Do you want to add a pet bulldog to your family? You’re in good company! The French and English bulldog breeds are among the most popular in the United States.
There are some things you need to know before you adopt a bulldog, though. This breed can be high-maintenance and might not be a good fit for everyone.
Can you handle giving your pup a little extra TLC every day? Are you okay with knowing your bully has physical limitations? Do you have air conditioning to keep Fido cool during the summer months?
Keep reading to find seven considerations to think about before adopting a bulldog.
1. They Can Have Food Allergies
Your bulldog may turn their nose up at the grocery store dog food in their bowl. This isn’t due to expensive tastes, but because bullies are prone to food allergies.
You’ll need to buy them high-quality food to avoid irritating their allergies. Lower quality kibble can cause excessive shedding, diarrhea, itchiness, lethargy, and weakened joints.
2. They Need Wrinkle Care
The signature bulldog wrinkles are prone to yeast infections and inflammation. These conditions can leave Fido in pain and discomfort if you don’t clean his wrinkles every day.
The wrinkles on the fact are often the most problematic. Your pooch may get watery eyes from activity, allergies, or the heat. This water can leak into the deep wrinkles of his face, becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
If you leave the moisture in the wrinkle folds, they’ll start to smell. The hair surrounding the area can fall out, and his skin will get inflamed and sore.
You’ll find a method of wrinkle cleaning that works best for you and your dog. Some people prefer to use a mild soap and water every day. Other owners swear by witch hazel or baby wipes.
If you find a yeasty wrinkle, anti-fungal treatments like Monistat can work. They’re made to be effective against bacterial and fungal infections.
You may find you need to create a moisture barrier if your bulldog’s wrinkles start smelling. You can use a diaper cream like Desitin on their wrinkles just as you would apply diaper cream on a baby’s bottom.
3. They Need Tail Care
Just as you have to care for their wrinkles, you’ll need to perform tail care for your bully, too.
Some bulldogs have tail pockets. This is a literal pocket underneath their tail. These pockets can be shallow or quite deep and are prone to collecting filth.
They can even become infected if they aren’t taken care of.
Many owners don’t even realize their pooch has a tail pocket until it gets an infection. And just because you don’t see a pocket on your pup, doesn’t mean he won’t get one as he ages.
Their pocket will need to stay clean and dry, or else they can breed bacteria or yeast. Don’t use anything to clear their pocket that holds moisture, like baby wipes. Your best bet is to use an astringent with a drying agent.
Infected tail pockets are tough to treat. Because some pockets can be a knuckle or two deep, it’s essential to ensure they’re properly cleaned.
4. They Don’t Need a Lot of Exercise
When you compare the exercise needs of a bulldog to other breeds, you’ll see they don’t need nearly as much. Bulldogs don’t need to run and play every day as other breeds do. In fact, a quick walk down the street and back may be all they need in a day.
You shouldn’t be leashing up your bully to take him on long, strenuous hikes or jogs. Doing so can actually cause damage, so it’s best if you aim for 20 to 40 minutes of exercise per day. You want to keep your bulldog’s heart and muscles strong, but overexertion will do more harm than good.
5. They Can Overheat Fast
Bulldogs are not very efficient panters due in part to their short snout. This attribute makes it easy for them to overheat in hot weather.
You’ll need to keep them inside during the dog days of summer. If you do take them out during hot weather, keep your eyes open for signs of heat exhaustion.
If not treated, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke. This is a medical emergency, and your dog will need immediate treatment.
The symptoms of heatstroke to look out for include:
- Pale or very red gums
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
If you notice any of these symptoms in your bulldog, you need to cool him off as soon as possible. Do not force him to drink as his airways could be swollen. Apply tepid or cool water to their fur and fan them off to heat dissipate heat.
Even if you think your dog has made a full recovery from heatstroke, you should still see your vet.
6. They Are Notorious For Knee and Joint Problems
Remember that adorable viral video of a bulldog skateboarding? As cute as it was, it probably put the dog at risk.
Bulldogs are prone to a condition called luxating patella. This is when the knee becomes dislocated or out of place. Some dogs can live with this condition for years; some live with it forever.
But left untreated, a luxating patella causes knee weakness. This opens your dog up to other injuries like torn cruciate ligaments. And, as you can imagine, these conditions cause sky-high vet bills.
As a bulldog parent, you never want to encourage dangerous activities with your pooch. This includes jumping too much or, you guessed it, skateboarding.
7. They’re Great With Kids
Bulldogs were initially bred for aggression. But once people started to adopt them as family pets, their true colors began to show.
They’re a loving and friendly breed, known for their gentleness with children. They do best in social environments where a consistent routine can be made.
Puppies are especially playful, so much so that they not realize how rough they’re being. Watch your small children around puppies to ensure no one gets hurt.
The bulldog temperament is so gentle they’ll let you get away with almost anything. So if you like the look of French bulldog clothes, your bully will probably not be opposed to an outfit.
Should You Get a Pet Bulldog?
If you have the time to dedicate to their daily cleaning, the answer is a resounding “yes!” Bulldog personalities are so sweet; it’s hard to say no.
Remember, your pet bulldog relies on you to provide them with the care they need. If you are grossed out by what might lie in your dog’s wrinkles or tail pockets, you should consider a different breed.
Check out our Pet Breeds section to find one that suits your needs.