Essential Items for First-Time Bulldog Owners
"Cleansing wipes? My Bulldog won't wear make up!" I hear you, but wipes help clean the folds on your bully's face and clean the tail (this is very important if your bulldog has a corkscrew tail). Many breeders suggest basic baby wipes for young dogs as they are so gentle, however medicated wipes can be purchased which can help clear or prevent dermatitis. It is best to seek the advice of a vet or ask your breeder regarding these. There are also various other skincare products for bulldogs such as creams, lotions and and sprays, but again, I recommend seeking expert advice before using. Also baby safe shampoo is often popular for bulldog bathing, and check with your vet how to safely clean your bulldog's ears.
Plenty to chew
Not only are bulldog puppies notorious chewers, even the adults of the breed are known to appreciate a range of chew toys.. Search for strong, sturdy, well known brands and treat dispensing/puzzle toys, as these are good for the dog's mental development. However, keep the treats as low fat and healthy as possible, as it is vitally important that a bulldog does not become overweight.
This is because many bulldogs suffer from dry cracked noses if this isn't applied on a regular basis. Just don't put it on the nostrils!
As a Brachycephalic (short-faced) breed, a harness best suits the need of the bulldog. Whilst a soft training collar on a puppy for early vet visits should not be a problem, collars on proper walks can be potentially dangerous in regards to their health. In addition to this, the shape of the head and neck of a bulldog leads to the likelihood of them slipping a collar very high. Remember that if your first bulldog is a puppy it will need various harnesses as it grows, and so whilst an expensive designer harness might look beautiful, it won't fit a 3 month old pup for very long. The most important aspect of a harness is that it is strong yet comfortable. Many large pet stores are dog friendly and many offer a fitting service to help find the right harness for your companion.
A Good-Sized Dog Bed
One thing to bear in mind when purchasing a bed for a bulldog is that they sleep stretched out to their full length most of the time. Therefore it is important to buy a slightly larger bed to accommodate them (that is if you can get your bulldog off the sofa). Crates are also fantastic, particularly for bulldog puppies as it provides a safe area for them whilst you are doing housework etc. Additionally it is a cosy, peaceful area all of their own, and helps give a sense of security. Just remember to remove collars, harnesses and tags before allowing a dog into a crate for safety reasons.
Bulldog diet is of great importance and so premium pet food is a must have for bulldog owners. In fact some major brands create breed specific formulas, and these are available for bulldog puppies and adults in most major stores and online. Bulldogs should be fed on food free from artificial ingredients as these are not good for the Bulldog's sensitive stomach, and also lead to obesity. Puppies also need to be reared on bulldog/large breed food in order to provide them with the correct levels of calcium to help avoid growth problems and hip dysplasia (note: many Bulldogs are fed large breed formulas because although a bulldog is short, it's weight is in the range of many large dog breeds, bulldog specific foods adhere to these requirments) A puppy will need to be fed according to the feeding plan already in place from the breeders. It is very dangerous to suddenly change a puppies food and so if you feel you must feed them on an alternate food as they mature, you must introduce it very gradually. Likewise an adult/rescue bulldog must not have a sudden change in feeding.
Thanks for reading. ***Bulldog owners*** if there is anything important I have missed, please note it in the comments section.