Everyone recognizes the Bulldog. Their wrinkly face, jowls, and strutting walk make them stand out from the canine crowd. They have a face with an undershot jaw that has been compared to Winston Churchill! But it’s their calm and friendly attitude that has made them one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. today. If you have a Bulldog, you’re probably wondering what to feed your little bruiser. Will he need a special food because of his underbite? Should he eat a food with or without grain? Canned or kibble? We’ve got the answers for you about the best food for Bulldogs.


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Bulldogs usually weigh between 40 and 50 pounds as adults. This means that your Bulldog can eat a dog food made for medium-sized dogs. Many dog foods that don’t state which size dog they are made for are formulated for medium-sized dogs so you really have quite a few foods from which to choose. The food you choose for your Bulldog will depend on several factors such as your dog’s age, any health issues, your own ideas about dog foods, and, of course, your budget.

Bulldogs tend to be easygoing and they are very affectionate. Even at 50 pounds you can expect one of these dogs to enjoy curling up in your lap. However, don’t be fooled. Bulldogs can also be quite active at times. They enjoy a good walk and they need regular moderate exercise. You should watch how much you feed your Bulldog, especially as he gets older, since this is a breed that can be prone to putting on extra pounds.

Key Nutritional Needs of a Bulldog’s Diet

Here are the key points you need to know about nutrients for your Bulldog:

  1. Bulldogs need to have a good source of protein in their diet. Meat protein is preferred since it is easier for dogs to digest.
  2. Your Bulldog needs fat in his diet for energy. Fat also provides flavor in dog food that appeals to dogs. Essential fatty acids (EFA) support your dog’s skin and coat.
  3. Carbohydrates are another source of energy for Bulldogs. Some carbs are also a source of prebiotics and fiber.
  4. Fiber helps your dog’s gastrointestinal system function properly.
  5. Your Bulldog needs appropriate vitamins and minerals in his diet. Most companies add these ingredients to dog foods to make up for any nutrients lost during the cooking process.
  6. Your Bulldog needs to have water easily available unless he is sick or your veterinarian advises you to withhold water. (You can safely withhold water overnight while you are potty training a puppy.)

6 Special Considerations for Bulldogs

  1. Bulldogs can have problems with hip dysplasia. Bulldogs are the #1 ranked breed for hip dysplasia, according to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) https://www.ofa.org/diseases/breed-statistics#detail. That’s not good. Over 70 percent of Bulldogs x-rayed had some degree of hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can be very mild. Your dog – and you – might never notice any problems with it. Or, it can be severe. Just to be on the safe side, it is recommended that you consider puppy foods and dog foods that might help prevent this problem.
  2. Adult Bulldogs do well on a diet for medium breed dogs. Adult male Bulldogs usually weigh about 50 pounds; females will weigh about 10 pounds less. This makes the Bulldog a medium-sized dog. A 50-lb pet Bulldog not engaging in much activity will need about 1312 calories per day. There are lots of good dog foods made for medium-sized dogs.
  3. Don’t let your Bulldog become overweight or obese. Although they may appear to be muscular, Bulldogs can be prone to becoming overweight or obese, especially as they get older. This can be especially bad if your dog has a tendency to hip dysplasia. Any extra pounds can make bone and joint problems worse. Watch how many calories you are feeding your Bulldog and make sure he gets regular moderate exercise.
  4. Allergies and other skin problems are possible with Bulldogs. Some Bulldogs can have skin problems, including allergic reactions. Eczema (canine atopic dermatitis) can produce dry, itchy skin. Dermatitis and pyoderma – bacterial skin infections – are also seen. Seborrhea can make the skin very oily or very dry. Bulldogs can also develop hot spots. In some cases these problems can be due to insect bites or other causes; or they can be the result of allergies, including food allergies.
  5. Bulldogs can have sensitive digestion. Many owners report that Bulldogs have sensitive digestion. Flatulence and a temperamental tummy can be common. Foods that are high in plant materials or fats can be causes but there can be other reasons.
  6. Bulldogs are brachycephalic. This is a short-nosed breed. They are also undershot, meaning that the lower jaw comes out farther than the upper jaw. (Most breeds have jaws that are either even or the upper jaw comes out slightly over the lower jaw.) This is normal for the breed and should not pose a problem unless the underbite is more severe than normal. In that case, a dog could possibly have trouble eating. You would need to talk to your veterinarian about solutions.
Don’t let people frighten you about short-nosed breeds. There are literally dozens of them and they are certainly able to play and enjoy themselves. You do need to use caution and keep your Bulldog out of the heat and high humidity since they can’t cool themselves as efficiently as other dogs. Otherwise, brachycephalic breeds are very happy dogs.

Best Dog Food for Bulldogs

Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food – Special Offer!

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Adult maintenance formula
  • Includes chondroitin sulfate for joint health
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Overall Best Dog Food for Bulldogs – Our top pick for the best overall dog food for Bulldogs is Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food. Ideal for medium-sized dogs, this Complete Health formula is made with deboned chicken and whitefish for animal protein. It is supplemented with antioxidants to keep your dog’s immune system strong. Chondroitin sulfate helps maintain your Bulldog’s joint health. It includes complex carbohydrates to give your dog energy that lasts all day.

This formula contains no corn, wheat, or soy; and no meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives.

Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Save 30% on New Autoship Only valid on New Autoship orders for Wellness items. Must select Autoship at checkout for offer to automatically apply. Limit 5 per customer. Can be combined with First Autoship offer.
  • Good sources of animal protein (chicken and whitefish)
  • Contains antioxidants for a strong immune system
  • Contains chondroitin sulfate for healthy joints
  • No corn, wheat, soy, meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance formula so you cannot feed it to puppies

Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Adult maintenance dog food
  • Grain-free

Some Bulldogs can have food allergies and food sensitivities. If that’s the case with your dog, some owners like Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food. This formula features real, deboned beef and sweet potatoes. It also contains high amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin to help with mobility. Plus, it has lots of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Available in a 4-lb, 10-lb, 12-lb, 22-lb, and 25-lb bag.

Pros:

  • Deboned beef is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free recipe with no glutens, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Lots of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for good skin and coat
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help keep hips and joints in good shape
  • Made in Merrick’s own facilities in Texas
  • Reasonably priced, especially among good quality dog foods

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance formula so it can’t be fed to puppies

NomNomNow

Key Features:

  • Fresh food that dogs love
  • You can set your dog’s weight goals and personalize your orders
  • Uses real, whole food ingredients
  • Delivered to your door right after it’s made
  • Exceeds AAFCO standards for all life stages

NomNomNow is one of the leaders in fresh dog food. Most dogs absolutely love fresh dog food. The food is delivered frozen, right to your door; and there’s no mess for you. You simply open the packaging, warm up the food, and let your dog enjoy it.

NomNomNow has four different tasty formulas – beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Their recipes are formulated by their own veterinary nutritionist so they are perfectly balanced for your dog’s health. You can choose which foods your dog would like best.

You can check the company’s FAQ page for answers to questions. If you would like to try samples of the food, try ordering the variety pack.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • You can personalize your dog’s meals
  • Uses real, whole food ingredients
  • Delivered to your door as soon as the food is made
  • Exceeds AAFCO standards

Cons:

  • Dogs that start eating fresh food sometimes don’t want to go back to their old food (not a joke)

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Turkey Meatloaf Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Canned/wet food
  • Adult maintenance dog food
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

The Best Canned Food – Lots of people (and their dogs) love Blue Buffalo Homestyle recipes. That includes Bulldogs. We like Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Turkey Meatloaf Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Dog Food for Bulldogs. This formula has slightly fewer calories per cup than the popular chicken and vegetables formula but it’s just as good. Many Bulldogs will do well with a few less calories.

Turkey, turkey broth, and turkey liver are the first ingredients, followed by veggies and brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. These are good complex carbohydrates that will provide energy to your dog for hours.

Canned foods are a little more expensive than kibbles so if you don’t want to feed your Bulldog a diet that’s entirely made up of wet food, you could add a little canned food as a topper or mix some in his food to add some extra taste.

Sold in 12.5 ounce cans in cases of 12.

Pros:

  • Turkey is the first ingredient
  • Healthy grains provide complex carbs for lots of energy
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Slightly fewer calories than Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken & Vegetables canned food

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance food so you shouldn’t feed it to puppies

Wellness Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food – Special!

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Puppy formula
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Smaller kibble size that’s easy for puppies to eat

The Best Food for Puppies – For Bulldog puppies, our choice for the best food is Wellness Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food. Made with deboned chicken, oatmeal, and salmon meal, this recipe is designed to meet your puppy’s developmental needs and help him build strong bones and muscles. It also has a smaller kibble size so it’s easier for your puppy to pick it up and chew it.

This formula features added DHA for healthy brain and eye development. It also has guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus for good bones and muscles.

Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Save 30% on new autoship items.
  • Contains no meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Provides DHA for good brain and eye development
  • Contains desired levels of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Kibble is smaller so it’s easy for puppies to eat

Cons:

  • Wellness Complete Health is currently changing formulas so there could be some confusion over the packaging. The new formula is better than the old formula so if you have a choice, look for packages that have the newest dates.

6 More Top Rated Dog Food For Bulldogs

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry Kibble
  • Adult Maintenance
  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • No prescription necessary

If your Bulldog has sensitive digestion and/or skin problems, we think that Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food is a good choice. This is not a prescription dog food though the formula has benefited from Hill’s veterinary research.

Chicken is the first ingredient but this is a specialty diet for sensitive digestion so the nutrient content is more important than the individual ingredients. According to Hill’s, every ingredient meets strict requirements for purity and nutrient content which exceed industry standards.

Available in 4-lb, 15.5-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced (not nearly as expensive as prescription diets)
  • Made for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Omega-6 fatty acids nourish your dog’s skin for a coat that is healthier and shinier
  • Vitamins E and C work together to support a healthy immune system
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance food so you should not feed it to puppies
  • Many people won’t like some of the ingredients in this food but it is formulated for a special health issue

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Single animal protein source
  • Limited carbohydrate sources
  • Adult maintenance formula

The Best Food with Limited Ingredients – Limited ingredient diets can be a good choice for dogs that have food sensitivities. Natural Balance probably makes more limited ingredient diet dog foods than any other company. We like Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food as a selection for Bulldogs. This formula has sweet potatoes, salmon, and menhaden fish meal as the first ingredients. Fish can be a good alternative for dogs that are sensitive to common proteins such as chicken and beef. Sweet potatoes are a good complex carbohydrate that provides long-term energy for your dog throughout the day.

If these primary ingredients are a problem for your Bulldog, you can check out one of Natural Balance’s other formulas. This formula has no corn, wheat, or soy, and it’s grain-free. It has no fillers and no artificial flavors or colors.

If you think your Bulldog has a food allergy or sensitivity, we recommend that you see your veterinarian for a diagnosis before you start trying different foods.

Available in 4.5-lb, 13-lb, and 26-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Single animal protein (fish)
  • Limited carbohydrates
  • No fillers or artificial colors or flavors
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance food so it cannot be given to puppies
  • The protein and fat percentages are low in this food but this is not unusual in many limited ingredient dog foods

Royal Canin Bulldog Puppy Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Puppy formula
  • Formulated especially for Bulldog puppies
  • Small, specially-designed kibble especially for flat-faced Frenchie puppies

Bulldogs and Bulldog puppies can have some special issues related to hip dysplasia in the breed and their brachycephalic head shape. Royal Canin makes a formula especially for Bulldog puppies that addresses these issues. Royal Canin Bulldog Puppy Dry Dog Food is made for Bulldog puppies between 8 weeks and 12 months of age. It has wave-shaped kibble pieces that are easier for these puppies to pick up and eat. It also has calcium and phosphorus content that is precisely calculated for proper bone and joint development.

This formula also supports a puppy’s digestive health with balanced intestinal flora. An exclusive antioxidant complex helps keep your puppy’s immune system strong. Royal Canin also makes a similar formula for adult Bulldogs.

Royal Canin’s foods are formulated by veterinary nutritionists on staff – something not all dog food companies can say.

Available in 6-lb and 30-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Specifically formulated for Bulldog puppies
  • Antioxidants to support your puppy’s immune system
  • Balanced intestinal flora to support your puppy’s digestive system
  • Kibble that’s easy for a Bulldog puppy to pick up
  • Suitable to feed to Bulldog puppies up to a year of age

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some people won’t like the ingredients that Royal Canin uses

VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Adult maintenance formula
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Also a weight control dog food

Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is a good choice for senior dogs that are a little overweight. This formula also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. And it has some added L-Carnitine to help turn fat into muscle. It has 27 percent crude protein and 11.5 percent crude fat so the fat content is low. With just 360 calories per cup of food, it has fewer calories than some of the other dog foods we have suggested.

This food should be a good choice for dogs with sensitive digestion. It contains grains but no corn, wheat, or soy; and it’s gluten-free. The protein in the food is made up of 78 percent meat protein from beef, chicken, fish, and pork meals.

Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, and 40-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Beef is the first ingredient
  • Uses wholesome grains such as whole grain brown rice, whole grain millet, and grain sorghum
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are added for joint health

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance dog food so it can’t be fed to puppies
  • Not recommended for old dogs that are thin or skinny

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry Kibble
  • Adult Maintenance formula
  • No corn or wheat
  • Grain-free, gluten-free

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the most popular TOTW formulas. Buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal are the first three ingredients. It’s high in protein. It also contains fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy; and antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system. Plus, it has a proprietary strain of probiotics that is intended to help your dog’s digestion.

This is a grain-free, gluten-free formula with no corn, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Available in 5-lb, 14-lb, and 28-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Real buffalo is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free and gluten-free with no corn or wheat
  • No fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics for the health of your dog

Cons:

  • This is an adult maintenance formula and not suitable for puppies

VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Dry kibble
  • Pea-Free
  • No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • High in protein
  • All Life Stages

Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food is high in protein and fat. This is a 30/20 formula which is often recommended for performance dogs. You may be wondering why we would recommend this food for Bulldogs. Some Bulldogs actually are very active and take part in dog events such as agility, obedience, rally. Even if you don’t compete with your dog in events, this kind of all life stage dog food is also suitable for a pregnant dog or a growing puppy.

This is a nutrient-dense formula with beef as the first ingredient. Other meat proteins include pork meal, chicken meal, and menhaden fish meal. Carbohydrates include grain sorghum and whole grain millet. Some 88 percent of the protein in the food comes from meat sources. This food has 406 calories per cup.

Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, 40-lb, and 50-lb bags.

Pros:

  • Pea-free
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • High in protein
  • All Life Stages

Cons:

  • This is a lot of calories for most Bulldogs so not recommended for a sedentary dog

Our 2019 Bulldog Feeding Guide

Bulldog Puppies – Bulldog puppies are sweet, toddling little angels. You will certainly fall in love as soon as you see one. As with other puppies, don’t expect to take a new puppy home before he is at least eight weeks old. Some breeders may insist on waiting until your puppy is 10-12 weeks. When you do bring your puppy home, he will need to eat three to four meals per day until he’s three months old. From three months to six months you can feed him three times per day. From six months to twelve months you can slowly change him to two meals per day. As an adult dog he should be eating two meals per day.

When your Bulldog puppy is about 10-12 months old you can begin switching him to an adult dog food. Of course he should have plenty of water available. Some Bulldogs are allergic to soy so avoid this ingredient in their food. (We have avoided soy in the dog foods we recommended.)

Concerning how much to feed your Bulldog puppy, you can see how much your puppy will grow in the first year with this chart (Belpatt, 2019). These are only estimates. Your dog might weigh a little less or a little more. You can expect a female puppy to weigh a little less than a male puppy.

  • At 3 Months: between 19.8 and 21.3 lbs
  • At 6 Months: between 36.8 and 39.6 lbs
  • At 12 Months: between 49.2 and 53.4

Going by these weights, we can tell you how many calories your Bulldog puppy needs during these periods in his life.

  • 0-3 Months: 4 Meals Daily Totaling between 1091 and 1153 Calories
  • 3-6 Months: 3-4 Meals Daily Totaling between 1158 and 1223 Calories
  • At 12 Months: 2 meals Daily Totaling between 1296 and 1378 Calories

As with other dogs, Bulldog puppies do most of their growing in the first three to four months of their life. Their brain and organs are developing and they are learning at a phenomenal rate. After this time they continue to grow but it begins to slow. Their need for intense calories also starts to slow until your puppy is eating an adult ration – which is lower, per pound, than what a puppy needs.

Bulldog Adults – At twelve months your Bulldog will be nearly finished growing. You can start thinking about switching to an adult dog food at this time. He won’t need to eat a food that is as rich in calories as a puppy food. (Purina, 2019).

Your choice of food for your adult Bulldog is up to you. You can choose an adult maintenance dog food or an all life stage food. A Bulldog can eat a food that’s grain free or that is grain-inclusive; a kibble or canned food. That’s true as long as he doesn’t have any special health issues. It really depends on the kind of food your dog likes, as well as your preferences and your budget.

Bulldog Seniors – At this time there are no special nutrient guidelines for senior dog foods. Many companies sell senior dog foods that are lower in both protein and fat than regular dog foods. These foods are sometimes marketed as weight control foods as well as senior foods. This kind of dog food can be suitable for a senior dog that is overweight but it is not recommended for an older dog that is thin or skinny.

There is no particular reason to change your senior Bulldog’s food if he is active and healthy. If you are concerned about him and want to change his food, look for a food has protein and other ingredients that are easy for your dog to digest. As your dog gets older he may start to have a harder time digesting foods and metabolizing nutrients so foods that are easily digestible are a good choice.

FAQs

Should a Bulldog eat dry or canned food?

Bulldogs can eat both dry and canned foods. Since they are a medium-sized breed, it’s up to you whether you want to feed your dog a diet that is entirely made up of canned food. Canned food is more expensive than dry food so it could be pricey to feed your dog nothing but canned food. You might consider a dry food diet with a little canned food added to make it taste more appealing.

Should my Bulldog eat a grain free diet?

Bulldogs can have sensitive digestion but there are good grain-free and grain-inclusive foods that are helpful to them. Your Bulldog can eat a good grain free diet but he doesn’t have to. If your dog is allergic or sensitive to certain grains then he should, of course, avoid them.

Do Bulldogs have sensitive stomachs?

Yes, Bulldogs seem to be a breed that can have sensitive digestion. Soy ingredients seem to be one of the possible triggers for this sensitivity, at least according to some sources. Avoid feeding foods that contain soy.

Why does my Bulldog fart so much?

All dogs fart, at least occasionally. Farting can also be connected to sensitive digestion. If your dog has problems with digesting his food, he may fart more. If there is a lot of fiber in his food or a lot of peas, lentils, and legumes, he may fart. Peas and beans make people toot and they do the same for dogs. These ingredients are often found in grain-free dog foods.

Is a Bulldog considered a small breed?

No, the Bulldog is really considered to be a medium-sized breed. Adult males weigh about 50 pounds and adult females weigh around 40 pounds. This won’t stop them from trying to climb up in your lap.

Conclusion

You might hear people say that Bulldogs are so ugly they’re cute. Or, they have a face only a mother could love. Those people are just jealous that they don’t have a Bulldog. These dogs are gentle, sweet, and quite courageous. They love being around their people. They are not the most active dogs in the world but they enjoy taking a good walk with you and having tummy rubs at home. We hope the information provided here will help you choose the best dog food for your Bulldog so your dog will live a long and happy life.

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