English Bulldogs are an adorable mess of wrinkles, drool, and giant smiles that beam at us with their sweet hearts. These silly-faced teddy bears are more muscle than anything and will require a balanced diet that reflects their hearty strength. If you have been considering the raw-diet trend for your Bulldog and are curious about its many benefits, you’ve come to the right place!
Can you feed raw meat to an English Bulldog? Yes, you absolutely can serve raw meat, and the B.A.R.F. Diet trend (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) has gained incredible momentum in recent years because of the many health benefits associated with a more natural diet.
Besides raw meat, there are also several great wet foods we recommend for your bulldog, which you can check out here.
This article will discuss the B.A.R.F. diet for canines, what your bulldog can eat, what they cannot eat, how to safely serve raw meat, and everything else you should know as a newbie to this. Within a few minutes, you will feel more confident in caring for your Bulldog and offering the nutrition to suit its needs.
What is B.A.R.F.?
Your fur-child deserves the best. In case you haven’t heard about the B.A.R.F Diet, it can stand for either ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food,’ or, ‘Bones and Raw Food,’ and was developed by an Australian veterinarian in the early 1990s.
The idea behind raw food is that your dog is not bred to consume kibbles and processed food. Dogs were not always domesticated, and those thousands of years before domestication have caused their diets to require things that they cannot get from kibbles.
A raw diet offers canines a more natural equivalent to what their diet would have looked like before domestication.
Australian Veterinarian, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, claims that the grain-based commercial foods are harmful to your dog’s health because they lack the protein, raw-meat nutrients, and vegetable scrap diet that they would have consumed before humans altered their behavior and environment.
The benefits of a safely monitored raw diet are:
- Shinier coat
- More energy
- More athleticism
- More playful
- Cleaner teeth
- Less dandruff/skin irritation
- Harder and smaller stools
What Your English Bulldog Can Eat
You want to find the best quality raw meat to serve your pet, and it will still need to be part of a balanced diet. Take the same safety measures that you would with your raw food in the kitchen, and always sanitize a surface or dish that has touched raw food. You should also practice constant hand washing to avoid the spread of harmful bacteria.
Here are examples of what your English Bulldog can safely consume:
- Raw Beef
- Raw Chicken
- Raw Turkey
- Raw Ground Lamb
- Raw Pork
- Raw Rabbit
- Uncooked bones
- Mashed up vegetables like broccoli, apples (no cores), cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, or brightly colored vegetables are best. Dull colored produce is likely to be more starchy and carbohydrate-filled.
- Hardboiled Eggs (never raw)
- Sunflower seeds
- Vitamins that are safe for canine consumption (zinc, probiotics, vitamin B)
As Dog Food Insider simply explains, “The ideal amount to feed is normally about 2 percent of your dog’s total body weight daily. So, for example, a 50lb dog would require about 1 lb (0.45kg) of raw food per day.”
What you want to focus on when feeding your Bulldog this diet is:
- Lowering your dog’s grain intake
- Looking for grain-free products
- Checking the date for freshness
- Reading ingredients to check for a balance of fruits and vegetables
- Checking for low to zero preservatives
- Checking the overall nutritional value
Do’s and Don’ts with Raw Food
Some things to keep in mind as a safe and responsible pet owner are:
- Do Not – Serve raw food that is frozen to a dog under 15-pounds. This probably won’t be your English Bulldog, but dogs this small have tinier organs that cannot handle raw food that is large and frozen.
Do – Thaw your dogs’ frozen food before serving. A larger dog can handle slightly frozen food, but try to avoid this when you can.
- Do Not – Serve them a combination of kibbles with raw food. These digest at entirely different paces and can overwhelm their digestive system.
Do – Separate your mealtimes if serving both a raw and non-raw diet. It is okay to gradually increase the raw diet and serve hard food at a separate mealtime when transitioning to the raw, but do not try to combine these two for the same meal.
- Do Not – Think that all meat is safe. Cooked turkey or chicken can have small bones that may splinter-off and tear your dog’s throat or stomach apart. They cannot digest this, so you must always be aware of what your dog is consuming.
Do – Check your dog’s food for bones before serving. This is one of the most significant dangers with raw food or meat in general with your pets. Even giving them bones to play with and chew on can be dangerous for the splintering reason and kills many dogs each year. Be careful and overbearing if need be, to check the quality and lack of bones before serving.
Always be careful serving raw food in a home with children around because they have weaker immune systems, and raw food can spread life-threatening bacteria if it isn’t handled correctly.
What Your English Bulldog Can Not Eat
Some foods to avoid are:
- Cooked fish with bones
- Raw fish in general
- Rib bones
- Macadamia nuts
- Apple Cores
- Raw bread dough
- Crude protein
- Human vitamins that are not safe for animal consumption
- Processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, etc.
How to Safely Serve Your Dog Raw Meat
We’ve mentioned not to serve frozen meat and to use similar sanitary practices as you would handling meat for your consumption, but the actual process of serving the meat should go as follows:
- Always remove any bones from the meat.
- Rinse the meat before mashing it or slicing it to remove any preservatives or chemicals which may be on the outside of the meat.
- Mash or thinly dice any vegetables to be sure they are small enough to swallow. Your dog is likely to scarf it down and not chew very much (or at all), so make sure things are chopped very small so they can safely swallow without a choking hazard.
- Never season anything. This can be harmful and cause them to throw up.
- Put it in your Bulldog’s food bowl, and let them enjoy it!
If you want to serve cooked meat to your pup, be sure it is thoroughly cooked to at least medium. This is to avoid salmonella poisoning. Try to remove as much fat as you can from the cooked meat because your English Bulldog does not need this
After serving raw meat, watch your dog for the following:
- If they get sick immediately after.
- If they are throwing up or consistently unwell (take them to the veterinarian immediately as this could be some salmonella poisoning or high-risk situation)
- Their stool – check it to be sure it looks healthy and clear of worms. Know that their stool will be harder on a raw diet. This is normal, as well as beneficial to their anal glands.
It is best to serve your pet outside if possible, so they do not drag raw food or bones around the home. We recommend that you practice the same raw-meat health practices you would when serving your own family cooked meat.
Final Words of Wisdom
With all the benefits to a raw diet, you may want to consider at least adding it to one meal a day. Even if you are unsure about the raw diet, we hope this guide has at least inspired you to be more conscious about what your dog is consuming and aiming for a more balanced diet that incorporates proteins with vegetables while cutting out the harmful grains.
It is always recommended to consult your veterinarian before making any major shifts to your pet’s diet to confirm that your Bulldog’s health is up to par, and they are not too young.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.