Couch Potato Bulldog Doesn’t Want to Exercise

Hi Jan,
My name is Kathy and I know your pretty knowledgeable about Bulldogs.
We have a 3 1/2 yr old male. He weighs about 87 pounds.

He has breathing issues too. We are wondering about a diet for him?
We currently feed him the Instinct brand of food. Approx 2 cups in the am
and 2 cups at night. (is that too much?)

he is a picky eater so sometimes we have to add chicken….canned or packaged to the food.
Do you have any suggestions for a low fat food that he might eat?

He is stubborn so sometimes we have to motivate him with treats.
I buy lowfat baked and limit those to maybe 1 or 2 per day.
He gets no exercise either. We have tried to walk him but he doesn’t
like it at all and will just stop and lay down on the spot when he’s had enough.

Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,


Hi Kathy,

Your English Bulldog sounds like a real couch potato.  He may have the dog
equivalent of a beer belly!

A normal male bulldog weighs about 50-55 pounds, so unless he is really
big he is very overweight.  I’d suggest you stick with the Instinct, it’s a really
good food, just cut it down to 3 cups a day.

A low fat diet is not the best way for a young dog to lose weight.  Rather, you
should consider limiting his calories and increasing his exercise.

Adding chicken or other meats to his diet is also a good thing, just take
into account how much you add and subtract it from the amount of
kibble you feed.  Contrary to popular belief table scraps are not bad for
a dog.  If you think about it, all dog food is made from table scraps.

His breathing problems may come from being over weight, although he
could have palate problems as well.

And if you can get him to walk, he will also lose weight as well as live longer.
If he likes treats, get him to move towards you to get one, or better yet, run
around the house a bit or down the block.

Does he like to chase a ball? If you get him moving, especially
when it’s not too warm, he may wind up enjoying it.

When you walk him do not try to pull him forward.  A dog has a natural
instinct to resist being pulled.  Rather turn him to the side or entice him
with a really tasty treat.

Diet and exercise are the key to dog health.  Good luck.

your bulldog pal,



  1. Chris
    October 14th, 2009 | 1:55 pm

    I agree with the advice given. We have an exceptionally big bulldog (more than 90lbs) but he is pretty fit as we walk more than an hour a day on average. He just loves his walks (which we try to make interesting by mainly letting him walk off lead and choose where he wants to go, and also going to nice places for him particularly where other dogs also go – eg riverside walks, the beach etc). Still, bulldogs are stubborn and sometimes he will look like he doesn’t want to go on the walk – but it’s invariably because he wants to walk someplace else, not because he doesn’t want to walk. I do think with your dog who obviously hasn’t walked much that you will need to ease into it, but just trying a few interesting places to walk, dogparks or whatever, should over time make a difference. Just take it easy and don’t walk him if the temperature is high seventies or higher.

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