Hey there, Pug lovers! Today, I was asked for a dog food recommendation for a 12-year-old Pug. Let me give you the scoop on my dog food research process and how I came up with my pawtastic dog food recommendation.

Profile of the Pudgy Pug and Their Nutritional Needs

Meet Olive, the adorable 12-year-old Pug. Olive embodies the classic senior lady Pug vibe—you know the type. She waddles gracefully, her eyes pleading for treats like a seasoned pro. But here’s the thing: as cute as those extra pounds may be, it’s not ideal for her golden years. So, dear pet parents, if you have a chubby Pug, be mindful of portion sizes and resist those puppy eyes when they beg for seconds (or sneak a nibble from our plates). Let’s get them to a healthy weight and keep them happy!

Dog Food Research Insights

My analysis and research suggests that the overweight Pug needs:

  • Protein Power: Aim for dog food with higher-than-average protein. It’s like a gym membership for your Pug’s muscles!
  • Fat Watch: Opt for lower-than-average fat content. Think of it as a Pilates class for your furry friend.
  • Fiber Fix: Look for filling fiber—lentils, anyone? Keeps those Pug tummies satisfied.
  • Quality Matters: Choose dog food with minimal additives and zero unhealthy stuff. Your Pug deserves the best!
  • Leftover Human Food No-No: Resist those puppy eyes! No sharing your plate—Pugs don’t need our leftovers.

Strategic Approach for Selecting Optimal Food for Overweight Pug

So I tried all the usual searches:

  • “Best dog food for Pug”
  • “Best dog food for Weight Management”
  • DogFoodAdvisor list of “Best Dog Food for Weight Loss” and several others
  • Used PawDiet Food Finder and “Best Dog Food for Pugs”
  • I even asked Bing Copilot (ChatGPT4) for recommendations based on my own criteria: “protein over 27%, fat less than 15%, calories less than 350 kcal per cup”

But I didn’t like any of the recommendations. So I went to my own spreadsheet of favorite dog food brands. I looked at the brands that have a solution based formula for weight control/management.

My list narrowed my search down to these dry food brands:

  • Dr. Tim’s
  • Farmina
  • Nulo

I have fed my own dogs Nulo so I looked at their weight control formula called “Trim Cod & Lentils”. Bingo! Just what I was looking for.

Why Nulo FreeStyle Trim Cod & Lentils Recipe is Pawtastic

Since Olive is carrying a few extra pounds (hey, it happens to the best of us), I want a dog food that’s not just good but downright pawtastic. Enter Nulo FreeStyle High-Protein Kibble Trim Cod & Lentils Recipe. Here’s why it’s my favorite for the overweight pug:

  1. Protein Powerhouse: Pugs need protein like we need coffee in the morning. Nulo Trim serves up a whopping 30% protein—like a gym membership for your furry friend’s muscles.
  2. Low-Fat Vibes: Say goodbye to those unnecessary fat calories. With only 9% fat, Nulo Trim is like the Pilates class your Pug never knew they needed.
  3. Fiberlicious Lentils: Lentils aren’t just for trendy salads. They’re here to keep your Pug feeling full and satisfied. No more begging for extra treats!
  4. L-Carnitine Boost: Ever heard of a metabolism cheerleader? Well, L-Carnitine is it! It supports fat metabolism, helping your Pug shed those extra ounces.
  5. Cod-tastic: Quality matters, folks. Nulo Trim features cod—a high-quality protein source that’ll have your Pug doing a happy dance.

The Pug Stats

Let’s get fur real about our example Pug Olive’s current situation:

  • Weight Now: 27 lbs (Oops, someone’s been sneaking treats!)
  • Normal Pug Weight Range: 14-18 lbs (That’s a little drastic for a senior girl, so we’re aiming for that sweet spot.)
  • Ideal Weight: 20 lbs (This is a little more realistic. Let’s make it happen!)
  • Body Condition Score: 7 (Yep, a little extra fluff)
  • Daily Calorie Goal: 400-450 (Portion control, my friends!)

Tips for a Slimmer Pug

Here’s the game plan:

  • Portion Patrol: Measure those kibble servings. Olive only needs one cup a day or split it into two half-cup meals. Boom!
  • Treat Tactics: Low-calorie treats only, please. Think carrot sticks, green beans, and celery. Your Pug won’t mind—they’re all about the crunch.
  • Leftover Human Food Alert: No more sharing your pizza crusts. Pugs need their own healthy grub.

The Pawtastic Recommended Pug Chow

So, dear Pug parents, that’s my analysis and recommendation: 

Nulo FreeStyle Trim Cod & Lentils recipe, will give your Pug a belly rub, and let’s embark on this weight-loss journey together. Your Pug will thank you with extra snuggles and maybe even a slobbery kiss. 

Remember, every chubby Pug deserves a chance to strut their stuff. Let’s make it happen, one bowl at a time! 


Crafted with the delightful assistance of Bing Copilot—a chatbot that’s as loyal as a well-trained dog and as helpful as a purring cat.

Cyndi Smasal, CPDT-KA

Cyndi Smasal, CPDT-KA

Certified Professional Dog Trainer / Integrative Pet Specialist

Author, Pet Nutrition Specialist and Pet Care/Health Coach

Why I’m a “Dog Food Geek”

Twenty years ago my first dog, Norman, was diagnosed with liver disease and given a month to live. I wasn’t ready to give up on him so I did a lot of research (not on Google as it wasn’t what it is today back in 2002). The full story is in my book “Hope for Healing Liver Disease in Your Dog”. What I learned in my research was just how bad the commercial dog food was that I had fed him his whole life. I learned that his commercial food likely contributed to his bad health (at 10 years old). Or if it didn’t cause his poor health, it definitely didn’t help. I can’t tell you how awful the guilt is of realizing that what you’ve been feeding your dog their whole life has led to their current state of bad health. I have spent the last 20 years learning about canine nutrition so that I would never feel that way again.

The good news is that I saved Norman’s life and he went on to live for 2 more years. And the point of this story is that his diet was the major contributing factor in his recovery from cirrhosis. I fed him a fresh home-cooked diet for 2 years. It saved his life and made me a believer in “fresher is better”.