Feeding a Frenchie

 

Feeding/ Exercise.

If you are thinking of purchasing a frenchie and have an active lifestyle out and about in the midday sun very few can keep up, buy another breed.

The french bulldog cannot be out for long periods or exerting themselves in the heat of the day. They need air conditioning despite how you are feeling they feel the heat big time. The breed has narrow airways that vary from dog to dog their individuals. What's abnormal to another breed is quite normal for a frenchie. Your buying a dog with a flat face and some will need their airways corrected by surgery to their nostrils or palate. Breeders do their best using parents with good airways in their breeding program yet there is no guarantee every puppy will be the same. I have had 3 pups in 16 years that I felt needed surgery yet their litter mates didn't.There's so much information out there on the health issues of a french bulldog, read up on it before you decide to take on the breed. Not all frenchies are the same even within the same family lines.

The days start hot and finish hotter here in Qld, so a narrow window of time early morning or late afternoon/evening in which to walk a frenchie. 1/2  hour walk when the day is at it's coolest is sufficent. Baby puppies need only 15 minutes they have soft legs bones that haven't knitted and don't need the tramping of a walk on a hard concrete path.

Don't let your french bulldogs get fat they already have compromised breathing.Think about your life style. If you want to run and pound the pavement don't buy a breed that can't keep up. Buy a Stafford.

Of all of our boarding frenchies that visit at Oui Oui Kennels I must say most owners are pretty good at keeping the weight off their dogs. Between the first visit and the 2nd visit they have learned a few tricks. Some come looking like fat logs and go home looking buff with the exercise. How did that happen? Our dogs rage early morning until midday, then in the air con until late afternoon and then they are at it again until bedtime. Very few can swim without a life jacket so watch them around water. When in our care the fat ones go home skinnier and the skinny ones go home fatter. They look terrific, toned and fit.

People come and say that their fat Freddie only gets 1/2 cup of dry per day at home and he's still fat. I know first hand there are frenchies that are very good doers on 1 cup of food and others that can eat 2 cups of food and you wonder where it goes.

My 2 cups of food a day dogs x 10 move constantly and burn off the calories. We feed until they look a tad fat and then they have a few mean ole days like mother nature intended. Food is a bit light on to get them back on track. Their not on a diet they are fed what is required.

  • Look at your frenchie. You want a nice covering of flesh on the ribs and still see the pear shape expected of the breed. Broader at the front slimmer at the back. Yes their age and activity levels are the important values in determining how much you should feed your dog but dogs are individuals. Some are bottomless pits and others get fat looking at dinner.

Build some muscle. If your dogs have some muscle on them fantastic, as muscle burns more calories and therefore they can eat more food. Very happy frenchie.

Calorie requirements change for all dogs during their lifetime. Younger dogs and puppies need the greatest amount of calories, proteins and minerals due to their growth and activity. Older dogs lose their muscle naturally and require less food due to their lowered activity level. They need a lower carbohydrate food as they age.

  • Recognise that dogs are individuals. Some are finicky eaters and need to be served the same food for 3 days running. No people food, no I'll try him on this. Dogs will not starve themselves only people starve dogs.

Some owners say their dog won't eat. They get home from work, dinner time is at 6pm and the dog won't eat so they take it away. The dog hasn't settled, you have been absent all day. They could be what I call night time grazers. When all is quiet and there's no visual stimulation they eat their food during the night. If you don't pick up on this they drop back. We have some dogs that go home 1 kg heavier after a stay of 4 to 5 weeks because we see they settle when the lights go out. Plate of food gone by morning.

  • If your dog eats poorly what shape dish are you providing? We serve in flat pan/fry pan dish except for the water bowl. Some dogs just don't like getting water or food up their nose and they stop eating 1/2 way through.They tend to press it into the bottom of the rounded base bowl and can't get it out. Some will drink from the far side of a dish because they don't want to get their nose in the water or food. Most won't eat with the food going up their nose. I buy all the 2nd hand stainless steel fry pans at the op shop.

Our old Grand Champion Bendar (pic) would only eat if his food was spread on a piece of carpet. Gosh we wanted that title, to put up with his nonsense. He drank from the far side of a water dish. He had some crazy moments.

Feed your dogs separate so they get a chance to eat at their own pace.The I have to gulp this down before the other dog gets it is no good. Regurgitation is caused by stress or unsuitable food. Some dogs eat so quickly they regurgitate to have another go at eating it again because they haven't chewed their food. The extra saliva helps with the digestion so it is fine to let them eat it again. Looks gross but it's fine.

Frenchies will swallow any food without chewing if it will fit into their mouths. Choking is a big risk and food needs to be chopped well. Brisket bones are risky unless you are there to confiscate the last bit of bone when it can fit into their mouths

All our 10 dogs are fed separately and we can have up to 6 boarders here at any time. Everyone is fed in a calm setting and relax after each meal.

  • Some adult dogs can't eat too much in one sitting so the meal can be divided onto 2 portions and fed morning and evening.
  • Babies of course need to be fed a minimum of 3 meals or 2 times a day from 6 months as they grow. Babies especially do need to be settled after a feed. Give them some quiet time to digest their food.

Frenchie puppies don't have rapid growth like some breeds so 33% dry food is plenty.I won't recommend a particular brand of food over another, the breeder will advise you of what they have been feeding the puppy. Continue on with this diet and slowly change over to another brand if you have to. If they get too much protein (don't forget to allow for sardines, mackerel, yoghurt or the odd egg as that too is protein) they grow too quick for the bones to support their weight in the front and the front legs will bend. (see fawn dog pic below).

This fawn dog (not our breeding) has grown too quickly, had a lot of weight on his front and his legs have collapsed. Not the owners fault they were not advised by the other breeder. The feet are splayed/flat from too much weight and protein.

The brindle boy right, our home bred Arson has a strong front. He too carries a lot of weight on his front. We kept the weight off him until the growth plates in his front legs closed. The knobbly knees is what I'm talking about. The knee joints smooth out when the growth plates close and then you can up the exercise and a bit more food to build them up. The pied Grand Champion Bendar above has lovely straight bones and the muscle on the forearms.

Too much hard exercise ruins soft bones. Frenchies are said to be "well boned" a term used by breeders. This means they have substantial bone to carry an adult dog. A French Bulldog will carry 3/4 of their body weight on their front legs so they need to be strong. Grow your dog slowly. Coming from another breed my first frenchie I made all the mistakes as well and I learn't the hard way, by experience.

 

Some boarders bred by no kennel in particular come with their own supply of food. The owners have found their dogs do better on a restricted diet. eg they only eat goat as they have pancreatic problems. No beef or chicken mince because of the fat and allergy reactions.We follow what the owner's advise. They are fed separtately in a quiet area. Dogs are individuals.

The quality of the food should be considered next. Proper nutrition for a healthy life. Not so long ago, most pets were fed mostly table scraps which were usually too high in calories and not a balanced meal. When I was growing up I remember everyone was talking about calcium deficiencies in dogs. Hardly hear of that today as the dry food is a balanced diet.

If you don't want to feed dry food there are packaged meals based on raw meat and fruit and vegetables. We have regular boarders that come with a supply of this food. Their owners say their dog has a firmer stool on this food. I haven't used it myself with our dogs as it's very expensive when feeding 10 dogs of my own. I spent $450 per month on dog food. I go to work to feed our dogs.

Today our pet dogs spend more time indoors with us, and it’s become more practical to feed them commercial dog foods. While the quality of nutrition for dogs has improved considerably with prepared pet foods, consider what has the puppy been raised on? Try to supply the same diet as recommended by the breeder. Don't just think the pup can eat what your other pet is eating. Abrupt changes cause regurgitation or diarrhea. When they go off to their new home they have to adjust to a lot of new things such as other pets, people and a new house. So diet should remain the same.

Fatty foods remain longer in the stomach and harder to digest. So if a puppy has gut problems on a diet of raw food it will regurgitate. e.g. raw mince either beef or chicken mince. I have never fed raw beef mince after my first purchase of a frenchie. Learnt the hard way. Chicken mince can also be a trigger for diet problems.

We have spent 39 years feeding dogs and have tried everything on offer. If our dogs leave eating a particular dog food and you feed them another food, allow for a period of reagustment.

Antibiotics also destroy the gut bacteria.  After antibiotics a modified diet of pre cooked food and greek yoghurt will get the gut bacteria back up to speed.

We don't suggest raw mince of any kind anymore if we are not on hand to view how a puppy is traveling on it. Some cope and others don't. Gut bacteria is vital for the absorption of vitamins and minerals to cross into the blood stream for for health and wellbeing. After a course of antibiotics a dollop of plain greek yoghurt is of benefit for the gut bacteria to build up again.

  • Please do not give packaged treats full of preservatives and colourings as this too can set off allergies. What's natural these days. Zip and none. If you want to give a treat feed a brisket bone and for goodness sakes grab the last of it before your frenchie chokes on it.They don't chew.

If you can’t resist their beggings at least find a treat that is high in nutrition, such as liver treats or the like that trainers use. I will put up a receipe soon that you can prepare yourself and you know it has no preservative in it. And last but not least, exercise! Most dogs would rather have your attention than a treat any day. It releases their energy, relieves boredom, and keeps their minds active. But perhaps best of all, you'll both enjoy it and bond.

 

copyright ouioui french bulldogs


Contact Details

Jenni Cameron & Lem Awdjew
Brisbane Valley-Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Email : [email protected]