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English Bulldog Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Last Updated: October, 2019

English Bulldog

Start your Bulldog off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.


Jump down to this list of
English Bulldog Health Problems


Or check out my advice for raising a healthy English Bulldog puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Bulldog lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

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You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your English Bulldog are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Bulldog will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

NomNomNow homemade dog food service Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but don't have the time to make it? I have a solution for you... [read more]

Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet health insurance. The best pet insurance company I've found is... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your English Bulldog puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Bulldog be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Bulldog? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Bulldog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

English Bulldog

Complete list of English Bulldog health problems

The poor Bulldog is the most deformed of all breeds – it's appalling that breeders think it's okay to do this to a dog.

Virtually all Bulldog puppies are born by C-section, birth defects are common, and the puppy mortality rate is high.

Orthopedic disorders in Bulldogs

English Bulldogs are deformed orthopedically – their abnormal build is a structural defect called chondrodysplasia, which stunts their leg growth and lengthens their back. This predisposes them to bone and joint problems.

According to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, the English Bulldog has the highest incidence of hip dysplasia of all breeds – an incredible 72% are dysplastic.

Elbow dysplasia is nearly as bad, with 35% dysplastic.

Luxating patella (loose knees) occurs at a 4% rate, and luxating shoulder can occur, as well.

Other orthopedic diseases in Bulldogs include intervertebral disk disease, cruciate ligament rupture, and hemivertebra.

English Bulldog

Facial and respiratory deformities are responsible for many of the Bulldog's health issues.

Every Bulldog suffers from some degree of brachycephalic syndrome, which is the medical term for all the health problems caused by the deformed head structure.

Respiratory disorders in Bulldogs

Their respiratory system is so compromised that Bulldogs are forced to snort and snuffle their way through life. Owners who find this endearing aren't thinking of how they themselves would feel if they had to live like that.

Some Bulldogs can't even gallop around for more than a couple of minutes without gasping for breath.

Many Bulldogs struggle to breathe in hot or humid weather. In the summer, English Bulldogs should be kept in an air conditioned home and supervised during outside activity so they don't overexert themselves and suffer heatstroke.

Skin disorders in Bulldogs

Bulldogs are prone to chronic allergies that cause itchy skin and scratching that can lead to skin infections.

The exaggerated folds and wrinkles in their skin trap dirt and moisture, leading to bacterial and yeast infections. Specific forms of infections occurring in English Bulldogs include skin fold dermatitis, interdigital pyoderma, and chin folliculitis.

Demodectic mange is common in English Bulldog puppies and adolescents.

Eye disorders in Bulldogs

Lots of eye problems occur in English Bulldogs, especially corneal ulcers, cherry eye, dry eye, eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), eyelash abnormalities, and persistent pupillary membranes.

You may see cataracts at 1-2 years old.

Heart disorders in Bulldogs

Heart disease (especially pulmonic stenosis, but also septal defect, subaortic stenosis, and mitral valve disease) is a serious problem in English Bulldogs.

Tumors and cancers in Bulldogs

Tumors and cancers are very common in Bulldogs, especially mast cell tumors and perianal gland tumors.

Urinary disorders in Bulldogs

Urinary problems include cystinuria and kidney disease, as well as physical malformations of the urethra and vagina.

Neurological disorders in Bulldogs

Some English Bulldogs experience head tremors that may be due to abnormalities of the brain most likely related to their abnormal skull structure.

Other health problems in English Bulldogs

  • hypothyroidism
  • bloat
  • von Willebrand's blood-clotting disease
  • laryngeal paralysis
  • megaesophagus
  • pyloric stenosis
  • hydrocephalus
  • inherited deafness.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your English Bulldog in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.