Feeding Your English Bulldog

...and on the eighth day, God created Bulldogs

Norman
Norman

Feeding Your Bulldog

  • The big issue on feeding your Bulldog will include the multiple varieties of diets now available and accepted. Kibble? Raw? Grain free? Home made? Chicken, fish or bison? High protein or low protein? Dry or wet? The choices can seem endless as well as confusing.

Here are a few points to ponder before going into the pet food store.

Cost: Home cooked meals will most likely be the least expensive and prepared raw/frozen the most expensive.

Wet or dry? Many veterinarians will tell you to cut out the wet or canned food because it more easily adds weight to the dog and increases the chance of tarter build-up. Advocates of moist diets will explain that your dog needs moisture, and therefor, if only a kibble is fed, water should be added to it. (Sometimes referred to as 'floating' the food.) My opinion? Both are correct to some extent. If your dog eats only wet/canned/moist food and isn't a fan of chew bones, then yes, tarter build-up can become troublesome. At the same time, feeding only kibble can be bland, boring and overly crunchy. Try using a good quality kibble as a base food and adding a bit of moist food to liven things up, be it canned, raw or home cooked.

Raw vs kibble: Advocates of raw diets lean toward the idea that this is what nature intended your dog to eat, and that it is the primal food choice of canines like wolves. While this may be true, just take a look at your Bulldog. Any resemblance to a wolf there? Not even close. The ancestral food of humans was not oven baked either, but I assume 99.9% of us would not hunker down to a dinner of raw rabbit and uncooked roots. Most dogs have been weened off of the natural raw meat diet many, many generations ago. Some breeds may do very well with an all raw diet, but chances are, your Bulldog will not. Bulldogs tend to be not the healthiest of breeds, with skin ailments, issues with ear infections and easy weight gain among some of the more common. A raw diet will more than likely be lacking in nutrients your Bulldog needs, so if you really want to feed a raw diet, consider going half raw and half kibble.

Proteins:The quality of the protein is far more important than the source, so it's up to you to opt for chicken, fish, bison, duck, etc. Dogs with a sensitive stomach may do better with a single protein source. Most Bulldogs won't need a high protein formula.

Grain free: In general, corn is an evil ingredient. Its use is more a filler than anything else. Wheat and other grains can also be a problem for some dogs, so if you have concerns, go grain free. Most of the dog foods found in the big pet stores will contain both, so read the labels carefully.

Home Cooked: Unless you are willing to spend some serious money having your meals analyzed to assure that they meet the minimal needed daily nutrition, feeding only home cooked meals may not be the best idea.

Overall:

  • Chances are, you will need to do some adjustments. Just like people, each dog can be very different in his/her nutritional needs. What the Bully down the street thrives on may not meet the needs of yours.
  • Don't buy food from the grocery store or big box chains, and try to stay out of the big pet food stores. Locate a reputable independent pet food store that sells brands like Evo, Fromm, Pinnacle or Blue Buffalo, just to name a few. Be prepared to read labels and spend some time talking to the staff. (Take advice with a grain of salt - unless the staff at the store live and breath Bulldogs, their knowledge will be geared toward canines in general. If they seem overly pushy about a particular diet or insist that a number of supplements are required, smile, say 'thank-you' and toodle off to another location.)
  • If the ultra premium brands are out of your price range, look for a kibble that has no corn and uses no by-products or 'meal' as the first few ingredients.
  • Keep in touch with your breeder. A good breeder will be able to give you some tips on what they have tried over the years.
  • Don't expect a change in dog food to do miracles overnight. If you are switching to a grain free fish formula because your Bully has dry skin issues, it can take up to 2 months before the difference is noted.
  • Don't change your dogs diet quickly. Switch over from one brand or formula over at least a 2 week period.
  • Have questions? Feel free to ask! My opinion is free - but it is my opinion, not medical or scientific fact.

Final words.....NEVER, ever, purchase a Bulldog from a pet store. If you are looking for a puppy, investigate your breeder. Some places that call themselves 'breeders' or 'kennels' are nothing more than puppy mills.

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