Raising Bulldogs

There's a lot of questions about raising a bulldog puppy when you first bring it home.  Here are some of my recommendations.   Granted, just like children, all bulldogs are different and what works for one may not work for another.  Here are some basics that all bulldog owners need to know. 

Food

There are a lot of good food out there and there are even more bad ones.   First rule of thumb is NEVER feed anything that can be purchased at big box stores like Walmart.  An English Bulldog puppy needs a food with a 25:15 Protein/fat ratio.  Once they reach 50lbs or 1 year of age, they need 22:12 or lower.  My vet is a bulldog specialist and he stresses a couple of things.  1.  Keep a bulldog on large breed puppy or large breed adult food OR give a glucosamine supplement daily to reduce risk of hip dysplasia later in life.  2.  While fat wrinkled puppies are cute, don't let your bulldog puppy gain too much weight too quickly.  It will greatly increase their risk of hip problems later in life.  

Some of the puppy foods I recommend are Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy, Orijen, Wellness Core, Royal Canin Bulldog,  and NutriSource Large Breed Puppy.   Zignature, Bil Jack Large Breed Dry Kibble, Earthborn Holistic, Natural Balance and Victor, however you will want to watch your protein/fat content and give a glucosamine supplement if its' not a large breed food. 

Treats

I do not train with treats but I will reward with the occasion treat.  Make sure treats are kept to a minimum as they contain calories and overfeeding of treats can put too much weight on.  

When purchasing store bought treats, always buy the natural color treats that are made in USA.  I would not buy a treat made in another country and I would not buy the treats that have dye in them.  I personally like Halo treats but there are a lot of good ones out there too.  

For healthy treats, try cut up blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, green beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes however everything in moderation. 

Chew Bones and Chew Toys

NEVER give a rawhide bones.  As they get moist they will turn into a slimy string that has choked and killed many bulldogs.   They need to be removed from store shelves.  

I personally like the femur bones and you can get them filled with peanut butter, cheese and lamb.  I find mine are just as happy with the non-filled ones though.  Antlers are another good choice.  You don't want anything that has a knuckle on it that can be broke off and choked on.   I also don't like the beef basted ones because of the dyes in them that cause tear stains. 

Most pet stores carry a bone called Bene Bone.  These are awesome bones that are hard to destroy.

Nylabone., Outward Hound and Kong are some of the best chew toys for heavy chewers.  I make sure I purchase toys without strings as these strings become lose and can cause choking.   Bulldogs tend to swallow things whole so make sure when purchasing toys, they are sturdy and will not easily come apart.  Make sure balls are not too small to choke on.  

Anxiety

Several years ago, my vet told me about a product called Comfort Zone with D.A.P.  It has natural pheromones in it like what a momma dog produces.  I call it a hug in a bottle.  It is great for puppies when they go to a new home or even an older adult that has fear of storms or vet visits.  Just simply spray 8-10 sprays on a blanket and put in dogs area.  

Obedience Training

House Training

Bed Time

Play time

Vet Care

While most veterinarians mean well, not all are experienced with bulldogs or brachycephalic breeds (snub nosed dogs).  They require special attention during surgeries and anesthesia to prevent death.   Many vets will mis-diagnose a bulldog if they are not familiar with the breed.  Example:  I had one diagnose my 14 month old bulldog with allergies many years ago.  After months  of allergy medication and steroids that helped temporarily, I found an allergy specialist.  Long story short... my dog did NOT have allergies, she had a staph infection they believe started when she got her 1 year booster vaccinations however the steroids that were given caused the staph to go to her heart and she died before she was 2 years old.  The allergy specialist told me that many vets see the symptoms (which are similar to allergies) and because its a bulldog they immediately diagnose it as such without doing an actual allergy test.    You can find a good list of bulldog vets at â€‹http://www.bulldogsworld.com/health-and-medical/veterinarians/united-states

Registration for AKC and Microchip