Bulldogs For Dummies
As a Bulldog person, you want to get your pet from a reputable breeder, and knowing the right questions to ask gets you on your way. Once you have a Bulldog, you want to start a good relationship with your vet. Then, to keep your pet the picture of health, you need to know which plants, foods, and household items can cause problems, and how to tell when a trip to the vet or emergency clinic is warranted.
What to Ask During Your Bulldog’s First Vet Visit
A good veterinarian discusses standard issues with you when you take your Bulldog for his first checkup, but knowing what to discuss beforehandhelps you cover everything you need to know about your Bulldog and also makes you look like a responsible pet owner. Bring along this list of items to discuss with your veterinarian:
Ask how familiar they are with Bulldogs. Veterinarians are supposed to be comfortable with all dog breeds, but be sure that your vet is particularly knowledgeable about the special needs of Bulldogs.
Ask about what vaccinations you need. Your vet should know how certain vaccinations affect Bulldogs.
Ask about your state’s regulations regarding a rabies shot. Different states have different rules about rabies shots and how often shots are given. Veterinarians send out reminders about shots, but you should know whether your dog will need a rabies shot yearly or every three years. It’s your responsibility to keep your dog up-to-date with vaccinations.
Ask about after hours and emergency care. If your Bulldog has a veterinary emergency after your vet’s office hours, you need to know where to take him for help!
Ask your veterinarian if he is aware that many Bulldogs have small tracheas. The restricted airway is a big deal with Bulldogs because it tends to cause breathing problems.
Ask about surgery for elongated palate and stenotic nares. Again, your vet should be knowledgeable about these issues due to potential breathing problems with Bulldogs.
Ask about getting your Bulldog spayed or neutered. Your vet should volunteer this information, but make sure to bring it up just in case. Bulldog breeding is not for the faint of heart, as they have special needs that other breeds don’t.
Questions to Ask a Bulldog Breeder
When looking for a Bulldog puppy, find a reputable breeder. You want a breeder with experience in breeding Bulldogs in particular, and someone who is giving pups a good start so they are healthy, well-bred, and well-adjusted. Ask the breeder the following questions before deciding on your Bulldog puppy:
How long have you been breeding? Is breeding a business or a hobby for you? How often do your dogs produce a litter? Done right, no breeder is going to be able to make a living breeding Bulldogs. If she says that breeding is a business, look for another breeder.
Is this breed right for me? A good breeder wants all her puppies to go to permanent homes. Asking this question gives her a chance to ask a few of her own and to talk about the negative aspects of owning a Bulldog.
May I meet the parents or at least the mother of the puppies? Any adult dog you meet should be friendly, not shy or fearful. Most breeders should be willing to grant your request.
Where do you raise the puppies? Have the breeder show you the kennel area when she shows you the puppies. If the breeder brings out individual puppies and won’t show you where they live, find another breeder.
May I see the pedigree and registration form? If you’re thinking of showing your Bully, a pedigree ensures that you are getting a purebred Bulldog.
Will I receive a health record? Your breeder provides a health record with each puppy, showing what vaccinations have been given, and the dates the puppies were wormed.
How old are the puppies? A puppy needs to stay with his mother and siblings until he is at least seven weeks old. If the breeder is selling younger puppies, find another breeder.
What happens if I can’t keep the dog? Most reputable breeders will take back any dog of their breeding at any time.
Identifying Items Poisonous to Your Bulldog
Many common household items are poisonous to Bulldogs. You may think that your Bulldog can’t reach or find the items in the following lists, but check your cupboards to make sure. It’s amazing what Bulldogs can get into, and what they find they tend to eat. Keep your Bulldog safe!
Drugs and supplements
Antihistamines and decongestants
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Sodium phosphate enemas
Insecticides, pesticides, and podenticides
Cholecalciferol or Vitamin D rodenticides
Organophosphates and carbamates
Chocolate and caffeine
Kerosene and gasoline
Phenol and phenolic compounds
The Peteducation Web site has a complete list of foods to avoid and the reasoning, and the many and varied plants that can do your dog harm.
How to Recognize Emergency Situations for Your Bulldog
You want to keep your Bulldog happy and healthy, so you have to pay attention to her health issues. A fast trip to your veterinarian or local pet hospital is necessary if any of the following situations occur:
Your Bulldog has been injured in any way. Some injuries aren’t as bad as they look, but don’t take any chances.
Elevated temperature and heavy breathing may mean that your dog is experiencing heat stroke.
Your Bulldog vomits or has diarrhea for 24 hours. Take her to the vet before the condition gets worse!
Your Bulldog refuses to eat for 24 hours. Your Bulldog may be telling you that something is seriously wrong.
You think that your Bulldog has eaten anything poisonous. When taking your Bulldog to the vet, be sure to take along a sample of what you think she ate, so the vet will know exactly how to treat your dog.