Are English Bulldogs’ High Maintenance?

My wife and I wanted to get a dog.  We weren’t too sure what breed would be right for us.  We met and English bulldog at the park and fell in love with him.  We are on a fixed income, so we must get a dog that won’t break our bank account.  With our sometimes-busy lifestyle, we also needed a dog that wouldn’t require a lot of walking, exercise, and maintenance on our part.

We did our homework, researching this breed, and here is what we discovered.

Are English Bulldogs’ High Maintenance?

Are English bulldogs’ high maintenance?  Yes.  The English bulldog can be a high maintenance dog when it comes to their health.  They have a unique respiratory system that requires their owner to pay close attention to how much exercise and how hot their environment is. 

They are also high maintenance with regards to the upkeep and care of their physical body.  Their stubborn, independent nature can also be regarded as high maintenance when it comes to training them. 

Despite all this, they have a loving, affectionate, and friendly personality and form a close connection with their owner or family.  If a potential pet owner doesn’t mind any of these issues, they might not consider the English bulldog a high maintenance breed. 

If that is the case, they can make a wonderfully loving and companionable dog breed.

The English bulldog is a breed that has a uniquely designed upper respiratory system.  The physical features of their face give them that smushed in appearance can cause them to have breathing issues.  They suffer from Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.

This complex syndrome causes issues with their soft palate, nostrils, and their whole respiratory system, upper and lower.  There isn’t a surgery or any treatment that can fix this condition, therefore it is lifelong.

For this reason, they are not able to have tremendous amounts of exercise that could cause them physical distress and make it hard for them to breathe.  Instead, their exercise need is low. 

A walk in the neighborhood at a casual pace would be a way for owners and dogs to bond.  They could enjoy spending some time out of doors together.  Another option would be tossing a ball in a yard or at the park.

This same health issue also requires that they don’t get too hot or overheat either from exercise or being in an environment that is to warm. Panting is how a dog maintains body temperature, but for the English bulldog, this can be difficult. 

This difficulty can cause difficulty breathing, and the English bulldogs’ owner must maintain a comfortable living environment for them.

They should also be provided with enough fresh, clean water so as not to get dehydrated.

Their physical body has other unique features that require maintenance and upkeep.  The English bulldog has wrinkly folds on their face that must be kept clean regularly for the health of their skin.  Cleaning should be done daily, like brushing our teeth for us humans.

They suffer from a wide range of health issues, but since each English bulldog is unique, they will be different from one dog to the next.

Cherry eye is a condition that is quite common in English bulldogs when the corner of their eyes has a red, irritated, and bulging bump that is red.  They can also suffer from dry eyes.

Other health issues can include joint and bone problems.  They can also suffer from skin and food allergies, heart conditions, and issues with their thyroid.  These are health problems that are related to this breed.

Every English bulldog will have these issues.  With proper maintenance through regular trips to their veterinarian, as well as a healthy diet and lifestyle, the English bulldog will thrive.

Despite these numerous and challenging health issues, the English bulldog is a very independent and headstrong dog breed.  Their thought of, this is my world, and I am the Master of It, is what helped them survive the aggression of their past. 

They don’t have to be aggressive today to survive in our modern world, but the independent and strong-willed nature is still very much a part of who they are.

With the right owner, this can be an endearing quality, but when it comes to training, it makes it more difficult.  They require a trainer, owner, or family that is firm but at the same time loving.

Whoever trains them must be persistent and dedicated to the success of this task, using multiple methods to accomplish the goal of their training. 

They must be persistent since the English bulldog’s nature will test the trainer at every turn, so time and understanding are necessary through the process.

Treats can come in handy since the English bulldog is motivated primarily by their stomach.  Giving dog treats shouldn’t be the primary motivator for getting an English bulldog to listen and perform better since it will lead to obesity.

If the English bulldog becomes obese, it can be taxing on their respiratory system, which can warrant a trip to the veterinarian.

If a pet owner insists on an English bulldog, what can they do to deal with their high maintenance requirements?

If a potential pet owner must have an English bulldog, many things can make life easier when dealing with their high maintenance issues.

What is most important is creating a stress-free lifestyle when it comes to maintaining an English bulldog is to have a schedule and stick to it.   This schedule will include regular annual health checkups with their veterinarian to ensure that they are healthy.

A schedule can help fit the needs of the English bulldog into the owner’s daily schedule, like eating breakfast or exercising. 

This approach will help the owner feel less stressed and allow them to enjoy more quality time with their furry companion.

Daily scheduling will include cleaning the folds of the English bulldogs’ eyes and skin folds as well as fitting in a couple of short stints of natural exercise. 

This schedule can be as detailed as the owner wishes to make it.  It can be simple reminders in their daily planner to take the English bulldog on a short walk after dinner, followed by cleaning their skin folds, eyes, and anything else needed.

After a time, the schedule will no longer be necessary, and what once seemed high maintenance will become a natural part of the owner’s lifestyle and go unnoticed.

If a potential dog owner truly has a problem with meeting the needs of an English bulldog, they might want to consider another breed.   Regardless of the dog selected, any dog can be high maintenance.

Each dog is uniquely their physical traits.  Any dog can have health issues, mental and emotional challenges, and personality and temperament quirks that can make it hard to deal with at times. 

This uniqueness is a normal part of life for any dog or pet owner.   Like we humans are unique, so are they.

Are English Bulldogs Expensive to Maintain?

Yes.  The English bulldog is expensive to maintain.  Due to the potential for underlying health issues, it can be costly in the form of numerous veterinary visits.  Pet insurance is an option for English bulldog owners to help reduce the out of pocket expenses related to their health issues.

Are English Bulldogs’ High Maintenance?

They are also expensive because they require a special food diet.   With the unique health condition that affects the English bulldogs’ airways and allergies, they need a special diet.

Their recommended veterinary diet is very costly.  It can include dog food that is easy to pick up or soft to help with the English bulldogs’ respiratory and breathing issues. 

It may be a particular blend of dog food to keep food and other allergies away, so the English bulldog is healthy.  These dog foods can be costly for any potential English bulldog owner.

Due to their numerous health issues and to their respiratory health problem, this breed may require in-home care while your away.  This health issue can be costly for a potential dog owner that hopes to leave the dog with a trusted friend when they go on vacation.

Careful considerations should be made by a potential dog owner when it comes to finances.  The dog they choose will rely on them in every way, from food to water, veterinary care to toys, leashes, and collars.

While some dogs may not require many expenses relating to their care, they all will have a price tag.  Potential dog owners must way their options when relating finances to dog breed selected.

Final Thought

We all have the potential to be high maintenance from time to time.  The English bulldog may have more moments than most in that department, but that doesn’t make them any less amazing.

While the English bulldog can cost a lot to maintain in the form of time, energy, and money, it is a small price to pay for the love, companionship, and happiness they bring to our lives.