How Can I Tell if My Bulldog is Overweight?

February 11, 2008

Hi Jan, I have another question for you. Tyke is a very fussy eater, but I am concerned that he will gain weight and I would like to keep him healthy. I feed him twice a day a mix of Paul Newmans dry organic food with either chicken or chopped meat mixed in. My question is how many calories should a Bulldog eat a day. He has two good walks a day but I don’t want him to become over weight. He is up to 60 lbs right now my vet says he should be between 50 and 55lbs. how do feel about this?  Thanks you, Your Bully Pal JoAnn

——-answer——–

Hi JoAnn,

That’s a good question!  I have found that most people overfeed their bulldogs
because they think they should look chubby.

I have that one photo of Tyke and he doesn’t look overweight to me (hard to
tell with that Bear’s shirt – lol).  If he still looks like that, I’d say you’re feeding
him the right amount.

A healthy dog needs to have a waist and you should be able to feel his ribs.
It takes a little practice to feel a bulldog’s ribs but you get a sense for it by
moving the skin around his ribs.  You should be able to feel them but not
really see them because he has so much skin.

To see a bulldog’s waist, you look down on him from above and you can
see a narrowing behind the rib cage before his hind quarters.  Contrary to
what a lot of people think, a bulldog should not have what I refer to as a
buddha belly – a chubby protrusion from his stomach.

Tyke is a big guy.  A normal male will be 50-55 pounds.  If his parents
were large, then 60 pounds may be genetically normal for him.

If he has a waist and you can (kinda) feel his ribs, he’s probably a fine
weight.  Some bulldogs get to be upwards of 70 pounds.

As for caloric intake, I’ve never really measured it that way.  I usually go
by the amount of foood recommended on the package.  So if you add the
extra protein you should reduce the amount of dry food.

You can tell pretty quickly if your bulldog is gaining weight.  It only takes
a couple of weeks for them to start packing on the pounds.  I used to
have this dog sitter for Vivy when I would leave town.  And when I came
home after a week or so I could tell the sitter had been giving her tons
of treats (because she’s so cute she said).  So it shows up really fast.

So my method of weight maintenance is primarily visual.  If Archie starts
to gain weight, I cut back a little.  He gets more exercise during different
seasons and I adjust for that.  Again primarily by looking at him.

Exercise is really important for any dog.  And two walks a day is great!
That will help his heart and keep his weight down.  Also remember muscle
weighs more than fat.

I take Archie out for two walks a day for about 20-30 minutes each.  And
we have a little training each time as well.  Sit, stay, heel, etc. to keep
him from pulling me from one point of interest to the next.

Dogs love the stimulation of walks and adding a little training really helps
stimulate their minds as well.

I hope this helps, it’s more of a trial and error process than a set formula.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

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One Response to “How Can I Tell if My Bulldog is Overweight?”


  1. I have the same problem only my English Bulldog is a female named EllieMay. You see my brother gave her to us and I really don’t know when was the last time my brother took her to the vet! I am also very concerned about EllieMay because she does not like to take long walks. Every time I take her outside for a walk she does a little bit of urine and as I continue to walk on she stops and sits down and refuses to walk any more.


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