Written by Dr. Marcelle Landestoy, DVM
If you own a bulldog, one of your main goals is to provide him the best- by ‘best’ I mean the best nutrition, healthcare, and comfy living.
Unfortunately, deciding on the best food for your bulldog is sometimes overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what to include and what to eliminate in his diet.
Since bulldogs are highly sensitive and allergic to different types of food, you and any member of your circle should exercise great care when preparing his meals.
Foods your bulldog should avoid include caffeinated drinks, chocolates, dairy products, grapes and raisins, and avocados. Additionally, you should exercise extra caution when feeding your pooch bacon, nuts, berries, sweetened foods, and carrots.
As a licensed veterinary doctor, I’m about to shed light on the most common foods in our homes that are also harmful to our bulldogs.
Read on to learn more about these delicious yet toxic foods you should keep away from your canine friend.
Foods Your Bulldog Should Avoid
The list of the foods your bulldog should avoid is endless. Some foods are highly toxic, while others are non-poisonous but are best in moderation.
To better grasp this topic, I’ll use the traffic lights concept (green, yellow, and red):
- GREEN will represent those foods that aren’t highly toxic but are only okay in moderation. They may trigger mild effects such as mild vomiting and diarrhea and often have long-term consequences on your pup’s health if they are eaten frequently.
- YELLOW will describe the foods that have moderate to severe effects when ingested. For example, they may cause severe vomiting, difficulty breathing, itching, and stomach upsets. If your bulldog consumes these foods, a vet visit may be in order.
- RED will pose a danger to your bulldog, being toxic enough to cause organ failure or even death. In most instances, you’ll need to rush your bulldog to the emergency clinic.
Now, let’s discuss which foods fall into each group.
Green: Mild Discomfort
These are the foods you should only give your bulldog in moderation, and they include:
Milk and Dairy Products
While it’s not toxic to your canine friend, milk isn’t a good idea for your bulldog. Generally, most dogs are lactose intolerant and often have difficulties breaking the lactose found in milk.
As a result, your pup may experience digestion difficulties after drinking milk or eating other dairy products, such as ice cream and yogurt.
Some of the more common lactose intolerance signs are mild diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Additionally, some of these dairy products — such as ice cream — may contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to dogs.
Have you noticed that your bulldog loves to munch on carrots and begs for them at any chance he gets?
Well, most dogs do; maybe it’s because of the sugary taste and the crunchiness.
Unfortunately, while you may not know it, carrots have a high sugar content that can lead to obesity, among other health complications, if consumed too often.
Bulldogs’ preference for oranges varies depending on their taste.
Regardless of where your pup lies on this spectrum, oranges are citrus fruits with a higher vitamin C level, which boosts your dog’s immunity.
Unfortunately, if your pup consumes too many of them, he may experience a stomach upset coupled with mild diarrhea and vomiting.
When feeding oranges to your canine friend, don’t forget to remove the rind!
While a small bite or two of fatty foods — such as bacon and sausages — won’t kill your canine friend, they’re best left in moderation.
A high fatty food intake can cause pancreatitis, which affects your pup’s pancreas’ functionality and causes digestive issues.
In most cases, fatty foods also cause stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Like humans, dogs too love bananas. However, bananas are also high in natural sugar content which can cause mild stomach upsets and can, in the long run, lead to obesity.
Additionally, they have a high fiber content which can cause constipation if your pup eats too many of them.
Be sure to remove the banana peels, which, although non-toxic, are hard to digest.
Don’t panic if your bulldog consumes any of the foods on this list.
Just watch out for any symptoms that don’t go away and seek medical attention if need be.
If you do give your pup any of these foods, make sure it’s in moderation!
Yellow: Moderate to Severe Discomfort
These foods have moderate to severe effects on your bulldog, and they include:
This delicious buttery food used primarily in guacamole, pasta, and sandwiches isn’t the best for your bulldog.
Its effects are twofold. First, the entire avocado fruit from the leaves to the pit contains a toxic element known as persin, which takes time to digest in dogs.
Persin poisoning can cause severe stomach upsets, breathing issues, and a build-up of fluid in the chest, requiring immediate medical attention.
Second, the pit — which is hard and slippery — poses a choking hazard to your dog and can even cause gastrointestinal blockage.
Kales aren’t the best green leafy vegetable for your bulldog. While not highly toxic, kales are high in calcium oxalate, which increases your bulldog’s risk of bladder and kidney stones.
Some bladder and kidney stones symptoms include severe vomiting, frequent and painful urination, blood in urine, and appetite loss.
While ripe tomatoes are safe for your dog to munch on, unripe or ripening tomatoes can be dangerous to your canine friend since they contain a toxic alkaloid called tomatine.
Tomatine toxicity can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, increased heart rate, and muscle weakness.
Grapes and Raisins
Although appealing to dogs as treats or snacks, avoid giving grapes or raisins to your bulldogs because of their severe effects.
They may contain mold and fungus, which can cause abdominal pains, seizures, lethargy, kidney failure, and coma.
Other foods under this category include raw or undercooked meat and eggs, macadamia nuts, potatoes, onion, garlic, chives, and leeks.
A few bites of these foods won’t kill your pup, but you should seek immediate medical attention.
Consult a qualified vet to discuss the foods eaten (including how much) and the symptoms.
Your vet may advise you to trigger some induced vomiting or immediately take your pup to the clinic.
Red: Dangerous or Poisonous
These are highly toxic foods, including:
Raw Yeast Dough
While you wouldn’t intentionally feed yeast dough to your bulldog, it doesn’t mean he won’t munch on it if he finds it on the floor or kitchen counter.
Raw yeast is highly toxic. It can continue to ferment and rise inside the canine’s stomach resulting in increased gas build-up.
The excess gas makes the dog’s intestines and the abdomen expand, causing severe abdominal pain.
In extreme cases, it can cause gut twitching or ruptured stomach and intestines, killing your pup.
This sweet snack, among other sugary foods, isn’t good for your bulldog.
That’s because chocolate contains theobromine, a toxic element that is a diuretic as well as a cardiac stimulant.
It affects the normal functioning of the kidneys, heart, and vital organs in the dog’s body.
Your dog may experience excessive thirst, frequent urination, seizures, increased heart rate, and in case of a high level of toxicity, theobromine can cause death.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in most manufactured human food. As a result, it may wind up in your bulldog’s GI tract without realizing it.
You’re likely to see it in ketchup, sugar-free gums and mints, vitamin supplements, some baked foods, candies, and some types of peanut butter.
When ingested, xylitol increases the levels of insulin in your body and may damage the liver.
Other foods under this category include corn on the cob, cooked bones, and caffeinated drinks.
If your bulldog accidentally consumes any of the foods in this category, seek immediate medical attention to save his life.
It’s the dream of every bulldog parent to see his pup healthy, happy, and strong.
However, this may be hard to achieve if you’re feeding your bulldog table scraps.
To be on the safe side, eliminate these foods from your bulldog’s diet:
- Milk and dairy products
- Grapes and raisins
- Caffeinated drinks
The reality is, if your dog eats most of these foods in small quantities, he’ll most likely be ‘okay.’
However, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance when it comes to your favorite canine friend’s health.
Always seek medical attention when in doubt!
- Wagwalking: Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
- Any bulldog.com: The Ultimate Guide to What Bulldogs Can (and Can’t) Eat
- Castlewood bulldogs; 5 Toxic Foods To Never Feed Your Bulldog
- Doggy Saurus: What Foods Are Bad, Poisonous, & Toxic to English Bulldogs? 25 Bad Foods!
- Family bulldog: Food Items That You Should Not Feed To Your English Bulldogs
Read more about the Bulldog breed in my one-page English Bulldog owner guide
Veterinary Hospital Director at UCE
Dr. Marcelle is a general veterinarian with a Small Animal Medicine Specialty | Director of the UCE School of Veterinary Medicine | Certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society