Diet & Nutrition Guide: Bulldogs

Bulldogs are popular companion dogs. They are a blast to be around between their goofy, lovable personalities and chill, sometimes lazy nature. 

It’s hard to imagine that at one time, these lovable dogs were bred to control livestock and participate in the “sport” bull-baiting, which was a hazardous “sport” where a bulldog would latch onto a bull’s nose. The result was either the bulldog pulling the bull to the ground or the bull killing the dog. Fortunately, this “sport” has long been banned, and ever since, bulldogs have been cherished for their fantastic personalities instead. 

There are several types of bulldogs, including the French Bulldog, English Bulldog, and American Bulldog. Unfortunately, after years of breeding, bulldog breeds have developed various health problems, including being prone to hip dysplasia, obesity, and digestive upset. 

All of these bulldog breeds also have their own unique health profiles and dietary needs.

Ready to get to know your pup a little better? In this guide, we will go over bulldog nutrition and diet, including the following: 

  • Understanding Bulldog Breeds
  • Common Bulldog Health Issues
  • French Bulldog Health Issues
  • English Bulldog Health Issues
  • What Should I Feed My Bulldog?
  • How Much Should I Feed My Bulldog?
  • What Is The Best Food For Bulldogs?
  • Best Food For English Bulldog
  • Create A Healthy Meal Plan For Your Bulldog Today


What Are the Differences Between Bulldog Breeds?

Bulldogs are a beloved dog breed that come in many different varieties. There are over nine recognized bulldog breeds. Many bulldogs are great, loyal family dogs that enjoy being around children. 

Due to their original work as aggressive livestock herders, bulldogs are sometimes thought to be aggressive dogs still. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as many bulldogs are happy-go-lucky dogs when properly socialized from a young age. They may be stubborn dogs, but they are often receptive to positive encouragement and treats. 

Common Bulldog Health Problems

It should be noted that all bulldog breeds are brachycephalic. According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, brachycephalic means “short-headed.” Brachycephalic dogs typically have shorter muzzles and noses, giving them the appearance of a flat or “squished” nose. They also have stenotic nares, otherwise known as narrowed nostrils, making them more difficult to cool down. As a whole, dogs with brachycephalic syndrome are prone to overheating, respiratory distress, snoring, and retching

Bulldogs are also prone to putting on excessive weight, leading to various health problems and additional stress on their joints. If you’re worried about your pup’s weight, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian. 

Let’s look at a couple of the most popular bulldog breeds and their most common health issues.

French Bulldog Health Issues

French Bulldogs are lovable, clownish dogs with iconic “bat ears” that give them an overall adorable and inquisitive look. French Bulldogs are one of the world’s most popular small dog breeds and are especially great as city dogs. All in all, the French Bulldog is a charmer that easily makes new friends. 

Like all dog breeds, French Bulldogs have various health problems that they are more susceptible to, such as ear infections. 

Common French Bulldog health problems include: 

  • Ear infections: French Bulldogs are known for their striking, erect “bat ears.” Unfortunately, their ears also have narrow ear canals, making them more prone to getting ear infections or suffering from allergies. 
  • Skin problems: Like English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs have adorable wrinkles on their body. However, these folds in their skin can lead to dermatitis. If you notice your Frenchie scratching or biting at their skin, they may have dermatitis. 
  • Respiratory tract infections: Frenchies are at an increased risk of respiratory tract infections due to their short noses. Common symptoms of respiratory tract infections include nasal congestion, fatigue, and coughing. 
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD): French Bulldogs with IVDD may suddenly be unable to walk or stand on their back legs. If you notice this, immediately contact your veterinarian for your next steps. 

English Bulldog Health Issues 

English Bulldogs are wrinkly, sweet dogs with a lot of personality. They are short, thick-set dogs whose “grumpy” faces make them all the more endearing to us. While they may have a reputation for being lazy couch potato dogs, many enjoy brisk walks and moderate exercise. As a whole, the English Bulldog is a lovable, bullish dog that makes a great companion to many. 

Unfortunately, English Bulldogs are prone to a variety of health problems. 

A few of the most common English Bulldog health problems include: 

  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket of a joint do not fit together correctly, which leads to chronic pain and potential lameness. English Bulldogs are particularly prone to hip and elbow dysplasia due to their stockiness. 
  • Bone Cancer: Larger breeds, like English Bulldogs, are prone to bone cancer, particularly osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma can cause symptoms like joint inflammation and lameness. If your pup suddenly has difficulty walking, consult with your veterinarian immediately. 
  • Heart Disease: Pulmonary Stenosis is a heart deformity that English Bulldogs are more prone to. It occurs when there is a constriction of the blood flow from the right side of the heart, resulting in potential blood flow blockage, leading to heart failure and even fatality.

What Should I Feed My Bulldog? 

The term “bulldog” refers to several dog breeds, including the French Bulldog, English Bulldog, and American Bulldog. These bulldog breeds will require a different amount of food based on their size, age, and lifestyle. 

As a general rule, you should look for the following when choosing your dog’s food: 

  • High-quality protein sources, such as turkey, chicken, beef, or lamb
  • Nutrient-rich ingredients, like turkey liver, flaxseed, and salmon oil (which is excellent for keeping those skin allergies at bay!) 

In addition to those ingredients, you’ll want to avoid irritating ingredients like additives, preservatives, and fillers. Many commercial dog foods use these and even try to hide them, so you won’t notice them! 


How Much Should I Feed My Bulldog?

So how much should you feed your Bulldog? As always, your veterinarian should be your primary resource for answering questions regarding your pup’s health, as the amount of food they require will vary based on their weight, age, and general health. 

As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you feed your bulldog about a ½ cup of high-quality dog food per pound of weight. This is for the entire day, so make sure you break this up into multiple feedings to keep your bulldog satiated throughout the day. 

WeightFeeding Amount (per day)
French Bulldog (approx. 3 pounds)1/4 a cup to 1/3 a cup daily
French Bulldog (approx. 5  pounds)1/3 a cup to 1/2 a cup daily
English Bulldog (approx. 7 pounds)1/2 a cup to 3/4 a cup daily
English Bulldog (approx. 9+ pounds)2/3 a cup to 1 cup daily

If you’re unsure if you are feeding your bulldog enough, keep an eye on their weight. If they are maintaining a healthy weight, they are likely in a good feeding range. 

Please keep in mind that all bulldog breeds are prone to putting on extra weight. With your vet’s help, keep an eye on your pup’s weight so that their food intake can be adjusted according to their exercise level and lifestyle. In particular, senior dogs may struggle with a lower metabolism and may need a little less food (Tip: read our senior dog food suggestions here for more information)

What is the Best Food for Bulldogs?

Good food for bulldogs will include a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Bulldogs are also known for having sensitive digestion and being prone to flatulence, which can be helped with an appropriate diet. 

Unfortunately, many commercial dog foods are laden with sweeteners, colors, and artificial flavors, triggering allergic reactions in dogs. If your bulldog seems to have a sensitive digestive system, consult with your veterinarian for their recommendations on dog food that is gentle on the stomach.  PetPlate’s freshly cooked dog food made with real ingredients in a human-grade kitchen. PetPlate delivers essential nutrients to keep your pup at a healthier weight and having better poops and a shinier, healthier coat.

Create a Healthy Meal Plan for Your Bulldog Today

The best meal plan for your bulldog will always be a fresh, delicious, and customized meal suited to their needs. A diet made from high-quality ingredients and essential nutrients will support your bulldog’s health best. With PetPlate, you get all that and more because our meals are created with 100% human-grade ingredients in a USDA-approved kitchen. You don’t even have to leave your house to purchase your bulldog’s food! Instead, we deliver it right to your doorstep in a ready-to-go container. 

Ready for your bulldog’s customized meal plan? Tell us a bit about your bulldog, and we’ll create a personalized meal plan just for them. So start today and discover the optimal nutrition and convenience of delicious PetPlate meals.