Archive for August 30th, 2011

Feeding English BulldogSome English Bulldog owners like to fill a bowl with dog food and leave it out all day, letting the dog munch at will. Although it may be convenient, it is not a good idea for several reasons. First of all, outdoors the bowl of food may attract birds, squirrels, and ants. Indoors, the food may attract ants, flies, and cockroaches. In addition, the food could become rancid.
When you are housetraining your puppy, free feeding makes it difficult to set up a routine. Your Bulldog puppy will need to relieve herself after eating, and if she munches all day long, you won’t be able to tell when she should go outside.
Last, but certainly not least, psychologically your dog needs to know that you are the giver of the food. How better for her to learn it than when you hand her a bowl twice a day? If the food is always available, you are not the one giving it. It’s always there –  at least as far as your dog is concerned.

How Much?

Each and every English Bulldog needs a different amount of food. When puppies are growing quickly they will need more food. When your English Bulldog is all grown up, if she continues eating that same amount of food, she will get fat. The dog’s individual body metabolism, activity rate, and lifestyle all affect her nutritional needs.
Most dog food manufacturers print a chart on the bag showing how much to feed your dog. It’s important to note that these are suggested guidelines. If your puppy or dog is soft, round, and fat, cut back on the food. If your dog is thin and always hungry, give her more food. A healthy, well-nourished dog will have bright eyes, an alert expression, a shiny coat, supple skin, and energy to work and play.

Meal Times

Most experts recommend that puppies eat two to three times a day. Most adult dogs do very well with two meals, ten or twelve hours apart, so feed your Bulldog after you eat breakfast and then again after you have dinner.
While you are eating, don’t feed your English Bulldog from the table or toss her scraps; it will cause her to beg from anyone at the table –  a very bad habit. Don’t toss her leftovers as you are cooking, either. That can lead to begging and even stealing in the kitchen. Bulldogs are bright enough to figure out how to open cupboard doors and are bold enough to raid the kitchen trash can.

Treats

An occasional dog biscuit or some training treats will not spoil your Bulldog’s appetite, but don’t get in the habit of offering treats just for the pleasure of it.
Many dogs are overweight, and obesity is a leading killer of English Bulldogs. Unfortunately, with their ever-present appetite and their love of comfort, Bulldogs do tend to gain weight easily.
When you do offer treats, offer either treats made specifically for dogs or something that is low in calories and nutritious, like a carrot. Don’t offer candy, cookies, leftover tacos, or anything like that. Your Bulldog doesn’t need sugar, chocolate is deadly for dogs, and spicy foods can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach. Play it safe and give your Bulldog good-quality nutritious snacks very sparingly.
If you are using treats to train your English Bulldog, use good ones – nutritious treats – and cut back on all other treats. Training treats can be tiny pieces of cooked meats such as chicken or beef; just dice the pieces very small. Cheese is also a great training treat. Cut it into tiny pieces, put it in a sandwich bag, and toss it in the freezer. Bring out a few frozen pieces for each training session. (Cheese is easy to handle when frozen, and your dog won’t mind).

Five Mistakes to Avoid
1. Don’t feed your English Bulldog chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, or any highly spiced, greasy, or salty foods. The first five can be toxic, and spicy or junk foods can lead to an upset stomach.
2. Don’t believe all the dog food advertising you see and hear. Keep in mind that advertising has one goal: to get you to buy that product.
3. If you change foods for any reason, don’t do it all at once. Mix the foods so that the dog has 25 percent new food and 75% old food for a week. Then feed half and half for a week. Finally, offer 75% new food and 25% old food for a week. This will decrease the chances of an upset stomach. If your Bulldog develops diarrhea during the switching process, you’re making the change too quickly.
4. Don’t feed your English Bulldog from the table. This will lead to begging and even stealing. Feed her in her own spot after the family has eaten.
5. Raw food diets are very popular, including those that recommend giving the dog raw bones. Be careful giving your English Bulldog any bones except raw beef knucklebones. Adult Bulldogs have powerful jaws and could crack, splinter, and ingest smaller bones with the potential of damage to the gastrointestinal system.

Comments No Comments »