1.Watch for teething when the puppy arrives home. Please be sure to provide many chew toys to help with this transitional period. Cow hooves can be found at many pet stores and are recommended. Stay away from pig ears and cheap rawhide, and “greenies,” as these can cause severe diarrhea, bloat, and are a choking hazard.
2.Monitor your puppy’s health. For instance, keep an eye out for diarrhea if you change your pup’s food. If your bulldog develops diarrhea then stop all food for 12 hours. If it persists for more than 24 hours, contact your veterinarian immediately to prevent dehydration. Puppies can dehydrate very rapidly so you need to take it seriously when diarrhea occurs.
3.Get your puppy preventative treatment for local pests. Dogs can pick up some unwanted guests: ticks, fleas, mites, lice, and intestinal worms. Your dog can be the perfect host for these pests if regular treatment for these nasty pests is not given. Your veterinarian is the best source of knowledge for the local bugs that bug the local dog population and how to prevent these pests.
Heartworm is a widespread disease present spread by mosquitoes throughout most of the United States. A yearly blood test is taken to make sure the dog isn’t infected with this nasty parasite, then a monthly tablet or a shot which lasts for up to 6 months is used to kill any organisms present in the blood stream. There is a treatment for heartworm, but it is expensive and takes a toll physically on the dog and can take months to combat.
Another vaccination to consider, especially if you live in an endemic area, is the Lyme’s disease vaccination. This is especially important for dogs that spend a lot of time outside, that live on farms, or that hunt, as they are at increased risk of contracting this tick borne disease. In addition to joint pain, swelling, and fevers, dogs can also get a generally fatal kidney disease as the consequence of contracting Lyme’s disease.
4.Take your puppy for regular veterinary checkups. Puppies will generally have a first veterinary visit at the age of six weeks by the person who has the mother dog. The veterinarian will examine the puppies to make sure there are no hernias, heart, lung, or eye or ear problems in any of the pups. Generally they will be de-wormed at this time and be given their first puppy shot (the distemper” vaccine). At 9 weeks, and then again at 12 weeks, the de-wormer and distemper vaccines will be repeated. Then these can be given once a year or on a schedule determined by you and your veterinarian.
At the twelve weeks visit the rabies vaccination will be given—although this may vary depending on local laws. This vaccination is required by many communities. There can sometimes be severe penalties if your dog is not rabies vaccinated especially if the dog bites a person or another pet.
As your dog ages, more frequent examinations will need to be given. Twice yearly examination will catch medical issues before they become big problems. Older dogs frequently suffer from arthritis and heart disease just like elderly humans. There are effective and safe treatments which can help your older dog live a reasonably pain free and pleasant golden years.
5.Desex your puppy at an appropriate age. It is important to spay (females) or neuter (male) your puppy. In addition to various health benefits for the dog (decreased chances of certain tumors and infections) there is a big societal benefit in the decreased number of unwanted dogs. Microchipping is also encouraged in case your dog ever becomes lost.
6.Examine English bulldog’s ears once a week. The inner ear part of the ear is normally white or darker colored, usually corresponding to the color of the dog’s coat, so look for discoloring. The puppy’s ears should also not smell nor have any discharge in the ear or on the flap. The ear should be free of debris, dirt, or parasites, like ticks or mites. Any of the following are abnormal:
Scratching or pawing the ear.
Shaking the head excessively.
Waxy, fluid or brown discharge from the ear.
7.Clean your puppy’s ears regularly. You can clean the ears using a product specifically made to clean dog’s ears, hydrogen peroxide (squeeze out extra fluid), or with a solution of half white vinegar and half rubbing alcohol. Saturate a cotton ball with the fluid and gently wipe it in the dog’s ear. If in doubt, or if you suspect an ear infection, have your veterinarian look in the ear using an otoscope to examine the ear drum.
Never stick a q-tip or similar type of product into the ear canal. A dog’s ear canal takes a sharp turn when it meets the head. You will not be able to see the entire ear canal and should not try to put anything down in there.
8.Brush your English bulldog puppy’s teeth daily. By brushing daily (or at least 2-3 times a week), you will remove the bacteria and plaque that build up each day on the teeth. It also gives you a great opportunity to examine your dog’s mouth for loose or damaged teeth, sores, growths, or any unusual things, and bring them to your veterinarian’s attention at an early stage before they become big problems.
Never use a human toothpaste on a dog; only use dental toothpaste made for dogs. The fluoride in human toothpaste is poisonous to dogs and can cause serious health problems.
Place a little puppy toothpaste on your finger tip and let your puppy lick it off. The next day put it on your finger and rub it along the outer gums. Then try to put a little on a dog toothbrush, let the puppy lick it then run the tooth brush along the outer edges of the teeth and gums. Only the outer part (against the cheeks) need to be brushed. It should only take about 30 seconds to brush the puppy’s teeth.
Even with regular tooth brushing, dogs may need dental cleanings once in a while. Plaque and bacteria can build up under the gum line causing problems there or in the roots of the teeth. Just like with their human owner’s, regular mouth examinations by their doggy dentist should be done once a year.