French Bulldog puppies typically start eating solid food at about 3 to 4 weeks of age. This process, known as weaning, should gradually transition from their mother’s milk to solid food over several weeks. Initially, breeders will introduce a puppy-specific formula or a soft, easy-to-digest, high-quality puppy food, often mixed with a little warm water or puppy milk replacer to make it easier for the young pups to eat. By the time they are 7 to 8 weeks old, they should be fully weaned and eating solid food exclusively. It’s important to timely feed them a diet formulated for small-breed puppies to ensure they get the proper nutrients for optimal growth and development.
How much to Feed a French Bulldog Puppy?
From Birth to 3 Weeks Old
- Newborn puppies should feed on their mother’s milk every 2-3 hours.
- If the mother’s milk is unavailable, feed a suitable canine replacer at similar intervals.
- Puppies should be allowed to eat until they are full at each feeding.
From 3 to 4 Weeks Old
- Start introducing a gruel from high-quality puppy food mixed with milk replacer or warm water.
- Feed the gruel four times a day, with the amount based on the puppies’ appetites, starting with small quantities.
- Begin the weaning process, but they will still primarily rely on milk or milk replacer for nutrition.
From 5 to 6 Weeks Old
- Gradually reduce the amount of liquid in the gruel to help puppies adjust to solid food.
- Increase the feeding quantity slightly as puppies grow, with the daily total amount of food gradually reaching about 1 cup divided over four meals.
- Continue the transition toward more solid food, ensuring the puppies can eat and digest the food properly.
From 7 to 8 Weeks Old
- Puppies should now be eating moistened, dry puppy food.
- Provide three to four meals daily, each containing approximately ¼ to ⅓ cup of food.
- The daily food intake should be about 1 to 1½ cups, divided across all meals.
From 8 to 12 weeks Old
- Puppies at this age need 4 meals a day.
- Feed about ½ cup of high-quality dry food at each meal.
- The total daily amount should be around 1½ to 2 cups.
From 3 to 6 months old
- Reduce to 3 meals a day.
- Increase each meal to about ¾ cup of food.
- The total daily amount should be approximately 2 to 2¼ cups.
From 6 to 12 months old
- Move to 2 meals a day.
- Provide up to 1 cup per meal, depending on the puppy’s size and activity level.
- The total daily amount should be about 2 to 2½ cups.
How often do you Feed a French Bulldog Puppy?
From Birth to 3 Weeks Old
French Bulldog puppies are entirely dependent on their mother’s milk at this stage. They will feed every couple of hours, which is crucial for their development and getting the antibodies from the mother.
3 to 4 Weeks Old
This is a transitional phase where puppies start to be weaned off their mother’s milk. A puppy formula gruel should be introduced, made by mixing high-quality puppy food with water or a puppy milk replacer.
5 to 8 Weeks Old
During this period, puppies will eat a mixture of soft puppy food and milk replacer or water, slowly transitioning to less liquid in their diet. The frequency remains four times daily, but the volume will gradually increase.
8 to 12 Weeks Old
When a French Bulldog puppy reaches 8 weeks, their diet should consist mostly of solid food. It’s important to feed them three to four times daily to support their high energy levels and rapid growth during this stage.
3 to 6 Months Old
As the puppy grows, their stomach capacity increases, allowing for more food per meal but fewer feeding times. During this time, it’s recommended to feed them three times a day.
6 to 12 Months Old
By six months, most puppies are ready to eat twice a day. Feeding should be in the morning and evening. Portions should be controlled to maintain a healthy weight as this breed can easily become overweight.
Best Diet for French Bulldog Puppies
High-Quality Puppy Food
The foundation of a French Bulldog puppy’s diet should be high-quality puppy food that’s specifically formulated for small-breed puppies. Such formulas are designed to support their rapid growth with enhanced protein levels and vital nutrients. Look for brands that use real meat, fruits, and vegetables, and avoid those with fillers like corn and by-products that offer less nutritional value.
Balanced Protein and Fat Content
A balanced diet with the correct proportion of protein and fat is crucial for your French Bulldog puppy’s muscle and skeletal development. The diet should include enough protein to promote muscle growth without excess calories from fat that can lead to obesity. Adequate fat is necessary for energy and to support a healthy coat and skin.
Limited Ingredient Foods
French Bulldog puppies can have sensitive stomachs and may develop allergies to common ingredients found in dog foods. A limited-ingredient diet can help to identify and prevent these issues, making it easier to pinpoint allergies if they arise. Foods that list a single protein source and have a short ingredient list are often beneficial for this breed.
Essential Fatty Acids and DHA
Omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, are essential for cognitive development, eye health, and a shiny coat. The best puppy diets for French Bulldogs should include sources of these fatty acids, such as fish oil. DHA is particularly important for brain development in the early stages of a puppy’s life.
Correct Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Calcium and phosphorus must be properly balanced to ensure healthy bone development and prevent growth abnormalities. The ideal ratio in puppy food for French Bulldogs should be close to 1.2 parts of calcium to 1 part of phosphorus. This balance helps prevent bone and joint issues, particularly in this breed prone to skeletal problems.
Frequent, Portioned Meals
French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, so it’s vital to regulate their diet with portioned meals served frequently throughout the day. As puppies, they may need to eat three to four times daily. Controlled portions will help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of bloat, which can be a severe condition for this breed.
Hydration is as important as nutrition, so ensure your French Bulldog puppy has continuous access to clean water. Proper hydration aids in digestion and helps maintain kidney health. Since French Bulldogs are active and prone to overheating, water becomes even more critical.
Food to Avoid for a French Bulldog Puppy
- Chocolate: Contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even fatal heart issues.
- Onions and Garlic: Onions and Garlic Can cause gastrointestinal irritation and potentially lead to red blood cell damage and anemia.
- Grapes and Raisins: Even in small amounts, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Xylitol: This artificial sweetener found in gum, candy, and some peanut butter can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia.
- Avocado: Contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
- Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol, including in food, can be dangerous, causing intoxication, coma, or death.
- Caffeine: Present in coffee, tea, and certain soft drinks; it can be harmful, leading to restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors.
- Dairy Products: Many dogs are lactose intolerant, and dairy can lead to digestive problems and diarrhea.
- Macadamia Nuts: Toxic to dogs and can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia.
- Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and cause choking or serious damage to the dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines.
- Fatty Foods: High-fat foods can cause pancreatitis and obesity.
- Salty Foods: Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium ion poisoning, resulting in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
- Raw Eggs: There is a risk of salmonella or E. coli, and they can also cause biotin deficiency.
French Bulldog Puppy Feeding Tips
- Measure Meals: Always measure your puppy’s food to ensure you’re feeding the correct amount and to prevent overfeeding and obesity.
- Consistent Feeding Times: Establish a routine with set feeding times to help with house training and to set a predictable bathroom schedule.
- High-Quality Food: Feed a high-quality diet formulated for small-breed puppies with the right balance of nutrients.
- Avoid Human Food: Limit table scraps and human food, as many common ingredients can be harmful to dogs.
- Slow Feeding Bowls: Consider using a slow-feeding bowl to prevent your puppy from eating too quickly and reduce the risk of bloat.
- Fresh Water Availability: Ensure fresh water is always available, especially after meals, as French Bulldogs can be prone to dehydration.
- Monitor Growth: Regularly monitor your puppy’s growth and weight to adjust food portions as necessary.
- Divide into Multiple Meals: For younger puppies, divide the daily food portion into multiple meals throughout the day.
- Transition Foods Gradually: If you need to change their food, do so gradually over a week to prevent digestive upset.
- Consult Your Vet: Work with your veterinarian to determine if your puppy has any special dietary needs and to get recommendations for commercial diets or supplements.
- Avoid Fillers: Choose foods that avoid unnecessary fillers and additives that can cause allergic reactions or provide little nutritional value.
- Chew Toys for Dental Health: Provide suitable chew toys to help with teething and promote dental health.
How do Newborn French Bulldog Puppies Eat?
Newborn French Bulldog puppies feed exclusively on their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of life. If the mother isn’t available, they’ll require feeding with a suitable canine milk replacer, usually given via bottle or tube feeding by the breeder or under veterinary supervision.
How Many Calories Does a French Bulldog Puppy Need?
The caloric needs of a French Bulldog puppy can vary based on their age, size, and activity level, but generally, they require about 25 to 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. As they grow, their caloric intake will increase, peaking during their rapid growth phase.
Is Dry or Wet Food Good for a French Bulldog Puppy?
Both dry and wet foods can be appropriate for French Bulldog puppies. Dry kibble is beneficial for dental health and may be more economically practical, while wet food can be more palatable and easier to eat for some puppies. Often, a combination of both is recommended to benefit from the advantages of each type.
What to Do If My French Bulldog Puppy Is Eating Too Little?
If a French Bulldog puppy eats too little, it’s essential first to rule out any health issues with a veterinarian. Ensuring the food is palatable and at the right temperature may help. Also, feeding in a quiet, stress-free environment can encourage eating. If the issue persists, consult your vet for advice and possibly appetite stimulants.