- This review contains affiliate links. Read more here.
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Known for their bat-like ears and bow-legged gait, French Bulldogs are little charmers. They come in a variety of colors and have endearing qualities including a characteristic snore, a goofy personality, and a gruff bark. In terms of size, they fall between a small and medium breed, which raises the question: what’s the best dog food for French Bulldogs?
The Frenchie is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to coat care and exercise requirements. But when it comes to food, your little buddy needs a high-quality and balanced diet to maintain a healthy body weight. The right food will also reduce their risk of certain health conditions like obesity, skeletal issues, and breathing problems.
Keep reading for a closer look at the nutritional needs of French Bulldogs and tips for choosing the best dog food to keep your Frenchie in top form. Plus, we’ve found 11 great dog foods well-suited for French Bulldog puppies, adults, and seniors.
Your Frenchie’s Nutritional Needs
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, adult dogs require a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat in their diet. These needs are higher for growing puppies, but protein remains the most important nutrient, followed by healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals.
Protein gives Frenchies the building blocks they need for healthy muscle and lean mass. Your French Bulldog’s diet should include high-quality animal protein from poultry, meat, and fish. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy in the form of calories, as well as omega fatty acids for skin and coat support. It should also come from animal sources to ensure easier digestion.
As a smaller dog breed, your French Bulldog has a naturally fast metabolism. This means they need more calories per pound of body weight than a larger breed. On the other hand, Frenchies are a fairly low-energy breed and at risk for obesity. Experts suggest feeding your Frenchie somewhere between 25 and 35 calories per pound of body weight per day.
What To Look for in the Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs
When it comes to choosing the best dog food for Frenchies, you need to make sure your dog’s basic needs are met without going overboard on calories. French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, so even gaining just a few pounds could cause health problems.
Here are some key elements to look for when selecting dog food for your French Bulldogs:
- Wholesome ingredients with no byproducts, fillers, or artificial additives
- Lean protein from high-quality animal sources like poultry and fish
- Low-to-moderate fat content, including omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin
- Moderate calorie content for healthy weight maintenance
- Complete and nutritionally balanced in line with AAFCO nutrient profiles
Choosing a high-quality dog food formulated for small breeds is the best way to ensure that your Frenchie’s basic needs for calories and nutrition are met. Just keep a close eye on your dog’s body weight and condition and make adjustments to their diet if they start to gain too much weight.
What About Grain-Free Dog Food?
The French Bulldog is known for being a little gassy at times, and certain ingredients can exacerbate this issue. Building your dog’s diet around whole-food ingredients to increase digestibility will help, but be sure to consult a veterinarian if your dog has frequent digestive issues.
Some French Bulldog owners choose to feed their dog grain-free food out of a concern for food allergies, but the idea that grain-free dog food is inherently healthier is a common misconception. According to the Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, grain allergies in dogs are fairly uncommon. So unless your veterinarian tests your dog and confirms there’s a grain allergy or sensitivity, there’s no need for a grain-free diet.
The Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs
Choosing a dog food for French Bulldogs can be tricky because they’re on the larger side for small breeds but on the smaller side for medium breeds. If your dog weighs more than 20 pounds as an adult and your vet feels that weight is healthy for them, an all-breed formula with moderate fat and calorie content may be more appropriate.
To help you pick the best food for your Frenchie, we’ve compiled a list of small-breed and all-breed formulas. Here are our top picks for the best dog food for French Bulldogs, from puppy and adult food to special formulas for your senior dog.
Nutro’s Natural Choice is a good option for puppies of all breeds. It includes farm-raised chicken for lean protein and optimal levels of fatty acids for skin and coat. It’s available in 5- and 13-pound bags.
If your Frenchie is on the higher end of the weight range for their breed, an all-breed formula like this healthy weight variety from Chewy’s in-house brand might be a good choice. It leads with real deboned chicken, along with chicken meal and turkey, as a lean source of protein. And it adds natural sources of fiber to help your Frenchie feel full on more limited calories.
American Journey Healthy Weight Dog Food for French Bulldogs
To help manage your Frenchie’s weight, this healthy formula is chock-full of lean proteins like real deboned chicken, turkey, and chicken meal.
Want to start your French Bulldog puppy off right? Check out this protein-rich recipe from Blue Buffalo’s Blue Life Protection line. It includes meat, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit for a healthy source of balanced nutrition. The kibble is also “puppy-sized” for smaller jaws.
This recipe could be the perfect fit for a smaller Frenchie puppy. It features 70% protein from animal sources, with the main ingredient being lamb. The small kibble size makes it perfect for your puppy.
Loaded with premium proteins like venison, lamb, and duck, this recipe also contains fresh fruits and veggies for a boost of quality nutrition and probiotics for healthy digestion. The grain-free formula provides the right nutrition for small-breed dogs like your Frenchie. You can get it in 5-, 14-, and 28-pound bags.
With 54% proteins and healthy fats and 46% whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, this formula provides wholesome nutrition and plenty of natural flavor your Frenchie will love. This small-dog recipe includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy skin, coat, and joints.
If your French Bulldog has food allergies or other sensitivities, this limited-ingredient diet (L.I.D.) might be the way to go. It’s made with grain-free but fiber-rich carbohydrates, including flaxseed and a single source of premium animal protein: salmon. The kibble is even coated with freeze-dried raw salmon to make it extra-appealing to even the finickiest doggy diner. Find it in 4- or 10-pound bags.
Formulated for breeds weighing under 20 pounds at maturity, this recipe features chicken meal as a source of lean protein and contains 450 calories per cup. As the name suggests, avocado and avocado oil are included for healthy fats, promoting healthy skin and coat. It’s available in 3.5- and 7-pound bags.
If you’re concerned about your French Bulldog gaining weight, particularly as he ages, this reduced-fat food may be a good choice. The turkey and chicken formula is rich in protein but low in fat and calories, at 360 calories per cup. Choose from 4-, 12-, or 26-pound bags.
Another Nutro Natural Choice blend, this formula is an affordable option for small-breed senior dogs. Chicken is the lean protein in the recipe, and chicken meal adds a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin. A blend of fruits and vegetables creates a balanced meal, complete with antioxidants.
Formulated both for small breed dogs and to manage weight, this recipe features a combination of protein and healthy fats from turkey, salmon, and duck. The grain-free formula is designed for senior dogs 9 years or older and up to 25 pounds—ideal for your senior Frenchie. Find it in 6-, 12-, and 22-pound bags.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Frenchie Pup
Before you bring a new puppy home, make sure you’re fully prepared. Check out our handy guide to Everything You Need to Know About French Bulldog Puppies.