Pug Homemade Dog Food Guide: Best Recipes & Nutrition Advice

pug homemade dog food

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This is the most comprehensive Pug homemade dog food guide.

Cooking for your Pug is more than using healthy ingredients. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can seriously affect your pups’ health. On the other hand, providing a balanced diet provides a lot of benefits.

Before making your first recipe, be sure you understand all the nutritional requirements your pup needs to thrive.

This guide covers it all from risks, benefits, and breed-specific nutritional advice to our favorite recipes for Pugs. Let’s dive right in!

Pug Homemade Dog Food Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of feeding fresh dog food to your pug.

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Quality control
  • More affordable
  • Healthier
  • Portion size control
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Dietary requirements can be met

Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., also agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls1.

Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

Food & Pug Health: Why Feed Homemade?

Pugs are known to be loving, charming, and mischievous.  They are also known to have many health conditions that can become worse with poor diet and nutrition.

One reason to consider switching to homemade dog food is food allergies. Pugs can develop food allergies triggered by the kibble they eat. Central Texas Veterinary Hospital says pugs often suffer from skin allergy “atopy.”2 In fact, “pug” is the fifth most Google dog breed along with the term “food allergies.” We can infer from this that pug parents often see food-related allergies in this breed.3

Unfortunately, ingredients typically found in kibbles like meat meals, preservatives, colorants, and other chemicals can be responsible for food allergies and sensitivities in dogs. Common dog food allergens are proteins, especially from dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, soy, or gluten (from wheat)4. Typically, food allergy symptoms manifest as skin allergies in the form of rashes, swelling, itchy skin. Their feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most commonly affected. Gastrointestinal issues may also occur.

The Pug Dog Club of America says that Pug Myelopathy is a recently recognized spinal condition unique in Pugs.  It is considered the most frequent cause of rear limb incoordination (ataxia) and paralysis of the rear limbs over a period of 1-4 years.5 Studies have shown that dogs placed on an unprocessed diet, supplements, and regular exercise programs experienced the slowest progression of the disease.6 Kibble often has starchy carbs and is overly processed, which may fasten the development of this condition.

In addition, Pugs have small legs that support a sturdy body.  This unique musculoskeletal structure predisposes them to bone and joint problems. Young Pugs may be prone to a painful degenerative hip condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Luxating Patella is also common in this breed. Patellar luxation happens when your pug’s kneecap (patella) slips out of place. The Pug Club of Canada also reports that IVDD is another concern of skeletal health problems to watch out for.7

So, you may be wondering what does this has to do with food? Well, the effect of body conformation (weight) on the likelihood that a dog would develop symptoms associated with IVDD and other skeletal problems is a higher risk in overweight dogs. An overweight Pug puts more strain and stress on his joints and bones, which might cause the acceleration of swelling or a rupture over time. Sadly, studies show that one of the most prevalent disorders in Pugs is obesity.8 Signs that your Pug is musculoskeletal problems include hopping, favoring one leg, and having difficulty getting up and down. Pug owners must help their pets keep a healthy weight to avoid the risk of these conditions.

Another health condition that is common in pugs is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, a condition that causes all kinds of breathing problems due to tiny nostrils, narrow windpipes, and long, soft palates. Bad nutrition and overfeeding can exacerbate the condition and cause more severe problems such as increased breathing, flatulence from the excessive air intake, pneumonia from aspirating food, and heart stroke. 

Lastly, Pugs are more likely than other dogs to have problems with their teeth. Dental disease starts with tartar build-up on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth.

Because Pugs are not the most active dogs and are not picky eaters, they are more likely to be more obese than other dogs. Obesity can lead to health conditions like brachycephalic syndrome, heatstroke, joint overexertion, and diabetes.9

Now you know that proper nutrition is important for a Pug’s well-being and quality of life.  How can fresh homemade meals help?

How Can A Homemade Diet Help Pugs With All of This?

Pugs can experience food allergies and gastrointestinal issues that are caused by common ingredients in commercial kibble. A homecooked diet allows you to regulate the quality of your dog’s food, get rid of fillers, increase the variety in their diet, and use fresh ingredients.

Because you have control over the ingredients used, you can pick only safe ingredients that you know won’t trigger allergies in your Pug. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before selecting the ingredients for their next meal.

Homemade also helps with food allergies because fresh ingredients are absorbed more quickly with homemade dog food than regular kibble. The faster absorption is due to its non-processed nature, freshness which gives it a higher bioavailability. Faster digestion increases inflammatory responses, which help reduce allergy-related symptoms faster or prevent them altogether.

As discussed above, obesity is one of the top health issues in Pugs. An obese Pug puts more stress on your Pug’s bones and joints, which can speed up health musculoskeletal conditions like myelopathy, luxating patella, and IDVV. Homemade dog food can help your pug maintain a healthy weight. Homemade dog food recipes are easy to modify depending on the amount of carbohydrates, vegetables, proteins, and minerals they need. As an added benefit, studies show that dogs at their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer, with significantly fewer diseases than their overweight siblings.10

In a survey published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vets reported 97 percent of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.11 If your pug is a picky eater, homemade dog food can be a huge help in maintaining a balanced diet.

Balanced fresh diets prevent excessive weight gain and slow down conditions like brachycephalic syndrome, joint overexertion, and diabetes. And because most fresh home-cooked dog food is is fresh and free from additives, colorants, and preservatives, it can boost dental health, which is important in this breed.

You will also need to give measured meals to promote a normal pace eating behavior. It is not recommended that Pugs free-feed due to their tendency to overeat or fast-eating behavior. This may increase the risk of breathing problems, flatulence from excessive air intake while eating fast or too much, pneumonia from aspirating food. This is vastly due to their short noses. Fresh food is highly digestible, so it can help avoid these problems.

Something else to think about is that just like with humans, a fresh dog food diet rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and high-quality protein can help keep away many health issues.

Andi Brown, the author of The Whole Pet Diet, says, “In my 30 years of experience working with thousands of animals, I’ve seen that many disease symptoms can be turned around very quickly when the animal is given the right nutritional support.” In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found a link in dogs between lower rates of urinary bladder carcinomas and eating green, leafy, and yellow-orange vegetables three times a week.12

Also, commercial dog foods made in pet food plants contain low-quality ingredients, meaning things rejected for human consumption. According to Brown, “Why was it rejected? Well, the animal came to the slaughterhouse dying or disabled, or the grains are dirty from falling on the floor and can’t be used in human plants, so they’re immediately sent to the pet food plants. They’re garbage.” And when you couple inferior ingredients in your the commercial dog food diet with dyes, fillers, preservatives, and synthetic vitamins, “you’re setting the pet’s body up for warfare,” she says. “They have to battle those foods just to process them.”

Commercial dog food can lead to weight gain because it is heavy on starches. Brown explains. “Many pet foods contain fillers so that the manufacturers can make more money; corn, wheat, rice, potatoes are very inexpensive,” she says. “It’s the same as for humans: A diet heavy on starches leads to weight gain.”

Pug Homemade Dog Food Risks

These are the most common risks associated with cooking for Pugs.

  • Not understanding the nutritional needs of Pugs
  • Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Not preparing a balanced meal
  • Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
  • Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs
  • Neglecting your dog’s health conditions

A study by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.

Even more shocking, research published in The Journal of Nutritional Science concluded 48% of dog homemade diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal. What’s more alarming is that 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe, 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough, and 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins or minerals or amino acid.

You must do your research and take making homemade dog food seriously. We recommend speaking with a veterinary nutritionist. A vet can recommend well-balanced, nutrient-rich recipes that meet your Pug’s needs and/or a quality homemade dog food delivery service.

Pug Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

Make sure that your dog’s homemade meals include these six essential nutrients. A well-balanced diet is crucial for overall health and well-being.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, is the governing body that sets the standard for the nutritional value of commercial dog food and recommends these ingredients in every dog’s meal to support the quality of life and proper function of your dog.

You will also need to consider your dog’s health status, activity level, size, breed-specific needs, and weight, as these are factors that may affect nutrient content, ingredients, calories, and more.

NutrientFoodDescription
Protein Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggsBuilds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
Carbohydrates Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
Fat From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
Minerals Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc. Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
WaterWaterHydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
VitaminsA, B, C, D, E, and K Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.

Because Pugs can be prone to obesity, they must maintain a healthy weight. Avoiding calorie-dense foods like cooked bones, table scraps, fatty foods, and excessive treats will support a healthy weight for your Pug.

It’s common for homemade dog food to lack one or more of these nutrients. Using a multivitamin supplement like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews can help your pup get a balanced diet.

As always, be sure to speak with your veterinarian. Vets can help you create an individualized diet for your dog. To learn more about healthy pet diets, check out Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D. He’s an expert in veterinary medicine and pet nutrition. Many vets consider this book the go-to resource for dog nutrition.

Health Dietary Changes In Pugs

As you may know, diet adjustments have the ability to impact food-related conditions in Pugs positively.

The first step to success is feeding a fresh, homemade meal with specific nutritional changes according to the condition.

ConditionDietary Needs & Adjustments

Coat Color Changes


Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)
Concurrent GI Signs

Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial

Chronic Itching and Dermatitis

Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial
Dull Coat and Scaling

Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc

Dandruff and Crustiness

Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

If your pug has skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may be a good idea. The AKC states that fish oil promotes healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other important effects include promoting improved immunity (especially against cancer) while strengthening heart health in dogs.

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Pug Calorie Requirements

A dog’s caloric needs are based on its weight. An adult Pug usually weighs between 14 to 18 pounds, so most Pugs would need to eat between 394 and 475 calories per day.

Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.

For instance, if a Pug weighs 16 lbs. Then, he would need 435 calories per day. If you feed him treats, that’s 392 calories in food (90%) and 44 calories in treats (10%). Usually, full-grown dogs eat 2 meals per day, so split 392 into two meals of 196 calories each. You can use this calculator to find your Pug’s exact caloric needs based on his weight.

Pregnant Pugs can need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally have as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.

Homemade Dog Food For Pug Puppies

Since Pug puppies need more energy to grow, they need extra protein, fatcalcium, amino acids, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids compared to adult dogs. If these levels are not adequately met, it can result in stunt growth or lifelong complications.

According to The National Research Council, puppies should get around twice as many calories as their adult counterparts of the same breed. Many pet parents believe that they need to change their puppys’ calorie and food amount daily because they are always growing. However, this is a myth. “To promote normal growth, most puppies need to be fed the same number of calories, and food, from about 4 months of age to 12 months of age,” says veterinary nutritionist Dr. Justin Shmalberg DVM, from Nom Nom.

Pug puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (6 – 12 months), you can switch to 2 meals daily at scheduled intervals.

While puppies are developing, it’s not advised to skip a meal to encourage proper growth and development. A puppy’s diet needs to be a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, water, and vitamins, as outlined in our nutritional guidelines earlier.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

Do you want to make your own dog food for your pup but feel like you don’t have the time to do it? The good news is, there is a way to get all the benefits of homemade meals without the hassle of shopping for ingredients, balancing nutrients, portioning, and everything else involved. You can use a homemade dog food delivery service like Nom Nom.

Nom Nom delivers fresh-prepared homemade dog food formulated by a leading board-certified veterinary nutritionist and a team of PhDs straight to your door. They personalize each meal to your dog’s unique specific requirements catering to any food allergies, nutritional goals, weight issues, or other needs your pup may have.

This company only uses restaurant-quality proteins and vegetables from trusted and reliable U.S. growers and suppliers. They ensure dog food is sustainably sourced and cooked with zero food waste. Each meal is packaged as a daily portion in recyclable containers, making serving easy.

Their fresh meals have no fillers or additives that increase shelf-life. All recipes are made from scratch and gently cooked, which means the nutritional value of each ingredient is preserved. Nom Nom provides the freshest and cleanest diet with high-quality human-grade ingredients, unlike traditional kibble.

Moreover, board-certified veterinary nutritionists ensure each recipe complies with AAFCO standards.

In our experience, it’s a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. We think it’s worth the cost after adding up the prices of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a recipe.

Our readers have access to save 50% off their first Nom Nom order. Just use this link to get your Pug’s first homemade meal.

Check out Canine Bible’s GSD Khaleesi trying out Nom Nom homemade dog food. She definitely recommends it!

Pug Homemade Food Tips

Before revealing our favorite Pug homemade food recipes, here are some things you should remember when you cook homemade food for your Pug.

  1. Set a consistent feeding schedule.
  2. Feed your Pug two times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
  3. Meal prep weekly or monthly.
  4. Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
  5. Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
  6. Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
  7. If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
  8. Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
  9. Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
  10. Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.

How To Cook Homemade Food For Pugs ( Video)

Watch this video to get ideas on how to make homemade food for Pugs.

Best Pug Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Here are our favorite homemade dog food recipes for Pugs. Your pup will be so excited at mealtime, and you will feel good feeding your dog nutrient-rich food!

We’ve also added a special treat recipe for Pugs that is not only delightful and tasty, but it’s packed with awesome health benefits. We kid you not; this recipe can do a lot for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.

Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and health of your dog. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.

CBD-Infused Treat | Easy Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipe | Bad to the Bone Stew | Doggy Taco Tuesday Recipe


CBD-Infused Dog Treats

CBD dog treats are perfect for helping with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health problems. (read our dog CBD guide to learn more)

Treat your Pug with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD oil dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.

Just be sure to check with your vet before to make sure CBD is safe for your pup, and you are giving the right dosage.

You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 apple, cored and grated
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 120 mg CBD oil

Total: Makes 24 treats.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
  5. Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.

Notes

The number of dog treats will vary depending on the size of the mold you use. Try to make each dog treat have 2-5 mg of CBD.

Recipe from: Truth Theory


Easy Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Here’s a handy guide to help you make your own dog food at home with fresh, whole ingredients you can recognize. Use it to mix and match ingredients as needed to meet your dog’s dietary needs.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Ground turmeric for seasoning
  • 2 1/2 pounds raw boneless meat of choice
  • 1 pound raw vegetables of choice
  • 1 pound cooked complex carbohydrates, cooled
  • 4 clean crushed eggshells

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the coconut oil in the skillet and swirl it around to coat the surface.
  2. Season the meat generously with ground turmeric. Add the meat to the skillet and saute on both sides until fully cooked (time varies according to the thickness and type of meat used).
  3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the meat into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  4. Coarsely chop the vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  5. If your cooked complex carbohydrate is a grain (like rice) or legume (like lentils), you can leave it whole. If it’s a starchy vegetable (like sweet potato), coarsely chop it into 1-inch chunks and set aside.
  6. Add the eggshells to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.
  7. Add the meat and vegetables and pulse until finely chopped. (You may work in batches, if necessary.)
  8. Add the cooked carbs and pulse a few times to combine. You want the mixture to be fluffy, not mushy.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate. (Alternatively, you can transfer all or part of the mixture to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for future use. Thaw the frozen food in the refrigerator before using.)
  10. To serve, scoop the food into a bowl for your dog.

Notes

Suggestions for Ingredients:

  • Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
  • Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash

Recommended Serving Amounts

  • 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog (2 percent of body weight)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog (2 to 3 percent of body weight)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog (2 to 3 percent of body weight)
  • 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog (3 to 4 percent of body weight)

Recipe from: Garden Betty


Bad to the Bone Stew

You can make this hearty stew in big batches and freeze it, especially during cold winter months.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck
  • 10 small red potatoes, quartered 
  • 1 pound peeled, cubed butternut squash
  • 1 quart unsalted beef broth
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the beef and cook until it is browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.
  2. To the same pan, add the potatoes and butternut squash. Sauté them for 5 minutes and remove them from the heat.
  3. In a large stock pot, combine the browned meat, squash, potatoes, broth, and banana. Cook over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and stir until smooth. Add the cornstarch to the pot and stir slowly for 2 minutes to incorporate.
  5. Cover the pot and cook the stew for 25 minutes. Let the stew cool completely before serving.
  6. One serving for a 10-20 lb. Pug is 1/2-3/4 cups. This recipe makes approximately 12 cups. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

 Remember to buy unsalted beef broth, as too much sodium is bad for dogs.


Doggy Taco Tuesday Recipe

In this recipe, we used stone-ground yellow corn taco shells. A small amount of corn grains—where the whole kernel is ground down into dough—is ok to give to your dog. When a dog’s diet is composed mostly of fillers and by-products, his health can become compromised.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery 
  • 1 stone-ground yellow corn taco shell
  • 4 teaspoons plain Greek yogurt 
  • 4 teaspoons minced turkey liver 
  • 4 teaspoons shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the beef and cook until it is browned. Drain off any excess fat and set the meat aside to cool. 
  2. Puree the celery in a food processor. 
  3. To make 1 serving: break up taco shell and use 1 ounce.  Mix with 1/2 cup of the beef, 1 teaspoon of the pureed celery, 1 teaspoon of the yogurt, 1 teaspoon of the liver, and 1 teaspoon of the cheese. 
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe from: Canine Bible Test Kitchen

For even more Boxer homemade food recipes and cooking ideas, be sure to check out Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.


Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices

Here are some tips to help you follow food safety guidelines for your Pug. Follow these recommendations for safe meal prep.

  • Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
  • Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
  • Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
  • Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
  • Research every ingredient before using it for safety
  • Follow recipes as instructed
  • Add supplements to their diet if needed
  • Run any questions by a vet nutritionist

What Foods Should Your Pug Never Eat?

Foods that seem healthy for humans can be toxic and dangerous for dogs. To help you keep your dog safe, we’ve compiled a list of ingredients and foods your dog should never eat.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

Check out this handy list for a comprehensive list of all foods that should be avoided. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Pug Raw Diet (BARF)

The BARF diet is a type of raw dog food diet that is rising in popularity. BARF stands for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. This diet is based on an ancestral diet and the idea that dogs are omnivores. It is focused on unprocessed and biologically appropriate foods for dogs.

Many kinds of raw foods are available for dogs, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated). Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy.

Preparing the BARF diet for Pugs and dogs, in general, requires a lot of effort and planning as the risk for contamination and nutritional imbalance is greater in raw ingredients.

The overwhelmingly positive benefits on teeth, coat, and digestive functions make the BARF diet a popular choice. Read our raw dog food diet article; if you want to learn more about the benefits and risks, get the best commercial raw food diet for your Pug.

Monitor Weight And Health

Dog nutrition can be tricky, particularly when you start cooking for your dog. How can you make sure your homemade food will meet your dog’s dietary requirements?

A key indicator of a dog’s health is its weight. This is easy for pet owners to track and record at home each month.

Maintaining the healthy weight of your Pug is made easier by providing the proper quality and quantity of dog food. If your dog is quickly gaining or losing weight, this could indicate food-related health concerns.

Inadequate and unbalanced meal plans can lead to skin or coat issues, excessive lack of energy, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, or obesity. If you notice these symptoms, stop feeding meals to your pet, review your dog’s diet, and talk to a vet as soon as possible.

Reach out to your pet nutritionist to ensure nutritional adequacy in all of your dog’s meals.

Other Food Alternatives

After reading through these recipes and nutritional advice, we hope you feel more confident cooking for your Pug.

We can confidently say that fresh homemade food is the best food for Pugs. Our research shows it’s healthier, more nutritious, and can help with many health conditions associated with this breed. The only downside is the time it takes to plan and cook the food. However, you can use a dog food delivery service to help you out.

Check out our vegan dog food guide for Pugs prone to food allergies, GI problems, or food-related health issues. Veggie-based dog food is another popular alternative to kibble.

Be sure to run any nutritional concerns or questions by your vet before switching your pup to a new diet or adding a new ingredient to his diet.


Sources & References: [1] AKC, [2] CTVSH [3] Nom Nom [4] VCA Hospitals [5] Club Pug of America [6] IVC Journal [7] Pug Club of Canada  [8] NCBI [9] Science Direct [10] VCA Hospitals, [11] Preventive Veterinary Medicine [12] PubMed.gov, [13] AVMA

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