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French bulldogs are some of the best companion dogs out there. Feeding them, however, can be a little complicated since they tend to be prone to food sensitivities. Thus, if you want your Frenchie to live a long and healthy life, knowing what they should and shouldn’t eat is important.
Keeping the Frenchie on age-appropriate specialized dog food might be the easiest solution, but diversifying their diet can be quite easy. A lot of fruits and veggies, meat, poultry, and fish (all carefully deboned), grains, as well as certain dairy products can all be safely consumed by a French Bulldog.
In the article below, we’ll break down not only what your Frenchie can eat, but what they cannot, as well as when and how much they can eat, and what are some of the most common problems you should look out for when it comes to your pup’s diet.
What Do French Bulldogs Eat?
Fragile stomach and vulnerability to gastrointestinal issues are, sadly, one of those side effects. French bulldogs are very sensitive towards what they eat as well as prone to food allergies, so many foods that other dogs can consume without consequences can be dangerous to them.
The one thing every Frenchie owner should remember is that this breed is prone to obesity. The French bulldog is generally considered to be a “lazy breed” – they aren’t very likely to show initiative with physical activities, and even if you try to involve them, they’re likely to lose interest quicker than most other breeds.
Couple that with their tendency to gobble down food even if they’ve just had dinner – and there’s a high chance you’ll end up with a problem on your hand unless you have a strict feeding regiment implemented.
To make matters more complicated, French bulldogs are very human-like in their eating habits. It may sound weird, but they can be big picky eaters, or they can have a love for weird foods, or – on the contrary – they may develop a bad habit of eating everything in the vicinity. This makes it vital for a Frenchie owner to have a solid grasp on what is going into their dog’s diet, identify unhealthy favorites the pup may develop, and keep them away to decrease the chances of the pooch overeating.
A quick overview of what a French bulldog can eat:
- Age-appropriate specialized dog food.
- Meat and poultry, such as beef, chicken, and turkey. Contrary to what may be popular belief these days, you don’t need to stick to low-fat cuts. Fat from dark poultry meat and beef in reasonable amounts can
- Cooked or canned DEBONED fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, etc. as well as thoroughly cleaned and cooked shellfish such as shrimp, crab, and lobster;
- Fruits and berries, such as apples, bananas, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, oranges, cranberries, etc.
- Vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, celery, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, raw green beans, asparagus, eggplant, beetroot, etc.
- Grains such as wheat, oat, barley, and (brown) rice;
- Dairy products – cheese, cottage cheese, milk – in moderate amounts.
Note: most fruits and vegetables are safe for French bulldogs to consume, however, do keep their eating habits in mind. Veer on the safe side and keep the consumption to moderate amounts, and pay attention to how your pup reacts to each new addition to their diet.
If you notice a new addition to their diet causing an upset stomach or diarrhea, immediately cut it from their diet. For example, cheese is a favorite snack for many French bulldogs and doesn’t tend to cause problems while consumed in a reasonable amount. But if the Frenchie has a low lactose tolerance, it may cause gut issues.
A quick overview of what a French bulldog can’t eat:
- Nuts – aside from walnuts and macadamia nuts that are outright toxic to most dogs including Frenchies, nuts can be a choking hazard, and their high caloric content can easily facilitate unhealthy weight gain;
- Avocado – contains persin, highly toxic to dogs;
- Chocolate – contains theobromine, highly toxic to dogs;
- Allium vegetables – garlic, onion, leek, etc. – are bad gut irritants;
- Grapes/raisins – contains tartaric acid, highly toxic to dogs;
- Tomatoes – contain solanine, toxic to dogs;
- Bones – can splinter and cause internal damage;
- Uncooked fish/fish high in mercury – shark, tailfish, king mackerel, etc.;
- Salt and spices – mustard seeds and nutmeg in particular, but most spices are bad gut irritants for Frenchies;
- Anything sugary (can cause gastrointestinal issues, facilitate weight gain and tooth decay), but particularly anything sweetened with Xylitol – artificial sweetener, highly toxic to dogs;
How do I choose specialized dog food for my French bulldog?
The best way to find your Frenchie an ideal brand is to consult a vet who will then provide options based on your dog’s individual needs.
However, if you wish to research on your own, keep in mind that the older your Frenchie gets the more protein they need. Ideally, they should be able to consume it while cutting down a little on the calorie content after leaving the puppy stage behind – the older they get, the easier it becomes for them to put on weight, and sticking to lower-calorie option might help with cutting down on obesity danger.
The food, ideally, should be separately labeled for a puppy, adult (over 12 months old), and senior (over 10 years old) Frenchies, with the label placing some kind of healthy protein – poultry, (debones) fish, or (deboned) beef as the first ingredient.
How many times a day should a French bulldog eat – and at what intervals?
A French bulldog puppy should eat around 3 times a day. Once they pass the 6-month mark, you can start adjusting their diet a bit by bit, by cutting down on the mid-day meal. Once they pass the 9-month mark they should be fully transitioned to a 2-meals-per-day meal plan.
However, this standard may not always work – especially if the owner’s schedule doesn’t allow for it. Some who are particularly busy may find it easier to feed the dog once a day, while some may find it easier to maintain a 3-times-a-day meal schedule.
This doesn’t mean your Frenchie cannot live a long and healthy life! As long as their caloric intake is adequate and they are receiving all the necessary nutrients, any schedule will work.
What you do need to bear in mind while designing your Frenchie’s schedule is that you won’t be able to live the meal out for them – their proneness to overeating means that they’ll just scruff down everything you put in front of them.
How much dog food can I feed my French bulldog?
The ideal amount will, again, depend on the size of your Frenchie. If they weigh around 25 pounds, then around 570-600 calories a day should be enough, if they weigh 18, they will need significantly less.
Again, you’ll need to figure out what healthy weight for your Frenchie is based on visual markers and their behavior. If your 25-pound Frenchie is rotund, has no visible waist, has t
What human foods can I feed my French bulldog?
Popcorn and natural nut butter – particularly peanut butter – in moderate amounts is something your Frenchie can enjoy every once in a while.
Just make sure that there are no butter and salt (or other spices) on popcorn, and the nut butter hasn’t been additionally sweetened (particularly with xylitol). While nuts are usually not recommended due to several factors, they’re not outright toxic (aside from macadamia) so occasionally treating the pup to a small amount isn’t going to do damage.
Note: again, Frenchies are individuals and some may be more sensitive to certain foods than others. If the Frenchie shows any discomfort or any gastrointestinal issues arise after consumption – do take the treats out of their diet immediately.
What are good snacks for a French bulldog?
Fruits and veggies are the best snacks for a French bulldog that’s on a specialized dog food diet. Not only is keeping carrot slices or berries as snacks for the dog a good idea because they’re tasty motivators, but because they’re a good source of additional vitamins and minerals.
Even if you prefer to keep your Frenchie on a dog food diet exclusively, for certain reasons (such as picky character, food sensitivities, or simplicity’s sake), and aren’t planning to add any homecooked meals to their diet anytime soon – adding raw fruits and veggies from time to time as treat is only going to benefit your Frenchie.
Just make sure to find the fruits/veggies they enjoy and show no negative reactions.
What is the ideal weight for a French bulldog?
The ideal weight for a male Frenchie can be anywhere between 19 and 29lbs, while an ideal weight for a female Frenchie can be anywhere between 18 and 28lbs.
Since the scope is rather wide, the best way to identify if a Frenchie is under or overweight is to pay attention to how they look, rather than the exact number on the scale. Characteristics such as height, body shape, leg length, etc. may result in a pup that is slightly taller than average, leaner, or, on the contrary, more rotund. Genetics tend to play a rather large role.
A Frenchie with a healthy weight should have a waist that is easily noted from the top, and their ribs should be covered with a healthy layer of fat, but still somewhat palpable. If the ribs (and pelvic bones) are showing, no layer of fat, then the Frenchie is underweight. If the ribs aren’t palpable through the layer of fat and the waist is absent – then your Frenchie needs to go on a diet.