We’ve got a pretty strict ‘no people-food’ rule with our bulldog. She wishes that wasn’t the case, but her parents are overeaters by nature and try desperately to control what they can, even if that’s the dog’s appetite. But in all seriousness, she is already working with a few hereditary and breed-specific knocks against her, so we’ve got to be really careful with her diet. Bulldogs have some obesity problems and our girl, much like many others, has some sensitive skin. We don’t dare feed her people-food when we can’t even get her dogfood ingredients right. There’s another blaring reason she doesn’t eat what we eat and that’s because we don’t want her to beg, sit near the table with sad eyes at dinner time, steal food off the counters and be in people’s faces when they eat. To this day, JB can eat a hamburger right in front of her and she won’t pay him any mind. She’s never had a taste of it, so she doesn’t know what she’s missing.
Back to her diet. She grew up that first year on good ol fashioned Purina Puppy Chow. I didn’t see any reason to mess with what her breeder had her on, and I knew I would change when she hit the 1 year mark. When she did, we switched her to Nature’s Recipe Venison and Rice formula with no grains or corn. One of the natural brands that looks like it’s packaged in butcher paper. It worked just fine. It was a ‘healthy skin’ formula, so her skin didn’t break out too often (other than the rando hives she comes down with).
One day, on a trip to Leesburg, we stopped into a specialty pet-food store in Haymarket and the clerk was super knowledgable. He, too, had a bulldog and had much success on Taste of the Wild so we decided to try it. It is supposed to be as close to their natural diet as possible with no fillers, no additives, just meat and veggies. And boy did it smell like real meat. She fancied the bison flavor that we picked based on a recommendation from our vet to keep her on uncommon proteins, to avoid allergies.
She was doing really well on that. Then all of a sudden, BAM. Red skin, frantically scratching, bumps and lumps everywhere. Even scabs over the little hivey bumps. I didn’t mind looking into something different because it was pretty pricey and I had to go off the beaten path to get it. Back to Nature’s Recipe. I did a side-by-side analysis of the Taste of the Wild and the Nature’s Recipe and found only a few minor differences, one being chicken fat. I put her back on the Nature’s Recipe and her skin cleared right up and she stopped itching and her scabs went away. Then, because she likes to hit us when we least expect it, BAM. She stopped eating the stuff. ” Nope, not interested Mom.” Now what? She’s not the only one that’s stubborn in this house. I was determined to finish the 40 lb. bag I bought, so she had to wait a few weeks and just suck it up. With all the swimming she is doing, she started picking at it and eating it begrudgingly because she needs the energy. Finally, tonight, we fed her the last cup of it.
We’re going to the store tomorrow and we’re gonna find an all-natural, no corn, no grain dry food with uncommon protein and no chicken or chicken byproducts added. Yeah – try that for picky! But this time, we’re only trying the 5 lb bag to make sure she eats it and doesn’t get rashy. Fingers crossed that the EVO or California Natural can be found at one of our local boutique pet food dealers. All in the name of food. I thought these creatures were known for their voracious appetites! Looks like the ‘princess-ification’ of America is trickling down to the bulldog lot, too.