There is no mistaking the English Bulldog, there are such a stunning, soft and warm natured breed. But feeding them just right is so important, more so than for most breeds, as it can affect their health, growth and happiness down the road.
Why feeding your English Bulldog puppy is so important!
During that amazing growth period (at least in size, if not in maturity!), an English Bulldog puppy requires twice as much energy as an adult Bulldog. So they require more food, more often, and food containing more energy.
But with the English Bulldog there is a catch, it ain’t so simple!
When a dog has a very short muzzle, this can present some challenges when it comes to picking up food, as well as chewing and swallowing.
After all, when they eat, English Bulldogs don’t get to use forks, knives and spoons at the dinner table like we do!
And English Bulldogs can struggle sometimes with swallowing their food and with taking in enough oxygen while they are busy eating. Thiscan lead to a common health condition in English Bulldogs called “Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS).” On top of this, English Bulldogs often have teeth that are crowded together in their smaller mouths, leading to further chewing issues.
So it is easy to go wrong when feeding an English Bulldog puppy. They key challenge is finding the right food, and getting that perfect amount to help their growth, but not hurt their health!
First things First. What type of Food should you choose for your English Bulldog?
Bulldogs are susceptible to weight gain, sensitive tummy, food allergies and flatulence. Being blunt, feeding Bulldogs can be challenging!
But I am not going to tell you what brand and type of food you should choose, there is a lot of choice out there, and each dog will prefer their own.
But here are some basics that should be followed for English Bulldog health and happiness….
When you first bring your Bulldog puppy home you should feed them the same food that they were getting from the breeder, and for at least the first three to four weeks. Then gradually change if necessary. This avoids any tummy upset from a sudden change in food.
Calcium is vital for bone growth up to 12 months. But puppies are not fully physically mature until 18 months, and should be nutritionally treated as a puppy until then. And getting this calcium is important. But avoid recipes with added calcium and look for formulas with calcium to phosphorus ratio as close to 1/1 as possible.
The Right Portions for your English Bulldog puppy
With portion size your main aim should be to not overfeed in one go. The first step is to avoid at all costs free feeding an English Bulldog puppy. If you leave food out, a puppy is so likely to eat everything that is there, they are just too greedy!
The portion size depends on the food, and on the puppy’s size, but as a rule of thumb, if feeding dry kibble, a handful per portion is ideal for a young puppy. As that English Bulldog gets big, two good handfuls may be required.
It can’t be said enough; overfeeding your Bulldog, in puppyhood, can result in an overweight puppy that will be far more susceptible to joint, muscle and bone problems in the future.
How Often should you feed your English Bulldog puppy?
Keep meal times on a schedule, at least once in the morning, and once in the afternoon / evening.
For a young puppy the minimum should be 2 times a day, mainly as you don’t want to overdo portion size. Portions that are smaller and more often are the best.
Having 2 or 3 meal times a day, will keep them well fed during the day, but not overwhelm their stomach, and should avoid any problems with breathing.
Top Tips for feeding a Bulldog Puppy
- The height of the food tray… This may not seem so important, but actually it is quite crucial. A tray lifted up to just below head height will allow your English Bulldog to eat their food without straining and make swallowing much easier.
- If your English Bulldog puppy is fussy, then feeding by hand at first is a good tip to encourage them.
- If you are giving your Bulldog kibble, make sure the pieces are small enough to make them easier to digest. You can also mix with water to soften them up a bit too.
Having an English Bulldog in your life is an amazing experience, but they are one breed that takes some extra care, even when it comes to feeding. Getting the type, amount and quality of food right, by following the advice above, can help keep