The 10 Best Dog Food for American Bulldogs in 2020 (Adult, Puppy, Senior)

best dog food for American Bulldogs review

As of today, there are around 630 pet food and treat brands available, and each food brand comes with multiple variations of recipes. Further adding to the confusion, each breed has dietary needs and health issues that can differ from one breed to another.

These two facts alone make it harder for dog owners to choose the most suitable foods for their dogs. That’s why to help you in your buying journey, we had put together this list of the best dog food for American Bulldogs in 2020. 

Our Picks for The Best Dog Foods for American Bulldogs

Best Dog Food for American Bulldogs Reviews

Best Overall

1. Royal Canin Bulldog Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Suitable for: Adult
  • Caloric content (per kg): 277 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Oat Groats, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice, Wheat Gluten

In the case of an adult American Bulldog, the last thing you ever wanted is an overweight dog. Sure, they might look all macho and butch, but those excess weights can take years off his life. Research has shown that overweight large breeds are more prone to certain health problems, such as bone cancers, hip dysplasia, etc.

This is what makes The Royal Canin Bulldog our all-around favorite dog food for mature American Bulldogs. This formula is designed to address various issues that are specific to this breed while keeping your dog at a healthy weight.

A quick look at the dry matter label analysis of this formula reveals 24 percent protein content, 13 percent fat, and 57 percent estimated carbs.

What We Like

  • Specially formulated with protein and carbohydrates that are easily digested to help reduce intestinal fermentation and decrease flatulence and bad stool odor
  • Grain inclusive recipe without wheat, corn, or soy
  • Easy to chew kibbles
  • Reinforced with essential nutrients to promote skin and coat health
  • Includes EPA and DHA for bone and joint health

Best for American Bulldog Puppies

2. Royal Canin Bulldog Puppy Dry Dog Food

  • Suitable for: Puppy
  • Caloric content (per kg): 338 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Wheat Gluten

The Royal Canin Bulldog Puppy is the only brand that we trust to meet the needs of growing American Bulldog puppies. As we have mentioned before, American Bulldog is a breed with gas and digestive issues. This formula helps cut down on the gas they produce and reduce gastrointestinal issues like bloating and diarrhea. 

This puppy formula has 31 percent protein on a dry matter basis, which meets the AAFCO’s minimum requirements for growing puppies. Additionally, it contains 17 percent fat, and 48 percent estimated carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with Low Indigestible Proteins and prebiotics to support digestion and intestinal health
  • Easy-to-eat kibble shape
  • Includes calcium and phosphorus for bone and joint health
  • Contains an exclusive mix of antioxidant to build immunity
  • Boosted with vitamins and minerals to ensure a complete, balanced diet

Best for Grain Allergy

3. Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe

  • Suitable for: Puppy
  • Caloric content (per kg): 373 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca Starch

For dog owners whose American Bulldogs are sensitive to grain, the Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free is one of the best options to consider. Featuring chicken as the #1 ingredient, this formula is sure to make your dog crave for more while also accommodating his grain allergy.

More than that, this formula also includes Blue Buffalo’s special and exclusive LifeSource Bits, which is a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that have been carefully selected by the company’s veterinarians and animal nutritionists.

According to the guaranteed analysis, this recipe contains 27 percent dry basis protein, 16 percent fat, and 51 percent estimated carbs.

What We Like

  • 100% grain-free and gluten-free
  • Real chicken as the main protein source
  • Fortified with LifeSource Bits to support your canine overall health and well-being
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and immune system
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or chemical preservatives

Best for Senior

4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 6+ Large Breed Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe

  • Suitable for: Senior
  • Caloric content (per kg): 353 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain inclusive
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn

The Hill’s Science Diet Adult 6+ is specially formulated to address many conditions and concerns unique to bully breeds. There are two reasons why we like this senior formula. 

First, this recipe is crafted with wholesome, all-natural ingredients that include chicken meal, rice, and barley. And second, it is made in the US with strict control over its ingredient sourcing and manufacturing.

The dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 17 percent protein, 12 percent fat, 4 percent fiber, and 66 percent carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with wholesome and nutrient-rich ingredients that are fit for your older dog’s nutritional requirements
  • Balanced grain-inclusive design
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin to help protect your dog’s joints
  • A blend of antioxidants, vitamin C, and E to help strengthen the immune system
  • Complies to strict food safety protocols

Best for Weight Gain

5. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula

  • Suitable for: Senior
  • Caloric content (per kg): 406 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain inclusive
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Pork Meal, Chicken Meal

American Bulldog owners with underweight dogs have found this formula from the Victor Pet Food brand over-delivers. It delivers a high-protein diet where meat makes up over a whopping 88 percent of the composition. A range of meats used in the formula to derive its animal protein includes beef, chicken, fish, and pork meals. 

A quick scan of the label analysis reveals the recipe consists of 33 percent dry basis protein, 22 percent fat, and 41 percent carbs.

What We Like

  • Made from multiple high-quality meat protein sources
  • A nutrient-dense formula to maintain optimum weight
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals to help protect your dog from nutritional deficiencies
  • Rich in essential fatty and amino acids
  • Gluten-free and GMO-free

Best Wet Food

6. Wellness Complete Health Turkey & Sweet Potato Formula

  • Suitable for: Adult
  • Caloric content (per kg): 402 kcal/cup
  • Form: Wet Food
  • Type: Grain inclusive
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Oat Groats, Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice, Wheat Gluten

If you decide to add wet food to your dog’s regular meals, don’t forget to include the Wellness Complete Health Turkey & Sweet Potato on your shopping list. This all-natural pate recipe offers some of the finest ingredients you would expect from top-notch pet food brands.

It contains wholesome protein from turkey, which makes up 36 percent of the recipe (on a dry matter basis), followed by 23 percent fat, and 36 percent estimated carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with premium turkey as the primary animal protein source
  • Uses easy-to-digest carbohydrates, such as sweet potato
  • Uses Canola oil as a heart-healthy fat
  • Contains B12 vitamin to support the digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Boosted with vitamin A and E for eyesight and muscle function

Other Dog Foods We Reviewed

7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

  • Suitable for: Adult
  • Caloric content (per kg): 378 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain inclusive
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch

The Life Protection formula is probably the most famous recipe from the Blue Buffalo brand. Designed specifically for dogs at the adult life stage, it contains many premium protein ingredients like whole deboned chicken, chicken meal, and high-quality grains like grain rice, which causes fewer allergic reactions.

The label analysis shows us that this dry dog food has 27 percent protein, 16 percent fat, and 52 percent carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with clearly named ingredients
  • An adequate level of calcium and phosphorus for bones and teeth health
  • Includes chelated minerals for optimal absorption
  • Enhanced with LifeSource Bits—a precise blend of antioxidant-rich ingredients and nutrients
  • No poultry or by-product meals

8. Taste of The Wild High Prairie

  • Suitable for: Adult
  • Caloric content (per kg): 370 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain inclusive and grain-free
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

Taste of The Wild is a brand that creates pet foods that mimic today’s dogs and cats’ ancestral diet. This is the reason why, instead of using regular animal proteins in their product lines, they use novel proteins like venison, beef, and buffalo meat.

For some allergic dogs, these novel proteins seem to work really well in controlling allergy symptoms related to food. As one of the highest protein dog foods in this list, the High Prairie contains 36 percent protein, 20 percent fat, and 40 percent carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with high-quality novel protein sources to minimize food allergies and lean muscle development
  • Offers both grain inclusive and grain-free options
  • Includes chelated minerals for maximum absorption
  • Contains probiotics to help promote proper digestion
  • Boosted with antioxidants and vitamins to provide a superior nutrient profile

9. Merrick Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Suitable for: Adult
  • Caloric content (per kg): 379 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

Merrick provides an option for dog owners who prefer dog foods made from locally sourced farm fresh ingredients. Out of ten different flavors that you can choose from the Merrick product line, the Texas Beef flavor was selected to represent the pet food brand for this review.

According to its label analysis, the Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato recipe contains 38 percent protein, 17 percent fat, and 41 percent carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with 60% high-quality animal ingredients
  • Includes real, whole food ingredients like sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries
  • Formulated with omega fatty acids for skin and coat nourishment
  • Contains glucosamine-rich ingredients to protect your dog’s joints
  • No poultry ingredients, gluten, or artificial preservatives

10. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck and Potato Formula

  • Suitable for: Adult
  • Caloric content (per kg): 370 kcal/cup
  • Form: Dry Food
  • Type: Grain inclusive and grain-free
  • Top 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Brewers Dried Yeast

As the name suggests, this limited ingredient dog food is made for dog breeds who are prone to food allergies. This Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Duck and Potato uses duck as a single protein source and sweet potatoes as a single carbs source. If you prefer other flavors, you can also find this dog food in chicken, lamb, and salmon.

This recipe’s label analysis reveals a composition of 23 percent protein, 16 percent fat, and 56 percent carbs.

What We Like

  • Made with farm-raised duck as the single meat protein source
  • Contains brown rice fiber to aid in digestion
  • Formulated with limited ingredients to keep food sensitivities at bay
  • Both grain inclusive and grain-free options are available
  • No artificial ingredients

Best Dog Food for American Bulldogs Buying Guide

Just take a look at the pet food section of your local supermarket, and you will quickly realize that feeding your American Bulldogs can become overwhelmingly confusing. 

First, you will find an entire aisle full of dog food choices. Second, you have to consider various factors, including age, activity level, overall condition, and size.

Ultimately, it’s your job as a dog owner to do your own research and decide what is best for your dog. This buying guide outlines all you need to know to help you make an informed decision for your American Bulldog.

Reading The Label

Make sure the foods are appropriately formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your dog in their life stage—puppies, adults, and seniors and have the AAFCO compliance statement on the bag. 

The AAFCO statement ensures that the food you’re getting contains at least 22 percent protein for puppies and 18 percent protein for adults, or in other words, it is complete and balanced.

Dogs can eat about anything, but they are carnivore’s animals and their digestive system is designed to break down meat, therefore you want to make sure that your dog’s diet mainly consists of a high proportion of meat like beef, chicken, lamb, and fish.

Those animal-based protein sources should be listed in the first five ingredients. Ideally, one of those meats should be listed as the first ingredient, which is usually the most abundant in the formula.

Meat meals are not always bad ingredients. They can be loaded with much higher concentrations of protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals depending on the origin of the raw materials. The key here is to avoid foods that do not list from which the meat meal was made.

Byproducts may sound gross to you, but they can be loaded with vitamins and minerals. However, just like meat meals, you want to avoid foods that do not identify from which the byproduct substance was derived.

We cannot stress it enough for you to check out the ingredient lists of any dog foods that may pique your interest and see if one of the following phrases come up: meat by-products, meat meal, animal meal, meat and bone meal, poultry by-products, poultry meal, poultry by-products meal. These phrases are often used to masquerade low-quality ingredients like hair, horn, teeth, hooves, and feathers.

Other things you need to be aware of and avoid are additives (such as artificial colors and flavors) and cheap fillers (such as wheat, corn, or soy) as they can cause allergic reactions in many dogs.

Dry, Canned, or Semimoist

Dry foods are a popular choice among many bully owners for a reason: it is more affordable, has a long shelf-life, and mess-free. 

On the other hand, wet food smells good and tastes better for your dog. This selection also provides more nourishment than dry food. However, this type of food costs a lot more and spoils quicker than dry. Canned food also sticks to the gum easily and can cause more tartar build-up and bad breath.

Semi-moist food contains about 60-65% water by weight, making it the most expensive option out of the three. This food is often shaped attractively like hamburger or ground beef. 

Though this food might contain prominent animal proteins and vitamins, it is not appropriate for every dog due to the extra sugar, preservatives, and flour that help the patty stay in shape.

To answer the question of “should you feed dry, canned, or semi-moist dog food? ”Here, we recommend combining dry and canned foods. 

There are several benefits that your dog can get from this approach:

  • Adds variety to the dog’s diet
  • Makes the diet more palatable and tastier
  • Increases moisture content
  • Helps to achieve the breed’s ideal weight
  • Cost-effective

How to Mix Canned and Dry Food

If you want to feed your dog a mix of dry and canned food, the next challenge is deciding how much of each to give to make sure your dog is getting the right amount of food. Here’re simple ways to do it.

First, you need to figure out the recommended amount of dry dog food that your dog should be eating on a daily basis. You can use either the food measurement table on the back of a dog food or dog calorie calculator that you can find on the internet.

Once you get the appropriate amount, use a ratio of about two-thirds dry food to one third canned food and multiply the “one-third wet food” by 2.5 to find the right weight of wet food.

For example:

Let’s say a 7-month-old American Bulldog needs to eat 446 grams of dry food. That gives us around 297 grams of kibble (2/3rds) and 149 grams of wet food (1/3rd). Multiply 149 by 2.5 equal to 372 grams of wet food.

Grain or Grain-Free

Grain-free dog food has been the subject of an ongoing debate ever since the FDA’s announcement about a possible link between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. 

On this issue, many veterinarians, including Lisa Lipman, the lead New York veterinarian for the in-home veterinary service Fuzzy Pet Health, says that feeding grain-free is unnecessary unless your dog has a grain sensitivity that is rare for most dogs.

Based on this, we have opted to include mostly grain-inclusive recipes in our list of recommendations.

Feeding Your American Bulldog

You’ve chosen to feed you American Bulldog a premium dry and canned food. Now you need to decide how much and when to feed your dog.

The Right Diet for an American Bulldog Puppy

Puppy’s first year of life is the most critical time for their growth and development, and diet plays a crucial role during this time. Improper diet can compromise their health and movement for their entire life. That being said, you shouldn’t worry too much as pet manufacturers have taken much of the guesswork of feeding your puppy through growth-food formulas. 

These formulas have contained all the necessary nutrients that your pup needs to grow optimally, and therefore it’s unnecessary to add any more supplements to their diet. In fact, adding too many supplements can predispose a dog to skeletal problems such as osteoporosis later in life.

You can keep feeding your American Bulldog puppy food until he is fully grown, around 18 months to two years old. 

How Many Cups of Food Should You Feed Your American Bulldog Puppy

There are many factors that influence your dog’s daily calorie needs. These include gender, age, spayed or neutered, and activity levels. A simple way is to make a calculation based on how much your pup will weigh at maturity.

Desirable weight in an adult American Bulldog ranges from 75 to 125 pounds for males and 60 to 100 pounds for females. From these estimated weights, you can use the following chart to determine how many cups of dry food to feed your puppy.

source

To note: these recommendations are made to make things easier for you. But 1 cup of one dog food brand can be different from pet food brand to pet food brand, which is why you should always double-check with the brand-specific feeding recommendations before feeding your dog.

If you’re curious about the actual calorie counts, an average-weight American Bulldog pup requires at least 1372 to 2451 calories of kibble per day. Take a look at the following chart below for more details:

Estimated Adult Weight (lbs)Dry FoodCanned Wet FoodOther Fresh Food
60137213041235
65145713841312
70154114641387
75162215411460
80170316181533
85178216931604
90186017671674
100201319131812
110216220541946
120230821932077
130245123282206

source

Please make sure to monitor your pup’s weight carefully closely and adjust their daily intake if necessary. 

When to Feed Your Puppy

Because of a puppy’s small digestive system, you need to divide their daily portion into several smaller meals. Most breeders and veterinarians suggest feeding three to four meals a day, whether it’s dry, wet, or a combination of both.

Remember that feeding four times a day means you have to split the daily ration into four equal feedings, not doubling it; otherwise, your dog will get overweight.

Diet for an Adult American Bulldog

For an adult American Bulldog, the focus is no longer about growth but about maintenance. You can easily satisfy this by picking food that meets the AAFCO Adult Maintenance nutritional standard. There are plenty of good complete adult-formula foods available, picking which one to go most often is just a matter of personal preference.

How Much to Feed Adult an American Bulldog

An average-weight American Bulldog with no health problems needs around 1334 to 2314 calories on a daily basis. If your dog tends to be very active, you’ll need to increase their caloric intake even more. To estimate how many calories your dog should be eating under a normal condition, you can use this calorie calculator.

Again, you need to keep your dog’s weight in check. Your dog should have a visible waist without protruding ribs and a slight fat layer over the bones.

When to Feed Your Adult Dog

American Bulldog puppies are generally considered full-grown by the time they are 15 to 18 months of age. At this age, they should also reach 80 to 90% of their adult weight.

As your puppy grows into an adult, you can begin decreasing the number of meals. The consensus among breeders is to divide the day’s food into meals, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Diet for a Senior American Bulldog

Your American Bulldog has an average lifespan of about 10-12 years. He reaches senior or geriatric status at around 75% of his expected lifespan or around 7 or 8 years of age. During these senior years, he begins to slow down, gain weight more easily and is susceptible to many health issues.

Even if he may appear active, his body can no longer digest foods like it used to be. As a result, you need to make dietary changes that start with selecting foods formulated for senior dogs.

How Much to Feed Senior American Bulldog

Interestingly, recent studies have suggested that older dogs need more protein than those in the adult maintenance stage. Senior dogs’ dietary protein needs are almost similar to that of puppies.

Monitoring the dog’s weight is even more essential in the senior stage. A dog entering old age can gain weight quickly as he becomes less active. If you notice this starting to happen to your dog, you may consider either decreasing his daily food intake or switching to a reduced-calorie senior food.

As senior dogs progress from old to very old, the opposite happens. Very old dogs tend to lose weight and thus require more calories. The loss of weight can be caused by many things like a decreased appetite, difficulty in chewing or swallowing, and more.

When to Feed Your Senior Dog

Senior dogs can be benefited from eating smaller portions more often, just like when they were puppies.

Diet Don’ts

  • Some foods can be harmful and sometimes deadly for dogs. Never ever give your Bulldog any of the following foods: alcohol, chocolate, coffee and tea, macadamia nuts, milk, nicotine, onions, and xylitol.
  • Avoid raw diets. Raw food contains bacteria and parasites, so much that the FDA has issued a warning against a raw diet; it is also high in fat.
  • Avoid feeding table scraps as these foods are not healthy for pets and can cause a canine upset stomach.

Health Problems in American Bulldogs

Just like any other dog breeds, there are a number of few health concerns that affect American Bulldogs more commonly than other breeds. While some of these problems are genetic in nature, many can be dealt with or treated in part by carefully selecting what your dog consumes.

All Bully breeds are ravenous eaters. Whenever you see your dog has lost interest in his food, it is a warning sign that your dog may be ill. 

Here’re some of the most common ailments that afflict American Bulldogs:

Food Allergies

American Bulldogs are notorious for developing food allergies. The symptoms range from mild to severe and can include smelly loose stools, loss of weight, a dull coat, and dry skin. If the allergic reaction is not too severe, switching to different foods should help.

But if your dog’s condition worsens or is too severe, you should visit a veterinarian near you right away. Your vet may run a series of tests and advise you to do a food elimination diet to rule out ingredients that could cause the allergy. 

Bloat

Bloat is a life-threatening condition, predominantly found in deep-chested breeds. Bloat happens when a dog’s stomach is bloated with gas, food, or fluid, making it twisted on around itself. This condition is quite painful as the affected dog cannot digest food or pass gas and halt blood flow to the stomach, causing great pain and shock.

Some of the most common signs include:

  • Restlessness/discomfort
  • Pain
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty to vomit or relieve
  • Visible bloated belly
  • Collapsing

Bring your dog to the vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms. The vet will run an x-ray test to confirm if the dog’s stomach is bloated and needs immediate treatment.

Obesity

It is easy for American Bulldogs to get obese, especially in older dogs, as their metabolism is slower and less active. Adding those extra pounds means more stress to the body, increasing their vulnerability to many ailments and diseases like blood sugar problems, lack of mobility, and heart disease.

This is the main reason why you should resist the temptation to overfeed or over-treat your dog. Do not give him those extra vitamins and minerals unless your vet recommends it.

Hip Dysplasia

Joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia are some of the most common genetic diseases that can occur in atypical oversized large breeds. This is another reason why you want to keep your dog’s weight in a healthy range.

Hip dysplasia is an abnormal condition in which the head of the femur (thigh bone) does not develop as it should. This condition is not always detectable at birth, and genetic testing is not available for most common genetic diseases, such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and epilepsy.

If your dog is unfortunate enough to inherit this condition, hip-replacement surgery can be an option. The dog’s diet, along with proper exercise and physical therapy, also helps greatly to alleviate the discomfort and reduce the risk of arthritis. Your vet may prescribe special diet food with high calcium content and several other nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin.

Wrapping it Up

And that’s it! Hopefully, this round-up review and buying guide will save you a lot of trouble the next time you’re going to replenish your dog food supplies. 

Have you found the right food for your American Bulldog? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

See also our other dog food reviews here.

Reference and Resources:

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Andrew Garf

Hi, my name is Andrew Garf and I am 1 part part-time dog trainer, 2 part burger enthusiast, 3 part dog lover, too many parts?

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