French bulldogs are a breed that will eat as much as you allow them to. That’s right, more than just an appetite for life and mischief, these bat-eared cuties will keep munching for as long as there’s food in front of them.
So, just how much food is considered a healthy amount for a French Bulldog?
It’s a good idea to feed your dog based on two things: their age and weight. Their age will determine what type of food they need and their weight will help you choose the right amount.
Let’s take a closer look at their recommended diet in the three main stages of their life.
French bulldog puppies
French bulldog puppies have loads of energy. And because they burn so many calories throughout the day, they need to be fed regularly.
Newborn puppies grow very quickly, and mother's milk has just the right amount of calcium and nutrients to help them develop. At these early stages, puppies will drink as much as they can, and you shouldn’t try to prevent them from doing so.
When a french bulldog puppy is about 8 - 10 weeks old, it’ll likely be weaned off its mother's milk.
This process usually takes about two weeks and it’s generally around this time that their teeth develop and start hurting mum, a telltale sign that it's time to start eating solid food.
At this age, you can start feeding them 1.5 cups of a puppy, or wet food, each day. But don’t give it to them all at once.
Spread the feedings out to 3 meals a day, each meal consisting of half a cup of puppy food.
This way, they will learn from an early age that there is a specific time for feeding each day, which will make your life much easier as they grow older.
When your pup is about 4 months old, you can start feeding it 2 cups of puppy food per day and then up that amount to 2.5 - 3 cups between 6 and 12 months of age.
During this first year, your dog's bones will develop fully and it will grow into a strong, chubby little dog. This is obviously a crucial part of your dog's life, so make sure you provide it with the best quality dog food you can afford.
As a general rule, your puppy's food should contain at least 22% protein and 8% fats per feeding.
Protein is vital for the development of lean, muscular dogs. Try to source high-quality natural proteins for your puppy, such as beef or poultry.
French bulldog puppies of about 8 weeks should weigh anything from 5 to 7 pounds, while a 16-week-old pup would generally weigh between 9 and 12 pounds.
Adult French bulldogs
A typical adult French Bulldog would need about 550 - 600 calories per day, while highly active dogs would need approximately 750 - 825 calories.
Again, the general rule of thumb of three meals per day applies to adult Frenchies.
It’s virtually impossible to sit and count calories with each feeding, so don’t even try!
However, you could read the nutritional information on your dog food pack and weigh it out accordingly. That way, you know that when you feed them a certain number of cups, they’ll get all the nutrients they need.
So, what do adult French Bulldogs prefer to eat?
They all seem to love a mixture of dry kibble, wet food, and a few treats in between.
The cost involved is one factor in deciding what you’ll feed your dog.
Dry food products are on the lower end of the price range and are more widely available. It is also sold in larger packs which make for convenient shopping trips.
Dry dog food also stores really well and can be left in a cupboard, garage, or storage compartment outside the house. It will stay fresh and suitable for consumption for ages as long as it’s dry.
If you do decide to feed your dog dry food, consider topping it off with just a bit of wet food on top to add a bit of flavor and moisture to their meals.
Some french Bulldog owners swear by feeding their dogs a raw food diet.
And there are quite a few advantages to this approach. For one, your dog will have a shinier coat, healthier skin, higher energy levels, and improved dental health.
Raw food can be prepared at home and could include various forms of protein, like organ meats, muscle meats, and even raw eggs.
One potential risk of choosing this diet is the bacteria in raw meat. This bacteria can cause harm to your dog and cause serious infections in its organs.
Raw food diets also include uncooked bones, which can harm your French Bulldogs’ dentures.
Probably the greatest risk with this approach is the harm that it can cause humans.
Households with young children should be cautious, as raw food could carry bacteria and viruses that can cause children with weaker immune systems to fall ill.
We do not advocate the use of one type of dog food over the other in this article. Please consult with your vet when considering which type and how much dog food to feed your French bulldog puppy, adult Frenchie or older dog.
Older French Bulldogs tend to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life.
They need about 470 - 400 calories per day to stay healthy and if you have an aged Frenchie at home, he’ll probably be more interested in wet dog food.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, wet food has a much higher water content to dry kibble and is thus a lot softer. This makes it easier to chew and digest, a massive bonus for older dogs.
Another advantage is that wet dog food has much more flavor than dry food, which your dog will love.
A word of caution though. You could pay about 5 - times more if you only choose to feed your Frenchie wet dog food.
So you might want to keep them on dry kibble for as long as they are healthy and active dogs. Older french Bulldogs are known for becoming couch potatoes, choosing to chill and take naps wherever they can.
Obviously, you’ll want to adjust your dogs' calorie intake in their later years to avoid them becoming obese and suffering from other weight-related health issues.
Read more: 10 Best fruits for dogs
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions that Frenchie owners might need more clarity on regarding feeding and diet.
How do I help my underweight French Bulldog?
The obvious and best thing to do is consult your local vet as soon as possible.
There are several serious reasons for weight loss that need to be diagnosed and treated professionally.
Other than that, monitor their feeding habits closely and record the amount of food your Frenchie eats in a single feeding. That way, you can give your vet a clearer picture of what’s going on with your dog.
You might also want to change your dog's diet if it doesn’t seem to get enough nutrition from its current food source.
Try feeding your french bulldog only the best dog foods on the market, and their natural feeding habits should take care of the rest.
Is my French Bulldog overweight?
Adult french bulldogs shouldn’t weigh more than 28 pounds when full-grown, which is around 12 to 14 months old.
Apart from putting them on a scale or taking them to the vet for a weigh-in, a simple test is the easiest way to check if your Frenchie is overweight.
Stand directly over your French bulldog. If you can feel their ribcage but not clearly see their ribs, they should be at a healthy weight.
If you can’t distinguish its rib cage from its waist, it’s likely that your pup is a bit overweight and can do with a bit of exercise.
How can I stop my French Bulldog from eating too fast?
If you notice your French bulldog eating his meals without taking a second to catch his breath, you need to slow him down.
Slow-feeder dog bowls are an excellent way of doing this. They only allow your pup to reach a certain amount of food at a time, which in turn helps them with digestion and avoiding bloating.
Another option is to use a food dispensing toy. This makes feeding times fun and helps them with problem-solving abilities
These toys only dispense small amounts of kibble at a time and make your pup more playful around feeding times.
Are any kinds of food that are bad for my French Bulldog?
Sharing your favorite snack with your French bulldog can be very tempting. After all, who doesn’t like chocolate?
As it turns out, there are different types of food that aren’t only bad for dogs but could even be deadly when consumed in large amounts.
Here is a short list of 5 foods to keep away from your pup.
It contains a chemical called theobromine, which humans easily metabolize, but dogs cannot. Some side effects that your Frenchie might display include vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, even seizures, tremors, and an irregular heart rate.
Artificial sweetener (xylitol) in gum and mints
Considerably more poisonous than chocolate for dogs and can cause their blood sugar to rise sharply. This is especially dangerous for small dog breeds, such as French Bulldogs.
This fruit might be yummy for dog owners but are a no-no for French bulldogs. It contains a toxin called persin, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea when eaten in large quantities.
Cooked bones become brittle and can splinter into smaller pieces. And French Bulldogs have strong jaws relative to their size. They can easily swallow these shards of bone which will cause digestive tract complications and even internal bleeding.
Alcohol is bad for dogs because they can’t metabolize it. Some side effects may include lethargy, respiratory depression, and dangerously low body temperature in dogs, including French bulldogs.
Read more: How to make ice-cream for dogs
How do I calculate the weight of my puppy?
Good luck with getting your puppy to sit still on a scale for even a minute. But this also presents an opportunity for obedience training. Teach your pup from an early age to sit for a few seconds before giving him a snack or starting a play session and you’ll be able to get him to sit on a scale.
If that proves to be easier said than done, take note of its weight with each check-up visit to the vet.
When deciding what to feed a French bulldog, you need to consider its age and weight.
French bulldogs can be picky eaters, choosing more expensive, flavourful food over cheaper brands. So come prepared with a full wallet when doing food shopping for your pup. But the happy, healthy pet will be well worth it!
Are you looking for a stylish hoodie to match your French Bulldog’s unique personality? Consider a green plaid hoodie from the Sparkpaws Dog Hoodie collection.