NUTRITION

The French Bulldog IS WHAT HE EATS

The breed was  developed by human engineering through "dwarfing".   A chrondrodysplastic breed, such as the French Bulldog, is predisposed genetically to structural problems.   Controlling what the French bulldog puppy eats as it develops during the gestation through 18 months and geriatric years is critical to its development and maintenance  of a sound, healthy structure.

STRUCTURAL TENDENCIES:   Hip dysplasia, loose patellas (knees), flat pasterns (ankles), and spinal problems are inherent in the breed genetically because of the genetic dwarfism done to create this breed.  Regardless of breeding practices and nutritional management in an environment, these issues can become a problem for French Bulldogs.    By health screenings and selective breeding practices, reputabler and conscientious  breeders  can lessen the incidences  and severity of problems.  By management of the environment and nutrtion,  I am  convinced that the Breeder and Owner can wage a successful battle of prevention.   I do my part by health screening all adults in my breeding program and by management of nutrition prior to breeding, during gestation, and nutritional management of pups after weaning.  

While attending a seminar given in 2004 by Dr. Keller, DVM, director of the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals, I heard Doctor Keller make the remark that in spite of the tendency of the French Bulldog breed  to have bone and joint anamolies we, as breeders, could lower the incidences by nutrition.     I came home from the seminar and immediately studied nutrition, the effects of dwarfism and achondrodysplasia on humans and canines, and made adjustments in our dogfood and supplements. This is a capsulization of my belief:

1.   LOWER THE PROTEIN.  Fancibul French Bulldog puppies are weaned onto Eukanuba small breed
      puppy kibble which is approximately 32% protein.  At 14 weeks of age, I lower the protein by
      switching to a 26-28% kibble.   By 16-18 months, the growth plates are closing. We use a
      protein kibble for adults at 26% or less.  Many vets believe that 22% protein is adequate.

2.   SUPPLEMENTING.  After researching dwarfism, I concluded this breed may not efficiently
      absorb minerals such as calcium,phosphorus, and magnesium.   We supplement with NuVet,
      voted to be the Breeder's Choice for canine supplements in the USA.  This supplement is my
      choice because  it is made with oganic, high quality ingredients, has minerals many
      supplements do not contain, and the ratio/balance has been thoroughly tested by NuVet
      Laboratories for canines.  Vitamin C is   necessary to aid absorption of these other nutrients.     

      Regardless of the supplement you choose, please give your French Bulldog puppy a supplement
      of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin C until he is 16-18 months of age. Give him
      playtime outdoors which aids absorption. This breed needs exercise to be healthy. A lot of
      internet info tends to "paint a picture" of an climate unadaptable, rather fragile and lazy dog -
      This is NOT a Fancibul nor accurate viewpoint of a healthy French Bulldog.


     
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3.  EATING HABITS:  The Fancibul French Bulldog puppy eats with gusto when it leaves Fancibul
      Kennels.  I  insist on structure, schedule,  and control of the environment and training.
      Considering the dog's stubborn nature and insistence on "ruling the roost", I can only
      encourage new owners to maintain these same ingredients in their own environment.  Since
      it is their nature to assume the role of "Boss" and typical to "pout" and exhibit tenacity to the
      position, you will often find a French Bulldog using food to control the others in his life.


      My method: 

     a.  Have a mealtime schedule
     b.  Measure the appropriate quantity of a high quality dogfood
     c.  Put French Bulldog with dish in its kennel or a separate room and LEAVE him alone
     d.  Pick up the dish in 20-25 minutes.  If the dog eats some but not all, give the dish back at
          bedtime or decrease quantity slightly.   (Some are "night eaters" and prefer to be alone and
          hidden.)
     e.  SHOW NO  concern, grief, plead nor cajole your French Bulldog to eat!  He can read your
          emotions like a book entitled, "How to Get Attention and MY WAY".


4.  IN BETWEEN YEARS.  Using a high quality kibble, we add a squirt of salmon oil on kibble of
     adult dogs in our breeding program.  The stud dogs get 500 units of Vitamin E daily, and we
     have give females in gestation an extra boost in B vitamins.


5.  GERIATRIC DOGS:  In discussing nutrition and geriatric management with a physiology professor
     at OSU Vet Teaching Hospital, he remarked that dog owners should begin geriatric
     management  earlier than is the tendenc among vets and dog owners.   His opinion is that
     age 7-8 years  is an appropriate time to adjust  a diet and perhaps consider supplements.
 
 6. Although many dogfoods now contain   a bone and joint supplement, the Fancibul French
     Bulldogs senior citizens are given additional support from
NuJoint, another  supplement from
    
NuVet Labs which is a compound of glucosamine/chondroitin/vitamin C/MSN.  Discuss
     appropriate senior bull diet with your vet at around 7 years of age.