French Bulldog Diet
French Bulldog Diet
Diet is important for any dog, but with a dog as special as a Frenchie, you want to ensure the best food options are available. Your dogs health should be your number one priority, and their diet and nutritional requirements play a huge role in their overall health.
Unfortunately, many Frenchie owners subscribe to the “if it’s dog food, it’s good enough” train of thought, which is as unfortunate for the dog as it is the owner. Diets with the wrong amount of nutrition, or worse, little to no nutritional value, can leave your Frenchie in poor health as your vet bills continue to climb. Those expensive vet bills and ill-health in the Frenchie can be avoided by simply following a solid and stable, nutritionally sound diet.
Kibble vs Canned vs Raw
The great debate between kibble, canned and raw feeding programs has been around for a long time. It is important when deciding what type of diet your Frenchie will be on to look at the pros and cons of each type of diet.
Kibble is essentially vitamins and minerals compressed into small bits. These are nutritionally complete, but vary in quality, from very poor to very high. Kibble, like raw, helps maintain healthy teeth and gums, and will have the proper amount of fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, even at a very high quality, which is a kibble with a whole food as the first ingredient and no fillers, you still are feeding your dog overly-processed food. This isn’t wholly a bad thing, but your dog will be missing out on essential vitamins that can only be obtained through less processed means.
A canned diet has some pluses in this regard. High quality canned food not only has whole food ingredients, generally speaking, but often times has the actual piece of meat in the can in its whole form. Like kibble, these diets are generally processed to be nutritionally complete or to supplement a kibble based diet. Unlike kibble and raw, however, extra efforts will have to be made in order to prevent tooth and gum problems in the future. While Frenchies may not be prone to tooth or gum disease, prevention is still a must.
Raw diets are surrounded by a lot of controversy. Thankfully, most of that controversy is being cleared up thanks to science and the availability of information in our modern world. A raw diet is where a dog eats whole or mixed food items that haven’t been processed or cooked. This includes chicken, rabbit, fish, beef, pork and more. The raw diet has two huge pros. The first is that variety you can offer your dog. Like their wild counterparts, dogs benefit greatly from a varied diet. It allows mental stimulation while also employing a variety of nutrients in differing amounts. The other pro to raw feeding is that the vitamins and nutrients are whole and in the highest density out of the three types of diets with absolutely zero fillers. The biggest con to a raw diet is the need to supplement. As French Bulldogs need lean fat and high amounts of Omega-3, a raw diet has to be compensated with supplements to ensure your Frenchie is getting the proper amount of nutrients in each meal. This includes powdered supplements as well as raw organ meats and more.
Contrary to popular belief, diseases and illnesses that transmit to humans from raw meat is not a con of raw feeding. Unlike humans, a dog’s gut is built to handle raw meat. The pH in a dog’s stomach is enough to kill E.coli and Salmonella, and if supplemented with probiotics, such as those found in plain yogurt, your Frenchie will have the proper bacteria in his gut to keep even more at bay.
The biggest thing to keep in mind with your French Bulldog’s diet is the necessity for grain free food. As carnivores, dogs do not have the ability to break down many carbs, and many types of kibble and canned food contain fillers made from grain. This grain is stockpiled with carbs, and while it doesn’t hurt your dog, it also provides no nutritional benefit, which can lead to issues later in life.
In herbivores and even humans, right at the beginning of the large intestine, is an organ called a Cecum. The Cecum contains the proper enzymes for breaking down plant matter and carbs found in grains. In herbivores, the cecum is very large, while in humans, it is relatively small, to match our smaller digestive tracks. In dogs, the cecum provides no benefit as it doesn’t contain the enzymes needed, and in most cases, lies unused. Due to this, your dog cannot break down the carbs in grain, which can build up in your dog and cause obesity, which leads to further health issues.
Healthy Diet Means a Happy Dog
As you can see, there is a lot more to picking a proper diet for your Frenchie than just picking a brand of kibble. Make sure to do your research and pick the type of diet that makes the most sense to you and you feel the most comfortable with. However, it must be stressed that high quality is important no matter what diet you choose. Your Frenchie’s health is worth it in the long run. So make sure you optimize your French Bulldog Diet.
Are supplements necessary? Our Facebook group seems divided on this issue. Here’s what they have to say: