Nutrition is a crucial point when raising a Frenchie and we receive a lot of questions around that topic. There are a lot of contradicting beliefs and misbeliefs and in this article, we’d like to share with you our expert advice, and the common mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: “It’s the best to give them the same food as they get used to it.”
French Bulldogs are breastfed in the first 3-6 weeks of their life, but normally, this happens while they are still at the farm. When you got your puppy you have the following options: you can give them the starter/junior version of dry food, you can give them canned food, raw food or homemade meals.
There is some very contradicting literature on feeding Frenchies out there, with some experts vouching for one option, with others saying the opposite.
Our experience is that none of the solutions is good or bad in themselves, so no need to avoid any of them.
What’s more important is to find the best for your puppy. Avoid an overly one-sided diet as it can lead to nutrient deficiency. You can start with starter/junior dry food as a start, as you can be confident these contain all the necessary nutrients.
You can then experiment with homemade food or even use a combination of those. Don’t change many things at once. If you see that your puppy doesn’t like something – or develops an allergy – take one ingredient out of their diet to see what causes the problem.
Misbelief #2: “Why to buy expensive dry food when the cheaper ones have the same nutrients!”
Reading the label you might find that cheaper dry food is the same as the premium ones. However, the quantity and the source of the ingredients are not the same and cheaper brands might contain carcinogenic ingredients.
Make sure you buy premium brands (e.g Hills), and at the age of 6-8 months you can switch to adult food. We always tell you which brand we used when feeding your pup and recommend to go with the same brand for a while.
Mistake #3: ‘I have heard that raw food is not recommended for puppies.’
That’s always a hot topic: some say you should completely avoid it, others claim raw food is the best for Frenchies.
There’s nothing wrong with raw food but give it to your pup only if you can store it properly – even when traveling or in hot weather. The best is if your Frenchie can eat it fresh, in this way you can avoid food poisoning like Salmonella.
At Tom Kings Farm, we don’t give raw food to the pups, only premium quality dry food and homemade food.
Mistake #4 ‘I give my puppy the bones left from the meat we had for lunch.’
Dogs are often depicted with bones, but we don’t recommend you give bones to Frenchies. The small fractions, a splinter of bone can hurt their throat, lead to choking (or might make it hard for them to poop).
You can give them chicken, turkey or beef: chop the meat up into smaller pieces and cook them without adding spice. You can feed them with vegetables (but don’t give them potato). We know of cases when a puppy is raised to be a vegetarian, but we recommend a protein-led diet, including a lot of – low-fat – meat.
Mistake #5 ‘I love my sweetheart so much, I want to treat him/her to my favorite chocolate.’
Puppies don’t need any type of dessert, chocolate, cakes, please don’t give any of these to them, even if it’s sometimes tempting.
When your pup is a baby, feed them twice: in the morning and after the evening walk.
When he or she is older than 8 months, you can switch to feeding him or her once, in the evening (treats during their training have to be included in their daily dose).
If your Frenchie seems to be hungry all the time, you can split the evening dose, and give him/her half of the dose during the day. You can treat them to millet balls any time.
The article was written based on the experience of the Tom Kings Puppies Team. Tom Kings Puppies have been breeding French Bulldogs for more than 10 years on their farms. Check their available puppies here, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.