Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs in 2021

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french bulldog

French Bulldogs are prone to numerous health problems, which can be helped through nutrition. 

For example, over 7% of all French Bulldogs have problems with chronic diarrhea — an issue that a healthy diet can alleviate. Upper respiratory problems, skin irritation, and food allergies are also quite common. 

I recommend Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Dog Food to handle these health complications.

This recipe includes omega fatty acids to improve skin health and is grain-free to help prevent food allergies. Plus, the high meat content helps your French Bulldog remain at a healthy weight, as well. 

However, some French Bulldogs may need a more specific diet because of age or underlying health problems. This breed isn’t the healthiest on the block, and a particular diet can be life-changing to some canines.

Nevertheless, with their cute squished-up face and pointy ears, trust me when I say it’s worth it. French bulldogs are a one-of-a-kind breed that is hard to resist!

I’ve also included reviews for nine other products below so that you can make the best dog food decision for your French Bulldog.

Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs

10 Best Dog Foods for French Bulldogs Reviewed

Every dog owner wants to feed their canine the best food possible. However, sorting through ingredient lists and protein percentages can be challenging. The last time I was looking at the ingredients list for my pup, the amount of ingredients was crazy!

Below, we’ve reviewed the best dog food for French Bulldogs, allowing you to make an informed decision. 

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Salmon & Peas
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Whole Peas, Sweet Potato
  • Key Feature: High-quality protein and essential nutrients wrapped into one dog food, good for every French Bulldog
  • Nutrient Content: 30% Protein, 16% Fat, 4.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Glycemic, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adults Only

Out of all the dog foods available on the market, Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult is easily the best dog food for French Bulldogs. 

It contains deboned salmon as the first ingredient, followed by turkey meal and menhaden fish meal. Not only are all these proteins high-quality, but they also add quite a few nutrients to the food. 

For instance, both salmon and menhaden fish meal are high in omega fatty acids, protecting your dog’s heart

80% of the protein in this dog food comes from an animal source. The fourth ingredient is peas, which are also high in protein. However, this protein is veggie-based, and therefore less bioavailable. 

Not all French Bulldogs need high-protein food, but it often can’t hurt. Just be sure not to feed your canine so much protein that they become overweight. 

To add to all this, whole fruits and veggies are included throughout the recipe for higher antioxidants, which may prevent DNA damage. When you have the opportunity to prevent certain illnesses, take it!


Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy
  • First 5 Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Pea Protein
  • Key Feature: Extra protein and fat for growing French Bulldog puppies
  • Nutrient Content: 28% Protein, 17% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free
  • Life Stage: Puppies 

I highly recommend this Taste of the Wild dog food for all French Bulldog puppies. 

Because they are growing, French Bulldog puppies have different nutritional guidelines than adults. They need higher protein and fat, for instance. 

This formula covers both of those requirements and features many added nutrients that your French Bulldog puppy may benefit from. 

It includes probiotics — an essential nutrient for your puppy’s microbiome. Your French Bulldog puppy is building their gut health from the ground up, and this helpful food helps them get started on the right foot. 

Antioxidants are included through real fruit and vegetables. Omega fatty acids are even added to support your puppy’s development. 

The ingredients are also nutritious. Water Buffalo is included as the first, and, while this is a rarer ingredient in dog food, it does provide the lean protein your puppy needs to thrive.


VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dog Food

VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat
  • Key Feature: Weight-management dry dog food designed for senior dogs
  • Nutrient Content: 27% Protein, 11.5% Fat, 4.5% Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Weight Control, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free
  • Life Stage: Senior 

If your French Bulldog is reaching their twilight years, I highly recommend switching them to Victor Purpose Senior Dog Food. It is specifically formulated for older canines who may be a bit overweight. 

Many French Bulldogs do not move very much, so they can often benefit from being put on a senior diet earlier. 

They often have enough trouble maintaining a healthy weight as it is. And let’s face it, we’ve all seen an adorable overweight bulldog plodding along the street! But while these dogs may be cute, the added weight can leave them open to many health problems. 

When you add aging on top of that, it isn’t odd for them to be a few pounds heavier than they should be. 

This dry food is low-fat, which may help French Bulldogs remain a healthy weight. 

I love that this food includes both glucosamine and chondroitin — two additives that have been proven to help with joint issues. An older dog’s joints often need all the help they can get, and this is a great feature. 

L-carnitine is also included to help maintain lean muscle while your dog ages and loses weight. I would never recommend weight loss dog food without this ingredient — it’s that essential. You want your dog losing fat, not muscle.


Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains Chicken & Brown
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley
  • Key Feature: Probiotic-rich dog food for digestive health and sensitive stomachs
  • Nutrient Content: 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Natural, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adults

If your French Bulldog has a sensitive stomach, I recommend this dry dog food by Wellness. It is easily the best dog food for French Bulldogs with sensitive tummies.

Chicken and turkey are both used as main protein sources. They provide high levels of lean protein that even the most active French Bulldogs will benefit from. 

However, they are the most common allergy sources, making them unsuitable for many dogs with sensitivities. 

Most importantly, this dog food is coated in probiotics and includes high amounts of prebiotics. For dogs with stomach issues, probiotics are essential. Without them, a quality microbiome can’t be developed. 

I also loved that this food includes pumpkin. And I know your mind probably went straight to pumpkin spice latte, but pumpkin in itself is an incredibly nutritious vegetable. In fact, it is great for a dog’s digestive system. 

While there isn’t any evidence that pumpkin improves digestive health directly, it does include a lot of fiber (aka a “prebiotic”). Pumpkin may also help overweight dogs stay fuller for longer. 

I highly recommend all Frenchies with sensitive stomachs try this recipe.


Natural Balance L.I.D. Duck & Potato Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance LID Grain-Free Duck & Potato
  • First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Sweet Potatoes
  • Key Feature: Limited Ingredient dog food for those with allergies
  • Nutrient Content: 24% Protein, 10% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adults

This is the exact allergy-friendly dog food I feed my canine. He is sensitive to chicken, and finding chicken-free dog food that doesn’t break the bank is challenging!

Natural Balance makes a variety of L.I.D formulas that are free from chicken and other common allergens. This recipe specifically includes duck as the only protein source. 

I highly recommend it for any adult French Bulldogs with allergies. In fact, any of this brand’s L.I.D. recipes are a good option. 

I love that board-certified clinical veterinarians formulate this dog food. You’d be surprised by the number of dog foods that aren’t created by professionals. 

Furthermore, this dry dog food does not include peas, pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, wheat, or soy. While these aren’t common allergens, many dogs with allergies may be sensitive to them. I know my dog is!

Legumes can also disturb digestion and make these already-gassy dogs even gassier.


Merrick Cowboy Cookout Wet Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Wet Cowboy Cookout
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Beef Liver, Carrots
  • Key Feature: Wet dog food packed full of premium meat
  • Nutrient Content: 8% Protein, 3% Fat, 3% Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Grain-Free
  • Life Stage: Adults

For French Bulldogs that need wet food, I highly recommend this option. It includes mostly animal protein, including deboned beef and beef liver

However, you need to be very careful with dental cleanliness if your canine eats wet food. French Bulldogs already have poor dental anatomy, and wet food can make it even worse. 

Two types of broth are included. We prefer broth over water in wet dog food. One of them must be added to make wet food wet, but broth contains more protein, fat, and nutrients than water. 

There are a few nutrient-rich veggies and fruits added, like carrots and apples. I like that higher-quality ones are used — they don’t just pack this formula full of ingredients like peas. 

With easy-to-pull tabs, you won’t struggle to open these cans. You don’t need a can opener — a convenience that I appreciate. 

This dog food is completely free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and by-products. All the ingredients are premium quality, including the USDA-certified beef. 


ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Original Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
  • Key Feature: Premium dry dog food full of high-quality animal protein
  • Nutrient Content: 38% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Gluten Free, Natural, Raw, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adults

If you have the budget, I highly recommend this dog food for your adult French Bulldog. This grain-free formula is about as good as you can get — but you’re going to pay for it. 

It is nearly twice as expensive as some other dog food brands on the market. 

The ingredient list is packed full of high-quality protein. Chicken, turkey, and flounder are all found high up. There are also no by-products or lower-quality meats. Even veggies and fruits are kept to a minimum! 

In fact, 85% of this food is animal ingredients. 

This brand uses the “whole prey” method of dog food creation. In other words, they add the bones, cartilage, and organs of the animals utilized for the food. This formulation mirrors what our dogs would eat naturally in the wild and improves the nutritional content of the food. 

I love that this kibble is coated in freeze-dried ingredients, making it much tastier. It can be surprisingly difficult to get some dogs to eat certain foods! I know my canine has been known to turn his nose up to even the highest-quality formulas. 

 If your dog is a picky eater, they may benefit a lot from this dog food. It is easily the best dry dog food you can buy — and the price reflects the quality.


Purina Pro Plan Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Shredded Blend Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Germ Meal
  • Key Feature: Budget brand with whole chicken as the first ingredient
  • Nutrient Content: 27% Protein, 12% Fat, 5.5% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Weight Control, High Fiber, Low Fat
  • Life Stage: Adults

Frenchies are very prone to becoming obese. Therefore, I highly recommend choosing a high-quality dog food with lots of animal protein — or a weight management option. 

Purina is a budget brand that’s well-known for using quality products at lower prices. I love that they have very few recalls, making them one of the safest foods on the market. 

This dog food includes high levels of dietary fiber to keep your dog regular, as well as low fat to promote a healthy weight. Your adult Frenchie will also love the whole chicken

Live probiotics are included in this formula. If your canine has sensitive digestion, these may help improve their digestive health. 

Plus, this formula utilizes enough protein to support muscle mass while your French Bulldog loses weight. 

Of course, this is adult dog food only. You don’t want to feed puppies a weight management formula — caloric restriction for puppies can result in several health problems.


Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Dry Dog Food

Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Oatmeal
  • First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Barley, Organic Brown Rice
  • Key Feature: Dog food made with only organic ingredients
  • Nutrient Content: 26% Protein, 15% Fat, 3.5% Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Organic, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Sensitive Digestion, GMO-Free
  • Life Stage: Adults

We don’t currently know the health benefits of feeding dogs organic food. However, some dog owners still prefer to feed their canines these recipes. 

Sadly, there aren’t many currently available on the market. But out of them all, this formula by Caster & Pollux is my favorite. 

It includes organic chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. These meat proteins raise the overall protein content to 27%, and, because chicken is lean, the fat content is still a low 15%.

I love many of the ingredients in this food. It includes blueberries for added antioxidants and fiber, flaxseed for omega fatty acids, and sweet potatoes for digestible carbohydrates. 

You can’t find much better adult food than this. However, it is on the much higher end of budget. This is because the organic ingredients cost much more than your average ones.


Instinct Raw Boost Chicken Dog Food

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Chicken Freeze Dried Raw
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat, Tapioca
  • Key Feature: High-protein food with freeze-dried chicken pieces 
  • Nutrient Content: 37% Protein, 20.5% Fat, 4% Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Raw, Natural
  • Life Stage: Adults

French Bulldogs may benefit from a freeze-dried diet. The most obvious benefit of these is that they are higher in lean protein, including real freeze-dried meat protein. 

However, French Bulldogs often don’t need these higher protein dog foods, because they just aren’t as active as other canines in most cases. Still, particularly active dogs may thrive on this grain-free formula. 

You’ll need to use your best judgment.

For the most part, this food includes chicken, with whole chicken and chicken meal both high on the ingredient list. However, peas are also included in substantial amounts. 

Peas may not be the best choice for French Bulldogs (or other dog breeds, really). High amounts have been linked to some heart conditions in dogs. 

Probiotics are also included to protect your canine’s digestive and immune health. 

This food is a lot more expensive than other options, largely because it’s freeze-dried.


french bulldog sleeping

Guide to Buying Dog Food for French Bulldogs

A lot goes into choosing the best dog food for French Bulldogs. You have to consider the ingredients, macronutrient content, and potential health problems. 

Choosing the best dog food doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about optimizing your French Bulldog’s nutrition. 

Nutritional Needs for French Bulldog

Due to their use largely as companion animals, French Bulldogs are mistakenly thought to need less protein and fat than other dogs. However, this isn’t true. 

Studies have found that dogs’ macronutrient needs are largely the same across breeds — no matter how active the breed traditionally is. 

Because of all their health problems though, it may be essential for your French Bulldog to consume higher amounts of protein and fat. 

Moderate Protein

French Bulldogs need lean protein that is easy to digest and is full of necessary amino acids. Chicken, beef, salmon, and other whole animals fall into this category. 

The best dog food will include quality protein as the first ingredient (or first few ingredients, preferably).

No matter how active your dog is, they will need quality protein. Protein isn’t something only for active dogs — it’s required to keep even the most laid-back dogs in tip-top shape. 

However, the type of protein does matter. Whole meat or meat meals are my favorite options. 

Many people assume that meat meals are low-quality, but this isn’t the case. Meat meals are dehydrated whole meats, and so are actually more nutritious per ounce than whole meats because much of the water content has been removed. 

To make dry food, the meat has to be dehydrated anyway. Therefore, most whole meats are actually turned into meat meals — the company just weighs the meat before dehydrating it. 

Weighing the meat afterward actually provides for a more accurate ingredient list. 

By-products should be avoided, though. 

It isn’t that all by-products are bad — we just don’t know what they are! By-products are anything leftover after the animal, say a chicken, has been processed. This could be organ meats and cartilage, or even feathers. 

These things may be high-quality, or they may not. We just don’t know. (And I prefer not to feed my dog mystery meat.)

Moderate Fat

Fat gets a bad reputation. However, it is vital for our dog’s well-being. 

All dogs need a decent amount of fat, even French Bulldogs. They may not be as active as other breeds, but that doesn’t mean that we should restrict their fat intake much. 

In particular, your French Bulldog puppy will need more fat while they are growing, otherwise they may not grow properly. Many puppy foods are higher in fat — part of what makes them designed for younger dogs. 

You should choose higher quality fats, though. Preferably, the fat should come from an animal source. Check the ingredient list for sources. 

While something like chicken fat doesn’t sound very appetizing to us, it is essential for your French Bulldog’s health. 

Of course, you don’t want your dog eating too much fat. Because they aren’t very active, French Bulldogs don’t need tons of fat like some other breeds. They don’t need much energy to lay on the couch!

Many weight management foods are lower in fat than other options — making them perfect if your French Bulldog puts on a few extra pounds. 

Fat also makes food taste better. If you have a picky canine, extra fat may be what’s needed to get them eating. 

Low Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates act as easily accessible calories for your canine. Therefore, they are somewhat needed. Every canine needs some form of fast-acting energy, even if they aren’t moving all the much. 

However, too many carbohydrates can quickly make your dog overweight. With too much energy and not enough movement, their body will store that extra energy as fat. 

Therefore, carbohydrates should be kept as low as possible while still providing your canine with some quick energy. 

The best ingredients to provide carbs are whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Processed grains like white rice lack all nutrition, and they’re equivalent to adding processed sugar directly into your dog’s food. 

Those good ingredients provide vitamins and minerals, though. They are a solid option for adult French Bulldog — even if they add extra carbohydrates into the recipe. 

Fiber is also a very helpful addition. It keeps your Frenchie full for longer, leading to a lower appetite and thus less potential weight gain. 

Look for foods with whole fruits and veggies on the ingredient list, and avoid ones with things like corn gluten meal. Brown rice and whole-grain wheat are much better options.

Vitamins and Minerals

French Bulldogs don’t need much special nutrition. Especially adult dogs. 

Puppies often benefit from added nutrients to help in their development, like essential fatty acids. The AAFCO lays out exactly what vitamins and minerals different dogs need to stay healthy. 

Therefore, we recommend choosing an AAFCO-certified food when selecting new formulas for your Frenchie. 

Ensure that the label specifically says the food is designed as a complete meal — not just as a supplement. For those picking out a recipe for younger dogs, check that it is certified by the AAFCO as puppy food. 

Low to Moderate Calories

French Bulldogs don’t move all that much; they aren’t nearly as active as some other breeds. Therefore, the best dog foods for French Bulldogs often have lower calories. 

They simply don’t need as much energy as other dogs. 

We recommend a healthy weight diet for most French Bulldogs. These foods are automatically lower in calories than other adult options. 

However, you should consider your French Bulldog’s activity level as well. Some are more active than others and may require those extra calories. 

french bulldog puppy

Health issues and specific dietary requirements for French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are prone to quite a few health problems. Sadly, most of these can’t be helped by diet. Instead, treatment often involves medication or surgery. 

However, the French Bulldog breed is prone to obesity and food allergies — which are directly related to what they eat. 

In this section, we’ll take a look at both of these serious health conditions. 

Food Allergies

Food allergies develop throughout a dog’s life. Unlike some common misunderstandings, your dog isn’t born with certain food allergies. Instead, they can gradually become allergic to the same food they’ve been eating for years. 

Most dogs with allergies are allergic to animal proteins. Grain allergies are actually quite uncommon, and gluten allergies are only confined to certain breeds (and French Bulldogs aren’t one of them). 

The only way to reduce symptoms of food allergies is to avoid foods that trigger your dog. Most dogs are allergic to chicken and beef — simply because they’re the most common dog food ingredients. 

If your dog is allergic to one of these, it can be difficult to find a food that works for them. My dog is allergic to chicken. I know the struggle! Limited ingredient diets make this a bit easier by only using a single type of animal protein in their formula. You won’t find chicken meal hidden a few ingredients down. 

Obesity

Sadly, most dogs in the United States are overweight. French bulldogs are particularly prone to becoming overweight, as they have a low activity level. 

How much food you feed your dog obviously matters, but the exact diet you provide also has a substantial impact. 

There are weight management foods available that are lower in calories and higher in fiber. These can help an at-risk dog maintain a healthy weight, and may help an overweight dog lose a bit. 

We highly recommend weight management dog foods for this breed. They are very prone to weight problems, which can make their respiratory problems much worse. 

What to Consider When Buying a Food for French Bulldogs

You should consider several factors when purchasing food for your French Bulldog — on top of what we’ve already discussed. 

Activity Level

Frenchies tend to be pretty laid back. Their shortened snouts make them unable to exercise intensely for long periods. 

However, some are more active than others. If your dog does more than lay around all day, they may need more calories and higher protein. 

The easiest way to judge activity level is to keep an eye on your dog’s body condition. You should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. (Besides the two back ribs, which usually stick out a bit in dogs with a healthy weight.)

If your dog develops fat over their ribs, they need fewer calories. If your dog’s ribs begin to show, they need more calories. 

Age

Different age dogs need different nutrition. Just like other breeds, French Bulldog puppies need a specific diet. They’re growing, so their fat and protein needs are higher than adults. 

Seniors technically don’t need anything other than an adult formula. However, some do benefit from the added nutrients in senior foods. Most of these foods are specifically formulated for common senior health problems, like mobility and cognitive issues. 

Our Verdict

Out of all the dog foods I reviewed, I recommend the Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Dog Food for most French Bulldogs.

It includes high levels of animal meats, including fish, and is high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids — both of which contribute to your dog’s overall health. 

Keep a close eye on your French Bulldog’s body weight, though. Switch them to a healthy weight formula if necessary. 

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AUTHOR
Kristin has been writing about dogs and their nutrition for the last four years. She enjoys educating pet parents on the best things to feed their beloved furry friends using the latest scientific research.

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