With a loveable pudgy body and a cute cartoonish face, the French Bulldog has been popular since it was first introduced. A clear celebrity favourite, the affectionately named 'Frenchie' is fast on its way to becoming the most popular breed in the UK. These pups thrive on human contact, love to play with anyone and everything, and are incredibly easy-going – it's no wonder they've stolen so many hearts!
To keep your dog happy and healthy, it's important that you feed them a well-balanced diet suited to their needs. As French Bulldogs are unfortunately prone to numerous health complications later in life, this is a priority for this breed. To make things a little easier, we've gathered everything you need to know into one simple, user-friendly guide.
A Brief History of the French Bulldog
The French Bulldog first gained notoriety in the hands of nineteenth-century lace workers. Bred to be toy-sized bulldogs that could be carried easily, they accompanied their owners to France during the Industrial Revolution. These adorable pups caused quite the stir in Paris due to their unusual appearance, and quickly became a national favourite.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
By the late nineteenth century, many wealthy French households had acquired a French Bulldog. Visitors from the US were also fascinated by the breed and many took home puppies of their own. After an acclaimed dog show in 1898, in which the French Bulldog was presented as the most stylish pooch of the season, the breed went on to dominate the high society market and became a staple show-dog by 1913.
French Bulldog Size and Life Expectancy
These personable pups grow to around 30cm tall and should weigh 8 to 13kg. They are small or medium-sized dogs with short, smooth coats and a solid, muscular body that looks particularly compact.
French Bulldogs have an average lifespan on 10 to 12 years, though they can live longer – this is dependent on the debilitating health issues that the breed is likely to develop later in life.
Celebrity French Bulldogs
This breed's playful personality and adorable appearance has made it particularly popular with celebrities, making it a firm favourite with fans. Experts have forecasted that this rising star may be next year's favourite dog.
Famous faces that have their own French Bulldog include Madonna (with pup named Olga), Lady Gaga (frequently pictured with Asia), Hugh Jackman (whose bulldog Dali accompanies him on jogs), Reese Witherspoon (who has a Frenchie named Chanel) and Zach Braff (with little Scooter).
Instagram and other social media sites have been flooded over the last couple of years with photographs featuring loveable French Bulldogs.
A French Bulldog Diet
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Preferred Food for French Bulldogs
Feeding your French Bulldog doesn't differ too much from feeding your other dogs – your Frenchie needs a high quality, hypoallergenic diet that's filled with lots of vitamins and nutrients.
The best adult dog food will be high in proteins to keep your dog fit and strong (25% is a good rule of thumb) as well as at least 5% fat to leave their coat sleek and smooth. We recommend trying a grain-free diet first as wheat and grain may cause excessive flatulence in this breed. Make sure to include lots of complex carbohydrates (like sweet potatoes) rather than single grains, as these can be a problem for already health-problematical pups.
Most importantly, be sure to feed your dog a well-balanced diet from a brand that you can trust.
Preferred Food for French Bulldog Seniors
While you can continue to feed French Bulldogs the same diet for most of their lives, there are some small changes that you can make for your senior dog. In later life stages, French Bulldogs need high quality food that is easy to digest; wet food will keep them well-fed and hydrated.
We recommend that you purchase specialised senior dog food, as this will contain fewer calories to match their low energy, and be richer in essential vitamins and nutrients. This will keep their teeth and coat in excellent shape.
Preferred Food for French Bulldog Puppies
Source: Wikimedia Commons
It can be difficult to know what to feed your new French Bulldog puppy, as the food you choose will have long-term ramifications over your Frenchie's health. Puppy food is specially curated to support your playful and energetic pup, with bonus nutrients to aid in teeth and bone growth.
As puppies tend to grow in small bursts, it's important that you feed them frequently. Puppies need three high-quality, well-balanced, measured meals a day. These should be made from natural ingredients, and low in processed foods and sugars.
Help your puppy adjust to its new home by following the same routine as its previous owner and purchasing the same brand of dog food, slowly introducing your preferred pick. If you feed your puppy high-quality food at the same time every day, your pooch will grow up happy and healthy.
French Bulldog Feeding Guide
Depending on their size and level of activity, how much your French Bulldog should be fed changes. This chart will help you to figure out how much you should be feeding your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Many owners commonly overestimate their dog’s activity level, which leads to overfeeding and weight gain. To avoid this, if your pup walks on the lead or is likely only to be active for up to one hour per day, start at the lowest activity level and adjust from there.
Here is the link to the US metrics feeding chart for your four-legged friends across the pond:
Most dog food packaging will have a specialised feeding chart similar to this one – always read the branded guide on the back for optimal calculations. If your dog is overweight or underweight, use their ideal weight as your guide.
We recommend that you break this advised portion into two feedings, every morning and evening. Try not to feed your Frenchie too late in the day though, in order to make room for a walk before bedtime.
We recommend feeding your puppy a hypoallergenic diet that’s as natural as possible – this ensures that if your French Bulldog puppy develops an allergy, it’s much easier to diagnose.
Make sure to feed your puppy three to four smaller meals a day so as not to overwhelm their tiny tummies. Their last meal should be around two or three hours before their last walk, to give them enough time to digest their food and avoid any house-training mishaps.
When puppies reach their first birthday, they’re officially considered adults and are ready for adult food. Some dogs develop faster than others and may need to move onto adult dog food more quickly, but this is something you should discuss with your vet when the time comes.
French Bulldog Allergies
Just like their owners, dogs are equally susceptible to allergies. These can unfortunately be particularly difficult to diagnose, being both dietary and environmental. Symptoms include itching or watery eyes, sore patches on the skin, and incidents of diarrhoea or vomiting.
To prevent allergic reactions, make sure to use only pet-friendly cleaning products in your home and be prepared to alter your dog's diet. Hypoallergenic dog foods are perfect for your French Bulldog as they've been specially formulated to counter dietary allergies. Also, try not to give your Frenchie too many table scraps – even some vegetables do more harm than good.
French Bulldog Obesity
French Bulldogs are not a highly-active breed, though they'll certainly eat like one if given the chance. It's your job to make sure that they stay adorably pump and don't gain too much weight.
Your French Bulldog should have a solid structure supported by an athletic build. You should be able to feel its ribs, and your dog shouldn't have any breathing issues on a short walk unless it's a hot day (in which case, take them inside). Overweight pups are more likely to develop severe heart problems and other health disorders, so it's important to keep your Frenchie on the right track.
Here at Lovejoys®, we know how much your dog means to you and how important it is that they grow up happy and healthy. Following these suggestions to give your pup a high-quality, hypoallergenic diet will make certain to provide all the essential nutrients and vitamins.
No matter what dog food you choose, be sure to introduce small amounts into their regular food a little at a time.
We hope that this guide has helped you to make informed choices about how to feed your pup – remember, you can always contact us with any questions too!