Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients that provide numerous health benefits for dogs. French bulldogs are prone to certain health issues that may be avoided with proper nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are best, but canned or frozen varieties are OK if the label doesn't list salt or sodium as an ingredient. As a precaution, always introduce any new food in moderation to see how your dog reacts to it.
Never give your dog any type of seed or pit. Avoid these potentially toxic fruits and vegetables: onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, prunes and some types of mushrooms. Also, lemons, limes and oranges may cause upset stomach.
Frenchies are known for having eye problems. There are a number of diseases that could affect a dog's eyesight, including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts and glaucoma. Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A and are known to promote eye health. They are also high in vitamins B, C, D, E and K, and beta-carotene, potassium, calcium and iron.
Spinach is another great source of vitamin A. This leafy green also contains other important eye nutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin.
Promoting a Healthy Weight
Frenchies tend to have respiratory issues due to their shortened muzzle, so obesity may cause serious breathing difficulties. Replacing some cookie treats with fruits and vegetables will keep your Frenchie trim. Slices of raw carrots, as well as green beans and snap peas, make excellent treats. These vegetables can also be added to meals for extra health benefits.
If your Frenchie is overweight already, an easy way to reduce portion size is to replace up to one-third of a meal with a vegetable, such as green beans. It will fill a dog's belly with less calories.
Healthy Teeth and Gums
Gingivitis, periodontitis and bacterial infections in the mouth are problems that affect all dogs, not just Frenchies. In addition to brushing, treats that are gently abrasive and promote chewing can help remove plaque and tarter. Give your dog a crunchy snack, such as raw carrots, broccoli stalks, cauliflower and rutabaga, to help promote healthy teeth and gums.
Strawberries are said to contain an enzyme that helps whiten teeth. Since they're high in sugar, feed sparingly. Try putting one in the freezer for a frozen treat.
Supporting the Digestive Tract
Vegetables are an excellent source of soluble fiber and antioxidants. Cabbage, broccoli, squash and most other leafy green vegetables help promote intestinal health. Such fruits as apples and pears also provide digestive benefits. They contain pectin, a type of fiber that can help tone the intestines and eliminate toxins in the gut. They are also excellent sources of vitamin C.