Jan 8, 2011

Feeding Your Bulldog

"Your dog eats better than you do”.
Humans, especially those residing in the USA, eat mostly chemically laden junk food. Bulldogs rely on a bag of kibble to supply their nutrition. Which is worst? Surely there is room for improvement in both. Unhealthy eating hinders our ability to lead a full and productive life - and the same goes for our Bulldogs.
I can’t understand when people feed their English Bulldog cheap grocery store brand dog food. Your dog’s health and immune system can only be as good as the food that he eats. Poor quality foods will cause excess defecating, clean up, gas and poor health. In the long run, you'll save more money by spending more on a good dog food.
If you adopt a puppy from me, at least for the first couple of weeks, follow my feeding routine and try to change your bulldog’s life as little as possible. The same meal times, the same amount of food, the same brand of food in the same place will help establish a routine and make housebreaking a lot easier. Food is a trigger not only to eat but also to go. When Bulldog puppies are too old to nurse, I feed my puppies Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy softened with warm water 3x’s a day. I provide fresh water at all times. I give puppies as much food as they want. Bulldog puppies need a large amount of food for their rapidly growing bodies but at this time their stomachs are still small and cannot hold enough food to last all day. Bulldogs have an under bite and cannot chew and grind up food like most dogs so a very small kibble is required throughout their life and Iams provides a very small kibble. Iams produces a chubby puppy but not obese, and produces solid stools.
Most breeders I know use a commercially prepared food like Iams, Eukanuba, Purina Pro Plan or Royal Canine. Some Bulldog owners swear by an all-raw food diet and rave about the changes in their skin and coat. For extra protein, I also give my adult Bulldogs, Acana Wild Prairie and Orijen Adult Formula. Make sure that the food you do choose has passed USDA Inspection and that the first ingredient is meat. Check out Dog Food Analysis for more info on dog food and make an informed decision.
If you do decide to change from one brand of dog food to another when you take your puppy home, do so gradually by substituting more and more of the new brand for the old. Going cold turkey may result in diarrhea and vomiting. Not something you want to deal with while housebreaking. It’s a good idea to introduce a new food as a training treat in the beginning. If you need details, click here.
Ideally, your Bulldog puppy should eat and drink out of a stainless steel flat bottom pan with straight sides. Not only does stainless steel last longer, but you can also sterilize it in the dishwasher every once in a while. Plastic causes pimples and tear stains and they could end up chewing on it.
Training begins early in my house and if you take one of my puppies home after 14 weeks, he will be accustomed to receiving a piece of a dog biscuit, a smidge of Natural Balance Dog Food Roll or a small training treat as a reward for good behavior. Since you control the food, you are automatically the alpha dog, the leader of the pack. “Treaties” are given for coming when called, sitting when told, eye contact, eliminating outdoors…
At about 6 months, you can start to add about a tablespoon of cottage cheese or eggs every once in a while and reduce the feedings to twice a day – morning and evening. After your puppy is housebroken and well adjusted to your household, it won’t hurt your Bulldog to give him an occasional bite of meat, vegetables, peanut butter, etc. I also give my older bulldogs a scope of Kirkland Signature canned dog food every day. Yogurt will keep ear infections at bay. NEVER give your Bulldog chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts or onions. My Bulldogs for some reason love a little spaghetti from time to time and they always get a little bit of cake and ice cream at a birthday party!
What do you feed your Bulldog?

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