The Trouble With Bulldogs
English Bulldogs have become more popular in recent years. They are appearing with frequency in media ads of all types. There good nature and attractive personality make people want to have one for their own. Yet, owning a Bulldog brings with it great responsibilities. It also results in some pretty quirky situations as you shop for dishes, harnesses, collars and doggy apparel for your pooch.
Bulldogs come with some pretty hefty health issues. Many are inherited. Therefore, your pet health care provider may not cover them or make the monthly costs expensive if not prohibitive. Be sure to check with your provider before you sign on the dotted line.
Health issues include:
- Elongated soft palate (The palate is too long for its snout. As a result, it extends back into and falls down into the throat) – Easily taken care of with an operation
- Stenotic nares (narrow nostrils) – Surgery can change this
- Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid) – daily dosage of hormones
- Skin allergies – both topical and oral treatments
- Luxating patella
- Entropion (Eyelid rolls inward) – varies from topical lubricants to suturing
You also have to watch out for food allergies and an absolute must is to keep all folds clean. If your dog has an inverted tail, this will require daily or every other day deep cleaning of the tail pocket.
The position of the teeth will also affect how you clean them. The standard directions supplied for cleaning and brushing a dog’s teeth need adjustment. The general crookedness and the dog’s bite mean greater care is required when trying to get the job done.
It’s a Matter of Size
When it comes to size, Bullies are the biggest little dogs going. This means readjusting what you think about small dogs. It also creates some difficulty when it comes to shopping for dog items and accessories.
Consider the average size of a portable dog dish – the kind you take camping or on walks. Look at the shape and bulk of your bully’s head. Does it fit? Generally know. You can also forget about carrying that empty margarine tub and a bottle of water around.
The solution to this problem is simple. Teach your dog to drink from a bottle. Purchase a sport’s bottle. They are readily available from sports stores and other retailers. Fill it with water and you are ready to take care of your dog on its walks. With bullies, be sure to bring more than one.
The width of the dog’s neck and head also lead to special consideration when it comes to collars. Go for the large dog size. Better still, supplement the collar with a sturdy harness. This way you are not going to harm your dog’s neck. In case of extreme stubbornness, it is also possible to lift the dog by the harness (depending upon its type) and turn him or her around.
Sometimes, it’s hard to resist dressing up your dog – if only in the shirt of your favourite hockey, soccer or other sort’s team. You will not find this an easy task. If your bully falls into the traditional or classic category, his or her neck is too wide to fit the t-shirt. The same goes for other items of clothing that fit over the head. Moreover, if the shirt or item makes it over the head, it is often too long for the rest of the body and does not fit the legs.
The a-typical build of a full-grown Bulldog creates problems for buying other items. These include flotation devices – Bullies are not the best of swimmers. Halloween costumes, winter coats, and rain protection may not fit properly, if at all. Sometimes they do not fit the neck. Often the chest is too broad. When the outfit manages to make it past these areas, the clothing may hang over the haunches and fall past the tail.
Protecting the Furniture during Bully’s Heat
If your dog comes into heat, you may want to protect the floor and other things from dripping blood. While the diapers made for dogs can fit snuggly, there is one problem. They usually require a tail to help them stay in place. Bullies usually lack this particular anatomical feature. As a result, any action by the male dog or any scooting or rubbing will see the panties slip down and off.
Having a Bulldog is a joy. It also requires a keen awareness of certain health issues. You need to know how the physique of the English Bulldog differs from other breeds. You also have to understand how that will affect your interaction with your dog on a daily basis.