My Bulldog Puppy is Overweight – What Should I do?


I enjoy your emails and helpful hints for my bulldog.  I have a problem.  My bulldog is 6 mos old and weights 52 lbs.  My vet has put him on a diet.  2 cups twice a day.  I started feeding him Royal Canin 32.  It has 32% crude protein and 18% crude fat and 3.6% fiber.  His muzzle and feet are red and the inside of his ears are broke out.  He is allergic to grass, the best I can tell.  He stays inside and only goes out on a leash.

I have now changed his food to Nutro Chicken meal, rice and oatmeal  it has 26% crude protein, 12% crude fat, and 5% crude fiber.  It has been 2 weeks  and his muzzle, feet, and ears are still red and itchy.  What can I do to help him lose weight and help with his skin.  Now that it has cooled off her in GA, we are taking him for walks and he runs around the yard playing with our outside dog 2 to 3 times a day.

Has has weak hip muscle (vet said due to his weight) and will drag himself before he will actually get up on all 4s to walk.  Is there a supplement he can take?

Thanks for your help

Hi Susan,

You need to feed him less than the recommendations for his weight,
so 3 cups instead of 4.  My adult Archie is 52 pounds and only gets 3 cups a day.
He’s trim and fit and very active.  Excess weight puts stress on a dog’s joints.

Also Nutro is not the best food, it was involved in the recall, and it has all kinds
of ingredients that can contribute to bulldog allergies.  It’s not so much the amount
of protein but more what ingredients are making up the protein.  Grains have
protein but they are not the best source of protein for a dog.  Dogs need their
protein to come from meat.

Try switching him to Canidae or California Natural  lamb and rice.  They have
limited ingredients which are very high quality. Many dogs are allergic to chicken
formulas so the lamb and rice could make a big difference.

Switch slowly, adding 1/4 new food to old and each day up the new food
to make the switch over a week.

You could also add Omega 3s to his diet in the form of fish oil or flax
seed oil for dogs.  These will help his overall health.

Diet and exercise will help your puppy with his hip problem too.  Many
bulldogs have growth spurts that can affect their joints but they can
grow out of them.  It’s really important to keep him active and keep
him slim.  You want to be able to see his waist.

your bulldog pal,


Kitchen Floor Cleaning Bulldogs

Does your bulldog run over whenever you drop something
on the floor?  Archie hears the little ping on my floor
and runs over as fast as he can.

I call it waiting for something to fall from heaven
for him.  He looks at the floor when I’m cooking,
not at me.  He knows something is going to appear
any moment.  He never moved so fast and I have to
quickly find it before he does if it’s something I
don’t want him to eat.

It’s really funny and for the most part he gets a
little treat.

But what if that little something that “fell from
heaven” was not so good for him?

The ASPCA just released the Top 10 Human Medications
That Poison our Pets.  You might be surprised at what’s
on the list:

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats—kidney damage.

Antidepressants can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, which can damage red blood cells and interfere with their ability to transport oxygen. In dogs, it can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.

Methylphenidate (for ADHD)
Medications used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people act as stimulants in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.

Fluorouracil—an anti-cancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.

Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.

Pseudoephedrine is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

Many oral diabetes treatments—including glipizide and glyburide—can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives
Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don’t occur for more than 24 hours after ingestion.

Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.

I knew about NSAIDs because my Vivy almost died after being
given Rimadyl, but I didn’t know about some of the others,
like Vitamin D derivatives.

If your bulldog is anything like Archie, he or she will jump at the
sound of a pill dropping on the floor.  And dive for it.  From
now on I’m going to be more careful where I keep medications,
whether they are simple pain pills or even vitamins!

And with Halloween coming up, be mindful of little chocolate
bars too!

You can read more about poisons harmful to dogs on the ASPCA

your bulldog pals,
Jan & Archie


Dangers of NSAIDS and Rimadyl for Limping Bulldog

We recently acquired another bulldog after losing ours this summer.  My hairdresser told me about a girl in her shop that wanted to find a good home for her bulldog since they felt they didn’t have enough time to devote to the dog.  “Lola” is one and half years old and a wonderful bulldog.  She is very healthy.

She takes these spirts and runs as fast as she can around the house – – but after doing so she started limping.  My husband and I felt she had probably pulled a muscle.  The vet gave her Rimadyl which is an anti-inflammatory.

Have you ever had any dealings with this drug? Has this ever happened to any of your bulldogs?? Lola has been very healthy and I was very hesitant to give her any drugs.  I don’t know whether it was simply coincidence or not but after a few days of this drug she broke out in hives.

The vet said they have never had any allergic reaction from this drug before.  In our area of Ohio, ragweed is extremely high right now and a lot of dogs are experiencing symptoms from that.  Her belly has been broken out and very pink.  What do you think??


Hi Marcia,

I’d take her off the Rimadyl immediately!!!!!

My bulldog Vivy almost died after being given a Rimadyl
shot.  Most of the reactions are gastrointestinal and can
be fatal but hives is one of them.

Rimadyl side effects include loss of appetite, wobbling, vomiting, seizures, dark or tarry stools, increased thirst and urination, lethargy, incoordination, behavioral changes, and severe liver malfunction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to this medication can include facial swelling, hives and rash.
Pfizer manufactures Rimadyl

Here’s a couple links to more information:

In fact, nsaid anti-inflammatory drugs in general have
similar side effects.

Rest should help her if she has a pulled muscle.  If she
has a torn ligament she should have it corrected sugically
for the best result.

your bulldog pal,


Can I Feed My Bulldog Chicken? Is It Bad?

Is chicken bad for bulldogs?  I see it in a number of good dog foods and am confused.  If I look for other meats in dog food what should I be looking for?



Hi John,

Chicken is in a lot of good dog foods because it is plentiful
and inexpensive.

I don’t think chicken is bad but there are a lot of food allergies
in dogs related to chicken.  My bulldog Archie is allergic to
chicken.  He had digestive problems and the vet said it was
inflammatory bowel syndrome and he would need to be on meds
his whole life.

I simply could not buy into his diagnosis and that’s what led to
all this research I did on food.

So I did some food trials and whenever I gave Archie chicken,
he would have a reaction.

The reason why so many dogs are allergic to chicken is (in my
opinion) because of over vaccination.  Allergies are really an
immune reaction to a certain protein that that the immune system
perceives (mistakenly) as an intruder.  Like when you have an
allergic reaction to pollen.

In the case of dogs and chicken, it is a reaction to the chicken
protein.  The reason many holistic vets think this is related to
vaccinations is that vaccines are typically grown in chicken eggs
or kidneys or some such medium.

Anyway, whenever I feed Archie anything chicken (even an egg),
he gets diarrhea.

The meats I feed are lamb, venison, rabbit, and other less popular
and over-industrialized foods, sometimes beef (if I cook it myself),
especially if they come from New Zealand or Australia because
the food source is less apt to have been compromised in the
name of efficiency and cost-saving measures.

I used to be in the food industry – I was a food photographer working
for large food companies – and that’s when I learned a lot about
what is done to the foods we eat – and it isn’t pretty.  And all the parts
of the animals that can’t be turned into human food are turned into
dog food.

Purebred dogs and bulldogs in particular are more susceptible to
these things because they are so inbred.  A specialty breed like
the bulldog has been inbred for over a hundred years, and in the
last twenty or so years the AKC encourages this inbreeding by
awarding prizes to certain breed attributes.

This inbreeding is such an issue in terms of general health of any
purebred dog that is bred for looks rather than health.  It really makes
me wonder whether so called championship lines are all they’re
cracked up to be!

your bulldog pal,

——follow up question——

Based on what you are telling me, I will need to watch her “reaction” to it.  What should I be looking for for (itching, hot spots, etc). and how soon should I see these reactions?


The signs of food allergy are either intestinal (diarrhea or soft stools)
which you would see within a day, and skin reactions, usually the hair
starts to fall out in patches which could take a month or more to show
your bulldog pal,