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How to Properly Care for Your English Bulldog

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English Bulldogs

So you have a new English Bulldog puppy? Congratulations! Now you need to know exactly how to care for the new addition to your family. In 2010, bulldogs were the 6th most popular dog, according to American Kennel Club Registration Statistics, most likely due to their gentle personalities, funny statures, and adorable wrinkles.

They are commonly used as mascots for sports teams, and are recognized as excellent family pets because of their tendency to form strong bonds with children. They are gentle and protective.

English Bulldogs are one of the most unique dogs around, but also require more care than most breeds. They are known to have a propensity for a number of health issues, so in order to properly care for your beloved friend, you must thoroughly understand their needs.

Obesity is a Common Problem

Bulldogs have a tendency to sleep a lot, and do not require much exercise. This, coupled with their naturally stout, compact structure, puts them at high risk for weight issues. Generally, your dog should be at around 55 lbs. for a male, and 51 lbs. for a female.

Bulldogs have a reputation of overeating, so you should regularly monitor your dog’s food intake, and never leave food unattended. Bulldogs are also at greater risk of suffering a heat stroke, and being overweight puts them at an even greater risk of this. After your puppy reaches a year old, it is a good idea to put him or her on a reduced-fat dog food.

Additionally, because of your dog’s short legs and heavy, stout body, it is recommended that you use a food that includes Omega 3 fatty acids extracted from fish oil, as this has an anti-inflammatory action that promotes the health of the joints. Even though bulldogs have a tendency to look chubby, you should always be able to see a narrowing at the loins.

While they should not be over-exercised, they should still receive short, daily walks in order to keep their weight in check. If you feel your dog is overweight, it is important to see a veterinarian, who can advise you of a proper diet plan for your dog.

Respiration Peculiarities

English Bulldogs are prone to respiratory problems, and are well known for their noisy snoring and snorting. They are a brachycephalic breed, which is Greek for "short-headed."

Along with Boxers, Pekingese, and Shih Tzus, they have a squashed face with a very flat muzzle. This conformation is accompanied by a shortening of the upper airways, resulting in often noisy breathing. Due to the wrinkled skin around the nose, bulldogs have a constriction of the nostrils, which can play a role in noisy breathing as well.

Since heat exhaustion contributes to heavy breathing, it is recommended you keep your bulldog out of the heat, and always make sure they have plenty of drinking water.

Take Care of Those Wrinkles!

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Read More From Pethelpful

One of the most popular aspects of the bulldog is their adorable wrinkles, but with that comes one of the most common health risks to the breed. Their folds trap humidity and heat, creating a favorable environment for bacterial, fungal, or parasite infections. To avoid infection, their wrinkles, folds, and ears must be cleaned daily. Wipe out the folds with a damp cloth, and then again with a dry cloth or paper towel.

At the first sign of infection, antibacterial wipes should be used instead of the normal damp cloth. Don’t forget your dog’s curled tail! Bacteria can reach these tightly wound spaces, too. Tail folds should be cleaned regularly as well.

Don’t Forget the Basics!

While bulldogs require a large amount of extra care, it is important not to forget the basics! As with any other breed, they should be bathed and brushed regularly, given the proper medical check-ups including vaccinations and shots, and should be given daily affection.

Your bulldog has lots of love to give, and will be a great addition to your family. They require special care, but every bit of it is worth it to have such a gentle, friendly, and funny character to love.

Check out more on treating a bulldog's infected wrinkle!

How to Cure a Bulldog's Infected Wrinkle

Other Helpful Resources

  • American Kennel Club - Bulldog
    The perfect Bulldog must be of medium size and smooth coat with heavy, thick-set, low-swung body, massive short-faced head, wide shoulders and sturdy limbs. The general appearance and attitude should suggest great stability, vigor and strength.
  • English Bulldogs. All about the Bulldog, pictures, breeders, care.
    Complete info about the English bulldog with tips, bulldog pictures, bulldog health and care. How to choose a bulldog breeder and select a bulldog puppy. Funny bulldog puppy pictures.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


Loretta on December 13, 2019:

Yes do not leave your bulldog outside. The heat is too much for them. Please keep them inside.

Perla Castro on June 13, 2019:

I forgot to mention that I live in Texas.

Perla Castro on June 13, 2019:

Hello I have 2 American Bulldogs one is 4 yrs old and the other one is 11 months old. They are indoor dogs but I want to transition them outside so they can be outdoors. I have a big yard and I have a big spacious dog house with porch for them, I have plenty of trees for shade. They eat high quality dog food and are cared by their veterinarian, they take their monthly heartgard and Nexgard and I spend a great deal of time with them and I take them to the park too. Am I a cruel person for putting them outside?

craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on July 17, 2011:

Very nice hub.

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