English bulldogs are one of the most recognizable breeds out there. They are mascots of many Universities, companies and even branches of the military, such as the United States Marine Corps. They have a distinctive look, but they aren’t the easiest breed to feed. Finding the best dog food for English Bulldogs may be a bit more difficult than you think.
English Bulldogs are not just special because of the bond they hold with their puppy parents, they also have a wide range of special needs and requirements due to their unique anatomy. Due to overbreeding and inbreeding, there are also many common health conditions found in these dogs.
The English Bulldog is a medium-breed with a stocky body, small, floppy ears, short legs and a short corkscrew tail. Bulldogs are all brachycephalic breeds, classified as such due to their shortened, “smushed” facial structure.
They are generally a more laid-back breed but can be protective of their family, making them a good guard dog. English Bulldogs tend to be low energy dogs throughout their lives. You may have to bribe them to get off of the couch.
Their anatomy can make it difficult for them to be active. Many Bulldogs suffer from Brachycephalic Syndrome, a combination of medical issues owing to their special facial structure. They can have elongated soft palates, dental disease and stenotic nares (openings of the nose are too small), causing significant difficulty breathing.
Bulldogs can also suffer from arthritis earlier in life due to their short, angled legs. This leg conformation can predispose them to increased wear and tear on their joints. Low-impact, slow walks during the coolest part of the day are recommended for most English bulldogs.
Along with the special care that they need in their day-to-day lives, English Bulldogs should also be fed a diet that will meet their unique nutritional requirements. I’ll go into more details on the specific diet required by English Bulldogs in just a bit, but for now, here’s a quick look at the dog food products I’ll be recommending:
Dog Food Brands Price Value Rating Royal Canin English Bulldog Breed Health Puppy $$ $1.93/lb 4.4/5 Royal Canin English Bulldog Breed Health Adult $$ $1.87/lb 4.4/5 Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low Calorie Formula $$ $1.66/lb 4.6/5 Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Formula $$$$ $5.00/lb 4.6/5 FreshPet Vital Turkey Recipe with Peas, Carrots $$$$$ $1.29/oz 4.5/5 Freshpet’s Vital Whole Blends Mix-In Senior $$$$$ $1.29 4.5/5
* Click on the English Bulldog dog food brand for information and prices or scroll down below for more details.
English Bulldogs tend to be chow hounds and many seem to want to eat you out of house and home. Their healthy appetite can be a blessing and a curse. Most are not picky eaters, so they will typically enjoy the best dog food for English Bulldogs, no matter what brand it is.
You’ll need to pay attention though, because Bulldogs are one of the easiest breeds to overfeed. I’ve met many that are bottomless pits and will continuously beg for whatever edible you can provide. English Bulldogs are naturally muscular and stocky, but they must not be fat.
As I mentioned, this breed is already prone to many different health conditions. If your dog is overweight, it increases the chance that he’ll develop diseases such as arthritis and certain types of cancer. The best dog food for English Bulldogs will provide the proper nutrients without adding unnecessary calories.
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Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Puppy English Bulldogs
Up to 75% of all dogs diagnosed with hip dysplasia are bulldogs, as they are more susceptible to malnutrition and developmental orthopedic disease compared to small-breed pups. Other diseases that can affect bulldogs in puppyhood include osteochondrosis (OCD), panosteitis and hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD).
While there is a genetic component to these diseases, there are significant nutritional risk factors that play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake.
It is important to feed the best dog food for English Bulldogs that provides just enough of the right balance of nutrients. Breed-specific puppy foods are a great safeguard to help prevent these issues.
My top pick for the best dog food for English Bulldogs that are younger than 12 months old is Royal Canin English Bulldog Breed Health Nutrition Puppy. Royal Canin has put some thoughtful features into their English Bulldog-specific puppy food.
The Bulldog’s special facial structure, under-bite and crowded teeth can make it difficult for them to pick up and chew food. Each kibble has been designed in a wave shape to help Bulldog puppies pick up and chew the food more easily.
It is recommended to feed this puppy food until 12 months of age for maximum benefit. The calorie content and mineral balance are optimal for preventing developmental orthopedic diseases.
Best Dog Food for Adult English Bulldogs
If you are looking for the best dog food for English Bulldogs that are more than 12 months old or are transitioning from puppy food to adult food, it is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can help determine your bully’s current body condition score. With this in hand, you can decide which ‘maintenance’ adult diet is best.
Normal Body Condition English Bulldogs
A great place to start for an active, normal body weight/condition bulldog is Royal Canin English Bulldog Breed Health Nutrition Adult. This adult formula is excellent for adults over 12 months of age to 7-8 years of age.
Royal Canin provides the right balance of nutrients to optimize a lean body condition over a lifetime. Just like with the Royal Canin English bulldog puppy food, this food also has the optimal shape for digestibility but it’s certainly not one of the inexpensive dog food options due to its higher nutrition quality.
Low-Active/Couch Potato English Bulldogs
Many adult English Bulldogs easily become overweight or obese. Increased body mass can have very negative consequences for bulldogs, as it puts extra strain on their joints and makes it harder for them to breathe.
Generally, I reach for Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low Calorie Formula when recommending the best dog food for English Bulldogs that are overweight. Natural Balance includes omega-3 fatty acid-rich salmon oil in this low calorie formula, helping Bulldogs maintain proper brain, skin and joint health.
If your bulldog already has some mobility issues, a weight issue AND itchy skin, look no further than this next pick – it’s got it all! Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility formula is a special diet by prescription only, but it works wonders for dogs that need it.
It contains wonderful ingredients like glucosamine and fish oil in higher levels than found in over-the-counter dog food. It can help improve mobility in as little as 21 days and reduce body weight by 13% in 60 days.
Senior English Bulldogs
English bulldogs are considered “senior” or “geriatric” around 8 years of age. As they age, their nutritional requirements change as well. Joints start to ache and mental function can start to decline. Active ingredients in my top pick for the best dog food for English Bulldogs in their senior years will help your pup go strong for as long as possible.
English Bulldogs are also notorious for having dental disease. As they age, they are more likely to have diseased teeth or many missing teeth. It is important that your bulldog is able to properly pick up, chew and swallow their food. A fresh, refrigerated diet may be best for your aging bulldog.
Fresh, refrigerated foods from the pet store are often more palatable than canned food with a similar, easy-to-chew texture. FreshPet Vital Turkey Recipe with Peas, Carrots and Brown Rice contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to maintain your senior’s skin, brain and joint function.
If your aging senior needs a bit more “boost” for joint, skin and digestive health, you can mix in Freshpet’s Vital Whole Blends Mix-In Senior Supplement. It contains quinoa, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and vitamin-packed cranberries.
The Doggy Bag – Take Home Message
English Bulldogs tend to live the longest, healthiest lives when they are kept in a leaner body condition, receive life-stage-appropriate balanced nutrition and routine veterinary care.
Regardless of which dog food you choose for your furry family member, it is important to follow feeding instructions carefully and consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s health or nutrition.
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