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How to Understand French Bulldog Food Labels and Find the Bad Ingredients

There's little regulation in the area of Dog foods, so reading Dog food labels may be a chore for most people. Oftentimes you find that the front of the dog food bag has some good looking freshly cut fruits and vegetables, and sometimes comes in an impressive product name like Beneful, which can buy you over believing that you are getting something really great for your Frenchie, but when you flip over and study the ingredients, you'll be shocked at what your best friend is eating. In this piece, I am not particularly taking any specific dog food as a case in point, but I may give a couple of examples. Keep reading.

To understand the French Bulldog food labels and find out the bad ingredients included, you have to look beyond the list and look at the source of the ingredients listed on the label, fat or oil.

Look for the first source of the fat or oil, it usually appears in the ingredient list, and can be either vegetable or animal fat. These are good, but there is also the bad part of both. Take note of anything that is stated before the first source of the fat or oil because this is where you will mostly find the main ingredient of the food. Any other item that comes after that is usually in smaller quantity, just to add some flavors, and may be used as preservatives as well, or in order to add some dietary benefits such as probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

Frenchie food feeder

Let's compare too dog foods here to better understand what we are talking about.
1. Beneful Original Formula
2. Fromm

Ingredients in Beneful Original Formula are:
Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, propylene glycol, meat and bone meal, tricalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, salt, water, animal digest, sorbic acid (a preservative), potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried peas, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

The ingredients listed in Fromm are listed thus:
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato, Pearled Barley, Potato, Oatmeal, White Rice, Whole Dried Egg, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Millet, Dried Tomato Pomace, Safflower Oil, Cheese, Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Lecithin, Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Monosodium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Cranberries, Blueberries, Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate, Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Folic Acid, Parsley, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcous Faecium, Vitamin A, D3, E, B12 Supplements, Choline Bitartrate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Sorbic Acid, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite

Now, let's look at our earlier nutrients, fat and oil, and try to juxtapose these two.

In Beneful, the first fat source is "animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)". And you can see that BEEF is after the fat source, not in front of it. That means that this food is made mostly of ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E). On the other hand, in Fromm the first fat source is Salmon Oil, that tells us this food is made mostly of Salmon, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato, Pearled Barley, Potato, Oatmeal, White Rice, Whole Dried Egg, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols).

Having said, let's again reveal another trick that dog food manufacturers play on all of us that has to do with using fillers to coat ingredients so that you don't really decipher the actual amount of a bad ingredient was used for particular dog food.

Now, for this purpose, I am picking Corn as an ingredient in dog food. Mind you, I will leave out the debate about how good or bad is corn in dog foods (of course to be considered in another study). But, I can categorically tell you, it's not so wonderful.

Dog food companies are the only ones who claim that corn is great for pets. But really, corn is a protein source, and it could very well be the reason Fido does not smell great, and always is itching, full of allergies, shedding and miserable- even though you just put on Flea Medication and gave him a Benedryl.

Therefore, be wary of dog food companies that include multiple corn sources in their products. They do this to hide the actual quantity of corn you have in the food. For instance, an ingredient list that reads something like this: Corn, Corn gluten, Corn gluten meal, etc. They seem to be different ingredients, but the truth is, by the time you combine all the corn sources, you'll find out that corn is actually the major ingredient in the dog food.

That's it, we hope this helps you to understand dog food labels and how to find the bad ingredients in them. As always, we'd appreciate your responses and contributions. If you have any question or comment, please the comment box below.


  • Penny

    I have a frenchie and I give him Health Science Derm defense. He has issues with itching. He takes Apoquel daily. Is there a better food to give him to help with that.

  • Kelly

    What dog foods do you suggest??? A few names would be great!

  • Alana

    Thanks! These articles have been great. This was another reason why I make Gigi’s food. Have a fabulous day!

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