Best Dog Food For Bulldogs: American, English & French Bulldogs

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Choosing the best dog food for bulldogs is slightly less straightforward than one might think. Bulldogs are brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs, so their requirements are slightly different from others.

These stout, heavy-breathing guys and girls have some unique health conditions.

Choosing the right dog food will not only ensure your pup stays as healthy and strong as possible, but it will also benefit you – think fewer vet visits, less money spent, and a much happier pet!

Check out the options below to make sure your bulldog is getting the best. On a great diet, he’ll be a super healthy, snuffly, goofy pup and avoid common brachy problems.

Sources researched
31
Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
36
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

1. Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best Overall For Bulldogs: Health-Promoting and Affordable

Overall Grade84%
Affordability80%
Ingredient Quality90%
Digestibility85%
Protein Content90%
Flavour Variety80%

PROS

  • Grain free (great for sensitive stomachs)
  • Great protein and fat content
  • Available in a few different flavors
  • Contains glucosamine

CONS

  • Slightly pricey (but not uncommon with grain free food!)
  • Not suitable for dogs on a “no poultry” diet

Bulldog owners can feed this to their pup happily, knowing that they’ll be getting the best dog food for their disposition. It’s grain free, contains no artificial anything, and has protein and fat levels that are optimal for your bulldog adult.

Their kibble size is also perfectly adequate for dogs with smaller (or flatter) faces. The best dog kibble will be easy for them to take in and chew.

If your bulldog is moderately active, this food has the perfect nutrients to keep them healthy and fit.

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Nutrient-Packed and Low Calorie 

The protein and fat levels in Nature’s Recipe are perfect for bulldogs. As they are prone to overeating and tend to gain weight easily, a protein content between 24 and 30% is enough to keep their muscles strong but not pack on the kilos.

This food comes in at 27% protein and 12% fat, which are great to keep your bully well-nourished but not overweight. At 337 calories a cup, it’s packed with nutrients and should be quite filling without being too calorie-dense. 

Extra Benefits 

There are zero artificial ingredients and a few helpful vitamins and minerals, which can go a long way towards keeping your bulldog in good health. Calcium and phosphorus help keep your pup’s bones and teeth strong, Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids give their coat a healthy shine and keep joints lubricated, and added antioxidants contribute to overall health.

There’s also a decent glucosamine level, which helps support your bulldog’s joints (as they can be prone to dislocating knees and elbows!) 

2. Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food

Best For Senior Bulldogs: Easy to digest

Overall Grade88%
Affordability90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Digestibility85%
Protein Content90%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • Great quality, human-grade ingredients
  • Dehydrated food is more easily digestible
  • A 10lb bag makes 40lb of food
  • Great value for money

CONS

  • High-calorie content per cup
  • Some varieties of this food contain grains

As dry dog foods go, this one is a little different.

Instead of your regular kibble, this is a dehydrated dry dog food that contains all the same nutrients. Dehydrated food is quite easily digestible, which makes this a great choice for senior bulldogs who may have quite sensitive tummies.

If you’re the owner of a senior bulldog, you will most likely be aware that crunching on kibble can be harder for them as they get older.

This food is a great choice for the older Bullies out there – easy to eat, easy on the stomach, and easy to pay for too – it’s one of the most affordable dog foods out there!

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Nutrient Content 

With 24% protein, this is quite all right for your bulldog’s diet. The crude fat content comes in at 15%, which is good for pups that are prone to weight gain (like most bulldogs).

The calorie count is slightly on the high side, at 446 calories per cup, so you will need to monitor how much you’re feeding your dog, especially if he or she is a little less active. 

It’s packed with fruits and vegetables, and have grain free options too.

Hydration for Inactive Pups 

One of the awesome things about this food is that it’s great for keeping your dog’s water intake up. Dogs who aren’t very active can sometimes not drink as much as they should, and the fact that you add water to this food is quite helpful for keeping your pooch hydrated.

Because a 10lb bag of this food makes 40lb of food, it’s also quite affordable, which is a bonus! 

3. Merrick Dry Dog Foods

Best For Active Bulldogs: High protein & fat

Overall Grade83%
Affordability80%
Ingredient Quality90%
Digestibility95%
Protein Content75%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • Real meat as the first ingredient
  • Grain free and easy on the tummy
  • Variety of flavors available
  • Small kibble size (for small pup mouths!)

CONS

  • Higher protein count than necessary for bulldogs
  • Fairly pricey in comparison to others

There’s no denying the quality of Merrick’s dog food, as they use natural, healthy, whole ingredients and real meat.

This particular dog food is great for active dogs, as the ingredient list more than satisfies your dog’s protein and carbohydrate needs, maintaining muscle mass and providing great energy.

It also contains some useful extras (nothing artificial) to keep him as healthy as possible. The protein content in this food is a little high at 446 calories per cup, so as long as your active bulldog works it off this will be a great, high-quality food for him.

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High Protein for Highly Active Pups 

The ingredients in Merrick’s dog foods are easily digestible, as they’re whole, healthy foods. They’re grain free dog foods too, which is great.

The fat content is pretty decent, at 15%. The protein content is high (38%), and comes from a few different sources. We’ve labeled this food as being best for active bulldogs – with a protein count in the high 30s and a high-calorie count, your bulldog will benefit best from it if he gets plenty of exercise. Inactivity will send those calories straight to your bulldog’s hips! 

Extra Benefits 

Their dog foods contains some good stuff apart from the actual food ingredients. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids levels are high, and the added glucosamine and chondroitin always help keep joints supple! You may worry when you see long words like dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, but this is simply a probiotic that helps digestion (as are the other similar long words on the label).

Also, their kibble size is a little on the smaller side, which can make life easier for brachys with little mouths like bulldogs. 

4. Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food

Best For Young Bulldogs: Manages weight gain

Overall Grade83%
Affordability75%
Ingredient Quality90%
Digestibility85%
Protein Content80%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • High-quality, all-natural ingredients
  • Great fat level and Omega fatty acids
  • Totally grain free
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Higher protein count than is necessary for dogs
  • Not suitable for pups who are sensitive to poultry

This product offers some super nutrient values, and it’s a great choice for young bulldogs or a bulldog puppy as the protein count will help build strong, healthy muscles as they’re growing and the low fat percentage will help avoid weight gain (which is essential to start paying attention to from a young age).

Although Wellness Core’s food is a little pricey, you’ll be getting a lot of quality for your cash.

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Great Nutrient Content 

33% protein is a little higher than your bulldog needs, although the calorie count is great at 360 per cup. The fat content is superb, at 10%. These two numbers are great for young, growing bulldogs – you can’t start healthy nutrition too early.

The beauty of this food is that you can get a lifetime of benefit out of it – it’s fantastic for young bulldogs, but it will still more than satisfy their needs as they get older. 

Healthy Additions 

The product is naturally preserved using mixed tocopherols, so you don’t have to worry about unhealthy preservatives sneaking in there. Flaxseed oil and salmon oil are natural, healthy Omega fatty acids, and the superfood fruits and vegetables add a dash of antioxidants to boost the immune system.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are always a welcome addition for breeds who tend towards hip dysplasia.

5. Nutro Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Best Low Protein Food: For dogs on a low protein diet

Overall Grade83%
Affordability85%
Ingredient Quality85%
Digestibility85%
Protein Content75%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • Main protein source is real meat
  • Natural, non-GMO ingredients
  • No poultry by-products
  • “Small Bites” option

CONS

  • Lower protein count than others
  • No glucosamine
  • The fishy flavors smell quite strong

Nutro has a “Feed Clean” philosophy, and aim to make all of their limited ingredient foods with 10 or fewer ingredients (excluding vitamins and minerals).

They also make sure to remain grain free, artificial stuff, and chicken and beef, in order to keep potential allergies to an absolute minimum. They also guarantee a soft, shiny coat from the added fatty acids… And if that doesn’t happen, you get your money back! This food is great for bulldogs who need to be on a lower protein diet.

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Low Protein, Low Fat 

With 20% protein, this is below the average for bulldogs but it’s great if yours needs less protein. 14% fat is a great number, although the calorie count of 430 per cup is a little high considering the lower nutrients counts.

Easy Digestion 

The presence of chelated minerals in this food helps with digestion. Mixed tocopherols and citric acids are used as preservatives, which are completely natural.

You may need to supplement with glucosamine if your dog is prone to joint issues.

6. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Best For Bulldogs With Sensitive Stomachs: Sensitive stomach formula

Overall Grade83%
Affordability85%
Ingredient Quality80%
Digestibility80%
Protein Content75%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • Formulated to be easy on your pup’s stomach and skin
  • Good protein and fat counts
  • Contains glucosamine
  • Real meat is ingredient #1

CONS

  • Contains grains
  • No vegetables or fruits
  • High-calorie

Purina is a well-known brand, and this is their offering for sensitive stomachs (which many a bulldog has).

It’s NOT a grain free formula, but it steers clear of the main allergy culprits – wheat, corn, and soy.

Although they don’t use fruit and vegetables as their carb sources as many of the others on this list do, they avoid artificial stuff and have good protein and fat numbers.

If you have a dog with a bit of a sensitive disposition or who suffers from allergies, and you prefer to stick to something with grains, our testing shows that this is one of the best options for bulldogs with sensitive stomachs.

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Good Protein and Fat Percentages 

26% protein is right in the zone for bulldogs, and 16% fat is an acceptable number. The moisture content seems to be ever so slightly higher than others, with crude fiber coming in at 4%, which is pretty average. It’s one of the highest calorie foods on the list at 490 calories per cup, so be careful to give your pup the right amount for his weight. 

Extra Benefits 

The addition of fish oil and egg products gives the food a pretty nice Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids content, which promotes overall health and wellbeing. Fish meal (which also adds a little dose of protein) is a good source of glucosamine, which many of these foods don’t have on their guaranteed analysis list.

Their Sensitive Stomach formulas come with either lamb or salmon as their protein source, which means the chances of allergies to the protein are far less as these two are great sources. 

7. Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: More value for less cash

Overall Grade81%
Affordability85%
Ingredient Quality75%
Digestibility80%
Protein Content90%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • Good protein and fat numbers
  • Lower in calories than many
  • Quite affordable

CONS

  • No real meat, only beef meal
  • Contains chicken fat, so not suitable for pets who are sensitive to poultry

Diamond Naturals are the pick for best value for money as you can get a 40lb bag for less than $40, which is quite noticeably less than most others.

While this is reflected somewhat in their ingredient quality, the protein and fat levels of this food are quite adequate to fulfill a bulldog’s dietary requirements. They also contain no corn, soy, or wheat, although even their beef product does contain chicken fat.

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Low Calorie with a Great Protein Count 

The numbers are pretty good here, with 25% protein and 15% fat. At 337 calories a cup, this is also one of the lowest calorie foods we’ve found, while still keeping a great protein content. We attribute this to the fact that beef meal is used instead of real meat, but it’s a good option for pups who need to keep an eye on their weight while still getting the nutrients they need! 

Extra Benefits 

Flaxseed and chia seeds up the Omega fatty acids, and Diamond Naturals enhance their foods with K9 Strain probiotics for easier digestion and absorption. The vegetables that are included in this formula are considered to be superfoods, which means they have antioxidant properties too.

8. Natural Balance Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient Food: Limited but high-quality

Overall Grade80%
Affordability80%
Ingredient Quality85%
Digestibility85%
Protein Content75%
Flavour Variety85%

PROS

  • Contains real meat
  • Great fat content for bulldogs
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial ingredients

CONS

  • Slightly pricey
  • Lower protein count than some

This food is quite a nice one for bulldogs, as it’s low in fat and fairly low calorie too.

Your bulldog will get more than enough nutrients without adding unnecessary calories to his diet, so it’s a great one to feed your pup from when he or she is young.

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Low Protein, Low Calorie 

This is a lower-everything kind of food, which is kind of the point of a limited ingredient product! The protein count sits at 21%, which is adequate, and the fat content is perfect for the average not-so-active bulldog, at 10%. At 350 calories per cup, this is also lower on the calorie count than some others, which is always good for less active pups. 

Extra Benefits 

Flaxseed and salmon oil add essential amino acids, which promote health, brain function, and a sleek and shiny coat! There aren’t many extra vitamins or minerals added (in keeping with the limited ingredient philosophy), but their foods are certified safe by qualified microbiologists and the results of tests are shared on their website.

9. Blue Buffalo Adult Dog Food

Best For Overweight Bulldogs: Great fat levels

Overall Grade79%
Affordability85%
Ingredient Quality80%
Digestibility85%
Protein Content75%
Flavour Variety75%

PROS

  • Great fat levels for bulldogs
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
  • Real meat as the first ingredient
  • Fruits and vegetables contribute to the carb content

CONS

  • Slightly lower protein level than some
  • NOT grain-free

Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight is great for bulldogs who are overweight and may need to be on a more strict diet.

If this sounds like your pooch, this food would be a great option as it uses a single source protein (in two different forms – turkey meat and turkey meal), and contains decent carbs.

It does contain grains, but healthy ones (oatmeal and brown rice) in addition to fruits and vegetables. It’s relatively average in terms of calories, which is great as its right in the zone for dogs who need to lose weight or prevent weight gain.

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Great Nutrient Levels 

20% protein may not be enough for some, but certain dogs do require less protein in their diets so this one is well worth taking a look at. The fat level is fantastic for bulldogs, at 9%.

A cup of Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight will give your pup around 350 calories, which is fairly average but over a long period of time will make quite a difference in your pup’s weight and health. 

Healthy Additions 

This recipe contains Blue’s LifeSource Bits, which are made up of a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This kibble also contains l-carnitine, which is a healthy amino acid which helps convert calories to energy. Glucosamine and chondroitin help reduce the chances of hip dysplasia.

10. Taste Of The Wild Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best For Active Bulldogs: High-quality protein

Overall Grade78%
Affordability85%
Ingredient Quality80%
Digestibility80%
Protein Content75%
Flavour Variety80%

PROS

  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Good levels of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Various flavors available
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors

CONS

  • Some flavors are not suitable for dogs who are sensitive to poultry products
  • The protein count is unnecessarily high for bulldogs
  • No glucosamine added

Taste of the Wild is a high-protein, grain-free kibble that would be a great food for active, energetic bulldogs.

This food aims to strike a balance between what your dog would eat if they were a wild, roaming canine, and the dog foods that domesticated pets eat, which makes it packed full of nutrients but also quite high in calories.

The variety of protein sources and healthy fruits and vegetables is great, but the calorie count is what makes this one best for energetic bulldogs who get plenty of exercise.

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High Calorie for Active Dogs 

The protein in this food is at 32%, which is higher than your bulldog would need (especially if he only gets moderate exercise). The crude fat (18%) is also slightly on the high side.

That’s not to say this wouldn’t be suitable for a bulldog, though – you just need to make sure it would do well for YOUR bulldog. If she is healthy, energetic, and enjoys some bouncy, playful exercise, this food would work quite well for her.

There’s no glucosamine, which means if your pooch is prone to hip dysplasia, they’ll need a separate supplement.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Ingredient Quality

The quality of what goes into your dog’s food cannot be understated! Would you feed your kiddie food that had zero nutritional value? Most likely not … Why would you do the same to your pet?

The dog food industry is, unfortunately, plagued with cheap, low-quality products that really do your dog more harm than good. The quality of the ingredients is the single most important factor in determining whether or not it is good for your dog’s health.

All-natural, fresh ingredients are always the winner here, and real meat, fruits and vegetables are number one. Low-quality ingredients can have a negative impact on your pet’s health but also on your pet’s mood. Who wants a grumpy pup when you can have a cheery one?

Criteria 2 – Digestibility

Bulldogs have more sensitive stomachs than most people realize, so this is a key factor when it comes to choosing the right food for them.

Digestibility really refers to the amount of nutrients that are absorbed into your dog’s body when they eat the food. Although most foods don’t display the info, a digestibility level of 82% or above is considered high quality.

As the info is not readily available, we looked at general health and wellness of dogs eating the food, as well as the quality and quantity of their poop. Yep – this is a good sign of how easily digestible your dog’s food is!

Criteria 3 – Protein Content

Bulldogs are not the most active of pets out there, and are prone to overeating and putting on weight fairly easily. A protein content of between 24% and 30% is a great number as it’s enough to keep them strong and muscular without adding too much excess weight. 

Real meat is the best, but meat meals are also a great choice. Make sure they’re identified, though, such as fish meal or chicken meal. “Animal meal” or by-product meals are not acceptable.

Criteria 4 – Flavour Variety

Our pets have more human qualities than we tend to give them credit for, and they do sometimes get bored with eating the same flavor! They also have their own tastes so while beef flavor might be great for one, another pup might prefer chicken, and so on. 

While a dog food may be high-quality, some dogs just don’t deal well with certain ingredients. Even if we aren’t completely aware of which specific thing they’re reacting to, a flavor variety is helpful for cases like this, where you can keep the high-quality product, just change the taste.

Criteria 5 – Affordability

While we all want to be feeding our pets the best dog food we possibly can, there are some options out there that are just not practical because of their high price tag. What makes the best dog food is a combination of quality and affordability.


The price of an item is not always a true indication of its quality, but it’s a fact that you should expect to pay more for a better quality food. This doesn’t mean you need to break the bank just to feed your pet, though!

We’ve added this in here to prove that there are high-quality dog foods out there at a decent cost. Price doesn’t have to stand in the way of your pup getting the best dog food nutrition!


Questions & Answers

What ingredients should I be looking for in the best dog food for bulldogs?

Whole, natural ingredients are always essential if you want to choose the best dog food. Bulldogs’ stomachs can be sensitive, so it’s best to avoid grains and artificial ingredients. Real meat should always be the first ingredient, and fruits and vegetables are the best carb sources.

Grain free food for bulldogs is always a good idea, as grains can aggravate their stomachs.

What is a balanced diet for bulldogs?

Bulldogs are not the most active of dogs, so they need a dog food with a moderate protein count (24 – 30%), and a fat content on the lower side (15% or lower). The lower the calories, the better, to prevent weight gain.

Protein should be animal and not plant-based. Real meat or meat meal is all right, as long as the meal is named, such as chicken meal or fish meal. The carbohydrates should be natural fruits and vegetables – grain free is best.

Feeding your dog a balanced diet with the best dog food for them also depends on their individual needs and things like age, weight, and general health.

What are some common bulldog health concerns?

Some health issues that are common to bulldogs (English, American, and French) include brachycephalic syndrome (a group of respiratory problems), elbow and hip dysplasiaskin conditions, cherry eye (a form of conjunctivitis), cataracts (American), hypothyroidism (American), and middle ear inflammation (French).

How much food does a bulldog need?

This really depends on your individual bulldog – their weight, health, and activity level – and the calorie content of the food that they’re eating. Most foods have a handy guide that you can follow to work out exactly how much you should be feeding your dog. If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to consult your vet.