Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction

Feeding your pug a raw food diet can seem quite daunting but in fact, it isn’t as complicated as it seems. There are some basic guidelines that help you to work out what to feed and how much to feed but since every dog is different, they are guidelines to help you along the right track and you’ll have to just fine tune it to your pug. Let’s start you off with an introduction to a raw feeding for pugs.

Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction | www.thepugdiary.com

There are two main approaches to raw feeding for pugs that you can take. The first is the Prey Model Raw (PMR) and the second is the BARF diet. Whichever you choose, ensuring you provide balance and variety to your pug is key. Before we discuss the differences between a PMR and BARF diet, lets take a look at the elements that make up a raw diet.

Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction | www.thepugdiary.com

Muscle Meat

Muscle meat is the main part of your pug’s diet. You need to know what meat you can buy that will make up the main portion of the muscle meat component. What you see in the supermarket may not necessarily constitute as muscle meat. But it certainly can be any of the following cuts:

  • Muscle
  • Fat
  • Heart
  • Gizzards
  • Lung
  • Trachea
  • Tongue
  • Green Tripe (not white or bleached)
  • Tendons
  • Pizzle
  • Fillet
  • Cheek
Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction | www.thepugdiary.com
Raw Meaty Bones

Raw meaty bones are essential to creating a balanced diet as they provide calcium and other nutrients that help to create solid poop. These bones are edible bones that are covered in muscle meat, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and fat. They are soft bones that can be easily eaten without causing damage to your pug’s teeth. Raw meaty bones can be any of the following types of bones:

  • Wings
  • Necks
  • Ribs
  • Tails
  • Feet
  • Backs

For pugs and other small dogs, it is best to feed size appropriate bones like:

  • Chicken or duck wings
  • Duck or chicken feet
  • Chicken or duck necks
  • Whole quail
  • Chicken legs
  • Duck or chicken frames
  • Brisket
Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction | www.thepugdiary.com
Liver & Organs

Organs are the most nutrient packed part of the animal. And each oran will provide different nutrients to keep your pugs diet balanced and your pug healthy. Liver is rich in Vitamin A that aids your pugs digestion, keeps reproductive organs healthy and is a rich source of antioxidants. Liver also contains iron, B vitamins especially B12, and folic acid. Your pug may find that liver is not a nice texture to eat but it is important that it is fed raw as cooking will kill off all the goodness. It is also important to ensure that liver does not exceed more than 5% of their diet because too much vitamin A can be toxic.

Now for the other 5% of organs. Most organs are jam packed with a number of B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12 and folic acid), traces of vitamin D and minerals like iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine. Organ also provides essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. And if you want to pump up those essential nutrients, feeding grass fed and wild game meat means there are more than what there is in grain fed meat.

Feeding a variety of liver from different animals will also provide different levels of the vital nutrients. Try a mix of chicken, lamb, beef, goat, deer, kangaroo and other types of liver. Now when it comes to options for other secreting organs, try these:

  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas (also called sweetbread)
  • Testicles
  • Brain
  • Thymus (also called sweetbread)
  • Ovaries
Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction | www.thepugdiary.com
Fruit & Vegetables

Whilst fruit & vegetables aren’t necessarily essential when a balanced raw diet is fed but there are so many incredible benefits that can be provided to your pug by including them in their diet. before we talk about the best fruit & vegetable options, you need to know that dogs aren’t designed the same way as us humans so they don’t have the essential tools to break down and digest fruit & vegetables in the same way we do. For this reason, it is important that we start the process for them by giving them fruit & vegetables already broken down. You can do this buy processing them through a food processor or blender so they are broken down into a pureed or pulped form. When fruit & vegetables are fed in a whole state, you will notice that your pug’s poop will contain chunks of those fruit or veggies.

It is important to choose fruit & vegetable that are low in starch , low in carbohydrates and high in nutrients. The preferred choice of veggies to feed would be leafy greens but can also include other veggies too. When choosing fruit, go for ones that are also high in nutrients, low in starch and low in carbs as well as high in antioxidants. Making up a mix of fruit and vegetables is a good way to provide a range of nutrients. Choose predominately from the leafy green vegetables and add some fruits and an occasional not leafy green vegetable.

Leafy green vegetables to add to your pugs diet include:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel spruots
  • Sprouted seeds
  • Dandelion leaves

Fruits that are great to include are:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
  • Acai berries
  • Goji berries

Other fruit & vegetables to add in smaller amounts:

  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Capsicum (bell peppers)
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Green beans
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Strawberries
  • Herbs such as parsley, mint, oregano

Now we go onto the differences in the Prey Model Raw diet and the BARF diet.

Raw Feeding for Pugs: An Introduction | www.thepugdiary.com

Prey Model Raw Diet

The Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet is based on providing your pug with a diet that is somewhat similar to what a wild dog would eat without your pug having to go hunt for it themselves. The key is to mimic that diet of meat, bones and offal whilst eliminating all processed foods and grains. A balanced PMR diet consists of:

  • 80% muscle meat
  • 10% edible bone
  • 5% liver
  • 5% other secreting organ

The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) has a similar basis to the PMR diet but with added fruit & vegetables. It is similar in the sense that is it made up of meat, edible bones and organs whilst eliminating processed foods and grains as well. A balanced BARF diet consists of:

  • 70% muscle meat
  • 10% edible bone
  • 5% liver
  • 5% other secreting organ
  • 10% fruit & vegetable (broken down further to 7% veg and 3% fruit)

Now that you know what options you have as a basis to raw feeding for pugs, you can work out which approach you would like to take and provide your pug with a balanced biologically appropriate diet that will provide so many benefits to your pugs health and wellbeing.

Up Next… Raw Feeding for Pugs: How Much to Feed

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Kristy Beck

Kristy Beck

Owner & Content Producer at The Pug Diary
Kristy is the founder and editor of The Pug Diary, a photographer and pug mum extraordinaire to Ref + Serina. Kristy has combined her passion for photography with the love of pugs to bring you all of her knowledge of pugs and more to you through The Pug Diary.


  1. Avatar Jennifer on July 12, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I totally agree with you one hundred and 10% with the raw food I don’t know why we as people take our dogs and give them that dried pellet bullcrap… I feed my dogs raw too and I love this blog. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Avatar Abigail Roberts on August 4, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    I’m really interested in this but worried that dogs can choke on bones?

    • Kristy Beck Kristy Beck on August 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Have you checked out the article on feeding bones? Personally, I feed ground up bone & meat to reach the nutrients needed from bones. Then I feed a large meaty bone that can’t be swallowed for teeth cleaning purposes.

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