What’s the Best Food for my Bulldog?

Best Dog Food For English Bulldogs

Last updated on 2/11/17

“What kind of food should I give to my Bulldog?” It’s definitely one of the most prevalent questions being asked in the world of Bulldogs. Most never would have thought it was even a big deal until their Bulldogs’ began developing rashes, dry/itchy skin, chronic ear infections and excessive hair-loss and flatulence etc. There’s a good chance you’re reading this page because you too have suddenly found your bully’s food just isn’t working anymore.

Well, these are all excellent reasons to examine the food your feeding your bully, but there are even bigger issues at hand.

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Recently, I was floored to learn that 50% of k-9s are dying of cancer and 1 in every 4 dogs will develop a tumor in their lifetime.

Facts like these can leave us worried sick about our Bulldogs! 1 in every 4 dogs will have a tumor!! My anxiety is having anxiety! Oh to think, the kind of health problems we could be inflicting on our beloved pet with every new bowl of kibble!

Whatever the reason, you’re looking for the best available dog food for your bulldog and so am I.

In this article we’ll outline the benefits of supplying our bulldogs with a healthy and nutritious dog food. You’ll learn a few ingredients that should never enter your bully’s mouth.

Finally, you’ll get an inside look at a few of our favorite brands and the ones recommended by pet food specialists. In all my research I’m going to critically analyze the food we give to our own Bulldogs and I hope you will too. We currently give our Bullies Diamond Naturals.

Comment below the brand of dog food you give to your Bulldog and Why!

Does Having a Good Dog Food Really Matter?

Surely, there’s a whole slew of reasons why a pet owner would want to lavish upon their Bulldog the best food possible with the most considerable reason being the health of their pet. A good dog food plays an extremely important role in many facets of every dog’s health. Your bulldog’s diet will affect his muscle tone and energy, joint strength, coat and skin health, digestive wellness and even the ability to fight off and prevent sickness.

Does your Bully shed a lot? Does he often have loose stool? It could be the food.

Coconut Oil For Bulldogs? YES!!

Serving a quality food to your Bulldog can ensure your family enjoys the privilege of hearing him pleasantly snoring and passing gas while you all gather in front of the boob tube years from now. I’ve no doubt anyone who wasn’t already convinced of the gravity of this topic, suddenly has been made well aware. Oh wait a minute….we’re trying to get rid of the flatulence, not keep it. Actually, there have been certain weirdos out there in the Bulldog community that have told me they(clears throat) enjoy hearing and smelling their Bulldog’s farts. That’s another story…lol

So how do you know which dog food is the real deal?

We all know the most popular dog food brands. These include Purina, Iams, Pedigree, and Kibbles and Bits. Seriously though, most popular doesn’t necessarily mean best. These brands are all the most well-known brands on the scene, but only because they are also the brands that spend the most on fancy shmancy advertising and cute commercials.

Best Food For English BulldogsThere are hundreds of dog food brands out there, and nearly every single one has a gimmick to try and help them sell their product to pet owners. One television commercial even narrates the adaptation of dogs from their ancestors and how they used to hunt for real meat. (Though I don’t think ol’ Tank could catch a caribou by himself) All of these strategies try to draw attention away from what you’re buying: dog food.

So how do you narrow down the field to only the healthiest and most beneficial dog foods? Read On.

You may say, “What about the brand with the picture of a beautiful Bulldog on it?” It’s totally understandable a person with an English Bulldog would consider that food to be most fitting for their Bully. Let me just say, if the test of a good dog food was to pick the one with your favorite dog breed on the bag we’d have a sure winner, but this is merely another dead end. Whether or not your dog’s picture is on the bag should never be a determining factor in finding the best dog food; you know this.

Royal Canin comes to mind. Sorry to be “that guy”, but did you know Royal Canin Bulldog first few ingredients are:

  1. Brewers Rice  -Rice is a quality grain, but the most prevalent ingredient in dog food should be meat.
  2. Chicken By -Product Meal -These are inedible pieces left over from animal processing like, feet, spleen, stomach, brain,  and intestines.
  3. Brown Rice  -More grain. Remember the Wendy’s commercial? “Where’s The Beef?”
  4. Wheat Gluten  -Gluten is sort of a grain by-product. It’s what you get when the good stuff has been stripped. See what DogFoodAdvisor.Com has to say about this “protein imposter.”

I’m glad you laid Royal Canin to rest. Thank you for that. Just because it has a happy bulldog on the front, and it is expensive, does NOT mean it is good food!!!
The same with Science Diet. Unfortunately our vet carries it exclusively, and recommends It. When I looked at the ingredients, I knew then that they were paid to carry it. Unfortunate.

- Bulldog Enthusiast, Mitch Haynes

Lot’s of people think, “I’ll just play it safe and buy the super expensive brand, that way I know I’m getting the best food.” This reminds me of a time my younger brother, a huge Cleveland Browns fan, showed me his prized Jim Brown trading card.

This card was autographed by the Hall of Fame Running Back and flawless! Clearly, the autograph was a fake, the signature was only a copy, but my little brother steadfastly proclaimed, ” No, it’s definitely real, I paid a lot of money for this card!”

So you see, just because something costs a lot of money…. does not mean it’s the best. This is true with dog food!

Decipher the Ingredients.

Ever Consider the BARF Diet?

When choosing a dog food provider you’ve absolutely got to get a good look “under the hood”. Every used car salesman’s desire is that their perspective customers become mesmerized by the shiny clear coat finish or the well kept interior while totally neglecting their duty to check out the most important thing. The: engine compartment! Like the used car salesman, disingenuous dog food manufacturers aim to win your business based on outside appearances and empty phrases like, “made with real, meaty bits.” What in the world is a “meaty bit” anyway?

IMG_22111It’s not science. No college degree needed here.  Just take a quick gander at the small square on the back of every bag of dog food before you make your purchase. This is the “engine compartment” I referred to. It’s here we get to see what’s really been put into the bag.  It tells dog owners exactly what went into the pouch before the picture of the smiling Bulldog was stamped on the front. Just because he’s smiling doesn’t mean the food was good. He got paid to be the happy face on that bag.

I chose to use the word “decipher” above because lots of times the big dog food companies like to be a bit deceptive. Ever heard of “ingredient splitting”? Splitting is basically the manufacturer’s practice of playing musical chairs with the bag’s list of ingredients in order to make you believe a desirable additive like whole chicken breast is more prevalent in the food than a far less desirable one like corn or wheat.

Here’s an Example on Ingredient Splitting:

Let’s say a certain dog food contains 20% Corn as the first ingredient and 15% Lamb as the second. Any dishonest dog food producer may lawfully divide or “split” the corn additive into two parts on the list; corn meal and corn flour. Voila, the Lamb(15%) can now move up to the top element on the list of ingredients followed by corn meal, now 10% and corn flour, 10%. There is still more corn in this bag of dog food than Lamb and many times the consumer is none the wiser! This is a common practice among dog food manufacturers.

Ever wonder just how prevalent a named ingredient such as chicken actually is in the food you’re buying? Here’s another way in which the manufacturers can cheat their way to a sale using clever wording and still abiding by the rules. If on the front of a bag of dog food it says, “chicken and rice,” it lawfully must contain at least 26% chicken. “Rich in chicken”- it must contain a minimum of 14% chicken. If it says, “made with chicken,”  it needs only 4% chicken and if it says, “chicken flavor,” it can contain 0% chicken. These facts are astounding!

Run From These Dog Food Ingredients…..RUN!

With so many ingredients in each bag of dog food, which ones should we steer clear of? Harmful ingredients most commonly found in dog food include corn, wheat, soybean meal/soy flour, grain fractions and flours, nut/grain/bean hulls, and synthetic preservatives. Corn often times makes up as much as 70% of a low quality dog food and holds very little nutritional sustenance.

Don’t allow your Bulldog to eat food with generic meat sources, digests, by-products, meat and bone meals. Generic meat sources are any meat ingredients that don’t specifically name which animal has been put into the food. You don’t want your dog eating squirrels right? (Other than the ones they catch for fun anyway) Can you believe it! Our Bulldog, Lily, actually caught a squirrel once. Try to imagine a Non-Sporting Bulldog…running quick enough to catch a lighting fast squirrel!! We’re pretty sure the squirrel saw the Bulldog up close and just flat out died of a heart attack -Little side story for ya.

Some other ingredients to look out for are lard, tallow, and other low-quality fat sources. While these ingredients are extremely tasty to dogs, they offer nearly nothing beneficial in regards to a healthy diet . Gluten is another ingredient you don’t want in your dog food if it can be avoided. Gluten is basically leftover material from human food production. It’s difficult to digest for dogs, which is why it is something to look out for.  Heavy sugars, sweeteners, colors, and dyes are all ingredients that aren’t necessary in dog foods and are usually only added to enhance taste or appearance; some dyes can even cause allergic reactions. This is just not necessary in our Bulldogs’ food!

Tip: Remember to Always Wash Your Hands After Handling Dry or Raw Dog Food to Avoid salmonella Contamination to yourself or family members.

3 Best Foods for Bulldogs

The search for the best food for English Bulldogs has not been an easy one! Over the coarse of a 3 months we’ve purchased and introduced different foods to our bullies including, Wellness Core, Taste of The Wild, Castor and Pollux Organix and Merrick. Obviously, we could never test each and every brand, but we did carefully scrutinize many of the 4-5 star foods and their manufacturer.

I also made a point to try and pick three foods of varying price ranges. This because I understand there are those of us who don’t care about the money as long as the food is tops and still others who want the best food at the lowest possible price. You’ll notice each of these recommendations are easily accessible on popular websites and in box stores too.

Merrick Back Country Raw Infused

This has got to be the most fun food we tried with our bullies! I should have recorded our Bulldog, D.C. while eating this because it was hilarious watching him pick out the soft, larger pieces of freeze dried raw bits he found on the top of the kibble. I can only imagine how he enjoyed the different texture, feel and taste of those cubed bits of meat! This stuff is like the doggie version of Lucky Charms cereal!

Back Country is probably as close as you can get to a raw diet while still enjoying the convenience of pouring it straight out of the bag. How many brands can you think of that offer whole pieces of freeze dried meat in them!

This food is heavy laden with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. As stated before, these omegas are so helpful when it comes to keeping a Bulldog’s coat and skin healthy.

Just listen to these ingredients! Deboned beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes! What do you know about lamb and fish meal? When I first began researching dog foods I thought less of proteins with the word “meal” after them. Eventually, I found that a protein like whole chicken breast contained far less protein than chicken that had been processed into a “meal.” Most foods we’ve reviewed include just one named protein in their long list of ingredients. Back Country has listed three awesome meats right off the bat making this a top-notch dog food!

So much good stuff in this bag! Back Country is loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin which we all know is just awesome for our heavy Bulldogs and their need for healthy joints.The addition of salmon oil can’t be overlooked.

One other great addition to this food that I think really sets it apart are the ingredients at the bottom of the list. You know, the ones that are impossible to pronounce. Here’s one of them: Enterococcus faecium. This is a living bacteria added to the food for the purpose of bolstering your Bulldog’s digestive health and over-all health in general, actually. This bacteria is naturally found in a healthy dog so it’s inclusion is nothing to worry over. Basically, this is a probiotic and there are plenty of them listed in the ingredients. The Enterococcus serves in this food as an aid to digestion as well.

Merrick is produced in Texas and the company is a stalwart in quality products and customer satisfaction. I like that there are more than a few different recipes of this Back Country Raw available so that a person can switch between them allowing their Bulldog a change in taste from time to time.

Wellness Core Grain Free

For our review of Wellness, we chose to use the Turkey and Chicken formula. Right away, I appreciated the tough plastic bag with the resealable zip top. All brands should do this with their bags! This one detail allows the user to keep the food in the bag after opening instead of being forced to transfer the kibble to a plastic container. The resealable bag holds in the freshness all on it’s own.

Why Wellness

Of course, this food, like all the others in our trial is grain, corn and soy free. The first five ingredients are deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, peas and potatoes. This is a nutrient rich food including antioxidants, omega fatty acids, glucosomine and probiotics.

Some ingredients or details that really make this food stand out are ground flax seedchicory root and that it’s mineral ingredients are chelated. Let me explain.

“Chelated” means the minerals have been chemically attached to protein in production thus rendering them far easier to absorb by the dog. Many of the lower end dog foods include minerals that are eliminated without much benefit to the dog because they have not been chelated.

Chicory root has been added to this food in order to aid in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. Chicory helps create a robust G.I. system primarily through the use of it’s own inulin. Inulin, is a excellent at producing prebiotics which then promote the growth of helpful bacteria.

Flax seed is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids and is a heck of a lot easier to absorb after it’s first been ground.  These fatty acids help give a Bulldog a shiny coat.

Taste of The Wild

Let me explain why TOTW, an American Made product, is an excellent food for your bully!

I love the direction TOTW has taken with it’s food! The first 5 ingredients included are bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product(supports a healthy coat) and sweet potatoes. It’s quality ingredients like these that make a clear statement about this dog food manufacturer’s main objective.

What is TOFTW’s goal? It’s right there in their slogan, Your Dog Craves a Taste of The Wild…Go Ahead and Give Him One!  It’s perfect! They’ve cut out all the non-essential additives, chemicals and controversial fillers leaving only the finest components for an above average dog food.

Why TOTW

Taste of The Wild is grain, corn, wheat and soy free.  I was pleased to see the inclusion of Salmon oil, a naturally rich omega-3 fatty acid which encourages a healthy coat and skin.

Again, like with Wellness Core, we see the inclusion of “Chelated Minerals.” Previously discussed above, it was noted chelated minerals are a particular type ingredient typically found only in higher quality foods. You’ll see it listed as an ingredient in each bag of TOTW.

Chelated minerals are minerals like calcium, copper, zinc and iron that have been made up to 15% easier to absorb thanks to their being chemically combined with amino acid. This means the necessary minerals every dog needs to thrive can now be absorbed and used by the body rather than being thrown out as waste.

We picked TOTW not only because of it’s superior food quality and it’s a great choice no matter what stage of life your Bulldog is in. It’s filled with amino acids, fruits and vegetables and antioxidants.

To put it simply, I always say Taste of The Wild is a 5 star dog food at a 4 star price. There is no other dog food in it’s price range that compares.

I buy this for my two Bulldogs, Dozer + Dotty. I mix in a can of wet totw food twice a week as a treat. My English Bulldogs have always had severe allergies and skin problems that seemed to get out of control with other foods. It’s been 1 year now and I’ve noticed an improvement with both my bullies since switching. Through Amazon it’s cheaper than anywhere else, I get free shipping and I don’t have to go to the store carrying 30lb bags all over the place!!

- Taste of the Wild User

Store Bought Foods Just Not Working for Your Bulldog? Consider the BARF Diet!

Taste of The Wild is one of the more favorable products we’ve found in our research that’s received commendations by veterinarians and their faithful customers alike. So how can Taste of The Wild’s manufacturer produce such high quality dog food in comparison to their snidely competitors? Maybe they see the value in spending less money on cheesy advertisements and more on wholesome products?

Best Food For Bulldog Puppies

We recommend you use a puppy formula dog food like Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula with Bison and Roasted Venison until your Bulldog has become fully grown. This is usually about 12-14 months for females and 14-16 months for males. Why? So many reasons. Simply put, puppy foods contain a higher amount of calories and protein to assist growing puppies in achieving maximum size and health as he approaches adulthood. The kibble is smaller as well so it’s not as tough to chew and swallow.

Taste of the Wild is also wildly beneficial to a Bulldog puppy’s GI tract because of the inclusion of pro-biotics in the food. They say that 70% of a dog’s immune system is in the GI tract so having a healthy intestine is so important for our young bullies. Especially with young puppies ages 6-16wks receiving anti-biotic treatments from the vet, loose and runny stools can be a problem until healthy bacteria can again propagate the digestive system. Young puppies also have the added stress of transitioning to a new home.

It’s just as important you make the switch from puppy formula to adult when necessary as these higher concentrations of calories can lead to an adult dog becoming over-weight.

Tip: For puppies 8 weeks – 16 weeks of age you might prepare the kibble by first adding just a bit of water over the top. This will allow the kibble to soften up and be easier to chew and digest.

Food For Bulldogs With Allergies

About 10-20% of Bulldogs will suffer from food allergies, while seasonal allergies to grass, weed or tree pollen and bug bites are the source of most other allergic reactions. Excessive licking, biting, gnawing and scratching of the paws, legs, belly and face are common side-effects to seasonal allergies. Symptoms brought on by food allergies can appear similar, but are almost always coupled with more frequent, softer bowel movements and chronic yeast infections in the ears and on the skin.

Food or Contact Allergy

Ask yourself whether your Bulldog’s symptoms are always present, or if they come and go. Is your bully truly experiencing food allergies or allergies caused by coming in contact with something environmental? Plastics, carpet fibers, household chemicals like carpet cleaner or softener sheets, bug bites and pollen are all seasonal or temporary. For instance, a Bulldog with a seasonal allergy to ragweed pollen might be feeling itchy every Fall season. This could be called a “contact allergy” because it’s been caused by something the dog has come into physical contact with, not from eating his food.

This sort of allergy cannot necessarily be remedied with any special food, but there are methods of control that can help. A cool bath with a medicated shampoo, a steroid injection from your vet, the use of hydrocortisone, or a simple dose of Benadryl (1mg/lb/8hrs) may help to sooth your Bulldog’s seasonal allergies. 

True Food Allergies

If you think your bully is allergic to something in his food you’ll need to identify which ingredients are causing all the trouble. Soy, grains, wheat, corn and dairy are the most common offenders. Some Bulldogs can even be allergic to proteins like chicken and beef. There are blood and skin tests your veterinarian can do. These tests aren’t extremely accurate, but still can be helpful at pointing a person in the right direction. Possibly a more proven method is the process of elimination or trial diet.

Try a limited ingredient food containing none of the above listed ingredients. It should be something simple. This can be done with store bought kibble or by implementing the Bulldog Specific BARF diet, or raw food diet. The BARF diet demands more effort due to the fact you must prepare the food yourself, but it is easier in that you can precisely control the ingredients going into your bully’s bowl allowing you to accurately pin-point those foods his body disagrees with.  

Best Food For Allergies

This Zignature Grain Free Trout formula is what I would recommend. I love the simplicity of this food. I’ve scarcely heard of a Bulldog that’s allergic to salmon or trout which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Sunflower oil and flaxseed are also named among the ingredients and they are fatty acid powerhouses!

Flaxseed is thought to be the #1 source for omega-3s! What’s the big deal about fatty acids? Well, scientists believe that fatty acids play a big role in slowing down the growth of yeast infections like the ones our bullies so often get in their ears and on the skin. Fatty acids are also thought to prevent allergic reactions to airborne pollens.

See how your bully does on the new food you’ve chosen. Symptoms from food allergies can take up to 8 weeks to subside so be patient. Once you’ve found a food that’s successful in curbing the symptoms of his food allergies you may add a new ingredient to your Bulldog’s kibble. If say, after adding rice back into the food, your Bulldog breaks out with a rash on his legs, paws and face, you would then be sure he is allergic to rice.

Best Reduced Fat/Low Calorie Formula Bulldogs

Do you suspect your English Bulldog is a bit “chunky” these days? The average weight for a male Bulldog is 50-65lbs. and 45-55lbs. for females. If you’ve got a 7o pound male Bulldog it doesn’t necessarily mean your boy’s over-weight; he may just have a larger frame.

Obesity is very rarely a problem for Bulldogs 2 years and younger, but very common for those over 4 years of age. This probably because of their natural Bulldog ability to lay around for days totally content. Also, just like us humans, a Bulldog becomes less active as he ages. Compare the non-stop energy your Bulldog had as he was a puppy to the increasing amount of time he spends lying on the couch today. He’s consuming the same or more amount of calories he always has, but in his older age he’s become half as active.

Remember to exercise your bully at least 15 min. a day whether he wants to or not. Table scraps should be kept to a minimum. Dog treats can be high in fat too and their ingredients should be just as carefully scrutinized as your Bulldog’s main food choice.

Sometimes even when you’ve been doing everything else right, environmental or genetic circumstances can make a Bulldog heavy. In this case, you can gain a lot of ground by cutting down on the calorie/fat intake your Bulldog is getting every day from his kibble.

The most commonly prescribed dog food for over-weight dogs is Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management, but many of the ingredients included in this food (wheat, corn, soy, animal by-products) are sub-par to say the least. I would encourage you not to take your vet’s word for it on this one.

Instead, go for a specialized weight management food like Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free, Reduced Fat Recipe. It’s a 5 star food that’s got everything we recommend in this article for giving your bully a healthy diet and 25- 50% less fat than regular food. Unlike popular veterinarian prescribed weight management kibble, Wellness doesn’t include any harmful ingredients like wheat, corn, soy and by-products.

See Our Most Popular Article: Top 9 English Bulldog Hygiene HeadAches & Their Solutions!

The Final Word

Keep in mind that all dogs are different and may need special ingredients. Some dog food brands carry special diet dog foods that cater to the needs of every animal. There are different recipes that consider weight-loss, allergies, and individual diet options to allow the best selection for any pet. If your Bulldog is having digestive or health issues, his diet could be a factor. Make sure to let your veterinarian know your Bully’s diet and the ingredients in their food. They’ll be able to help you select the correct meal plan for your pet to make sure they get the necessary nutritional value.

Tip: When changing a Bulldog’s diet it’s not recommended you switch his food all at once. This can cause diarrhea, gas, unsettled stomach etc. Instead, gradually change his food over a span of 7-10 days to ensure your bully’s digestive system can keep up with the change. Just mix in small amounts to begin and larger amounts as you near the 5 day mark.

So, like I said, I decided I had better analyze the food (Diamond Naturals , Chicken and Rice ) we give to our Bulldogs. Clearly it’s not the best dog food available, but I want to make sure I’m at least giving a food with quality ingredients like some of the a fore mentioned. Here’s what I found.

According to DogFoodAdvisor.Com, there are some “controversial” fillers like beat pulp. I also read that although the grains in the food are high quality grains, two of them are forms of rice. I’m a victim of “splitting!” There apparently is concern that when the two forms of rice are combined, they would outweigh the first meat ingredient. This makes it likely that the meat content is low on our brand of dog food.

The good news is that we knew most dog foods are low in total protein content. To make up for this we’ve been supplementing our Bulldogs’ diets with cooked chicken breast. We’re also considering switching to the grain free version of this food.

What food do you trust and how does it stack up to other brands on the market?

Comment Below!

338 Responses to Best Bulldog Food

  • Jenny

    Hi Dan! I have a 5 month old English Bulldog. We feed her grain free Authority chicken and pea I believe. Our vet is advising us to get away from grain free.. she believes grains are needed. I have heard many sides of stories about grain free/grains. We are so confused. Our puppy always has a foul smell coming out of her butt (sorry) but the vet said it’s her anal glands and that it’s prolly because we are feeding her grain free. Do you know anything about the food we are feeding and how the ingredients look? We get it from our local petsmart.
    Thanks!

    • Jenny

      Hi again, I also have thought about trying totw, but people have told me it’s for very active dogs only. I just have lots of questions about food! Our vet really likes Hills food, because it is researched a lot by groups or whatever. But those have grains in them. Don’t they…? And bullys should be on large breed food correct? What protein percent should their food be? The 1 we have ( grain free authority chicken) is 26 or 28.. not sure. I don’t know if the smell is just an issue that she’ll always have..? Some dogs are prone to that I have heard. Her stool is decently firm I believe.

    • Lisa

      That’s the bulldog smell. Those babies have the most room clearing gas, regardless of food

  • Ashley Rodriguez

    Hey Dan, I have a question. I have an 11 week old English Bulldog. The breeder was feeding him Victor dog food with 24% protein to 20% fat. When he was 8 weeks old we switched him to Royal Canin. I don’t like the ingredients in Royal Canin and would like to switch him to something healthier and more natural. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Dan Weese

      Hi Ashley. I’m going to assume you’ve already read about my recommendation for TOTW. If you’re still looking for something more natural, more holistic, I would say give Orijen or Evo a try. The Orijen formula for puppies is simply amazing. There are zero controversial ingredients. They claim their poultry is free range and the fish is wild caught. All of their meat is farmed and fished in Canada arriving fresh in the states for production and packaging. So many quality meats are named as first ingredients. The increase in overall quality from Canin to Orijen is significant! You should also take a look at our new page, The Bulldog Specific BARF Diet. I just finished up with a couple of really healthy recipes I think you would enjoy making if you have the extra time. Good luck, Ashley! Oh and you should share a photo of your new bully pup on our facebook page so we can say hello 🙂

      • Ashley Rodriguez

        Thank you for replying! I’m going to try TOTW and see how he likes it. I will post a picture of him soon on Facebook. Thanks again for your help!

  • Kelly

    Hi Dan, I have a 5 month old English bulldog who has grown up on Royal Canin. As per your previous posts and our vets advice, I decided not to change his diet however, I am almost certain he is allergic to it. He gets soft stool on a regular basis, is constantly scratching despite various prescribed shampoos, has a rash under his chin and has a lot of flem on his chest. The products you suggest are interesting but unfortunately none are available in South Africa. We have Eukanuba, vets choice, hills, Acana, Montego, Orijan and Ultra Dog to name a few. I would appreciate it if you could give some guidance on what is best for our growing boy. Thanking you in advance!

    • Dan Weese

      Hi Kelly. I would go with either Acana or Orijen dog food and probably best to go with the one containing thew fewest of ingredients. Try a meat he hasn’t ever had before and go with a grain free diet. Even after you switch, his symptoms can continue for about two weeks so try to stick with the food for at least that long. If you still don’t have any luck you might consider whether something like else is attributing to his problems. Good luck. Be sure to come back and let me know how he’s doing in a couple of weeks.

  • Kareem

    What is your opinion on Eukanuba small breed dog food (especially for Frenchies)? I have a Breeder who says its best not to change their food. I am thinking once I get my Frenchie to switch to TOTW, Fromm, or Orijen

    • Dan Weese

      I agree with your breeder that a change in dog food should not be made on a whim. However, in this case I think you can do much better for your frenchy than the Eukanuba. I took a look at the ingredients. There many many foods far worse than the one he’s on now, but for the price of Eukanuba, TOTW, Fromm or Orijen are so much better for him. Corn meal is the third ingredient and that’s bothersome. In my opinion corn is just not acceptable for a dog’s diet, especially a frenchy. Ground whole grain sorghum, brewers rice, ground whole grain barley are found in the Eukanuba also. I’ve outlined in the article why grains are an undesirable ingredient for many Bulldogs. If you decide to go with the switch just follow the recommended guidelines for doing so and it will be a breeze. – Dan

  • Michelle

    Hi Dan.  I’ve been reading through many of the questions and your responses in search of the best course of action for my 8 year old white bulldog.  He has had allergies for many years.  He constantly kicks his paws, his chin and paws get red and bleed, his ears and tail and facial folds get infected and he sheds a lot.  We are always going to the vet, getting an antibiotic to try, going back to be rechecked and paying a fortune.  Somethings g has to give because it keeps happening.  I am thinking of going to Petco or Daves, both are nearby, and buying a bag of the wild wilderness you recommend and slowly changing over.  Getting benadry, the medicated shampoo you suggest, 2T coconut oil in food daily, and possibly oatmeal baths.  Think this is a good plan to help?  Anythung I should add or take out?  He needs to feel better!  The vet isnt helping or giving these suggestions besides Benadryl, which we’ve tried and havent noticed a huge change. Thanks!

    • Dan Weese

      Hi Michelle. I’m sure you would agree finding the cause for all of this would be most important. I’m curious to hear what food he’s on now. You must mean the Zignature Trout? This is a great food for a bully with allergies considering it’s limited ingredient formula omits many of the problematic components found in common foods. The benadryl and shampoo can be a great tool for allergic reactions caused by something seasonal, but when it’s the food causing all this trouble you want to get to the bottom of it if possible. The coconut oil could definitely help relieve some of the itching, but be sure to check the fat/calorie content to make sure he doesn’t get too much. Again, my most pressing questions are what kind of food is he on now and are these reactions more seasonal or are they ever-present? -Dan

      • Michelle

        Hi Dan,

        He’s currently on Purina.  His incessant paw licking goes on nonstop all year round except when he’s on antibiotics.  Then it clears up for awhile and comes back.  A better food should help him even if it’s not food allergies.  I want to try to change a few things and see what helps rather than keep going to the vet for meds and no solutions.  We tried blue buffalo at one point and saw no changes, but I’m not sure if we should try different proteins.  Someone I know suggested I make his food using fresh meats and fruits/veggies, but I don’t know thst I’m doing ang would rather get on a good kibble if possible.  He’s had other infections of his tail fold and facial fold and currently his chin is a mess. Thinking of a new vet to help offer solutions not just meds and rechecks.  What do you think of those home allergy tests? Probably not accurate right?  Thanks!

        • Dan Weese

          We’ve never tried the home allergy tests so don’t know. I’m sure after reading this article you can see how Purina is most certainly the cause for most of your boy’s issues. A different protein might be good. Try the bison. If you’re using plastic bowls make sure to switch to stainless steel as plastic can more easily harbor bacteria and that could be causing the problem on his chin. For the facial folds and tail check out our care page in the menu above. Really though, that Purina is loaded with corn and other not so good ingredients. Go with a change in diet and update me on his progress. Best of luck to you and your bully! – Dan P.S. Stop by our facebook page sometime and share a picture of your boy 🙂

          • Michelle

            Thanks for the help.  Going to try the taste of the wild bison. We have a porcelain type bowl.  I wonder if I should buy stainless steel.  That’s what his water bowls are.  I’ll definitely keep you posted.  Can we message you through the fb page too?  I just uploaded a photo of Boomer in a tuxedo to the page.  Enjoy and I can’t thank you enough.  Didn’t realize how bad the purina was for him.  I feel really bad now.

  • marcia

    I have an 8 y/o bully. He was overweight for many years and I tried many different dog foods without any success. In July he had surgery on his leg and had to be off of it for almost a month. During this time an employee at Petsmart recommended Nutro lite with lamb to help with weight loss. It helped almost immediately and my bully lost about 15lbs. Almost two months ago he had a seizure and since then has had a few of them. All of his blood work has been normal and the next step is to see a neurologist. I read that allergies to dog food can cause seizures so I am now wondering and hoping that’s what it is. Since being on this new food almost 4 months now my bully has never seemed so hungry as he is now and actually barks at us to feed him which is uncommon for him. Have you heard of dog food allergies causing seizures? I am contemplating changing his food to possibly one of the one you mentioned like the TOTW or the one with salmon.

    • Dan Weese

      I’m sorry to hear about your bully’s present condition. There is some speculation out there that seizures can sometimes be the effect of allergies to foods, but whether it’s true or not may still need proving. With the blood work coming out normal it does lead you to believe something like the food might be to blame, but there could be other factors at work no doubt. I think seeing a neurologist might be a good idea. That would be amazing to find out he just needed a change in diet. Considering the fact that his condition may be serious and faster results are preferred, I think maybe you should try a raw food diet from home. It doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, the more limited the ingredients, the better. Going to another kibble like the ones mentioned in this article may work, but I feel like you might get an answer faster by going raw for a while. If you have any further questions just message me on facebook. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  • Dannette

    I am going to get my first bulldog puppy this weekend. I would like some suggestions on health treats I can them her. Also I know they require the folds to be cleaned daily what should I use. I want my puppy to grow up healthy and happy. Thanks

    • Dan Weese

      For treats you can use anything from the Blue Buffalo, Taste of The Wild, Hills, Wellness. Those all are pretty healthy. She will need lots of attention with her folds, you’re right. However, she may not need wiped everyday for a few months when the folds are more pronounced. Still, you will want something at least 2-3 times a week until then. We like the True Blue wipes for routine cleaning and when you suspect a yeast infection or the folds have begun to really stink, you can go with malacetic wipes made by Dechra. Have fun with your new pup! You should totally share a photo of her on our facebook page sometime after you pick her up!

  • Amanda

    I have an english bulldog puppy that is about 5 months old. I recently put him on TOTW puppy food because of a possible allergy to royal canin (itchy his stomach and chest and licking paws a lot). However now his stool is always super runny and he goes about 5-6 times a day. Also his glands are seeping a brownish liquid on a daily basis. Is the food too strong for him? I’m considering another brand with bigger kibbles because he does not seem to like the little kibbles very much. Please any advice will help! Ive taken him to the vet a couple times and they still insist I go back to royal canin (hypoallergenic food) but I think soy is the problem for the itching!

    • Dan Weese

      Have you considered whether he might just be having a reaction to something seasonal like ragweed pollen? Depending on your geographical location this may be worth your consideration. It’s common after switching foods to have runny stools for a week or so. I understand that Royal Canin Veterinary Diet is often prescribed in hopes of avoiding certain ingredients known to be problematic, but I think you could do a lot better. You might look into the Zignature brand. It’s also a limited ingredient brand I like for bullies with allergies or food intolerances. Hopefully you get this figured out soon, but in the mean time you might try rubbing some coconut oil on the itchy areas. You could also do a cold bath. Malaseb shampoo is amazing too and won’t dry the skin out. Let me know what happens with your boy! Good luck.

  • Sin

    Hi Dan, we just purchased a Olde English Bulldogge (white/blue color) & she is a little over 6 weeks old.  Her owner has her on Nutro Max Puppy food & we are keeping her on that mixed with some wet food till she is a bit older.  Is there any recommmendations you have?  My husband read up on Orijen dog food & thinks that might be a start.  I noticed that she like to lick the bottom of her paw, so i’m not sure if it’s irritated (looks fine to me) or it’s an allergy waiting to start?  We are going to take her to vet in a couple of weeks so she can get updated on her shots, so I was planning on asking when we go on their recommendations for dog food also.  One more thing – how much & how many times a day should she be eating?  Right now we have her eating 3x a day with dry/wet food combined.  Any tips or recommendations would be helpful!  Thank you!

    • Dan Weese

      Hi Sin. The licking is ok as long as it isn’t becoming a habit. Here’s a link to some care tips with the paws and pads http://redwhiteandbulldogs.com/englishbulldogcare/#BuldogPaw/PadCare

      I think it’s good you’re adding wet food in with her kibble. I’m sure she loves the combination and with so many flavor options with the wet food it must be nice to be able to switch it up for her. 3 times a day is right until she’s closer to a year old then she might prefer 2 times a day. We usually let them eat till they’re full and never had a problem with overeating or vomiting. People swear by Nutro, but many of them have a few undesirable ingredients like the ones mentioned in the article. If you ask me, Orijen is a 5 star dog food and it would quite an improvement over Nutro. Nothing inherently dangerous about Nutro, so if she’s doing good it’s ok to keep her on it.

  • Tyler Van Dyne

    I have a 5 year old English Bulldog. She is eating Royal Canin right now and I haven’t had any issues. However, she usually has an odor on her skin, on her belly, to be more specific. Its almost as though she is sweating, but I know dogs don’t sweat. Its not too moist on her belly but there is a distinct smell. I know its doesn’t have anything to do with her folds or ears or mouth. Last, she doesn’t have any skin irritation or itching or the like. What do you think we should try to take care of this body odor dilemma? Could it be her food, maybe try grain free? Do we need to try dry shampoo? Thanks!

    • Dan Weese

      Even if I don’t recommend the food a Bulldog is eating I wouldn’t encourage the owner to switch unless there is a well founded reason for it. If you’ve recently switched to Royal Canin it could definitely be causing this. Even if you have been using Royal for a long time, dogs have been known to develop intolerances or weird side-effects like this to the food. Sometimes shampoo can cause the skin to smell. Is she on any antibiotics or supplements? I’ve heard of salmon oil attributing to a bit of unpleasant odor. What about new dogs in the neighborhood? Sometimes dogs will secrete pheromones when around other animals. This is a tough one. Typically it’s completely safe to switch foods if you pick a high quality one, but it’s obviously no guarantee. Let me know!

  • Derek

    I have a one year old English bulldog that has had a lot of skin issues.  We feed him Taste of the Wild as you have mentioned above with salmon oil on top.  He is still very itchy.  I have heard to stay away from chicken, beef and dairy.  I see the taste of the wild has chicken meal in it.  Do you know of a dog food that does not contain those ingredients?  We have also tried loratdadine and hydroxizyne as allergy pills but have not worked.  I see you also promote coconut oil, we give him salmon oil now, do you think we should try coconut as well or in place of the salmon oil?  thanks in advance.

    • Dan Weese

      Derek it definitely wouldn’t hurt to try the coconut oil. I would melt some down and rub on the itchy areas twice a day to see if that calms it down for him. It’s relatively rare, but some dogs do have issues with chicken. One other ingredient in the food that may be causing problems is the potatoes. Potatoes are a starch and yeast feeds on starch. If your Bulldog already has a high concentration of the natural yeast on his skin, the addition of potatoes could cause itching. This too is sort of rare and the amount of potatoes in the food isn’t necessarily thought to be enough to have this effect. You could switch to the salmon, bison or wild fowl totw. If you want to get away from chicken and potatoes you might try one of the Instinct dog foods by Nature’s Variety. My advice is to go get some coconut oil from costco first and go from there, but it’s possible the chicken and/or potatoes are causing all this itching. Hope you get it figured out. Let me know!

  • Joseph stone

    I recently purchased two 4 month old English bulldogs….the breeder I purchase them from had them eating Nutro ultra I switched them to Blue Buffalo causing Very running stolls… so i put yhem back on nutro ultra is there anything different i should feed them?????

    • Dan Weese

      Honestly, Joseph, the Nutro Ultra is fine for them if you want to stick with it. Blue is historically good too, but considering their recent trouble I’m not so sure anymore. Usually when switching foods the runny stool is normal and subsides within a week or so. Stick with the Nutro if you like. I didn’t see anything on the ingredient list that concerned me.

  • Taylorr

    I have two english bullies and was concerned that they werent getting the right nutrition from their dog food. I was feeding them Royal Canin Bulldog food and they loved it. I gradually switched to Taste of the Wild like this article recommended and they absolutely LOVE it. Now, the only thing I’m having a problem with is their farts and poop is worse in the smell department. Is their anything you might recommend to help make their farts AND poop smell not so bad??? Maybe another type of dogfood???

    Thank You!

    • Rachel

      I used to use Blu Buffalo and Dimond brands but my dog always had runny stools. Then I found CANIDAE PURE ELEMENTS.It is a grain free natural pet food made with only 10 ingredients. The first being lamb. One cup of this provides your dog with 41 grams of protein.Equal to the amount of protein as an 8oz lamb chop. It also has probiotics which stopped the runny bowels. THE BEST PART IS IT IS CHEAPER THAN MOST DOG FOODS!!! I by it at Petco

  • Robin

    Has anyone tried mixing coconut oil and a small amount of diatomaceous earth (DE) in their bullies food? We have 2 bullies and the coconut oil I mix in their food each morning is supposed to cut down on bacterial/yeast type issues and the DE keeps them intestinal worm free and energetic as it kills the worms and absorbs toxins and removes them from their systems. We almost never have any problems with our bullies except the very occasional tummy upset but the hubby feeds them table food sometimes. The coconut oil even helped rid our male of ear infections. We do feed Taste of the Wild dry and canned. I take the coconut oil and DE myself each day and gives me energy and I sleep better than ever. Research both and give it a try!

    • Dan Weese

      Very cool. Everyone could use better sleep, I know. I’ll be looking into this.

  • Gabriel

    Hey Dan another question is merricks limited ingredient grain free any good for my bully

    • Jody

      Hi Gabriel,

      Congrats on the pup. I was reading these cause I’m switching my 2 bullies from blue buffalo grain free after my vet told me they are most likely not allergic to “Grains” this is the advertising and the Grain Free foods are more expensive in every brand. Bullies are prone to skin allergies it is a trial and error. You can give them benadryl to help with the itching.

  • Bradley

    I just wanted to thank you for providing all this information and responding to all these questions from our fellow bulldog owners. Lots of confusing information out there, this helps tremendously in sorting it out.

  • Gabriel

    Hey Dan I have a 7 year old bully with severe allergies and constant ear infections in the past he was on blue free grain now ive been feeding him nature variety limited ingredients for a couple of months seem to be getting better skin and coat looks healthier but is now seems to be getting tear stains what dot outthink I should do

    • Dan Weese

      Well given the two, I would take the tear stains over the ear infections and allergies. I would stay on the new food and treat the tear stains with this natural home remedy.

  • Akila

    I’m feeding my bulldog puppy merrick puppy but my wife thinks that he is getting more pink around his mouth and on the side of his head and neck area but those are the white part on him I was wondering if that’s normal or I should take him to the vet and is the merrick puppy food a good food for my bulldog he’s only nine weeks ago.

    • Dan Weese

      Hey, Akila. The Merrick dog food is awesome for your 9 week old. I love that it has glucosamine and chondroitin. These two ingredients are proven to help build healthy bones and strengthen cartilage in the joints. Also, the addition of salmon oil and what looks like a bountiful helping of vitamins and minerals is great. These are the things many Bulldog owners don’t have in their dog’s food and have to be separately supplemented. 5 Star food. As far as the pink that you’re seeing around the mouth and neck; I’m not exactly sure what you mean. Try and be more specific if possible and I’d be happy to give you my thoughts.

      • Jessica

        Are you feeding out of plastic bowls? That can cause irritation causing a pink mask appearance. Stainless steel is recommended as well as daily cleaning of the bowls to prevent bacteria from growing.

        • Dan Weese

          Excellent point, Jessica! I didn’t think of that. Stainless steel is the way to go. Some bullies can even have allergic reactions to plastics.

    • Buster's Mom

      I used Merrick for years cause I was told it was the best.  Plus my bulldog never had any gas and his coat was really nice.  However, my dog also got really red under his neck and around his mouth, had ear infections, red eyes, licked his front paw and would occasionally go into these heavy panting at times.  Recently I decided to change dog foods. After a month all his symptoms disappeared.  I put him back on Merrick limited grain for 1/2 a month and all the symptoms came back.  I took him off again and after a week the red under his neck is gone.  So disappointing.  I’ve been using exceed by simply right, but found it has a toxic ingredient in it.  So now I’m searching for a better food.  If anyone has suggestions let me know.

  • Joann Proctor

    Have been taking care of my daughter’s 8 1/2 year old English Bulldog, Bob.  The phlegm is ridiculous.  He’s at a point where he doesn’t want to eat.  The vet said, that is common at his age.  Okay other than the lemon, what to do with the phlegm?  I was thinking about changing his food.  I’ve researched a lot of the BD foods, they all have salmon oil (or a derivative of).  Bob cannot have salmon oil, he breaks out in hives and his neck swells.  What now? I’m looking for a grain free dog food for an adult BD.

  • Donna Bansen

    I just picked up my sweet little 4month old english bull dog. She is so sweet. I have a couple of questions though. Seems she is having little poop accidents all the time. She has yet to take a real BM. Just small amount all the time. It is also very strong for such a young dog. When I got her they were feeding her Diamond Brand puppy food. I am going to change this. I have read all the different ideas and plan to ask the vet at her appointment. She also piddles when she meets someone new. I have dealt with this before but not the BM issues. Is this normal for a bully? When I hold her I have to keep a cloth to wipe her bum.

    • Dan Weese

      It’s good you have a vet appointment. Is this Diamond Brand dog food the one with corn? There is a version with and without corn. For the pups, we use Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy which does not include corn or many of some other controversial ingredients. The peeing is probably just her getting too excited. This can pass as she gets older and settles into your home more. The poo accidents may be a sign of an upset stomach due to something in the food. Maybe she’s still nervous in the new home. Hard to say. I would try adding a packet of Forti-Flora with pro-biotics into her food for a few days until this clears up.

    • Rachel

      My bully had the same problem then i tried CANIDAE PURE ELEMENTS.It is a grain free natural pet food made with only 10 ingredients. The first being lamb. One cup of this provides your dog with 41 grams of protein.Equal to the amount of protein as an 8oz lamb chop. It also has PROBIOTICS which stopped the runny bowels.( It is the same as the Forti-Flora mentioned in someones reply below) THE BEST PART IS IT IS CHEAPER THAN MOST DOG FOODS!!! I by it at Petco

  • Alicia morales

    Hi I have 5 bully’s and about 7 months ago I switched them from iames to earthbourn grain free food and I find that they are always nibbling on grass as if their stomachs are upset and also they have dropped weight it’s not so much weight that they are poor health but their Just bulky and chunky like I want . Should I consider changing their food again and if so what kind?

    • Dan Weese

      There are so many things to consider. Most Bulldogs eat less as they age. I’m not sure how old they are now. I took a look at the different foods and don’t see any sure reason the Earthborn would cause the drop in weight. It looks like there is actually a higher fat content in the Earthborn. I can’t say I would suggest a change in food if they’re all healthy. If they were doing good on the iams and a bit more chunky the way you like there’s no hurt in going back to that I suppose.

  • Stephen

    I feed my bulldog Merrick Grain Free Real Duck and Sweet Potato. It is free of all grain so there is no worry about corn, wheat, soy etc. She has been on it for a year. Her stool is always firm, sheds normal, has a nice coat, no year stains, and she loves it. It also has a 5 star rating on petfoodadvisor.com. However, it is a bit pricey.

    • Dan Weese

      Great to hear when a certain food works so well. Finding the right food is so hard for so many bully owners.

  • Jerri

    I have an English Bulldog, now 8 and was on Nutro, sensitive stomach with oatmeal for 6 years, no gas, no problems and then they said they “improved” the food and the new bag came with all kinds of problems..losing hair even on face, and stomach problems.  I have been trying to find a good replacement food since.  I have tried all that are 4-5 stars on dog food advisor website.  Most were great foods but caused horrible gas.  I have recently changed her to Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight Grain Free chicken and I thought all was well, but she is constipated and has awful gas.  I took her to the vet and she said some dogs, especially, bully, NEED the grains and roughage and oil or moisture in their food in order to go to the bathroom.  My dog has begun scooting on her butt all day and we couldn’t figure out why.  The vet says she is trying to express the anal gland because the food does not have enough fiber to do that.  I asked about a raw diet and the vet told me that dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years and it is not her opinion that we or they should go back to the diet of thousands of years ago.  She claims their stomachs have never had that diet and it may cause more problems. Now, I am trying to find a new food or will stick to the one I have and add olive oil or coconut oil with oatmeal to it to help with moisture and stomach. Anyone had luck with raw diet after feeding regular dry food in an older bulldog?

  • John

    I am switching from raw to a kibble food for my Dozer. He just turned 6 month a couple days ago. I’m not switching due to problems with raw, it’s cause how long it take to make his food. I just ordered a bag of wellness core puppy for him. Not use to ordering this kind of kibble. My lad who just passed a month ago was on proplan and never had any problems. But with British Bulldogs they have so many, but they are so worth every one if they have problems. So any one know anything about wellness core for puppies?

  • Eddie

    I was giving my bully dog food from the brand Merrick, i dont know if you have heard of it but is that kind of food good for bullys, and well i stopped buying it because it is 60.00 a bag of 40lbs.

    • Stephen

      I have been using Merrick for a year. I wish I found the price you pay!!! I spend $55 on a 25lb bag.

  • Izabela

    So is Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice safe for English Bulldogs or is it unsafe because of the rice?

    • Dan Weese

      It is safe for your bulldog and not a bad choice of food either; however, the rice is a grain which is known to cause allergic reactions for some english bulldogs. It’s possible you would try this food with no problems. It worked fine for us, but because we wondered what problems might have been going unseen in our bulldogs, we decided to switch to the grain free version.

      • Regina

        Hi Dan! Is the grain free version of Diamond Naturals your using Chicken and Sweet Potato?  I know that some say the sweet potato isn’t good, however I could not find a Diamond Naturals grain free that did not include sweet potatos..
        I put my all white bully on Taste of The Wild and her face is so red now including tear stains, I want to switch as soon as possible. Any commentary on the white bullies food to help clear up the red/pink muddy look? I have been using peroxide, but I haven’t seen much results.

        • Dan Weese

          We actually aren’t using the grain free. Yes, those all do have sweet potato which can naturally promote the growth of yeast already present on the skin. We all know why this can be a problem for bullies. We’ve recently started using True Blue Sure Eye wipes for tear stains after hearing great things about them from other bully owners. So far, we love them and they definitely help get the hair sparkling again.

  • Cody

    I recently got a 4 month old bulldog, had runny poop and took it to the vet and everything was fine, so I gave it Taste of the wild dog food and I can say wow, his poop firmed up immediately and I would recommend this food to all bulldog owners!

  • Jen

    I have my 3 year old bully on wild dog food & just got a bully puppy @ 12 weeks does anyone recommend a puppy food that is good or should I use wild & would it be okay to use it. thank you

  • Dilys

    Taste of the Wild did not agree with my Bulldog and made her stomach gurgle and she would vomit every single day. I would not recommend this food. It’s not a good food. We tried Wellness, but she refused to touch it. She refused to eat California Naturals, too. I tried Fromm next, which she also refused. I don’t know about the quality, but if your Bulldog is picky at all, you should probably skip this food. My girl would not touch it no matter what. She finally ate Acana, but after eating it for a few days, she could not stop scratching.  I don’t recommend it. I tried her on Blue Buffalo, but it made her sick, gassy and eventually she just stopped eating it. I would recommend staying away from this food. It isn’t a good food. Royal Canin was recommended to me, but I didn’t like the ingredients. I had several people tell me that corn was bad for dogs, so I was trying to stay away from it. Instead, I tried Canidea, which caused diarrhea. I tried Zignature, but her stools were still soft. Royal Canin was again recommended to me, and I tried it, but my girl wouldn’t touch it. She starved herself for a day! If your Bulldog is picky, it is best to just look at a different food. I tried her on Iams, which she loves, but her allergies got very bad on it. I tried The Honest Kitchen and my Bulldog refused it. I tried Purina and she loved it, but I didn’t like the ingredients. I tried TruDog, but I just couldn’t afford $20/week! I tried Natural Balance and she went on a hunger strike. I eventually had to give in and buy another terribly expensive bag of TruDog. I tried Halo and she refused it. I was going to go get a bag of Blue Buffalo, but decided not to once I re-read the ingredients (it now makes sense why she was sick)! I tried a small bag of Taste of the Wild again, but a different formula and my poor girl couldn’t stop vomiting. I finally broke down and tried a small bag of Blue Buffalo (different formula) and Lady’s allergies flared up bad. I asked someone at PetSmart to recommend me a food. They told me to try Authority. Well, within a week Lady was diagnosed with kidney stones! I freaked and bought another bag of Taste of the Wild (Wetlands this time) and Lady got a urinary obstruction and had to be rushed to the vet! I bought her a bag of the TOTW Sierra Mountain and once I opened it and saw the kibble looked like it had MOLD growing on it, I returned it. I tried Orijen for the first time and Lady’s allergies had never been worse. I finally tried doing a raw diet with her and I don’t think I have ever seen her more sick in my life! I finally made an appointment with my vet (long overdue) to discuss her nutrition. She had severe digestive problems, was at least 10 pounds overweight and her blood showed that she was diabetic! The vet put her on Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Digestive/Weight/Glucose Management Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food. Within 12-weeks she had lost the extra weight. She had more energy than ever before and was lean and muscular! She loved the food, but didn’t overeat. Her blood sugar stopped going up and down and we stabilized her diabetes. She was the healthiest she had ever been. I am so thankful I finally asked the vet and had a full workup done on Lady! Lady is now 12-years-old and is now eating Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food. Her diabetes is virtually cured, but we still have to have her on the prescription diet for her weight and digestive problems. Her digestion is great and she has never vomited since being on Hill’s Prescription Diet. She is doing excellent and she will stay on this food for as long as she lives (vet says she may hit 15)!

  • Deb

    The ONLY foolproof way of knowing what tour dog is eating is to feed human grade foods. Raw or cooked ingredients are 100% the choice of the dog guardian. There is no kibble on the planet that is healthier.

  • shane

    we have a 16 month british bulldog we had him on kibble untill he was about 4 months just like most dogs mentioned had allergies hives and loss of hair in patches afyer extensive research and we made a anxious switch to a barf diet in Australia called big dog barf.. would recommend it toatlly our boy is so energetic healthy shinny and for over a year had no skin issues at all his eaten every flavor they have chicken,pork,lamb,fish,turkey,kangaroo,rabbit no issues its a bit more $$ but its worth not seeing him suffer from allergys… cheers

  • Olivia

    From glancing through I didn’t see anyone talk about Orijen. Any reason for that?  I used to work at a high end pet and horse feed store and this was our best food, the owner actually stopped carrying TOTW because she only kept food high in stars and they dropped in stars (dogfoodadvisor.com)

  • August Armstrong

    I have a 10 year old frenchie and a 4 year old english bulldog. They eat Orijen Adult Dog.
    INGREDIENTS
    Boneless chicken,* chicken meal, chicken liver,* whole herring,* boneless turkey,* turkey meal, turkey liver,* whole eggs,* boneless walleye,* whole salmon,* chicken heart,* chicken cartilage,* herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams,* chickpeas, pumpkin,* butternut squash,* spinach greens,* carrots,* Red Delicious apples,* Bartlett pears,* cranberries,* blueberries,* kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium + vitamins and minerals

    * FRESH AND PRESERVATIVE-FREE

    SUPPLEMENTS
    Vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E Supplement, zinc proteinate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.

    It is expensive but the Dog Food Advisory gives it their top rating of 5 stars and states “Bottom line?
    Orijen is a grain-free meat-based dry dog food using an abundance of various named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
    Enthusiastically recommended.”

  • Karen

    My English bulldog, Hank, will be 2 in September. We have had him on Blue Buffalo since he was a puppy. Over the past 3 months he has developed a lot of bulldog acne under his chin and around his mouth. I’ve tried warm compress under his chin and cleaning with peroxide. I do try to catch him after he drinks to wipe his face and we do use stainless steel bowls. Just can’t seem to get it cleared up.  Any suggestions?

  • Melanie A.

    I have a ten year old and a five year old. We used to use Royal Canin years ago and it wasn’t too bad, but I could tell you the exact bag that they suddenly switched something in the ingredients. Our dogs suddenly started having immediate horrible gas right after eating etc. Out with that food. We are currently using the Wellness Core grain-free large breed.

    • Melanie A.

      I forgot to add, in the morning feed we add a tad of water and some coconut oil. They think they are getting a treat! Evenings are still for hard kibble to help keep plaque off the teefers!

  • Kristi

    my baby girl is on Taste of the wild, no gas (yet, and she is just shy of her 9 month old bday!) she also gets a tablespoon of cottage cheese j the am and yogurt in the PM and two tablespoons of organic unrefined coconut oil everyday. Beautiful coat, skin and zero gas!

  • Brenda

    Our B is 8 years old now and has been on TOTW for 4 years now, the last year we notice more loose stools and the gas is horrible.
    I never thought about it before, but the last 4 years he has patches of hair falling off, the vet calls them “hot spots” and said it was highly unlikely this could be caused by his food.
    Exploring other options.

    • August Armstrong

      I had a bouvier des flandres many years ago and was told by other bouvier owners to feed him a lamb rice based dog food for his skin. As he got older he gained some extra pounds (due to his epilepsy medication) and a vet told me to put him on a diet food made of chicken and rice. I mentioned why I fed him the lamb and rice and she assured me that there was little difference. Well within a week on the new food my dog had developed several hot spots which required another trip to the vet (and more expense). I gave away the chicken and rice food, fed him his lamb and rice and his hot spots quickly cleared up. Vets do not know everything. You may try adding a little olive or canola oil to your dog’s food – good for the skin.

  • Michelle P

    Hi! I feed my 11 month old english bulldog the blue freedom food. And right now times are hard and i cant really afford to pay $60 every 2 weeks for food. Can someone give me advice on what i could get him to eat thats a little cheaper. Thanks in advance

    • Shannon

      I am feeding the grain free Authority from PetCo.  She loves it and so far has not had any issues.

  • Leslie S

    I have feed my Bulldogs Wilderness Blue Buffalo.  I’m going to change now. I thing I have found with my male is he has way more allergies than my female. It is always much worse in summer. My vet had me try Benadryl, by weight he could have 2 a day. But I have found 1 a day at night keeps him very happy. No problems with yeast or or other allergic reactions. But you can only use plan benadryl!  No other ingredients!

    • August Armstrong

      My 10 year old frenchie suffers from seasonal allergies. He is on benadryl when pollens are high. You have to make sure there are no other ingredients, just plain benadryl 25 mg. I give 2 pills on the first day then just 1 a day, in the morning, until the pollen count drops. I use to think he had food allergies until we changed vets. The new vet (a bulldog specialist) looked over my frenchie’s health history and made a comment about seasonal allergies. He saw that we ended up taking our pup to the vets for skin problems in the spring and fall. No other vet, or my husband and I, made that connection, lol!

      • Matt

        Try Zyrtec that’s what I give my English…

  • Betsy

    Hi Dan, so glad I saw your blog! I have a 3 1/2 yr old end, Brutus. When he was about 6 mo old he start itching and licking his paws. We have done everything we can think of to help him sans allergy testing. I think it’s his food because the vet will put him on a steroid to stop the itching and the patches were the hair has come out from scratching (no sores) won’t grow back. We have tried so many different foods. Right now we are on Orijen. Any suggestions? He is such a happy, sweet guy, I hate that he’s unhappy!

    • Dan Weese

      Betsy, it sounds like you’ve got one picky bully there 🙂 It’s common for lots of bulldogs to consistently have problems with allergies/ itching. Orijen is a wonderful food so It’s hard to believe that might be making him itch. One thing I have learned though about potatoes and other starches is that starch feeds yeast. Yeast is naturally found on the skin of all dogs and in some cases, the starch in a dog’s diet may aid in the growth of unwanted levels of yeast therefore causing excessive itching. Usually these starches aren’t very prevalent in the food so you wouldn’t think them to be a problem, but in your boy’s case, who knows. Have you considered a raw food diet? I’ve heard it BARF can be super successful for Bulldogs like yours who, despite their owner’s best efforts, still struggle. I’ll be finishing up an article on the BARF diet soon.

  • Juan R

    Dan great article and good information I did give my first bully Royal and noticed a lot of shedding. Now I just got a new family member and he’s 12 weeks and I’m giving him Blue what are you thoughts about Blue?

    • Dan Weese

      Hey their, Juan! You know, a week ago I would have said, you made an excellent choice going with blue buffalo. How things can change from one week to the next especially in this day and age. There was a big story that broke recently about Blue Buffalo actually putting animal by-products into their food when their list of ingredients said only whole proteins were added. It’s really ironic…Purina sued Blue Buffalo for false advertising after their own private testing proved the by-products were actually very prevalent in the food. Juan, you didn’t do anything wrong obviously, but it looks like Blue Buffalo made a huge mistake. They’ve got a lot of explaining to do and even then their image will forever be dismantled for most.

      • juan

        As I’m writing this I just read that stoTy about Blue not putting on the label the poultry by-products what a disappointment.

      • Renee Alas

        Hi Dan, my concern about using Taste of the Wild is the high amount of crude protien. My Vet advised that for bullies (and their kidneys), food should be protein around 20 percent, and that higher amounts are not good for them. I noticed that TOTW has 32 percent, hence my concern. What are your thoughts? Thanks! Renee

        • Dan Weese

          Renee, I’ve come across this concern a lot recently, but after researching and asking our veterinarian neither of us are sure exactly why a high protein diet would be a problem for naturally carnivorous animals like our Bulldogs. After speaking with my vet I was told that while Bulldogs are definitely a “creature all their own”, and much of their anatomy, including some internal organs, is considered to be “unnatural” in comparison to other breeds, a Bulldog’s kidneys are very capable of aiding in the processing of high amounts of protein. A study from Drs. Foster and Smith concluded that: “Unless your veterinarian has told you your pet has a kidney problem and it is severe enough to adjust the protein intake, you can feed your pet a high protein diet without worrying about ‘damaging’ or ‘stressing’ your pet’s kidneys.” Unfortunately, there may not be a solid answer for this topic. I guess it’s just one of those decisions for which we do the best research we can and just love our Bully’s the best we can 🙂

  • deb obrien

    I have a bull terrier and a pit bull and they have such terrible gas im sure Im feeding them all wrong. My husband says bulldogs are famous for their gas but I think hes full of it. The dogs seem to have tummyaches alot. I am embarrassed to say we feed them Iams dry and an occasional can of pedigree dog food. I always thought Iams was a good dog food but it doesn’t even get an honorable mention here. What type of food should i slowly switch over to to help their gaseous emissions?
    thanks…

    • Dan Weese

      Your Husband may or may not be right lol. You seem like you want to continue saving money and avoid the gas so I would go with the Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice. Iams and Pedigree are both heavy laden with corn, wheat, soy, by-products and many other fillers and controversial ingredients known to cause all sorts of problems with dogs. Excessive farting is no exception. Diamond would be a huge step up in quality and I would imagine after making the switch you’ll see results within one week. Keep in mind the switch must be slowly made over the course of a week and during that time your dogs may have a few loose stools. Switch over slowly and all should go well. Good Luck!

  • jazmin

    Hi! My bully is 10 weeks old, the breeder recommended taste of the wild for puppy, however he’s shedding tooooo much, I’m thinking of switching his food or maybe add some vitamins or something? Any suggestions? Help! Lol

    • Dan Weese

      Hi Jazmin. I wouldn’t worry about your boy’s recent shedding. This is the age he’ll begin to shed his puppy fur and start to grow his adult coat. Really, with this food you shouldn’t have to supplement with vitamins to avoid over-shedding.

  • Carlos macaroco

    Just bought an olde english bulldogge just wondering if u have heard of halo food that’s what am giving her

  • Mandy Clark

    I have two English Bulldogs that I’ve been having a couple of issues with that I believe to be caused by their diet.

    My white male is 4 years old and my fawn female is 5 years old. My male has always been very “itchy”.. He had parvo when I got him and had to be in the doggy hospital for about 10 days (it was very traumatic to him!). Since then he HATES anything where he is held down or forced to do something (getting nails cut, cleaning out wrinkles, even taking a bath). He has an issue with yeast because he will barley let me clean his tail crease and/or nose wrinkle. Over the years he has gotten better at letting me clean them, but it is a CHALLENGE, to say the least. He just seems to be itchy all the time! Plus within the last few months, he has started having tremors. I’ve read that the tremors are mainly due to diet.

    Then my female has always had sensitive skin and stomach issues. I was first feeding her Avoderm (which the breeder recommended) and after about 2-3 years she seemed to have formed an allergy to the food that made her sick (vomited about 10 times in 30 mins & scared me to death). So the vet gave us a long list of recommended foods and we picked ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach. She has been eating that a little over a year and just seems to have a LOT of small issues. He ears are ALWAYS dirty and have tons of wax. Her hair is thinning on her side and seems to be getting worse and worse with time. Her chin is always very itchy and she has rubbed all the hair off of it scratching and I believe all these issue are due to allergies from her food. Also lately she has been acting like her joints hurt when she tries to get up after shes been laying down for a while.

    I’ve cut out ALL treats & only give them dog food (probably about 6 months ago). About a week ago, we decided to change their dog food to see if that helped their issues…. We got Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Bison Formula. I liked that it was grain free and had limited ingredients… But my female started having issues almost immediately. She wakes up in the middle of the night about 2-3 times every few hours EVERY night and runs to the door like she had to go to the bathroom immediately. This is a dog that NEVER gets in a hurry about anything, so it is very out of character for her. I started watching her since it kept happening and was so out of character for her. She is trying really hard to poop but barley anything or nothing is coming out. And she has to try multiple times while she is outside. I know it has to be the food because it started as soon as we switched.

    Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated because I just want them to feel better and I need sleep! haha.

    • Dan Weese

      Mandy, the Natural Balance food is fine. I don’t believe you should have any problems from it; However, it is much much different than what your vet previously described. Even after a week, your Bullys could be still getting used to the food and that may the cause of your girl’s constipation. You might try giving her a bit of canned food next time she eats or a bit of canned pumpkin. These usually do the trick. If things don’t improve within a few days, you probably ought to switch back to the pro plan to see if that solves it. Have you considered a medicated shampoo for your boy? The duoxo shampoo is always good for itching usually brought on by allergic reactions of all kinds. It’s a shame he should have to deal with that all his life. I hope they feel better soon!

      • Mandy Clark

        Her reaction to the Natural Balance was BAD.. It got even worse after I wrote you. A little TMI, but she had diarrhea so bad and constantly that her little butt was bright red and very sore. You could just tell she felt terrible. She pass the most terrible smelling gas I’ve ever smelt ALL the time and just generally stunk. I couldn’t give it to her anymore because it was such a bad reaction. But it also might have been the flavor I got..  bison and sweet potato.

        I actually ended up going to PetCo and grabbing some Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice Healthy Weight (because they’re both a little on the puggy side) but she just doesn’t seem interested in it at all. Like she doesn’t like the taste but she LOVED the taste of the Natural Balance bison and sweet potato. I’ve barley got her to eat anything the past day and a half and she work up last night throwing up acid because of it. I’m just kind of at a lost for what to do because I don’t want to keep changing the food on her every other week & messing up her stomach even more..

        I will DEF try the Duoxo Shampoo! Thank you for the suggestion!! Fingers crossed that will help his itchiness.

        • Dan Weese

          Oh bummer. That’s not fun at all. You might slab some Vaseline over that raw spot of her rear if she’s still red there. Hoping it goes better for you with the Blue Buffalo.

  • Anita Krimmer

    Hi dan,
    Thanks for the reply. I can’t wait to hear what your thoughts will be on the raw food issue so I will check back in a few days.
    Anita

  • Anita krimmer

    Hi
    I have a one year old old english bulldog, Lola, who is the love of my life:) I obviously want to do all that I can to see that she has a happy, healthy life. recently I read about a dog food, Trudog. it sounded great and si I purchased it for her. I also have a 4 year old chijuajua. they both love the food. I was really happy with it until I figured out that it would cost me about 400.00 to 500.00 a month to feed them this food! This is completely out of the question for me if I want to eat also. after figuring out this wasn’t going to work I tried making my own food. My dogs weren’t happy with the taste of the suppliments that had to be added. after all of this, I’m happy to have found this site and hopefully some healthy,reasonable alternatives. I just was curious of your thoughts on trudog and homemade dog food options.
    Thanks so much,
    Anita

    • Dan Weese

      I hadn’t heard of Trudog until you mentioned it. Clearly the quality of this food is tremendous! Truly a protein based food and possibly as close to a natural diet as a dog might ever get. It’s funny you brought up the raw diet and homemade food because I’ve been burying my head in books for weeks now learning all about BARF(raw food). Unfortunately I don’t have anything written up quite yet, but I am working on something now and it should be available within days. Thanks for your comment, Anita!

  • Eric

    Thank you very much for all the helpful information on your website!  What are your thoughts on Purina Veterinary Diets HA Hypoallergenic Canine Formula Dry?

    • Dan Weese

      Hi Eric. There are definitely some ingredients like corn and soy in this food that I would usually warn people of. However, this is a prescription diet dog food commonly prescribed for dogs that are allergic to protein. In this food the proteins are already broken down into amino acids to avoid that allergic reaction to protein. There may be other reasons for prescribing this diet as well. Again, lots of people would be critical of this food considering it’s ingredients, but the food has been specifically designed to be therapeutic for dogs with special needs. If you’ve been prescribed this food or your vet has recommended it, I would say go ahead and give it a try. Otherwise you should probably look elsewhere. Oh and in case you do use it, be monitor your dog as he eats. Lots of users complain of the food being very sticky and it reportedly sticks to the roof of their dog’s mouth causing a gagging reflex. Adding water to this food should help.

  • Kathy lane

    Hello Dan.. My 8 year old bullie, jackie, started having head tremors last month for the first time ever. I had just changed her food to Fromm for about 2 months when this started. Have you heard of any problems like this with this food? The vet has run all the test with negative results. I have added calcium to her diet like yorgut and cottage chez. Would love your opinion.
    Thanks kathy

    • Dan Weese

      Kathy, Fromm is a 5 star food and I haven’t heard any reports of it causing head tremors. It’s important you compare the ingredients in the last food to the current food. Pinpoint the different ingredients and research those. Could it be that your last food had larger amounts of sugar and/or calcium than the Fromm? Maybe Jackie has always had deficiencies and the Fromm isn’t fulfilling her biological needs like the previous food. Adding calcium is of course a good idea, but you might try a sugar cube as well because these head tremors are thought to be caused by low calcium levels and/or blood sugar. Did you read the coconut oil page? I’ve heard that the coconut oil can help prevent these tremors too. I hope you get this figured out soon. Good luck and please let me know how it goes!

      • Kathy lane

        Thank you for all the time you take in this blog..it is awesome.

        • Dan Weese

          Thank you, Kathy! Love to hear the site is a helpful tool to other Bulldog lovers!

  • Denise

    Dan, I have a 7 mo old English bulldog. He has always been on TOTW but recently just started developed a skin infection where there are bumps all over his head and back and his fur falls out in clumps. He always has loose stools. I do change the flavor of the TOTW but never the brand. Could this new flavor be causing the outbreak?

    • Dan Weese

      Denise, I’ve heard of instances in which Bulldogs do fine on the Bison formula but have adverse reactions like this when on salmon. Some don’t do well with Bison at all. Yes, the problem could be in the different formula. There are some other things to consider though. We’re coming into Spring-time now and if he’s having an allergic reaction it could be from the added pollen or bugs, something environmental. Another thing. Have you recently applied a flea treatment? Sometimes the symptoms you describe can originate from the chemicals in flea treatments and given that the area affected are on the head and back I think this is a possible answer. Also, consider getting a skin scrape from your veterinarian. As far as treatment goes, leave the scabs, keep the area dry and clean. I would recommend cleaning twice per day with douxo. Either way, I believe this shampoo will clear it up. You may consider going back to your previous food though because we want to get to the cause of the problem rather than just to keep playing fix it. I hope this helps. Please get back to me on his progress.

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