Why Won’t My Bulldog Eat?
The first, and usually most plausible reason a Bulldog has slowed his eating is because he’s getting older. You might think as a Bulldog ages he would want to eat more often because he’s gotten bigger, but around 6-12 months you should expect your puppy to take in fewer meals. Bulldog pups eat 2-3 meals a day in part because their stomachs are smaller than an adult dog’s and don’t allow as large a capacity for food. Also, a Bulldog pup’s nutritional needs can be more demanding due to their energetic life-styles and fast growing bodies.
So, if your maturing Bulldog has skipped a meal or two there might not be a real reason for alarm. As long as he appears healthy, is drinking water and playing as usual it’s safe to post pone any trips to your veterinarian. Avoid the temptation to add treats or dressings to his food. Adding treats to the food could cause your Bulldog to develop a very picky eating habit.
My Bulldog Stopped Eating Completely!
Unlike the example above, their are legitimate health concerns to consider and investigate when your Bulldog has stopped eating. To be honest, their are countless scenarios that could explain the lack of appetite. Lets do a quick investigation to help rule out any immediate health disorders.
Consider the last few days – this could be crucial. Has your Bulldog been defecating and urinating regularly? Diarrhea could be a sign of a bacterial or viral infection and a Bulldog with persistent diarrhea should be taken to a vet. Have you noticed any coughing, labored breathing or vomiting? Again, persistent vomiting is serious and should be investigated by a veterinarian if it happens continuously over the course of a couple of hours.
You’re His Best Physician!
Let your bully guide you. Examine his body language to determine whether he looks uncomfortable. Do a physical exam. Use a rectal thermometer and try to get a reading of 101 to 102.5. A reading above 103 is suspect and could be the reason your Bulldog won’t eat. Take your bully to a professional if the body temperature is above 103.
Gently push his tummy. It shouldn’t be bulging and hard, but soft. Rub all over his body. Slowly bend the joints on his legs and paws. Does he react with pain when any of these areas are touched? What about inside his mouth? Unless the gums have color, they should be pink and moist.
Still Won’t Eat.
Does he seem alright, but your just not sure? Try inviting your Bulldog to go for a walk, play with his favorite toy or give him a small treat you can be sure he wouldn’t pass up. If he declines all of your efforts to make him interact with you in a positive way, consider making him a vet appointment.
Our Bulldogs are our babies. Sometimes the slightest difference in behavior or circumstances can really get a person worked up. If your Bulldog skipped a meal, but otherwise looks healthy and happy he’s probably just fine. However, if you’ve gone through all the steps above, your bulldog hasn’t eaten a bite for more than 24hrs and he just doesn’t seem right, it may be better to schedule a visit with your vet!