Caring For Your Bulldog

Like all worthwhile things in life, owning a dog involves responsibilities as well as pleasures. The pleasures are obvious, and the responsibilities, not just to the dog but also to other people and the environment, need to be considered. Chances are you have fallen in love with a cute, sweet bulldog and you are eager to invite him or her to join your family. Before you scoop the pup into your arms and race home to begin your happily ever after, you will want to learn a few important things about bulldogs.

Your goal is to feel confident that you are able to provide a good, safe and healthy home and life for a bulldog!

 

Although a bulldog's appearance can be somewhat intimidating, it is among the gentlest of dogs. It is described as a very affectionate and dependable animal, gentle with children, but known for its courage and its excellent guarding abilities. Bullheaded and determined, this breed can be very persistent. They do not give up easily. Bulldogs are very much a people's dog, seeking out human attention and loving every bit it can get!! A lot of human attention is required for the breed's happiness. Some bulldogs can be a bit dominating and need an owner who knows how to display strong leadership and understands alpha canine behavior. A bulldog who understands its place in the human pack is nice to, and reliable with all people. This breed is good with family pets, but some can be combative with strange dogs if they do not see themselves as followers in their pack. When bulldogs are young, they are full of energy, but slow down as they get older. They snore very loudly, most have drool and slobber tendencies and are messy eaters. Bulldogs that display guarding behaviors, such as guarding furniture, food, toys, or other spots in the house, or that are dog aggressive do not have humans who are being the dog's pack leader. This behavior only happens when dogs are allowed to take over. We would be happy to refer you to a specialist who can assist you with your dog if you're experiencing any unwanted behaviours.

Temperament

Exercise and Overheating

It is a myth that bulldogs are lazy and do not need walking. All bulldogs need some form of exercise, but not all will require the same amount! They need to be active daily, at least one walk, or a play at the park at the minimum. Dogs need exercise for mental and physical stimulation, and  boredom can lead to destructive behaviour. Be aware that bulldogs overheat easily so don't take them for long walks in the peak midday heat. This can be from the temperature, excitement, exercise, or stress. Bulldogs can die from heat exhaustion. Whenever you and your bulldog are out in warm weather take water with you. If you are going to be out for a while take along ice and water. If your bulldog begins to overheat and starts to bring up phlegm you must act quickly to cool him down. Get your bully out of the heat. Put a wet towel on him and keep him calm. Wet him with cold water or cool him with ice - focus on his underside and under his tail. Lay him in ice or a cool water bath if you can. You must bring his body temperature down. PLEASE CONTACT A VET URGENTLY

Vomiting

Swimming

Face Wrinkles

Bulldogs who have elongated palates and sometimes vomit or bring up phlegm This is normal if it happens randomly and your bulldog is otherwise happy. If your Bulldog is doing it constantly when he is not overheated or excited please consult your Vet.

Bulldogs are not natural swimmers. That doesn't mean they won't want to play however! Please never leave your Bulldog unattended near water.

Keep your Bully's wrinkles clean and dry. Wipe all of the folds on his face with a wet towel or fragrance-free baby wipe, then dry them really well. If they look sore or infected, see your Vet. This includes tails - some bulldogs have corkscrew tails and they rely on you to help them be clean and infection free.

Head Tremors

Bulldogs can suffer from head tremors which is worrying if you have not experienced them before. Usually a typical idiopathic head tremor episode will generally last around three minutes. Once the head bobbing is over, your dog should return to normal, as if the tremors never occurred at all. If your dog does appear to have been affected, contact your local veterinarian immediately. This condition is totally unresponsive to seizure medications and the best way to handle an episode seems to be to focus the dog’s attention on a toy or treat. Episodes tend to get milder and less frequent with age.

It is very important to let a Vet make an official diagnosis because the same symptoms occur in other diseases!

Again there is no medical treatment but here are some things you can do to help your dog through it. First of all make sure your dog is safe (remove sharp objects around him and make sure he doesn’t fall). Second of all be calm, if you panic your dog will sense it and panic too. Keep in mind that even though it looks bad your dog is not in any pain.  And third distract your dog with a treat or toy try to keep the dogs attention. The current theory is that the tremors are a result of dysfunction of the proprioceptive fibers in the neck. Abnormal sensory input, causing alternating contraction and relaxation of muscle groups, may be responsible. This explanation, while almost impossible to prove, would explain why those affected stop shaking if something is done to focus their attention on an object such as a toy or treat.

Tricks - A lot of people give calcium to dogs such as yoghurt or ice cream, although there is no medical proof this works so many of our members said it worked so it might be worth trying. Also gently massaging your dogs head and neck seemed to work for a lot of dogs.