The Bulldog is a medium-sized dog breed known for its heavy-set body and wrinkly skin. Though these dogs might look tough they are actually very gentle and kind – the even get along well with children. The Bulldog is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 breeds in the United States according to AKC registration statistics and it a popular choice as a family pet. Because the Bulldog is naturally heavyset it has an increased risk for obesity – choosing the right diet for your Bulldog is incredibly important. Below you will find valuable information about meeting your Bulldog’s nutritional needs as well as some special considerations to make. You will also find recommendations for commercial dog foods for this loving breed.
Nutritional Needs for Bulldogs
The Bulldog grows to an average size around 40 to 50 pounds at maturity but it only stands about 16 inches tall. Because of its heavyset build, the Bulldog is not inclined to run very much, but it still requires a daily walk to help keep it healthy. In addition to providing your Bulldog with the exercise he needs on a daily basis you also need to provide him with a commercial dog food diet that will meet his nutritional needs. Bulldogs fall somewhere in between small breeds and large breeds so your best bet may simply be a dog food that is formulated for adult dogs. When your Bulldog is still a puppy you should feed him several small meals throughout the day so he has the energy he needs to grow. Once he reaches his full size, however, you should cut back to two feedings per day.
Like all dogs, the Bulldog requires a healthy diet that provides a blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein is the most important consideration for a Bulldog’s diet and it should come from high-quality animal-based sources. When shopping for a dog food for your Bulldog you should take a look at the ingredients list on the label – if a high-quality source of animal-based protein is not first on the list, move on to the next product. Do not automatically write of products that list some kind of meat meal (like chicken meal or turkey meal) first – meat meals are actually a highly concentrated source of protein and a valuable addition to your dog’s diet. The foods you want to avoid are those made with by-product meals and low-quality fillers, especially if those ingredients are at the top of the list.
In addition to protein, your dog also requires healthy animal-based fats in his diet. Fats are the most concentrated source of energy you can give your dog but, especially with a heavyset breed like the Bulldog, you need to be careful about how much fat you are feeding your dog. Healthy fats should come from animal-based sources like chicken fat and salmon oil – plant-based fats like canola oil and ground flaxseed are generally not bad for your dog but they are less biologically valuable than fats that come from animal sources. The type of fat used in a commercial dog food product is important because your dog needs a blend of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You can find information about the fat content of a product on the label under the guaranteed analysis.
Special Considerations for Bulldogs
In order to keep your Bulldog from growing too quickly you should only feed him a puppy formula for the first four to six months of life. Puppy formulas are often higher in protein and calories than adult formulas and if you feed your Bulldog puppy a puppy formula for too long he could become overweight. Once your Bulldog becomes overweight or obese it can be difficult to get him back down to a healthy weight and his risk for serious health problems increases significantly. The Bulldog has a tendency to be lazy if you will let him, so make sure you do your part in encouraging your Bulldog to be active. You also need to be careful about feeding him too many treats and table scraps. So-called “people foods” are high in calories so even a few bites a day can push your Bulldog over his recommended daily intake. If it becomes a habit, it won’t be long before you have an overweight Bulldog on your hands.
In addition to providing your Bulldog with a healthy blend of protein and fats, you also need to make sure that his diet provides some dietary fiber. Dogs do not require a specific amount of carbohydrate in their diet but certain carbohydrates provide valuable vitamins and minerals as well as the fiber your Bulldog needs for healthy digestion. When it comes to commercial dog foods you should look for products that include whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice rather than corn, soy, and wheat-based ingredients that provide little to no nutritional value. When evaluating a commercial dog food formula for your Bulldog you should look for one that lists a high-quality carbohydrate within the top five ingredients, but not necessarily the first on the list. Grain-free diets are also good for dogs, especially for dogs that suffer from food allergies. Some healthy sources of grain-free carbohydrates for Bulldogs include sweet potatoes, tapioca, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Top Recommended Dog Foods for Bulldogs
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Bulldog, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure that the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
Nutrience Original Medium Breed Adult
While many dog food companies offer products that are specially formulated for small-breed and large-breed dogs, it is rare for a company to offer a dedicated formula for medium-sized dogs. The Nutrience Original line of dog foods breaks the mold by offering three formulas – one for small-, one for medium-, and one for large-breed dogs. The Adult Medium Breed formula is loaded with simple and wholesome ingredients to ensure well-rounded nutrition. With chicken meal as the first ingredient you can rest assured that this formula will meet your dog’s needs for digestible protein. This formula is also loaded with antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables to help ensure immune health and heart health – it also contains a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. The Nutrience Original Medium Breed Adult formula is just what you need to make sure that your Bulldog gets the right balance of nutrients to ensure completed health and wellness.
Premium Edge Puppy Small & Medium Breed
The Premium Edge pet food company offers a wide variety of different pet food products for both dogs and cats. This company is dedicated to ensuring whole health and nutrition for puppies and dogs of all sizes. The Small& Medium Breed puppy formula is just one example of Premium Edge’s commitment to high-quality nutrition. This formula is made with real chicken as the number one ingredient so you can bet that it will provide for your growing Bulldog puppy’s protein needs – it also contains chicken meal, a highly concentrated source of protein, listed second. This formula is enhanced with DHA for brain and eye development as well as essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Other notable ingredients to be found in Premium Edge Puppy Small & Medium Breed dog food include chicken fat, cracked pearl barley, salmon oil, ocean fish meal, and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. This formula also contains chelated minerals – minerals that have been chemically bound to a protein molecule which makes them easier for your dog’s body to absorb.
Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Adult
Because Bulldogs have a naturally heavyset appearance and a tendency to be lazy (if you will let them), it may not be a bad idea to keep your dog on a healthy weight formula like this product from Blue Buffalo. The Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Adult formula is made with high-quality sources of protein like deboned chicken and chicken meal to make sure that your Bulldog maintains healthy lean muscle mass. This formula is also supplemented with a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and bones. The Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Adult formula is nutrient-dense, but lower in calories than traditional dog foods so you do not have to worry so much about overfeeding your dog. Like most of Blue Buffalo’s products, it also contains LifeSource Bits – kibbles that are made with a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help ensure holistic health and wellness in your adult dog.
When fed a healthy diet, your Bulldog shouldn’t have a problem maintaining a healthy weight and activity level. In order to choose a healthy diet for your dog, however, you need to be intentional about comparing different brands and formulas so you can select one that will meet your Bulldog’s nutritional needs.