What is the Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs?

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Let’s find the best dog food for your French Bulldog.

French bulldogs are spirited, zany entertainers who love people. Their clownish but peaceful, moderately low-energy personalities make them well-suited to apartment living and sharing a home with children.

French Bulldogs were popularized in France, but in fact originated in England, where breeders sought a smaller, lap-sized English Bulldog. These miniature bulldogs were popular among lacemakers and other workers, who brought their small bulldogs along when they emigrated to France. It was here that the dog started to gain recognition as a breed and gained a name: the Bouledogue Francais.

When these sturdy little dogs crossed the ocean to America at the turn of the century, they saw a swift rise in popularity and quickly ascended the social ladder, becoming favorite family pets of  influential and wealthy families like the JP Morgans and Rockefellers. By the 1910’s, these European dogs were the sixth most popular dog in the United States. After temporarily fading into the background of the American dog scene through the mid-20th century, French Bulldogs have seen a recent resurgence. In 2016, the breed was once again the number six most popular in the United States.

These dogs are small to medium sized, measuring 11-13″ at the shoulder. Males weigh 20-28 lbs, while females weigh between 16 and 24 lbs.

With their heavy skeletons and compact, muscled bodies, these are sturdy little creatures perfect for family living.

What makes a great food for French Bulldogs?

They need approximately 500 to 780 calories per day, although your Frenchie’s calorie needs will depend on their age, size, and activity levels.

They don’t need as much food or as much protein as high-performance working dogs, but a healthy concentration of high-quality meat ingredients should be the cornerstone of any dog’s diet. AAFCO recommends a minimum of 18% protein with the digestibility of that protein estimated to be near 100%. To ensure that your French Bulldog is getting highly-digestible protein, look for foods made with named meats and meat meals and minimal high-protein plant ingredients.

The French Bulldogs’ joie de vivre includes the food dish – these dogs are highly food-motivated and have a tendency to gulp down their food. Because these dogs aren’t strong in self-restraint, it’s a good idea to regulate their meals rather than allowing them to free-fed throughout the day.

What health issues do French Bulldogs face?

This fun-loving, spirited, and loving family dog comes with more than its share of health problems.

The bulk of the French Bulldog’s health issues come from the physical characteristics that define the breed. Their charming snub noses and short faces make it difficult for them to breathe and therefore regulate their own body temperature. Because of their tendency towards respiratory issues, French Bulldogs shouldn’t over-exercise or spend a lot of time in hot weather.

Hip Dysplasia

Because these dogs were bred for dwarfism, they often suffer from orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia. This condition causes looseness of the hip joint, leading to wear on the cartilage. Dogs with hip dysplasia may have hip pain and a loss of mobility.

How does a great food address hip dysplasia in French Bulldogs?

While this is a hereditary condition, you can help to ensure healthy development by feeding your dog the right food during puppyhood. A calorie-limited diet promotes balanced growth – if your dog grows too quickly, it can place too much weight on their developing joints. You’ll also want to look for a puppy food made with the appropriate balance of calcium and phosphorus.

Later in life, it’s important to make sure that your French Bulldog stays slim. Excess weight on the skeletal structure can exacerbate the problem. A food supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin can promote joint health throughout life.

Flatulence

It’s about how your French Bulldog eats and what they eat: snub-nosed Frenchies tend to gulp or gobble their food down rather than chewing it effectively. In the process, they often swallow plenty of air, hence the gassiness. Combine this with a typically sensitive digestive system and it’s obvious why French Bulldogs tend to deal with a lot of flatulence.

How does a great food address this issue?

Any low-quality food will be more irritating to your dog’s digestive system, so avoid low-value ingredients. That means no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, along with added sugars. Because flatulence often results from your dog’s body trying to process hard-to-digest foods, look at the ingredient list. Choose foods that don’t contain fillers and common irritants like corn, wheat, and soy.

Obese French Bulldogs are even more likely to deal with excessive flatulence – another reason to keep these dogs svelte.

Skin and Ear Problems

Particularly common conditions among French Bulldogs are demodectic mange and skin disease caused by allergies.

Demodectic mange involves a severe infestation of demodex mites.

Hereditary immune deficiencies compound the problem, allowing the mites to proliferate far beyond the normal population existent on all animals and humans. This infestation can wreak havoc on the dog’s skin and coat.

Allergic skin disease is also a huge problem among French Bulldogs, who tend to have food and environmental allergies. Skin allergies cause serious inflammation and can lead to hair loss, hives, swollen glands, and infections of the skin and ears.

How does a great food address skin and ear problems in French Bulldogs?

Demodectic mange is fundamentally an immune issue, and while your dog’s genetics may do most of the work in determining whether or not it will be a problem, it’s important to support their immune health through diet. Support healthy gut flora by providing foods rich in probiotics. Minimally processed foods supplemented with probiotics and prebiotics help to keep your dog’s immune system in top shape.

According to Drs. Foster and Smith, the most common dog food allergens are:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Yeast

A nutritionally pristine diet can help your allergy-prone French Bulldog stay healthy.

Again, this means that you should avoid low-value ingredients and fillers. If your dog suffers from food sensitivities or food allergies, avoid common allergens and try a limited ingredient diet.

Top 3 Best Adult Dog Foods for French Bulldogs

Once your French Bulldog has reached 90% of their adult weight, they’re ready to switch to maintenance dog food. Adult French Bulldogs are typically not extremely active and it’s important to make sure that they don’t pack on unnecessary weight. Skin and ear issues can become a problem during these years and a high-quality diet free of allergens and fillers.

Ziwi Peak Daily-Dog Lamb Cuisine Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food Review Buy It

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb – Meat (Includes Up to 3% Finely Ground Bone), Lamb – Liver, Lung, Tripe, Heart and Kidney, New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel, Lecithin, Chicory Inulin

Ziwi Peak Daily-Dog Lamb Cuisine Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food Review

By using a low-temperature air drying process, Ziwi Peak lamb dog food delivers all the nutritional value of raw lamb meat, organs, and bone with the convenience of dry kibble.  In keeping with Ziwi Peak’s promise to deliver meat-based foods, this formula contains 98% lamb meat, organs, and bone, plus seafood. Because this recipe is made with a single protein source, no fillers, no grains, and virtually no plant content, it’s ideal for severely allergic French Bulldogs.

By eliminating any ingredients that might be difficult to digest, this food is one of the best choices for gassy French Bulldogs.

Natural glucosamine and chondroitin from green-lipped mussels help to support joint health, which is important for orthopedic disease-prone French Bulldogs.

Pros

  • This limited ingredient food is a good choice for dogs with allergies
  • Rich in glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health
  • Made from high-quality ingredients sourced from ethical ranches and fishermen
  • Ideal for dogs with flatulence

Cons

  • An expensive dog food
  • High calorie content

Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food Review Buy It

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal

Fromm Gold Adult Dog Food

With its moderate levels of high-quality meat protein, this food is designed for dogs with moderate activity levels like the average French Bulldog. The food isn’t grain-free and contains a considerable amount of plant matter, so it might not be the best choice for dogs with digestive issues, but it offers well-rounded nutrition through carefully-selected vegetables and supplements.

It contains probiotics to support your French Bulldogs’ critical digestive and immune health and contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to help keep their skin and coat healthy.

This recipe is free of artificial ingredients like dangerous chemical preservatives, colors, and flavors. It also doesn’t contain common problem ingredients like corn, soy, and wheat.

Ultimately, you’re looking at a plant-based food featuring human-grade, high-quality meat along with multiple nutritionally-rich vegetables, grains, and added vitamins and minerals.

Pros

  • Contains probiotics to support digestive health
  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Made without byproducts
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health

Cons

  • Contains grains and may not be a good fit for dogs with food sensitivities

Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Peas Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food Review Buy It

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Whole Peas, Sweet Potato

Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Peas Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

This plant-based formula features high-quality named meats and meat meals as the first ingredients, followed by low-glycemic plant ingredients that offer real nutritional value. It includes nourishing fruits and vegetables like blueberries, carrots, apples, and tomatoes.

To support digestive health, the recipe incorporates a healthy concentration of probiotics. Natural sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help to encourage skin and coat health.

This is an all-around high-quality dog food that’s free of dangerous artificial ingredients and low-value additions like corn, soy, and wheat.

Pros

  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Incorporates healthy concentrations of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to support your French Bulldog’s skin and coat health
  • Includes probiotics for digestive health
  • Made from 80% animal proteins

Cons

  • A high-carbohydrate food

Top 2 Best Puppy Foods for French Bulldogs

French Bulldog puppies should consume a nourishing diet rich in high-quality ingredients. Diets formulated for adults and seniors aren’t appropriate for these growing dogs: choose a formula that is certified as complete and balanced for either all life stages or growth.

Fromm Puppy Gold Dog Food Review Buy It

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley

Fromm Puppy Gold Dog Food

Take a look around the French Bulldog guardian community and you’ll notice that Fromm foods are often recommended by those discussing the best diets for these dogs.

Fromm foods are made with high-quality ingredients and center around a holistic approach to canine health. While this recipe isn’t grain-free, it does avoid common problem ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy, making it a good choice for Frenchies who are allergic to these ingredients.

The recipe is designed to support overall puppy health. The recipe starts with high-quality meat and includes nourishing additions like whole eggs and Wisconsin cheese. Further down the ingredient list, you’ll find a variety of nutritious vegetables. To support digestive health, this recipe also includes probiotics – perfect for flatulence-prone French Bulldog puppies. Other helpful ingredients include salmon oil for a healthy skin and coat.

Pros

  • Enhanced with probiotics to aid digestion
  • Balanced for puppyhood growth
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Made with a rich variety of nourishing ingredients

Cons

  • Contains pearled barley, which offers very little nutritional value
  • Contains dried tomato pomace, which is a byproduct of tomato processing

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Foundations Puppy Formula Review Buy It

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Peas, Potatoes

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Foundations Puppy Formula

If your French Bulldog puppy is showing symptoms of food allergies, this limited ingredient diet can help by eliminating some common allergens. It contains just nine key ingredients, plus supplements, cutting out a number of potential allergens.

The formula contains optimal levels of DHA for brain and eye development and probiotics for digestive and immune system health.

This grain-free recipe includes high-glycemic potatoes in the first five ingredients; that’s a good sign that this food isn’t the best choice for puppies with weight concerns or a lot of flatulence.

Pros

  • Designed for puppyhood growth
  • This limited-ingredient recipe was designed for food-sensitive dogs and those with allergies
  • Contains DHA for brain and eye development
  • Includes probiotics for digestive health and immune support
  • Made without grains

Cons

  • Contains alfalfa meal, which delivers minimal nutrition and increases indigestible protein content
  • Potatoes are a primary ingredient – these are high-glycemic and deliver minimal nutrition

Top 2 Best Senior Dog Foods for French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs typically live for 11-13 years. As they grow older, your Frenchie’s already moderately low activity levels will likely decline, putting them at an increased risk of becoming overweight. Excess weight could compound hip dysplasia and other joint problems and generally reduce your senior dog’s quality of life. Your older French Bulldog needs a reduced-calorie food made with high-quality, satiating ingredients to help ensure a healthy weight. Joint problems may become more apparent during these years. The inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin can help to keep the joints healthy, while Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and promote a healthy skin and coat.

Wysong Optimal Senior Dry Dog Food Review Buy It

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Fish Meal, Pea Protein, Peas

Wysong Optimal Senior Dry Dog Food

Specifically designed to support senior dog health, this formula incorporates age-specific nutraceuticals and a wide range of natural micronutrients from low-glycemic fruit and vegetable sources like blueberries, dried kelp, watercress, and spinach. The food centers around the powerful nutritional value of minimally processed meat, incorporating 40% fresh or dried muscle meat and organs.

The inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin supports senior joint health, while Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids encourage a healthy skin and coat.

This is ultimately a meat-based food that delivers a surprising array of nutraceuticals that help to support complete senior health. It’s not perfect, though – the recipe includes potato, which is a high-glycemic ingredient with little to offer nutritionally, along with peas and pea protein, which can give an indigestible boost to the protein content of the food.

Pros

  • Contains a wide range of nutritionally-rich ingredients selected to support senior health
  • Packed with the nourishing power of minimally processed meat
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Low-glycemic, helping to ensure that your senior French Bulldog stays slim
  • Free from artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Contains some high-protein plant ingredients – not the most biologically available form of protein

Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Review Buy It

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Chicken Meal

Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

This calorie-limited food is designed to help your dog stay slim during their senior years. Besides cutting back on the calories, this recipe includes senior dog-specific ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, DHA for eye and brain health, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to support a healthy skin and coat.

The food also includes probiotics and prebiotics to support digestive health and keep the immune system healthy.

If your French Bulldog has grain sensitivities, this food might not be right for them. The recipe is plant-based and is high in carbohydrates, including brown rice and millet.

Pros

  • Calorie limited to help your senior French Bulldog stay slim
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics to support digestive health
  • Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid for skin and coat health
  • Free from artificial ingredients

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains feeding oat meal, which is a plant byproduct and filler ingredient

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