What is the best food for my French Bulldog? [2020]


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, soya oil, fish oil, fructo-oligo-saccharides, hydrolysed crustaceans(source of glucosamine), marigold extract (source of lutein), green tea and grape extracts (source of polyphenols), hydrolysed cartilage (source of chondroitin), Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Iron, Iodine, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Selenium.

Protein: 26%

Fat: 18%

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 8.5g including DHA and EPA

Fibre: 1.3%

Energy: 3812 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.

Billy + Margot Lamb and Superfood Blend:

Ingredients: Lamb, Whole Field Peas, Whole Chickpeas, Red Lentils, Sweet Potato, Lamb Oil, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, Chicory Root Extract, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Honey (Manuka), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Salt, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid), Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Cranberries, Chia Seed, Ginger Root, Turmeric, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Rosemary Extract.

Protein: Minimum 34%

Fat: Minimum 13%

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 1.1%

Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 1.5%

Energy: 3400 kcal/kg

Fibre: Maximum 6%

Extra Benefits:

  • Currently the only dry dog food product on the market that uses fresh meat instead of meat meal.

  • Contains superfood ingredients including flaxseed, coconut oil, blueberries, cranberries, chia seed, ginger root, kale, turmeric, and manuka honey

  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Adult Terriers Small and Toy Breed:

Ingredients: Salmon Meal, Rice, Rice Flour, Maize Gluten, Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Tuna Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Minerals, Inulin, Vitamins, Methionine, Histidine, Antioxidants, Niacin, Yucca Extract.

Protein: 25%

Fat: 15%

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Minimum of 0.1%

Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.4%

Fibre: 15%

Energy: 3600 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 Junior:

Ingredients: Rice, dehydrated poultry protein, vegetable protein isolate*, wheat, animal fats, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, minerals, dehydrated pork protein, soya oil, fish oil, fructo-oligo-saccharides, hydrolysed yeast (source of manno-oligosaccharides), hydrolysed crustaceans (source of glucosamine), marigold extract (source of lutein), hydrolysed cartilage (source of chondroitin). *L.I.P.: protein selected for its very high assimilation.

Protein: 30%

Fat: 20%

Calcium: 1.28%

Phosphorus: 1.04%

Energy: 3898 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.

SavourLife Grain Free Puppy Lamb:

Ingredients: Lamb 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: Minimum of 30%

Fat: Minimum of 19%

Calcium: Minimum of 2%

Phosphorus: Minimum of 1%

Energy: 3800 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Australian made.

  • A single high quality protein diet, sourced from Australian lamb.

  • Added fish oil as a source of omega fatty acids.

  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin and Stomach:

Ingredients: Salmon and tuna; vegetable protein concentrate; oats; fish protein meal; brewers rice; wholegrain sorghum; beef and/or lamb tallow preserved with mixed tocopherols (form of vitamin E); minerals, vitamins and/or amino acids (including calcium carbonate; potassium chloride and/or dicalcium phosphate; sodium chloride and/or phosphoric acid; fish meal, copper sulphate, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin, vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, pantothenic acid, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulphate complex (source of vitamin K activity), thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, potassium iodide, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, biotin, natural flavours, spinach; choline chloride); natural fibres (including beetpulp and chicory); dried yeast and colostrum; natural antioxidants.

Protein: 28%

Fat: 16%

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Minimum 0.5%

Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Minimum 1.2%

Calcium: 1.0%

Phosphorus: 0.9%

Energy: 3650 kcal/kg

Extra Benefits:

  • Hydrolysed salmon and tuna is the first ingredient, ideal for puppies with sensitive skin and/or digestion.

  • Omega fatty acids and EPA from fish oil help to reduce skin inflammation.

  • Added colostrum as a source of natural antibodies to strengthen the immune system.

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'.

Have a look at the following table where we compare the three adult diets: Royal Canin, Billy + Margot and Advance. You can see that a 9kg bag of Royal Canin French Bulldog is $71.75 and a 13kg bag of Advance is $99 - a similar cost if you compare on a kilogram basis. The cost per feed also works out the same, so how do you decide between the two? Have another look at the key benefits each diet provides. For example, the Royal Canin French Bulldog diet is formulated into a specific kibble shape to suit the unique jaw of this breed. The Advance diet on the other hand is Australian-made, which means we can generally count on it being a fresher product.

Let's also compare the Billy + Margot Lamb and Superfood Blend with the Royal Canin French Bulldog diet. You can see from the table that the cost per feed of the Billy + Margot diet is nearly double that of the Royal Canin in the same bag size. While this discrepancy is likely due to the incorporation of fresh meat instead of meat meal, it's worth weighing up whether the additional cost is worth it, especially considering meat meal is actually a highly concentrated form of protein.

Finally, 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 Bags Per Year Cost Per Bag Cost Per Feed

Royal Canin French Bulldog Adult

Pork, chicken 9kg 1.1 $71.75 $0.44

Billy + Margot Salmon Superfood Blend

9kg Lamb 1.3 $119.99 $0.87

Advance Terriers Toy Small Breed

13kg Salmon meal 0.8 $99.00 $0.44

**Based on an 8kg dog of normal activity

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

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Brachycephalic airway syndrome in dogs

Premium pet food: Is it worth it?

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