Is raw dog food good for French Bulldogs?
There can be many benefits to a raw food diet. It can cut out many of the unnecessary ingredients and preservatives added to shop-bought food that can have negative effects on your Frenchie’s health.
However, there are also some risks, including food poisoning, unbalanced diets and even difficulties in chewing and digesting certain raw foods.
Let’s take a closer look at what the disadvantages could be on a raw diet plan.
Is raw feeding better for dogs?
Raw feeding is often lauded as the best option for your dog, but there seem to be just as many drawbacks as there are benefits, with you having to weigh them up depending on your individual dog and your own lifestyle. Plus… your own research!
However, there isn’t (as yet) any research into the benefits and risks. But, in a survey conducted in 2019, 94% of pet owners believed a raw dog food diet to be completely safe (view source).
What a raw diet actually means
Raw feeding often requires more care and attention given to the meal than simply opening a can, and raw diets can easily become unbalanced, lacking the nutrients found in shop-bought food if they do not contain the right amount of vegetables, supplements and organ meat.
Because of this, raw diets are best recommended to pet owners who are properly able to spend the time to properly figure out a balanced diet for their French Bulldog.
Many people think it just means feeding your French Bulldog raw meat. This isn’t true and is where the unbalanced diet issues can arise.
You will need to get the 37 essential nutrients your Frenchie needs into the food, plus be able to balance out how much iron and zinc they need in their system to stay healthy.
Proponents for raw feeding often cite raw feeding as the natural way, being that dogs were domesticated from wolves. However, dogs and wolves are not the same animal as they were thousands of years ago, with dogs having evolved through their domestication to adapt to what humans were feeding them.
This means that raw meat alone can actually be detrimental to your dog’s health, as they need additional vitamins, minerals and additional nutrients that they need to survive. French Bulldogs, much like people, need a balanced diet to properly function.
Do French bulldogs eat raw meat?
Yes, French Bulldogs can eat raw meat. As many pet owners are aware, French Bulldogs will eat pretty much anything they can get their paws on. Like all dogs, you could put your French Bulldog on a raw meat diet and might even see benefits due to the lack of allergens that can arise from commercial food.
But like all dogs on a raw meat diet, French Bulldogs need an equally balanced diet of meat, vegetables and other plant-based material to properly get the full range of nutrients needed for their body to healthily function.
French Bulldog raw diet plan
So, what kind of food should you feed your French Bulldog on a raw diet? What are the benefits? And are there any drawbacks or dangers with cutting out ready-made dog food entirely?
Unfortunately nobody is yet to create a French Bulldog raw diet calculator… so, as with all dogs, to ensure that your Frenchie is eating well on a raw diet you will need to make sure that you are feeding them the correct amount and with the correct ratio of meats to grains and vegetables.
As mentioned above, a raw diet will consist of between 25% and 75% meat, depending on your dog’s size and energy level, with the rest being taken up by vegetables, supplements and additional ingredients.
If your Frenchie has particular allergies to common dog food ingredients or additives, feeding them a raw diet can skirt around the worry of them eating a processed meal that contains allergens.
Additionally, certain health issues can also benefit from having a raw diet.
You need to understand your dog and nutrition
When putting your French Bulldog on a raw diet, setting out a diet plan can be very important. Different dog breeds all come in different shapes and sizes, meaning that different sizes and types of meat need to be chosen so that your Frenchie is able to eat well without any issues.
French Bulldogs, because of their unfortunate history of overbreeding, can suffer from breathing and joint problems, and also are known for having numerous gastrointestinal issues and allergies.
Because of this, extra care may have to be taken when feeding your Frenchie, catering to any allergies that they may have.
Raw feeding, therefore, can actually be quite beneficial as it cuts out any additives or extra ingredients added to the recipe during manufacture that may cause an allergic reaction in your Frenchie.
French bulldogs can often suffer from allergies from common dog food preservatives, including Ethoxyqiun, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) AND Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), which are used in brands such as Purina, Iams, Alpo and Pedigree.
Raw meat, grains, vegetables and supplements are a great combination to create a fully balanced diet that provides them with all of the nutrients that they need.
When feeding your French Bulldog a raw meat diet, most recommend feeding them out of a stainless-steel bowl. Stainless steel is a sterile material, meaning that bacteria cannot be easily transferred, and they are very easy to clean between meals.
Frenchie raw diet recipes
When finding the right mixture of ingredients for your DIY raw dog food, you can actually mix and match to suit your French Bulldog’s personal preferences.
Many raw diet recipes are available online, but what is most important is that you get the right ratio of meat to grains, vegetables and other supplements.
- Meat: dogs can happily eat any kind of raw meat, as long as you remove the fat, the larger bones and the skin from any poultry, which can be unhealthy and even pose a choking hazard to your dog. The heart, lungs, stomach, muscle meat and intestines can all be fed to your dog.
- Organ Meat: organ meat should only take up a small percentage of the meat given at mealtime, at around 5% to 10%. Organ meat is classified as the liver, kidneys, spleen, brain and pancreas.
- Vegetables: dogs are actually omnivorous, and a pure meat diet alone can cause negatives effects on their health. To ensure a balanced diet, vegetables should take up around a 3rd of your dog’s diet. Vegetables that are raw to feed to your dog raw include carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, green beans and asparagus. Celery and spinach can also be included but in smaller amounts.
- Grains: grains don’t just pad out a French Bulldog’s meal, they also provide nutrients. While some dogs do suffer from grain allergies, most can eat them without a problem. Add cooked rice, pasta or other grains to their meal. Never feed your dog uncooked rice, and while some dogs do enjoy chewing on uncooked pasta be sure to keep an eye on them in case they start choking.
- Fruit: as well as vegetables, fruit can provide a great source of vitamins and also taste great. you can even replace shop-bought treats for the occasional piece of fruit. Fruits French Bulldogs can eat include blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, oranges, mangos, melon, bananas and apricots. Your dogs can eat apple but be sure to remove the core first as this can be toxic to dogs.
- Supplements: to add to their vitamin and mineral intake, as well as improving their digestion and even help to prevent infection, you can add additional supplements to your dog’s meal. Coconut oil, yoghurt and other probiotics help your dog’s digestion and immune system, as well as making their coats look glossier. Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids which can help to treat high cholesterol, arthritis and boost your dog’s immune system.
Raw food to avoid
While everyone knows that chocolate is toxic to dogs, there are in fact many different human-friendly foods that can be majorly harmful to dogs, especially when given to them raw.
Fruit and veg such as avocados, grapes, onions, garlic, chives and raw potatoes are all toxic to dogs (potatoes can be fed to them, but they must be baked or boiled first).
Also, while dogs do love chewing on bones, they can post a choking hazard and sharp shards can cause internal injuries when swallowed. This is why I suggest you never you let your Frenchie chew on rawhide.