French bulldogs, also called Frenchies, were developed in England as a miniature of the English bulldog and later bred with French terriers. Frenchies have particular food requirements because of their conformation and tendency toward allergies and excess flatulence, according to animal health technologist and French bulldog owner Melanie Billing of Toronto, Ontario. Billing suggests avoiding processed foods as much as possible and choosing commercial foods with natural ingredients.
Importance of Diet
Overfeeding your French bulldog can result in a swollen abdomen, which can lead to breathing problems, Billing says.Follow the feeding recommendations of pet food manufacturers, your breeder or your veterinarian. Most Frenchies will eat as much as you feed them and still look for more. Stick to the recommended amounts based on the size of your dog, feed twice a day and supplement with the occasional healthy treat. Billing recommends a routine stool screening at your veterinarian if your dog is experiencing dietary challenges, as it is important to rule out other factors, such as giardia. Giardia is an intestinal parasite that alters digestion of food, producing a mushy and smelly stool.
Billing recommends starting out with a dry dog food that offer the nutrients a growing puppy needs as well as helping its teeth to develop. French bulldogs can be picky eaters and you may have to try a number of brands to find one your dog likes. Avoid feeding your dog too close before or after exercise as it can hinder a Frenchie's breathing.
Choosing a Brand
Look at the top few ingredients on the dog food label. The first two ingredients should be meat and be identified as "chicken," "beef" or "lamb," not as an unidentified meat or meat by-product. Look for whole fruits and vegetables as ingredients as well. Grains are necessary to make the kibble but are often hard for Frenchies to digest. Look for whole grains and avoid corn in particular.
Homemade Dog Food
Billing says her dog's excess flatulence and loose stool problems, common for the breed, were solved by a simple homemade dog food that she supplements with one cup of commercial dry dog food once a day. She stresses the importance of the daily feeding of dry dog food in addition to the homemade, to ensure adequate nutritional balance. She also recommends adding a few tablespoons of cottage cheese to the homemade dog food. Homemade food is substantially cheaper than canned dog food, Billing says.
Dog Food Recipe
Make a stewed mixture of 1 pound of minced meat, 6 cups of warm water, 1 cup of parboiled rice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt and 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables. Boil the minced meat first, then add the rice and vegetables and simmer until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Billings feeds her active Frenchie 1 1/2 cups of this mixture twice a day. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reconstitute with a bit of warm water and microwave for 30 seconds, stirring to mix.