Bulldogs make excellent pets. Their gentle, calm demeanor is great for families. Owning a bulldog, however, is a huge responsibility to undertake. Before you decide to adopt a bulldog, here are 7 things you should know about these sweet, stout creatures:
1. They’re loud.
But not on purpose! Bulldogs have major respiratory problems because of their bracephylic, flat faces. They typically have narrowed nostrils, tiny tracheas, and extra skin in their face. This can make it difficult to breathe for bulldogs, resulting in snoring, wheezing, snorting, and grunting. If you’re a light sleeper, you might want to think twice about adopting a bulldog as your new roommate!
On the bright side, bulldogs typically don’t bark as much as other breeds, so you won’t have to worry about your dog heckling the mailman every day!
2. They’re lazy.
Again, bulldogs are not lazy by choice! Unlike humans, dogs don’t rely on sweating to cool their bodies. Instead, they pant to release moisture and regulate their temperatures.
Since bulldogs are predisposed to respiratory problems, panting can be difficult, meaning too much exercise can quickly lead to overheating. That’s why most bulldogs are low-energy.
This doesn’t mean bulldogs shouldn’t exercise at all, of course! The stout creatures can definitely benefit from short walks in cool weather. Other than that, bulldogs don’t need to be too active to stay healthy.
3. They’re foodies.
Bulldogs are protective… especially when it comes to their food! You’ll definitely want to stay out of the way when a bulldog is feeding.
Bulldogs love eating so much that they’re prone to overeating or choking on food. Owners need to monitor their bulldogs at mealtime and restrain from feeding them scraps, no matter how cute their puppy eyes are! Bulldogs are pretty low-energy, so they can put on the pounds fast.
4. They’re gassy.
Since bulldogs love their food so much, they eat it quite fast. This can result in the ingestion of a lot of air, which can lead to some unpleasant flatulence. Low quality dog foods can also upset a bulldog’s delicate stomach.
Most of the time, a little gassiness is tolerable. If it starts becoming a problem, consider:
- Buying higher quality dog food
- Cooking your own dog food (with the advisement of your vet)
- Feeding your dog smaller portions more frequently
- Using a special feeder to slow down your dog’s eating
5. They’re sensitive.
Whilte bulldogs may seem tough, they can be very sensitive and in more ways than one! Every bulldog has its own personality, but most are very loving and loyal to their owners. These qualities can also translate to aggression and protectiveness when your pet sees other humans or dogs approaching you. It’s a good idea to train and socialize your bulldog early on to prevent any disruptive tendencies.
Not only are bulldogs sensitive emotionally, they’re also sensitive physically. Because bulldogs have so many folds of skin, they are prone to skin allergies, rashes, eczema, and even acne! To prevent this, owners need to keep their bulldogs clean by regularly wiping between the folds of skin and brushing the bulldog’s teeth.
6. They’re stubborn.
Like bulls, bulldogs are also extremely strong-willed. Once they’ve decided something, they won’t change their minds. It can be difficult, almost impossible to force a bulldog to do something it doesn’t want to. Bulldog owners will definitely want to invest in obedience training for their animals.
7. They’re smart!
The belief that bulldogs aren’t smart is often rooted in the belief that smart dogs are those who are easy to train. Stubborn bulldogs are hard to train, leading many to think that they are “dumb.”
However, bulldogs are actually quite intelligent! Most owners come to find out that their dogs just need a little more time to be trained. They can be taught an impressive array of skills and tricks with some motivation.
We hate that we love bulldogs. The animals are incredibly sweet, loving companions, but they also come with a host of health complications. If you do want to welcome a bulldog into your home, be prepared to take them to the local vet often. Their health needs to be monitored constantly. At Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, our Anaheim veterinarian specializes in treating bulldogs. If you ever need to make an appointment, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!