Exploring Dog Diets: What Is The Best Food For French Bulldogs?
You want your dog to feel their best, and often that starts with what you’re feeding them. Some dog breeds have different tolerances and digestive issues than others — and French Bulldogs are no exception. Let’s explore what food is best for this popular breed.
Keep in mind that age matters
When it comes to feeding your pup the right food, age is a factor to consider. At different ages, your dog's nutritional needs are different — which is why when you head to the pet store, you'll find that foods are often in three categories, "puppy," "adult," and "senior."
Of course, this is true for all breeds, so keeping your Frenchie happy and healthy throughout their life requires feeding them the proper nutritional diet (and the right food amounts!) as they grow and mature.
Think about nutrients & portions
Three essentials when it comes to your dog's diet? Ingredients, nutrients, and portions.
Food portions will vary from dog to dog and breed to breed, but understanding the basics is critical. Why? You want to ensure your dog gets enough food to sustain its energy and activity levels and deliver the nutrients they need to live long, happy, healthy lives!
Generally, a basic food portion size guideline is determined by your dog's size. PetMD breaks it down, "feed approximately ⅓ cup for every 10 pounds over 100 pounds body weight. Puppies may require 2-3 times the adult feeding amounts" *and* "always provide plenty of fresh water."
If your dog is exceptionally active — or inactive — chat with your vet about the best portion size for feeding time.
Some puppy nutrition tips:
VCA Animal Hospital notes, "When choosing a diet for your growing puppy, it is important to understand four key nutrients: protein, fat, calcium, and digestible carbohydrates."
- Calcium will help support your puppy's growing bones!
- Fiber is something to consider to support digestion as your puppy's diet evolves.
- Protein needs for puppies are highest after weaning and will decrease over time as they age.
- While puppies are expelling a lot of energy, it's essential to keep them on a consistent diet; as the ASPCA notes, "If they are allowed to overeat, puppies can consume too many calories, grow too rapidly and develop health problems."
- While it is okay to feed puppies dry (but soaked for easier eating) and/or wet food, it's best to determine what they find most palatable. Whether wet or (soaked) dry, it's essential to find a food that your dog likes to ensure they're meeting their daily nutrition requirements!
Some adult and senior nutrition tips:
- Protein is still hugely important for your adult and/or senior dog.
- As with puppies, it's important not to overfeed your adult/senior dog — avoiding health ailments like obesity and diabetes is critical, especially if your dog's breed is prone to those issues.
- Watch sodium levels — mainly if your dog has developed kidney issues with age or if the breed is prone to kidney problems. Chat with your vet if you're unsure if this concerns your pup!
- As your pup ages, you want to be sure you're giving them nutrient-dense food to support the aging process.
- -Glucosamine is an excellent ingredient for joint health (and it's anti-inflammatory!)
- -Omegas 3 & 6 are good for your dog's overall health, from skin & coat to hips & joints, and their immune system, too!
A happy belly = a happy Frenchie
If you're a Frenchie owner, you likely know that the breed can have a sensitive stomach. And they're pretty prone to being gassy. Because of their compact build, Frenchies can experience various digestive issues, but most commonly noted by owners is their susceptibility to gassiness.
If you're considering getting a Frenchie, this is helpful information! First and foremost, it's useful to know what is considered normal for a breed, and it's beneficial to have the best advice on what to feed your Frenchie to keep their stomach feeling as good as possible.
Keeping in mind that your Frenchie has a sensitive stomach and a propensity for digestive issues like gas, choosing food with high-quality ingredients that are low-fat, and include fiber-rich, easy-to-digest ingredients (like sweet potato or pumpkin) is ideal.
If your Frenchie prefers dry food over wet, consider soaking the kibble in warm water ahead of feeding time. This is often done for puppies, but adult dogs can enjoy food this way, too! Soaking the food can help make it easier to digest.
Other Frenchie-specific factors to consider
When choosing the best food for your French Bulldog, there are some additional health factors that Frenchies are prone to that should be considered.
This breed is prone to allergies from their food and environmental factors. Because of this, finding anti-inflammatory food options can be helpful. As we know, Frenchies are flat-faced, and breathing can be a real issue for the breed. Keeping inflammation down will only be beneficial!
Keep an eye out for symptoms that reflect an allergy attack, including vomiting, diarrhea, dry nose, excessive licking, or itching. If you suspect your Frenchie is suffering from allergies, consult your veterinarian right away so you can help your dog find relief and do your best to eliminate their exposure to the allergen.
Small bursts of energy are more likely for this breed, and because Frenchies aren't overly active, their daily food/calorie consumption should reflect that.
Because of their small stature, obesity can be a real problem for the breed. For this reason, it's helpful to choose a dog food rich in healthy fats and be mindful of their calorie intake daily. This means keeping treats to a minimum and avoiding offering human food scraps as a treat.
If your dog is treat-driven, and you like to use them for training and rewarding good behavior, consider finding high-quality treats (Shameless Pets even creates treats *specifically* with digestion support in mind!) or talk to your vet about the safest human-food options to give your Frenchie (like sweet potato, or raw carrots)
Frenchies are known for gobbling down their food FAST — if your pup is prone to scarfing down their food, there are some things you can do to help slow down the process.
Slow-feeder dog bowls are a great way to help your Frenchie eat slower so they can digest their food better (and hopefully suck in less air, so there's less gassiness, too!).
In addition to slow feeder bowls, there are also bowls specially designed for flat-faced dog breeds, like Frenchies. The bowls have a tilt, making feeding time more manageable.
It's a controversial subject, but sometimes a slightly elevated food bowl can also help your dog's digestion. If this could be helpful for your pup, but you want to ensure it's a safe option, chat with your vet about it before making a purchase.
Dog parenthood is full of learning opportunities, and this information will be helpful for any current or future French Bulldog parents! As always, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian about any health concerns your dog may have, regardless of breed. A healthy dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is what every dog parent wants!