Raw Diet for French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

Raw Diet French Bulldogs English bulldogs are among a new class of niche “Boutique Exotic” food diets for bulldogs.

BOUTIQUE DIETS:

  • GRAIN-FREE DIETS
  • VEGAN DIETS
  • HUMAN GRADED DIETS
  • ALL NATURAL DIET
  • HOMEMADE DIETS
  • GOURMET DIETS
  • ETC, 

We the French bulldog and English bulldog owners strive to provide our dogs with the best diet and ultimate preventive care.

We do our best to match our bulldog’s health care and wellness with ours, thus we advocate for a healthy, balanced, quality, safe bulldog diet.

The emphasis of this article is BULLDOG AWARANCE & PREVENTION,  it is not in any way a dietary endorsement for the ultimate bulldog diet. I have no affiliation with any of the dog food companies nor a particular preference for one.

Regardless of your current and future dietary choices, I am certain that you will find some valuable information in this article.

Raw Food Diet for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MYTH & FACTS

It is important that our dietary decisions and choices are fact-based. Browsing through the internet highway is easy to get confused and distracted, but one way that might help you filter factual from nonfactual.

It is best to avoid dietary advice and recommendations from sponsored online diet rating sites, breeders’ dietary advice, the diet, and food companies’s “too good to be true” advertising material, “marginal dietary advice” websites, and anecdotal “success stories” posted on social media boards.

Even if those opinions and posts are well intended, they often lack factual scientific data.

RAW DIET MYTHS:

  1. “Bulldog raw food diet is superior to the other traditional cooked ones”.
  2. “Bulldog raw food diet is as safe or safer than the traditional cooked diet”
  3. “Dogs are descended from wolfs, thus raw food is what is best for them”

RAW DIET FACTS

RAW VS COOK: At present, there are no scientific studies published showing the health benefits of raw food diets over cooked ones.

RAW RISKS: On the other hand, there are several health risks associated with a raw food diet for French bulldogs and English bulldogs.

VEGI DIET: Bulldogs are not wolves, they have evolved (domesticated), and they are more like us (omnivores) than wolves and cats (carnivores). They are not meat dependent, so much so that with careful professional supervision, they can live a healthy life fed only a vegetarian diet.

The same benefits attributed to bulldog raw food can be achieved with cooked ones.

Risks associated with the raw diet can be reduced or eliminated with cooked ones.

Raw Diet French Bulldogs English Bulldogs RISKS

EXCESS: Excesses of nutrients such as fats are often associated with a raw food diet.

DEFICIENCY: Deficiency of essential nutrients, and minerals such as phosphorus & calcium is often associated with raw food diet.

Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog Raw Diet CONTAMINATION & PUBLIC HEALTH RISKS

BAD BACTERIA: Uncooked and unpasteurized raw food can carry deadly bacteria like Salmonella, Clostridium, and Campylobacter.

IMMUNE COMPROMISED: Bully puppies, seniors, and other immune-deficient or compromised bulldogs are especially susceptible to those bugs.

PUBLIC HEALTH: Those bacteria can also present a health risk to your family and the public at large, especially children, seniors, the immune-suppressed, or immune-compromised individuals.

Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog Raw Diet HEART DISEASE RISKS:

DCM: In recent years, we have seen an alarming rise in bulldog dilatative cardiomyopathy (DCM) along with the increase in popularity of raw food diets, grain-free food diets, and other niche boutique food diets,  The latest data has shown a direct link between heart disease and those diets.

Raw Diet French Bulldogs English Bulldogs

Raw Diet for Bulldogs and Fr. Bulldogs MANFUCTREING

DOG FOOD MANUFACTURERS’ HIGH STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: Peer-reviewed scientific research published in credible veterinary journals.

MANUFACTURING CERTIFICATION: Certified manufacturing facility

QUALITY CONTROL & SAFTY: Strict quality control, adherence to safety with proper certification

  • Testing for pathogens, contaminants, and toxins
  • Testing ingredients & nutritional quality
  • Regular auditing

FORMULATION: having a boarded certified veterinary nutritionist who oversees production, quality, and diet formulation

AAFCO: Tested by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Raw Diet for Bulldogs  DO & DONT

Bulldog Raw Diet: DO

INFORMATION: Seek information, any reputable manufacturer should be willing to provide you with all the above requests.
REPUTATION & LONGEVITY: Seek food manufacturers with a long history and solid reputation.
AAFCO ASSOCIATION: Seek bulldog food manufacturers associated with the American Feed Control.
RESEARCH: Seek manufacturers who invest in research, ideally through independent veterinary institutions.
FACTUAL: Seek manufacturers who publish factual data (rather than “sexy” fashionable claims and negative campaigns).

Bulldog Raw Diet: DO NOT

INGREDIENTS: Do not base your bulldog food selection on the ingredients, for all intents and purposes they have very little value.
LABEL: try to ignore catchy phrases such as “human graded”, “grain-free”, “no byproducts”, “whole”, “natural”, “fresh”, “Gourmet”, etc.

It is in your bulldog’s best interest to have investments by the food companies focused on nutrition QUALITY & SAFTY.

Investment in GRAPHICS & MARKETING are of little value to your pet.

Raw Diets for French Bulldogs and Bulldog TIPS & WARNINGS

Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Raw Diets TIPS

Bulldog Raw Food SUPPLEMENTS & CONSULT

For those of you who enjoy serving raw food or cooking homemade diets, please consult with a veterinary nutritionist. You might need to supplement with a multivitamin & minerals, fish oil, and amino acids.

Also, you might need to check Taurine blood levels and consult your veterinarian about long-term monitoring of your bulldog’s heart for DCM.

Bulldog Raw Food NUTRIENT, not INGREDIENTS

There are many reasons to ignore the ingredient part of the raw diet label, the ingredient information is more about marketing schemes than value to the pet owner. Published ingredients are difficult to interpret, and might have no nutritious value, or too little of it to matter.

Bulldog Raw Food HUMAN GRADE DIET:

Start by asking yourself if you would feed your kids any of the human-graded raw pet diets on the market.

This marketing phrase adds little to no value to your pet. Plus, what is good for humans might not be best for your bulldog.

 DCM associated at Raw Diet French Bulldogs and english Bulldogs

It is also important to understand that the phrase “human grade” has no legal meaning in the pet food industry.

Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Raw Diets Warnings: 

Bulldog Raw Food FREEZING

To eliminate bad bacteria, the food should be pasteurized (cooked), freezing raw food is not sufficient.

Bulldog Raw Food BONES & TEETH

Avoid a raw diet with solid bones, those can fracture your bully teeth, damage the esophageal and intestinal, and end as a GI forging body emergency.

Best Raw Diet for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs FINAL THOUGHTS

BEST BULLDOG DIET :

I am often asked, “What is the best bulldog diet”   or/and I am asked to recommend one.

My answer is always the same “there is no one best bulldog diet”. Like us, each bulldog is different, each with different requirements, different sizes, different ages, and different lifestyles.

I would replace “What are the best French bulldogs and English bulldogs raw diet “with “WHAT IS BEST FOR MY BULLDOG”

RAW BULLDOG DIET & HEART DISEASE

The cause of the higher occurrence of DCM among dogs fed raw, grain-free, homemade, and other “boutique exotic” niche diets is still unknown. In the past, the thought was that it was due to a lack of a critical amino acid named Taurine but those are the minority, most recent cases tested normal.

BULLDOG RAW DIETS FINANCIAL MOTIVES

It is my suspension that DCM and other bulldog medical problems associated with raw diet have less to do with the raw factor and more to do with the manufacturer’s funding priorities.

MARKETING instead of RESEARCH:

Many of those exotic diet manufacturers are relatively new to the market, they are vying for a market share in a competitive niche, and thus they allocate large sums of their budget to marketing.

On the other hand, the well-established, large, well-financed “boring traditional manufacturers companies” allocate a much larger sum to:

  • QUALITY CONTROL
  • SAFETY
  • SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
  • TESTING
  • CERTIFIED NUTRITIONIST OVERSIGHT

It could be that those associated medical problems are less about the diets and more about resources and funding allocation.

Raw Diets for Bulldogs MY FINAL ADVICE:

We the French bulldogs and English bulldog owners want only the best for our bullies. It is tough to do the right thing with the overwhelming information we endure.

BULLDOG RAW DIET RULE OF THUMB:

Here are a few simple raw diet rules of thumb for your English and French bulldogs:

  1.  BULLY SIMPLE: Keep it simple.
  2. BULLY BETTER: More is NOT always BETTER.
  3. BULLY SAFER: New & popular does NOT necessarily mean SAFER.
  4. BULLY BUZZ: Buzz words are intended for you, NOT your BULLY.
  5. BULLY FANCY: Fancy packing is intended for you, NOT your BULLY.
  6. BULLY DOLLAR: A high $$$ price tag does NOT always equate with QUALITY & VALUE.

I would like to add my appreciation and thanks to my Tufts Veterinary School classmate Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, who provided me with the most current update on those dietary topics. Dr. Freeman DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, is a veterinary nutritionist and a professor at the Cummings School. She published hundreds of articles in prestigious journals and received awards for her scientific achievements.

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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