Best Homemade Food for Pugs

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We all want to do the right things for our pets so they can thrive. Pug owners are typically especially dedicated to doing the best for their Pugs. These are our recommendations to help you cook up the best homemade food for Pugs.

Pugs have specialized health needs, which means they need specialized care. It might require different methods of exercise or cleaning routines. It can also mean a special diet, so you might need to try your hand at making some specific homemade dog food for pugs.

Reasons To Feed Your Pug Homemade Food

Pugs are pretty adorable. Thousands of years of selective breeding, beginning in China, has made them look the way they do today. Unfortunately, some of the traits contributing to their adorableness also cause health issues. You can mitigate many of these issues with particular attention to diet, which is why many Pug owners decide to feed their Pugs homemade food.

best homemade food for pugs


Breeders specifically bred Pugs to be brachycephalic – that is, to have short muzzles and a flat face. Because Pugs have restricted airways and skin folds, allergies are often harder on them. Their restricted airways cause breathing problems, and dermatological reactions can be hard to treat due to their skin folds.

Pugs can develop allergies to a wide range of things like household cleaners, insects, shampoo, prescriptions, and food, and they can even develop seasonal allergies. While you should always speak with your vet regarding your Pug’s allergies, often, you can mitigate pug food allergies by making your Pug’s food yourself.

If you suspect your dog has food allergies, schedule a test with your veterinary provider or find a pet hair sampling test online, like this 5 Strands Pet Food Intolerance Test.

Weight Control

Because Pugs are such a small breed, watching their weight is essential. Just a few additional pounds can push them from healthy to unhealthy. Due to their breeding, Pugs are susceptible to joint problems.

If your Pug is obese, that can put extra stress on the joints and exacerbate existing conditions. By feeding your Pug homemade dog food, you can ensure they get the right amount of nutrients in the right amount of calories.

Dietary Requirements for Pugs

Many dietary requirements for Pugs are similar to that of other small breeds. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

best homemade food for pugs

Calorie Requirements for Pugs

As mentioned above, Pugs can become obese quickly, and this can cause health problems. For that reason, it’s essential to keep an eye on your Pug’s caloric intake. Puppy Pugs should be eating 50 calories per pound of body weight per day. Due to slower metabolism, adults and senior Pugs need about 40 calories per pound of body fat per day.

To allow closer monitoring of your Pug’s intake, do not free feed. Instead, feed your Pug on a set schedule.

Puppies need food multiple times a day, while you should provide half a cup of food once or twice a day to Pugs older than 12 months. The frequency will depend on your Pug’s activity level and weight.

Nutrition Requirements for Pugs

Pugs have similar nutritional requirements to other dogs. The key for Pugs is that they eat less than many breeds, so the food you feed them needs to be packed full of vitamins and minerals. The goal is to make the most of what you feed them and ensure you’re feeding them safe foods.

Animal Protein

Pugs, like other canines, are carnivores. They need protein for repairing and building muscle and a whole host of body systems. The most effective way for a Pug to get the protein it needs is animal meat.

Avoid heavily processed or salted meats, like bacon or ham, when choosing an animal protein. For any meat, ensure that you remove any bones or choking hazards.

The best animal protein options for your Pug include chicken, turkey, duck, pork, lamb, beef, sardines, and cooked fish.

best homemade food for pugs

Some animal proteins that are safe in small amounts include non-fish seafood like crab or clams and tuna. Eggs are also safe in small quantities.

Avoid feeding your Pug bacon, ham, pepperoni, salami, sausage, raw fish, and other processed human foods.

Non-Meat Animal Protein

While meat is the best source of protein for your Pug, there are some non-meat options available that will still offer animal protein. Cottage cheese is fine, and a few bites of yogurt and peanut butter bites are also okay. However, avoid butter, cheese, ice cream, milk, and chocolate.

Animal-based protein is the most effective way to get your Pug protein. You can sustain a vegetarian diet with eggs and dairy products. Vegan diets are much trickier and will involve plant-based sources like soy, beans, and legumes and may require supplementation.

While you should check with your vet before starting any new diet, it’s essential if you are planning to have your dog go vegetarian or vegan.


An excellent way for Pugs to get fat is by choosing cuts of meat with fat on it. However, avoid giving your dog actual fat trimmings. Most oils are safe for dogs, like fish oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, and peanut butter. However, give these in moderation, and avoid giving your dog actual butter or nuts.


Pugs need carbs for energy and to provide glucose for their body. The best carbs for your pet are whole grains, and you should always cook grains for easy digestion.

Safe carbs to feed your Pug include barley, brown rice, chia seeds, and sweet potatoes, while oatmeal and pasta are okay in small doses.

Avoid giving your Pug bread, cereal, quinoa, tortillas, chips, granola, and pretzels.

best homemade food for pugs

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a great way to add carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Pugs can have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but there’s also a wide variety that they can’t have.

Pugs are safe to eat apples, bananas, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, green beans, kiwi, lettuce, melon, papaya, pear, peppers, pineapple, pumpkin, raspberries, squash, strawberries, watermelon, and zucchini.

Never give Pugs grapes, grapefruit, jalapenos, lemons, onions, pickles, or wild mushrooms.

If you aren’t sure if a fruit or vegetable is safe, always double-check.

FAQs About Homemade Pug Food

Do you still have questions about homemade Pug food? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Where can I find recipes for homemade Pug food?

Simple recipes for Pug food can be found all over the internet.

Pinterest and Google will offer plenty of results from bloggers who make their own pet food. But if you prefer something more tangible, look for dog food cookbooks.

Recommended cookbooks for the best homemade food for pugs:

Are Pugs picky eaters?

Sometimes, you may find your Pug is just not interested in the food you offer. There may be a few reasons for this. It’s possible your Pug just doesn’t like the food, but often there are medical reasons your Pug may turn up their nose at their meals. 

Be sure that the food is small enough for them to eat. Because of their breeding, large food is challenging and not safe for them to eat, and they may avoid it. Periodontal disease is often common in Pugs, so if you’ve noticed a significant change in their appetite, call your vet.

What if my Pug isn’t eating?

Your Pug could stop eating due to emotional or physical reasons. Emotional reasons could include a change in location or routine or missing an owner or another pet. It could also be that your Pug is just picky. 

Best Homemade Food for Pugs

Making homemade food is an excellent option for Pug owners because of the specific health needs of Pugs. When cooking, make sure that you have a good balance of fats, carbs, and proteins.

If you’re unsure about any ingredients in the best homemade food for Pugs, it’s always best to check first and talk to your veterinarian before starting a new diet plan. Cooking safe and healthy food for your Pug is a great way to keep your canine companion by your side as long as possible.

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PugFacts is a small team of devoted PUG owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.

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Pug Facts Guide

Expert tips, advice, and inspiration to keep your PUG healthy and happy

PugFactsGuide is a small team of devoted Pug owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your Pug! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.