What is the best food for my French Bulldog? [2021]

LAST UPDATED 10 FEBRUARY 2021

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Kimberley Chainey

There's no denying the appeal of the French Bulldog, or Bouledogue Francais. With their irresistible bat ears and affectionate personalities, it's no wonder this breed has remained in the American Kennel Clubs Most Popular Dog Breed Top 10 List since 2014.

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Being the ultimate lap dog, Frenchies make wonderful companions, particularly for those pet parents who enjoy short strolls and outings to the local cafe for puppuccinos. While they require moderate exercise to help maintain a lean body condition, their unique conformation means short walks during the cooler parts of the day are safest. Equally important is the selection of a good quality diet, with close attention paid to the daily feeding amount as extra calories can quickly become a recipe for obesity and breathing complications.

1. Preview of our Top Rated Diets

2. Nutritional Needs of Adult French Bulldogs

3. Our Top Picks For Adults

4. Nutritional Needs of French Bulldog Puppies

5. Our Top Picks for Puppies

Table: We Compare The Options

1. Preview of Our Top Rated Diets:

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2. The Nutritional Needs of Adult Frenchies

At A Glance:

Protein: Minimum of 18% and ideally 25%. Being solid in stature, a diet rich in protein helps to support their muscle mass.

Fat: Minimum of 5%.

Kibble: With their short muzzle, a diet for small breeds or a breed-specific kibble helps them to pick up their food and encourage chewing.

Recommended Nutrients: French Bulldogs can be prone to skin issues such as contact allergies, food allergies and atopy. A diet enriched with the correct ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids helps to support the skin barrier.

How Often: For adults, we recommend dividing the total daily amount into two meals per day.

Being a small breed dog, a good quality diet formulated specifically for small breeds is a logical first choice.

Due to their higher metabolic rate, small breeds have much higher energy requirements than larger dogs and therefore require a diet that is calorie-dense. As Frenchies can be prone to weight gain, this needs to be combined with an optimal protein and fat content to maintain muscle mass and promote a healthy body weight. Avoid feeding table scraps and too many treats as the calories can quickly add up. Instead, look for low calorie treats such as the Whimzees range and Royal Can Educ.

Small breed dogs are also prone to dental disease. High quality diets will typically offer dental benefits through a unique kibble size, shape and texture or a specific nutrient to reduce plaque deposits on the teeth.

A small stomach and short digestive transit time means they will also benefit from a highly digestible diet with the addition of fibre and prebiotics for less flatulence and fewer backyard landmines.

3. Our Top Picks For Adults

Royal Canin French Bulldog:

Ingredients: Rice, wheat, animal fats, dehydrated pork protein, vegetable protein isolate*, dehydrated poultry protein, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, minerals, fish oil, soya oil, fructo-oligo-saccharides, hydrolysed crustaceans (source of glucosamine), marigold extract (source of lutein), hydrolysed cartilage (source of chondroitin).

Protein: 26%

Fat: 18%

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.96%

Omega 6 Fatty Acids 3.57%

Fibre: 1.3%

Energy: 4035 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Contains an exclusive skin 'barrier' complex with vitamins, an amino acid and omega fatty acids including EPA and DHA to support skin health.

  • The kibble is formulated into a unique shape designed specifically for the French Bulldog jaw to assist with prehension.

  • Reputable pet food manufacturer with a history of producing high quality diets backed by science.

Savourlife Grain Free Salmon:

Ingredients: Salmon Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Potato, Poultry Oil, Natural Flavouring, Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Linseed, Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids, Tomato Pomace, Sweet Potato, Yucca, Kelp, Carrot, Broccoli, Blueberries, Chicory Root, Glucosamine, Salt, Natural Antioxidants (Mixed Tocopherols), Green Tea, Rosemary extracts.

Protein: 28%

Fat: Minimum 18%

Energy: 3750 kcal/kg

Fibre: 5%

Extra Benefits:

  • Single intact protein source (salmon) - so great for French Bulldogs with possible food allergies.

  • Free from grains, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

  • Savourlife donates 50% of profits to help shelter dogs

Advance Small Terriers Ocean Fish With Rice:

Ingredients: Salmon Meal; Rice; Sorghum; Rice Flour; Maize Gluten; Chicken Fat; Natural Flavour (Chicken); Dried Beet Pulp; Vitamins and Minerals; Salt; Inulin; Sunflower Oil; Sodium Tripolyphosphate; Antioxidants; Amino Acids (incl. Methionine).

Protein: 25%

Fat: 15%

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.25%%

Energy: 3750 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Australian-made

  • High quality salmon meal is included as an alternative protein source, which may help with the management of underlying digestive sensitivities to the more common dietary proteins.

  • Increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a synergistic vitamin cocktail to help manage skin sensitivity.

  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Protein: Minimum of 22%. Being solid in stature, a diet rich in protein helps to support their muscle mass.

Fat: Minimum of 8%.

Calcium: 1.2%

Phosphorus: 1%

Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio: 1:1

Kibble: With their short muzzle, a diet for small breeds or a breed-specific kibble helps them to pick up their food and encourage chewing.

Recommended Nutrients: French Bulldogs can be prone to skin issues such as contact allergies, food allergies and atopy. A diet enriched with the correct ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids helps to support the skin barrier through anti-inflammatory effects.

How Often: If you've just brought your French Bulldog puppy home, it's important to initially continue with the feeding schedule and diet implemented by the breeder during the first week. Your puppy is adapting to a new home and keeping the diet the same can initially help with the transition. Once settled, we recommend slowly transitioning your puppy onto their new diet over a period of about 7 days. As a general guide, we recommend feeding puppies three to four times per day.

5. Our Top Picks For Puppies

Puppies require higher levels and a specific balance of energy, protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus to support healthy growth and development.

Royal Canin French Bulldog Puppy:

Ingredients: Rice, dehydrated poultry protein, wheat, vegetable protein isolate*, animal fats, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, dehydrated pork protein, minerals, soya oil, fish oil, fructo-oligo-saccharides (0.34%), hydrolysed yeast (source of manno-oligosaccharides), hydrolysed crustaceans (source of glucosamine), yeast extracts (source of betaglucans), marigold extract (source of lutein), hydrolysed cartilage (source of chondroitin).

Protein: 30%

Fat: 20%

Calcium: 1.28%

Phosphorus: 1.04%

Energy: 4140 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Highly digestible protein selected to promote a healthy balance of intestinal flora.

  • Unique kibble shape formulated specifically for the French Bulldog, encouraging puppies to pick up and chew the kibble.

  • Antioxidant complex to support the developing immune system.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon Puppy:

Ingredients: Salmon (17%), ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, pea protein, canola oil, tomato pomace, smoked salmon (4%), salmon meal (2%), salmon oil (a source of DHA), minerals, dried chicory roots, yucca schidigera extract, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries.

Protein: 27%

Fat: 15%%

Calcium: 1.3%

Phosphorus: 1%

Energy: 3600 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Australian made.

  • Fish is the only protein source making it suitable for Frenchie pups with potential food allergies

  • Proprietary K9 blend of probiotics plus yucca schidigera to support healthy digestion

  • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables for a healthy immune system

Hills Science Diet Puppy Small Paws:

Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Pork Flavor, Flaxseed, Fish Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, L-Threonine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Green Peas, Apples, Cranberries, Carrots, Beta-Carotene, Broccoli.

Protein: 29.9%

Fat: 20%

Calcium: 1.7%

Phosphorus: 1.29%

Energy: 3787 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Contains clinically proven antioxidant complex including vitamins C and E to help your puppy to develop a strong immune system.

  • Made from high quality chicken protein and no chicken by-product meal.

  • Reputable pet food manufacturer with a history of producing high quality diets backed by science, including feeding trials.

See All Diets For Puppies

Which diet is the best value?

Instead of looking at the dollar sign figure ($) when trying to decide between brands of dog food, a more accurate way to assess the value of your pet's food is to look at the 'cost per feed'.

Ultimately, the best diet for your individual dog will be one that they do well on. We can assess each diet critically, but if they've got poor energy, a dull coat or lots of flatulence and backyard waste, it's worth trialing a dietary change.

Product Name Protein Source(s) Weight Of Bag Cost Per Bag Cost Per kg Cost Per Feed*

Royal Canin French Bulldog Adult

Pork, vegetable protein isolate, poultry 9 kg $88.65 $9.85 $0.65

Savourlife Grain Free Dog Food Salmon

Salmon 10 kg $79.99 $8.00 $0.48

Advance Small Terriers Ocean Fish with Rice

Salmon 13 kg $97.19 $7.47 $0.42

*Based a 10 kg French Bulldog

Note: The prices above were accurate at time of publication. Prices may fluctuate; please consult links above to see current prices of any specific products.

Further Reading

Want to read more? Check out our other vet recommended articles:

Brachycephalic airway syndrome in dogs

Premium pet food: Is it worth it?

French Bulldog Breed Guide

Boredom busters for dogs

Your guide to fleas, ticks and worms

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