Tending to Your Bulldog's Health
A Bulldog isn't high maintenance, but she does need more care than you may think. The Bully doesn't have a lot of thick, fluffy undercoat to worry about, but Bulldogs do need care.
Pay attention to particular parts of your Bully's body:
- Hair: Those tiny, short hairs shed, but the coat isn't the biggest concern with Bulldogs.
- Wrinkles: Wrinkles are the biggest issue concerning the Bulldog. Make sure your daily routine includes cleaning the wrinkles and drying them thoroughly to prevent rash, infection, or other skin problems.
- Skin: Bulldogs are prone to skin ailments and allergies. Check for hot spots and bald patches.
- Feet: Trim your Bully's foot fur, and check between those toes for any sign of interdigital cysts. Interdigital cysts are pus-filled growths between the toes and are frequently caused by ingrown hairs.
- Ears: Keep the ears clean and dry.
- Tail: The base of some Bulldog tails fits into a sort of pocket of flesh, and that needs to be kept as clean and dry as the wrinkles. A dab of petroleum jelly in the pocket helps prevent irritation.
Bulldog care includes other functions, besides keeping the body groomed, that you need to perform to ensure a healthy pet:
- Regularly visit your veterinarian. Keep your vaccinations up to date, and consult your veterinarian if your dog is sick. Even if the sickness turns out to be something minor, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
- Make sure that your dog has identification. Attach her license and rabies tags to a buckle collar. You may also want to include a tag with your name and phone number. Consider getting your Bully microchipped as another form of ID.
- Watch what you feed your Bulldog. Control her weight, and don't let her get too heavy. An overweight dog has even more trouble breathing and may develop hip problems and arthritis. Extra weight puts extra stress on her heart and lungs, too. Extra pounds can aggravate any existing problems and may cause others.
- No matter what you feed your Bulldog, keep her fit and trim and healthy.
Keeping a Bulldog healthy can cost more than other dogs' health care. Surgery can be expensive because of certain procedures that are protocol for the Bulldog. Bullies may have small tracheas and elongated palates. When your dog has any kind of surgery, she may be in danger during the recovery period. At that time, she isn't fully awake, and the soft palate can fall over the opening of the trachea, cutting off the air supply. You pay extra for someone to sit with your dog, making sure that she can breathe.
Figure out your budget. Make sure that you can afford a Bulldog. The purchase price of the dog is just the beginning. Even if you don't include crates, beds, toys, baby gates, and fencing for the yard, you still have to buy food and pay for regular trips to the veterinarian, corrective surgeries, and emergencies.
Know that your Bulldog comes with a price tag. Don't be scared off by the costs; one dog costs a family roughly $6,000 over the lifetime of the dog.