Homemade dog food is a great way to have ultimate control over what your dog puts into its body. Sure, dry kibbles and commercial foods offer the benefit of convenience. But are they really helping your dog reach its full potential?
With most breeds, commercial food is an acceptable option. However, breeds like the Bulldog may benefit more from homemade meals. This breed is notoriously picky and is prone to a wide range of health problems.
Sometimes, creating your Bully's meals from scratch is the smarter choice if you want to avoid the many health concerns these dogs are susceptible to. So, what kinds of foods do Bulldogs eat?
Understanding the Dietary Needs of a Bulldog
Bulldogs are no different than any other dog breed when it comes to the essentials. They need all of the same macronutrients. These include:
With these essentials, your dog will have no problem staying healthy. The trick, however, is to meet the unique needs of your dog.
Potential Food Issues
Bulldogs are known to suffer from a handful of health problems. While not always avoidable, you can address many of them with proper dietary planning. Here are some of the most common challenges you'll face and what you can do to avoid them.
Allergies are more common in Bulldogs than people think. In fact, many Bullies develop allergies as they get older! It's a real issue that owners have to workaround.
The good news is that you're already taking a step in the right direction if you're thinking about making homemade meals. Commercial foods mainly use the same ingredients.
Sure, there's some variation from brand to brand. But if one protein or carbohydrate source is veterinarian-recommended, you're bound to find it in a slew of different products.
That presents a significant problem when trying to find a non-triggering commercial option.
Making homemade meals is the most straightforward workaround you have. You can use the results of your vet's allergy test to formulate meals that work for your pooch.
Utilize unique ingredients that go against the conventions of the commercial dog food world. You'd be hard-pressed to find rare meats and unorthodox vegetables in a mass-produced lineup of foods. But if you're doing things yourself, you can use as many unique ingredients as you need to meet your dog's dietary requirements.
Weight gain is another massive risk with Bulldogs. These canines love to eat!
There's no getting around that.
Unfortunately, commercial foods aren't exactly fine-tuned to ditch unhealthy extras. Some foods add unnecessary fillers just to add bulk. Things like corn, wheat, and soy have no nutritional value. But, they make your dog feel full as they fill up. They're basically empty calories.
If you make your dog's food from scratch, you have the opportunity to make every calorie count. Use nutrient-dense ingredients and avoid high-fat additions that serve no purpose.
Food intolerances are just as common as full-blown allergies. Bulldogs have notoriously sensitive stomachs. If they don't have diarrhea, they're vomiting. If they're not vomiting, they have excessive gas! It truly is an endless cycle of misery with this breed sometimes.
Again, making your food from scratch lets you avoid all of those ingredients that cause trouble. For many Bulldogs, the culprit is dairy and certain fruits.
Those ingredients are common in commercial foods. Avoid them, and your dog can stay comfortable long after eating.
Because of their flappy skin and signature wrinkles, skin problems are typical for the Bulldog breed. Their skin can get dry, develop rashes, and even become impacted by parasites.
Many owners aren't aware of this, but what your dog eats can have a significant influence on the quality of their skin and fur. Some foods are drying and irritating. Pair that with allergies and intolerances, and you have a recipe for disaster.
You can overcome skin problems by introducing beneficial skin-focused ingredients. For example, Bulldogs can benefit from Omega Fatty acids.
Adding things like salmon oil or flaxseed will soothe the skin. They can also prevent future flair-ups from occurring, which keeps your pup's fur smooth and silky.
Good Additions to Homemade Bulldog Food
Now that you understand how a homemade diet can help your Bulldog let's go over some ingredients that can really benefit Fido. There are tons of foods to try out.
Variety is key when creating homemade meals, so feel free to experiment and try new things.
Of course, you should always work within the needs of your dog. All Bullies are different, so make sure to avoid the allergens that plague your pup and stick with foods that can address their specific health issues.
As a general rule of thumb, dogs need their diet to consist of at least 18 percent protein. If you can add even more, go for it!
Bulldogs can use those muscle-building proteins to stay strong and healthy.
This breed needs about two grams of protein for every pound of body weight. You don't have to get super scientific with things. As long as you stick to the general guidelines, you should be fine.
So, what kinds of proteins are best?
We recommend utilizing uncommon protein sources that won't trigger your dog's allergies. Lamb is one of the best out there. It's lean, delicious, and chock-full of healthy amino acids.
You can also utilize beef, pork, fish, or whatever you can find. Just steer clear of known allergens.
Carbohydrates are a must-have for energy. They include starchy foods, grains, and more.
To keep your Bulldog in good shape, stick to complex carbohydrates. A mix of squash, sweet potatoes, and legumes are best. They absorb into the body slowly, avoiding that dreaded energy crash!
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide your dog with all the vitamins and nutrients they need. Variety is important. Don't give the same plant-based ingredients over and over again. Your pup needs a healthy supply of nutrients to thrive truly.
The best ingredients to add are antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can improve your dog's cardiovascular health, strengthen their immune system, and protect them from free radicals. Try things like blueberries, raspberries, spinach, kale, and more.
Finally, the last important thing you need to add is water. Bulldogs are brachycephalic, which means that they have smushed faces.
Their anatomy makes it difficult to breathe and chew. The last thing you want to do is create a dangerous challenge for your Bully.
Infuse plenty of water into the mix so that your dog doesn't have a hard time eating.
Things to Avoid
The possibilities are endless when it comes to healthy ingredients. But what about things to avoid?
Avoid anything that has too much fat. Remember: Bulldogs are prone to weight gain. Keep things lean and healthy.
Fat is essential, so you don't want to strip the food of fat altogether. It adds flavor and provides energy. However, you should stick to healthier forms of fat.
You can utilize the healthy Omega Fatty acids we went over earlier. Natural sources of fat from the protein source work well, too.
Pay close attention to the seemingly healthy ingredients you add. Nuts and carbohydrates can be high in fat, too. The same goes for some fruits and vegetables.
The best part of creating homemade meals is that you don't have to worry about unnecessary additives. Keep things all-natural and healthy!
Processed extras may have too much sugar or fat. They could also have chemicals that only irritate allergies.
Homemade Dog Food Recipe for Bulldogs
Ready to take a crack at making your Bulldog's meals? Here's a nutritious recipe worth trying out.
This recipe utilizes ground turkey as the primary protein source. You can swap the meat out with something more exotic if your dog suffers from allergies. The same goes for the plant-based ingredients.
The recipe is formulated to be easy on the system and balanced enough to support your pooch. But as always, there's room to customize things as you see fit.
Putting this meal together is super easy.
Start by preparing the brown rice. Cook it according to the instructions on the package. You can even add some extra water to over-soften it if you want.
As that's going, cook the ground turkey meat with the oil. Once it's browned, drain the excess fat and let it cool.
After the rice and meat are down to room temperature, mix all of the ingredients together. Thoroughly incorporate the raw elements, grains, and puree until you have a nice mash.
Once that's done, split the food up into individual meals and serve it up! You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Or, you can keep it even longer in the freezer.
Creating homemade meals for your Bulldogs is a rewarding experience. It may take some trial and error to get things right. But keep at it and pay attention to your dog's needs! Address those health concerns and keep things natural.
Before long, you may notice a drastic improvement in health and overall being. When you get to that point, you'll never look back at commercial food again!
Also Read: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Dog Food