French Bulldogs have become some of the most beloved canine companions in recent years. These spunky little dogs fill our lives with joy and love – which is precisely why we should fill their bowls with hearty meals.
The best food for French Bulldogs is entirely dependant on their distinct, stout build and – because not all dogs are alike – your Frenchie’s individual needs.
A French Bulldog’s Build
Like Boxers, Boston Terriers, and English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs are brachycephalic (or short-nosed) dogs. Because of the shape of their skull, Frenchies can develop issues with their breathing when fed a diet that results in canine obesity.
Being small to midsized dogs, French Bulldogs require a diet that is made with dogs of their size in mind. A French Bulldog should weigh anywhere between 18 to 28 pounds. That may seem like a large weight range, but generally male Frenchies should be on the higher end of the spectrum (between 20 and 28 pounds) and females should be on the lower end (between 18-26 pounds).
Of course, their weight should also be in accordance with their height. Ideally, French Bulldogs, both male, and female should be around 12 inches tall at the withers (more on size here). If you happen to have a Frenchie that is below average height, consult with your veterinarian for a diet specifically tailored to your special little pup.
Your Frenchie’s Activity Level
Aside from the build of their body, a French Bulldog’s individual activity level plays a key role in determining the diet they’ll need.
Your Frenchie’s activity level generally reflects their weight. If your pet can’t tolerate even a small amount of activity, that could mean that he’s a tad bit overweight.
To get a general idea of how much movement your Frenchie needs, a puppy requires 5 minutes of light exercise (such as short walks and playtime) per month of their life. For example, a puppy that is 9 months old will need around an hour of exercise twice a day. Alternatively, adult French Bulldogs should get at least 20 minutes of continuous exercise (such as walking) a day.
Be sure to keep a close eye on your Frenchie and watch out for signs of exhaustion, no matter the age.
Nutrient Specifics for Puppies, Adults, and Seniors
Another huge factor in food-selecting is the age. Young and old Frenchies alike require a selective group of nutrients to keep them in tip-top shape.
As we’re sure most of you know, various dog foods are available specifically for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. It’s important to select food for your dog that will benefit them during whichever stage of their life they’re in.
Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional specifics geared towards Frenchies of varying age:
- Puppies need a more concentrated amount of nutrients than adult dogs do, because of their rapidly developing bodies. Nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus are focused heavily on in puppy foods, as they promote healthy bone growth. If these nutrients lack in your puppy’s diet, it could result in skeletal problems later in life.
- Adult Frenchies are a little simpler and generally require an uncomplicated food source with a wide range of balanced nutrients including proteins, fatty acids, fibers, and carbohydrates. Specific nutrients aren’t usually focused on, as the goal for food for adult dogs is simply to maintain health. There’s no need for excess nutrients because mature dogs are in their prime of health (compared to pups and seniors).
- Senior French Bulldogs benefit most from foods that contain higher levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, and higher amounts of protein. Large amounts of protein are essential to the wellbeing of a senior dog (source), compared to that of an adult or a puppy. This is due to the fact that their bodies are becoming more fragile and susceptible to disease.
Dry Food, Wet Food, or Both?
The consistency of the food your Frenchie eats is entirely dependent on their needs. Let’s go over a few of those:
For puppies, it’s usually a good idea to stick with small, dry kibbles, especially if they’re just now beginning to wean off of nursing. Kibbles can be less upsetting to a puppy’s delicate stomach. If you notice that your puppy is having a difficult time chewing the food, you can add some water to make the pieces softer. Alternatively, you can introduce a plain, wet food into your puppy’s diet, as wet food is far easier to chew.
Adult Frenchies can either eat dry food, wet food, or a combination of both. Of course, it’s important to slowly introduce new products into your pet’s diet, as a quick change isn’t a good thing and will most likely upset their digestive system.
Lastly, Senior dogs may benefit from wet foods. When Frenchies get older, their teeth and gums become more sensitive, often leading to tooth decay and eventually partially-toothless doggy smiles. Soft, wet foods are easier to chew and therefore a better option than hard kibble choices.
Now, let’s take a look at some overall advantages and disadvantages of wet and dry foods for French Bulldogs:
Wet Frenchie Food
- Wet food contains more water, and is, therefore, more hydrating than dry dog foods
- It’s less processed than kibbles
- May contain a higher amount of nutrients than alternatives
- Has a more desirable consistency to adult and senior Frenchies
- Wet food will spoil extremely quickly, unlike dry foods. Any leftover bites will need to be refrigerated (which, in turn, may stink up your refrigerator)
- If your dog is a mess in the kitchen, you can expect smelly, wet dog food to be all over the place
- Quality wet food can be on the more expensive side of the spectrum
Dry Frenchie Food
- Affordable and usually costs less than wet food alternatives
- Though more affordable, dry food still contains decent amounts of nutrients that are essential for a healthy French Bulldog
- Unlike wet food, kibble won’t spoil or need to be refrigerated
- Makes less of a mess than wet food
- Less odorous than wet food options
- Extremely cheap brands of kibble contain unnecessary fillers and ingredients that could possibly pose a threat to your dog’s health
- Can be harder for some puppies and senior Frenchies to chew
- Is more processed than wet food options
Review of the Best Food For French Bulldogs
- 100% ALL NATURAL - Feed your furry family right. Nulo Grain-Free dry dog food is made with clean...
- GRAIN FREE - Nulo doesn't include allergy-triggering grains, corn, wheat gluten, soy, fake...
- FOR LARGE, SMALL DOGS - Our meat protein-rich, BC30 Probiotic, low-carb, small kibble formula is...
- PROMOTES HEALTHY COAT, LEAN MUSCLES - Along with our nutritious ingredients, Nulo features Omega-3...
Our favorite Adult food happens to be the top choice of countless Frenchies and their owners. Nulo Adult All Natural Dog Food is high-quality dog food made with 100% natural ingredients. It’s made with 80% pure animal protein and available in three options: Salmon, Turkey, or Lamb.
This formula is grain-free, as to not trigger allergic reactions or sensitivities, and includes a balanced range of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to encourage a soft coat and nourished skin.
Vegetables and fruits, like apples, are included in this recipe for healthy amounts of vitamins (like C and E) to support and build your Frenchie’s immune system as they age.
Nulo is an affordable, lasting option that would be wonderful for the ingredient-conscious Frenchie owner.
- For a completely natural food choice, Nulo is quite affordable
- Made with small kibble bits to make chewing easier for your French Bulldog
- Made with 80% high protein from animals
- Frenchie-friendly fruits and vegetables are included to add essential vitamins
- A grain-free option, great for dogs with sensitivities (and for avoiding the development of future allergies)
- Ingredients are sourced only from the United States – no mystery ingredients or by-products
- Though affordable for an all-natural option, this may be out of budget for those not looking to spend too much
- Royal Canin small puppy dry dog food (formerly Mini Puppy) is tailor-made for puppies up to 10...
- Meets the high energy needs of small puppies during their short, intense growth period
- Exclusive small kibble size designed for puppies with small jaws and picky appetites
- Supports developing immune systems with an exclusive blend of antioxidants and vitamins
When choosing a puppy food for your Frenchie, it should have the nutrients needed to promote overall health and pack the calories needed for their energetic growing bodies. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition puppy food is specifically made for puppies who will reach an adult weight of between 9 and 22 lbs.
- The kibbles are small, making it easy for little mouths to eat
- Antioxidants to aid in immune health
- Probiotics for digestive health and function
- Special technology in kibble helps keep tartar from building up
- On the higher side when it comes to price/lb
Other Great Options for Adults, Puppies, and Senior Dogs
- One (1) 6 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, Weight Control Small Breed Dry Dog Food,...
- Made with high-quality protein, including real lamb as #1 ingredient
- Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics to support digestive & immune health
- Contains rice, which is an excellent source of carbohydrates for energy
A big name in the dog food game, the Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Formula is an excellent dry food choice for your adult Frenchie. It contains the best of both worlds: crunchy kibble bits and softer, chewy pieces to give it varying texture and flavor for your French Bulldog to enjoy.
Purina’s Pro Plan dog food is loaded with essential vitamins such as vitamin E and A (to encourage a shiny coat), and powerful nutrients to keep your adult French Bulldog in the best of health. Real lamb is used in this formula as the main ingredient, which would be wonderful for providing Frenchies with the high protein they need.
And, if you remember us mentioning the importance of these compounds earlier, phosphorous and calcium are a main priority in this doggy meal choice; promoting strong teeth and bones. As an added bonus, Pro Plan includes live cultures in the food to keep your Frenchie’s digestive system running smoothly and comfortably.
- Lamb, a bland (as not to upset your pet’s stomach) and dependable meat protein, is the main ingredient
- Loaded with vitamins that produce healthy coats and skin
- Phosphorous, calcium and other nutrients are included to promote healthy teeth and bones
- Includes both hard and meaty pieces to give your Frenchie variety in taste and texture
- Made with live cultures to encourage a well-running digestive system
- Affordable, even for those who may be on a budget
- 6 pounds of kibble per bag
- Because of the densely packed nutrients, this formula may cause your Frenchie to vomit if their diet is quickly transitioned. It’s a good idea to introduce a new diet to your dog slowly over a period of weeks to months.
- For Pet Type(s): Dogs
- Completely Natural
- Appropriate for all ages and breeds
A wet dog food option for adult Frenchies, Merrick’s Grain-Free Dog Food is a natural option consisting of 96% real, high-quality, high-protein chicken. The remaining 4% is added beneficial nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, and others to keep your French Bulldog healthy and strong while also encouraging a shiny, soft coat.
This pack comes with 12,13.2-ounce cans at an affordable price (for natural dog food choices, anyway). The large amount of protein is blended into an easily chewable consistency for a taste and texture your Frenchie won’t be able to get enough of!
- Made with ingredients sourced from the U.S of A
- Manufactured with 96% real chicken for the high protein your Frenchie needs and deserves
- Purchase includes 12, 13.2-ounce cans at an affordable, price for natural dog foods
- A range of vitamins are included to keep your French Bulldog strong and healthy
- A grain-free option for Frenchies that have sensitive stomachs
- A soft, chewable dog food option for adult dogs who may have tooth sensitivity
- Like all wet dog foods, this dog food will have a strong odor and need to be refrigerated
- More expensive than conventional, more processed wet dog food options
- PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: A recipe made to satisfy your puppy’s natural love for meat, this high...
- HEALTHY INGREDIENTS: BLUE Wilderness grain free dog food, made with healthy carbohydrates, including...
- WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits – a precise blend...
- NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog food features the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins...
When it comes to puppies, many Frenchie owners look for a natural, more gentle food choice – and that’s where Blue Buffalo Wilderness’ Natural Puppy Food comes in.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness is known for its exceptional quality, holistic, carefully-crafted dog food varieties and this puppy food is no different. Made with the same essential fatty acids that are found in your puppy’s mother’s milk, this may be an ideal choice for Frenchies who are recently weaned.
It’s manufactured with high protein compounds in the form of real chicken (and not just chicken flavor). Not to mention the kibble is crafted with potent vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote the healthiest Frenchie puppy possible.
Though a bit on the expensive side, this could be a great transition food for very young French Bulldogs.
- All-natural formula made without dyes and by-products
- Loaded with real chicken to give your baby Frenchie the protein they need to develop healthily
- Approved and made with key nutrients hand-picked by holistic veterinarians and dog nutritionists
- Crafted with essential fatty acids similar to those found in a mother Frenchie’s milk
- Definitely pricey, but if you’re looking for a trustworthy, highly nutritious, and natural dog food option, it’s worth considering
- High-quality protein to help your senior dog build and maintain lean muscles
- Made with purposeful, easily digestible ingredients older dogs enjoy
- Formulated with key nutrients to support dogs aged 7 and older
- Contains a clinically proven antioxidant blend, plus vitamins C+E for your dog's immune support
Made specifically with senior dogs in mind, the Hill’s Science Diet for Senior Dogs is a soft, soupy Frenchie food that’s easy on fragile teeth and specifically selected to be gentle on an older dog’s digestion.
Vitamins C and E help protect and strengthen an elderly dog’s immune system, encouraging them to fight disease in their old age. Balanced minerals are included to target and strengthen the heart and kidneys for better function.
The high-quality protein in this doggy stew is braised beef mixed along with diced carrots and whole peas for a taste and texture senior dogs love. Plus, it’s made with natural ingredients and veterinarian approved and recommended (what’s not to love about that?).
- Vet approved and #1 dog food brand recommended
- Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins C and E as support for your senior Frenchie’s immune system
- Well-balanced minerals that target and strengthen the kidneys and heart
- Comes in an affordable pack of 6, 12.5-ounce cans
- Soupy, chewable consistency making it easy on tender teeth and fragile digestive systems
- Made with natural ingredients such as beef, peas, and carrots (among others)
- This is wet food, so it does have an unpleasant odor and will need to be refrigerated if left out
Frenchies are without a doubt a unique breed – and unique dogs have unique nutritional needs. When it comes to French Bulldogs, high protein foods packed with essential vitamins and minerals are a must.
Though all of the options on our list are great for Frenchies both young and old, our favorite is the Nulo All Natural Dog Food for adult Frenchies. It’s made with 100% natural ingredients – without artificial flavors or dyes -, is sourced completely from the United States, and contains a balanced amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep your pup in tip-top shape.
But, as with all things, the best dog food for your Frenchie will come down to his or her specific needs. Consider your dog’s physical abilities, whether they’re overweight or underweight, their age and health concerns (if any) as you shop around for a suitable diet.
We hope we were able to give you some insight on the best food for French Bulldogs!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Should I feed My French Bulldog Puppy
When you bring your French Bulldog puppy home, he should be fully weaned off his mother’s milk and used to eating puppy food. It’s important that young puppies eat dog food designed for puppies. Some dog owners who bring a French Bulldog puppy into a home where an adult dog already resides are tempted to feed the puppy the adult dog’s food because it’s easier, they won’t have to purchase two different kinds of dog food.
This is a huge mistake because adult dog food does not have the same nutrients, proteins, fat and vitamins as is needed by puppies. French Bulldog puppies from 8 weeks to 12 weeks of age should be fed 3 or 4 times a day, although most feed their puppies 3 times a day for a total of 1 and ½ cups of puppy food. Each feeding the puppy should get ½ of puppy food.
French Bulldogs do have a tendency of continuing to eat as long as food in front of them, so it’s important to spread the food out into three times a day. Another reason for feeding them 3 or 4 times a day rather than once a day is to prevent their blood sugar levels from rising and falling too drastically. They can get this amount of food daily until they’re almost six months old. If you were feeding the puppy four times a day, you can reduce it to 3 times a day at this time.
Once French Bulldogs get to be six months and older, they should have about 25 to 30 calories for each pound of the dog’s weight. For instance, a 20-pound dog should get 500-600 calories (20 x 25 or 20 X 30) per day. A 30-pound French Bulldog should get 750-900 calories per day (30 X 25 or 30 X 30).
Many find this method to be difficult and time-consuming and choose to use the amount-per-pound method.
Here is a chart showing amounts of food, in cups, the puppy should be fed daily based on its weight:
- 17-pound dog – 1 + 3/8 cups
- 19-pound dog – 1 + ½ cups
- 22-pound dog – 1 + 5/8 cups
- 24-pound dog – 1 + 5/8 cups
- 26-pound dog – 1 + ¾ cups
- 30-pound dog – 2 cups
How to Introduce new foods to your French Bulldog Puppy
Every dog owner has a different preference regarding what brand or type of dog food they feed their dog. Some may choose the cheapest brand while others may be looking for a certain protein/fat percentage, and others may go strictly by the best-known brands. Although it’s important to feed your French Bulldog puppy high-quality dog food, it’s up to you to choose the type of food you want to feed your puppy.
It may not be the same brand that the breeder was feeding him. While it may be perfectly all right to switch your puppy to the brand you want to use, it’s vital that you transition the puppy to the new food gradually. Failure to do so can result in the pup getting diarrhea or becoming sick.
When you begin the transition, give the pup a mixture of ¾ of the old food and ¼ of the new food. If you normally give the puppy ½ of food at a feeding, give him 1/8 cup of the new food and 3/8 of the old food. Mix the food together so the puppy doesn’t pick out one and leave the other. Every couple of days you can add more of the new food and less of the old. The transition should take about two weeks. It could take longer if the puppy has a sensitive stomach.
Which “human foods” are safe to feed your Frenchie?
Back in the day, leftovers and table scraps were what made up most of the family dog’s diet. At least, this was the case until vets and nutrition specialists started saying that table scraps weren’t good for your dog – at least not a steady diet of table scraps. For as long as dogs have been around, they’ve enjoyed eating “people food”. Your French Bulldog puppy will be no exception.
Despite many vets saying not to give dogs people food, there are some foods that are not only OK to give your French Bulldog but also are actually healthy for him. Here is a list of 10 foods that are Ok to give your Frenchie and also foods they might enjoy.
YES! Frenchies can try these:
- Certain fruits – These include apples, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, oranges, peaches, pineapple, mango, raspberries and cranberries.
- Certain vegetables – These include spinach, green beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, sweet potatoes, peas and carrots.
- Peanut butter – Many dog owners make homemade dog treats with peanut butter.
- Yogurt – Dogs love yogurt, and it is a healthy food for your Frenchie, it should be given in moderation.
- Cheese – Cheese is an excellent choice of vitamin A, calcium, protein and B-vitamins but should also be given in moderation. Like humans, some dogs may have difficulties with dairy products.
- Chicken, turkey or beef – Any of these items are good for your dog, whether as part of the family’s leftovers or as part of some dog scraps.
- Fish products – Salmon and tuna are excellent sources of protein, and dogs usually enjoy them.
- Popcorn – Don’t be afraid to share your bowl of popcorn with your Frenchie because they love popcorn!
- Rice – Rice not only tastes good but is also really good for an upset stomach.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin is great for diarrhea or upset stomach and also tastes very good. Vets recommend fresh pumpkin over canned pumpkin.
While some human foods can be safe for your Frenchie to eat, other foods may be not just unsafe but even fatal to the dog. Here is a list of 10 foods your Frenchie should not have.
NO! Not for any dogs, including French Bulldogs:
- Avocados – Avocados contain persin, a toxin that can be harmful and even fatal to your Frenchie.
- Onions – This includes onions, chives, shallots and garlic.
- Corn on the cob – The corn may be healthy, but the cob can pose a choking risk.
- Grapes and raisins – These two foods can cause damage to your Frenchie’s kidneys.
- Pineapple skin – Pineapples may be good for the dog, but the outer skin can cause intestinal blockage or scratch the inside of the dog’s mouth.
- Beer – Hops, an ingredient in beer can cause high body temperatures, and Frenchies are susceptible to heatstroke.
- Apple seeds – While apples may be good for a Frenchie, apple seeds can cause cyanide poisoning in the dog.
- Chocolate – A small amount of chocolate may be a treat, but too much can be fatal to dogs.
- Salt – Too much salt in your Frenchie’s diet can cause numerous health problems.
- Foods with xylitol – Products such as toothpaste, diet foods, gum and certain candies, contain a sweetener called xylitol, which can cause lethargy, vomiting, liver failure and even death.
The important thing to remember when giving your dog food other than dog food is moderation. Also, if you’re introducing your Frenchie to a new type of “human food”, give a small amount until you’re sure the dog can handle it well.
* Before starting your Frenchie on any supplements, always first check with your veterinarian. *
Last update on 2020-09-25 at 12:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API