Frenchies are renowned for having very delicate stomachs. As any owner of a French Bulldog will tell you, sick and vomit is far more common than most breeds. Whilst it can’t be stopped completely, you can reduce the chances of sickness by avoiding the foods that are bad for French Bulldogs.
Some of the foods to avoid I will list here aren’t just bad for Frenchies. Many of these will even be even be foods that are toxic to French Bulldogs. They could lead to poisoning and possibly even death…
With that in mind I’ve listed the most poisonous foods to Frenchies first, including why they are toxic, how much they might need to ingest before it comes a problem, and when you should be calling your vet.
So, if you want to know what food French Bulldogs cannot eat and why, plus some poisonous plants they should avoid too, then read on.
Poisonous foods for French Bulldogs
Frenchies want to eat anything in sight. Whilst most human foods that you accidently drop on the floor will be fine in moderation, there are some that can be toxic and not safe to eat. Understanding what French Bulldogs cannot eat is essential in keeping your dog healthy.
Here are the most dangerous foods for Frenchies followed by some that aren’t poisonous, but can still bad for them.
Chocolate contains a toxic substance called theobromine which can lead to a range of health problems in Frenchies if eaten in large quantities. This can include abnormal heartbeats, tremors, seizure, and even fatalities.
Our own Frenchie Claude wolfed down a portion of chocolate cake that was dropped on the floor once and was very sick for about 3 days. He didn’t need to go the vets but was off his food and vomiting a lot.
Dark chocolate is considered the most poisonous to Frenchies, and you can just how much could be toxic to them in my guide to chocolate and French Bulldogs.
2. Onions, garlic, leeks and chives
All of these are part of the Allium family and are poisonous foods for French Bulldogs. It doesn’t matter how they are cooked either; whether dry, raw or cooked.
Any of these foods can lead to an upset stomach and in large quantities could cause red blood cell damage. You won’t always see poisoning signs straight away as it can take a few days for the toxic effects to be obvious.
3. Artificial sweetener (xylitol) in gum and mints
Another ingredient toxic to Frenchies is something found in sugar-free gums or mints. It’s called xylitol and is even more poisonous than chocolate. In fact, I would go so far to say that it is the most dangerous food for French Bulldogs in the whole world!
According to research (see study on MSU.edu), xylitol is 100 times more toxic than chocolate is for dogs. If they just eat one stick of gum with xylitol, a small dog could see their blood sugar levels dip considerably.
If the small dog went onto to eat a whole pack of gum with 10 sticks containing toxic xylitol, it could damage their liver irreparably and possibly even kill them.
Other foods and household items that can contain xylitol include:
- Peanut butter
- Sugar-free candy
- Sugar free breath mints
- Fruit drinks
- Jellies and jams
- Baked goods
- Sugar-free puddings and Jello
- Over the counter vitamin supplements
Handy Hint: You should never clean your Frenchie’s teeth with human toothpaste as it could make them very ill. Instead please take a look at what I recommend right now as Frenchie friendly dog toothpastes that clean teeth and keep breath fresh.
4. Candy and sweets
It’s not just the foods above that come with toxic xylitol. Some candy brands do too, so always check the labelling.
To be frank, you shouldn’t be letting your dog eat candy anyway, even if it’s free of poisonous xylitol. Why? It’s due to the sugar levels plus there’s also the risk of choking or blockages in your Frenchie’s digestive tract or tooth fractures.
5. Some brands of peanut butter
Our French Bulldog loves peanut butter. It’s one of his favorite treats, especially when we put it in a Kong Toy (see the best toys for Frenchies here).
However, you need to be very careful because xylitol is also in some brands of peanut butter. You can find out which ones in my guide to Frenchies eating peanut butter, and which ones could be poisonous.
6. Corn on the cob
I didn’t even know about this one until I researched into poisonous foods for French Bulldogs – whilst not toxic, the cob part can get stuck in your dog’s intestine so never let them have the whole corn on the cob.
Sweetcorn is fine, as this will be easily digestible though.
7. Cooked bones
It’s a common misconception that bones are great foods for dogs, but real life unfortunately isn’t like Tom and Jerry. When bones are cooked, they can become brittle and will easily splinter when chewed.
Given how strong Frenchie jaws are, that cooked bone could shatter into small pieces which could push a hole in them internally or get stuck causing injury.
I would also recommend against letting your Frenchie have rawhide chews, as these can also get stuck and cause choking. You can read more about this in my warnings on rawhide.
Many owners mistakenly think that any fruit and vegetable is going to be healthy for their Frenchie. However, this isn’t the case with avocado, as it can be a bad for a French Bulldog, but only in certain circumstances…
Avocados contain a poisonous toxin called persin which when eaten in large quantities can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. However, persin is mostly concentrated in the avocado skin and pit, rather than the fleshy part.
In most cases, if your French Bulldog eats some avocado, he’s probably going to be fine. But should certainly avoid letting your Frenchie eat the poisonous skin and stone.
9. Grapes and raisins
Another group of fruits that can be poisonous to your French Bulldogs are grapes and raisins. They are a toxic food for French Bulldogs and can lead to kidney failure when eaten in large quantities.
You can find out how many grapes could poison your Frenchie in my guide to how toxic this fruit is.
10. Macadamia nuts and walnuts
Generally, I would not recommend any type of nuts in your Frenchies diet as they come with a huge choking risk. But there are two here that are particularly potent, and for a good reason too.
When these nuts are eaten in large quantities, the fat in them can lead to diarrhea, sickness, and possibly even canine pancreatitis.
Macadamia nuts are a particularly poisonous food for French Bulldogs as they can lead to nasty side effects such as hyperthermia, tremors, vomiting, and lethargy. The poisoning can last for a couple of days.
You can see the most toxic nuts to Frenchies in this additional guide I wrote.
11. Cherry, peach, and plum pits
Speaking of hard to digest food ingredients, how about pips, pits, and seeds? These are such a dangerous food for French Bulldogs as any type of seeds can lead to serious issues with your dog’s digestive system.
Any type of pit can get stuck in the small intestines that Frenchies have, possibly even blocking them, particularly with younger and smaller puppies.
Some pits found in fruits such as peaches and plums even contain levels of cyanide. Yes, you read that right. Whilst it would take a lot of the pits to poison your Frenchie, it’s a bad food whichever way you look at it.
12. Mustard seeds
Mustard is so vomit-inducing to Frenchies that vets sometimes use it to make dogs sick up for medical purposes. The seeds in particular are very toxic as they contain poisonous elements to dogs.
13. Coconuts and coconut oil
Small amounts of coconut food are unlikely to seriously harm your Frenchie, but the flesh and milk of coconut can lead to upset Frenchie stomachs.
Coconut water can also be a bad drink for French Bulldogs as it contains very high levels of potassium.
14. Yeast dough
Whilst I can’t imagine anyone would deliberately let their Frenchie eat yeast dough, that doesn’t mean he won’t chomp it down if dropped on the floor. If this happens, get in touch with your vet.
The reason this is a bad food for French Bulldogs is how yeast dough can rise and create gas in your dog’s digestive system. This will be very painful to them, causing bloating and even possible gut twisting – this could kill them.
Then there’s also the way in which yeast converts to ethanol, a highly potent alcohol. Your Frenchie could become drunk and put themselves in danger.
This is good time to talk about alcohol dangers and how dangerous this drink can be for dogs.
Alcohol consumption can make your Frenchie have diarrhea, vomit, difficulty in breathing, tremors, a lack of coordination, abnormal blood acidity, central nervous system depression, and even a possible coma or death.
Giving your dog alcohol isn’t funny and can kill them.
On a similar topic, the hops that are used in home brewing kits are also a dangerous ingredient for French Bulldogs to eat. There are compounds in the hops that lead to malignant hyperthermia.
That means your Frenchie’s temperature can rise rapidly, possibly causing permanent damage to the organs and brain or even death.
17. Coffee, caffeine, and tea
Another group of drinks that are bad for French Bulldogs would be anything containing caffeine including coffee and tea. These drinks contain methylxanthines and can cause similar reactions to those resulting from eating chocolate.
It’s unlikely that a few licks of coffee will poison your Frenchie, but if there were to eat loose tea and coffee beans, I would get in touch with your vet.
Nutmeg contains a toxic substance called myristicin. This is bad for Frenchies causing extreme reactions such as abdominal pain, increased heart rate, seizures, and even possible hallucinations.
Thankfully these symptoms should pass within a couple of days but it’s certainly not something you would want your beloved pooch to experience.
19. Moldy food
If your dog has access to trash, be very careful. Moldy food is bad for Frenchies as it can contain mycotoxins. Mycotoxins grow on moldy food and make it poisonous when ingested.
20. Blue cheese
Dairy is generally a bad food options for any dog, but blue cheese can be particularly dangerous. Cheeses like Stilton and Roquefort contain roquefortine C which can result in vomiting, diarrhoea and possible tremors, twitching, and seizures when eaten in larger quantities.
Bad foods for French Bulldogs
There are also other food types that whilst not poisonous or toxic, should be considered bad due to the other side effects they have. For example, some human foods will result in your Frenchie gaining weight and developing future health issues.
21. Milk and dairy products
Milk and dairy can play havoc with French Bulldog’s insides. Dogs find it hard to break down the lactose in milk and dairy, resulting in runny poop problems!
Whilst Frenchies will mostly be lactose intolerant, you can buy specialist dog-friendly milks for puppies – you can read more in my guide to milk and water drink alternatives.
22. Undercooked meat and eggs
Whilst some owners swear by a raw diet, there’s not enough scientific evidence yet to say whether it’s as good as it’s believed to be for dogs. But there is evidence that suggests some raw meat can lead to bacterial infections from Salmonella and E. coli.
23. Fatty foods
Fatty foods such sausage, bacon, burgers, and fried food can result in upset stomachs. If you Frenchie gets these tasty snacks over a prolonged period of time, it could even result in pancreatitis.
Yes, it’s hard to say no to those pleading eyes when they beg for your food, but often the tastiest food is the worst for French Bulldogs.
24. Sugary food and drinks
Just like with us, sugary treats are some of the worst foods for Frenchies. Dogs can also suffer with diabetes, weight gain, and tooth decay. Even in small portions, sugar can also give them a poorly belly – try a decent dog treat instead!
25. Salt and salty food
High levels of sodium can fatally poison French Bulldogs but are most likely going to lead to excessive thirst and urination. If your Frenchie eats lots of salt, he could start to show signs of vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high body temperature, and seizures.
What plants are poisonous to French Bulldogs?
As well as there being a range of human foods that are toxic to French Bulldogs, there are also some poisonous plants that should be avoided. These include:
- Amaryllis bulbs
- Asparagus fern
- Daffodil bulbs
- Day lilies
- Dog’s Mercury (Mercurialis perennis)
- Lily of the valley
- Morning glory
- Mushroom plants
- Rhubarb leaves
- Sweet pea
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Tulip bulbs
- Umbrella plant
This list contains just the most common plants that are poisonous to Frenchies. For a more comprehensive list, please download this print out from the Dogs Trust.
Signs of food poisoning
What are the signs to look out for if your Frenchie has eaten poisonous foods? Well, according to the PetMD.com website, you should look out for the following:
“The symptoms of food poisoning in dogs include some combination of vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Some animals may show some neurological signs such as a lack of coordination, tremors and, in severe cases, even seizures and collapse. Depending on what your dog ate, how much and how sensitive they are, the signs and severity may vary. Probably the most common symptoms of food poisoning in dogs tend to be vomiting and diarrhea.”
I don’t want to freak you out too much. In truth, if your Frenchie has had a small amount of any of the bad foods listed on this page, chances are they will be fine, with maybe just a little stomach upset.
Most of these poisonous foods start to get to dangerous levels when eaten in large quantities.
However, please don’t be complacent.
If you’re dog eats any of these foods always use your gut instinct and call the vet if you have just the smallest of concerns.
And remember, I am not a vet, just a Frenchie owner – everything in this guide is what I have learned and can never replace professional veterinary advice.
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