When we talk about choosing the right diet for Frenchies, one of the most common choices is a grain-free diet. A grain-free diet for French bulldogs might sound like the best choice for pooches that suffer from allergies. However, do all dog parents agree with it? Let’s find out all the pros and cons of feeding a Frenchie with a grain-free diet.
Should I choose a grain-free diet for French bulldogs?
Many vets and dog breeders claim that grains are an unnatural source of nutrition for our dogs. It’s because the dogs’ ancestors didn’t eat grains in the wild. The main ingredient of their diets was meat o small animals that used to eat grains. So, if we take into account this fact, dogs used to eat grains but in a sort of different way.
Going through decades, dogs evolved a lot. They modified their metabolism, so today they pretty well digest gluten and grains. Our furry friends are not carnivores. They are omnivores that require eating grains to satisfy their nutritional needs. They represent great sources of proteins, minerals, vitamins, fiber, probiotics, and essential fatty acids.
On the other hand, French bulldogs are one of those breeds that are on a higher tendency to suffer from food allergies. At the same time, grain-free dog diets become insanely popular not only among dogs but also among people. But, why is that so?
It’s because grains are often the triggers of itchiness, flatulence, hair loss, hives, and bumps on your Frenchie’s skin. Besides soy, corn, wheat, and barley, beef and chicken meat also take a high place on the list of ‘forbidden’ ingredients. Dogs with special needs should definitely try a grain-free diet. If your pooch is an allergy sufferer, this type of diet might be the right choice.
Is a grain-free diet a harmful choice for my Frenchie?
According to studies, the number of dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy suddenly grew in the last few years. Many vet cardiologists noticed that dogs who are on so-called ‘trendy’ BEG diets suffer from this condition. It’s a heart condition that decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) conducted research and came up with results that 90% of dogs were on grain-free food and 93% were on diets that contained peas and/or lentils.
What is a so-called BEG diet?
BEG diets are the name for three types of diets that have become very popular in recent years.
B-Boutique: This refers to small dog food producers that conduct their own research and invent special diets with the help of vet nutritionists.
E-Exotic: Dog food that contains rare or unusual ingredients. In other words, those are ingredients that haven’t been used in traditional dog food. Fava beans, lentils, peas, buffalo, tapioca, chickpeas, and many others are only some of the unstudied ingredients that shouldn’t be used in dog diets.
G-Grain-free: French bulldog diets that are free of corn, soy, oatmeal, rice and are rich in potato, peas, and lentils.
Making a final decision on a grain-free diet for French bulldogs
Grain-free diets are not proven to cause DCM, but there have been numerous reports of dogs with the condition whose symptoms improved or completely resolved after they went off their BEG diet and started taking special amino acid supplements (Taurine). The short answer is that we don't know why this works. Only 1% of dogs develop an allergy to grains. Therefore, if you’re planning to switch your pooch to this type of diet, we recommend you to previously consult your vet. He/she will perform the treatment and will conduct a proper dietary elimination trial.
Choosing the best food for your furry friend is not an easy task. There are many different foods available, some with grains and animal-source protein while others have a completely plant-based diet! When shopping at the grocery store pet aisle you may notice some foods have "grain-free" printed on their package design; these labels should be taken seriously because not all choices are created equal! Maybe you can find it helpful to look up reviews online before making a purchase. Sometimes people whose Frenchies already eat specific dog food brands will share their opinion, which can help you decide. One thing is for sure- evaluate the nutrition content located on each bag. Looking at labels will tell you everything you need to know about the food you want to buy.