What Is the Best Dog Food for a Bulldog?
Bulldogs are the fourth most popular breed of dog in America and are favourite family pets. Originally bred in England for bull and bear baiting centuries ago, today’s Bulldogs are known for their gentle natures and muscular build. A medium sized breed, Bulldogs can weigh around 40-50lbs. They are usually quite affectionate and even enjoy being lapdogs, even though they are a lot bigger than small Toy breeds!
Bulldogs are also referred to as English or British Bulldogs. They are distinct from the two other different Bulldog breeds, the French Bulldog or Frenchie, which is smaller, has shorter legs and a wrinkled face, and the American Bulldog, which is a more active dog with longer legs and an athletic build.
Bulldogs as a breed are at risk of joint issues. Hip dysplasia is even more common in Bulldogs than in Pugs, with a study by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) finding almost 74% of Bulldogs had signs of this issue. Hip dysplasia is an issue of the hip joint than can result in arthritis or mobility issues in later life. Being overweight or obese can make the symptoms worse. Owners can reduce the risk by making sure they don’t overfeed their dog and by giving it enough daily exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
Although Bulldogs are a medium sized breed, some owners believe the best food for Bulldog puppies is a large breed puppy food with a good calcium to phosphorous ratio and a lower protein and calorie content. This type of puppy food encourages slow growth and is thought to aid in preventing joint problems such as hip dysplasia in the future. Bulldog puppies can be moved on to an adult food when the have grown to 90% of their full size. Bulldogs are a slow growing breed and may not reach physical maturity until they are over 2 years old.
Some Bulldogs may show signs of skin allergies such as itchy or flaky skin or bald patches. Others might have sensitive stomachs that cause digestive problems such as flatulence or bloating. These issues are often connected to food allergies or intolerances and can be alleviated by changing a dog’s diet to exclude trigger ingredients. Bulldogs with allergies or sensitivities may benefit from switching to a grain free dog food recipe that is free from wheat, corn, soy and gluten. Super premium dog food brands that make wet and dry dog food from whole meat and natural ingredients tend to contain less potential allergens such as cheap fillers, by-products or artificial additives, as well as being more nutrient dense.
Exactly how much food a Bulldog needs depends on its size, age, lifestyle and life stage, but as guide an active 50lb adult Bulldog needs 1358 calories on average each day. The protein and fat content of an adult dog food is important, as dogs have evolved from their wild wolf ancestors to eat a diet high in animal protein and fat. Quality kibble and wet dog food usually contains much more protein and fat than the minimum recommended levels, so this shouldn’t be a concern for owners. The important thing is to check that the main ingredient is meat protein of some kind.
Some dog food, particularly from the cheaper brands, contains a relatively high amount of plant based carbohydrates, which most dogs can digest unless they have intolerances. However, some owners think that a mainly carnivorous, protein rich, very low carbohydrate diet is closer to what dogs would eat in the wild, in which case there are some super premium brands offering dog food recipes that cater to this view.
The best dog food for Bulldogs depends on the owner’s preferences as well as the dog’s nutritional needs and health concerns.