Good treats for French Bulldogs are those low in fat and calories to help maintain their weight and small in size to prevent choking and overfeeding. Treats with high-quality proteins, healthy fats like omega-3s, and limited ingredients are excellent choices. Since French Bulldogs have sensitive stomach, natural treats such as carrots, apples (without seeds), and pumpkin can be beneficial. It’s also important to consider treats with added health benefits, like dental chews that promote oral hygiene or those with joint-supporting supplements for this breed’s susceptibility to joint issues. Always avoid treats with artificial additives, excessive sodium, or xylitol, which can be harmful.
When to Offer to Treat to your French Bulldog?
- During Training: Use treats as a reward for good behavior or successful completion of a command to reinforce positive actions.
- As Part of a Balanced Diet: Treats should be given sparingly and constitute no more than 10% of your French Bulldog’s daily caloric intake to prevent obesity.
- For Good Dental Health: Offer dental chews as treats to help reduce tartar and plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth.
- To Keep Them Occupied: Sometimes treats can be given inside a puzzle toy to keep your Frenchie entertained and mentally stimulated.
- During Bonding Time: Giving a treat can be a way to show affection and strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
- As a Special Occasion Reward: Offer treats during special occasions like after grooming sessions or vet visits as a comforting gesture.
Best Treats for French Bulldogs
Healthy Treats for French Bulldogs
Natural Vegetables and Fruits
Natural vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and cooked pumpkin are excellent treats for French Bulldogs, providing essential vitamins and fiber that aid digestion. Fruits such as apples (minus the seeds and core), blueberries, and bananas offer antioxidants, potassium, and other beneficial nutrients. Always introduce new fruits and vegetables slowly and in small quantities to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
High-Quality Commercial Treats
Commercial treats formulated for dogs, particularly those designed for small breeds, can be a good treat option when chosen wisely. Look for products with whole-food ingredients, low-calorie content, and without fillers or artificial additives. Some commercial treats also have added benefits for dental health joint support or include probiotics for gut health.
Homemade Baked Treats
Homemade baked treats made with dog-safe ingredients allow you to control what goes into your French Bulldog’s diet. Ingredients like lean meats, dog-safe flours (like oats or coconut), and pureed vegetables can create nutritious and appealing treats. Avoid any ingredients toxic to dogs, like onions, chocolate, or xylitol.
Dental chews are designed to be both a treat and a tool for improving dental health. They help reduce plaque and tartar build-up on teeth, promoting better breath and gum health. When choosing dental chews, select the appropriate size for your French Bulldog to prevent choking hazards, and opt for those with minimal additives.
Freeze-dried treats are a healthy option as they often contain a single ingredient, like freeze-dried liver, fish, or meat. This process preserves the nutrients without needing additives or preservatives. They’re a concentrated source of protein, and because of their intense flavor, they’re also beneficial as high-value training rewards.
Special Diet Treats
For French Bulldogs with specific dietary needs, hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient treats can be a good choice. These treats often avoid common allergens like chicken, beef, wheat, and soy and instead may use novel proteins or alternative carbohydrate sources to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
Training Treats for French Bulldogs
Soft, Bite-Sized Treats
Soft treats that can be quickly chewed and swallowed are perfect for training French Bulldogs, as they keep the dog’s attention without much distraction. The treats should be small enough to avoid overfeeding—about the size of a pea. Options like cooked chicken, low-fat cheese, or specially-made soft training treats work well. They are palatable, which makes them highly motivating for dogs during a training session.
For French Bulldogs, it’s essential to maintain a healthy weight, so low-calorie treats are a must for training. Many commercial treats are designed to be less than five calories each, allowing frequent rewards without the risk of weight gain. These treats often include light, airy textured snacks or dehydrated fruits and veggies that provide a satisfying crunch without excess calories.
High-Value Meaty Treats
High-value meaty treats, such as freeze-dried liver or cooked lean meats, can be highly effective as rewards during training sessions. Their strong scent and taste are incredibly enticing to dogs, making them pay attention and work hard for their reward. As these are rich in flavor, they should be used sparingly to avoid dietary imbalances and upset stomachs.
Specialized Training Formulas
There are treats explicitly formulated for training that focus on the nutritional needs of dogs while also being highly appealing. These may contain added supplements to support cognitive function or digestion and are crafted to be especially palatable to keep your French Bulldog’s focus during training exercises. Being purpose-made for training, they are typically the right size for repetitive use without filling your dog up too quickly.
Homemade Healthy Bites
Homemade treats can be made from dog-safe ingredients like pureed pumpkin, mashed sweet potato, or ground turkey. When you make your own, you have complete control over the ingredients, which is especially beneficial for French Bulldogs with sensitive stomachs. Small, soft pieces of these homemade treats can be a wholesome alternative to store-bought options and be frozen in batches for convenience.
Natural Treats for French Bulldog
Raw veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers can be great natural treats for French Bulldogs. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and can help with dental health by promoting chewing. Always chop them into manageable pieces to prevent choking.
Fresh fruits, such as sliced apples (seeds removed), blueberries, and banana pieces, make excellent natural treats. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, offering health benefits beyond just a training reward. Be mindful of the sugar content and serve in moderation.
Cooked Lean Meats
Small pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, or lean beef with no added seasonings can be a nutritious and satisfying treat. They provide a good source of protein and are generally a hit with most dogs, making them effective for training.
Freeze-Dried Meats and Fish
Freeze-dried meats and fish are single-ingredient treats that maintain nutritional content without preservatives. They are a crunchy, protein-rich option that most French Bulldogs will find irresistible.
Unsweetened Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
A small spoonful of plain, unsweetened yogurt or cottage cheese can be a nice change of pace for a treat. These are high in calcium and probiotics, aiding digestive health. Always confirm that your French Bulldog isn’t lactose intolerant before offering dairy products.
Homemade Dehydrated Treats
Homemade dehydrated treats can be made by slowly baking thinly sliced meats, sweet potatoes, or apples until they’re dry and chewy. This process concentrates the flavors and extends the shelf-life of the treats without additives.
Chew Treats for French Bulldogs
Dental chews are explicitly designed to help with oral health, reducing plaque and tartar buildup while freshening breath. Choose chews that are size-appropriate for French Bulldogs to ensure they are effective and do not pose a choking hazard.
Bully sticks are a popular chew treat for dogs, made from beef muscle. They are high in protein, fully digestible, and last a long time, making them a good option for Frenchies to exercise their jaws.
Antlers and Horns
Antlers from deer or elk and horns from animals like water buffalo can be excellent long-lasting chews. They are less likely to splinter than bones and provide a natural source of minerals. However, they should be given under supervision as they can be hard on teeth.
Due to the potential risks associated with traditional rawhide, many pet owners opt for safer alternatives like compressed vegetable chews or fish skins, which provide similar benefits without the same level of risk.
Rubber Chew Toys
Durable rubber chew toys designed for strong chewers can be a safe and long-lasting option. Many of these can be stuffed with treats or dog-safe peanut butter to increase interest and provide mental stimulation.
Treats to Avoid for French Bulldogs?
- High-Fat Treats: French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, so treats high in fat, like bacon or fatty meats, should be avoided. Excessive fat can also lead to pancreatitis, a serious condition in dogs.
- Chocolate and Caffeine: Chocolate and anything containing caffeine is toxic to dogs, potentially leading to serious health issues like arrhythmias, hyperactivity, seizures, and even death.
- Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even small amounts can be toxic, so they should never be given as treats.
- Onions and Garlic: Onions, garlic, and related vegetables can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells in dogs, leading to anemia. This includes foods cooked with these ingredients.
- Xylitol: Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free products, can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia in dogs. Always check the ingredients of any treat, especially peanut butter, to ensure it does not contain xylitol.
- Bones and Hard Chews: Cooked bones and hard chews can splinter and cause choking or severe damage to the dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines. They can also be hard on a French Bulldog’s teeth.
- Corn on the Cob: While corn is not harmful, the cob can cause intestinal blockages if ingested, which might require surgical intervention.
- Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The large pit also poses a significant choking hazard.
- Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol, whether in beverages or foods, can be dangerous for dogs, leading to intoxication, coma, or death.
Why Treats are Important for French Bulldogs?
- Positive Reinforcement: Treats are a fundamental component of reward-based training techniques. They reinforce good behavior and make learning new commands or tricks a positive experience for the dog.
- Dental Health: Some treats are specifically designed to help maintain good dental hygiene. Chewing on these can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup and keep a French Bulldog’s teeth clean.
- Stimulation: Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs that provides mental stimulation. Treats, especially long-lasting chews, can help keep a French Bulldog entertained and engaged, which is beneficial for their mental health.
- Nutritional Supplements: Certain treats are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that can contribute to a French Bulldog’s overall diet, supporting their health when given in appropriate amounts.
- Bonding: Sharing treats can help strengthen the bond between you and your French Bulldog. It’s a form of communication that shows love and affection, creating a deeper connection.
- Managing Weight: Low-calorie treats can be used as part of a weight management program. They allow pet owners to reward their dogs without adding excessive calories to their diet.
- Medication Concealment: Treats can be used to hide medications, making it easier for owners to ensure their French Bulldogs take necessary prescriptions without stress or struggle.
How to Pick the Best Treat for your French Bulldog?
- Dietary Needs: Choose treats that complement your French Bulldog’s daily diet. If your dog has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, look for treats that accommodate these needs.
- Size and Texture: The treat should be appropriately sized for your French Bulldog to prevent choking hazards. Also, softer treats may be necessary for puppies or older dogs with dental issues.
- Nutritional Value: Treats with high-quality ingredients, added vitamins or minerals can offer additional health benefits. Avoid treats with fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives.
- Purpose of the Treat: Decide if the treat is for training, dental health, or just a snack. Training treats should be small and low in calories, while dental chews should be larger and more durable.
- Caloric Content: Given the breed’s tendency towards obesity, it’s essential to choose treats with a low caloric count to help maintain a healthy weight.
- Palatability: The treat should be something your French Bulldog enjoys eating. A palatable treat is crucial, especially for training purposes.
- Ingredient Source: Look for treats made with ingredients sourced from reputable places, and consider organic or natural treats to avoid unnecessary additives.
- Safety: Research and choose treats known to be safe for dogs. Some treats might be too hard and can damage teeth, or they might be prone to splintering and cause internal injuries.
- Digestibility: Ensure the treats are easily digestible to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Natural and simple ingredients are often more digestible.
- Recommendations: Consider treats recommended by veterinarians or those with positive reviews from other French Bulldog owners.
What is the most healthy treat for your Frenchie?
Fresh vegetables like carrots or cooked pumpkin are some of the healthiest treats for French Bulldogs. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to your dog’s overall health.
What are the best chew treats for French Bulldog puppies?
Soft chew treats for puppies, such as small, flexible dental chews or puppy-safe rubber toys, are ideal for French Bulldog puppies. They help alleviate discomfort from teething while also keeping their growing teeth clean.
Do treats make French bulldogs happy?
Yes, treats do make French Bulldogs happy. They provide mental stimulation and sensory satisfaction and are often used as a token of affection, which can improve their mood and strengthen the bond between dog and owner.