French Bulldog Diet and
Meal Plan Advice

By Hungry Bark | September 24, 2021

The playful, intelligent French Bulldog is best known for its identifiable “bat ears” and miniature size. Resembling a bulldog in miniature, the French Bulldog makes for an excellent watchdog while being quiet enough not to make any unnecessary ruckus.

The French Bulldog, or “Frenchie,” is the perfect pet for singles, couples, and families. They’re friendly and willing to meet new people and get along with other animals and dogs, making them ideal family pets. While French Bulldogs don’t need as much exercise as other breeds, the recommendation is for 30 minutes of activity every day to pair with a diet rich in protein and regular check-ups with its veterinarian.

In order to provide your Frenchie with the best foundation for optimal health, you need to factor in a lot, which includes understanding the type of nutrition and how to read a product label as well.

The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise

As a pet parent, your primary function is to provide the safest environment for your French Bulldog to live well and grow old.

Daily exercise is a crucial component of a balanced, healthy life for any pet and a French Bulldog is no exception.

While some breeds need vigorous exercise, the Frenchie can get enough benefits from exercise just by doing daily activities such as walks, agility drills, and training exercises. Due to the short stout of a French Bulldog, it should not do vigorous exercise in hot or humid weather as breathing is more difficult than a breed with a longer snout.

Regular exercise offers a variety of benefits for both health and behavior. Another significant advantage of a daily routine is that it allows you, as the pet parent and your Frenchie, to develop a deeper bond and reinforce expectations of good behaviors.

  • Strengthen Bonds: The bond between a pet and pet parent is built on trust, and having a routine is an excellent opportunity to reinforce your pet parent and pet roles.
  • Assist with Digestion: Having daily routines will aid your French Bulldog’s metabolism, which will assist waste production, and digestion.
  • Improved Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function: Exercise stresses the body, and that will strengthen your pet’s cardiovascular and respiratory functions.
  • Weight Management: Sedentary animals can suffer from severe health consequences, including weight issues and heart problems.
  • Increased Flexibility: Exercise stretches the joints and muscles, a critical factor for injury prevention, especially in aging animals.
  • Enhanced Cognitive Ability: Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are known to exhibit anxiety and show an increase in misbehavior. A tired dog is a happy dog, and exercise will calm the mind.
  • Behavioral Concerns: Dogs use non-verbal cues to communicate; misbehaviors are your French Bulldog’s way of communicating symptoms of anxiety or boredom.

One more benefit to exercise is that it allows your French Bulldog to explore their surroundings through their sense of smell to discover their surroundings.

If you need some suggestions for different types of activities you can do with your Frenchie, keep reading.

Just keep in mind that one of the most important factors is that you are spending time with your pet and building on the relationship you both share. Our list of suggestions includes taking daily walks or hikes, playing at dog parks, and using agility drills to teach and train behavior expectations.

Walks: The best low-impact activity you can do with your Frenchie is to take daily walks. Thirty minutes a day is the recommended standard, but you need to consider your French Bulldog’s fitness levels and weather conditions.

An added benefit of walks is that it allows you and your Frenchie to bond, teach, and reinforce expectations of behaviors.  

Hikes: Hikes offer a change to the usual walk. Due to their small stature and short snouts, you should only attempt hikes during cooler weather and short distances. Hikes offer you and your pet a new environment to explore, which also serves to engage its curiosity while getting exercise.

Dog Park: Dog parks offer your Frenchie a ton of benefits, from getting exercise to bonding with other dogs. Instinctually dogs like to form packs, and dog parks are a great place for your French Bulldog to learn how to interact and behave with other dogs.

Agility Drills: As an intelligent breed, French Bulldogs enjoy learning new things and completing tasks. Agility drills are a great way to get your pet some exercise while challenging them to discover new behaviors and expectations.

The Best Type Of Nutrition For Your French Bulldog

Every dog has a different personality and individual preferences.

To determine the best meal plan for your French Bulldog, take into consideration its age, weight, and fitness levels to help in your selection.

Also, at different life stages, your pet has different nutritional needs you need to consider.

Your meal plan should place a premium on single-source animal protein and avoid any type of “meat meal” or other fillers that offer little in the way of nutrition. Also, carbohydrates should come from grains such as “brown rice” and not soy, corn, or wheat as those may cause foodborne allergies in some animals.

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Why Your French Bulldog’s Food Ingredients Are Important

The meal plan you select will provide your Frenchie with a good foundation for long, healthy life, providing them with all the energy they need, manage their weight, and give them essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need.

Protein, carbohydrates, and fats make up the macronutrients they need. A macronutrient is the essential building block for energy and health, and a high-quality meal plan will focus on these three as the foundation of the recipe.

The benefits of essential macronutrients for your Frenchie include:

  • Strong muscles and teeth
  • Enhanced skeletal-muscle systems
  • Boosted immune system
  • Better digestion and waste production
  • Increased energy
  • Better sleep
  • Shinier coats

To understand how a product label is written and the types of ingredients used, the FDA standards allow for misleading and confusing terms.

To illustrate, when a product label lists “meat meal” or uses terms such as “Platter, Entree, Dinner, or Flavor,” those are misleading and can be unclear as to what is included. In other words, these terms can be inaccurate.  

The FDA allows manufacturers to use terms to describe the ingredients’ included in the recipe, but not the percentage that manufacturers may consist of those ingredients.

To understand the terms used and what they mean for the nutrition value of the meal plan, look for the following:

The 95% Rule

When an ingredient list includes an animal protein such as “chicken,” by FDA standards, that means there must be chicken at 95% of the total protein used in the recipe.

The 25% Rule

If a food label lists “turkey platter, salmon dinner, or chicken entree,” the requirements are that the recipe must include these proteins to 25-94% of the ingredients used. The 25% rule means that there may be fillers or other proteins, and you want to avoid terms like “meat meal.”

The “With” Rule

If an ingredient list uses the term “with,” such as “dog food with turkey,” that means the recipe is required to have only 3% of that protein source used. Again, high-quality meal plans will avoid using this deceptive terminology.

The “Flavor” Rule

When the term flavor is used, it’s just that. It’s flavor, not protein. So if you read on a food label, the term “dog dinner with salmon flavor” is a term used that only requires enough protein to be traceable. It doesn’t even need to have been included in the recipe.

Understanding The Ingredients Label

Knowing how to read a food label is an essential factor in selecting the ideal meal plan for your French Bulldog. As an industry, dog food is highly regulated by the FDA, but there is some latitude in describing its ingredients.

Before we delve into the terms used in a food label, let’s discuss the building blocks of a great meal plan.  

High-quality meal plans will list ingredients in order of priority by weight. Ingredient lists should list an animal protein source first, avoid misleading terms, then sources of carbs and fats.  

Proteins are the main source of energy for your French Bulldog. Proteins are the building blocks for muscle and bone and provide a feeling of being full longer. 

Carbohydrates serve as sugars in the blood, which provide delayed energy sources and act as the energy source for the brain and mental functions.

Fats act as long-term energy, similar to carbohydrates. They break down as sugars but have the additional benefit of aiding the body to absorb crucial vitamins and minerals.

Selecting The Right Meal Plan For Your French Bulldog

Understanding the holistic approach of health and wellness for your Frenchie means that you’re taking its overall health into account. Regular veterinarian check-ups, getting enough exercise, and providing the correct type of nutrition for each stage of its life is the best strategy for a long, healthy life that you can share.  

And understanding how to read a food label is also crucial in determining the right meal plan for your Frenchie.

We know looking for the correct type of meal plan can be tricky, so we’ve created the Hungry Bark Custom Meal Planner as a great place to start!

In as little as 2 minutes, the meal planner will customize your French Bulldog meal plan considering characteristics such as breed, age, weight, and activity level to provide a custom meal plan for a quality, healthy life.

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