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I honestly didn’t know all that much about American Bulldogs until I met one down at the dog park. I was amazed, though, at how handsome and solid these dogs are; they’re so muscular, and so athletic. The dog’s owner was wondering how best to feed his boy, and of course, we had one of those “Go ask Ash” moments.
I think I might as well just accept them. Realistically, I’m never going to turn anyone down who wants to know more about their dog and how to care for him or her. So off home I went, and immediately sat down at the computer to try to find out how my new dog friend’s person should feed him.
I learned that there are a few key ingredients that are very important when it comes to American Bulldog nutrition. I asked friends, did a lot of research, and I think that I have a handle on how to keep these amazing dogs feeling strong without putting on too much weight. Here’s what I’ve learned.
The calorie requirements for an American Bulldog can vary a great deal from one dog to another. These dogs can weigh anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds, and that means that their calorie requirements can be very different from one dog to another. Activity level will also have a lot to do with how many calories your American Bulldog requires. To use just one example, an American Bulldog who doesn’t get a lot of exercise and is in the mid-range weight-wise would probably need about 1,400 calories on any given day. A moderately active American Bulldog would probably require in the neighborhood of 1,900 calories. An American Bulldog that was very athletic would require 2,700 calories daily. So, the calorie requirements for one American Bulldog could actually be twice as much as what might be needed for another.
Depending on whether your dog is spayed or neutered, that could be something else that would affect his or her calorie requirements. So, how much to feed? It depends on the dog.
Special Requirements for American Bulldogs
Generally speaking, American Bulldogs are healthy dogs, and will do very well on a variety of different foods. They do better on lots of protein, though, since they are very muscular dogs. Additionally, given the short nature of their coat, a dog food that is rich in omega fatty acids will go a long way to help with coat and skin health. You’ll also want to make sure that your American Bulldog doesn’t ingest a lot of carbs since the breed is prone to excessive weight gain.
American Bulldogs aren’t what anyone would consider to be unhealthy dogs, but they are prone to a few conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia and bone cancer. This doesn’t mean that your dog is doomed to develop these conditions; just that the possibility exists.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are degenerative conditions that can be painful. They are more common in large breeds than in smaller breeds, and they will usually develop early in life. Some veterinarians and breeders believe that if dogs have certain nutrients in the early stages of development, they will be less prone to these disorders, so choose foods for your dog that include glucosamine and chondroitin for good joint health.
Keep in mind, too, that American Bulldogs are prone to be overweight, so make sure that your dog doesn’t pudge up. Stand behind him and try to feel his spine. If you’re not actually feeling the spine, he might be a bit too fat and you might want to cut back on the food a bit. By the same token, make sure that he’s not underweight; if you can feel or see his ribs, he needs more food.
The Best Foods
American Bulldog nutrition doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Most of the time, if you choose a good all-purpose dog food, you’ve got it covered. Here are some of the best foods for your American Bulldog.
1. Orijen Adult Dog Food
For American Bulldog nutrition, I highly recommend Orijen Adult Dog Food. It’s great for muscular dogs who might also have trouble with packing on excess weight. I like it because it has a lot of protein from really good sources. About 35% of the calories in this dog food come from meat or meat meal, and that should be perfectly adequate for your American Bulldog’s nutrition.
2. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Recipe
This is another good choice for your American Bulldog, because it is very high in protein, and also contains supplements that are good for the joints of large dogs. Wellness Large Breed dog food is not quite as high in protein as Origen Adult Dog Food, but it will still deliver plenty in the form of chicken, chicken meal and whitefish. It’s good for American Bulldog nutrition.
Here, we have another very good large breed food with a high protein content that will stand you in good stead when it comes to American Bulldog nutrition. The main ingredients in Wellness Core are deboned chicken as well as turkey and chicken meal. It also contains omega three in the form of flaxseed, which I consider much safer than the omega three that might come from fish oil, which could turn rancid and harm your dog. Remember, as I’ve pointed out in The Facts About Fat in Your Dog Food, no fish oil is better than rancid fish oil for your dog. Anyway, it’s a good, basic combination with 24% protein, so it’s a great maintenance food. If your American Bulldog is very active, he might need something that’s higher in protein. For maintenance, though, I highly recommend it. I should also point out that this dog food is not grain-free. This doesn’t bother me, but if it bothers you, look for another type of dog food when considering American Bulldog nutrition requirements.
I often think that people are far too fussy when it comes to dog food. As I’ve pointed out many times, I’ve raised dogs for decades on nothing more than store brands, and my veterinarian is fine with that. If you feel that your Bulldog requires “something more,” though, then the foods I have suggested above will definitely fit the bill. You might also shop around and find other foods that are equally good.
I’m the last person who’s ever going to tell you that you’re wrong if you want a premium food for your dog. I love my dogs to distraction, and if I honestly thought that buying really expensive dog food would give me even one more day with them, I would do it. It’s up to you.