8 Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs - A Comprehensive Buyer's Guide

Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs

You want to make sure your French Bulldog is getting the best food possible, but with all of the different options available it's hard to know where to start.

If you're not careful you could end up accidentally causing health issues for your pup.

But don't worry, this buyer's guide will help you sort through the different types of food and ingredients so that you can choose the best dog food for French Bulldogs.

First a quick note: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list. When you buy through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission.

This helps keep my two dogs happy and health.

The 9 best dog foods for French Bulldogs

 

1. Best Overall: Royal Canin French Bulldog Dog Food

Royal Canin's French Bulldog formula is a tailor-made nutrition solution designed to meet the unique needs of purebred French Bulldogs aged 12 months and older. This 17-pound bag of dry dog food is packed with a chicken flavor that your pet will love.

It is carefully designed to help French Bulldogs easily pick up and chew their food. It supports muscle tone with precise protein content and L-carnitine, reinforcing the skin barrier with essential nutrients to support healthy skin and wrinkles. The highly digestible proteins and precise fiber content help reduce gas and stool odor, a common concern among French Bulldog owners. 

Royal Canin French Bulldog Dog Food

I love that Royal Canin is made in the USA. They designed a food to enable Frenchies to live their best life and hopefully avoid some of the many health problems they’re prone to.

A study published in Canine Medicine and Genetics found that French Bulldogs differ from other dogs in their propensity for common disorders (1). Needless to say, we need to give our Frenchies every leg up we can. 

Royal Canin's French Bulldog Adult Dry Dog Food is lauded by reviewers for its quality and effectiveness. I did a quick check into some reviews to see what others think.

One reviewer noted, "This food has been a LIFE SAVER!! My French Bulldog suffered from sporadic projectile diarrhea for several months. I switched to Royal Canin and it has made such a difference. Zero stomach issues and now he eats all of his food rather than picking it over." 

While Royal Canin may be a bit pricey for some, I applaud the brand's commitment to quality and satisfaction with their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Lastly it has an impressive average Amazon rating of 4.7 stars, based on 2,395 reviews, making it a trusted choice among pet owners.

2. Best Topper: Bluebird Provisions Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth

Bluebird Provisions makes a high-protein dog food topper that is sure to delight even the pickiest of eaters. This 100% human-grade bone broth is sourced and made in the USA, ensuring your pet is receiving a product free from fillers, carbs, preservatives or any harmful ingredients.

The beauty of this bone broth lies in its mouth-watering beef taste... that is because it is made from 100% grass-fed beef. The product comes in a 7oz pack, making it a convenient addition to your pet's regular meals.

bone broth for dogs protein level

I can attest to how much dogs like this food. Someone I knew had a dog who had a stomach bug recently and since then he hadn’t wanted to eat. They tried this bone broth he was back to licking the bowl clean.

If you're new to toppers, they are dead simple to use. Just add half a tablespoon to your pet's kibble and mix it in. This high-protein appetite stimulant, boasting 94% protein content, is suitable for pets at any stage of life.

The product is made using bone broth for humans in a regular human food products facility, reinforcing the brand's commitment to quality.

Buy from Bluebird Provisions

3. Best for Coat Health: CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE With Salmon

If your Frenchie is having difficulty with other protein sources, I would give a salmon based kibble a try! This one is the best one out there with real salmon is the first ingredient, paired with whole ingredients like menhaden fish meal, peas and sweet potatoes.

Looking at the ingredient list, there are about 10 ingredients, making it perfect for sensitive dogs. There are no added fillers, preservatives or animal by products that mess with their digestion.

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE With Salmon

Speaking of ingredients, there's also antioxidants and probiotics to support a healthy digestive and immune system, along with a nutritious blend of vitamins and minerals to support healthy joints, skin, and coat.

My dog Nitotem had parvovirus when he was a puppy (he's a rescue), and as a result, he has leaky gut syndrome and was seemingly allergic to every common pet food ingredient. The poor guy would itch himself so much that it opens hot spots all over his paws and coat.

Finally, I tried this salmon based kibble from Canidae and his itchiness stopped after a month or so. He has the most beautiful coat and skin as well. We get comments all the time at the dog park about it.

4. Best for Weight Management: Nutro Ultra Weight Management Dry Dog Food

The Nutro makes a premium product designed to help your pet maintain a healthy weight. It is packed with high-quality proteins from chicken, lamb and salmon, providing a balanced diet for your Frenchie.

There's also a blend of 15 vibrant superfoods like chia, kale and blueberries, which offer antioxidants, fiber and a host of other benefits to support your dog's overall health.

Nutro Ultra weight management dog food

Key Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice

For weight management you really can't do any better. I tested a few more expensive brands and found Nutro to be much better food for weigh control.

As for usage, it's recommended to follow the feeding guidelines provided on the package, which vary based on your dog's weight. This makes sure you are not over-feeding your pup into chunkiness.

After doing some digging, I found that it is proudly made in the USA using trusted, reliable sourcing from trusted farmers and suppliers, ensuring the highest quality for your pet.

5. Best Wet Dog Food for Frenchies: Purina Beneful High Protein Chopped Blends

The Purina Beneful High Protein Chopped Blends comes with key ingredients that are vital to a dog's health. Real beef and chicken are used as the main protein sources, providing a high protein content that helps dogs maintain strong muscles.

There's also real vegetables and grains that significantly contribute to the dietary fiber, promoting good digestive health. This wet dog food also includes essential vitamins and minerals, supporting overall well-being.

Purina Beneful High Protein Chopped Blends

Dogs go absolutely bonkers for this stuff. They can tell it is real, unprocessed meat. Both of my dogs Atlas and Nitotem turn into a pack of wolves as soon as I grab one of these and open it. It is like chumming the water when you're fishing.

I like that is comes finely chopped, because Nitotem eats like a duck and mostly swallows his food. He's crazy. They come in convenient, resealable containers, which makes food prep a breeze.

6. Best for Puppies: Hills Science Diet Puppy

If you have a Frenchie pup, look no further than Hills Science puppy food. It has high-quality ingredients and specific formulation for puppies. Frenchies are prone to health problems, according to an article published by Tufts University in 2023 (2).

This means it’s important to get them started with a quality food like Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food from the beginning.

Hills Science Diet Puppy small bites

Hills Science has added DHA derived from fish oil, which is essential for healthy brain and eye development. Additionally, it includes high-quality protein for building lean muscles. It’s made with natural ingredients and does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

I like that there are three different sizes: 4.5 lb, 15.5 lb, and 30 lb bags, so you can start with a small bag to test it out.

I used the with my dog Atlas when he was a puppy and we noticed improvements in his coat health, energy levels and mood after switching.

Hill's Science Diet is a reputable brand known for its commitment to pet health and nutrition. Hill's Science Diet products are generally made in the USA with global ingredients.

And if my experience wasn't enough for you, there are an astounding 11,300 reviews on Amazon with a 4.8 star average.

7. Blue Buffalo Life Formula Dry Dog Food

One of my favorite high-quality, natural dog food designed specifically for small breed dogs is the Life Formula line from Blue Buffalo. This 5-pound trial size bag is packed with a delicious chicken and brown rice flavor that your pet will love.

The first ingredient in this dog food is real meat, providing high-quality protein from real chicken to help your dog build and maintain healthy muscles. It also contains wholesome whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit.

Blue Buffalo Life Formula Dry Dog Food

This weight management dog food is formulated with reduced calories from fat to help small breed dogs achieve and maintain a healthy weight. I love that it is high protein to help meet higher energy needs.

In my experience, dogs love the patented LifeSource Bits in this food. They are tiny kibbles mixed into the regular kibble that offer a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

After doing some digging, I found out that they added LifeSource at the advise of holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to help your dog with:

  • immune system health
  • life stage needs
  • maintaining a healthy oxidative balance

When I tested this on my dogs, I found that they gobbled it up. It helped stop some itchiness and seemed to do well with their digestion too.

If you care about customer reviews, there are over 4200 of them on Amazon with a whopping 4.7 star average.

8. Nulo Small Breed Grain-Free Dog Food

Nulo is a high-protein (31%), low-carb formula that promotes lean body mass and supports overall health. 

If you're after a grain free option, Nulo is fantastic as it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. They also include a patented BC30 Probiotic to support healthy gut flora, aid in metabolism and enables your dog to get the most out of the nutrients in their food.

Since Frenchies are prone to greater gastrointestinal upset than other breeds, this is an important bonus.

Nulo Small Breed Grain-Free Dog Food

A study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice in 2018 found that French Bulldogs operated on to improve brachycephalic airway syndrome also saw an astounding 93% improvement in gastrointestinal signs (3). 

This is something I mention as a last result if other interventions do not work.

Key Ingredients:

Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Salmon Meal

My experience using Nulo with my dog Atlas was fantastic. He is the pickiest eater you've ever seen. He seems to love the multi protein in this formulas a he eats it all within 5 minutes now. Huge improvement!

I love supporting USA made products and Nulo is proudly made in the USA with ingredients from trusted suppliers.

9. Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Chicken and Rice

I don't say this often, but the Purina Pro Plan Shredded Formula is a unique option that offers a blend of hard kibble and tender, shredded pieces for a taste and texture dogs love. It's made with high-quality protein, including real chicken as the first ingredient, and has no artificial colors or flavors. 

The product is fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health. A dual-texture formula that combines crunchy kibble with tender, meaty shreds, providing a sensory experience that dogs find irresistible.

Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Chicken and Rice

If your Frenchie is still turning up their nose at this yummy food and a vet has cleared them of other issues, try a dog food seasoning. I’ve never found it to fail to get a dog interested in their kibble again. 

This product comes in a 34-pound bag, ensuring you have plenty to keep your furry friend well-fed. It has an impressive average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, based on over 13,000 reviews.

Testing this out with my expert reviewer (Atlas) we found the following:

  1. He seems to love the dual-texture formula
  2. I saw a noticeable improvements in mood. He suffers from anxiety, so this was a huge relief.

You can also trust in the fact that it is proudly manufactured in Purina-owned U.S. facilities, ensuring quality and safety in every bag.

What to consider when choosing dog food for a French bulldog

When choosing dog food for your French Bulldog, it's crucial to consider common allergies, dog food types, size and weight, ingredient quality and their unique dietary needs. French Bulldogs are known for their muscular build, compact size and high energy levels. 

Therefore, they require a diet rich in protein to support muscle development and enough calories to fuel their energy. It's also important to consider their susceptibility to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and brachycephalic syndrome, according to a study published in Topics in Companion Animal Medicine in 2013 (4). which can be managed with a proper diet. 

French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, so it's essential to monitor their calorie intake and ensure they're getting enough exercise. The food should also be easily digestible to prevent gastrointestinal issues, which French Bulldogs are prone to.

Whatever food you choose, additional supplements like electrolytes for dogs can make a big difference in your dog’s muscle tone, energy level and overall condition. 

Choosing a Frenchie bred to avoid brachycephalic syndrome sets your puppy up for success, although it can be challenging to find a breeder successfully producing puppies, according to a study published in PLoS One in 2019 (5). Regardless of your dog’s medical conditions, choosing a fresh, veterinarian-formulated diet like this sets your Frenchie up for success. 

Here are a few specific things to consider:

1. Signs of a food allergy in your Frenchie

Food allergies in French Bulldogs can manifest in various ways. Common signs include skin irritations such as redness, itchiness and hot spots. Your Frenchie might also experience gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea and excessive gas. 

If you notice these symptoms, it's essential to consult with your vet to identify potential allergens and adjust their diet accordingly. 

Chronic ear infections can also be a sign of food allergies. If your Frenchie is constantly scratching their ears or shaking their head, it might be due to a food allergy. Food allergies can also lead to changes in behavior, such as increased agitation or lethargy.

2. Dog Food Types

There are several types of dog food available, including dry kibble, wet food, raw food and homemade diets. Each type has its pros and cons. 

Dry kibble is convenient and helps with dental health, but it can be less palatable. Wet food is tasty and hydrating but can be more expensive. Raw and homemade diets offer control over ingredients but require careful balancing to ensure nutritional completeness.

It's also worth considering dehydrated food, which offers the benefits of raw food with the convenience of kibble. Ultimately, the best type of food for your Frenchie depends on their individual needs and preferences, as well as your lifestyle and budget.

3. Nutritional Needs

French Bulldogs require a balanced diet that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Protein supports muscle development, fats provide energy and support skin health and carbohydrates offer sustained energy. 

Vitamins and minerals are essential for various bodily functions, including immune support and bone health. It's also important to ensure your Frenchie is getting enough fiber for healthy digestion. 

Additionally, certain nutrients like glucosamine can support joint health, which is particularly important for French Bulldogs due to their susceptibility to hip dysplasia.

4. Allergies and Food Sensitivities

French Bulldogs are prone to food allergies and sensitivities, with common triggers including beef, chicken, wheat and dairy. If your Frenchie shows signs of an allergic reaction, it's important to identify and eliminate the offending ingredient from their diet.

It's also worth considering a hypoallergenic diet, which uses novel proteins and carbohydrates that your Frenchie is less likely to be allergic to. Always consult with your vet before making significant changes to your Frenchie's diet, especially if they have a history of food allergies or sensitivities.

5. Size and Weight

French Bulldogs are small dogs with a tendency to gain weight. Therefore, it's crucial to monitor their portion sizes and ensure their diet is low in fat and calories. Regular exercise is also essential to maintain a healthy weight.

It's also worth considering a breed-specific diet, as these are formulated with the nutritional needs of French Bulldogs in mind. These diets take into account the breed's propensity for weight gain and tailor the calorie content accordingly. They also consider the breed's unique jaw and face shape, with kibble designed to be easily picked up and chewed.

6. Ingredient Quality

The quality of ingredients in your Frenchie's food is crucial. Look for foods with whole, recognizable ingredients and avoid those with artificial additives, fillers and by-products. 

High-quality proteins should be the first ingredient. It's also worth considering foods with a variety of fruits and vegetables, as these provide a range of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, look for foods with natural sources of fiber like brown rice or barley, which support healthy digestion.

7. Protein and Fatty Acids

Protein is essential for muscle development and repair, while fatty acids support skin and coat health. Look for foods with high-quality animal proteins like chicken, beef or fish, and those enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. I did my best to include the omega 3 percentage for the foods in the list above.

Look for additional sources of protein like eggs or legumes, which provide a complete amino acid profile. Additionally, foods with added fish oil can provide a boost of omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain development in puppies and promote a shiny coat and healthy skin in dogs of all ages.

8. Starch and Carbohydrates

While carbohydrates provide energy, it's important to choose those that offer nutritional benefits. Whole grains, sweet potatoes, and vegetables are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber and essential nutrients. 

Avoid foods with simple sugars and artificial additives. It's also worth considering grain-free diets, especially if your Frenchie has a grain allergy or sensitivity. However, it's important to ensure that the diet still provides enough fiber and other essential nutrients. Always consult with your vet before switching to a grain-free diet, as it may not be suitable for all dogs.

What type of food should I buy for my French Bulldog?

The type of food you should buy for your French Bulldog depends on their individual needs, preferences, and any specific dietary requirements they may have.

Generally, a high-quality food that is rich in protein, has a balanced ratio of carbohydrates and fats, and includes essential vitamins and minerals is a good choice. 

You can choose between dry kibble, wet food or a mix of both. Some French Bulldog owners also opt for raw or homemade diets, but these should be undertaken with the guidance of a vet to ensure nutritional completeness.

What nutritional needs should I consider when selecting food for my French Bulldog?

When selecting food for your French Bulldog, consider their unique nutritional needs. French Bulldogs require a diet rich in protein to support their muscular build and a balanced amount of fats and carbohydrates for energy. 

They also need a variety of vitamins and minerals for overall health. Given their propensity for joint issues, ingredients that support joint health, like dog bone broth, glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3s, can be beneficial. Also, due to their risk of obesity, it's important to monitor calorie intake.

What type of food is best for French Bulldogs with allergies?

For French Bulldogs with allergies, hypoallergenic diets can be a good option. These diets typically use novel proteins and carbohydrates that your dog is less likely to be allergic to. Look for things like salmon and sweet potatoes instead of rice, chicken, wheat and soy.

Grain-free diets can also be beneficial if your Frenchie is allergic to common grains used in dog food. Always consult with your vet before making significant changes to your dog's diet, especially if they have a history of food allergies or sensitivities.

Are there any brands that specialize in food for French Bulldogs?

While there are no brands that exclusively produce food for French Bulldogs, many premium brands offer breed-specific formulas that cater to the unique needs of small and medium breeds like French Bulldogs. 

Brands like Royal Canin, Eukanuba and Hill's Science Diet have breed-specific formulas that consider factors like the breed's size, energy levels, and propensity for certain health issues.

What types of proteins are best for French Bulldogs?

High-quality animal proteins are best for French Bulldogs. This includes proteins from sources like chicken, beef, dog food with salmon and turkey.

Some dogs may also benefit from alternative protein sources like lamb, venison or duck, especially if they have allergies to more common proteins.

What ingredients should I avoid when selecting food for my French Bulldog?

When selecting food for your French Bulldog, avoid foods with artificial additives, fillers and by-products. Also, avoid foods with simple sugars and those that use low-quality proteins as the main protein source. 

If your Frenchie has specific food allergies or sensitivities, you'll also need to avoid foods containing those allergens.

What vitamins and minerals are important for French Bulldogs?

French Bulldogs, like all dogs, require a range of vitamins and minerals for overall health. These include vitamin A for eye health, B vitamins for energy metabolism, vitamin D for bone health and vitamin E for immune function. 

Important minerals include calcium and phosphorus for bone health, potassium for heart health and zinc for skin and coat health.

What type of kibble is best for French Bulldogs?

French Bulldogs often do well with small to medium-sized kibble that is easy for them to pick up and chew. Some brands offer breed-specific formulas with kibble shapes designed to suit the unique jaw structure of French Bulldogs.

What are the benefits of feeding my French Bulldog a high-quality food?

Feeding your French Bulldog a high-quality food can support their overall health and wellbeing. High-quality foods use superior ingredients that are more digestible and provide better nutritional value.

This can lead to improved skin and coat health, better digestive health, stronger immunity and more energy. It can also help manage weight and support joint health, which is particularly important for French Bulldogs.

Are there any foods specifically designed for French Bulldog puppies?

Yes, there are foods specifically designed for French Bulldog puppies. These foods are formulated to support the rapid growth and development of puppies, with higher levels of protein and essential nutrients like DHA for brain development. 

Brands like Royal Canin on the list above offer breed-specific puppy formulas for French Bulldogs. Always look for foods labeled as suitable for puppies, as adult dog food may not provide the necessary nutrients for growing dogs.

Closing Thoughts

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best food for your French Bulldog, but I hope this buyer's guide has helped you narrow down the options.

I recommend Royal Canin French Bulldog Dog Food as a good starting point. It is formulated specifically for French Bulldogs and includes all of the nutrients they need for a healthy diet.

And if are looking for a meal topper, go for the grass fed bone broth from Bluebird Provisions.

Sources

  1. https://cgejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40575-021-00112-3
  2. https://vet.tufts.edu/news-events/news/frenchies-are-1-and-veterinarians-are-concerned
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326943800_Relationship_between_brachycephalic_airway_syndrome_and_gastrointestinal_signs_in_three_breeds_of_dog_Gastrointestinal_signs_in_brachycephalic_dogs
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6913956/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24182996/ 

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"Amazing!

Great taste and texture. Will be purchasing this again. Works great on its own for sipping and also in soup!"

Adrienne L