price tag.


    Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

    Related Articles

    Further Reading

    Vet Articles

    Latest Vet Answers

    The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database