The Ultimate Guide to What Bulldogs Can (and can’t) Eat

The Ultimate Guide to What Bulldogs Can (and can’t) Eat
When it comes to our dogs, one thing is true…we want the best for them. And the best can be anything from the best bed around to the best veterinarian care. However, often, the best starts with the basics and nutrition is one of the first things where we can improve both our bulldog’s health and quality of life. But with all the options out there, many owners wonder what can my bulldog eat?
Bulldogs can eat any well-designed diet whether it is homemade or a commercial blend. The answer is as varied as bulldogs can be. From dry dog food to RAW, what can my bulldog eat has never been such a complicated question to answer.
However, it isn’t as cut and dried as that quick answer. In fact, there is a lot of information every bulldog owner should know before they head out on the hunt for their bulldog’s perfect diet. These include understanding nutrition, how often they should eat, what snacks and foods a bulldog can eat…and most importantly, foods that your bulldog shouldn’t. When you have a firm understanding of feeding your bulldog, there is no limit to how amazing and varied his diet can be.

What are the important factors with bulldog nutrition?

Before we start looking at the actual food, it is important to really look at the important factors when it comes to bulldog nutrition. These are the areas that all dog food, whether it is homemade, dry or canned commercial, should have to ensure that your dog is receiving optimal nutrition. And, surprisingly, these factors only include 6 areas, which we will look at below.
  1. Proteins: While proteins can come from some plant-based foods, dogs require animal proteins as well as plant based. These are very important for providing your bulldog with the building blocks of life. These proteins will help with the growth of fur, nails, muscles and bones. They promote the production of antibodies, hormones and neurotransmitters in the body and they supply energy for a dog. Pregnant dogs and puppies require twice as much protein as an adult dog. Dogs should receive 2 grams of protein for every pound of weight so a 50lb bulldog should have 110 grams of protein in his diet.
  2. Carbohydrates: Although some believe that carbohydrates are not healthy for dogs, the truth couldn’t be further from that statement. Carbohydrates are integral in giving your dog the fuel he needs for his body to function properly and to have the best energy supply for his needs. In addition, carbohydrates are often full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which offer a host of benefits for his overall health.
  3. Minerals: At one time, the focus of dog food was on calcium alone, however, recent studies have shone the light on a host of other minerals that are beneficial to a dog’s overall health. Minerals that your bulldog will need include iron, selenium, magnesium, sodium, zinc and potassium to name a few. Each offer a different benefit to your dog from assisting in wound healing to aiding in nerve transmission to promoting excellent bone and teeth growth and health. Your dog’s diet should be full of mineral rich foods such as shellfish, like oysters and other foods.
  4. Vitamins: Like minerals, vitamins are an important part of your dog’s nutrition. You should see a dog food with a variety of vitamins. These vitamins are crucial to excellent health and are used by your bulldog’s body to boost the immune system, aid in healing and blood clotting and working as antioxidants. Vitamins that you should offer your bulldog are A, C, E, K and Folate. Be cautious with adding vitamins on your own as fat-soluble vitamins can be toxic to dogs.
  5. Fat: Important for healthy skin and coat, fat is also another nutrient that gives your dog his energy. Without the proper amount of fat, your bulldog won’t have enough energy to get through his day. In addition to energy, fat helps regulate body temperature, and is tantamount to a healthy nervous system.
  6. Water: Although we don’t think of water as a nutrient, it is one of the most important nutrients your dog can receive both on his own and in his food. 70 to 80% of a bulldog’s body mass is water and it is important in keeping your bulldog’s body running smoothly. It has many functions including flushing waste from your bulldog’s body, regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients and cushioning the nervous system. Always make sure your bulldog has access to clean, fresh water on a daily basis.
And those are the most important factors when looking at nutrients in your dog’s food and daily calorie intake.

How many times a day should a bulldog eat?

The amount of times your bulldog should eat really depends on the age of your bulldog. As adults, your bulldog should never eat fewer than twice a day. One large meal every day can be difficult to digest, and it can increase the risk of gastric torsion, commonly known as bloat. For that reason, you should try to aim for 2 smaller meals in a day.
Before adulthood, however, you want to follow a few different feeding schedules for your bulldog. These are:
  • 8 weeks to 3 months: 4 small meals per day
  • 3 months to 6 months: 3 small meals per day
  • 6 months to 1 year: 2 medium sized meals per day
  • 1 year onward: 1 to 2 meals per day — ideally, 2 per day.

 What Can Bulldogs Eat?

Now that we’ve looked at nutrition and how many times a day a bulldog should eat, let’s look at all the extras. Yes, you want to have your dog on a staple diet…however…that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy a wide variety of foods that we enjoy. In fact, let’s look at a little snapshot of a large list of foods your bulldog can eat.

Can Bulldogs Drink Gatorade

A popular drink for many around the world, Gatorade is a safe option for your bulldog, however, it should only be given if your dog is needing extra electrolytes. If he isn’t, avoid this drink and just give Fido water.
  • Benefits: Excellent for helping a dog overcome dehydration, Gatorade is a fast way to ensure recovery if your bulldog has not had enough water on a hot day or has begun showing symptoms of dehydration.
  • Risks: Gatorade does have benefits; however, this sport’s drink does contain a lot of extra sugar, which can be a health risk for your dog. Because of this, never give your dog Gatorade unless it is absolutely necessary. In addition, make sure that you offer him a 50/50 blend of Gatorade with water or ice cubes.

Can Bulldogs Eat Bananas

When it comes to a healthy food for your bulldog, bananas are often found at the top of the list. In addition, bulldogs love the taste of them and will rarely turn them down as a treat.
  • Benefits: Full of nutrients, bananas are an excellent alternative to fatty treats. They are high in B6, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin C. This makes them excellent at promoting bone growth, preventing some gastrointestinal issues in bulldogs.
  • Risks: Bananas are high in natural sugars, which can upset your dog’s stomach. In addition, it can lead to obesity if they are given as treats too often. While not toxic, banana peels are hard to digest and bananas, in general, are high in fiber, which can lead to constipation if your dog eats too many.

Can Bulldogs Eat Chicken

Whether you offer it raw or cooked, chicken is a great treat and can even be a main ingredient in a well-rounded diet. Warning: never feed your bulldog cooked chicken bones.
  • Benefits: Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is full of Omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help ensure that your bulldog has healthier coats and skin. In addition, chicken can be used to help dogs suffering with diarrhea and are a great ingredient for a bland diet while your dog is recovering.
  • Risks: There are no real risks to feeding your bulldog chicken. The only risk is the chicken bones and all cooked bones should be removed before you give chicken to your bulldog.

Can Bulldogs Eat Grains

Over the last decade or so, there has been a lot of debate on whether grains are healthy for a dog’s diet. The answer is that yes, they are perfectly healthy for dogs to eat on a daily basis. In fact, there are several healthy grains such as oatmeal and brown rice. The focus on grains is that your dog should eat a whole grain for the optimal benefits.
  • Benefits: Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals and they are an excellent source of fiber. They have been linked to reducing the risk of kidney disease, obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol in bulldogs.
  • Risks: No known risks, however, there have been some studies linking allergies to grains.

Can Bulldogs Eat Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is one of those foods that should be offered in moderation. It is a high fat treat and too much of a good thing can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Benefits: An excellent source of protein, peanut butter can help with keeping your dogs coat healthy and shiny. It is a main ingredient in many dog treats and can be fed to a dog on its own.
  • Risks: While there aren’t a lot of risks with peanut butter, bulldog owners should be careful with the ingredients of their peanut butter. In recent years, more and more peanut butters are using xylitol as a sugar substitute, which is deadly for dogs even in small quantities

Can Bulldogs Eat Eggs

Eggs can be fed raw or cooked, however, feeding your dog raw eggs could put him at risk for salmonella poisoning, which can be very dangerous. For that reason, try to stick with the cooked version…eggshell and all.
  • Benefits: Another snack that is high in protein, eggs are excellent for promoting good skin and bones in your bulldog. They help keep your bulldog’s coat shiny.
  • Risks: As mentioned, raw eggs can increase the risk of salmonella poisoning.

Can Bulldogs Eat Carrots

Besides being a lovely treat to munch on, I have found that most bulldogs love carrots and will eat them every day if they could. Perfect on their own or in dog food, carrots are an excellent treat.
  • Benefits: While we all know that carrots help eye health and improved vision, they are also an excellent source of fiber, which works as a laxative. Finally, they are very good for keeping your bulldog’s teeth clean.
  • Risks: While you may not realize it, carrots are high in sugar, which can lead to obesity and other health complications if fed too often to your bulldog.

Can Bulldogs Eat Strawberries

Strawberries are considered one of those powerhouse treats and are great for dogs. However, due to sugar levels, limit the amount to 2 to 3 strawberries a day. Strawberries can be fed stem and all.
  • Benefits: Believe it or not, strawberries are an excellent treat that will help whiten your dog’s teeth. In addition, they are full of powerful antioxidants that will fight free radicals in your dog’s body.
  • Risks: Strawberries should only be fed to your dog in raw form. Never give him strawberries in syrup as there are higher levels of sugar. Feed occasionally and not as a regular treat due to sugar levels.

Can Bulldogs Eat Blueberries

Just like strawberries, blueberries are a powerhouse fruit that can offer a lot of benefits for your bulldog. Again, like all fruit, they should be fed in moderation.
  • Benefits: Full of antioxidants, blueberries are linked to aiding in the fight against cancer in dogs.
  • Risks: Blueberries can be a choking hazard for bulldogs so always watch your dog while he eats them. In addition, like many fruits, blueberries are high in sugar, which can lead to obesity if your dog eats them too often.

Can Bulldogs Eat Cheese

Cheese can be an excellent snack, but only when given in moderation. It does have some benefits but for many dogs, cheese can lead to severe stomach upset so always monitor your dog if you give him a small treat of cheese.
  • Benefits: High in calcium and a great motivator for training, cheese can be excellent for bones and teeth.
  • Risks: Avoid cheeses with a lot of mold in the processing. The mold in cheeses have been linked to vomiting, fever, seizures and diarrhea when fed in excess.

Can Bulldogs Eat Yogurt

Yogurt is mixed bag when it comes to dogs. While some love it and have no problems, other dogs can be allergic to it. In addition, you should only offer plain, whole dairy yogurts. Avoid any with fruit or flavoring added.
  • Benefits: Yogurt can be an excellent treat to add to your dog’s dry food by one or two tablespoons a day. It can help with digestion and can add a little boost of probiotic to your bulldog’s diet.
  • Risks: Some dogs can be allergic to dairy and yogurt can cause digestion problems such as diarrhea. However, the main risk for yogurt is that many have xylitol in it, which is toxic to dogs.

Can Bulldogs Eat Nuts

Whether your bulldog can eat nuts is dependent upon the nut. Some nuts are perfectly healthy for bulldogs to eat, including peanuts, Almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts. Other nuts should be avoided completely as they are toxic for dogs. These include cashews, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hickory nuts, and macadamia nuts. Regardless of the type of nut, they should only be fed in moderation.
  • Benefits: There is some debate on whether nuts are healthy for dogs, however, we do know that nuts contain protein and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help your dog have a shiny coat and strong bones.
  • Risks: Nuts can be a choking hazard for dogs and should only be fed in moderation due to their high fat content, which can lead to obesity. In addition, the nuts listed as toxic can cause hives, neurological damage, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea and have been linked to pancreatitis so it is imperative that you never offer them to your bulldog.

Can Bulldogs Eat Oranges

Oranges can be hit or miss with bulldogs with some bulldogs absolutely living for a slice of orange and others not wanting anything to do with them. Regardless of your dog, oranges should only be offered with one or two slices a day at the maximum. Never feed your bulldog that rind of the orange.
  • Benefits: They are high in vitamin C and can help boost the immune system of your bulldog.
  • Risks: While not a risk to dogs, too many oranges can lead to stomach upset, which includes diarrhea and vomiting. Only feed oranges in moderation.

Can Bulldogs Eat Kiwi

Kiwis should always be fed in moderation to a bulldog. In addition, always remove the skin as it can cause stomach upset in most dogs, although the skin is not toxic.
  • Benefits: Often used as a laxative when a dog has constipation, kiwis are high in fiber, which have many health benefits for a dog.
  • Risks: Kiwi is high in fiber and while not a risk for dogs, too much fiber can lead to constipation in dogs. Only feed kiwis in moderation.

Can Bulldogs Eat Apples

Apples offer your dog a host of benefits from healthier teeth to a boost in vitamins, making them a great treat to give your dog. However, like all sugary treats, apples should be fed in moderation.
  • Benefits: Filled with vitamins, apples are known for keeping bad breath at bay when it comes to bulldogs.
  • Risks: When feeding apples, always remove the seeds from the apple. While the occasional seed is not harmful, apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which accumulates over time. If your dog eats too many apple seeds over his lifetime, he could be affected by cyanide poisoning.

Can Bulldogs Eat Pears

Pears are a sweet snack that many bulldogs enjoy and are a great alternative to apples when you want to mix up his daily treats.
  • Benefits: Pears are full of vitamins including vitamin A and C. They are also rich in fiber and can offer your bulldog fiber that may be lacking from his regular diet.
  • Risks: Like apples, pear seeds contain small amounts of cyanide so avoid feeding your bulldog any pear seeds. In addition, pears can be a choking hazard so cut them into bite sized pieces for your bulldog.
Now these are just a few foods your bulldog can eat; however, you can offer other fruits and vegetables but make sure you take the time to research every food before you offer it to your bulldog.

What Can’t Bulldogs Eat?

While every food can have benefits and risks, these foods are not foods you should offer your bulldog. They can result in lasting health problems for your dog and may even be deadly to them.

Bulldogs Shouldn’t Eat Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are very appealing to dogs and, when given a chance, bulldogs will scarf them down. While one or two won’t hurt your dog, you should avoid feeding them as they can be deadly for dogs and are very toxic.
Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning are:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain, especially in the abdomen
  • Oral Ulcers
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Coma
  • Kidney Failure
  • Death

Bulldogs Shouldn’t Drink Tea and Coffee

While there is debate on whether tea and coffee are toxic to dogs, in general, you should try to avoid giving it to your dogs. Caffeine is not good for dogs, although in small amounts, one or two licks, it does not affect a dog. However, more than one or two laps of coffee or tea could result in caffeine toxicity.
Symptoms of caffeine toxicity are:
  • Restlessness
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures
  • Hyperthermia
  • Vomiting
  • Hypertension
  • Elevated Heart Rate

Bulldogs Shouldn’t Eat Kale

While Kale isn’t as toxic as caffeine or raisins, it isn’t helpful for our canine friends. In fact, kale is full of calcium oxalate and while it is healthy for people, in bulldogs, it leads to an increased risk of kidney and bladder stones. For that reason, it is important to avoid feeding it to your dog, even in small amounts.
Symptoms of kidney or bladder stones in your dog are:
  • Straining to urinate
  • Pain while urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting

Bulldog’s Shouldn’t Drink Milk and Ice Cream

While it is not toxic to dogs, milk is not a recommended food for bulldogs. In general, many dogs are lactose intolerant, which means that they will suffer digestion problems when eating milk or dairy products. If you choose to feed milk to your bulldog, use goat’s milk as it contains less lactose than cow milk.
In addition, ice cream can lead to the same discomfort. There are also many ingredients in ice cream that can be toxic to dogs, including xylitol.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs are:
  • Severe Gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Take Caution Feeding Pork to Bulldogs

While cooked pork is safe for dogs, it is important to note that cooked pork bones are a hazard to them. In addition, uncooked pork can be extremely dangerous to dogs due to the parasite found in undercooked/raw pork known as trichinosis.
Symptoms of a trichinosis infection are:
  • Muscle Inflammation
  • Upset stomach
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Joint Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

Take Caution Feeding Tomatoes to Bulldogs

While ripe tomatoes are generally considered safe for dogs, unripe and ripening tomatoes, along with leaves and stems, can be quite dangerous to dogs due to tomatoes containing an alkaloid named tomatine.  This alkaloid metabolizes in the tomato as it ripens, posing a risk to your bulldog if the tomato hasn’t ripened enough.
Symptoms of tomatine toxicity are
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Seizures

Bulldogs Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol

We’ve all seen the movies where the dog downs a beer with his own, however, alcohol is very toxic to dogs and even small amounts can have devastating effects on your bulldog’s health and wellbeing
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Slow Heart Rate
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythms
  • Metabolic Acidosis
  • Respiratory Distress
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Loss of Bodily Control
  • Depressed Mood
  • Seizures
  • Death
Before you decide on what to feed your dog or not, be sure to do the research to make sure that it is not harmful to your bulldog.

The Inside Information on Bones and Your Bulldog

While we looked at foods your bulldog can and can’t have, we didn’t touch on bones that you should feed your dog. So, before we answer a few remaining questions on bulldog nutrition, let’s look at a few of the inside information regarding bones.

Bones Your Bulldog Should Chew

When it comes to bones, the best bones to offer your bulldog are raw bones. They are generally less dangerous for your dog’s teeth and have less risks for your dog. When you feed bones, always monitor your bulldog. If the bone starts to splinter, take it away from your dog and offer them a different bone.
Bones that your bulldog can chew are:
  • Edible Bones: With edible bones, you are looking at soft, pliable bones. The best are non-weight bearing bones of chickens, turkeys and other birds. They can be chewed easily with the meat, such as a chicken wing, and you can even grind up the bone and add it to their food as a meat grind.
  • Recreational Bones: Another raw bone, these are excellent for mental stimulation. They are usually femur, hip or knuckle bones that offer big chunks of meat to chew off and lots of tendon and other goodies to chew.

Bones Your Bulldog Should Avoid

Although we have bones to offer your bulldog on a daily basis, it is important to look at other bones available on the market that you should avoid with your bulldog.
These include the following:
  • Rawhide: Considered one of the most dangerous bones, or chew toys, you can give your bulldog, rawhide is full of chemicals that can have lasting health effects on your dog. In addition, it is not easy to digest. They are known for causing blockages, which can result in death if not caught early.
  • Cooked Bones: These bones offer no nutritional value to a dog and are full of risks. They can easily chip and splinter, which can lead to perforation of the intestines as the splinters move through the digestive tract. This can lead to serious health problems and even death for your dog. In addition, those splinters can jam themselves into your dog’s gums, which can lead to dental problems. Avoid all cooked bones and not just cooked chicken or turkey bones.
  • Marrow Bones: Marrow bones can be an excellent raw bone, however, they can be dangerous, so I recommend just avoiding them. Marrow bones can chip teeth, dislocate jaws and can even slip over a dog’s lower jaw when they are chewing on them. If you choose to offer them, always monitor your dog while he does.

Alternatives to Bones for Your Bulldog

Finally, let’s look at a few options you have if you are looking for something other than a bone to give to your bulldog. Like bones, you should watch your bulldog when he is chewing on these to intervene if he chokes.
  • Antlers: Antlers are a natural, odorless way to offer your dog a chew toy/bone. They offer mental stimulation and can clean and massage the teeth and gums. They are not recommended for voracious chewers as they are very hard and can break or crack teeth if a dog is not careful.
  • Pig Ears: Just what they sound like, pig ears offer a great chew for your bulldog, but they should only be given in moderation. They are very high in fat and this can result in loose stools and obesity if they eat pig ears frequently.
  • Fish Skin: Fish skins don’t offer a lot of chewing time, but they do offer a few minutes. The skins are like jerky and they are very healthy for your bulldog since they are full of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. They make a great alternative for dogs who aren’t really into chewing.
And that should offer you many different options for bones and treats for your bulldog. As always, monitor your individual bulldog when offering anything on our list of safe foods and pick and choose the best foods for your bulldog.

Other Things to Consider When Feeding Your Bulldog

When feeding your bulldog, it is equally important to consider the following:
  • How many calories should my bulldog get per day
  • How much should my bulldog puppy eat
  • Can RAW be a good diet for bulldogs
  • Will some foods make my bulldog fart more

How many calories should my bulldog get per day?

Although many people don’t really think of dog nutrition in terms of calorie intake, this is an important detail that all bulldog owners should know. In general, a bulldog of average energy levels should consume about 25 to 30 calories for every pound of weight. What this means is that a 50lb bulldog should consume 1250 to 1500 calories per day. Dogs with higher energy levels – requiring over 3 hours of exercise a day, will have higher calories up to about 3 times the amount. In addition, low energy bulldogs may only need half of the recommended calorie intake to maintain their optimal weight.

How much should my bulldog puppy eat?

This answer is dependent on the type of food that your bulldog puppy is eating. Hopefully, you have him on a high-quality commercial diet or a high-quality homemade diet. If it is commercial, there are usually feeding guides for recommended amounts, however, the universal average that you will see is between ¾ to 1 cup-3 times per day.

Can RAW be a good diet for bulldogs?

There are many benefits for a RAW diet and there are risks involved with the diet as well. Before you feed a RAW diet, make sure you do your research so your bulldog is receiving the proper nutrition and the proper amount of calories per day. When fed correctly, RAW diets can be very good for bulldogs and will benefit their jaws, teeth, bones and coat quality.

Will some foods make my bulldog fart more?

Of course, bulldogs are notorious for farting, however, some foods will make your bulldog fart more than others. Every dog is different, however, some foods that are linked to an increase in flatulence in bulldogs are peas, soybeans, beans, oat bran, milk and other dairy products, broccoli and spicy foods. And these are just a few so be on the lookout for foods that cause your bulldog’s stomach to be unsettled.