I Know as you look at this long list, it can feel overwhelming, but once you get into a great routine, it’s really not! And it’s totally worth it! The amount of time you spend on these few things, they will give back 100x in the amount of love. And you always have the option of getting in touch with us on any questions you have! The library has so many resources as well with books that you don’t want to have to purchase. And a great forum to be a part of is http://www.englishbulldognews.com/ . (We are not sponsored by any links provided and no matter how much information we give you, please remember your vet is going to be your best friend and best place to get advice from)
- Change food brands gradually. Buy a small supply of the food your dog has been fed before you brought it home. That way, your puppy’s system won’t go into shock due to a totally new food. If you want to change brands, do so slowly. Mix 1/2 and 1/2 for a week, then 1/4 and 3/4 for a week, then full change over. We do try our best to send enough of the food they are are so you can do this incase you choose to change the food they are currently on.
- Feed your puppy on a regular schedule. You should feed it three times a day on a regular schedule for the first four months after arrival if at all possible. At 6 months you can start to cut back to 2 times a day and at 12 months you can cut it back further, to once a day if needed. All of our adult dogs do normally eat twice a day though so your puppy/dog will be use to 2-3 times a day depending on the age.
- Feed your English bulldog puppy a high-quality and well-balanced diet. (See Our food suggestions are found under “Food Suggestions”)
*Once in a while a English bulldog will have signs of food intolerance (diarrhea, vomiting or skin problems) to one or more of the ingredients in a food. If your puppy or dog shows these signs, you will need to work with your veterinarian to determine the cause and then follow a strict lifelong diet to minimize symptoms.
- Avoid feeding your dog people food, especially foods that are dangerous to its system. Keep in mind that there are certain human foods that can make a dog sick or outright kill it. Foods that at toxic to dogs include (but are not limited to):
- Grapes and raisins
- Chives, onions and garlic
- Yeast doughs
- Anything made with the sweetener xylitol especially found in sugar free gums
- Watch your dog’s weight. English bulldogs can put on weight easily, so you need to watch that your puppy doesn’t get overweight. If your puppy is putting on too much weight, consult with your veterinarian about the best, and safest, way to keep your dog’s weight in balance. An overweight bulldog causes MANY health problems, so please keep an eye on this!
- Provide clean fresh water at all times. This is especially important in hot or humid weather but should be provided all of the time. If it’s super hot and your bulldog is panting, add a couple of ice cubes to the water dish to help cool down their internal temperature.
- Watch for teething when the puppy arrives home. Please be sure to provide many chew toys to help with this transitional period. Stay away from pig ears and cheap rawhide, and “greenies,” as these can cause severe diarrhea, bloat, and are a choking hazard.
- Get your puppy preventative treatment for local pests. Dogs can pick up some unwanted guests: ticks, fleas, mites, lice, and intestinal worms. Your dog can be the perfect host for these pests if regular treatment for these nasty pests is not given. Your veterinarian is the best source of knowledge for the local bugs that bug the local dog population and how to prevent these pests.
- Take your puppy for regular veterinary check ups. Let your vet be your new best friend! Puppies will generally have a first veterinary visit at the age of six weeks by us. The veterinarian will examine the puppies to make sure there are no hernias, heart, lung, or eye or ear problems in any of the pups. They will have already had 2-3 round of dewormer and their first set of vaccinations. Ask your vet about their preferred age requirements for vaccines while your are on your first check up with your new puppy. Remember, to for us to be able to uphold your health guarantee, you must take your puppy to the vet within 72 hours of you receiving your puppy. Not doing so voids the health guarantee.
- Examine English bulldog’s ears once a week. The inner ear part of the ear is normally white or darker colored, usually corresponding to the color of the dog’s coat, so look for discoloring. The puppy’s ears should also not smell nor have any discharge in the ear or on the flap. The ear should be free of debris, dirt, or parasites, like ticks or mites.
- Clean your puppy regularly. Because of the English bulldog’s skin folds, especially those on the face and around the lips, will need to be carefully examined each day for signs of infection. Normal yeast found on the body will thrive and flourish in these dark, warm, and moist crevices. These should be gently washed and thoroughly dried at least every other day, more often in those dogs prone to infections ( I use a baby wipe and then follow up with a dry paper towel, super easy and takes 2 minutes).
- Keep your bulldog’s nail short! Trim regularly!
- Keep your English bulldog puppy in moderate temperatures. These puppies are temperature sensitive. They can suffer from heat stroke very easily but are also sensitive to the cold.
*Be sure to keep your puppy cool enough in summer months. Any temperature of 80 degrees or above can be very dangerous. If you take your the puppy out during a hot day, be sure to wet it down and provide unlimited water to drink.
*Keep the puppy’s time out to a minimum during extreme heat. OVERHEATING IS ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY WHEN IT’S HOT OUTSIDE! HEATSTROKE IS A POSSIBILITY! PLEASE KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON YOUR BULLDOG WHEN OUTSIDE!
- Watch your puppy’s coat for signs of allergies. As with other popular breeds, bulldogs are genetically predisposed to Atopic Dermatitis, which is a skin condition that results in irritation on the skin. Research indicates that of the 30% of canines who do suffer from allergies, 85% suffer from allergy to pollens, mites & mold spores. Consult with your veterinarian about solutions if your puppy’s skin becomes red and irritated.
- Monitor your puppy’s breathing. Because of their short muzzle (nose), bulldogs are prone to respiratory and breathing difficulties. Hot weather, humid weather, too much strenuous exercise, and any illness affecting the nose, throat, or lung will make it hard for your bulldog to get enough air into its body. Bring your puppy into an air conditioned room during hot or humid weather and only exercise it inside during extremes of weather.