For a first-time owner, a French Bulldog raw diet might not sound like a good idea. Still, I want to prove you wrong. There’s a lot more to raw dog food – a lot of good things – and I’m going to tell you about them.
Commercial dog food has been around since the 1800s. But dogs have been around for way longer than that.
Naturally, dogs are carnivores. They’re used to eating raw meat and occasional fruits and veggies. Throughout history, this feeding regime was an absolutely appropriate diet for our canine buddies. So, what made people leave it and turn to kibble?
Dry dog kibble has many benefits. It’s cheaper, makes the dog full, and it’s simply easier for serving. But, is it better?
Is dry kibble better than a raw diet?
Is it healthier?
There’s hardly anything better for your dog’s nutrition than raw food. It’s fresh, contains all the healthy ingredients your dog needs, and helps your dog improve its digestive system, and build up a stronger immune system.
These are only a few things that make a raw dog food diet better.
Keep on reading to find out exactly why I recommend raw feeding for your Frenchie!
Is French Bulldog Raw Diet A Good Idea?
Dog food isn’t just kibble.
Dog food can be cans of wet food too.
Dog food can be homemade meals.
Whenever someone talks about a raw food diet, most people think of raw meat, simply throwing it in the food bowl and watching it disappear. Now, I’m not saying you should prepare an extra fancy meal for your dog. But, at least, you can put in some effort and not let your dog eat just raw food.
Combining ingredients in proper proportions makes raw meals so beneficial for your dogs.
I can rightfully claim that feeding French Bulldog raw diet meals is highly recommended and, most importantly, good for your dog.
Raw dog food consists of animal proteins, mainly supported by lots of yummy nutrients from gizzards, bones, fruits, veggies, and sometimes grains.
I always like to say a raw diet has more upsides than downsides. You can tell what goes into your dog’s meal without making assumptions. You’re in control of what your dog eats.
When it comes to French Bulldogs, you must be aware that they are susceptible to some health conditions that could be eased with a proper diet.
Frenchies can have some hotspots or irritated skin. It’s painful and quite usual with this dog breed. Luckily, it can be toned down with a rich diet.
What else can be eased? What are the other benefits of the French Bulldog raw diet? How to make it approachable to a common dog owner?
We’re about to find out!
What Does It Mean To Feed A French Bulldog Raw?
Feeding your Frenchie raw means you can either serve homemade meals that are cooked or put together using raw and natural ingredients.
This natural approach was the only way of feeding dogs for centuries. Dog kibble is a fairly new invention. Before having the first kibble bits in their bowl, dogs used to eat raw meat, bones, and sometimes veggies.
I remember my parents feeding our dogs raw meals. My mom was an excellent cook, something our dogs and the rest of the family agrees on. Since we lived on a farm, she used to have lots of fresh ingredients, including her own free-range chickens to help her put together meals for all of us.
And, let me tell you something: our dogs were bursting with health! We had lots of different breeds while growing up, usually German Shepherds and other working breeds, and they all loved mom’s home-cooked meals.
My parents were definitely dog experts because they knew how beneficial a raw diet was from a young age. Even the puppies on our farm were fed raw and grew into remarkable dogs. One of their descendants is still with me!
I never had a Frenchie in my life, but some of my friends are proud Frenchie owners. Two of them are, actually, serving raw meals for their Frenchies since the day they got them. And, yes, zero problems whatsoever with those dogs.
But, these great results from feeding raw are mainly because someone knows their business well. My mom knew she must use fresh ingredients. She knew what to include in those meals and what not.
Only properly-curated raw meals can bring your Frenchie benefits.
So, what does your Frenchie need from a meal?
What Is a BARF Diet?
No, it’s not an abbreviation for barfing or vomiting.
BARF is so much more! These four letters stand for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
This means serving your dog only the freshest, most nutritious ingredients.
Every BARF meal should consist of lean muscle meat, primarily. After that, you can add meaty bones, organ meat (no more than 10%), fruits, veggies, and some supplements. The percentage of raw meat in such meals should be up to 75%.
The more meat you offer your dog, the better.
Don’t avoid meat organs, eg. liver as they’re an excellent source of minerals and vitamins crucial for your dog’s development.
Since French Bulldogs are small dogs, they won’t need the maximum amount of protein. Instead, serving them 25% of meat in one meal is just right.
The BARF diet is all about balanced meals.
What Kind Of Nutrients Does Your Frenchie Need?
Let’s talk numbers first.
Did you know that your Frenchie actually needs 37 nutrients from its meal? This includes the most important ones like proteins, and minerals, as well as some helpful goodies such as chondroitin.
To have a well-balanced meal for your Frenchie, you should either consult your vet or keep on reading, for I’m about to tell you what should go into the best meal.
Feeding Frenchies can be a bit tricky. This dog breed is prone to so many health concerns because they have been overbred for decades. I get that people like Frenchies and want more of them, but unreasonable breeding must be put to an end.
Even though you may have a healthy Frenchie, your dog can still develop some conditions later in life. With an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, Frenchies can become ill at some point.
Usually, this dog breed gets a lot of allergies, especially food-borne ones. Preservatives found in kibble recipes are often the ones to blame, but natural ingredients, such as corn or soy, can also trigger reactions.
The best thing you can do for your Frenchie is to provide a protein-rich diet. I’d avoid chicken meat from an untrusted source because it can be stuffed with antibiotics or growth hormones. A lot of chicken allergies are present these days, and Frenchies can develop them easily.
Instead, pick turkey meat, fish, or beef. It would be ideal if you could have fresh lamb meat too. I find turkey quite easy to work with and prepare meals. Not only is it rich in proteins, but turkey also carries lots of zinc and B vitamins. Trust me, zinc is highly important for your Frenchie.
Besides the abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fats, your Frenchies’ diet should contain healthy fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help your dog have a shinier and healthier coat. Given the fact that Frenchies develop skin issues, this is more than crucial for a proper raw meal.
I wouldn’t recommend you include grains in your dog’s food. Limit carbs since Frenchies are prone to obesity. Keep the diet nice and lean and appropriate for sensitive tummies, and you should have no problems with feeding your French Bulldog raw diet.
A Feeding Plan: From Frenchie Puppies To Seniors
A feeding plan for a French Bulldog should cover all life stages, from puppyhood to senior years. If you plan to use raw food as your chosen pet food, then you should not stop abruptly. Once you go raw, you shouldn’t go back for your dog’s good.
I’m about to show you how to feed your Frenchie raw for each stage of their life.
Frenchie puppies eat more than adult dogs. But, it’s in terms of meal numbers in one day, not the number of calories.
A French Bulldog puppy should eat three to four times a day. Their meals should increase over time, as the puppies grow.
The first raw meals should be soft, and you can gradually add ingredients harder to chew, so your puppy can work out its jaw and become stronger.
I wouldn’t recommend giving your puppy bones since they can cause severe damage and bleeding in the intestines. There are other ways to add calcium, a much-needed mineral, to your puppy’s diet. For example, raw eggs are rich in calcium and potassium.
Learn more on feeding the right amount of raw food to puppies here.
The adulthood stage is all about maintaining the ideal body weight of your Frenchie.
Dogs that have no health issues should eat balanced meals to stay fit and healthy.
It would be a good idea to start enhancing your dog’s diet with supplements such as fish oil, probiotics, prebiotics, glucosamine, etc.
Adult French Bulldogs usually eat two meals a day. This satisfies their daily nutritional needs.
However, given the fact an average Frenchie weighs 25 pounds, it’ll need 5 pounds of raw food on a weekly basis.
The math is quite simple: feed your dog 2 to 4% of their weight of raw food.
Your dog will soon embark on a whole new journey through his golden years.
Senior Frenchies experience lots of issues with mobility. All senior dogs do. That’s why introducing supplements that help restore bones, joints, and cartilage is highly important.
Senior Frenchies don’t need lots of carbohydrates. At this stage, they’re also prone to becoming obese. What your senior Frenchie needs are proteins, this time in a smaller amount, fresh fruits, veggies, and fatty acids.
Natural additives are a good way to keep a senior Frenchie healthy and its energy levels high. Usually, older dogs experience a lack of energy and, most often, that’s because of a poor diet.
Also, dry food may cause dental issues, and since your old pal may be losing teeth, diy-ing meals at home sounds like a better idea. There are lots of ways you can soften your dog’s meal.
The number of meals should remain at two a day, but even more meals are welcome if you don’t disturb the daily calorie intake. What’s important is to monitor for any sign of allergy symptoms or general discomfort. If you believe two meals are hard to digest, introduce three or four a day for your senior Frenchie.
What Are The Benefits Of A French Bulldog Raw Diet?
The benefits of a raw diet are numerous. Compared to the products we have on the market, it’s always better to prepare your dog a homemade meal.
I’m not saying there are no good kibble brands on Amazon or Chewy, but not every dog owner can afford premium-quality products like the ones on this list of best dog food for Frenchies.
One of my dogs is still on kibble. We’ve tried transitioning to raw food multiple times, but Bobo’s too lazy to give it a try. But, he does have a soft spot for supreme dog food brands like TOTW.
As dog experts and enthusiasts, we must think of those less fortunate owners who are unable to spend a big chunk of a monthly paycheck on similar kibble brands.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of why raw dog food is beneficial for your Frenchie. And now, we’re about to go deeper and discover what else lies under the surface.
Specially Designed Recipes
Definitely, the biggest benefit of a French Bulldog raw diet is the fact that you know exactly what you’re feeding your dog. You can throw in the ingredients your Frenchie likes or should consume to help with their current health conditions.
Ask any vet and they’ll agree that lots of health problems can be treated with the proper food.
You can’t find a fresher meal for your Frenchie than the one you prepare at home. Even if you freeze those meals, it doesn’t matter: they were made using fresh, high-quality ingredients.
A Better Digestion
We may not like discussing dog poop, but that’s mandatory for a dog owner. A dog’s poop can tell us a lot about our dog’s condition.
For example, if you notice white specks in your dog’s poo, they could be either bone bits or worms. Detecting parasites in time can save your dog’s life.
Just as you pick up after your dog in the park, you might as well take a look and see if everything’s okay.
The practice has shown an improvement in dog stools for dogs that consume a raw diet. They now have smaller stools that are firm in consistency. No more doggy diarrhea night and day. No more oddly colored stools, i.e. yellow poop.
As a member of the small dog breed group, Frenchies are small pups prone to becoming obese. Obesity with small dogs is a huge no. It leads to numerous other problems with the dog’s cardiac health as well as with its mobility.
When was the last time you saw a fat Frenchie? It feels quite unnatural, doesn’t it?
A raw diet will bring only the necessary nutrients to your dog’s diet and won’t stuff them with fillers, fats, and unnecessary carbs. That’s all thanks to specially-curated meals.
Please, put your dog’s nutritional needs before everything else. You should not risk obesity with such small dogs.
What Are The Downsides Of A Raw Diet For Frenchies?
Unfortunately, the French Bulldog raw diet does have some downsides. They’re general flaws that come with any raw diet, no matter the dog breed it was intended for.
These downsides may seem like a lot to you. They may even be deal breakers. But, I assure you they’re something that can be prevented and dealt with.
Dogs can get bacterial infections from poorly prepared raw food. Salmonella and E.Coli just love hanging out on meat that’s not fresh. That’s why it’s important to buy meat from trusted sources and know how to handle and store it.
Research has shown that those bacterias hate cold temperatures. I recommend you freeze your raw meat before you decide to prepare it for your dog. This way, you’ll be completely safe.
Contaminated meat is a hazard for humans too. If you are in direct contact with such meat or dog feces contaminated with bacteria, you can end up having severe complications.
Raw dog food can be pricey. Specifically, the ingredients you use can be pricey. But, there’s always a solution to cut down the expenses.
I recommend growing your own fruits and veggies if you have the time and space. If not, there is always fresh produce in some of your local markets that are on discount.
What I do is buy more quantities of meat and store it for when I need it. I have a butcher I trust, and usually, he’ll throw in some chicken or turkey parts like gizzards that aren’t normally for sale.
It’s all about tricks.
Raw dog food may be pricier than any other kibble on the market, but if you play it right, you can lower the cost of preparation and make raw dog food quite affordable.
Sure, it’s always easier to serve dry kibble or to pop open a wet food can.
Preparing raw meals for your Frenchie does take time. It is tiring. But, it can be put under control.
I recommend meal prepping anytime you can. Store meals, whether they’re raw or home cooked, so you always have a healthy meal ready for your dog.
Meal preparation doesn’t have to be annoying to you. Pick simpler recipes that will save you a bunch of time and still make your Frenchie satisfied.
Which Human Food Should French Bulldogs Avoid?
A raw diet consists of human food. But, within human food, I mean fruits, veggies, meat, grains, dairy, etc. No snacks or fast food, ever!
Your Frenchie will have much more benefits from mashed sweet potatoes than from any chips you give him. Learn more on how to cook sweet potatoes for dogs.
Processed human foods should be completely off limits to our Frenchie buddies.
But, not every fruit or veggie is safe for consumption. We may like garlic, but it’s highly toxic to our canine buddies.
What else is on the forbidden list?
• Processed sausages, i.e. Vienna Sausages
What’s The Verdict?
So, how do you like the idea of the French Bulldog raw diet?
Frenchies are still canines, despite their small size. They love eating meat too. Wouldn’t it be better if you could give your dog just what it needs?
Finding the ideal dry dog food is a tricky pursuit. You’re highly likely to go through so many kibble brands before you find the best food for your Frenchie.
Not only would you be losing your money, but you’ll also be risking food allergies and triggering your dog’s stomach. Doggy flatulence? That’s an obvious sign something’s wrong.
Before you get your Frenchie puppy home, ask the breeder what the puppies were eating at their place. If it was kibble, then you’ll need to slowly transition to BARF. Puppy mush always helps out. If they already ate raw, then lots of things will be easier for you.
A raw diet brings many health benefits. I wouldn’t recommend it to your dog if it wasn’t so. Sure, you will need to pay attention to hygiene at all times, and where your ingredients come from, but it’s all worth it.
If you want your Frenchie to live for many happy years, you’ll go raw.