Feeding your Frenchie

May 16, 2019

black Frenchie holding a food bowl in mouth

The French Bulldog and food - the complete guide

Frenchies are special and unlike any other dog breed in many aspects so it is no surprise that in the food category there's no exception. There are so many variables for a responsible Frenchie owner to consider when it comes to feeding your French Bulldog.

We get asked every single day for our top recommendations from the safest bowls to use specifically made for Frenchies to food allergies and how to minimize or prevent them. We have put together this complete guide for this reason of our top advice and suggestions.

What is the ideal weight for a French Bulldog?

When you have a dog like a French Bulldog that is generally considered one of the "lazy breeds" you want to make sure your Frenchie is at an ideal weight. Frenchies can become overweight quickly and obesity can lead to many health issues down the road.

It is crucial for a dog owner to recognize when their Frenchie becomes overweight to be able to help the dog maintain a healthy weight and lead a happy healthy life. We are quite surprised that there are no resources or any visual charts online that explains the body condition and what to look for in a French Bulldog ideal weight.

We were able to locate many other breeds such as Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Great Dane etc but none for Frenchies. As this is one of the most important aspect of recognizing if there is an issue with your Frenchie's weight we decided it was important to spend the time to create a visual for our loyal readers.

Frenchie weight and body condition of a french bulldog drawn by Frenchiestore

What is the ideal weight for a male French Bulldog?

We believe the idea weight for a male French Bulldog is anywhere between 19-29 lbs.

What is the ideal weight for a female Frenchie?

We believe the idea weight for a female Frenchie is anywhere between 18-28 lbs.It is important to mention these are simply general guidelines and weight can depend on many factors such as body shape height and genetics for instance a male Frenchie that is slightly leaner and taller ideal weight could be around 32 lbs.

For those reasons we provided the visual so you can compare your Frenchie's body type to the drawing and explanation to see where your French Bulldog falls into.

ideal weight of a frenchie bulldog

Fawn with mask Frenchie at an ideal weight

What are the health implications of an underweight or overweight Frenchie?

Just like an overweight person may have shortness of breath with little to no exercise obese French Bulldogs will experience the same. For a breed like French Bulldogs that already has breathing and respiratory issues being overweight can be a matter of life or death.

Diabetes and heart disease is almost guaranteed in overweight Frenchies. They may also experience joint problems. For a Frenchie even 4 -6 pounds overweight can have devastating consequences due to their already small frame.

If your Frenchie is underweight it could be a signal of a much serious problem. It is best to consult to your vet and eliminate major health concerns such as parasites, gastrointestinal disease or kidney disease etc.

What should I do if my French Bulldog is too thin or underweight?

First we would like to talk about the exceptions where being too thin for your Frenchie is absolutely normal and expected:
  • "Lanky" stage - your Frenchie will go through this stage around 7-12 months of age which he/she may look too skinny. We want you to know that is a normal stage that most French Bulldogs go through and it takes a bit of time for them to fill up. Do not be alarmed if your Frenchie is thin at that age.
  • Medical procedure - such as neutering, spaying, boas surgery or anything that requires anesthesia.  It is almost guaranteed your Frenchie will lose weight and it will take a bit of time for your French Bulldog to get back to his/her normal weight.

If your Frenchie is fully grown and have not been through any medical procedures in the last four months and he/she looks too thin there are things you can do to help your dog gain a bit of weight and reach an ideal weight. 

  • Consult with your vet- to rule out intestinal parasites and ask your vet if it is time to de-worm your Frenchie.
  • Increase food intake - if your Frenchie is too "boney". If you feed your French Bulldog once daily, add another meal. It may not be necessary to change the actual food or brand you give your dog, simply just add an extra meal to the daily routine. Also keep in mind that by increasing the food intake you may need to alter your dogs daily walks as well.
  • Read the label - protein, fat content and calories per cup. It is always suggested to talk to your vet about the brand and kind of food you feed your dog to see if they approve or have any suggestions for your specific needs.
  • Supplement with safe human food- adding "toppings" to your dog's food will most likely increase your French Bulldog's enthusiasm for eating. Breeders usually recommend adding a couple tablespoons of no salt chicken or beef broth, or a dollop of non-fat plain yogurt to wake up your Frenchie's appetite.
  • Change consistency - is your dog eating raw, dry or wet food? All these variables are important to determine the issue and why your dog may not be getting the appropriate calorie and nutritional intake he/she needs. Change things up. If you are feeding dry food, add warm water and wait for the food to become soft, your dog might like that consistency better and vice versa.
  • If all fails - we have one last suggestion that will surely work like magic. However, this should be used as a last resort as it is not the most natural way of your dog to gain weight. Try giving your Frenchie a high calorie dietary supplement daily. This type of supplement usually comes in a tube and is easy to give the dog.

What should I do if my Frenchie dog is ideal weight?

If your Frenchie/ dog is the ideal weight you should not change anything in your daily routine. It seems that you are giving your dog the right amount of exercise, food and overall healthy habits. Keep up the good work and pay close attention to body changes.

Signs your Frenchie dog is overweight:

Statistics prove that more than half of the dogs in the world are overweight. The main signs of overweight or obesity in dogs are: (a) no muscle definition and (b) heavy breathing with little  or no exercise.

What should I do if my Frenchie is overweight or obese?

First step to correcting the problem is determining what is causing the weight gain. There can be multiple factors contributing to your Frenchie's overall health. Here is a list of things to consider :

  • Thyroid -There has been extensive research in regards to thyroid health and dogs that pull on collars. In a Jan 2013 issue of  Pet Health Resource Dr. Jean Dodds’ informed readers that based on the location at the front of the neck, the thyroid gland and neighboring salivary glands “can be easily injured by trauma and sudden pressure forces " recommending harnesses for strong-pullers and dominent dogs. Peter Dobias, DVM mentioned the high rate of thyroid disease among pullers making the conclusion that “It seems obvious that the collar actually pushes on the throat exactly in the area of the thyroid gland,” Furthermore he adds that "the trauma created by the pulling can inflame the thyroid, triggering an aggressive immune response when the body tries to remove the inflamed thyroid cells." Are you using a collar on your French Bulldog? Is your Frenchie a puller? Is it possible the collar is affecting your French Bulldog's thyroid gland?
  • Consult with your vet - to rule out any medical issues or thyroid gland malfunction that might be contributing to your dog's weight gain.
  • Activity - is your dog getting the appropriate amount of daily activity? How often do you take your Frenchie for a walk or a play date? You may need to re-evaluate your daily routine and make some changes to better the health of your dog.
  • Food - evaluate your dogs daily intake of food and clearly read to label which should list protein, fat content and calories per cup. It is always suggested to talk to your vet about the brand and kind of food you feed your dog to see if they approve or have any suggestions for your specific needs. It may be time to cut down the carbs by trying a higher protein lower carbs or grain free diet for weight loss.
  • Treats - it is best to treat your dog with a one ingredient treat, low-calorie, no-sugar added such as sweet potato, blueberry bites, or salmon skin. Alternatively you can also treat your dog with things you already have in your fridge such as green beans, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, or small amounts of carrots sliced apples and bananas due to the high sugar content in those. Ice cubes are a great summer snack that will keep your dog hydrated and cool.
  • Natural supplements -  a daily omega-3 fatty acid supplement may help keep your Frenchie at a perfect weight.

DIY Homemade healthy and gluten free Frenchie puppy treats

DIY Homemade healthy and gluten free Frenchie puppy treats

Ingredients:
  • 1/2lb salmon (or chicken breast) 🐟
  • One purple sweet potato 🍠
  • One egg 🍳
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of ground oat
  • 5 oz goat cheese 🧀
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut meat (optional)

diy dog treats vegan and gluten free

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  2. Bake purple sweet potato for 40 minutes and coconut meat (optional) for 15 minutes.
  3. Steam thawed salmon fillet for 20 minutes.
  4. Wait for everything to cool down. Then remove the skin of the purple sweet potato and salmon. Ground baked coconut into small chips, mix the coconut chips with oats.
  5. Mix the salmon, purple sweet potato, goat cheese, and 1 cup of the grounded oats.
  6. Combine one egg and two teaspoon of olive oil and make a dough.
  7. Spread some of the left oat mix on the chopping board to prevent dough from sticking.
  8. Make the shape desired, and refrigerate the cookies for 20 minutes.
  9. Bake the cookies for 20-35 minutes depending on the size and thickness.
  10. Let your Frenchie enjoy a healthy balanced homemade treat once cooled down.

healthy balanced homemade diy frenchie dog treat

recipe and picture @chloe_yangtc

What human foods can I feed my French bulldog?

Humans and dogs have almost identical digestive systems, and many pet owners share meals with their adorable Frenchies. Unfortunately, a lot of human food can be harmful to dogs and other pets. The French Bulldog breed especially have a sensitive stomach.

This makes it vital to know the human food you can feed your pet. If you own a French bulldog, you will understand the dog’s voracious love of human food. These dogs can devour anything edible, a risky behavior considering how harmful your food can be to a dog’s GI tract.

Your French bulldog can tolerate meat such as beef, chicken and turkey. These foods are a rich source of protein for your pooch and can be served raw or cooked.

Whether homemade or ordered from a food outlet, your Frenchie will savor every bit of the meat, but make sure it does not contain wine, chocolate or other ingredients that can cause digestive distress to your pooch.

Can I give my Frenchie cheese?

We know some people are predisposed to lactose-intolerance, but do you know that dogs can also be intolerant of lactose? If your dog does not have this problem, then it is safe to let him or her have cheese.

Why is cheese beneficial for your Frenchie? Because it is packed with plenty of nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamins, and other essentials your French Bulldog needs to stay healthy.

Please note cheese needs to be given in moderation and contains high calories and fat percentage.

Can I give my French Bulldog rice?

Yes, that staple of the world of dog food. Rice is easily digestible by Frenchies especially for relieving stomach issues. Remember to serve your dog only cooked plain white rice without any seasoning.

Can my Frenchie dog eat grains and wheat?

Yes. Contrary to popular belief, dogs can process grains, wheat and other carb-rich foods without any issue. Dogs might be carnivorous but their diet is not limited to meat and kibble.

You can prepare a hearty meal of grains or wheat for your pooch. The dietary fiber will aid the dog’s digestion.

Can I feed my Frenchie popcorn?

As long as it is no salt and no butter popcorn, your Frenchie can indulge in this healthy snack once in a while as he keeps you company while you binge-watch your favorite TV series on Netlix. We call that pupflix and chill.

Please note: you should only feed your Frenchie completely air-popped corn to avoid a choking incident.

Can my Frenchie puppy have peanut butter?

You can give your Frenchie dog a scoop of this super delicious treat, but make sure you buy an all-natural brand without sweeteners like xylitol. Peanut is not only delicious but a scoop is full of calories, protein, and fiber.

Safe Fruits and Vegetables suitable for French Bulldogs:

Your Frenchie can enjoy several types of fruits and vegetables. Some of the veggies and fruits you can feed your dog include apples, bananas, cucumbers, mangos, oranges, spinach, strawberries, cranberries, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, and others.

Your Frenchie’s diet shouldn’t consist of only commercial dog food. Spice it up with some human food for a more balanced and varied nutrition. However, feed in moderation to avoid overfeeding and overweight.

How much should my French Bulldog eat per day?

This question will depend on many variables. Age of your Frenchie, amount of daily activity and how often you feed your dog. Some people have extremely busy schedule and can only feed once daily while others have more time to feed smaller portions throughout the day.

Off course we recommend feeding minimum twice daily smaller portions rather than one big meal a day which can cause health issues in the long term. You want to develop healthy habits early on.

It is recommended to feed your French Bulldog puppy three small meals when they are under six months of age. By 6-9 months you can move to two meals daily as your Frenchie matures and ready to conquer the world !

For an adult French Bulldog with normal weight of 25 lbs baseline we would recommend 575 calories per day. This is based on our golden rule which is approximately 23 calories per pound of body weight per day.

We came up with this formula after speaking to many breeders and French Bulldog vets and experts. This formula can be your guideline at how much your Frenchie should eat per day.

As mentioned prior ideally the calories should be divided to smaller portions throughout the day. (twice or even three times if your schedule permits)

There are many websites claiming you should feed your Frenchie upwards of 800 calories per day! This is probably true based on dogs that are in the same weight range but different breeds and highly active.

French Bulldogs are unlike any other breed. They are not hyper highly active dogs and that should be taken into consideration when calculating the perfect amount your Frenchie needs to eat per day.

If you have any reservations in regards to the specific amount always consult with your veterinarian (hopefully specializes in Frenchies) or your breeder about these numbers.

If you want a more accurate calculation based on weight and activity level check our Frenchie Dog Food Per Day Calculator.

Why can't I leave food for my Frenchie out all the time?

      Frenchies are not your typical dog breed. They will overeat. A typical French Bulldog will never get enough food. You will have to watch your Frenchie while he/she is eating especially if you feed your Frenchie around others.

      Make sure your French Bulldog only eats the food designated for him/her. Their natural hunger is a normal characteristic the French Bulldog breed, however, you should be extra mindful to not overfeed your Frenchie.

      Why does my French Bulldog eat so fast?

          Frenchies love their food so much they scurf it down.  Eating so fast can cause some discomfort, vomiting, gas and is a hazard of choking. In certain breeds like the French Bulldog Gastric Dilatation Volvulus can occur due to fast eating and their large chest.

          This condition is life threatening with serious irreversible damage or worse, death. We will cover this topic in a future Pawsletter however, what we can say right now is that there is no home remedy.

          You must immediately take your dog to the ER if he/she shows any signs of attempting to vomit (unsuccessfully) pacing back and forth hunched over and restless. For the reasons above it is recommended to slow down your Frenchie from eating fast.

          How can I slow down my Frenchie from eating so fast?

          The following are methods to slow your French Bulldog down while eating:

          • Ball method - placing a ball on top of their food is one affordable and easy fix. Off course the ball should be brand new, clean and designated for feeding only.  You should ensure you have a ball that is natural and safe without chimicals or harsh dye. Your Frenchie will be moving the ball around with his or her nose digging for food and this action alone slows them down.
          • 2 bowl method - you can place your Frenchie's food in two separate bowls with smaller portions. Moving from bowl to bowl will slow down the feeding.
          • Slow feeder - It is highly recommended to use a slow feeder and this is probably the best method of slowing down your dog's feeding.

          how to slow down my frenchie dog from eating fast

          What is the best Frenchie food bowl?

          A bowl is not just a bowl. Your Frenchie bowl is one of the most important essential products in their life since he or she will eat and drink out if it multiple times a day. Buying the wrong bowl could put your French Bulldog at risk.

          Just to give you an idea in 2012, Petco issued a recall for stainless steel bowls that were radioactive.  We recommend looking at these features and finding whats right for your French Bulldog:

          • Elevated eating - to prevent neck injury and digestion issues we recommend elevating the feeding bowls. You can buy those made specifically elavated or you can do it yourself. Note: make sure the elevation is appropriate for your French Bulldog's height.

          • Material - majority of dog bowls are made from plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel.
          1. Plastic- dog trainers, vets and researchers agree that plastic is the worst option you can buy. Certain plastic bowls contain traces of hormones, and if ingested by your Frenchie, could lead to a number of possible health issues. Dogs that eat from plastic bowls will often time develop acne and irritation around the muzzle and chin due to the bacteria that develops on the plastic over time and is impossible to clean. Your vet's first recommendation would be to never feed your dog from a plastic bowl. Here at the Frenchiestore we have zero plastic tolerance - #NOPLASTICBUCKLES
          2. Ceramic - In the past the glaze of the ceramic coat have contained lead, which is extremely toxic for dogs and people. Sadly, lead exists in today's ceramic bowls as well. If you choose to get a ceramic bowl for your Frenchie please please make sure it has been made with lead-free glaze.
          3. Stainless steel - Pet experts agree that stainless steel is the best option for your dog's food bowl. There are different grades of stainless steel and some manufacturers make lesser grades of stainless steel to reduce their costs in order to offer a cheaper product for the consumer. While the cheap price may be tempting to you it is best to invest in a higher grade quality bowl for your Frenchie. If the grade of the bowl is not listed it will usually mean this is an inferior quality. Avoid any bowls that contain warnings like  "not dishwasher safe" or "pet use only". A quality dog bowl would be safe for use by a human. If the bowl is not good enough for you to use it is not good enough for your Frenchie either.

          To conclude we recommend looking for a bowl from a reputable company that is health conscious, cares about dogs and performs regular tests for possible contaminants. Always research and question quality. Never settle for less because our dogs deserve only the best.

          We write our informative Pawsletters due to questions we get daily. If you have a particular question or subject you want us to address please write us at hello@frenchiestore.com, DM on Instagram or leave a comment below.


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