Is Merrick Good For Pugs? What You Need To Know

Pugs are cute and adorable, especially, when it comes to mealtime. However, as a responsible pet owner, it’s important to feed your four-legged friend the best food possible. If you’ve ever wondered “is Merrick good for Pugs,” you’re in the right place. We’ve done all the research for you to find out everything you need to know about this dog food brand.

Is Merrick Good For Dogs?

Yes, Merrick can be good for Pugs. Merrick claims to make high-quality dog and cat food and prides itself on using fresh produce, deboned meat, and locally sourced ingredients. Pet owners can rest assured your feeding your pet all-American products.

As a Pug owner, it can be challenging to find the right dog food that is safe and won’t cause an upset tummy or allergies.

is merrick good for Pugs

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Merrick Top Picks

Below you’ll find some of the top sellers of the Merrick Dog Food Brands for small breeds. Skip below to read our full Merrick review.

For Overweight Pugs
Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Recipes for Pugs
$72.98 ($3.32 / lb)

The Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe will help control your Pug's weight problem. Unfortunately, Pugs are prone to obesity and this..

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02/18/2024 03:45 pm GMT

Related: Royal Canin Pug Puppy Review

Related: Is Beneful Good For Pugs?

A Look At Merrick Brand Dog Food

Garth Merrick started home-cooking for his beloved dog, Gracie over 30 years ago. He wanted to make sure Gracie was eating the most nutritious and wholesome food possible.

Since then, the company has grown, but the company core values remain the same as they were when the company started in 1988.

Tim Simmons CEO of Merrick discusses some of the core values in the video below.

They’ve grown into a big company, but have kept that small company feeling. This has enabled its portfolio to grow to help pet parents care for the needs of their pets.

Merrick Dog Food Standards

The company claims to only use only fresh-caught fish, high-quality meats, and real vegetables and fruits.

They only work with trustworthy farmers and ranchers that they know and trust.

The company has some of the highest commitment quality standards to ensure the safest and freshest ingredients possible.

You won’t find any fillers, sweeteners, additives, or preservatives or colors.

Merrick Family Brands

Merrick: represents superior nutrition with high-quality ingredients.

Whole Earth Farms: Provides pet parents with natural pet food for both cats and dogs.

Zuke’s: Popular pet treats that feature the Mini Naturals.

Castor & Pollux: ORGANIX recipes for dogs and cats that are USDA organic certified.

Merrick Quick Facts

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions, you can contact them at:

  • Phone: 1-800-664-7387
  • Email:
  • Company: Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
  • Headquarters: Corporate Headquarters, P.O. Box 9800, Amarillo, Texas

Has Merrick Ever Been Recalled?

Yes, unfortunately, many dog foods have been recalled at least once. This company has experienced some recalls and at the time of the writing, this is what I found online:

In May 2018 – Merrick voluntarily submitted an FDA (Food Drug Administration) recall of a multiple dog treats from their Castor & Pollux and Merrick Backcountry dog treats line after they realized that the treats had elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone. (5/23/18)

In June 2019 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publically identified 16 brands of pet food that may be linked to heart disease in both cats and dogs. (June 27, 2019)

According to Dog Food Advisor, they had several recalls earlier starting in 2010.

*Note: To date, none of the 16 brands have been recalled, and the FDA can’t be certain that diet is the cause of the heart problems.

Merrick Gives Back

You can feel good about supporting this company because their passion is to improve the lives of pets.

They have partnered with and support some popular national organizations including; San Antonio Pets Alive, K9s for Warriors, Tree House Humane Society, PAWS Chicago, and Austin Pets Alive!

Merrick Dog Food Ingredients

Merrick dog food ingredients
Merrick offers some of the highest quality ingredients for your canine.

According to AAFCO, the order of ingredients should be listed in descending order of weight. This means that the ingredients that appear first in a dog food label, will be present in higher amounts in the dog food.

Since Merrick has over 130 recipes, here are the most common ingredients found in the first bag of dog food from each recipe category on the official Merrick Pet Care website.

Grain-Free Recipe

  1. Deboned Lamb
  2. Lamb Meal
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Peas
  5. Potatoes

Back Country Recipe

  1. Deboned Turkey
  2. Turkey Meal
  3. Chicken Meal
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. Potatoes

Lil’ Plates Recipe

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Turkey Meal
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. Potatoes

Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Diet Recipe

  1. Deboned Salmon
  2. Salmon Meal
  3. Peas
  4. Potatoes
  5. Sweet Potatoes

Merrick Classic Dog Food Recipe

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Brown Rice
  4. Barley
  5. Turkey Meal

Merrick Grain-Free Wet Food

  1. Deboned Beef
  2. Beef Broth
  3. Vegetable Broth
  4. Beef Liver
  5. Potatoes

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Merrick is deboned protein (salmon, chicken, turkey and etc).

The second most common ingredient is a chicken meal or etc. According to Dog Food Advisor, the chicken meal contains 65% protein and 10% water.

That means that your pooch is getting a good amount of protein to help build and repair their muscles, form new skin cells, grow new hair and etc.

Merrick Dog Food Formulas Offered

You can find over 130 dog food recipes for all stages of life. This means, if you have a picky Pug, you will most likely be able to find something they’ll love eating.

I’ve listed the dog food formulas they provide below.

Limited Ingredient Diet: This formula is perfect for all dog breeds of all life stages that suffer from food sensitivities and stomach sensitivities Merricks limited ingredient dog foods contain only 9-key ingredients.

Grain-Free: Natural grain-free formula dog food that is ideal for all dog breeds and all life stages. This formula focuses on providing protein-packed kibble that is easily digestible.

Backcountry: This is a natural grain-free formula that contains all the benefits of a raw diet that would be found out in the wild. A majority of the Backcountry recipes are designed for adult dogs, however, there is one raw infused puppy recipe formula that has great reviews.

Lil’ Plates: This formula is designed for all life stages and small dog breeds with big appetites. It contains essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to support your pups’ overall health.

Classic: The Classic formula is specially formulated for adult dogs of all breeds. They’ve created a recipe formula that provides your pooch with high-quality protein, farm-fresh vegetables, and fruits as well as whole grains.

Fresh Kisses: The Merrick Fresh Kisses natural dog treats are designed for extra small breeds.

Power Bites: Merricks soft and chewy Power Bites are specially formulated for adult dogs of all breeds.

Kitchen Bites: These all-natural oven-baked biscuits are treats your adult dog will love! This home-style recipe is a healthy treat for adult dogs of all breeds.

Flavors Offered By Merrick

problems with Merrick dog food
Merrick Dog Food offers over 130 recipes for dogs

Merrick offers a variety of dry and wet dog food for dogs of all life stages. Here is a list of a few of the dry dog food recipes you can choose from:

  • Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Puppy Real Chicken And Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe
  • Classic Adult Healthy Grains Real Chicken And Brown Rice
  • Merrick Healthy Grains Classic With Real Beef, Brown Rice, And Ancient Grains
  • Classic Healthy Grains With Real Lamb, Brown Rice, And Ancient Grains
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Recipe For Small Dog Breeds
  • Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato For Small Breed Dogs

What About Merrick Wet Dog Food?

Yes, you can find wet food for both cats and dogs and here are some of the flavors you’ll find:

  • Merricks Chunky Grain-Free Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner
  • Grain-Free Limited Diet With Real Lamb Recipe
  • Merrick Backcountry 96% Real Beef Grain-Free Wet Dog Food
  • Chunky Canned Merrick Wet Dog Food Variety Pack (Pot Roast, Collassal Chicken, Big Texas Steak Tips)
  • Merricks Grain-Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner Wet Dog Food

Merrick Dog Food Bag Sizes

The Merrick Lil’ Plates dog food can be bought in a 4, 12, or 20-pound bag. Whereas the Merrick Grain Free Senior dog food can be purchased in a 4, 12, or 25-pound bag.

Most of the wet dog food cans come in cases of 12 with 12.7-ounce cans.

What Pugs Will Benefit From Merrick?

Merrick has a wide variety of dog food blends that can suit most Pugs. However, some brands are formulated for larger dog breeds and specific dogs.

Healthy Pugs: Most healthy Pugs will be able to eat a majority of the Merrick dog food blends, excluding those that are made specifically for seniors and puppies.

Pugs With Allergies: If your Pug suffers from food intolerances or sensitive tummy issues, you’ll want to choose from the Limited Ingredient recipes and the Grain Free recipes.

Pug Puppy: You’ll want to choose among the Classic, Grain-Free, or the Lil’ Plates recipes. All those categories contain dry dog food that is formulated for puppies.

Overweight Pug: If you have an overweight Pug that needs to lose weight or maintain weight, check out the Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe.

Where To Buy Merrick Dog Food?

I personally understand how expensive it can be to buy high-quality dog food for your Pug.

The great news is you can buy Merrick brand dog food from most of your local pet stores such as; PetsMart, PetFlow as well as online retailers.

Below, you’ll find some direct links to the most recommended Merrick Dog Food Formulas from both Chewy and Amazon to help ensure you get the cheapest price available.

Merrick Dog Food Review

#1 Merrick Healthy Weight Grain-Free Dog Food

For Overweight Pugs
Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Recipes for Pugs
$72.98 ($3.32 / lb)

The Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe will help control your Pug's weight problem. Unfortunately, Pugs are prone to obesity and this..

Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Chewy
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 03:45 pm GMT

Pugs are prone to obesity and if your dog has a weight problem, the Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dog Food can be a great option. It provides complete and balanced nutrition that contains all the minerals and vitamins your pooch needs.


  • First Ingredient: It contains high-quality deboned beef.
  • Healthy Coat And Joints: It contains high levels of Omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat. The chondroitin and glucosamine will keep your Pug’s joints healthy.
  • Digestive System: The easily digestible carbohydrates (sweet potatoes and potatoes) won’t upset your dog’s tummy.
  • Made In USA: It is made in Hereford TX and upholds the strict FDA guidelines.


  • Expensive: Some people have complained about the price. Make sure you shop around for the best deals.

#2 Merrick Dry Dog Healthy Grains For Small Breeds

Best Value
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Small Breed Recipe for Pugs
$23.98 ($6.00 / lb)

Feed your pint-sized Pug the Merrick Classic Healthy Grains dog food that is designed for smaller breeds.

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02/18/2024 08:01 pm GMT

The Merrick Classic Small Breed Healthy Grains formula is perfect for Pugs. Your dog will not only love the delicious taste, but you will love all the benefits they are getting.


  • Whole Grains: It is blended with quinoa, brown rice, and barley to help support your pooch’s digestive health.
  • First Ingredient: Rest assured your Pug is getting high-quality meats in the form of deboned fish, meat or poultry to help build muscle mass, and provide your dog with energy.
  • It contains Zero: wheat, gluten, soy, fillers, and preservatives.
  • Taste: Your dog will love it and it is great for picky eaters.


  • Loose Stool: Some pet owners have noticed their dogs having diarrhea after eating. Make sure that you transition your dog slowly whenever you change their diet.

#3 Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free For Small Dog Breeds

Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipe for Pugs
$49.98 ($4.16 / Pound)

Merrick Lil' Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food is made with real deboned chicken and contains probiotic and prebiotic to aid in digestion.

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The Lil Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe contains small, crunchy kibbles that will clean your dog’s teeth while they chew their food.


  • Grain-Free Formula: Made with peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and apples that provide important minerals and vitamins your pooch requires.
  • Fatty Acids: It contains leading levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 to help keep your Pugs skin and coat healthy.
  • Healthy Digestion: This formula contains probiotics and prebiotic fibers to help support a healthy digestive system.


  • Thirsty: Some people have said that this food has made their dog drink a lot more water. Make sure that you have a bowl of fresh clean water they can access easily.

#4 Merrick Real Salmon + Sweet Potato Grain-Free Recipe

Top Pick
Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe for Pugs
$49.98 ($4.16 / lb)

Your Pug will love the Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato recipe, that is packed with the essential vitamins and nutrients your buddy needs.

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02/18/2024 05:49 pm GMT

Your dog will love the Merrick Grain Free Salmon And Sweet Potato formula, and you’ll love the benefit they receive. It is formulated with essential vitamins and minerals to provide complete and balanced nutrition.


  • First-Ingredient: Is deboned salmon to ensure your pooch gets a high-quality protein source.
  • Grain-Free Formula: Natural grain formula that is sure to satisfy all dogs regardless of size or breed.
  • Carbohydrates: Uses easily digestible carbs which include; sweet potatoes, and potatoes.


  • Allergies: Some people have said that their dog got allergies from the lamb flavor so they switched to the salmon and the allergies went away.

#5 Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Merrick Lil' Plates Small Breed Grain Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Small Breed Senior Dry Dog Food for Pugs
$49.98 ($4.16 / lb)

Merrick Lil' Grain-Free Small Breed Dog food is formulated with probiotics and prebiotic fiber for senior pugs.

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As your dog ages, so will their diet. The Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato recipe is formulated for small breed senior dogs.

This formula is designed to meet the special nutritional needs of your senior dog!


  • Fewer Calories: To help prevent maintain a healthy weight, since aging dogs are less active. Additionally, it contains L-Carnitine to help support a healthy metabolism.
  • First Ingredient: Is deboned chicken and provides high-quality protein to help maintain energy levels and healthy muscle tissue.
  • Grain Free Recipe: With no preservatives, gluten ingredients, artificial flavors or colors.


  • Weight Loss: Some pet owners have said that their dog has lost some weight by eating this formula. You may have to adjust the amounts you feed your dog.

Final Word On Is Merrick Safe For Pugs

Based on our research, we would recommend Merrick as a high-quality and affordable dog food your pet will love.

They emphasize using only the finest and highest quality ingredients that are safe for your canine friend. Additionally, they have been in the competitive dog food market for over 30 years.

Many Merrick formulas contain healthy additives like flaxseed oil, vegetables, fish oil, coconut oil, that are known to provide healthy side effects for your pooch.

All that’s left if for you to do is to make the choice!

References And Further Reading

Merrick Pet Care – Our Story

FDA – FDA Investigation Into Potential Link Between Certain Diets And Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Vet.Tuffs – Evaluating A Pet Food Ingredient List


Black Pug Site