English Bulldog - Commercial Dog FoodsDog food sales in the United States are a huge business with tremendous com-petition among manufacturers. English Bulldog owners should understand that as a big business, the goals of these companies include making a profit. Although adver-tising may show a dog and owner in a warm and fuzzy, heart-tugging moment, the nutrition your dog might get from the food being advertised has nothing to do with that heart-tugging moment. It’s all about getting you to buy the food.

Reading English Bulldog Food Labels
Dog food labels are not always easy to read, but if you know what to look for, they can tell you a lot about what your dog is eating.
– The label should have a statement saying the dog food meets or exceeds the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional guidelines. If the dog food doesn’t meet AAFCO guidelines, it can’t be considered complete and balanced, and can cause nutritional deficiencies.
– The guaranteed analysis lists the minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat and the maximum percentages of crude fiber and water. AAFCO requires a minimum of 18 percent crude protein for adult dogs and 22% crude protein for puppies on a dry matter basis (that means with the water removed; canned foods will have less protein because they have more water). English Bulldog food must also have a minimum of 5 percent crude fat for adults and 8% crude fat for puppies.
– The ingredients list the most common item in the food first, and so on until you get to the least common item, which is listed last.
– Look for a dog food that lists an animal protein source first, such as chicken or poultry meal, beef or beef by-products, and that has other protein sources listed among the top five ingredients. That’s because a food that lists chicken, wheat, wheat gluten, corn, and wheat fiber as the first five ingredients has more chicken than wheat, but may not have more chicken than all the grain products put together.
– Other ingredients may include a carbohydrate source, fat, vitamins and minerals, preservatives, fiber, and sometimes other additives purported to be healthy.
– Some brands may add artificial colors, sugar, and fillers –  all of which should be avoided.

Read the dog food labels, check out the manufacturers’ Web sites, check the recall lists, and talk to dog food experts, including your veterinarian if they have a background in nutrition.
A good-quality food is necessary for your Bulldog’s health. Dog foods vary in quality, from the very good to the terrible. To make sure you are using a high-quality food, read the labels on the packages. Make sure the food offers the levels of protein, carbohydrates, and fats recommended earlier in this chapter.
Read the list of ingredients, too. If one of the first ingredients listed is by-products, be leery of the food. By-products are the parts of slaughtered animals that are not muscle meat –  lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, fatty tissue, stomach, and intestines. Dog food manufacturers can meet protein requirements by including by-products, but they are inferior forms of protein that do not metabolize as completely in the dog’s body.
English Bulldogs do well on a dog food that uses a muscle meat as the first ingredient. Muscle meats are listed on the label simply as beef, chicken, fish, and so on. Steer away from foods with a lot of soy or soy products, as these are thought to contribute to stomach gas, which can lead to bloat.

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