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This is the most comprehensive guide to cooking English Bulldog homemade dog food.
If you’re a proud owner of an English Bulldog, then you know that their dietary needs are different than other breeds. This breed has a plethora of health problems, often related to food, so you need to approach cooking for them diligently.
Our English Bulldog homemade food guide covers the risks, benefits, breed-specific nutritional advice, best English Bulldog food recipes, and everything in between so you can cook the perfect meal plan for your pup. Let’s get started!
English Bulldog Homemade Dog Food Benefits
Home cooking for English Bulldogs can have great benefits.
- Healthy eating habits
- Quality control
- More affordable
- Portion size control
- Fresh ingredients
- Dietary requirements can be met
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., also agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls1.
Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.
Food & English Bulldog Health: Why Feed Homemade?
Unfortunately, according to new research, the English Bulldog (EB) is one of the world’s unhealthiest dog breeds. The findings published in the Journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology stated that it could be difficult to improve the health of the English bulldog due to this breed’s limited genetic diversity, which also minimizes the ability of breeders to recreate healthy offspring.
This means that all English Bulldog dog parents need to pay utmost attention to all aspects influencing this breed’s health. And that includes English Bulldog’s nutrition.
Food intolerance and food allergies are two possible reasons for food-related issues in English Bulldogs. Unfortunately, traditional dog kibble is the number one culprit causing these issues. Commercial dog food typically contains fillers, meat by-products (animal parts), food coloring, and other chemical preservatives that can cause allergies in English Bulldogs.
Food-related allergies often manifest themselves in hair loss, rashes, dandruff and flakiness, hot spots, and other skin irritations. Food allergies can also trigger gastrointestinal problems. Moreover, the English Bulldog’s unique skin folding is a breeding ground for bacteria and infections if not cleaned regularly. It can exacerbate skin allergies leading to dermatitis, folliculitis, muzzle acne, and other infections3. It’s key to avoid food allergens in EB and provide a fresh diet.
Other food-related concerns to keep in mind are that English Bulldogs are prone to suffer skeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia, degenerative spine disease, chondrodysplasia, and joint injuries. A bad diet can worsen these conditions as it relates to their body weight. Obesity can significantly stress a dog’s joints and skeletal structure, aggravating a pre-existing condition or even cause them over time4. English Bulldog must maintain a healthy weight. Even the best quality dog kibble can contain starchy carbs, including legumes, peas, and lentils, which have been linked to the growing epidemic of pet obesity.
Additionally, English Bulldogs are predisposed to suffer from cherry eye and glaucoma. Although these conditions are not directly linked to diet, inadequate food (preservatives and additives) may worsen the situation.
It’s no wonder the bulldog’s lifespan is relatively short, with most living on average between 6.29 to 8.4 years according to two recent studies5,6.
How Can A Homemade Diet Help English Bulldogs With All of This?
Homemade-made meal plans can help your English Bulldog avoid food-related allergies by avoiding all the harmful chemicals found in kibbles, such as additives, preservatives, and other detrimental ingredients that may trigger allergies in your pet.
Homemade dog recipes are fresh and wholesome. Plus, you control the ingredients in the recipe, meaning you only select ingredients that are safe for your dog. If you don’t know what foods your English Bulldog is allergic to, we highly advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before selecting the ingredients for his next meal.
Moreover, homemade dog food is easier to digest — more easily digestible food means more efficient nutrient absorption. Dogs that are fed fresh homemade diets absorb nutrients more efficiently. Hence minerals, vitamins, and amino acids act quicker in decreasing inflammatory responses helping prevent or relieve skin allergies.
If your English Bulldog is obese, switching to homemade dog food allows you to calibrate the amounts of vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity in English Bulldogs can increase their risk for bone and joint problems. Homemade dog food for English Bulldogs lets you easily reduce the carb and fat percentage and provide above-average protein (29%) to keep a healthy weight and put less stress on your dog’s joints, which helps prevent the skeletal issues mentioned above.
Studies show that dogs maintaining their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer (and with significantly fewer diseases) than their overweight siblings7. In fact, fresh food diets have been associated with a 20% longer life expectancy in dogs compared to dogs who ate only kibble. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food8.
Feeding homemade meals and keeping a healthy weight can significantly extend the lifespan of your English Bulldog.
English Bulldog Homemade Dog Food Risks
Here are some potential risks of cooking for your English Bulldog. You need to internalize them to avoid making the mistakes below.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of your English Bulldog
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs
- Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
Did you know a study conducted by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary found that most homemade dog food recipes are lacking key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients?
Further research published in The Journal of Nutritional Science concluded 48% of dog homemade diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal. What’s more alarming is that 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe, 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough, and 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acid9.
For these reasons, it’s recommended to speak with a veterinary nutritionist. He or she should be able to provide you with trusted recipes, guide you on your English Bulldog’s nutritional needs, and/or recommend a homemade dog food delivery service.
English Bulldog Nutritional Guidelines to Follow
When making homemade dog food for English Bulldogs, ensure the recipe contains the 6 essential nutrients recommended by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AFFCO is the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food.
These nutrients are required in order to support life and function in dogs.
An English Bulldog meal plan should also consider your pet’s health status, activity level, size, breed-specific needs, and weight.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
Don’t feed your English Bulldog a diet that promotes obesity. Avoid cooked bones, table scraps, foods with high-fat content, or too many treats.
It’s common for homemade dog food to lack one or more of these nutrients. You can use a multivitamin supplement like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews and Glucosamine and Chrondotin to support joints and cartilage repair.
Always speak with your veterinarian. He or she can help you create an individualized diet for your dog. If you need more help, check out Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D. He’s an expert in veterinary medicine and pet nutrition. His book is considered the bible for dog nutrition by many vets.
Health Dietary Changes In English Bulldogs
You can manage food-related conditions in English Bulldogs through diet adjustments.
Feeding a fresh dog food diet and implementing the tips below can help with the following issues.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
Is your English Bulldog’s coat damaged?
A great solution is to add a couple of squirts of dog-specific fish oil to your dog’s meals. The American Kennel Club says fish oil promotes a silky coat, reduces itchy and flaky skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain. It can even help strengthen their immune system, heart health and could help them fight canine cancer.
English Bulldog Calorie Requirements
Dog caloric needs are based on their weight. An adult English Bulldog usually weighs between 40 to 50 pounds, so most English Bulldogs would need to eat between 983 and 1165 calories per day.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.
For instance, if an English Bulldog weighs 45 pounds. Then, he would need 1075 calories per day. If you feed him treats, then that’s 968 calories in food (90%) and 108 in treats (10%). Usually, full-grown dogs eat 2 meals per day, so split 968 into two meals of 484 calories each. You can use our dog calorie calculator to find their exact caloric needs for your dog based on his own weight.
Pregnant English Bulldogs can need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they would normally have as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Homemade Dog Food For English Bulldog Puppies
Puppies require a very different diet than adult dogs.
Puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus when compared to adult dogs. Too few (or too many) of these can cause deficiencies, stunt growth, or lifelong complications.
The National Research Council recommends puppies get around twice as many calories as do their adult counterparts of the same breed. Most people worry that they need to change their puppy’s calorie and food amount every day because they’re constantly growing. That’s not necessarily true. “To promote normal growth, most puppies need to be fed the same number of calories, and food, from about 4 months of age to 12 months of age,” says veterinary nutritionist Dr. Justin Shmalberg DVM, from Nom Nom.
English Bulldog puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (12 months & up) you can switch to 2 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
During puppy development, it’s not advised to skip a meal to encourage proper growth and development. A puppy’s diet needs to be comprised of a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, water, and vitamins, as outlined in AFFCO’s guidelines earlier.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
Cooking homemade food for your English Bulldog offers by far the best nutrition available for dogs.
But, if you are overwhelmed with dog nutrition, balancing ingredients, counting nutrients, and all the hassles involved in cooking for your pup, then a homemade dog food delivery service is the best option.
The Farmer’s Dog delivers vet-designed, fresh-prepared homemade dog food tailored to your dog’s dietary needs straight to your door. They cater to your dog’s unique nutritional profile so you can tell them about your dog’s food allergies, nutritional goals, obesity issues, and they will cook and personalize your dog’s meals to meet your dog’s requirements.
If you want the best human food for English Bulldogs, The Farmer’s Dog only uses real, human-grade, all-natural ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.) and cooks their recipes in human-grade kitchens and packages them as daily portions for easy serving.
They never use fillers, additives and or process their ingredients to be shelf-stable. They make your pet’s food from scratch to provide the healthiest, cleanest diet and ensure ingredients keep all their nutritional integrity, unlike traditional kibble.
Plus, all recipes are made by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that comply with AAFCO standards. They only source from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.
Our readers have access to save 50% off their first The Farmer’s Dog order. No code needed, just use this link and the discount will be applied!
Learn more about The Farmer’s Dog in our in-depth review article
English Bulldog Homemade Food Tips
Before sharing our favorite English Bulldog homemade food recipes, follow these recommendations when cooking for your pet.
- Set a consistent feeding schedule.
- Feed your English Bulldog two times a day (puppies under 5 months, 3 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
- Meal prep weekly or monthly.
- Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
- Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
- Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
- If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
- Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
- Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
- Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.
Cooking Homemade Dog Food For English Bulldogs ( Video)
Watch this video to learn how to make vet approved homemade meals for your English Bulldog
Best English Bulldog Homemade Dog Food Recipes
We’ve rounded up our best, easy-to-make English Bulldog food recipes so you can cook dinner like a pro!
From healthy Bulldog recipes, a more indulgent option to a big slab of protein, here are our best homemade dog food for English Bulldogs.
We’ve also added a special treat recipe for English Bulldogs that is not only delicious, but it’s packed with awesome health benefits. We kid you not; this recipe can do a lot for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and health of your dog. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.
CBD-Infused Dog Treats
CBD dog treats are perfect for helping with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health problems. (read our dog CBD guide to learn more)
Have your English Bulldog indulge in these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD oil dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.
Just be sure to check with your vet before to make sure CBD is safe for your pup, and you are giving the right dosage.
You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
Total: Makes 24 treats
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar together. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
The number of dog treats will vary depending on the size of the mold you use. Try to make each dog treat have 2-5 mg of CBD.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
Pork & Beef, Sweet Potatoe & Rice
While beef is delicious served all on its own, we’ve added pork to the mix to take this healthy meal to new heights. This is a great way for your English Bulldog to get those complex carbs without the grains. And of course, it has protein and healthy fats.
You can make this pork, beef recipe in an instant pot or crockpot. Your English Bulldog will love the tenderness and juicy and sweet potato rice. Of course, there are added greens: kale, carrots, and blueberries for a healthy boost in nutrients and easy digestion.
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 2-2.5lbs ground beef
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large apple, cored
- 2 carrots (or 8 baby carrots)
- 1 cup of kale
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Put the ground meats in a 4-6 quart crockpot. You can really use any ground meat that you would like.
- Peel and chop the potato, apple, and carrots into 1″ pieces. Chop the kale.
- Add all of the fruits and veggies to the crockpot and mix with the meat.
- Cook on HIGH for 3-5 hours or on LOW for 5-7 hours until the meat is browned.
- When the meat mixture is close to being done, cook up the rice with the water on the stovetop. We use long-cooking rice (bring the rice and water to a boil, then turn heat to LOW, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes). When the rice is done, mix it into the meat mixture.
Note: Separate the food into 1/2c. -1c. portions in small baggies or Tupperware. Keep most of them in the freezer and pull them out about 4-5 at a time and keep them in the fridge. When mealtime comes, we squeeze a bag down the middle to split the serving in half, microwave the meal serving for about 30-40 seconds and then mix it into her regular dog food.
Recipe from: Emily’s Little Homestead
Macaroni, Quinoa Turkey Recipe
Next up on your English Bulldog meal plan is this power-house of a recipe. Power-foods like quinoa are an incredible source of nutrients. This quick and easy meal prep provides the cleanest carbs and proteins for any English Bulldog, especially if they love pasta and turkey.
You can cook this recipe in a casserole baked in an oven or using a saucepan on top of the stove. It’s rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and iron.
3 lbs ground turkey (or any protein)
1 cup uncooked millet (or any other whole grain: quinoa, rice, pasta)
1 tbs olive oil
1 carrot, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1 squash, shredded
1 apple, chopped
1 tbsp calcium powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- Bring 1 cup of whole-grain to boil in a pot of water. I overcook it so that it’s soft and easily digestible. Drain.
- While that’s boiling, shred/chop the veggies.
- Cook ground turkey with olive oil and drain excess juices.
- Mix everything together—no need to cook the veggies. The cooked turkey and whole grain will warm them up a bit.
- Store in Tupperware or ziplock bags and freeze! It makes enough for around 2 weeks of meals (Fira weighs 14 lbs).
Recipe from: WhereSTheFrenchie
Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie
Perfectly balanced, with melt-in-your-mouth sirloin with boiled eggs and carrots, provide a mouthful of flavor for your pup. All made on 1 single sheet pan! All the wholesome ingredients in this recipe provide a healthy lean diet for your English Bulldog.
It’s easy to make, and the veggie mix, brown rice, eggs, and herbs provide all the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs.
- 6 cups cooked organic brown rice
- 2 pounds ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
- 3 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
- 1/4–1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried herbs
- 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil
- Start with cooking the eggs
- While the rice is cooking, you can brown the sirloin and get all of the fresh ingredients together.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.
Recipe from: This Messisours
For even more English Bulldog homemade food recipes and cooking ideas, be sure to check out Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices
Follow these tips to make your dog’s meals completely safe.
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
- Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow recipes as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet if needed
- Run any questions by a vet nutritionist
What Foods Should Your English Bulldog Never Eat?
It’s easy to get confused about which foods are healthy and which are toxic for dog.
Here’s the list of foods, processed goods, ingredients, and chemicals that you should never feed Fido. The principal toxic foods include:
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
For a more extensive list, check out this handy list you should have on your refrigerator as a reminder.
English Bulldog Raw Diet (BARF)
Raw dog food is commonly known as the BARF diet, which stands for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food
Feeding and preparing raw dog food for your English Bulldog requires a lot of effort and planning on your part as there is more risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance.
There are many kinds of raw foods available for dogs, including homemade raw dog food, store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated). Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy. A dog raw diet is supposed to resemble the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago.
Raw dog food has gained immense popularity in the world of dog nutrition over the past few years for its positive benefits on teeth, coat, digestive functions, and other health benefits. If you want to learn more about the benefits and risks, get the best commercial raw food diet for your English Bulldog, read our raw dog food diets article.
Monitor Weight And Health
The quality of food and the quantity of food must be monitored strictly for a healthy weight in English Bulldogs.
Monitor your English Bulldog’s weight and health closely at least for a month after starting a homemade diet to rule out any adverse effects from eating homemade meals.
A poorly planned and unbalanced diet can lead to excessive lack of energy, skin or coat disorders, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, or obesity. If you notice these symptoms, stop feeding this food to your English Bulldog, revise your dog’s diet, and consult with a vet as soon as possible.
It’s important to work alongside your vet to ensure the diet maintains nutritional adequacy.
Other Food Alternatives
Though a homemade dog food diet packs plenty of health benefits for English Bulldogs, you should always consult with your vet before switching your pup to a new diet.
If you feed your dog homemade, he’ll be well on his way to feeling better and reclaiming your health. Based on our research, the best food for English Bulldogs is freshly made food. It’s healthier, more nutritious, and can help prevent several health conditions associated with this breed. The only downside is the time of planning and cooking.
If your EB is prone to food allergies, GI problems, or any food-related health issues, check out vegan dog food. This is another excellent alternative to traditional kibble.