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Is an English Bulldog right for you?
English Bulldogs are a medium sized, compact dog with short legs. They are considered "high maintenance" due to the medical issues that come along with them. Their smashed faces (brachiocephalic) lead to breathing issues and they are higher at risk for anesthesia.
They do not tolerate heat at all. Bulldogs must be kept in air conditioned housing and not left free to run outside. They will over heat quickly and even a short car ride in the summer can be dangerous for them.
Other medical issues that are common with bulldogs are problems with their eyes and skin. Cherry eye and Entropion are not uncommon with this breed, and most of the time require a surgical fix that can be costly. Many of them can be sensitive to certain foods and have allergies to different environmental elements which can lead to hair loss and skin problems. Many bulldogs require a special diet, supplements and medicated shampoos. Daily wrinkle cleaning, wiping under their tails and feet become a part of your daily cleaning routine.
Orthopedic issues can arise from their short body structure. Stairs can be a challenge for some of the bulldogs as knees and hip issues are very common. Orthopedic surgery is very expensive for this high risk breed.
Even though Bulldogs are indoor dogs, heartworm and flea prevention are still needed for them.
Bulldogs are generally not able to swim. Their body structure makes them sink faster than they can figure out how to make it out of the water.
Bulldogs are great family pets who love attention but can be very stubborn and demanding. They should be taught their limits right from the start and professional training classes are recommended. They can be chewers, snorers and tend to be very prone to flatulence.
Condos and apartments make great homes for bulldogs as they do ok without large yards. Typically they are not barkers, so close-by neighors should not be annoyed.
We have heard many phrases associated with the bulldog, such as "allergic to air" or "walking checkbook" and we tend to agree! But the personality, loyalty and love of a bulldog makes it all worth it.
If this has not scared you away and you are financially in the position to provide and care for a bulldog, then they may be the breed for you.
If you think maybe a bulldog is not for you, please take the time to visit your local shelter. There are many wonderful pets there just waiting for the opprtunity to have a family of their own.
Whichever you choose, please keep in mind, that adding any pet to your family is a commitment that requires time, patience and work. Do your research!