Bulldogs love to eat, and will pretty much eat anything. Whether you have an English, American, Mixed, Victorian, and/or French Bulldog...this is not a small or insignificant problem. So, unless you want an overweight, unhealthy, stinky, bulldog, let's establish a few rules.
RULE #1:- Absolutely No People Food
No table scraps, no “special treats,” even try to keep crumbs off the floor. While not always practical, this is very manageable. If your bulldog does not know what you are eating, then they not interested in what you are eating. This will also keep them from loitering around your kitchen and dining areas.Random people food is also a cause of foul breath and gas/diarrhea in bulldogs. It can cause hot spots on their skin. And, they will eventually prefer your food over theirs, keeping them from getting proper nutrition.So, don’t do it. Do not give in the temptation of their adoring big eyes and little pink tongue hanging out. Trust us, all of you will be much happier in the long run.
RULE #2: - Choose The Right, Highest-Quality Food
If you adopted your bulldog from a reputable breeder, it is most likely that your bulldog has been raised on a regiment of quality food and on a “diet sheet”. (These sheets project the kind of food, the number of feedings per day based on an expected rate of growth and maturity.) This makes it much easier, but still may not be entirely right for your dog. And, let’s face it, many bulldogs are rescued or obtained from a family and do not come with any resemblance of a food regiment. Some bulldogs have been fed whatever low-quality puppy/dog chow is on sale that week. So please remember, it’s never too early or late to start the right regiment for your bulldog. Please, consider the BIG picture here. Choosing the right food for your bulldog will bring a lifetime of benefits. While the right food may cost more per feeding, it usually will save you lots of money in the long run. If your French, American, or English Bulldog is healthy due to a proper bulldog diet, you will avoid many unnecessary trips to the vet, additional supplements, and unnecessary medications. Supplements and medications cost much more than a good bag of bulldog food.We have found that bulldogs seem to do best with lamb, fish, or beef based foods. Many bulldogs have allergies to chicken, so we tend to avoid these. Choose a balanced food, with the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals.(This article will not focus on dry vs. wet vs. raw vs. grain-free. A future blog will tackle all of these in detail.)
- Your bully's food should feature all of the following:
- Animal protein sources, for the best amino acid ratio and superior digestibility
- A blend of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat
- Natural fiber ingredients to help maintain optimal digestion and intestinal health
- Glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy joints
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)
- No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
For adult bulldogs, we recommend that you use the Large Breed formula, if offered---even if you have a smaller bulldog. This formula will help with your dog's weight management and overall nutritional needs. Bulldog Grade does not, however, always recommend feeding your bulldog as much as the manufacturer may suggest. This simply may be too much food. For instance, our 2.5-year-old female bulldog weighs 60 pounds. According to the back of the bag, we should feed her between 3-4 cups per day. No way, she would be HUGE! She eats one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. This is plenty of food for her and easily satisfies her. In other words, she is content and does not beg for food or wait by her bowl between feedings. She is at her proper weight, according to her vet. She is very healthy. All signs that she is getting the right amount of food at each meal.You may need a little more/less based on your dog's metabolism and activity levels. Just keep an eye on your dogs and your dog’s weight and adjust accordingly.
RULE #3: Choose Supplements Wisely
Good food should provide just about everything your bulldog will need, so there is little need for additional supplements. Many supplements are full of junk, go rancid, add extra calories and fat to the diet, cost a LOT of money, and do not have many positive benefits.However, if you live in certain climates, maybe where it is warm year round, your bulldog will shed more than usual. Or, you may find you need something extra for tear stains, hot spots, etc.Please do your homework, and remember: less is more! The only supplement we add to their diet is organic coconut oil. Just a tablespoon per day keeps our bulldogs shedding under control, keeps their coats puppy-soft, and adds a few nutrients that are beneficial to them. Ever since we introduced this (many years ago, with previous bulldogs), we have not had any tear stain issues: zero hot spots, no other skin issues. Is coconut oil a miracle? No, not really. But, when paired with very high-quality dog food, it seems to help our bulldogs.
RULE #4: Plan For A Proper Feeding Area
All dogs should have a dedicated feeding area, that is not in the kitchen. Again, you don’t want your bulldog loitering around your eating/cooking area. It should be out the kitchen, easily accessible and climate controlled (i.e., don’t put it in a hot/cold garage.) We use our laundry room, as it meets all of the above criteria and is roomy enough to keep her bowls/supplies without getting in the way of our laundry activities. There is a sink to fill her water bowl quickly, and the floor is not carpeted, making it easy to clean up and keep sanitary.Bulldogs do tend to drip a lot of water after drinking. Some drool while eating. So, we recommend a 2’ X 3’ Water Retaining Mat to place under their bowls. These mats can absorb up to 1.5 gallons of water and are easily washable. They do help keep the area around her bowls clean. Speaking of bowls…
RULE #5: Only Elevated Bowls
Since English Bulldogs are short-nosed with narrow tracheas, it is essential that they feed at the proper angle. This will assist their breathing, chew rate, and ability to swallow while feeding. It will also promote proper digestion and minimize burping. This can easily be achieved with a set of elevated, stainless steel bowls. Please measure the area from your dog’s chin to the floor, then choose a high-quality one, that is the right height, and that can withstand many years of use. Don't skimp here. Your bulldog loves to eat, so make it as healthy and enjoyable of an experience as possible!
RULE #6: - Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
Finally, keep the bowls as clean as possible. Our rule is: if we wouldn’t eat or drink out of it your bulldog shouldn’t either. Dirty dishes lead usually have harmful bacteria, which can lead to chin bumps, gastrointestinal issues, and other health issues. It only takes a minute to rinse the bowls out with hot soapy water after a meal. We also clean and sterilize them in the dishwasher at least 2X time per week.
These are not just dogs, these are Bulldogs! Treat them with love, respect, and as you would your children. They deserve the best, as you now have the best dog on the planet. Spend an extra 30 minutes a day with them, giving them your undivided attention. Love them, hug them, and most of all take fantastic care of them!
We hope this is helpful. If it is, and you'd like to hear more from us please join our bulldog community at BulldogGrade.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.