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 there individuals. Your buying a dog with a flat face and some will need surgery to their nostrils or palette. 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. Pet insurance is recommended as vet bills can be high. If you can't afford the vet bill you can't afford the dog.

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 plenty for an adult. Baby puppies need only 15 minutes they have soft legs bones/joints and don't need a long walk especially on a concrete path.

Don't let your french bulldogs get fat they already have compromised breathing.

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 dogs 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.

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.There 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  dogs. Some are bottomless pits and others get fat looking at dinner.

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.

  • Some dogs are taught to be 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.

I hear 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 will drop back. We have some dogs that go home heavier after a stay of 4 to 5 weeks because we see they settle when the lights go out. Their plate of food eaten 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. 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 ways.

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.

Any bones are risky.

All our 10 dogs are fed separately. 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 sometimes a bit much and an adult food of less protein is advisable. I won't recommend a particular brand of food over another, your breeder will advise you of what they have been feeding your puppy. Continue on with this diet and slowly change over to another brand if you have to.

Too much protein (don't forget to allow for sardines, mackerel, yoghurt or the odd egg yolk as that too is protein) their bones will grow quicker than the tissues and ligamnets can support. The quick growth and weight in the front will bend the legs. (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 their 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. A French Bulldog will carry 3/4 of their body weight on their front legs so they need to be strong. There a bulldog, 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. e.g. 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.

The quality of the food should be considered next. Proper nutrition for a healthy life. Table scraps are usually too high in calories and not a balanced meal. Commercial dry food is a balanced/complete 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 with our own dogs as it's a very expensive alternative.

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. Abrupt changes can 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. I don't feed raw meat only cooked if I serve it at all. Raw meat has bacteria in it even the human grade meat. Chicken mince can also be a trigger for diet problems and alergies.

After a course of antibiotics to get the gut bacteria back on track give Greek natural yoghurt for a few days or even some nightly to your frenchie will enjoy it.



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Contact Details

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