In This Article...
- French Bulldog Puppy Diet Requirements
- How long should I feed my French Bulldog Puppy Food
- How much and often should I food my puppy French Bulldog
- Grain Free or Not?
- Top Rated Frenchie Puppy Foods
- Best Value Pick for French Bulldog Puppies
- Most Popular Pick for French Bulldog Puppies
- Best Dry Food for French Bulldog Puppies
- Best Canned Food for French Bulldog Puppies
- French Bulldog Puppy Food – A Final Word
In this article we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know to feed your French Bulldog puppy the best and most affordable foods. You’ll also learn:
- The 8 Best Foods for Your French Bulldog Puppy.
- The Importance of Feeding a Well-Balanced Diet.
- French Bulldog-Specific Feeding Requirements.
- Our Best Value Pick!
Frenchies have to be one of the cutest breeds around. The American public seems to agree since the breed has skyrocketed to be the 4th most popular breed in the United States. French Bulldogs are playful, smart, and curious. If you have a French Bulldog puppy you probably already know that the breed has a few special issues. They are a brachycephalic – short-nosed – breed so you need to be careful not to let them over-exert when it’s hot and humid. Obesity can be a concern. Some Frenchies will eat a lot if you let them. While they are playful, they don’t usually get a lot of exercise. We can help you choose the best food for your French Bulldog puppy, including our most affordable pick, so keep reading!
French Bulldog Puppy Diet Requirements
The best brands of puppy food should be chosen based on their ingredients, and how they compare to the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the National Research Council – petmd.com
The French Bulldog Club of America doesn’t have any special food recommendations for French Bulldog puppies but puppies of this size generally need the following dietary requirements:
Per AAFCO, puppies need 22 percent protein in their diet compared to 18 percent for adult dogs. These are minimum requirements. Most good puppy foods will exceed this percentage.
AAFCO recommends that puppies have a minimum of 8 percent fat in their diets compared to 5 percent fat for adult dogs. Fat is a source of energy for puppies and dogs.
Good puppy foods will also contain DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is an essential long chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that helps in the development of the eyes and brain.
A good puppy food must also have the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Too much calcium or the wrong ratio of calcium to phosphorus can lead to developmental orthopedic disease such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. Contrary to popular belief, orthopedic problems are not limited to large breed dogs. The correct ratio for calcium to phosphorus is 1.2 parts of calcium for each 1 part of phosphorous (1.2:1) but the ratio varies slightly while your puppy is growing. If you feed a good quality puppy food, you should be okay but check the levels just in case. You should not add any supplemental calcium to your puppy’s diet (milk, cheese, yogurt) since this would throw the ratio off balance.
The French Bulldog Club does warn against feeding foods that contain artificial preservatives and excessive protein and fillers. Consult your veterinarian if your puppy or dog experiences any food allergies. According to the club, food allergies are not uncommon in Frenchies. Wheat products are known to produce flatulence in some Frenchies. Corn products and fillers used to boost protein have been known to produce hives.
Your French Bulldog puppy will need lots of calorie-dense nutrition for the first few months. Puppies grow fast in these early months so they need more calories than an adult dog. Puppy foods generally have more calories per ounce than adult dog foods. You should look for a puppy food that is labeled “complete and balanced.” The label should also have an AAFCO statement that says it is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established for growth except for growth of large-size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult). This will assure you that the food is formulated for puppies that are not large breeds.
A food that is AAFCO-approved for all life stages (it may say for growth and reproduction or growth and lactation) is also suitable for puppies. It will have the nutrients a puppy needs to grow. However, you should not feed your French Bulldog puppy a food that is labeled for adult maintenance. These foods are light on nutrients and won’t provide your puppy with the nutrition he needs to grow.
How long should I feed my French Bulldog Puppy Food
Most puppies will continue to grow even after they appear to have achieved their full adult weight or size. That’s because their bones aren’t fully formed yet. Puppies and young dogs have growth plates that keep growing for a long time after they look like adult dogs. For giant breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs, these growth plates can continue to grow for 2-3 years. For your French Bulldog, his growth plates will probably close by the time he’s about 18 months old.
This is why many people continue to feed their puppy a puppy food until their dog is at least a year old. Even though your Frenchie may start to look like an adult dog much sooner, it’s a good idea to go on feeding a puppy food for at least 12 months or a little longer. Then make the transition to a good adult food.
How much and often should I food my puppy French Bulldog
French Bulldog puppies are usually ready to go to their new homes when they are between 10 and 12 weeks old. At this time your puppy will be eating solid foods. Your puppy’s breeder has already started your puppy on a puppy food. It’s up to you whether you want to continue to feed the same food though some breeders have strong opinions about certain foods.
Your puppy will grow fast during the first few weeks. He will be burning up a lot of calories. That’s not just because he’s playing. He needs plenty of calories to build muscle and bone and for brain and organ development.
Adult French Bulldogs can weigh between 22 and 28 pounds (unless your dog is a little porker and really packs on pounds). It can take your puppy seven months or more to reach this weight. Unlike some breeds, male and female Frenchies are usually about the same size and weight.
It’s a good idea to feed your Frenchie puppy about four meals per day when you first bring him home. Puppies are small with small stomachs but they need a lot of calories per day. Eating multiple small meals for the first couple of months will help your puppy get all of the calories he needs to help him grow. By the time he’s about 5-6 months old you can cut back to about three meals per day. As your Frenchie approaches his first birthday, you can adjust his feedings to two meals per day. Most adult French Bulldogs will do well eating two meals per day.
How much to feed your Frenchie puppy is a little trickier since puppies can vary in weight and activity levels. Some puppies are bigger than others and some grow faster. A French Bulldog puppy that’s 12 weeks old can weigh between 9 and 15 pounds. That’s a big range for a small puppy. If we pick a weight in the middle and say your puppy weighs 12 pounds at 12 weeks, he would need 750 calories per day. By 18 weeks your Frenchie puppy can weigh between 15 and 25 pounds – again, that’s a wide range! If we split the difference and say your puppy weighs 20 pounds at this age, he would need 733 calories per day. Wait, what? You were probably expecting your puppy’s calories to increase dramatically, right? Nope. Your puppy does his fastest growing in the first four months and that’s when he needs the most calories per pound. After that, he still needs lots of calories but his calorie needs start to slow down. By the time your puppy is 22 weeks old he can weigh between 18 and 30 pounds or an adult weight for some Frenchies. If your puppy weighs 25 pounds, he would need 866 calories per day. When your puppy is a year old and he weighs 28 pounds (you have that rare dog that weighs exactly what he’s supposed to weigh), he will need 849 calories as an adult.
These are just estimates based on an imaginary Frenchie puppy. You always need to watch your puppy to see if he’s gaining too much weigh or losing weight. There are pet food calorie calculators online or you can do the math yourself. (I hate math.) You can also follow the suggested feeding guidelines on the dog food label. These recommendations are based on the same calorie information that you would be using if you did the calculations yourself. This is just a starting point. The most important thing is to observe your puppy so you can notice if he’s gaining or losing weight. You can adjust how much food you are feeding as necessary. If you have questions about your puppy’s weight or diet, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
Grain Free or Not?
It’s always a matter of choice whether to feed a grain free food or a food that includes grain. Grain free foods were developed for dogs that have allergies to certain grains such as corn and wheat. Puppies aren’t born with allergies. A puppy/dog has to be exposed to a food more than once before an allergy can develop. This normally means that dogs don’t develop food allergies before they are about two years old.
Unfortunately, many of the brands/companies that make grain free foods have replaced grains with peas, legumes, and lentils. In July 2023 the FDA alerted consumers that it was investigating reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs that had been eating certain foods containing these ingredients, along with potatoes, as main ingredients. DCM is a heart condition. It has previously been associated with Golden Retrievers but some of the new reports were connected to other breeds with no previous record of heart problems. DCM in these dogs is thought to be diet-related. There appears to be a correlation between the grain free diets, low taurine levels in the dogs, and DCM.
Many different brands are involved in the investigation ranging from some of the most expensive grain free foods sold today to customer favorites. They come from different manufacturers. The only thing the foods seem to have in common is their heavy use of peas, lentils, legumes and, in some cases, potatoes (including sweet potatoes).
At this time the FDA is not advising dietary changes based just on the information they have collected so far. However, some owners who have had their dogs’ taurine levels tested are changing their dogs’ diets away from grain free dog and puppy foods to foods that don’t contain large amounts of peas, lentils, legumes, or potatoes.
According to the FDA, if your dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, you should contact your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may ask you for a thorough dietary history, including all the foods (including treats) the dog has eaten. You can have your dog’s taurine level tested if you are concerned. (The test costs about $76 but it has to be sent to UC Davis for analysis. Total cost is usually around $200.) If you plan to have your dog’s taurine level tested, it’s best to test before you make any dietary changes in order to get an accurate reading. This would not be necessary for a young puppy but it might be helpful if you have concerns about an adult dog.
Whether you feed your French Bulldog puppy a grain free puppy food is up to you. If your puppy has a food allergy, you might have limited options. For any dog or puppy food we recommend that you read the label, including the ingredients, carefully. Does the food contain large amounts of peas and lentils? This would include things like pea fiber, pea starch, and pea protein. Does it have lots of potatoes, including sweet potatoes? Then you should probably avoid the food at this time, at least until the FDA investigation is completed. As long as your puppy doesn’t have an allergy to grains, you can feed a food that contains some grain. You don’t have to feed a food with corn or wheat. There are some good puppy foods that use barley, oats, and other healthy grains. Many puppies and dogs can eat these grains without any problems.
Top Rated Frenchie Puppy Foods
Best Value Pick for French Bulldog Puppies
If your French Bulldog puppy needs a grain free food, American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food offers great value. This is our best value pick. The first ingredients are Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal. It has 30 percent protein and 12 percent fat. No corn, no wheat, no soy. Salmon oil provides DHA for your puppy’s cognitive development. Chewy has this food in 4, 12, and 24-lb bags. The 24-lb bag is $39.99 or $35.99 with autoship.
Most Popular Pick for French Bulldog Puppies
The bestselling puppy food on Chewy.com, Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has buffalo and lamb meal as the first ingredients. It has 28 percent protein and 17 percent fat. No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Available in 5, 15, and 30-lb bags. Chewy.com has the 30-lb bags for $49.99 or $47.99 with autsohip.
Best Dry Food for French Bulldog Puppies
Some people may be unfamiliar with Dr. Gary’s Best Breed but the foods are highly respected holistic formulas. Proper nutrient levels are key. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Puppy Diet Dry Dog Food has 25 percent protein and 13 percent fat. The first ingredients are Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Beet Pulp, and Chicken Fat. EPA and DHA help the brain and nervous system develop properly. No corn, no wheat, no soy. Chewy.com has 4-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags. The 30-lb bag is $53.99. Sorry, no autoship.
Best Canned Food for French Bulldog Puppies
Chicken Soup for the Soul may be an underappreciated food. Both the dry food and the canned foods are good. We especially like Chicken Soup for the Soul Puppy Canned Dog Food for French Bulldog puppies. Puppies love this food. It has 9 percent protein and 6 percent fat. The first ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Duck, and Salmon. Chewy has a case of 12 13-ounce cans for $17.49 or $16.62 with autoship.
The new formula for Wellness Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food has Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas, and Chicken Fat as the first ingredients. (The old formula did not contain any peas.) It has 29 percent protein and 18 percent fat, along with 0.09 percent taurine. (Taurine is an added ingredient.) Chewy.com has this food in 5, 15, and 30-lb bags. The 30-lb bag is $53.19 or $50.53 with autoship. We also like Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food.
Puppies require more nutrients than adult dogs and Pro Pac Ultimates Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food meets your puppy’s needs in his first year. It has 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. The first ingredients are Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, and Chicken Fat. It’s also fortified with DHA for good brain and eye development. No corn, wheat, or soy. Contains chelated minerals for better absorption. Chewy has 5-lb and 28-lb bags. The 28-lb bag is $29.97. Sorry, no autoship.
Black Gold Explorer Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is an all life stage formula that’s suitable for puppies like French Bulldogs. It has 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. The first ingredients are Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, and Chicken Fat. No corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, or chemical preservatives. It includes DHA from fish oil for good brain development. Prebiotics and oatmeal make this a formula that could be good for puppies with sensitive digestion. Chewy has the 40-lb bag for $66.16. Sorry, no autoship available.
Kinetic Performance Puppy 28K Formula Dry Dog Food contains no corn, wheat, or soy. It has 28 percent protein and 15 percent fat and it’s suitable for medium-sized puppies and nursing mothers. The first ingredients are Chicken Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural Source of Glucosamine), Brewers Rice, Ground Sorghum, and Chicken Fat. The company uses chelated minerals for better absorption. They only use natural preservatives. Chewy.com has the 35-lb bag for $49.99.
Adirondack 30% High-Fat Puppy & Performance Recipe Dry Dog Food is a premium quality food that contains no corn, wheat, or soy. The first ingredients are Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, and Chicken Fat. It has 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. No artificial colors or flavors. Chewy.com has 5, 15, and 30-lb bags available. The 30-lb bag costs $49.49 or $47.02 with autoship.
French Bulldog Puppy Food – A Final Word
French Bulldog puppies are incredibly adorable. You can choose a good puppy food or an all life stages food to feed your puppy during the first year. Feed several small meals per day. Watch your puppy’s weight. Each puppy is an individual. You can use feeding guidelines on your puppy food as a starting point or figure calories. Remember that if you have questions about your puppy’s health you should always ask your veterinarian.