While dry dog food is a safe and convenient option for French Bulldogs, preparing homemade food is an excellent alternative. If you’re a Frenchie parent, you might find it hard to figure out how exactly you should cook for your fur baby to make sure they are receiving all the nutrients they need. In this article, we’ll give you some essential guidelines for cooking and you’ll also learn why homemade food is recommended at all. Make sure to read until the end for two easy and quick French Bulldog food recipes that your fur baby will surely love!
Why homemade dog food is a great option for Frenchies?
Nowadays health issues such as allergies, chronic inflammatory diseases, obesity and diabetes are becoming more and more common in the canine world as well. Many of these are often associated with improper nutrition, as commercial dog foods and canned products often contain preservatives, flavor enhancers, colorants and other additives. Instead of real meat, they may contain animal by-products or meat meal, which is the dried and ground remains of dead animals. Proper nutrition can not only prevent the diseases mentioned above but can also reverse them in dogs!
Probably the most common issues that Frenchies may experience are food allergies. Generally speaking, French Bulldogs belong to the group of sensitive dog breeds who tend to have allergic reactions to chicken and/or grains like wheat, corn, sorghum. Allergic symptoms include scratching, paw licking, frequent and recurring eye and ear problems, anal gland problems, skin changes, and swelling. If these problems persist, changing a dog’s diet is essential. Another frequent problem tends to be soft stool and/or chronic diarrhea which can also be resolved by homemade food.
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So why is it recommended to cook for your Frenchie? It’s actually quite simple: you will know exactly what goes into their bowl! Freshly cooked food contains real nutrients and vitamins that guarantee a dog’s lifelong vitality, beautiful healthy skin and coat, as well as the elimination of illnesses and allergic symptoms. All of these will contribute to extending your French Bulldog’s lifespan. Homemade food is also an excellent choice for picky dogs and your Frenchie may even experience less farting. Big bonus!
Many dog parents are reluctant to cook for their fur babies as it seems too much work. It’s actually easier than you might think and has a few practical advantages as well. Firstly, you can always prepare larger portions, which you can freeze as well and serve it over a couple of days or even weeks. Since the ingredients are suitable for human consumption as well, your Frenchie’s food can be prepared at the same time as yours and stored in the refrigerator in the same place. Another huge advantage of homemade food is affordability: you’ll save a lot of money by cooking for your Frenchie!
Guidelines for preparing homemade food for your Frenchie
What ingredients should you include
When cooking for French Bulldogs, it’s important to include high-quality proteins in their diet. This can come from meats such as turkey, duck, rabbit, lamb, beef or salmon. Organ meats like liver, kidney and heart can also be included in smaller amounts as they are a good source of nutrients. However, it’s important to avoid feeding your Frenchie cooked bones as they can be a choking hazard and can cause digestive problems. Read our article about foods that French Bulldog cannot eat.
Regarding carbohydrates, it is important to choose slow- absorbing ones. Instead of white rice, brown rice is a great option, while sweet potatoes, cooked buckwheat and quinoa are also excellent choices. Vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, celery, turnips, spinach and others are highly recommended as well as fruits like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or apples. For more info, read our articles about the top edible and toxic vegetables and fruits.
When it comes to seasoning, some spices in minimal quantities and ground form have a beneficial effect on the dog’s digestive system, such as rosemary, turmeric or ginger. Usually, the recommended salt amount for dogs is 0,25g-1,5g/100g, in our experience it is about 0.5g/100g. You should also always keep in mind to provide fresh water for your Frenchie continuously.
A few additional things to consider
We cannot emphasize enough that every Frenchie is different: what works for one may not work for the other. So, it’s always worth experimenting with the ingredients.
The list we provided above is not complete, it only contains the most important recommended ingredients. In terms of portion sizes, it’s important to feed your French Bulldog based on their age, weight and activity level. As a general rule, they should be fed 2-3 meals a day, with the total daily amount of food ranging from 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups, depending on their individual needs.
For dogs with sensitive stomachs, it’s essential to switch to homemade food gradually. Always follow these guidelines to make sure not to upset your Frenchie’s stomach more:
- 1-3 days: ¼ cooked food and ¾ old food
- 4-6 days: ½ cooked food and ½ old food
- 7-10 days: ¾ cooked food and ¼ old food
Whether you cook your Frenchie’s food or serve it fresh following the B.A.R.F. diet, it’s important to follow basic food safety guidelines to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. This includes washing your hands before and after handling food, using clean utensils and equipment, and storing leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
Two bowl-licking French Bulldog food recipes
Turkey thigh with chia seeds for your Frenchie
This meal can be prepared using leftovers after family dinners or holidays. Obviously make sure that everything is still fresh and is not expiring. Frenchies have a sensitive stomach, it’s not the kind of breed who can be fed with all the leftovers.
Ingredients (Two-day portion for a Frenchie weighing approximately 22 lbs)
- Ground turkey thigh or turkey trimmings (500 gr)
- Root vegetables (butternut squash, parsnips but NO potato), finely diced (200 gr)
- Sage (1 tsp)
- Turmeric paste (½ tsp)
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and add the turkey mince. Cook until brown.
- Add the diced vegetables and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add sage and stir well.
- Take off the heat and stir in Turmeric paste and Chia seeds
- Serve warm and watch your pup lick their bowl clean!
Beef and Veggie Crockpot for your Frenchie
It’s a brilliant recipe for the lazy cook: you simply throw in the ingredients into the slow cooker, and while you play with your Frenchie, the meal is being cooked.
Ingredients (Two-day portion for a Frenchie weighing approximately 22 lbs)
- Ground beef (500 gr)
- Chopped butternut squash and carrots (200 gr)
- Peas, frozen or canned (½ cup)
- Brown rice (1 ½ cups)
- Stir in ground beef, brown rice, butternut squash, carrots, peas, and 4 cups water into a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
- Let it cool a bit and serve fresh (or freeze for later use when cool.)
One of our TomKings Frenchie Family Members, Donna had prepared this recipe for her baby Sophia and she loved it! Here’s what she posted in the Facebook group:
TomKings Sandra‘s tips about the DON’Ts:
- Don’t give your Frenchie potato, it’s not good for their stomach.
- Don’t give them bones, it can hurt their throat.
- Don’t use spices when cooking for your pup.
- Don’t use sugar to sweeten the meal, but you can use natural sweeteners, like fruit.
The article was written based on the experience of the TomKings Puppies Team. TomKings 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.