In Owning An English Bulldog – A Serious, Lifelong Commitment, we’ll explore some of the nuances and health issues facing an English Bulldog owner. English Bulldogs are one of the most adorable and cuddly breeds of dogs on the planet, but they come with many responsibilities. If you’re thinking of adding an English Bulldog puppy to your family, be prepared to commit to their care for the long haul.
What To Expect From Owning An English Bulldog
Commitment Is Needed
If you’re considering adopting an English Bulldog as your next family member, it is essential to understand that they indeed are just that…a member of the family! They are not the type of dogs that can be left outside or living in a kennel with very little time and attention given to them.
The English Bulldog temperament is known to be calm, bold, and friendly. They’re confident, devoted dogs who adore their people. Modern Bulldogs are not typically aggressive towards people, despite being bred for bull baiting in the past.
English Bulldogs are incredibly emotionally and physically sensitive, so adopting one should be considered a serious commitment you’ll make for the entirety of your dog’s life.
The bulldog breed cannot tolerate the heat and does not fare well in the cold either. Coupled with needing a lot of love and affection, they should only be considered inside dogs.
As said above, English Bulldogs need a lot of love and affection. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this until after they have taken one into their home. It’s always heartbreaking to see a Bulldog being rehomed simply because the owner doesn’t have the time for them.
Is An English Bulldog Right For You?
When considering the English Bulldog breed, like all dog breeds, they do come with pros and cons.
This dog breed is best with families and single people that are home a fair amount of the time. The English Bulldog temperament makes them excellent with children and most other animals, especially when introduced as puppies.
English Bulldogs can be incredibly entertaining with personalities like no other. They have unconditional love for their families and will do just about anything to make you happy.
Bred as companion dogs, they feel the need to be by your side at all times. They don’t understand why they can’t go with you every time you leave, which can lead to separation anxiety and poor behavior while you’re away.
But overall, Bulldogs will fit into almost any situation where they are properly cared for and shown regular love and affection. When adopting a puppy, many of the common health and maintenance concerns can be reduced or avoided by choosing a puppy from healthy parents.
A big concern with owning an English Bulldog is understanding they are not an active dog breed. They do best if they are allowed to remain relatively inactive most of the day. If you have a busy lifestyle, love to run and take long walks, and plan to have your dog join you, a Bulldog is not the right fit.
All Bulldogs Are Not Alike
To think that every Bulldog is exactly alike is far from the truth. English Bulldogs can vary considerably in their builds, coat color, size, weight, health, and personalities. Of all breeds, these dogs have to be one with the most differences among them.
When researching a breed of dog, so much is generalized. This seems completely legitimate because it wouldn’t be possible to fully explain how any dog may differ from others. So yes, writings usually address typical traits. So as you’re researching the breed, just remember not everything you read is accurate, and much is generalities.
Possible Health Issues
When adopting a puppy, many of the common health and maintenance concerns can be reduced or avoided by choosing a puppy from healthy parents.
Some Bulldogs will need very little skin and coat maintenance but may need vitamins or special food to help with their digestion.
Other bulldogs may have no digestive issues but need to have cream applied regularly due to skin allergies.
Then some need very little health-related maintenance but require a significant amount of time and attention for play and exercise.
The bulldog breed is prone to Cherry Eye, which is thought to be a congenital weakness. Cherry eye is a condition in which the third eyelid (nictitating membrane) gland prolapses.
The third eyelid is an extra layer of protection for the eye. It also contains a gland that makes a significant amount of the eye’s protective tear film. Cherry eye occurs when the gland pops out it and displays as a red or pink lump.
If you suspect your dog has cherry eye, it’s important to make a trip to the vet to have it treated asap. This is because if left untreated, cherry eye can cause damage to the third eyelid gland interfering with tear production. If this were to happen, it could lead to “dry eye,” which can impair vision.
Your veterinarian may recommend surgery, which is an option. Surgical replacement of the third eyelid gland is part of this kind of treatment.
Within a few weeks of surgery, the gland, in most cases, resumes normal functioning. A re-prolapse of the third eyelid gland is seen in roughly 5% to 20% of patients and necessitates additional surgery. A prolapse in one eye is often followed by a prolapse in the other eye. In severe cases, there may be no option other than gland removal in severe or chronic cases.
A proper diet is essential for all dog breeds and can make a difference in your English Bulldog’s health. From time to time, your bulldog may experience a food allergy. You’ll need to find the dog food for them, which will take some experimenting. You can check out food labels to avoid anything that might cause an adverse reaction in their stomach.
Food allergies symptoms:
- Ear inflammation
- Paw Licking
- Irritated skin
The wrinkles on your bulldog can become inflamed, yeasty, or infected. This irritates your bulldog, leading to more significant health problems if not attended to. They need to be kept clean with daily maintenance.
Keep your bulldog’s wrinkles clean by using soap and water, baby wipes, witch hazel, and cotton balls.
When cleaning wrinkles, make sure not to miss any. Once infected, it’ll cause irritation for your bulldog and might be difficult to treat.
Yeasty wrinkles can be treated with anti-fungal products.
Clean Tail Pocket
Tail pockets are common in all Bulldog breeds, including English, American, and French Bulldogs.
Your bulldog can develop what is called a tail pocket. This is a pocket under their tail and above their bum. Tail pockets may reach up to the second knuckle on your finger, depending on how deep they are.
Dirt and gunk, and all kinds can accumulate in these pockets, making them vulnerable to infection. Until the dog starts exhibiting symptoms of distress or illness, such as scooting, drainage, or odor, many bulldog owners have no idea that their dog has one.
These pockets can grow to about a knuckle size, collecting bacteria and becoming infected. Any drainage or discoloration might be a sign of infection. Tail pockets can also cause dry, flaky skin with a stinky odor as well as irritation and swelling.
It’s important that you maintain a tail pocket. Keep them clean and dry.
In more severe cases, a trip to the vet might be necessary.
What will the vet do? More than likely, the wound will be cleaned, and you’ll likely be given topical ointment as well as an oral antibiotic. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antifungal drugs for your Bulldog if there is any yeast in the tail pocket.
An interdigital furuncle is a boil between the toes of your bulldog. They form after catching a bacterial or fungal infection within the hair follicle. Unfortunately, the English Bulldog is one of the breeds that seemed to be predisposed to this type of condition. They’ll either show up as hairless bumps or bright red lumps that cause pain for your bulldog if touched.
The lesions will quickly turn into glossy, reddish-purple boils 0.4 to 0.8 inches in diameter if they aren’t treated. When the boils are pressed, they may rupture and release bloody fluid.
Most times furuncles are painful. The dog may not use the foot infected becoming lame. Also, they will probably lick and bite at the furuncle.
What Are the Symptoms Of Interdigital Furuncles in Dogs?
Three of the symptoms of Interdigital Furuncles are:
1. Constant licking or biting of the paws.
2. Redness and/or swelling between the toes.
3. Fluid discharge, blood, or pus.
You can treat the interdigital furuncle by cleaning daily and soaking the paw until healed.
- For treatment, get a bucket or fill up the bathtub with water and place your bulldog paws in for 5 to 10 minutes two to three times a day.
- Antiseptic solution.
- Antibiotic ointment.
- Socks for your bulldog to stop them from licking the area.
Keeping some products at hand, like Epsom salt, an antiseptic skin cleanser, and an antibiotic ointment, will be helpful.
A trip to the vet might be necessary, and antibiotics are commonly prescribed for 4 to 6 weeks. Antibiotics, on the other hand, may take up to 8 weeks to work through these furuncles due to the difficulty of their penetration.
Most people want a dog that brings a lot of personality to their homes, and the English bulldog does just that. There’s not another breed of dog with a better combination of confidence, looks, and attitude anywhere in the dog world. However, bringing a pet bulldog into your home takes a lot of commitment.
After reading Owning An English Bulldog – A Serious, Lifelong Commitment you can make a better decision for yourself on if the Bulldog is for you. You may encounter some walls along the way, but the Bulldog is a loyal companion breed that will put a smile on your face.
What experiences have you had with owning a Bulldog that you weren’t expecting? Please comment below.