Primarily bred to fight bull for sport, now a family dog, Bulldogs are adored by everyone for their cute little face, laughter and the amount of love they shower.
8-10 years is the average life expectancy of a bulldog, however it’s not rare to stumble upon a 12-year old bulldog. There have been cases of certain bulldogs making it to 18 years, but that however is an anomaly. It goes without saying that bulldogs who receive regular health and medical care from their vet live longer.
Bulldogs are extremely sensitive to heat and should be kept indoors. They have no tolerance whatsoever of warm weather and can die of a heatstroke. They need air conditioner throughout the summers. They can get breathless when under stress and after too much exercise.
Are Bulldogs Prone to Disease?
Although genetics play a role, there are certain factors within our control that can increase their life expectancy by a number of years. The choices you make will not only determine how long your dog lives but also the quality of his life.
There is an 85% chance for dogs, 3 years and older of getting some kind of gum disease. The bacteria that plaque is made up of may cause gingivitis, and the bacteria from the oral cavity would enter the body and wreak havoc on the heart, brain and kidney. If the owners pay attention to the oral health of their dogs, it could add up to four years to their life.
Keeping Your Pooch Healthy
Do not let your dog put on weight, keep them well nourished and make sure your dog doesn’t get overweight. A study has revealed that dogs on a restricted diet tend to live 1.8 years longer than their counterparts.
Do not get fooled by popular dog food ads catered for large breeds. They are a marketing gimmick at its best. For maintenance of growth and normal bones, all dog foods should have calcium phosphorus ratio of 1.2:1. Focus instead on feeding your puppy the correct amount of food. Look out for premium dog food brands that are certified by the FDA. There’s this new trend of holistic diet and studies have found that dogs that follow this type of diet tend to live longer.
Trips to the Vet
Vaccination is important, as without it most bulldog puppies would not live up to a year. However, avoid over vaccinating your pups. There’s no need to get parvo vaccine every year, for instance, since the chances are they are already protected and do not need the vaccine. It’s a better idea to spend your moolah on yearly blood tests for your dog. To find out if a booster is required for certain vaccines, ask your vet to run a blood test.
Feeding a bulldog has become more difficult than ever. All hail the dog food companies that have bombarded conflicting information trying to tell you what to feed your dog. Corn is an inferior source of protein and one of the well-known allergens. The liver works hard to break down the corn to get the useable protein and produce nitrates. Those nitrates lead to premature aging by putting extra strain on the kidneys.
Moreover, neutering or spaying a bulldog can enhance their lifespan. It reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly breast, ovarian and testicular cancer. However, do not neuter a large breed dog before their first birthday. Until they finish developing physically, do not go for this option.
To ensure maximum life expectancy, avoid inbreeding as it reduces lifespan. Crossbred dogs live longer than their counterparts and also have the fewest health issues. Inbred dogs on the contrary are at a risk for carrying genes for illnesses that are commonly found in bulldogs.
What to Look Out For
Dogs get stressed out easily, which leads to premature aging. Avoid potential stressors like loneliness since a lonely dog gets depressed easily. Dogs need companionship to be happy, so if you have a busy schedule and cannot spend a lot of time with your dog, you should consider getting another dog so they can keep each other company.