How to feed a French bulldog

Updated February 21, 2017

The petite French bulldog makes a wonderful companion, although they must be fed carefully to avoid digestive issues. French bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning then have a short, broad muzzle and an elongated soft palette that can make eating a challenge. Improper feeding may lead to life-threatening issues, including choking, bloat and intestinal perforation. A carefully structured feeding plan will keep your French bulldog healthy and well-nourished for many years to come.

Choose a dry dog food that is high in meat-based products and low in grains. Most low-cost, inexpensive dog food is made with a high volume of grains and French bulldogs are prone to grain allergies. Read the label carefully and look for terms such as beef, chicken, fish and fish meal in the top three ingredients.

Feed your dog on a set schedule. French bulldogs love to eat and can become overweight if allowed to free-feed. So, it's best to leave food out for a maximum of 30 minutes. Feed your dog at the same time each day. If you notice your bulldog leaving a lot of food in the bowl, try dividing the daily ration into two servings and then feed it to them in the morning and evening.

Read the label on your brand of dog food to determine how much to feed your French bulldog, measuring the proper serving size into a shallow food dish. Most dog food brands recommend feeding a small dog 118 to 355 g (1/2 to 1 1/2 cups) of dry dog food each day, depending on the dog's age and activity level. Younger, more active dogs should be fed on the upper end of the range, while slow, elderly bulldogs should be fed a little less.

Leave a bowl of fresh water down at all times. The short noses and compact muzzle of the French bulldog make them prone to overheating; they will dehydrate quickly without access to water.

Limit your bulldog's treats to one a day. As tempting as it might be to give that cute, wrinkly face treats all day long, too many high calorie treats will lead to excess weight gain. If treats are part of your show or training routine, look for all-natural, reduced-calorie treats, to keep your French bulldog trim and healthy.


If your dog gobbles food quickly, place a few large rocks in the dish. The rocks slow the dog down, forcing it to eat slower. You can also fill a treat ball with dry food and let them chase the ball to earn a meal.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry dog food
  • Shallow food and water dishes
  • Treats
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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.