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4 Reasons English Bulldogs Make Great Pets

4 Reasons English Bulldogs Make Great Pets

English Bulldogs are one of the most easily recognizable dog breeds. Their wrinkly face and squashed nose have warmed the hearts of many a pet owner. Their warm personality and easy care make English Bulldogs one of the most popular breeds in the world. If you are looking for your next pet, English Bulldogs will make a great companion.

Why do English Bulldogs make great pets? Here are 4 Reasons to choose an English Bulldog for your next pet:

  1. They are Adorable and Funny
  2. They are a Family Friendly Dog
  3. They are Low-Maintenance
  4. They Need Little Exercise

For all these reasons, English Bulldogs make great pets for dog lovers. There are actually many different types of bulldogs, and we explain the differences between them here. For this article, we’ll give you good reasons to consider an English Bulldog as your next furry family member.

1. English Bulldogs are Adorable and Funny

English Bulldogs are an easily recognizable breed.  Their stocky frames, wrinkly face and protruding teeth from their undershot jaws make them iconic. This dog also has a tongue that often protrudes from its mouth, which many people find it adorable.

The saggy skin, scrunched nose and snorting of an English Bulldog are not for everyone, but it is hard to deny that this breed of dog is endearing.  English Bulldog puppies are especially cute. 

English Bulldogs tend to have big personalities. The looks they give you will melt your heart and make you laugh so hard you will be snorting right along with your English Bulldog. Their short, stocky frames also make them clumsy, which can lead to some hysterical antics. Coming home each day to an English Bulldog will put a smile on your face.

2. English Bulldogs are Family Friendly

Once a breed built to fight, English Bulldogs are now known for having a gentle temperament, which is great for being around children.  If you have kids and are thinking of getting a dog, here are the reasons you should consider getting an English Bulldog:

  • English Bulldog puppies have a lot of energy and love to play. When English Bulldogs are puppies, they make great playmates for your kids. They can keep up with your kids and take a fair amount of tugging and hugging from your little one.
  • English Bulldogs are good for emotional support. These dogs are affectionate and can often sense when you or your kids are sad. These dogs will cuddle, lick your face, and generally look cute to help cheer you up.
  • As English Bulldogs get older, they become more relaxed, which can have a calming influence on active children. Older English Bulldogs are still happy to play occasionally, but they become calmer and cuddlier, which can help calm your children down too.
  • The gentle demeanor of English Bulldogs makes this breed great for children. Children can often be rough or play hard.  English Bulldogs enjoy the attention and will not play too rough in return.
  • Loyalty is a common trait in English Bulldogs, and this can make them good guard dogs. While they are generally calm, they are protective and may attack intruders if they think their family is being threatened.  You can sleep well knowing that your English Bulldog is on the watch to protect your family.
  • Generally, having a pet helps teach children responsibility. Showing your children how to care for your English Bulldog will help give your children a respect for living things and teach them compassion. English Bulldogs are possessive about their food, so be sure to teach children not to interrupt the dog during mealtime.

How to Pick the Right English Bulldog for Your Family

While English Bulldogs make great family pets, keep in mind that their stocky build makes them powerful animals. It is important to help your children learn to respect your English Bulldog and be aware of its strength. Here are some tips to make sure that your English Bulldog integrates into your family.

  • Get to know your English Bulldog before you adopt him. While English Bulldogs generally have a gentle disposition, all dogs are different, and some may have an aggressive personality.  Only you know what type of personality will fit for your family.
  • Learn what you can from the foster family or shelter. If you choose to adopt an English Bulldog who may have been in another home, you should find out everything you can about that situation. If the dog came from a home where it was abused, it may be aggressive and not the right fit for your family.
  • Training your English Bulldog will help ensure a smooth transition into your home. Training can help curb stubbornness and save you from many headaches caused by things such as potty accidents and chewing up household items.
  • Treat your English Bulldog with love and respect. You know the age-old saying, do unto others. If you want your English Bulldog to treat your family with kindness, you must show kindness to your English Bulldog.

3. English Bulldogs Do Not Require a lot of Maintenance.

English Bulldogs need love and affection and care, but they are generally an easy dog to have around.

  • Those English Bulldog wrinkles are what melt most people’s hearts. To keep your English Bulldog looking great and free from bacterial or yeast infections, you need to clean in between those wrinkles with a damp cloth and then dry them. This can be done as often as daily or a few times a week, depending on the activeness of your dog.
  • While English Bulldogs are known for being stubborn, they are trainable. If you put in the time and effort, English Bulldogs can be obedient, making them less maintenance for you.

4. English Bulldogs Do Not Need a lot of Exercise

English Bulldogs do not need long walks or large fenced-in yards. This makes English Bulldogs great for busy families, young professionals or the self-proclaimed couch potato.

For the active family, English Bulldogs are happy to keep up with you as well. These dogs are not built to run miles with you like a golden retriever, but they will keep up on a long stroll through the park, as long as they get plenty of rest breaks and water!

English Bulldogs are quite content to sit and cuddle with you on the couch, but they do need regular exercise. Here are some ways you can keep your English Bulldog in peak condition.

  • Daily exercise is important to help English Bulldogs maintain a healthy weight and keep them strong, but due to their build, this exercise should be limited. About 10-30 minutes of exercise (running, jumping, or wrestling) is all that an English Bulldog needs to stay fit.
  • Low-impact exercise such as walking, tug of war or light wrestling is best for English Bulldogs. These are not the type of dogs that go on 3-mile runs, and often dog parks can be too much for them.
  • A good way to keep your English Bulldog active is to have another dog or make playdates. English Bulldogs are social animals, so this will help fill your dog’s physical and emotional needs.
  • English Bulldogs should be supervised while they exercise. These dogs can easily become overheated and out of breath. Allow adequate time after exercise for your English Bulldog to cool off and calm down.

Issues to Consider When Owning an English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are great companions, but as with any dog, there are things you must consider in deciding if it is the right breed of dog for you.

  • Climate– English Bulldogs are prone to overheating. Their bodies are not good at regulating temperature. These dogs can have breathing challenges and are susceptible to heatstroke. If you live in a hot climate or you want an outdoor dog, then an English Bulldog will not be the right choice for you.
  • Not a Water Dog– If your family loves to spend time on the water, an English Bulldog may not be for you. Its short, stocky body is not built to swim.
  • Certain Health Issues– English Bulldogs, when cared for properly, are low-maintenance, but the breed is known for certain health issues caused by their build. Joint and weight issues are common in this breed.
  • Noisy– English Bulldogs are not big barkers, but they do wheeze, pant, and snore loudly. While endearing to those who love English Bulldogs, you need to be sure you are ok with these traits before you bring one home.

How Bulldogs Have Evolved Into a Great Pet

English Bulldogs are a medium-sized breed, with a sturdy frame and broad shoulders. Fully-grown, English Bulldogs are 40-50 pounds. They are known for their strength.

English Bulldogs were originally bred for sport. These dogs were used for bullbaiting, a sport where these dogs fought a staked bull for entertainment. Back then, English Bulldogs were vicious, a far cry from today’s English Bulldog.

In the early 1800s, with bullbaiting banned, the English Bulldog breed was in danger of extinction. Breeders refined the breed to make it less ferocious and by the end of the 19th century, the Bulldog breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club, a trusted resource for information about dog breeds, health, and training.

English Bulldogs still symbolize determination and grit and are a popular mascot of many college sporting teams including the University of Georgia, Georgetown and Gonzaga, and even the U.S. Marine Corp. During World War II, many compared Bulldogs to Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his role in standing up to Nazi Germany.

The dogs we know today are still tough and stocky, but their demeanor is entirely different than their predecessors.

So, how do you take proper care of this sturdy breed?

The Diet of an English Bulldog

It is important to monitor what your English Bulldog eats to help your bulldog live a happy and healthy life and prevent health issues down the road. Due to the low activity and the build of English Bulldogs, diet is an important factor in maintaining health.

English Bulldogs are not highly active dogs, and they are prone to weight gain, so you should limit the calories your dog takes in each day. Your English Bulldog should not eat as much as a Boxer or a Labrador who are much more active breeds.

Spread Meal Out Throughout the Day

Over-eating is a trait of English Bulldogs. Splitting meals up during the day into appropriate portions is a good option to help your dog not over-eat. If you give your English Bulldog too much food, it will keep eating, even after it is full because these dogs lack control.

Eating too much can lead to weight gain, which can cause serious health problems in English Bulldogs. Over-eating can also lead to bloating, discomfort, and excessive gas, so it is best to limit your dog’s food intake and spread it into two to four meals per day.

Provide a Balanced Diet for Your English Bulldog

English Bulldog’s need a balanced diet to help combat weight gain. Most quality dog foods these days have all of the ingredients a dog needs to stay healthy but be sure that the following ingredients are in the food you feed your English Bulldog.

  • Protein should be the first ingredient listed in any dog food. It is essential for growth and strength. Quality protein such as all-natural beef, chicken, and fish are the best sources of protein. Do not choose foods with processed proteins or animal byproducts.
  • Fat is an important part of an English Bulldog’s diet. Fat helps keep a dog’s coat healthy, helps dogs absorb vitamins, and helps make the dog good taste better. The source of fat is important. Fats like Omega-3 and Omega-6 help with hip and joint issues. Fats like lard are not helpful and should be avoided.
  • Carbohydrates are important for giving your English Bulldog the energy it needs but should be limited in your dog’s diet to help avoid weight gain. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes are better for English Bulldogs then simple starches like corn.
  • Vitamins and Minerals, in the proper mix, along with protein, fats, and carbohydrates are important to help with an English Bulldog’s health.

Food Allergies

It is not uncommon for English Bulldogs to have food allergies. It is important to monitor your dog’s diet to ensure that there are no issues with the food. If you notice your dog does not react well to the food you are feeding him, you should consult with your veterinarian to determine what is causing the issue.

Your English Bulldog may have food allergies if it is having excessive gas, diarrhea, skin irritation or rash, chronic ear infections, or excessive eye discharge. There can be other symptoms associated with food allergies, so if your dog is exhibiting any other unusual behaviors, it could be due to food allergies.

The following are some common allergies that English Bulldogs are known to have.

  • Grain
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Dairy
  • Artificial Ingredients such as food dye

Determining what is causing your English Bulldog discomfort is not easy. Consulting with your veterinarian is the best way to find out if it is a food allergy causing your dog’s symptoms.  The veterinarian also may be able to help you identify the allergy.

A common way to determine what foods are causing your English Bulldog discomfort is to engage in an elimination diet. This means feeding your English Bulldog single ingredient foods for a certain amount of time and eliminating all treats and other foods. When you reintroduce food back, you can determine what ingredient is causing the issue.

Dealing with Tear Stains

English Bulldogs often have tear stains, and it is not because they are sad all the time. These tear stains can be unsightly, but they can also lead to infections. Knowing what causes these stains and knowing to treat them will help prevent health issues for your English Bulldog.

What Causes Tear Stains?

Tear stains develop due to the overflow of the tears from your English Bulldog’s eyes. Yeast and bacteria flourish in the wet hair and can cause a reddish-brown stain. The reddish brown-color comes from copper and iron that are in your English Bulldog’s water and food.

Inflammation, infection, or a blockage in the tear duct may be causing the tear stains. Be sure to check regularly for signs of tear stains. You may need to inspect in the eye wrinkles. It is important to understand what is causing the tear stains, so you can properly treat them.

Any of the following symptoms may be a sign that you need to take your English Bulldog to the veterinarian:

  • Reddish-brown stains around the eye (may also be pink)
  • Excessive moisture around the eyes
  • The smell of yeast around the eyes

Treating Your English Bulldog’s Tear Stains

The best way to prevent tear stains is to clean around your English Bulldog’s eyes daily. Removing excess moisture and any dirt around the area will help prevent staining and infections. You can use a cotton swab or soft cloth and either antibacterial dog shampoo or hydrogen peroxide to keep the area clean. Avoid getting any solutions into your dog’s eyes.

If you notice tear stains on your English Bulldog, you first should determine if the staining is just cosmetic or if there is an underlying health issue.

If you determine that the problem is just cosmetic, you have options to try to remove the stains. You should consult your veterinarian for the best option to ensure the product or solution is not harmful to your dog.

  • You can buy tear stain removers online or from your local pet store. There are wipes and solutions made specifically for tear stains.
  • You can try home remedies such as a paste made from equal parts cornstarch, peroxide, and Milk of Magnesia. This paste should be applied to the stain and left on for 4 hours, then washed out. Then apply diaper rash ointment to the area. Do this every other day until the stains disappear.

If the tear stains are caused by an infection, you will need an antibiotic or other medication to eliminate the infection. If the tear stains are caused by a genetic disorder, your veterinarian may recommend eye duct surgery.

Ways to Help Prevent Tear Stains

Certain changes in your English Bulldog’s diet or environment can help reduce or eliminate tear stains. You may need to experiment to find what works best for your dog. Here are some things you can try to avoid tear stains.

  • Daily cleaning. Keeping the area around the eyes free from excess moisture will help prevent tear stains and infections.
  • Change of diet. Food allergies, such as grain allergies may cause tear stains. Changing dog food brands or adding supplements may help. You should consult with your veterinarian on the best way to change your dog’s diet.
  • Drinking water. Pure or distilled water may help reduce the minerals in your dog’s diet that may be causing tear stains.
  • Dog bowls. Use stainless steel water and food bowls. Stainless steel is easier to clean and less likely than plastic to harbor bacteria. 
  • Check pH balance. Your dog’s pH balance may be off.  Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water or giving your dog tums is a way to help align your English Bulldog’s pH balance and help prevent tear stains.
  • Air Filters. Allergens may be causing the tear stains. Installing a HEPA air filter or buying an air purifier will help reduce allergens in your home.
  • New Play Routine. If your English Bulldog gets exercise outside in the dirt or sand, those elements may be irritating its eyes.  Try changing up the play routine to avoid or reduce exposure to elements that may irritate.

It may take time to discover the best way for you to help prevent or eliminate your dog’s tear stains. If the problem persists, you should contact your veterinarian.

English Bulldog Tail Pockets

Many English Bulldogs have tail pockets. A tail pocket is an indentation located above or below your dog’s tail. This tail pocket collects dirt and feces, and English Bulldogs are not able to clean it on their own.

It is important to keep this area clean. If not properly cleaned, this area can become irritated or infected and start to smell. Some dogs need to have their tail pockets cleaned after each poo, some require weekly cleaning, while other dogs may only have to have it cleaned monthly. Baby wipes work well for this job.

If the tail pocket gets infected, you should consult your veterinarian immediately for treatment options.

Cleaning Your English Bulldog’s Ears

The shape of an English Bulldog’s ear makes it susceptible to trapping in moisture, which can lead to infections. Cleaning the ears regularly will help prevent ear infections.

Here are signs that your English Bulldog may have an ear infection. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with your veterinarian.

  • Inflamed or red ear (the ear should be a pinkish-gray color
  • A rancid or yeasty smell around the ear. Their ears should not have an odor.
  • Discharge, or excessive
  • Head shaking or scratching a lot

Do not use Cotton swabs to clean your English Bulldog’s ears. You risk puncturing the eardrum or pushing wax and debris deeper into the ear, causing more harm. You can get a dog ear cleanser online or at the store an administer it with a soft cloth. Make sure the ears are dried after cleaning. 

Training Your Stubborn English Bulldog

English Bulldogs are sweet and loyal, but they can also be stubborn. This stubbornness can make it harder to train your dog. Here are a few tips to help make training your English Bulldog easier:

  • Socialize Your Dog. Your English Bulldog will love you and be your best friend, but if you do not socialize your dog from the beginning with other animals and people, it may be aggressive towards others. Introducing people and animals early on will help your dog have a gentler temperament around others.
  • Positive Reinforcement. Whether you are potty training, crate training or obedience training, positive reinforcement will go farther than negative reinforcement.

    Praise and treats are great ways to get your English Bulldog to learn commands. Negative reinforcement, such as yelling or hitting, will only cause your dog to be more stubborn.
  • Train Indoors. English Bulldogs do not do well in hot and humid climates. Training will cause exertion for your English Bulldog. Training in a cool, climate-controlled environment will help protect your dog from overexertion and breathing problems. Be sure to take breaks from training too, to give your English Bulldog a rest.
  • Do Not Use A Choke Collar. English Bulldogs have a narrow trachea that can be injured by choke collars.  A harness is a better option for English Bulldogs.
  • Consider Crate Training. English Bulldogs are territorial about their food. It may be a good option to crate train your dog and feed your dog in the crate. This will allow your dog to eat in peace. If you have young children, be sure to teach your children not to disturb your English Bulldog while it is eating.

English Bulldogs make loveable, loyal companions. Their gentle nature makes them a great choice for families with children. People with busy schedules will find it easy to care for English Bulldogs because they require little exercise.

These wrinkly, stocky dogs have unique personalities that will melt your heart. If you are looking for a dog that will lift your spirits and put a smile on your face every day, an English Bulldog is for you. 

Learn More

If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.