Stubborn, lazy and far from elegant, English Bulldogs can’t seem to resist the comfort of a lovely sofa, cuddled up next to their owners.
Whether you’re looking for a partner for your existing Bulldog, or you’re aiming to spice up your life with this adorable couch potato, you can’t go wrong.
Learn more about this friendly, affectionate and undemanding dog, from the history of this breed and its accompanying health concerns, to information about its exercise needs, grooming requirements and much more.
English Bulldog Treatment Insurance
As mentioned, English Bulldogs can have many health concerns due to improper breeding. As a result, the many times you have to go to the vet might burden you emotionally and financially. This is understandable, after all, even something like Cherry Eye can cost $1,000 per eye.
Among others, English Bulldogs are also prone to Elbow and Hip Dysplasia. These can cost as low as $3,000 per elbow and $4,000 per hip, respectively. If, for example, your beloved pet has both of these conditions, it can really take a toll on your bank account.
Fortunately, there are a few of the best pet insurance companies which are here to help you with this problem. The monthly fee depends on where you live, but it is definitely relatively cheaper compared to paying for the vet bills outright yourself.
About the Breed
The English Bulldog is a medium-sized breed that features a muscular appearance accompanied by a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose. Associated with common British culture, these dogs have become, due to their popularity, a national icon of the tea-loving nation.
In fact, during the Second World War, Bulldogs became the face of defiance against Nazi Germany, with personalities such as Winston Churchill boasting the bulldog’s determination and strong will as resembling England’s position towards the war.
Once the English settled in America, most of these pooches made the long journey as well. After all, the country is big on its animals. Along the way of history, a small group of dedicated Bulldog fanciers also formed the Bulldog Club of America, all the way back in 1890.
Usual Health Concerns
When discussing the health concerns associated with this amusing and adorable breed, we are referring to issues that have resulted due to human interference – selective breeding, to be frank.
A large number of veterinarians believe that English Bulldogs are deformed these days, featuring smaller bodies, oversized heads and even deeper “smashed” faces. Because of these health risks, it might be best that you enroll your dog in a pet insurance policy.
Not only will having a policy help you with your finances, but it will give you peace of mind as well. As long as you pay the monthly fee, you don’t have to worry about vet bills and the like anymore.
Directly relating to the Bulldog’s skin folds, dermatitis is a typical condition caused by the skin rubbing and trapping moisture in the different areas of the body, including lips, facial folds, or even tail.
According to experts, the best preventative measure is cleaning out your dog’s skin folds on a daily basis, minimizing the buildup of bacterial growth as a result.
The good news is that you will be able to quickly and easily identify dermatitis (i.e., rashes, hot spots, bad smell and dryness). In other words, you will be able to search for a solution straight away.
According to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, the English Bulldog has the highest chance of developing hip dysplasia.
In fact, it appears that approximately 72% of all Bulldogs develop the condition, with 35% of that number also having canine elbow dysplasia – causing loose shoulder bones or knees.
Bearing this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the illness can cause severe pain, along with the reluctance to walk, jump, climb stairs and much more. This will subsequently affect the dog’s mental health as well.
However, as a general rule, letting your pooch become overweight can increase the risk of dysplasia. In other words, obesity will make any joint condition worse. To fight this, ensure that you give your dog regular walks and an appropriately nutritious diet.
In addition, remember to always ask for X-Rays, maybe even taking these from a breeder. That said, the condition could be inherited and readily detectable while the pooch is still a pup.
Due to their short face, the English Bulldog will have a higher chance of developing brachycephalic syndrome, otherwise known as Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome or BAOS – the scientific term.
One of the most significant problems concerning BAOS is that your dog’s respiratory system is in danger, which is more than often the result of improper breeding practices.
More specifically, breeding has caused the skull bones to be pushed in, giving the Bulldog the shortened face we have come to love.
While to us there is little to no difference, the underlying anatomy of their face and structure has been altered – in turn, affecting the facial bones and soft tissues.
The compression of the face also causes sensitivity regarding the nasal passage, causing added pressure in the dog’s airway. Ultimately, this makes it increasingly hard for the dog to breathe and perform everyday activities.
This is also the primary reason why the Bulldog is an innate snorer. Considering these facts, it’s best to keep English Bulldogs away from humid or hot weather conditions. Otherwise, they might be gasping for air.
On top of that, BAOS can cause eating difficulties as well, with canine obesity playing a considerable part in the overall susceptibility towards developing any or all of the conditions mentioned above.
Here is where a healthy diet and moderate exercise are vital, as we will mention later on. You will also be doing your pooch a favor by having an air-conditioned home where it can cool down and relax its fragile body.
In fact, some veterinarians advise against letting your English Bulldog go outside to relieve itself when the weather is unbearably hot. Instead, having an indoor potty for him or her to use is better and recommended.
Contrary to popular belief, English Bulldogs very much enjoy being groomed, with most even being eager to take long baths. Because of their naturally short, smooth and reasonably clean coat, the breed is incredibly low maintenance on the grooming front.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on brushing duties – moderately, of course. Baths can also be kept to a minimum, unless your dog has gotten itself into a muddy or sticky situation, which the Bulldog seems to take joy from.
As previously mentioned, particular attention should be given to their wrinkles, mainly those on their face. You are able to do this by wiping and drying them regularly, preventing bacteria from forming. A trick of the trade is using baby oil infused with lanolin to take care of the problem.
When it comes to their teeth, brushing weekly is a good practice for preventing tartar buildup later in life. Their ears need to be regularly and thoroughly clean too, keeping infections at bay.
Plus, if you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, it’s a good time to book a grooming appointment – start as early in life as possible too.
Your English Bulldog will probably enjoy its meals just a bit too much, which can lead to it gaining weight and putting additional strain to its joints, hips and spine.
In order to avoid obesity and other health issues that come with it, pay close attention to its diet and provide it with an adequate exercise routine.
Having said that, you should know that Bulldogs, although strongly built animals with high tolerance for pain, should not be over exercised.
That is due to the fact that excess physical strain may cause serious problems with their heart, lungs and joints and drastically shorten their lives. On the other hand, routine will be good for your dog. You should make an effort to develop one in correspondence to its needs.
You need to be aware of its physical limits at all times as well. As mentioned earlier, the breed tends to overheat very easily, which can be dangerous - even fatal in some cases.
This is why you must not, in any case, allow excessive running around for long periods of time, no matter how happy and playful your dog might seem. It is best for your adult Bulldog to have its outdoor playtime limited to around 30 minutes, before the slow-down period is introduced.
After that, any rough playtime should be limited to around 10 minutes every couple of hours. Supervision is needed at all times to make sure your dog will not run around too much. This type of exercise routine will help keep its heart and muscles strong, while limiting damage to the joints.
You should really focus on low-impact exercise to burn off your English Bulldog’s calorie intake, such as walking, cuddling, gnawing and rolling around. Use toys to help your dog get in shape. For example, a ball with odd edges will encourage it to move around and slow down after a while.
Make sure the surface your dog runs on is soft, as it will reduce the strain on its hips and knee joints. Pay close attention when you are playing around the water too, as these dogs are not built for swimming.
All that applies to adult dogs stands for the puppies under 7 months old as well. However, given that these young creatures are still fragile and undergoing constant change as they grow and develop, short daily walks are all the exercise they need at this point.
As they become older, introduce new activities and slowly build a routine of their own.
In order to be happy and healthy, your English Bulldog needs to be fed with high-quality ingredients, combined with a balanced diet that contains proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Because Bulldogs gain weight easily, you need to be very careful about the size and the frequency of meals as well.
Types of Food
There are three main types of dog food for you to choose from: dry, wet and semi-wet. Each of them has their own pros and cons, but the basic rule is – read the labels and make sure you feed your pet with the best, quality ingredients.
In order for your dog to get all the nutrients, you have to try to combine many different ingredients in its diet.
Apart from the traditional ingredients such as meat, fish and vegetables, there are also some “power foods” that will give your dog enough energy and provide him or her with the optimal intake of minerals and vitamins as well.
One of those ingredients is egg. It is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and contains all the vitamins your English Bulldog needs in a natural form. In other words, you don’t have to feed it with artificial supplements.
Another incredible source of nutrition is the cod liver oil. It is rich in Vitamins A and D and has a proven positive effect on your dog’s heart and bones. In addition, your English Bulldog’s coat will look shiny and healthy, thanks to this ingredient as well.
Apples are somewhat harder to sell to a bulldog, but you should really try to make them a part of your pet’s diet, as they are nutritional bombs, packed with fibers, minerals and vitamins. Just make sure to leave the seeds out before serving them to your precious pooch.
What to Avoid
There are also some foods you must never give to your English Bulldog. One of them, despite the common misconception, are bones, especially chicken bones that are fragile, sharp and may cause serious harm to your dog.
Walnuts or macadamia nuts are extremely poisonous for dogs too and they can even lead to paralysis and death. Other types of nuts are safer for them to consume, but are still high in phosphorus and calories, so be careful about that.
Some other foods you should not give to your Bulldog are:
Puppies need to be fed several times a day to get all the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. On the other hand, adult dogs need to be fed only twice a day, with a total amount of food ranging from ½ to 2 cups, depending on the type of food used and your dog’s body weight.
As obesity can lead to conditions such as diabetes, liver disease and increases the risk of cancer, you need to pay close attention to the feeding schedule and the size of portions. Use a measuring cup every time and read the instructions on the label.
However, remember that these are just the basic guidelines and watch out for your dog’s weight. If it is getting bigger on recommended portions, cut them in half.
Make sure your Bulldog has access to a clean source of water at all times, as it will drink large amounts of it, depending on the type of food it eats.
In general, your dog should drink about an ounce of water per pound of its body weight and will regulate its own water intake. If you see any changes in its drinking habits, consult a veterinarian, as it usually indicates some underlying condition.
English Bulldogs are intelligent creatures that love to learn new things. For the training to be successful, you need to motivate their mind at all times. They will respond to positive reinforcement, so have a reward system set up and success will be guaranteed.
As intelligent dogs, Bulldogs also have the other side of their temperament showing while in training – they can be very stubborn and persistent. This means that training them is not at all an easy task, but it is not impossible, either.
All you have to do is to be supportive and patient and your dog will learn everything there is to know about being a good companion. However, as always, there is a small catch. English bulldogs should start their training as early as possible, before they are able to pick up bad habits.
Be consistent and reassuring, as your dog will respond best to voice commands. If you shout at him or her, or show any signs of impatience, your dog will not make any progress.
In fact, it will find a way to end a training session right away, so it can hide and ignore you for the rest of the day. This is why it is very important to be patient and refrain from using harsh training techniques altogether.
The first commands you should teach your Bulldog puppy are: sit, stay, come, wait, leave, quiet and bed. Once he or she gets the hang of these, you are able to move on to some more challenging tasks.
The Bulldog was specially bred to fight bulls, as part of a sport that was finally banned during the 19th century.
Once the battles were banned, Bulldogs were almost extinct.
Today’s Bulldogs are very much different from their ancestors, in terms of temperament and behavior.
They are usually conceived through artificial insemination and born through C-section.
Although they have short legs and are lazy, they still make for good watch dogs and are able to run up to 15mph (24kph).
It is hard to believe, but the cute, good natured English Bulldogs were once fierce animals, bred to fight bulls. Once these fights were banned for good, the breed transformed into a lovable, lazy pooch, finding its place in the hearts of dog lovers all around the world.
Even though today’s Bulldog is nothing like its ancestor, breeding techniques over the centuries lead to problems with reproduction, breathing and inability to regulate its body temperature efficiently.
In addition, these creatures love to eat, so you need to really be careful about their diet, as they easily gain excess weight, which causes even more problems with their health.
They are intelligent, but stubborn and training them will take a lot of love and patience. Start as early as possible, be consistent, use an award system and you will have an obedient, faithful companion for the rest of its life.
What’s more, with a pet insurance policy, you and your well-loved English Bulldog will be able to live your life free from too much worry.
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