Bulldog owners are a rabid bunch, loving their adorable and wrinkly little friends what may seem like an excessive amount to "normal humans". These little guys and gals are incredibly expensive to raise and breed, which is one of the many reasons they are considered to be so special by dog lovers. Keeping a bulldog healthy throughout its life can cause some definite challenges. Bulldogs are extremely susceptible to myriad disorders such as cherry eye, hip dysplasia, allergies and interdigital cysts that can form between their cute (yet manly!) little paws. Their funny faces, silly antics, and shuffling gates will melt your heart. The downside is that these sweet and pricey pooches are unlikely to live past the age of 10.
Difficulties with Breeding
Bulldogs require an exceptional amount of care during their breeding, delivery and the early weeks of the pups' lives. Breeders need to be fully committed to taking care of their small pets, as 90 percent of bulldog mothers need to have a C-section as they're unable to give birth naturally. Bulldog babes have heads and shoulders that are simply too large to be born through natural methods. Even starting the pregnancy can be tough: bulldogs often require artificial insemination and females need to be tested for the correct progesterone levels multiple times during their breeding cycle. Each test may require a visit to a veterinarian or the breeder must have the knowledge to perform the tests themselves.
Safely Raising Pups
Once the cute little wrinkly bundles are born, bulldog moms are much more likely to roll over on them than to feed them, meaning the pups will need round-the-clock care in the first few weeks until they're strong enough to fend for themselves a bit more. Moms often need supplements to help produce enough milk for her growing puppies, and even tend to develop mastitis -- a painful infection of the breasts that develops during nursing. If this happens, the pups are unlikely to be able to nurse again and will need hand feeding every few hours!
Finding Reputable Breeders
Have you found a breeder that you trust? If not, here's some of the things you should look for:
- Recommendations from friends
- The breeder should only be selling AKC Certified bulldogs
- Find someone who feeds their dogs excellent quality food
If you have any concerns at all that your breeder is taking good care of their pets, contact another trusted local breeder or the ASPCA for information on how to proceed. High quality food is especially important for this particular breed, as low nutritional quality has been linked to other health ailments.
Staying Healthy is a Challenge
Bulldogs require extensive care during birth, delivery and care of their pups -- one of the many reasons they're so special and expensive!
Now that you've found a reputable breeder, selected your ideal puppy and have brought your little darlin' home -- you're looking at some pretty series investments in terms of keeping your pup healthy. From allergies and skin issues to the scary hip or elbow dysplasia, you could easily be looking at thousands of dollars of veterinarian bills over your bully's lifespan.
Sure, there are some health issues, and finding a reputable breeder may be a chore, but the Instagram-ready look of these little love bugs is just too much to resist. Bulldogs are friendly, fun and even great with kids! Plus, if you take a bulldog with you to the park, it's a guarantee that you'll have people stop you to ask about your unusual (and adorable!) pet.