Caring for Your Bulldog
If you’ve just brought home your first bulldog, you may be worried that the responsibilities will be numerous and and time-consuming. Caring for your bulldog, however, is far easier than many may think! The bulldog’s short hair and mellow demeanor make chores like grooming easy, and because bulldogs are far from hyper, exercising your bulldog oftentimes won’t require more than a short walk.
The following is a bulldog care guide that details the daily, weekly and monthly duties required to ensure your bully remains a happy and healthy member of the family.
It’s best to feed your bulldog out of a pan that has a flat bottom and straight sides, as this type of food bowl works best with their unique face shapes. Whether you feed your bulldog once or twice per day is up to you, but the recommended amount of food for a 40-60 pound bulldog is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of dry food per day.
Many assume that because bulldogs aren’t particularly active that they do not require regular exercise, but that is a myth! While you should never over-exercise your bulldog, as they are susceptible to overheating, a leisurely walk each day is good for them! In fact, without exercise, bullys can become obese or develop joint problems. 20-30 minutes of walking or outdoor play per day will ensure your bulldog remains healthy and content.
Did you know cleaning under your bulldog’s wrinkles should be part of your daily dog care routine? While that may seem odd, wiping under your bulldog’s skin folds (AKA their “wrinkles”) with a wet washcloth is necessary in order to prevent a bacterial infection called “skin fold dermatitis”. As you wipe away any dirt or leftover food crumbs, make sure to check your bully’s face, tail and genital area and let your vet know if you spot any redness or rough patches of skin, as they could be a sign of infection.
While your bulldog’s hair may be short, that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t need a good brush at least a couple of times a week. Regular brushings will remove loose hair, reduce shedding and make your bulldog’s coat clean and shiny. Use a soft brush or rubber curry comb, and as you brush, make note of any skin irritations, such as dandruff, redness or scaling. Skin problems are common among bulldogs.
A bulldog’s nails may need to be trimmed more frequently than a more active dog, as bulldogs generally don’t spend as much time running outdoors. You should trim your bulldog’s nails once a week using dog nail clippers (human nail clippers won’t work), but be careful that you do not cut through the quick.
Brushing on a weekly basis should be sufficient enough to remove dirt and excess oil from your dog’s coat, generally eliminating the need for a weekly bath. Unless your bulldog rolls in the mud, shampooing more than once a month isn’t necessary and will only cause your dog’s skin to become dry and irritated.
Hot dog! When temperatures soar, bulldogs need to stay in the cool indoors.
Because bulldogs can struggle to regulate their body temperatures, summer weather can be dangerous—even fatal. A bulldog’s elongated soft pallet makes it difficult for them to pant sufficiently enough to lower their body temperature. Sometimes their attempts to pant can cause their mouths to foam, further blocking their throats and leading to increasingly labored breathing. If your bulldog is showing signs of overheating, pour cold water over them and rub ice around his or her head and under his or her tail.
The best way to ensure your bulldog stays safe during the summer is to keep him or indoors during the hottest part of the day. If you must go outside, keep cool water and ice on hand.
A bulldog doesn’t have a thick undercoat, so minimum exposure to frigid temperatures is best. If you take your bully out in the cold for an extended period of time, make sure he or she wears a sweater or jacket. And if your bully gets wet in the cold rain or snow, be sure to dry him or her off thoroughly after you head back inside. Pockets of moisture can become trapped in your bully’s wrinkles, which can result in “hot spots” (red, raw skin inflammation).