English Bulldogs are special. English Bulldogs are different. Those of us who have had English Bulldogs for several years still remember our first English Bulldog and how much we didn't know about English Bulldogs.
All of the information below is from years of researching the English Bulldog on the internet, reading books and journals, and over 15 years of breeding and raising English Bulldogs. This information can be helpful in solving minor problems, but always consult your veterinarian before treating even the simplest problem with your English Bulldog.
Bringing Your English Bulldog Puppy Home
When you arrive home with your English Bulldog puppy, remember - your English Bulldog puppy is a baby English Bulldog. Like all babies, the English Bulldog puppy needs lots of love and cuddling, lots of rest and sleep, lots of good, nourishing food and more love and cuddling.
Moving to a new home, leaving his dam and litter mates and the only humans your English Bulldog puppy has ever really known is a very traumatic experience for English Bulldog puppies, so try to make the move as easy as possible for your English Bulldog puppy. For the first couple of weeks, try not to change your English Bulldog puppy's life style if at all possible.
Follow the English Bulldog breeders feeding routine. The same times, the same amount, the same brand of food, and the same supplements , if any. Feed your English Bulldog puppy in the same place at each meal. Be sure your English Bulldog puppy has a special area all his own for his bed. Give your English Bulldog puppy lots and lots of cuddling and petting. DO NOT let your English Bulldog puppy play so long and hard that he becomes exhausted.
Sometime during the first week, you should take your English Bulldog puppy to your veterinarian for a check up and a “get to know you” visit. Please try to find a veterinarian that understands the English Bulldog, English Bulldogs are at a higher risk to anesthetize that snouted breeds so be sure that the veterinarian you have chosen is aware of this fact at least, try to only have your English Bulldog put under when absolutely necessary. English Bulldogs also have very shallow joint sockets and a veterinarian that is unfamiliar with English Bulldogs may not only misdiagnose joint problems but may also see you as a license to print money. Almost every English Bulldog will have a slightly elongated soft palate which is why they snore, so be aware - if your veterinarian informs you that he needs to resection the soft palate this may not be the case at all. English Bulldogs with severe soft palate problems will overheat easily, find it very difficult to cope with any form of exercise and may regurgitate their food. If there are other English Bulldog owners in your area ask them who they go to and at least ask your veterinarian what his English Bulldog experience is. Take along the record of your English Bulldog puppy’s immunizations and wormings. Make a list of any questions or concerns you might have and take it along as well, you might forget to ask an important question, so it’s best to have a list with you. When an English Bulldog puppy goes into a vets office, everybody in there flocks to you to get a closer look or to pet the English Bulldog puppy. Don’t be rude, but remember that your English Bulldog puppy has not fully developed his immune system and you don’t want to put your English Bulldog puppy at risk
Once your English Bulldog puppy is settled securely into his new home, you can begin to introduce him to your way of doing things. Try not to make any drastic changes, gradual is better, and always try to make it a fun time for your English Bulldog puppy
If you want to change the brand of puppy food your English Bulldog puppy is eating, the change should be slow and gradual. Substitute a small amount of the old food with the new brand and slowly increase the ratio of new to old until the old brand is completely replaced with the new.
Here at My Baby Bullies health is our #1 goal. We give all of our Bulldogs NuVet Plus vitamin wafers everyday to insure that they are healthy. Our babies get all the protection from the time they are conceived to insure a healthy start in life. We strongly recommend that you continue giving the NuVet Plus vitamin wafers for the life of your new puppy. We feel so strongly about this product that we have incorporated it into our health guarantee!
Feeding Your English Bulldog
An English Bulldog should eat out of a pan which has a flat bottom and straight sides. Most English Bulldog owners use stainless steel because it lasts longer and English Bulldogs love to chew, so don’t use plastic bowls.
Most English Bulldog breeders feed a two to four month old English Bulldog puppy four times a day. At this age the dry food is usually softened with warm water. Some add cottage cheese and/or yogurt. There are several good brands of puppy food on the market, if you are not satisfied with the food your English Bulldog puppy is eating, try another brand. You want a puppy food your English Bulldog puppy likes and which produces a nice coat, keeps your English Bulldog puppy round but not obese, and produces solid stools.
You may feed your English Bulldog puppy on a set schedule, or have food available to him at all times. Your English Bulldog puppy will flourish under either regimen. The choice depends on which is more convenient for you.
How much you feed him depends on the English Bulldog puppy. In most cases, a growing English Bulldog puppy which gets sufficient exercise should eat as much as it wants. If your English Bulldog puppy does become obese, you may need to regulate the amount he eats, but DO NOT put a growing English Bulldog puppy on a severely restricted diet unless it is supervised by a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about English Bulldog puppies.
From four to six months an English Bulldog puppy's feeding regimen should remain the same but the number of feedings may be reduced to three. At about six months this number can be reduced to two. In most cases continue feeding the puppy as much as he wants.
How often you feed an English Bulldog one year or more old depends on your preference and your English Bulldog. Most English Bulldogs do well on one meal a day. Some do better on two meals a day. You may prefer to feed in the morning or the evening. This is up to you. If you like it and your English Bulldog likes it, it's the right way.
An English Bulldog usually eats puppy food until it is at least one year old. If your English Bulldog is thriving on puppy food and not getting to overweight, leave him on it until he is at least two years old. You can feed your English Bulldog puppy food all his life, if it agrees with him. Most English Bulldogs are changed from puppy to adult food at around twelve to eighteen months. It is best to change to the adult version of the puppy food you have been feeding your English Bulldog. It does not hurt your English Bulldog to change from one brand of dog food to another and then to another and so on as long as each change is done by gradually, substituting more and more of the new brand for the old. Never make a drastic change in his eating habits or in his food.
If your English Bulldog is spayed or neutered or as it ages and becomes less active, you may need to start feeding a reduced calorie dog food to keep your English Bulldog from becoming too fat. Most good brands of dog food have a "lo-fat" reduced calorie version. Again, it's best if you stay with the same brand you've been feeding your English Bulldog and change to the "lo-fat" version.
Whatever its age, your English Bulldog should have cool fresh water available at all times.
It is not really necessary to add to a good dog food, but you may find your English Bulldog prefers "goodies" on his food, or does a little better with some “icing on the cake” so to speak. The most common supplements are cottage cheese, yogurt and oil. Cottage cheese is especially good for growing English Bulldog puppies since the English Bulldog must grow a lot of heavy bone in a short time. Give your English Bulldog about a tablespoon per feeding. Yogurt helps to keep the digestive system of your English Bulldog working well, about a teaspoon per feeding. Oil helps to keep the coat and skin of your English Bulldog in good condition, about a teaspoon twice a day. All vegetable or canola oil is best - do not give your English Bulldog any oil which contains soybean oil.
You may also give your English Bulldog a vitamin supplement. we recommend NuVet Plus Vitamin wafers . DO NOT over dose. If the directions say "one a day", two is not better. You may also give your English Bulldog a vitamin C tablet 100 - 500 units per day. Supplements to be very careful with are Vitamins E, D and A. Overdoses of these can cause trouble for your English Bulldog. Also be very cautious about adding more calcium to your English Bulldog’s diet than what about a quarter cup of cottage cheese per day adds to what is in the dog food. If you plan to breed a female English Bulldog, vitamin B complex, including folic acid, is recommended, but again be careful not to overdose your English Bulldog. Iron supplements should be given with care and caution to an English Bulldog, ask your veterinarian what he/she recommends with any vitamin supplement, never take it for granted.
Treats for your English Bulldog should usually be dog treats without any soy. It won't hurt your English Bulldog to give him an occasional bite of meat, vegetables, fruit, soda crackers, ice cream, etc. etc. But DO NOT give your English Bulldog chocolate, grapes, raisins, mushrooms or onions.
English Bulldogs really love “people food” and with the dog food scare a few years ago we decided that our English Bulldogs were to precious to us to take a chance on their lives with the manufactured dog food brands and started doing more research. We were shocked to say the least at where some manufactures get the ingredients used and we as consumers were poisoning our beloved animals. So to make sure we knew exactly what we were feeding our English Bulldogs we decided that we would cook for our English Bulldogs as well as our other pets!
English Bulldog Equipment
There are several things which will make life easier and more enjoyable for you and your English Bulldog.
First in importance is a wire crate. This comes very close to being a necessity for English Bulldogs. It is much easier to house train an English Bulldog puppy if he sleeps in a crate. If you travel at all with your English Bulldog, he is more safe and happier riding in a crate. If you are staying overnight your English Bulldog has a place of his own to sleep in. It is just as important for your English Bulldog to be in a crate in the car as it is for you to wear your seat belt. If you do not have a crate, or one won't fit into your car, get your English Bulldog a dog safety car harness. English Bulldogs do better in wire crates than in the “Pet Taxi” type because the air circulation through the wire crates is so much better. English Bulldogs like to have a special "my place" so if you don't have a crate, try one, you and your English Bulldog will like it. If you travel with your English Bulldog you'll need a large insulated water jug so that you'll have "home" water available for him. A small water pan that hooks to the side of his crate is ideal for traveling.
A rocking chair or a really comfortable big chair you can sit in and cuddle your new English Bulldog puppy, this makes for great bonding time with your new English Bulldog puppy.
A food dish with straight sides and flat bottom. The best material is stainless steel - avoid plastic with English Bulldogs whenever possible.
A water dish, stainless steel is best again for English Bulldogs.
A collar and a lead. A light weight, small link "choke" collar is best for an English Bulldog puppy. It should be long enough to slip over the English Bulldog puppy's head with room to spare but should not have more than a six inch "tail" when around his neck. The English Bulldog puppy's first lead should be a light weight one, you'll need a strong leather lead as he grows into an adult English Bulldog.
Nail clippers or a grinder is important for trimming your English Bulldog’s nails.
A grooming table makes brushing, nail trimming, whisker clipping, medication, etc. etc. much easier on you and your English Bulldog. Start your English Bulldog puppy out young and he'll soon learn to stand still with his neck in the noose and your life will be much easier.
A puppy pen. Even though you have a fenced yard, you may want to confine your English Bulldog puppy to or out of a particular area. Puppy pens are easily portable and very handy for keeping an English Bulldog puppy confined to a small area. They are especially useful for a winter English Bulldog puppy. You can put his bed in his crate, put the crate in a puppy pen and put his pee-pee pads in a corner of the pen.
If you plan to exhibit your English Bulldog you will need a pair of whisker scissors. These are small, sharp, blunt end scissors which you can purchase from a pet store, a dog show vendor or a dog supply catalog.
A good brush. You can use almost any brush on an English Bulldog but the best ones have flexible rubber bristles. You want one small enough to fit your hand comfortably.
English Bulldog Medicine Chest
(Always consult your Veterinarian before administering any medication)
Rectal thermometer- for taking your English Bulldog’s temperature.
Vaseline- Use this on the English Bulldog’s nose, on his eye wrinkles, any place you need to soothe and waterproof on your English Bulldog, but don't need to medicate. Use it also on the thermometer when you take your English Bulldog’s temperature.
Lemon Juice- If your English Bulldog gets phlegm in his throat and chokes on it, a couple squirts of juice from the plastic lemon will help clear it out.
Clear Eyes, Visine, etc.- for irritated eyes of the English Bulldog.
Aspirin- For minor aches and pains. Most English Bulldogs can tolerate aspirin but do not give any other human pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. Remember that the dosage for aspirin, like most pain relief medication, is based primarily on body weight. An English Bulldog should never be given more than one tablet at a time or more frequently than every twelve hours. Some English Bulldogs are allergic to aspirin, so only use aspirin under the advise and care of a veterinarian.
Benadryl- Either capsule or liquid. Use this if the English bulldog is stung by a bee or other insect, and for minor English Bulldog allergies as recommended by your veterinarian.
Panalog Ointment- A good all purpose ointment for minor English Bulldog skin afflictions. Also good for cleaning English Bulldog wrinkles, tail pockets and ears. DO NOT put this in the English Bulldog’s eyes.
Bag Balm- Also useful for minor English Bulldog skin afflictions.
Pepto Bismol- For minor stomach upset of your English Bulldog.
Kaopectate.- For minor diarrhea, if your English Bulldog has severe diarrhea see your veterinarian immediately.
Q-tips- Use for applying medication and cleaning your English Bulldogs ears.
Cotton balls- Use for applying medication, for cleaning and to keep the ears of your English Bulldog dry while bathing.
English Bulldog Toys
NEVER ever give your English Bulldog a rawhide toy. Even English Bulldog puppies can tear a piece off the rawhide and choke on it.
English Bulldog Puppies like knotted socks to shake and play tug of war with. They also like Nylabone and rubber toys. Many English Bulldog puppies like to play with balls, but be sure the ball is too big to lodge in the throat or be swallowed. Most English Bulldogs love the Kong toys, and you can fill them with treats and watch your English Bulldog play for hours. English Bulldog puppies like cotton tug toys but be careful not to let the stuffing of any toy be swallowed by your English Bulldog puppy. Some people give their English Bulldog puppies and adult English Bulldogs Choo-Hooves and English Bulldogs really like them, but be cautious with these. They are an "only when I can watch you" English Bulldog toy. The only real difference between the toys for an English Bulldog puppy and the toys for an adult English Bulldog is size. Always discard any toy that you think your English Bulldog might swallow!
Grooming Your English Bulldog
Clean the skin folds and ears of your English Bulldog daily. Put a little dab of Vaseline on your English Bulldog’s nose to keep it soft. Your English Bulldog should be thoroughly brushed at least three times a week. Most English Bulldogs love to be brushed. Use a soft bristle or rubber brush. Start at the rear and brush against the hair. After you've brushed the entire English Bulldog against the grain, brush it with the grain. Follow this with a good rub down. This will keep your English Bulldog’s hair shiny and his skin healthy. During shedding time, spring and fall, you may need to brush your English Bulldog more often, give more frequent rubdowns. The idea is to remove the dead hair and distribute the natural oils produced by your English Bulldog.
Bathing Your English Bulldog
An English Bulldog that receives frequent brushings and rubdowns does not need frequent bathing. Most English Bulldog owners bathe their English Bulldogs when the dog is dirty - when it obviously needs a bath. Of course, if you are exhibiting your English Bulldog he needs a bath before he goes to the show. An English Bulldog in the show ring should be clean and well groomed.
Where do you bathe an English Bulldog? Any place you want to and can! Some people have a big deep sink, some use the bath tub, some use the kitchen sink, in the summer some wash their English Bulldog on the lawn. I prefer the Booster Bath, your English Bulldog can walk right up the ramp (which also doubles as a booster for puppies) and saves your back from stooping down to bathe your English Bulldog. You need a place where you can control your English Bulldog, where you can easily control the water supply and where you can rinse your English Bulldog thoroughly and the Booster Bath provides all of this for you. It's a good idea, especially with a puppy, to take the dog outside to "potty" just before you bathe him.
Gather up all the things you will need to bathe your English Bulldog before you start. You will need: a mild tear-free shampoo, any rinses you plan to use, cotton balls, Q-tips, eye ointment or mineral oil, Vaseline, wash cloth, and towels. Most use a special whitening shampoo for white English Bulldogs. You may on occasion need to use a flea shampoo but since these are quite harsh, don't use one on your English Bulldog unless you really need to.
Put a couple of drops of mineral oil or a bit of eye ointment in the eyes of your English Bulldog and place a cotton ball securely in each ear before you wet your English Bulldog. Wet your English Bulldog thoroughly from just behind the ears to the tips of the toes on his hind legs. Be sure his underside of your English Bulldog is wet, too, not just the top and sides. Apply the shampoo starting at the neck of your English Bulldog and working back. Work the shampoo in to be sure you get all the way through the hair to the skin of your English Bulldog. Pay special attention to the paws of your English Bulldog (wash between the toes), his tail (clean all around the base), and the genital area. On a female, be especially careful to clean the vulva. Wet the wash cloth and use it to dampen your English Bulldog’s face and ears. Put some shampoo on the washcloth and wash your English Bulldog's face. Wash the wrinkles over the nose, on the forehead, around the nose and under the eyes. Wash his nose. Wash his ears, inside and out. Now rinse. Rinse until you are sure every bit of your English Bulldog, especially in the wrinkles and tight places, is thoroughly rinsed and there is no shampoo left any place. If you are applying a rinse to your English Bulldog, do it now, following the manufactures instructions. For a white English Bulldog, you can use a rinse of 4 Tbsp. of Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing, 1 qt. water, and 1/4 cup baking soda. Mix enough bluing into the water to get a darkish blue (not black). Pour the bluing mixture over your white English Bulldog and work in with your fingertips. Do not rinse off the solution. Do not towel dry, let your white English bulldog drip dry. For red dogs, try VO5 Henna Conditioner.
Dry your English Bulldog with towels. Take the cotton balls out of your English Bulldog's ears and clean any wax carefully using a dry Q-Tip or one with a dab of Panalog. Rub a dab of Vaseline onto his nose to help keep it soft. You can then let your English Bulldog air dry or use a hair dryer to finish the drying. It's best to keep the English Bulldog inside until it is completely dry - about two hours.
English Bulldog Nails
Most English Bulldogs need their nails cut on a regular basis - about every two weeks. The nails should be kept as short as possible on your English Bulldog. You may use dog nail clippers or an electric grinder. Most English Bulldog owners use the clippers, either guillotine or scissors type. Which type you use on your English Bulldog is up to you, but they should be sharp. When the blade begins to dull, replace it or buy new clippers - dull blades can be painful to your English Bulldog.
Each English Bulldog owner seems to have a different way to clip nails. Find the way that works best for you. The important thing is to be able to control your English Bulldog so that you do not hurt it. A grooming table is probably the best way to control your English Bulldog. You can put your English Bulldog on the floor and scratch it’s tummy, or hold it between your legs - whatever works, but make it a fun time for your English Bulldog. Be especially careful not to cut into the quick of your English Bulldog’s nails. On white nails you can see where the quick begins. On black nails cut just to the curve of the nail. Clippers usually leave a rough edge, so a good dog nail file to smooth them off will work fine. If you use en electric grinder, be very, very careful not to grind into the quick.
The main thing is to make the experience as pleasant as possible for your English bulldog so be really careful when cutting nails and don't cut into the quick. If your English Bulldog takes frequent walks on pavement or concrete sidewalks, it will usually wear the nails down, so again, be careful, there may not be very much nail to cut. Especially the black nails which seem to wear more than the white ones.
English Bulldog Wrinkles
English Bulldogs tend to have messy face wrinkles. The older your English Bulldog gets, the messier the wrinkles. How often you clean these wrinkles depends on your English Bulldog itself. Some English Bulldogs do very well if you clean the wrinkles a couple of times a week. Some English Bulldogs need it on a daily basis. When you clean the wrinkles, wash his nose and apply a good rub of Vaseline to keep it soft. It's better to clean your English Bulldog more often than you think you need to than not to clean your English Bulldog often enough. You can clean the wrinkles of your English Bulldog with a soft, damp cloth and then dry. Or you can wash them using the shampoo you use to bathe your English Bulldog. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry thoroughly. One of the best ways is to wipe the wrinkles of your English Bulldog clean is with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe. Whatever method you use to clean the wrinkles of your English Bulldog, be sure to get the deep nose wrinkle clean. You may need to put a soothing ointment in the deep nose wrinkle of some English Bulldogs. If it is irritated, Panalog will help to heal. Diaparene Ointment will soothe and dry the wrinkle, but this contains zinc oxide, so before you apply it to your English Bulldog, rub Vaseline into his nose. Allot of English Bulldogs have "tear stains" of varying degrees of color. If the stain is bad on your English Bulldog, in addition to cleaning you may want to try to remove the stain. There are many treatments out there and you may have to try several before you find one that works for you and your English Bulldog. Some of the commercial products used are "Pretty Eyes" Stain remover, Bio-Groom cream (to prevent re-staining) and Diamond Eye. You can make a paste of 1 Tbsp. Hydrogen Peroxide and enough corn starch to make a thin paste (some English Bulldog owners add I Tbsp. Milk of Magnesia to the hydrogen peroxide and mix the cornstarch into that mixture). Apply to the tear stain on your English Bulldog, let it dry, and brush off the excess. Apply on a daily basis until the stain is gone from your English Bulldog, then weekly to keep stain from returning. Another method is to rub the stain with a cotton ball soaked in Boric Acid. Daily until the stain is gone, then weekly or use Boric Acid ointment (10%) which can be purchased at almost any drug store. Another remedy is rubbing a dab of Desitin into the stain to help keep it dry. Whatever you use be sure not to get it in the eyes of your English Bulldog.
Fleas on your English Bulldog
The best way to treat fleas on your English Bulldog is to prevent them. Some English Bulldogs are allergic to flea saliva and can develop really serious skin problems so try to keep your English Bulldog free of fleas. If you do get a flea infestation you may need to "bomb" your house or kennel, and spray the yard and/or dog runs. Frequent brushing of your English Bulldog is the first defense. Frequently changed bedding is very important. Flea collars are not very effective and many English Bulldogs cannot wear them. If you do use one, do not put one on a wet or damp English Bulldog and do not allow the English Bulldog to wear a wet collar (this includes letting the English Bulldog out in the rain with its flea collar on).
You may need to give your English Bulldog a bath with a good flea shampoo or use an anti-flea rinse when you bathe. The chemicals used in these shampoos are harsh and allot of English Bulldogs have sensitive skin so use them only when necessary and follow instructions carefully. There are various types of flea shampoos, dips, and sprays, since these really are medications, it's a good idea to at least begin with ones from your veterinarian or that have been specifically recommended by an experienced English Bulldog owner in your area. Avon Skin so Soft mixed in the rinse water of your English Bulldog is an effective, non-irritating flea deterrent used by several English Bulldog owners. You can also use the Skin so Soft mixed with an equal part of water in a spray bottle, or, if you feel that's a bit too strong, try two capfuls in a pint spray bottle. This will also help to repel mosquitoes and ticks from your English Bulldog. Above all else, a clean environment for your English Bulldog, especially his bed, is the best flea prevention.
Bedding material used for English Bulldogs ranges from a wide variety of man-made materials to special dog beds of all types and prices. The most common bedding for an English Bulldog is cotton rugs or blankets which can be washed with ease. Don't pamper your English Bulldog with a wicker dog bed. An English Bulldog will destroy it with his massive jaws and it really isn't a good thing for an English Bulldog to eat. The fake sheepskin rugs available from most pet stores and dog catalogs make good beds for English Bulldogs as they are soft and wash and dry very easily. The important thing for bedding is that it be easily washable and provide a soft nesting area for your English Bulldog. As long as it meets that requirement, any bedding will do for your English Bulldog No matter what type of bedding you use for your English Bulldog, make sure that he doesn’t ingest any part of it (some English Bulldogs are notorious for shredding and swallowing their bedding) no bedding at all will be better for your English Bulldog than to have surgery to remove it from his stomach .