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9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Won’t Eat + Helpful Tips

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Whenever your french bulldog won’t eat, it can be concerning. It doesn’t look like anythings wrong with them, but they’re clearly not eating for a reason.

Is it normal for french bulldogs to randomly decide they don’t want to eat or is something going on?

Why Is My French Bulldog Not Eating:

A healthy adult french bulldog will not randomly decide not to eat. When a french bulldog stops eating it is because something is considerably bothering them physically or emotionally. It could be an unknown internal pain/irritation or if they are feeling noticeably sad or anxious lately.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 9 potential reasons why your french bulldog is not eating
  • When your frenchies refusing to eat is something to be worried about
  • How long a french bulldog can go without eating
  • 6 tips to help get your frenchie eating again (Tip #4 is often the best solution for a french bulldog with a sensitive stomach!)
  • And much more

Let’s jump right in.

why is my french bulldog not eating

9 Potential Reasons Why Your French Bulldog Is Not Eating

1) Getting Older

If your french bulldog is moving into their late adult years, or into their senior years, it’s normal to see them not eating as much as they once did.

As your frenchie gets older, their appetite will continue to decline.

It’s likely that they won’t be moving around as much as they once were which means they won’t need as much fuel for their day-to-day activities.

Resting and cuddling with you might be much more enjoyable in their mind now rather than running around and bugging you to play.

Also, older dogs are more prone to health issues that can lead to a decreased appetite which is important to keep in mind.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

2) Not Getting As Much Exercise

At any age, if your french bulldog isn’t getting much exercise it will affect how much or how often they want to eat.

Simply because their body doesn’t need as much fuel if they aren’t going to use it.

If you’ve noticed your pup becoming a couch potato recently, it might be time to increase their activity level.

This could mean adding an extra walk to their daily routine or playing some fun games indoors on days when the weather isn’t ideal for a walk.

Not only will this help them to work up an appetite but it will also be great for their overall health.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Are So Lazy + Tips To Help

3) Change In Home Environment

A big change in your french bulldog’s home environment can lead to a loss of appetite.

This could be something like a move to a new house, adding a new pet or baby to the family, a change in your work schedule, or even just some construction work happening in or around your home.

All of these things can be very stressful for your pup and lead them to not feeling hungry.

Dogs thrive with structure and routine.

And when their environment changes, it can make them feel incredibly uneasy.

Which largely impacts their desire to eat.

So if there’s been a recent change to your frenchies environment, this could be behind why they aren’t eating.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear

4) Extreme Sadness Or Grief

Just like humans, dogs can experience a range of emotions including sadness and grief.

And when they do, it can lead to a loss of appetite.

If your frenchie is grieving the loss of a family member, canine or human, it’s not uncommon for them to stop eating.

You’ve likely experienced a point in time in your life where you were much more sad than usual and there’s a good chance it impacted your hunger.

Sometimes sadness can make people want to eat more in an attempt to make them feel better and other times they’ll eat far less.

With dogs, for the most part, it makes them eat less.

A study done in 2016 found that when a dog was grieving the loss of a canine companion it made them eat 35% less and 31% more slowly.

So if you and your frenchie have gone through a loss recently, it could be what’s causing your pup to not be eating.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Look Sad & Depressed + Tips

5) Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is simply the medical way of saying gum/mouth disease.

It’s pretty common in dogs and can lead to a whole host of problems if not properly taken care of.

One of those problems is a decrease in appetite.

When your french bulldog has periodontal disease it means that their gums are inflamed and/or infected.

This can cause pain when eating and make your pup not want to eat as much as they normally would.

It can also lead to a build-up of plaque and tartar on their teeth which can further irritate their gums and make it uncomfortable for them to chew food.

Shockingly, around 90% of all dogs will experience some form of periodontal disease in their life.

Many by the time they reach 2 years old.

Simply because they don’t have an oral hygiene routine.

So if your french bulldog isn’t getting their teeth brushed or chewing on dental chews, their mouth could be in pain which is causing them to not eat.

6) Higher Than Usual Anxiety

Dogs can experience anxiety just like humans.

And when they do, it can lead to a lack of appetite.

There are many different things that could cause your french bulldog to be anxious.

It could be something like thunderstorms, being left home alone too often or for too long, or even changes in their routine/environment (as we discussed earlier).

If your frenchie is anxious for long periods of time it can definitely impact how hungry they feel.

You’ll likely also notice other behavior if your pup is feeling anxious.

Things like excessive licking, pacing, drooling, barking/whining, destructive behavior, or more accidents inside.

If your french bulldog’s lack of interest in eating is also paired with other excessive behavior, there’s a good chance they’re feeling overly anxious.

7) Recent Vaccination

Vaccinations are important for keeping your french bulldog healthy.

But they can also lead to a decrease in appetite shortly after getting them.

This is especially true if your pup has just had a round of vaccinations or if they’re getting them for the first time.

The good news is that this usually only lasts for a day or two after the vaccinations are given.

But during that time, it’s not uncommon for your frenchie to not want to eat as much as they normally would.

If your french bulldog has just been vaccinated, give them a day or two and their appetite should go back to normal.

If it doesn’t or if you’re concerned about their lack of interest in food, contact your vet.

8) Possible Health Condition

There are many different health conditions that can lead to a loss of appetite in dogs.

Some of the more common ones include:

  • Cancer
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Diabetes

When your french bulldog is older, there’s a higher chance that a health condition is causing them to not want to eat.

If your pup is young and healthy, it’s still possible but less likely.

If you’re concerned that your pup may have a health condition, it’s a good idea to have them looked at by a vet.

They’ll be able to run some tests and determine if there’s anything wrong.

9) Food Allergy or Intolerance

Just like with people, your frenchie can be allergic or intolerant to certain foods.

This can lead to a whole host of problems, one of which is a lack of appetite.

If your french bulldog has never had any issues with food before and suddenly they’re not interested in eating, it’s possible they’re allergic or intolerant to something in their food.

The best way to figure out if this is the case is to talk to your vet.

They may recommend switching your pup to a different food or trying an elimination diet.

Which is simply testing out different foods to see if they agree with your pup or not.

How Long Can A French Bulldog Go Without Eating?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the potential reasons why your french bulldog isn’t eating, you’re probably wondering how long they can go without food.

The answer is that it depends on a few different factors.

How much your pup weighs, their age, and their overall health will all play a role in how long they can go without food.

On average, an adult french bulldog can go about three days without food before they start to experience health problems.

Puppies and senior dogs will likely start to experience problems sooner than that.

If your frenchie hasn’t eaten in 36-48 hours, it’s a good idea to contact your vet.

6 Tips To Help Get Your French Bulldog Eating Again

1) Create & Stick To A Feeding Schedule

If you’re not already doing so, start by creating a feeding schedule for your french bulldog.

This means feeding them at the same time each day and not giving them any food in between meals.

If possible, it’s also a good idea to feed them in the same spot each time.

By doing this you’ll help their body naturally get hungrier at their set feeding time.

It’ll also teach them that if they don’t eat at meal time, they’ll have to wait until the next one and be hungry if they don’t eat.

Which they definitely don’t want.

2) Spice Up Feeding Time

There’s a few different ways you can spice up their feeding time.

You can try hand feeding them their kibble, getting them a new bowl or changing up where they eat their meals.

Sometimes this can reignite their interest in eating simply because it’s new.

You can also try adding some wet food or chicken broth to their dry kibble.

This will make the meal more appealing and tempting for them to eat.

Another option is to give them a puzzle feeder toy at meal time.

Puzzle feeders are great because they give your pup something to do while they eat and make it more challenging for them.

3) More Exercise

While your frenchie may not have as much energy since they aren’t eating, exercise is still a great way to help create hunger.

So long as they’re healthy.

When your pup gets more physical activity it makes them want to eat more to refuel from all their activities.

As well as make sure they have enough energy for future activities.

You can try going on longer walks, playing fetch, going to the dog park, or even just letting them run around in the backyard for a little bit longer than they normally do.

Related Reading: Top 15 Best Harnesses For French Bulldogs | Ultimate Guide

4) Try Another Dog Food

Sometimes the food you’re feeding your frenchie isn’t agreeing with them which obviously affects how often they want to eat.

Considering many french bulldogs have sensitive stomachs, finding the right food for them is extremely important.

If they’re eating something that doesn’t agree with them they’ll likely also have diarrhea paired with their lack of interest in eating.

While going to the vet to get their opinion is never a bad idea, many times finding the right food is simply a process of elimination.

Trying different foods with alternative main ingredients and seeing how your pup’s body reacts to them.

5) Reduce Treating

If you find yourself treating your french bulldog more often than you’d like to admit, it might be time to cut back.

I’m not saying get rid of all their treats, that would just be mean.

But if they’re getting more treats than meals then it’s no wonder they don’t want to eat their regular food as much.

You don’t have to get rid of all their treats, but try cutting back and see if it makes a difference in how much they eat at meal time.

6) Speak With A Veterinarian

When it comes to odd behavior that lasts more than a couple days, it’s always a good idea to have your frenchie looked at by a vet.

While it could simply be an off day or two, it could also be something more serious that needs looking at.

Which is why speaking with a vet is a good idea to give you some peace of mind or to get your pup the help they need.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Other posts you might find interesting:

12 Best Beds For French Bulldogs: Beds That Last

9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Are Always Hungry + 4 Tips

French Bulldogs & Jogging | 4 Facts, 5 Dangers & Risks

9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Scream (Dangers + Tips)


Dog Not Eating? Possible Causes and Appetite Solutions

Owners’ Perceptions of Their Animal’s Behavioural Response to the Loss of an Animal Companion

Periodontal (Gum) Disease in Dogs