best food for a french bulldog

The Best Food for a French Bulldog

What is the best food for a French Bulldog? Where can you find it, and how does your current dog food match up?

The Best Food for a French Bulldog

Rather than ask yourself about any particular breed, what should the average dog eat? Just like humans all have the same basic nutritional requirements, so do dogs. Your French Bulldog is going to need the same basic nutrients as a Beagle or Great Dane (if perhaps less of them).

Dogs are scientifically classified as carnivores, looking from a taxonomy perspective. In reality, they might be closer to omnivores and can consume from both plant and animal sources.

That being said, today’s domestic dogs evolved from an animal that found most nutrition from animal sources.

  • So, this tells us right away the best food for a French Bulldog should consist primarily of animal meats. Fruits, vegetables and grains offer important nutrition but are secondary to animal sources.
  • There is not much of a difference in nutrient guidelines recommended for any specific dog breed.

diet for a healthy french bulldog

Size, Weight, Activity Level and Age

Now you’ll have to look at the number of calories you’re feeding your dog! All dog breeds will need the same basic types of nutrients, but the amount of those nutrients will depend on your dog’s lifestyle.

A healthy adult male French Bulldog will usually weigh between 20-28 lbs (9-12 kg), while a female will weigh 4 pounds less on average. Anything over 28 pounds is considered overweight and will disqualify a competing Frenchie, according to the American Kennel Club.

Energy Level

These certainly aren’t high energy dogs! In fact, the breed is considered low to moderate energy. This means your Frenchie probably won’t be burning tons of calories running all over the place.


How old is your French Bulldog? As a dog ages, its metabolism will begin to slow down. He won’t be as active as a younger dog, which means he won’t be burning as many food for a french bulldog puppy

The same amount of calories he consumed as a younger dog could cause weight gain now. Excess weight could add pressure on any arthritic joints your dog might have, in addition to causing a host of other problems.

  • Ensure the dog food you provide has a label on the back of the packaging claiming they are formulated to meet nutritional standards established by AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

On Average, French Bulldogs will need about 25-30 calories per pound of body weight per day. 

  • 20 lb.French Bulldog: 560 Calories
  • 25 lb. French Bulldog: 700 Calories
  • 28 Lb. French Bulldog: 784 Calories

Remember, this will change slightly depending on your Frenchie’s activity level and age!

french bulldog is overeating

What A Great Dog Food Should Look Like

Here we’ll list the top 15 ingredients in one of the absolute best-manufactured dog foods available on the market today. Ingredients are listed in order of amounts, so anything beyond these won’t make a significant percentage.

Top 15 Ingredients

Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard), Quail, Whole Blue Whiting, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver, Eggs, Dehydrated Turkey, Dehydrated Chicken, Dehydrated Mackerel, Dehydrated Chicken Liver, Dehydrated Egg, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Whole Green Lentils

Source: Orijen Small Breed

The top 3 Ingredients are Meat Sources

Many cheaper manufacturers will fill their foods with mainly plant products. Plants are cheaper to grow, despite animal sources being preferred. It’s also harder to find the correct essential amino acids in plants.

4 Sources of Fish

Fish sources are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids! Omega 3s offer several health benefits, such as supporting cognitive function in ageing dogs, treating canine arthritis, supporting skin & coat health, etc.

Eggs for Additional Protein

Not only are eggs protein-rich, but they are also packed with a wealth of vitamins and minerals! Many dog foods already contain eggs. You’ll find two separate sources above.

veggies in french bulldog's diet

Doesn’t Discount Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits, veggies and grains certainly aren’t the most important part of a dog’s diet, but they offer nutrients meat doesn’t. Even wild wolves will scavenge for plant sources occasionally. You should never stick with animal meat alone.

However, they are listed further down the ingredient tree. Vegetables need to be there because they are important, but not as important as the animal sources listed above them.

Though meat is very valuable as a source of nutrition for our dogs, vegetables, fruits and even grains offer valuable nutrients also. Great dog food should include all four!

How Often Should a French Bulldog Eat?

You shouldn’t be caring for a puppy younger than eight weeks (unless you are the breeder), so let’s start there. A young puppy should be fed three meals a day, according to your dog food nutritional labelling.

A healthy adult French Bulldog should ideally be fed smaller meals twice daily, again according to your dog food nutritional label.

  • 2-6 months old: 3 times daily
  • 6 months plus: 2 times daily


What Foods Aren’t Good for French Bulldogs?

Too many human foods, in general, aren’t good for any dog! They are often too high in carbohydrates and sodium. The foods listed below can be especially dangerous, and should absolutely never be fed to your dog.

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol (wine, beer, etc.)
  • Anything containing the artificial sweetener xylitol
  • Cooked bones (can splinter & cause choking hazards)

Dangers of Raw Meat

Raw diets have become a huge craze in recent years! The basic idea is that nutrients are lost during cooking. If raw meats are fine for wolves, why not dogs?

Our dogs aren’t wolves and didn’t inherit many of the bacterial resistances from their mothers that wild animals do. No dog is immune to intestinal parasites, and you would be risking exposure with raw meats.

The small amount of nutritional quality lost during the rendering process doesn’t warrant the risk you would be taking here! The best food for a French Bulldog, or any other breed, should be cooked.

Rendering: Cooking ingredients at high temperatures to separate moisture and fat.

allergies in french bulldogs

Common Diseases in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are medium-sized dogs with a strong build, brachycephalic muzzle and erect ears. The constitution of their body is often a cause of some of the common diseases in French Bulldogs. With proper care and timely treatment, dogs of this breed can live 12 to 14 years and it’s important for the owner of the dog to know the main symptoms and to prevent them.

Common diseases of the French Bulldog breed

The most common diseases in French Bulldogs are:

  • Allergies
  • Skin disorders
  • Spine problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Prophylaxis
  • Food allergies, dermatitis.
  • Conjunctivitis and other eye diseases
  • Dysplasia of the hip joints.
  • Heart failure
  • Arthritis
  • Viral infections
  • A number of diseases can be prevented through periodic care and monitoring and an appropriate diet.

cute french bulldog


One of the most common diseases in French Bulldogs is different types of allergic reactions such as allergy to food, dermatitis and allergy to external or internal parasites. The main signs of allergies are rashes or redness on the skin, frequent sneezing, difficulty breathing, hair loss, nausea, and stool problems.

When identifying such symptoms, the first step is to find out what exactly is the allergen. If such a reaction appeared following a change in the diet, it means that the dog is allergic to the new food and there is an urgent need to revise the diet. The main allergens include beef, dairy products, eggs, foods generally prohibited for dogs such as smoked meats sweets and chocolate.

Contact allergy (dermatitis) often manifests itself as a reaction to cosmetics and beauty products, dust and mold. Breeders recommend using hypoallergenic drugs, because in dogs of this breed, the skin is delicate and sensitive to various pathogens.

It is curcial to keep your French Bulldog clean as well as his surroundings, including his bed and linens. In addition, his environment should well ventilated and regular parasite control should be undertaken.

diseases in french bulldogs

French Bulldog skin diseases

Typical problems for this breed are skin diseases, the main cause of which can be inadequate care of the folds on the face and croup of the dog.

It is necessary to clean the dust and dirt that gets under the folds daily, otherwise the skin begins to sore, irritations appear, and fungal diseases can develop. You can wipe the folds with a damp cloth, dry the area, then lubricate with baby cream.

In French Bulldogs, signs of a skin disease are redness and unpleasant odor of the affected area. The dog begins to strongly scratch his skin and in some cases, hair may even fall out. The symptoms of the fungus are similar to those of a dermatitis, so only a veterinarian can correctly diagnose and prescribe treatment after examination.

french bulldog sleeping

Spine problems in French Bulldogs

Because of the long back and a fairly large weight, French Bulldogs can have problems with the musculoskeletal system.

The most common problems related to a spine disorder are:

  • Discopathy
  • Displacement of the vertebrae, which leads to pain, limb failure and uncoordinated movements.
  • Dysplasia of the hip joints
  • Incorrect position of the femoral head, inflammation of the connective tissue of the joints that cause lameness and pain on movement.
  • Achondroplasia
  • A genetic disease in which there is a change in the length of the bones.
  • The appearance of wedge-shaped vertebrae

This condition can be hereditary or acquired, causing problems with the spinal cord, convulsions and paralysis.

caring for a french bulldog

Eye problems

Large bulging eyes of this breed can cause the development of eye diseases. With conjunctivitis, the French Bulldog’s eyes fester and inflammation occurs. Treatment of conjunctivitis in a French Bulldog (medicines, rinsing agents) is prescribed by a veterinarian. Other common diseases in French Bulldogs include the eversion of the eyelids, which causes eye inflammation and watery eyes.

It is necessary to regularly clean the eyes of the dog, otherwise lacrimation and drips from the eyes can cause great inconvenience to the animal. If an eye or third eyelid falls out, this can only be treated through surgery.

Diseases in French Bulldogs: Breathing disorders

Due to the flattened shape of the muzzle, dogs of this breed often have problems with their respiratory system. The special structure of the nasopharynx also becomes the reason that the French Bulldog often breathes heavily and snores. In the hot season, the dog can get a heatstroke when being over exposed in the sun. In cold weather, the likelihood of colds is high, so you need to put on your dog a parka or jacket to keep him warm and appropriately gauge the duration of walks.

french bulldog health

If your dog is breathing heavily and has a profuse nasal discharge, he likely developing a viral or bacterial infection.

Pregnancy and childbirth in French Bulldogs

The first mating can be carried out at the age of 18 months, after puberty. The first estrus in bitches can begin at the age of 6 to 8 months, but accidental mating should not be allowed. Should it happen, the puppies have a high risk of manifesting a number of genetic diseases. Pregnancy in French Bulldogs lasts 2 months, during which you need to choose an appropriate diet for your dog, walk her out in fresh air conditions (in cool but not too cold weather) and provide close care and attention.

In the second month of pregnancy, you need to exclude jumping and sudden movements, overfeeding, hypothermia or heat.

genetic disorders in french bulldogs

The following factors indicate the onset of labor: the dog starts scurrying from corner to corner, whining, trying to dig holes. Before giving birth, you need to cut the dog’s hair in the crotch and on the belly. You can handle delivery yourself or entrust this process to a vet.

To minimize the risk of developing diseases in French Bulldogs, you need to provide them with the necessary vaccination on a timely basis. The first vaccination is carried out at the age of 2 to 3 months, having previously performed deworming. Then they are vaccinated against rabies, plague, parainfluenza, adenovirus infection, parvovirus enteritis and other dangerous diseases.

Prevention measures are very important, yet very simple. You need to be disciplined and consistent by providing daily care, comfortable living conditions, and an appropriate diet with premium quality food.

french bulldog allergies

French Bulldog allergies: symptoms and treatment

French Bulldog allergies are one of the most common diseases of this breed. Such a reaction indicates an increased sensitivity of the dog to some form of irritant such as food, medicines household chemicals, parasites, etc.. When the animal’s body is exposed to an allergen, various symptoms begin to appear, indicating an allergic reaction. Signs of allergy are different and similar to the symptoms of other diseases, so only a veterinarian can establish an accurate diagnosis.

Types of French Bulldog allergies

Food allergy

An allergic reaction of the body can manifest itself both to food already present in the dog’s diet or to newly introduced ones. Allergies are most common in puppies under 6 months of age. The animal’s immune system often reacts to proteins (chicken, beef, veal, fish), milk, eggs, yeast, soy, red vegetables, fruits, and fish oil. This type of allergic reaction has no common symptoms and can manifest itself in different ways.

Moreover, intolerance may not appear immediately, but after a certain time. It is impossible to determine the presence of an allergy by a blood test or microscopic analysis of a sample of the skin. Only special tests, based on trial and error, are effective at identifying the specific agent causing the allergic reaction.

allergies in French Bulldogs

Contact allergy (dermatitis)

Such a reaction in the French Bulldog can occur when the dog is exposed to household chemicals and cosmetics (shampoos, balms, dog care products). Sensitive skin may cause your dog to react to some grooming products. If the French Bulldog is allergic, it is recommended to choose hypoallergenic shampoos, lotions and creams for him. Dermatitis can also manifest itself as a reaction to the fur, dandruff or skin particles of other animals or from humans.

Allergy to medications

The main allergens in this group are antibiotics, barbiturates, sulfonamides, pyramidone, morphine, foxglove, alfalfa extract, novocaine, vitamins with brewer’s yeast, serums and vaccines with live bacteria.


When the immune system becomes dysfunctional, the French Bulldog’s body can start producing its own allergens.

dog scratching ears

Infectious allergy

This hypersensitivity condition manifests itself in the form of a reaction to bacteria, viruses and internal parasites. Bites of blood-sucking insects such as ticks, mosquitoes and bees, can also cause an allergic reaction of varying severity (up to anaphylactic shock).

Signs of French Bulldog Allergies

  • Itching
  • Rash, redness, blisters, sores, pimples on the face of the French Bulldog;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Increased dry skin, dandruff;
  • Thinning and loss of hair in places where irritation occurs;
  • Increased gas production, bloating, colic;
  • Appearance of an unpleasant odor;
  • Anaphylactic shock (extreme severity of the reaction), which can be fatal.

skin irritation on french bulldog puppy

In addition to the appearance of one or more of the above signs, the animal’s behavior may also change. Your canine friend can become restless and irritable, shake his head, constantly scratches or gnaws at the area where the rash appeared. Limb irritation can also occur and lead to pain and lameness.

When observing how allergies manifest in French Bulldogs, pay attention to the areas affected. Itching in the perineum or tail may be a reaction to infection with helminths or ectoparasites. The skin can also begin to itch due to diseases of an infectious, immune or systemic nature.

Causes of allergies

There are many reasons for the manifestation of allergic reactions. Even a perfectly healthy French Bulldog with a balanced nutrition and proper care may have intolerance to a substance. The main causes of French Bulldog allergies are the intake of food that causes a negative reaction in the body or exposure to a non-nutritive substance.

An allergen can be a natural product or a component of ready-made or processed dog food. Often, intolerance manifests itself when the dog eats prohibited products (smoked, fried and salty foods, spices, chocolate, sweets).

dog allergy to medication

The cause of allergies in the French Bulldog can also be medical drugs, therefore, when given a vaccine or medication, you need to put the dog under observation for a few hours. Intolerance can also be caused by contact with detergents, shampoos, cosmetics, pollen, dust, and hair of other pets.

How to treat allergies in French Bulldogs

Dog owners must be ready to quickly provide first aid to their canine friend in case a strong and severe reaction is observed. In such a situation, the dog must be given an antihistamine (suprastin, etc.), and immediately taken to the veterinary clinic. Allergic dermatitis is treated with brilliant green (wounds), furacilin solution (scab on the ears). If vomiting occurs, you need to stop feeding the dog for 24 hrs and monitor the well-being and behavior of the dog.

Therapy includes three main areas of intervention: identification and elimination of an irritant, correction of a hypersensitive state, prescription of symptomatic drugs against allergies.

Identification of an allergen in case of food intolerance is carried out using special tests. After determining the reason, the dog is submitted to a protein-free diet and sweets are totally excluded. When prescribing medications, drugs that stop inflammation and drugs for parasites are not used. In some cases, antifungal and antipruritic drugs are prescribed in the complex.

rash on french bulldog's skin

Prevention measures

Given the characteristics of the breed, owners are advised to take preventive measures for possible French Bulldog allergies. They include keeping your dog from known food and non-food substances that can become allergens. Eliminate foods that cause allergies from the diet (especially for puppies under the age of 6 months), carefully observe the dog when adding a new item to the menu. Stay disciplined and never give your dog prohibited foods.

The main rule when drawing up a diet for French Bulldogs prone to allergies is the complete exclusion of the irritant, because food intolerances are cumulative and the response only compounds over time. An appropriate diet consists of natural hypoallergenic or premium processed food. Food supplements with B vitamins and yeast can also be appropriate but need to be are given in low quantity and with caution.

When choosing grooming products, give preference to hypoallergenic cosmetics. Ventilate the room where the dog hangs around and keep him away from household chemicals. Do not give medicine to your dog without a veterinary’s order

During treatment, vitamin and mineral complexes must be completely excluded. Treats and chewing toys are also prohibited. After the allergic attack and its treatment, feed your French Bulldog with rice or buckwheat porridge for the first 3-4 days. Then, boiled turkey or lean sea fish can be added to the diet.

How to tell if your french bulldog is sick

How to tell if your french bulldog is sick

Do you want to learn all about how to tell if your french bulldog is sick? The French Bulldog is an adorable dog with many qualities … but that is no reason to forget that he must be treated with care! If you have a French Bulldog or if you want to adopt one, this article will tell you all about the health signs, the diseases and the sensitivities of the French Bulldog.

French Bulldog health considerations

The French Bulldog may well be a dog of robust appearance, it should not be forgotten that it has some weaknesses. The life expectancy of a French Bulldog is only 12 years, which is slightly lower than that of most other breeds of this size. This is partly due to the fact that it is predisposed to a number of diseases or genetic defects. So, it’ important to recognize the sources of health issues.

Rest assured, however, a French Bulldog bred with love of the profession in a family canine breeding is less likely to suffer from genetic disorders, and can therefore live a good and long life! It is still interesting to learn about the diseases that mostly affect this dog breed.

The popularity of the French Bulldog has unfortunately not played in its favor. To meet the high demand, some unscrupulous breeders have sought to make as many litters as possible … thus increasing inbreeding within the breed, thereby causing genetic defects.

genetic disorders of a french bulldog

Main types of diseases of the French Bulldog

Being well informed about the health of the French Bulldog and its weaknesses is essential, so that you can quickly prevent or treat significant health concerns. There are diseases common to all dog breeds (such as distemper, rabies, parvovirus, etc.) and against which it is possible to vaccinate a dog. In this article we will only focus on health disorders that are specific to French Bulldogs.

Respiratory disorders

Due to its flat face, the French Bulldog is the victim of many respiratory disorders. The short muzzle of the French Bulldog that is sort of cut short can easily be causing respiratory obstruction. This is the reason why it cannot sustain conditions of high heat, humidity and poorly ventilated areas.

The french bulldog is characterized by 3 typical respiratory disorders which can threaten his well-being, a long soft palate, nostril stenosis and collapse of the larynx.

Excessively long soft palate

In many cases the french bulldog’s soft palate is much too long and can compress its larynx and cause difficulty breathing. This genetic disorder can be resolved by surgery.

Nostril stenosis

Another common genetic disorder, nostril stenosis is a condition by which the dog’s nostrils are too narrow. This causes wheezing in the nose, and difficulty breathing. Once again, surgery corrects this defect.

Collapse of the larynx

This third genetic problem is characterized by a collapse of the larynx membranes when the dog inspires. Once again, this disorder is causing difficult breathing, and can be treated with surgery. It is essential to pay attention to the Bulldog’s breathing to notice any respiratory disorder. In case you observe signs such as hoarse breath, snoring or intolerance to more intense effort, consult a veterinarian.

french bulldog intense effort

It should be noted that respiratory disorders can create significant side effects such as heart problems, even sudden death if the disorder is severe. Many deaths in the French Bulldog are thus due to breathing problems.

Respiratory disorders makes the French Bulldog very sensitive to stress and heat. To avoid a heat stroke which is very common in this breed, make sure that your dog is not exposed under the sun for too long and provide for areas he can hang around in the shade, hydrate it regularly and limit intense efforts. Likewise, never leave a dog alone in a car in direct sunlight … or not!

Spinal problems

Other common health problems of the French Bulldog are not due to its flattened face, but rather to its small size. It is indeed the cause of certain disorders in the dog’s skeleton. French Bulldogs are thus particularly predisposed to herniated discs, vertebral disorders which cause back pain, and can go so far as to paralyze the dog if they are not taken care of in a timely fashion.

rench bulldog respiratory disorders

If your French Bulldog shows signs of reduced mobility, difficulties with certain movements or slight limping you should quickly consult a veterinarian to quickly set up a treatment. As you can see, learning how to tell if your french bulldog is sick is important and requires your constant attention.

On a completely different note, you should be aware that the robust framework of the Bulldog and its small size make it practically impossible for a pregnant female to give birth naturally. Most of the births of this breed of dog are carried out by caesarean operation.

Skin problems

Another interesting trait of the french bulldog is the wrinkles on its face that make it quite susceptible to skin infections. To avoid this problem, it is important to regularly cleanse its face, and keep all areas dry as much as possible. If you see areas where the skin is folding becoming pink or red, it may need attention.

french bulldog health disorders

How to prevent diseases of the French Bulldog?

Reading this article, you might believe that the French Bulldog is a fragile dog and needs multiple veterinary care. Rest assured, it is not as bad as it looks like! Apart from the problems mentioned above, the French Bulldog is a fairly robust dog, and one that generally enjoys excellent health.

If you want to adopt this dog, you need to focus on 3 important aspects to avoid the most serious health risks:

1) Avoid excessive intense effort

2) Limit exposure of the dog to the sun at all costs

3) Carefully monitor its breathing

4) Avoid putting too much stress on the vertebrae of the French Bulldog. This means limiting jumping movement, going up or down stairs.

By learning how to tell if your french bulldog is sick and staying attentive to these signs, you won’t have to worry!