English Bulldogs are a unique breed with special care requirements. Originating in England, they were used for fighting and sport. However, today's English Bulldogs are passive animals that will spend more time lounging around than performing vigorous activities.
Known for their distinct appearance, these dogs are lovable pets for any family. With that being said, their unique bodies lead to a variety of health concerns.
To help manage these issues, it's important to feed English Bulldogs a balanced diet with quality ingredients.
How Much Food Do They Need?
When considering how much food to feed an English Bulldog, it's important to measure using calories rather than volume. Various formulas and brands use different ingredients, resulting in contrasting calorie amounts.
Typically, this breed requires around 1145 calories per day to stay healthy. However, this value can depend entirely on the dog's age and activity level. This calorie amount is ideal for adults dogs that are moderately active and healthy.
Dogs that are active or working will require more calories to replenish those burned throughout the day. On the upper end of the scale, a dog will need around 1300 calories. The extra calories will prevent nutrient deficiencies and other health issues. It also helps maintain a healthy weight.
If the dog spends most of it's time laying around, it won't need as many calories. This also goes for senior dogs. They will need roughly 937 calories per day. This decrease in caloric intake ensures that the dog won't gain weight. Weight gain is a serious issue that plagues the breed. Extra weight is difficult to put off and can lead to a number of additional health complications.
The 5 Best Dog Foods for English Bulldogs
1. Canidae Life Stages Dog Food
Overal Score for Adult English Bulldogs
Made for young, adult, and senior dogs, this food has high-quality ingredients that can benefit a furry friend their entire life. It's made without fillers and artificial ingredients, so owners can rest assured that their pup is getting the best.
It's also free of corn, wheat, and soy, which are all harmful to English Bulldogs. The protein comes from chicken meal, lamb meal, turkey meal, and fish meal.
For carbs, Canidae uses healthy brown rice, peas, and papaya. It also has probiotics to help keep the dog's digestion regular. The addition of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids keeps the dog looking its best.
- Includes multiple protein sources for varied amino acid profile
- High nutritional density for weight management
- Fortified with antibiotics and omega fatty acids
- Contains a healthy amount of probiotics for regularity
- Substantially higher price tag than other options
2. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Overal Score for Adult English Bulldogs
This grain-free formula uses a unique source of protein. Rather than the traditional chicken, it utilized lean bison. This is great for breeds that need a bit of weight control.
Furthermore, it contains L-Carnitine, which helps convert fat to muscle. To offset the lean nature of bison, flaxseed oil is used. This fat is great for the fur and maintaining healthy bodily functions.
A variety of fruits and vegetables are included. This includes ingredients that are high in antioxidants. Earthborn Holistic also uses carrots in the formula. It's a great food option for any dog, even those that don't have grain allergies.
- Uses lean, novel protein
- Chock-full of antioxidants
- Provides sustainable energy levels
- Includes natural fiber sources for easy digestion and regularity
- High price tag
3. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Bulldog
Overal Score for Adult English Bulldogs
Designed specifically for Bulldogs, this dog food contains a bevy of ingredients that manage the breed's health issues. It uses chicken meal as the main protein source and brown rice as a carbohydrate.
The food has balanced fibers to reduce bloating and aid with digestion. It also includes salmon oil to keep the dog's fur and skin healthy. Various sources of vitamins and minerals are also used to protect the joints.
This inclusion of ingredients reduces inflammation in the joints to avoid hip dysplasia and pain. It's a great dog food that will benefit English Bulldogs directly.
- Specifically formulated for Bulldogs
- Reduces gas, lowering risk of bloat
- Provides steady supply of long-lasting energy
- Supports joint and coat health
- Contains chicken by-product meal
- Animal meat isn't the first listed ingredient
4. Artemis Fresh Mix Adult Dog Food
This food from Artemis is a great choice for English Bulldogs because of its many sources of protein. While most brands stick with one or two sources, this formula uses much more.
The protein comes from chicken, chicken meal, turkey, duck, salmon, and fish meal.
This variety of sources is great for dogs. The inclusion of salmon also ensures that the dog is getting great fatty acids.
Also included in the formula is brown rice and oatmeal, which are ideal carbohydrates. They burn slowly and won't lead to weight gain.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, a slew of fruits and vegetables are used. It even has blueberries and cranberries for the added benefit of antioxidants.
5. Fromm 4-Star Grain-Free Surf/Turf Dog Food
This surf and turf dog food contains a high amount of protein. It makes up 30 percent of the formula. Most of it comes from fish.
The fish is an excellent source of protein and fatty acids to keep the dog's coat healthy. It also incorporates sweet potatoes and potatoes, which are great carbohydrates for the breed.
It also has a variety of great fruits and vegetables to provide some much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Another great addition is carrots. Carrots aren't traditionally used in dog food formulas, so it's a good find. The carrots will do wonders for the dog's vision in the long run.
When To Feed an English Bulldog
While many owners feed their dogs all of their food at one time, it's important to split up a dog's food requirements into a few separate meals.
The food should be portioned to provide them with the right amount of calories each day. The breed is notorious for over-eating. They'll eat until they can't anymore, which not only causes them to gain weight, but it also leads to bloating.
Bloating is very dangerous for English Bulldogs. In some cases, it can even become fatal. To avoid bloating and excessive gas, dogs should eat a number of small meals throughout the day.
Ideally, the appropriate amount of food should be split up into four small meals. At the very least, they should eat twice a day.
Keys to a Balanced Diet
Because of their susceptibility to weight gain, English Bulldogs need a balanced and nutritional diet. Sticking with high-quality dog food with premium ingredients will ensure that their bodies are in good condition.
It'll also allow the dog to avoid a number of conditions while developing properly.
Protein should be the foundation of any dog food. Dogs are naturally omnivores and need to consume meat on a regular basis. Proteins are chock full of amino acids that dogs can't get anywhere else.
These amino acids help the body function properly. A shortage of protein in a dog's diet will only lead to organ failure and weakness. A high percentage of protein is also recommended.
When choosing a dog food for Bulldogs, the source of the protein is just as important as the quantity. Protein is found in the muscles of animals, so the best source is always going to be all-natural meat.
Dogs will get the most out of raw meat, but any type of natural protein will be beneficial. Animal byproducts and processed proteins should be avoided. The healthiest sources of protein come from:
With English Bulldogs, choosing the right source of carbohydrates is imperative. Carbohydrates help provide fuel for energy production. They are generally a cheaper ingredient to use in a food's formula.
Because of this, many brands include high amounts of carbohydrates to keep the production costs low.
Unfortunately, high amounts of carbohydrates are not good for the breed. Due to their propensity to gain weight, low-quality carbs need to be avoided.
Simple starches like corn will cause the dog to put on more weight. Instead, it's a good idea to look for formulas that include slow-burning alternatives.
These carbs will provide enough fuel for the creation of energy while keeping weight down. These include:
- Brown rice
- Sweet Potato
Most dog foods are good in terms of fat content. However, it's always a good idea to check the source to determine if the fat is healthy for the dog.
Fat is a crucial part of any dog's diet. They contain fatty acids that help with keeping the coat healthy and shiny.
Fats are also essential for absorbing vitamins and helping out with the digestion system. Many brands utilize fat to make the food more appealing for dogs. It adds flavor while providing a number of great benefits.
The food should have a small percentage of fat. Too much will lead to weight gain.
The best source of fat comes from the protein source. However, some brands introduce additional fat into the formula for the additional advantages of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
High-quality fat sources include:
- Fish oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Animal fat
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals can be found in a variety of different fruits and vegetables. They are crucial to a dog's overall health and help regulate the body's functions.
To be the most effective, fruits and vegetables need to be proportioned with the protein source. A diet of fruits and vegetables alone will only cause harm.
Dog food manufacturers utilize a number of different sources to achieve a healthy balance of vitamins and nutrients. There's not a single fruit or vegetable that contains them all, so a variety is used to provide a perfect mix of essentials.
It's important to go over the list of fruits and vegetables to ensures that a source complements the breed's dietary needs rather than clashing with it.
Common Health Concerns
English Bulldogs are known to experience a few different health issues. These dogs were bred for a very specific purpose.
Unfortunately, this caused the breed to have a unique body composition that puts them at risk. Many of the issues can be managed or avoided with a healthy diet.
These lazy pooches put on weight very easily. They're low-energy and don't often perform physical activities.
Owners need to be active about maintaining their weight through exercise and strict diet control.
They need an appropriate amount of calories for their activity level and a food that doesn't contain bad carbohydrates.
Owners should keep an eye out on their weight to avoid an increase because losing additional weight is very difficult for the breed.
Adult dogs should weigh around 50 pounds. Females should weigh roughly 45 pounds while bigger males can maintain a weight of 55 pounds while still being healthy.
English Bulldogs are known for their distinct build. They have a muscular body that's low to the ground. The bulk of their body mass is around their belly. This distribution of weight and their bone structure puts a lot of stress on the joints in the hips.
With this condition, the hips aren't aligned properly. It causes pain and a noticeable difference in the way the dog walks.
The problem can be managed with glucosamine. The ingredient strengthens the joints to keep them healthy.
Many dog foods add natural sources of glucosamine while others are specifically designed to combat hip dysplasia. It's a good idea to check the ingredients list for the supplement.
It's not uncommon for the breed to have eye issues. Dogs can start to lose their vision at an early age. If that's the case, they can eventually become blind.
Beta-carotene can help avoid eye issues. It's known to strengthen the eyes with continual consumption.
It's found in orange vegetables, such as carrots. By choosing a food that includes ingredients with beta-carotene, owners can help proactively fight poor eyesight.
Gas and Bloating
Yes, gas is an unsavory byproduct of many foods. English Bulldogs are particularly prone to having gas. While it may seem like a simple nuisance, the bloating that comes with gas can be life threatening.
Known as gastric torsion, this bloating puts pressure on internal organs and blood vessels. This results in difficulty breathing and poor blood circulation to the heart.
Dogs can die within a matter of hours. Luckily, this can be avoided by giving the dog a number of small meals throughout the day rather than one large one.
English Bulldog Dog Food FAQs
1. Do English Bulldogs have sensitive stomachs?
Unfortunately, English Bullies have a reputation for having sensitive stomachs. They're one of the more diarrhea-prone breeds. Usually, sensitivities result in nasty bathroom surprises. Some foods might often cause indigestion, discomfort, and even skin issues.
The most common allergens for this breed include:
- Dairy products
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Chemical preservatives
Fortunately, these ingredients are easy to avoid when shopping for dog food. You can also provide digestive support by looking for products that contain probiotics. Strains like lactobacillus acidophilus and casei fermentation are particularly useful, helping your Bully keep their system in check.
2. How do I prevent my English Bulldog from gaining weight?
Weight gain is a big problem for this breed. English Bulldogs can be fun and full of life, but they're not the most active dogs. Many will develop lazy lifestyles full of lounging and sleeping. There's nothing wrong with that, but you must be proactive about keeping your dog's weight low.
In addition to regular exercise, look into the foods you provide. Weight management formulas or low-calorie meals are always a good choice. They're helpful for dogs that don't get much exercise and often help keep seniors from packing on the pounds later in life.
3. Do English Bulldogs need grain-free recipes?
You'll hear many differing opinions about grain-free dog food. Many brands advertise these products, putting the grain-free status front and center. But is it necessary for your English Bully?
Whether you choose grain-free or not depends on your dog's sensitivities. Low-quality grains can be problematic. They lack nutritional content and do nothing but wreak havoc on your dog's system. In that case, grain-free options might be the right solution!
If sensitivities aren't a problem, neither are grains. High-quality grains can help with digestion, provide a valuable source of fiber, and offer flavor.
4. Are English Bulldogs picky eaters?
Here's an issue you'll never have to deal with when raising an English Bulldog. These pups usually aren't picky. Of course, all canines have unique preferences. But this breed doesn't have a reputation for sticking its nose at certain foods.
Switching things up is still a good idea and keeping your dog interested. But once you find that perfect dog food match, you can stick with it for years.
5. Can you free-feed an English Bulldog?
Absolutely not! English Bulldogs are not a breed that you can free-feed. They have little control, and their insatiable appetite can lead to many problems. Remember how we said that weight gain is an issue for this breed? Free-feeding is the quickest way to a path of unhealthy living.
These dogs need structure, so portion out every meal and consider a weight management formula.
6. How much food should an English Bulldog eat every day?
The average daily nutritional requirements include around 1,145 calories. That's the average for English Bulldogs. More active canines may need upwards of 1,300. Meanwhile, seniors with more sedentary lifestyles may need less than 1,000 calories daily.
Talk with your vet frequently about how much food your English Bulldog eats. This breed can gain weight quickly, so you must follow their body condition and lifestyle to keep those caloric restrictions in place.
7. What ingredients are most important in English Bulldog food?
Like any other dog breed, the most important ingredient for English Bulldogs is protein! Protein helps build muscles, maintain mass, and produce energy. There are many fantastic protein sources on the market today.
The most widely used include:
You'll also find many novel proteins. They're a good choice for English Bullies with allergies to standard formulas.
8. What should I avoid when choosing English Bulldog food?
While English Bulldogs aren't picky, you must be vigilant about avoiding the following ingredients.
- Artificial flavors
- Food coloring
- Chemical preservatives
- Cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy
- Meat byproducts
- Unidentified mystery proteins
Those ingredients are prevalent in cheap, low-quality formulas. Scrutinize every product you're interested in buying. If you see any of these ingredients, move on to your next choice.