Hi James,

Flax seed is really good for your bulldog.  It is a great source
of Omega 3’s.  And you are correct to crush it (or pulverize it
in a blender) – the whole seeds would just pass through his
system.  Whole flax seed should be stored in a tight container
in your refrigerator.  If ground or liquid it doesn’t keep very long.

Garlic is really good for him too.  It’s a natural immune booster.
You could also replace the wheat flour with spelt or oatmeal
flour in the recipe.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Dear Jan,

I just downloaded your book – I’ve been skimming through it a little
and I think it’s great! Can’t wait until I can sit down and really
dig in (i.e. when the baby is sleeping!).
We just put a deposit on a bulldog pup and he’ll most likely be ready
to come home around the first week of March. This is our first
bulldog – as we’ve always had labrador
retrievers in the past.

I was wondering – what is the best collar to use on a bulldog? I’ve
heard that bulldogs can be stubborn to train sometimes, but I do not
want to harm the dog by putting
a chain or collar on him that will choke him. I’ve heard good things
about harnesses, but are they effective in training the dog? I am not
looking for SUPER DOG here – just
the basics really. I’d love him to walk calmly next to me and sit and
stay and down. that’s about it for me!

Any advice on what I should get would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Nina

—-

Hi Nina,

Congratulations on your decision to get a bulldog! They are truly unique
and wonderful dogs. And I’m glad you are reading all about them to get
prepared for your new puppy.

There is some debate on the bulldog collar. Some say you must use a
harness because a collar or chain can harm the bulldog’s small trachea,
causing it to collapse. Others claim the bulldog has such a strong neck
that the muscles protect the trachea.

I tend to be in the latter group, especially in reference to training. A
bulldog can be quite independent when it comes to training. As my
trainer said, they can cooperate in a lesson for just so long and then
they have had enough and won’t cooperate anymore and can get
very stubborn at that point.

So keep your initial training sessions short (about 15-20 minutes). A
bulldog is about the opposite of a retriever in terms of readiness to please.
This isn’t to say they don’t want to please you, they do, but they prefer
smaller doses of training and repetition, repetition, repetition.

Back to the collar. I use a collar that is part fabric (about 1.5 inches)
and part chain. So it stays loose, and you can snap it to correct him.
I think these are available at most pet stores. The important thing
to remember is to snap back on the leash, not to pull which could
result in choking.

You also want to keep the collar high on the neck of your dog to
simulate pressure point the mother dog would use on a pup.

When my dogs were puppies I tried using a harness, but it is really
not as effective as a collar and I found I was not able to easily control
a 50 lb bulldog.

I hope this helps. Please write with any more questions.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Hi Jan,

I’m writing you to ask about lamb bones called
Lamb Trotters. Brutus loves to chew, we had him
chewing on a mega busy bone, which lasted a long time
and he seemed to enjoy. But in our attempts to
completely switch him over to a all natural diet. We
started looking for a natural chew that would seem to
last. I came across these Lamb Trotters (lamb seems to
agree well with Bru, and he loves it) Have you had any
experience with these lamb bones? Any feedback would
be greatly appreciated. I have heard both positives
and negatives as you usually do while researching most
anything. We do respect your opinion. Thanks again.

James

Hi James,

I am not familiar with Lamb Trotters, but I’m assuming they are
boiled and then covered with something tasty.  The main problem
with giving your dog cooked bones is that they are very hard and
your dog can wear down his teeth scraping them across the bones.

My bulldog Vivy actually filed down her canines by about an eighth
of an inch working on the large white leg bones.

The other danger is cooked bones can splinter into small pieces,
which your dog could then swallow.  The english bulldog has such
a powerful jaw that they can easily crush a bone.

I don’t know if these bones are cooked this way, so keep an eye on
Brutus and see what he does with them.

Raw bones would be better because they are not hardened the way
the cooked ones are.  Of course, they are pretty messy and stinky!

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Hiya Jan,

We saw Archies Christmas video, very cute, thanks. As in a previous email I sent, my wife and I have been researching premium dry kibble. We pretty much have decided on Wellness. It is readily avaliable and Old Mother Hubbard sends $5.00 coupons when requested. The only thing that concerns me about Wellness is thier using Rye flour as 1 of the ingrediants. Could you give me your input about this. We were thinking that a 100% grain free food would be best for Brutus due to skin alergys. I dont know if Rye flour is good, bad or indifferant. We have Bru on Eukanuba Medium Puppy and want to switch him to Wellness but we’re not 100% yet. Any comments or feedback you can give us would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, you are very much appreciated in all that you do to better the breed.

From our Family to Yours … We Wish You The Very Best During this Holiday Season. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Thanks Again,
James, Patty and Bru

——-

Hi James,

Wellness is one of the best foods out there.  It was rated the top dog food by The Whole Dog Journal.  It’s ultimately a matter of the individual dog’s response to the food, but I don’t have a problem with rye (especially since it’s so far down on the list of ingredients), it’s the wheat that’s usually a problem.

Wellness does make a new grain-free formula called Core:
http://www.omhpet.com/wellness/dog_wellness_grain_index.html

Personally I don’t think grains are bad for a dog, you just don’t want wheat and you don’t want grains to be the first ingredient, you want the first ingredient to be a protein source.  The Wellness Super 5 is a really terrific food, but I can’t give it to Archie because it is too rich for him and he gets soft stools.  Maybe when he’s older.

Let me know what you decide.

——

Hiya Jan,

I’m sorry to keep bothering you. I really do
appreciate your time and input. Wellness is the food
we plan on going with. In your opinion and considering
our Brutus having sensitive skin issues. We were
looking at the Wellness Fish & Sweet Potato and The
Lamb Super 5 Mix. Which of these 2 do you think would
be better for Bru keeping his skin issues in mind?

Also I’m using my yahoo to send emails because my
bellsouth addy is recieving incoming mail but having
problems with my outgoing.

Once again thank you so much for your opinions and
time. We tell all our bully lovin friends about ya.

Thanks,
James & Patty

—–

Hi James,

My preference on those two would be the lamb Super 5.
The Fish and Sweet Potato is great too but the fish can
cause problems in a dog with food allergies.

The primary food allergens are beef, soy, chicken, and fish
in that order.  Lamb seems to be the safest choice, and
Wellness only uses New Zealand lamb which is raise far
more naturally than lamb in the US.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

Hiya Jan,

James here …. wanting to ask you if you heard of this food. >>> Life’s
Abundance Premium Health Food For Puppies & Adult Dogs. I have been doing
research on a premium kibble for our Brutus when we are ready to take him
off puppy food. He is eating Eukanuba Med. Puppy after having some issues
with other puppy foods, we went with what the breeder was using and he is
doing great on it. Also what age do you recommend switching from puppy to
adult food. Brutus is 7 months and 50 pounds. He is in good shape and
exercises daily. I want to make sure we are able to maximize his gowth
potential in his chest and head. Let me know your suggestions and opinions.
Thanks alot.

James

PS.
I enclosed a picture of Brutus, in your opinion should he get bigger in
height & width ?

—-

Hi James,

Thanks for sending the photo of Brutus. He is a very handsome bulldog!
He probably won’t get any bigger in height but he will fill out his width until
he’s a year and a half. Exercise is good because it will build up his muscles.

You can keep him on puppy food for a year. It generally has more
fats and protein for his growing body. So keep him on it for maximum
growth.

I have not heard of Life’s Abundance but just did a quick check of the
ingredients. The first ingredient is chicken, so if Brutus is ok with
chicken it looks good. Many dogs are allergic to chicken (my Archie
included).

Eukanuba med is lamb and rice. So you might look into another lamb
and rice formula like Canidae or California Natural if he has food allergies.
Those are what I feed Archie, mixed with a little Wellness or California
Natural canned food.

Here’s a post on food allergies on my blog:
https://bulldoghealth.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/english-bulldog-puppy-food/

I hope this helps. Please email with any more questions.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Jan,
I haven’t gotten the book yet but I am anxious to know about some problems that my bulldog has. One thing is he has small growths or blisters between his toes on front feet only that do not seem to hurt him but the sometimes burst and bleed a little, and he cleans them up and they seem to subside for a while. Very strange.
Fred

Hi Fred
Those growths between his toes are called interdigital cysts. They so seem to have a higher incidence in bulldogs, probably because of their inbreeding. Nobody really knows what causes them, some people think it’s a fungus and some think it’s an ingrown hair. They usually clear up on their own and I am of the opinion they should not be punctured because that can lead to infection. And I wouldn’t go the antibiotic route because I think it not necessary unless there is an infection.

Here is a discussion thread from bulldog owners and breeders on how they treat them:

As for the cysts, I have used part of the process you’ve included: we
usually soak the affected paw in Epsom salts water. I don’t worry about
applying Panalog or other creams unless the vet has recommended it.
Generally with a cyst or any lesion on the paw that I am just starting to
treat, I just start with soaks. That way I clean the foot and can get a
really good look, and Epsom salts helps to soften and start the lesion
draining if it needs to. If it’s a cyst, is there a need for Panalog or
other anti-bacterial (antibiotic) ointments or creams? Not necessarily, only if it’s infected. So, if draining it and/or keeping it clean is enough, then why bring in antibiotics and tinker with resistance and such? If pus drains, then I do use ointment, usually triple antibiotic or Bacitracin. Like you, if soaks (with or without ointment) don’t work in 2-4 days, or if it worsens, it’s off to the vet we go!

–Margaret

—-

What I have found is that many cysts are caused by ingrown hair. I
soak the affected food in Epson salts for about 5 minutes. When drying the paw if you look on the underneath side of the foot between the pads on the toe that is effected you will probably see an area that appears to have a black head. You can usually use a tweezers and pull the hairs out without causing your pet much discomfort. This has always worked on my dogs.

——

a long coarse of antibiotics usually cephalexin. and give it some time. i
have two that got cysts between the toes and used antibiotics 1 dogs went
away and hasnt come back… the other girls cyst has been back several times
now i dont even put her on antibiotics anymore, i keep it clean use panalog
oint and basically just keep popping the cyst to drain it and within a week
it starts to go away her last cyst i did this and it hasnt been back in over
a year. i am a technician at a vet clinic and ive seen surgeries removing
these cysts and 90% of them ive seen return anyway after several surgeries
and alot of money it is very hard to get all of the stalk inbetween the
toes so you often get regrowth any way…

well thats my 2 cents

chrissy

—-

There are as many interdigital cyst remedies as there are Bulldoggers.
I think the cysts have multiple causes including fungus advancing to
infection as the cyst develops.

Along that reasoning, I use a Nolvasan Surgical Scrub solution; 5%
Surgical Scrub, 95% water, applied with a spray bottle and massaged onto the
affected area. I apply twice daily and I’ve never had it last more than three
days.

Nolvasan Surgical Scrub is a bit pricey,perhaps $55.00/Gallon, but a
gallon will last a lifetime (Or more) It’s very effective for hot spots and
simple skin problems. Most importantly, It’s an anti-bacterial agent and an
effective fungicide, not an anti-biotic. A simple solution for a complex problem.

Walt

—-

I agree with Walt’s solution –

That’s a great idea

I also use a home made concoction we fondly call “Oden’s Foot” It is 50% rubbing alcohol, 50% water – you boil the water and ad 2 heaping tablespoons of salt till it dissolves. Let is cool a bit then mix with the alcohol put in a sprayer bottle and spray several times a day –

this dries up themoisture and the cyst – this is a people remedy given my son when he had severe fungal infections of the toe nails – it works great you just need to be consistent and spray frequently

Kathy J

And here are some links to more information and photos on the topic:
http://www.bulldogsworld.com/DigitCyst.html
http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/interdigitalcysts.htm

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan