If you’ve just adopted or bought an English Bulldog, you’re probably already wondering about a hundred things like what kind of food is the best dog food for Bulldogs, what is their personality like or what kind of toys they want.
Well, first of all, let me congratulate you on your new family member!
Despite their gruff, wrinkly appearance, English Bulldogs are a wonderfully friendly, amiable and social breed.
English Bulldogs are very well known for being friendly, reliable family dogs.
But because of the way their bodies are built, you need to be extremely careful about what you feed your Bulldog.
They can easily become obese if overfed or are not exercised with enough frequency, and problems with a poor diet can lead to respiratory problems, joint problems and general bad health which could become life-threatening.
But that’s enough of the bull – let’s get to the food facts – what is the best food for English Bulldogs, and how much of it do they need?
Top Picks for Best Dog Food for English Bulldog*
Note: Above ratings are based on our experience with the product and/or expert opinions. Click the link above to read best dog food for bulldogs reviews in 2016 and see the current prices on Amazon.
Calories Requirements for Bulldogs
English Bulldogs, while very active as puppies, slow to somewhat of a relaxed pace as they grow into adulthood.
It’s really important to keep an eye on how many calories they’re taking in each day, or you risk ending up with a chubby, wrinkly inactive and unhealthy dog that can hardly pull itself up the stairs! (I must admit I don’t like walking up stairs that much either though..!)
Let’s talk about caloric requirements for a typical English Bulldog.
First, you’ve got your “Typical Adult” Bulldog. This kind of dog is the sort that you leave at home when you go to work, but you’re sure to take it on a short walk every night or two, and let it hang out in the yard every evening until it paws at the door to come back inside. This is the kind of dog who likes to just chill out at home and watch TV or a movie.
How many calories does a typical adult English Bulldog need? About 1150 cal per day.
Note: Above estimated calorie requirements are primarily based on an average weight of Bulldogs. Before making any significant changes in your dog’s diet, please consult with your veterinarian.
Next, we have the “Active Dog”. Think gym-nut in Bulldog form. These dogs, and usually their owners too, are very active. Walks, of course, are an everyday occurrence and tend to be on the long side.
Countless games of fetch are played, and by the end, the owner’s hands are covered in slobber, and the dog’s got a big smile on its face and drifts off to sleep dreaming of fire hydrants and chasing flying objects. Active English Bulldogs need about 1300 cal per day.
Once an English Bulldog reaches its golden years – an elder as we might say, the caloric requirements tend to drop quite significantly. You need to be careful not to overfeed an elderly (But still wonderful) Bulldog. Older English Bulldogs require about 950 cal per day.
Micronutrient Requirements for Bulldogs
A high quality dog food can be simply divided into a few main nutrient categories. The main ones I’ll deal with in this article are: Protein, Fats, Carbohydrates, Vitamins and Minerals and last but not least, Water.
I’ll go over this list in order. I know it’s a lot of info, but it’s important to keep your dog healthy. I’ll try to keep things fun too. Let’s get started.
Your idea of protein may be a beefed up Arnold chugging back raw eggs and mysterious powder while lifting 300lbs of pure iron to get ready for his next movie.
Unfortunately, in the dog food world, it’s not quite that exciting. But it still is REALLY important.
Protein is essentially what your – and your dog’s – muscles are made of. When you have a lack of protein, you’ve got a lack of dog, period.
Bulldogs are a naturally stocky, muscular breed – that big chest, that mysterious power they seem to have to knock you over with ease despite being relatively small. This is the protein factor, folks.
English Bulldogs are generally recommended to eat a high protein diet.
The best English Bulldog food should at the very least include 25% to 35% protein. But this is not optimal for most healthy Bulldogs.
A food with 35% to 55% protein is advisable to ensure your dog is getting enough “power” to build his muscles and regenerate his body.
Protein content makes a real difference in a dog’s health. Junk protein won’t do either. Garbage scraps with smatterings of protein scattered here, and there are not going to be healthy for your dog.
You wouldn’t feed yourself low quality sources of protein if you wanted to stay healthy, the same goes for dogs.
What is a high quality source of protein for your dog? Well, you can go all out like Arnold and do the protein powder and raw eggs thing… On second thought, no, don’t do that.
Good quality protein comes from meat! Meat is protein, plain and simple.
Beef, chicken, turkey, and fish. This is protein. This makes you strong, and it makes your dog strong too. A best dry dog food for English Bulldogs will contain lots of high quality protein.
If you’ve got some raw meat you can spare to give to your dog occasionally, let him have it! (Just be careful to remove all bones from the meat before serving, bone splinters in meat can be dangerous to your dog).
Yeah, the latest trends seem to be to cut fat from everything. Low fat this and that, diet this, diet that.
Reality check folks: Fat is essential to existing. You NEED it to live, and your dog does too.
But the necessity of fat doesn’t give you a license to feed your dog dozens of bags of Doritos and tubs of margarine..
DO NOT WANT! (Though it might taste good, this kind of food in your dog’s regular diet will cause serious health problems sooner or later)
So, do you know the percentage of fat that should be in your English Bulldog food?
If you guessed anywhere between 20% and 30%, you’re right! Here’s a cookie.
Basically, the minimum recommended percentage of fat in Bulldog chow is 10%, but most dog experts agree around 20% – 30% is a good target.
This will help keep a shiny coat, give your dog extra energy to burn when exercising, and just generally make it a healthier and more robust dog. Most Bulldogs appreciate the flavors which are plentiful in fats too.
So, if a bowl of Dorito’s and mayonnaise is out of the picture, what kinds of fats ARE acceptable then?
What fats should be avoided in your dog’s food?
Low quality fats from sources like lard, beef tallow, vegetable oil (margarine anyone..?)
Time to talk about carbs. You’ve heard about carbohydrates, right?
I’m sure you know at least a couple of people who have sworn off carbs in their diet to help lose weight quickly.
Well, that may be an OK short-term solution to an obesity problem in humans, but basically, carbohydrates are a good source of quickly available energy.
When your dog starts exercising, the first energy his body starts using is the energy from derived from carbohydrates in his food.
There is no daily minimum requirement for carbohydrates in your dog’s food, but if its food does include carbohydrates, make sure that it comes from quality sources like brown rice, barley, oatmeal or even sweet potatoes.
You might want to avoid low quality carb sources from cheap grains like wheat, corn or soy.
Vitamins and Minerals
I remember when I was a kid, my mother used to give me those little delicious and colorful Flintstones multivitamins every day before I went to school.
I loved those things.
I vaguely remembered her telling me something about vitamins and minerals keeping me healthy, but them purdy colors and cute shapes were what pulled me in!
Well, unfortunately, there’s no Flintstone vitamin option for Bulldogs yet, but vitamins and minerals are as vital to your dog as water or air. Thankfully there is a dog-equivalent to those delicious little multivitamins, and you can find them at any supermarket!
Fruits and vegetables my friends!
Dogs will eat just about any fruit or vegetable you serve up and keep begging for more. Here are a couple of ideas for healthy vegetables to feed your English Bulldog:
Your dog will love you for including this stuff in its meals, and they will add vital minerals and vitamins that keep its bones and tendons strong, prolonging its life and perhaps preventing issues like arthritic joints.
Ah, water, the elixir of life. Without enough water, life pretty much grinds to a halt, and so will your dog.
Aim to give your English Bulldog about 45 to 55 ounces of water per day, but let him drink more if he wants more.
A rule of thumb for giving enough water to your dog is 1 ounce of water per every pound the dog weighs.
Another thing I have found helpful is keeping the water in a stainless steel bowl. My dogs used to chew up and utterly destroy plastic bowls when they were still pups. A stainless bowl will last forever.
Do not let your dog get its water from a swimming pool! Not only is this dangerous if your dog can’t swim, swimming pools are full of chemicals your dog should not be drinking.
Don’t let your dog drink from random water sources like pools, creeks, puddles, etc. You do not know what kind of poisons or toxins could be in that water.
Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Food for Bulldogs
Some foods are just not meant for some animals.
You wouldn’t try to make a rabbit eat a steak, nor would you try to your dog to eat a steady diet of raw corn kernels. But that is exactly what is inside of most dog foods!
You want to avoid foods made with low quality protein ingredients. Remember we talked about proteins above? Yep, it’s back.
Proteins are critical for Bulldogs because they’re just so stocky and muscly. They need the good stuff!
Don’t give your Bulldog low quality proteins. Your dog will thank you for it.
It’s a good idea to avoid foods made with low-grade, cheap grain fillers made from corn, wheat or soy as well. This stuff just lacks the kinds of nutrients needed to keep a dog healthy.
The next one is a toughie – you want to try to avoid meat by-products like bone meal, blood meal, and basically the “garbage” that the meat factories couldn’t find any other use for. Your dog deserves more than that! This stuff is not good for your dog.
Finally, you want to avoid giving your dog any foods which include large amounts of dairy, sugar or artificial preservatives, coloring, flavoring agents or excessive fillers like wood pulp(!) Let your dog eat something that’s actually food, not brightly colored, flavored cardboard.
Best Dog Food for Bulldogs
Since we love our Bulldogs so much, it is only obvious that we wish to feed them the absolute best.
As we’ve learned from the article, not all foods are of equal quality. For that reason precisely, we have done the research and compiled here a list of five best food for bulldogs.
We know and vouch that these brands use only the best ingredients for your pooch, bringing him the essential goodness together with an uncompromising good taste.
It contains venison and lean bison meat. The meat has been roasted to give it an even better taste.
The food is grain-free and is suitable for all life stages. The wonderful taste of meat is supplemented with vegetables and fruits; this is to make sure your pooch gets the maximum nutrients.
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food is delicious and an absolute health bomb. It delivers a whole bunch of goodness to your furry loved one.
It is packed with highly digestible protein as well as antioxidants. By feeding this to your dog, you make sure he eats tasty, nutrient-rich food which is as delicious as it is good for his overall health.
It supports the strengthening of the immune system, healthy bones, coat, inner organs, and tissues.
Bring a taste of wilderness to your home; let your pet enjoy the wonderful diet of his genes together with the health benefits of this truly unique food for dogs.
This formula was designed to make the lives of dogs’ owners easier.
It is made to suit every age and life stage. From pups to seniors, it is good for them all.
When eating this food, your dog will enjoy only superb ingredients. No wheat, soy or corn, only the best for your most beloved pet.
It contains probiotics which are known as helping in supporting healthy digestion. For your pet’s coat and skin to remain beautiful and healthy, Omega 3 & 6 is present.
Canidae Life Stages Dry Dog Food will satisfy not only all ages but also any size of a dog and any breed.
Its protein has been optimized for nutritionally dense formulas. That is exactly what your English Bulldog needs, we talked about it, remember? Quality protein is of high importance since it is so crucial for muscles, and Bulldogs are a stocky and muscly breed.
In this fantastic formula, you will find only the best elements such as high quality natural lamb meal, chicken meal, fish meal and turkey meal. No fillers, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives or anything artificial.
The best dog food for Bulldogs. This food is made specifically for Bulldogs.
It means that the creators of this tasty formula have taken into consideration everything a Bulldog needs and crafted this to fit exactly this breed.
It consists of balanced fibers, which are so important in helping reduce flatulence and any other digestive upsets.
The formula assists in reducing intestinal fermentation which is the one to create unpleasant smells, flatulence, and digestive disorders.
Royal Canin Bulldog Dry Dog Food is also supposed to strengthen the skin as a protective barrier and aid greatly in protecting the joints.
This is important because Bulldogs, due to their heavy weight, press and put a great effort on their joints. This food helps in lessening the risk of joint inflammation.
The Royal Canin includes an exclusive kibble to encourage the Bulldog to chew and making it easier for him to pick it up.
This food’s creators acknowledged the fact that Bulldogs belong to a breed with an extremely short muzzle.
With over 80 years of research and improving, Purina Pro’s formula is extraordinarily beneficial food.
Your dog will enjoy the freshness and excellence of high quality protein.
This formula is designed to help and maintain an ideal body weight and condition. Being combined with EPA, Glucosamine, and Omega-3 Fatty Acid, it is made to support joint health and mobility.
They use real meat as a number one ingredient. It promotes total health and tastes absolutely the best.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food is tailored to assist the dogs in keeping their ideal physical condition. It exhibits optimal and perfect protein-to-fat ratio.
Purina Pro offers a great variety of dry food formulas for dogs. Their platforms are as following: Bright Mind, Savor, Natural, Sport, and Focus.
Each of those will suit ideally the needs of a specific dog depending on their personal taste preferences, dietary considerations, lifestyle, and activity.
This formula is protein focused. Their aim is to be grain free.
Instead, they make sure it is meat-rich and naturally high with superb quality proteins to include chicken, turkey, rabbit, boar, fish or other (depends on the taste you buy).
All these are combined with real vegetables and of course essential minerals and vitamins.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food contains only natural ingredients, all of which are premium – no wheat, soy, corn, meat by-products, preservatives, flavor or artificial color.
Commeilfaut, as they say in French (as it should be). This product’s pride is that it is entirely and totally made in the USA. This formula is designed for adult dogs.
It is made to help and support your dog’s maximal health, being fortified with antioxidants, probiotics, minerals, and vitamins, including flax omega blend and fish to support healthy skin and coat.
As English Bulldogs are a breed that needs a lot of protein, this formula seems to be the best dog food for English Bulldogs.
It will provide your pooch with 80% more meat than traditional dog foods containing grains. The power of all natural nutrition using simple, pure, authentic ingredients is at the core of CORE’s philosophy.
Common Health Problems in Bulldogs
As with every dog breed, English Bulldogs too are susceptible to a number of common health problems.
Here are a few health problems that you should be particularly keen to watch out for:
Demodicosis or Demodectic Mange, otherwise known as Mange. You have probably heard of the term “mangy dog” or may have even seen a dog with mange itself.
Seeing a dog in this state is heart-wrenching and fills your eyes with tears.
Thankfully, the problem is treatable, but it can be prevented from occurring in the first place by keeping your dog well groomed and healthy – garbage in, garbage out. Feed your dog properly and it is highly unlikely to ever develop Mange.
All dogs carry Demodex mites, tiny mites responsible for causing Mange. These mites do not migrate to humans or other dogs. Every dog gets its Demodex mites at birth from its own mother.
As long as your dog is well fed, well groomed and not immunocompromised, he will not develop mange.
If mange does develop, you will notice red, flaky spots of skin, patchy hair loss and skin infections. This condition is treatable at a veterinarian’s office, but prevention is the best cure.
One more serious health issue to look out for in English Bulldogs is Poor Eyesight.
There is not a lot we can do to cure the eyes a poor pup with less than perfect eyesight, but we can help by giving his body what it needs to improve eye function by feeding him a food high in beta-carotene.
I don’t know about your family, but in my family, every single night my grandmother used to tell me “Eat lots of carrots so you can see better at night!” To this day, I eat loads of carrots and have perfect vision.
Is that the result of eating carrots? I don’t think I can prove that, but beta-carotene is well known in science to help protect the cornea and slow the worsening of vision with age.
Not many dog foods have carrot as ingredients so just chop up some carrots finely and mix them in with your dog’s food every so often to keep your dog’s eyes healthy. If you do find a food with carrots as an ingredient, it may be worth trying it for your dog’s sake.
Feeding Schedule for English Bulldogs
CHOW TIME! DINGDINGDING!
“Oh man, I can’t wait to eat…!”
You know your dog is happy with his food when he’s doing that whole-body shake in front of the chow bowl.
But overfeeding can be just as dangerous as underfeeding.
Bulldogs are in particular prone to overfeeding which can result in serious health issues, so please follow this feeding schedule with care.
English Bulldog puppies grow rapidly, so you need to carefully monitor when to adjust their feeding schedule.
For the first month of life, the pups should drink nothing but their mother’s milk. At one month old the pups should be feeding about 3-4 times a day, but may feed more if they so desire.
After the pups are about 2 months old, you can gradually transition into a solid food regimen. It may help to soften the food with water in the beginning.
At 2 months old, English Bulldog pups experience a rapid surge in growth which means their dietary requirements start to change.
Mixing crushed or chopped dry food with chopped pieces of raw liver is a great way to ensure your pups grow up healthy and start to put on lots of muscle and develop strong bones.
You should also discourage puppies from free-feeding starting from this age. Feeding times should basically be set by the owner.
By 6 months of age, feeding times should be set and the pup should be used to them. Treats should be given for training purposes only, and not handed out freely just to make the pup happy.
When you make the transition from one kind of food to another, try to make the transition gradual, around 7 to 10 days. You don’t want to shock the pups with an unusual new food. Trying to force a new dog food on a pup could cause them to reject it.
Go slowly and gently when introducing new food, and consider gradually mixing in the new food with the old one in increasingly larger portions until by the second week the pups are converted to eating nothing but the new food.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Food for English Bulldogs
Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the English Bulldog diet. These will clarify and summarize everything that’s been said previously or which is still unclear.
1. Is Bulldog puppy food different from adult food?
Since puppies are growing and their development is rapid, we need to remember that they need more food. It isn’t to say just more stuff to eat.
They need more protein and fat, including specific amino acids and minerals. When puppies are reaching about 80% of their adult size, they can be switched to an adult English Bulldog diet.
Puppies can also eat many more times a day than adult dogs. When feeding a pup ready-made dog food, check that it’s okay for pups.
2. Is meat meal good for my Bulldog?
Meat meal is extremely good for your Bulldog. In fact, best Bulldog food will certainly include that. It is because a Bulldog needs lots of protein, and meat meal has just that.
A Bulldog is a canine with large muscle structure; they need to be able to hold themselves and to maintain those muscles. It is, therefore, crucial that you feed your Bulldog the best dog food for Bulldogs you can find.
3. How much food should I feed my Bulldog puppy?
When a pup is one month old, he should be fed around 3-4 times a day, or more if he wants to.
At two months of age, pups have a growth spurt. This is when you can start mixing crushed or chopped dry-food (liver is good). This is also when you can start discouraging free-feeding.
By 6 months the dog should have a clear feeding schedule while treats are used for training purposes only. When introducing new foods to a pup, take your time and allow 7-10 days to switch.
4. Can I give treats to my Bulldog puppy?
Yes, you can. As any other pup, your dear baby Bulldog will enjoy a tasty and healthy snack.
Since Bulldogs are prone to develop eye problems, baby carrots are a fantastic treat for them which will also enrich their beta-carotene supply.
Any fruit and vegetable, cut to the appropriate size to prevent choking, will be a nice snack for the little one. Must remember though that fruits are rich in sugars, so don’t overdo it.
5. Can dog food cause an allergy in my Bulldog?
Generally speaking, yes, sure, it can. We have to remember though that food allergies are not very common in Bulldogs.
An upset stomach will usually come from viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc. You Bulldog skin’s condition will be probably caused by environmental allergens, bacteria, and fleas.
Before deciding that your pooch has a food allergy, you must rule out all of the above by conducting a proper wellness diagnostics.
6. Does high protein cause kidney disease?
The thing with protein is that it is rich in calories. Too much of it can lead to obesity, which induces many health problems in different organs, including the kidneys.
Another thing is that a dog which already exhibits problems with his kidneys or liver, when fed a protein rich diet, might have his organs too worked-up.
Alas, we have come to the end of this article. So let me finish with some advice I hope you’ll heed well:
Your dog is a treasured family member, and looks up to you to keep it loved, safe and healthy. It is completely dependent on you to make its food choices.
The kind of food you feed it every day can determine its health, its vigor, and lifespan.
So when you’re out and about shopping for dog food for English Bulldogs, please feed him or her something that will keep your dog healthy for years to come.
*Disclaimer: Our best dog food for Bulldogs reviews are based mostly on our expertise and the experts/veterinarians we consulted with and the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many products, but it’s not possible to test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and before changing your dog’s diet, please consult with a local veterinarian.