Feeding a bulldog

There are three methods of feeding dogs, namely:
-feeding with dry food,
- feeding with mixed food,
- feeding with natural food.

Any of these methods has a large quantity of ardent supporters and equally large quantity of ardent opponents. As a rule, the adherence to a definite feeding method is based upon one`s own and often not rich (1-2 dogs) experience. So let us try to find out together what is the best for the English Bulldog.
Let me stipulate at once that I`m not a veterinarian working for a dog food manufacturing company and not a dealer engaged in dog food selling, but just a kennel owner with a vast experience of breeding and raising dogs who has a long ago formed opinion on the question and a lot of developments and observations.
Now I want to share my observations with you. Let us begin with the oldest method of feeding dogs, that is feeding with natural products. It has a great deal of supporters, but it is rather expensive, much more expensive than feeding with costly professional dry foods, more troublesome, and demanding more labour input (in our case there is a special person working at the kennel who is in charge for feeding the dogs; I`d like to call her a cook, but it will not be quite correct as our dogs are fed with raw food according to the „BARF” system.)
When dogs are fed with natural products, it is more difficult to balance their diet and to calculate the additional quantity of minerals, but the results often exceed the expectations, and so it is worth all efforts. Here we shall not describe the „BARF” feeding system in detail; everybody interested can get quite complete information on the question at the shar-pei site (http://sharpei-online.com/content/category/7/27/37/ )
I`ll make only one reservation: raw chicken wings are unsuitable for bulldogs because they never chew their food properly, but raw checken necks (chopped with a hammer until they are soft like cloth) are quite all right.
From the natural feeding method we shall now pass smoothly to the method which, according to my own observations and the evidence of many successful breeders having raised excellent dogs, is the best for large heavy dogs like English Bulldogs. It is the mixed feeding method.
There are two kind of mixed feeding:
a) mixing of dry and natural food;
b) separate feeding with dry and natural food at the different time of the day.
The experience of many bulldog owners shows the preference of the first way of feeding since dry food contains supplements for digestion stabilization, and food assimilation in this case is better.
Quite average by their physical development and health parameters puppies who have been raised upon the mixed feeding method become excellent healthy animals. Much more rarely than the puppies fed accordingly to the natural method these puppies suffer from the faults of their locomotive system construction and the so-called „young age lameness”; in general these animals` immunity to different diseases is much stronger.
As to feeding with dry food exclusively, here also, provided your puppy is initially strong and healthy, you can achieve excellent results. It is seen best of all during the rapid growth stage of puppies and young dogs. Puppies fed with dry food seldom have such growth problems as east-west feet, weak ligaments and so on.
But for many dogs the actual brand of dry food must be selected carefully and for a long time. I have often noticed that a certain brand suitable ideally for one dog is utterly unsuitable for another. More than that, once I had nearly lost one of my best dogs till I understood that his food is unsuitable for him. Besides, there are dogs for whom no dry food is suitable at all. They often have vomiting and diarrhea, food allergy and dandruff.
I want all dog owners to understand quite clearly that there does not exist a single universal recipe for all dogs; all depends on your dog`s health condition, and also on availability of time, money and a lot of other factors. It is possible that you will not be able to select the suitable scheme of feeding from the first, the second and even the third attempt; I have no right to insist on one or another method of feeding since main criterion for the correct selection are the animal`s health condition, outward look and temper. If the dog rejoices your eyes by his activity, beautiful shiny coat and superb health, it means that your choise is correct. Othervise you will have to review your dog`s diet, and not at all obligatory it must be some famous expensive dry food brand or a piece of fresh fillet. The choise belongs to you and your pet, he also has the right for his own taste and individual peculiarities.

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