What are the best diets to serve English bulldogs?

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English bulldogs have sensitive digestive systems so keep your new puppy on the same type of food the breeder or pet store used for at least 2 to 4 weeks after you bring her home.

When it’s time transition to a new food, mix a combination of the new and old. Start with small amounts of new (such as ¼ cup), gradually increasing the amount until it’s made up entirely of new—which should take about a month.

One of the most important things when considering the English bulldog’s diet is the selection of the feeding and water bowls. Due to their distinctive facial structure, large-sized heads and sensitive skin folds and wrinkles, even everyday tasks, like eating, can become a chore. This should cause you to take extra care when choosing the dishes that hold their food and water.

While there are lots of pretty ceramic and plastic bowls, they can become breeding grounds for bacteria—which will transfer to your dog’s skin folds. Stainless steel is much better for this. You also want to be sure the bowls are big enough; remember, even at 6-months, the English bulldog puppy already has a head the size of most adult dogs! If it’s too small, it could cause breathing problems.

Make sure you wash the bowls frequently. You may even consider using something to lift the bowls up when she eats so there’s less pressure on the spine and head.

English bulldogs are prone to weight problems because 1) they have voracious appetites but 2) they have very low energy levels. They will beg for food, even when they aren’t hungry, so don’t give in. Keep food as low-fat and unprocessed as possible, and stick with healthy treats like string beans, peas, raw baby carrots, berries and apple slices (no seeds or core—poisonous).

However, English bulldogs are also prone to allergies and hip dysplasia so it’s best to avoid soy, wheat, gluten and corn. A named meat should be the first ingredient on the label. The food should also include glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3 fatty acids for healthy joints. If you do notice hives, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive itchiness, take your dog to the veterinarian and have her checked for food allergies.

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