Bulldog exercise is a topic on the minds of most bulldog owners. While some breeds like to bounce off the walls and run rings around your sofa, shoving your typical bulldog off the same sofa can be a struggle in itself.
From Frenchies to English Bulldogs, they're not exactly the most athletic bunch, are they? Bulldog owners are faced with a breed that's typically more interested in shoveling in pounds of delicious dog treats than going for a run. So, what can we do to ensure adequate bulldog exercise?
Getting to know your dog and understanding what motivates them is usually the first step in building your bulldog exercise plan.
Things to Consider for Bulldog Exercise Planning
It's no secret that bulldogs are prone to several genetic health issues. For this reason, ensuring adequate bulldog exercise should be a priority.
Bulldogs are notorious over-eaters. You probably know just as well that once they get stuck into something, there's just no quit in them. If you've noticed that your bulldog is gaining weight, then it's essential to question whether it's a dietary issue or an exercise issue.
While feeding portions are determined by size, age, and breed, a bulldog shouldn't eat more than two cups of dog food per day. Clearly, a smaller breed like the French Bulldog will need a little less than this. If you're having portion problems with your beloved pudgy pup, then we recommend consulting a veterinarian.
You could also consider a low-calorie diet-blend that is designed to make your bulldog feel fuller for longer.
Dietary considerations aside, what do we need to consider before we actually start with bulldog exercise?
Although dogs don't typically realize it, they also need a little warm-up before intense exercise. Start any bulldog exercise session with a slow walk to avoid any injuries.
Also, ensure that your bulldog has had enough water to drink before exercising on a hot day. Furthermore, try to avoid going for long walks on hot asphalt. That can lead to paw burns that are much too common in the warmer states.
Oh, and if you're taking you're going to enjoy bulldog exercise in a public place, don't forget to bring some dog waste bags.
Once you get your bulldog moving, remember to encourage them with praise or treats to make it a fun experience for both of you. If you can, also consider buddying up with another bulldog pal to help with social training.
It's also imperative to remember that these breeds are prone to breathing and cardiac issues. Overexertion can quickly mean an emergency trip to the vet. So, let your bulldog exercise at a moderate intensity and keep an eye out for loud or heavy breathing.
Bulldog exercise should also always be low-impact. High-impact exercise can lead to severe joint and bone problems, so they are best avoided. That means no jumping or hurdles for our bulldog friends. Let's be honest, it's not as if they'd be into that anyway.
After a long session of bulldog exercise, your rolly-skinned friend is probably going to be pretty tuckered out. Bulldog owners should remember to provide enough water to avoid dehydration and allow your dog to rest.
It's also a good idea to cool-down with a slow walk home after any exercise. Just like us, our four-legged friends need to let their heart-rates drop slowly, and their muscles relax at a safe rate.
That is especially true for our favorite bulldog breeds. With shorter legs and broader, musclier bodies, we need to take extra precaution to prevent any knee injuries.
How Much Bulldog Exercise Is Enough?
Knowing the right bulldog exercise intensity and how long they should exercise for is crucial. While you may not think it, your dog can't handle the typical intense exercise regime that a human can.
For this reason, we've got another interesting article about dog exercise requirements that goes into a little more detail about how you should plan bulldog exercise to avoid injury or strain.
Generally speaking, an adult bulldog only requires about 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, followed by a slower, cool-down period.
Find What Motivates Your Bulldog
As we mentioned earlier, motivation is critical for a lazy bulldog. There are usually three main tiers of motivation to get your bulldog moving: food, praise, and social interaction. Therefore, owners will need to find out what their bulldog responds too, and utilize that to encourage and reward bulldog exercise.
In saying that, not all bulldogs are slouchers. Sometimes, running and exercise can be both the motivation and the reward at the same time. For these go-getters, you might need to consider just how much bulldog exercise is enough, and how much is too much.
Fun Bulldog Exercise Ideas
Is a walk around the park simply not cutting it for your bulldog? If you're looking to make bulldog exercise more fun, then try out some of these fun and exciting ideas. Again, remember that low-impact bulldog exercise is always best.
Follow the bulldog
It's no secret that bulldogs like to pull on the leash. They have an urge to sniff and explore this wonderful world on their terms.
Why not take advantage of this curious behavior? An exciting and fun way to get more bulldog exercise in is to play follow the bulldog.
The rules are simple. Just allow your dog to sniff and explore, walking wherever they please and follow behind them on a loose lead.
It's best to play this game in parks or areas with trees and grass to explore. The best part is that you will get some exercise too!
When you think of bulldog exercise or any dog exercise in general, the first word that usually springs to mind is fetch.
Fetch is an excellent way to get your bulldog moving. With bulldogs in particular, remember to play moderately. Too much sprinting can cause serious knee injuries.
It's also best to throw the ball shorter distances and allow your dog to rest between throws.
While they might not always have an interest in running and chasing other dogs, bulldogs love socializing.
Bringing your dog to the local dog park and allowing them to run, explore, and sniff-behinds is their idea of heaven on earth. It's also one of the best bulldog exercise ideas.
On the plus side, you could also meet other passionate bulldog-lovers!
Nosing it out
A dog's sense of smell is how they interpret the world. Dog owners can use their bulldog's sense of smell to play a wide range of games that are fun for both you and your dog.
A classic game is to train your bulldog to wait while you hide a ball or dog-treat. When you allow them to search, watch as they frantically run around the house or yard until they find their target.
Dogs just can't get enough of this!
The best part about these games is that your dog will get both physical and mental exercise and training. While they might look a little dopey, our beloved bulldogs love the mental challenge that a search presents them.
Tug of war
Tug of war is a game that is seemingly perfect for bulldog breeds. Their short, stubby legs and powerful bodies can generate some serious pulling power!
This game is best to play with a robust and durable dog chew toy made of either rope or rubber.
As a general rule, try to limit playing tug of war to a few minutes at a time. Also, try to avoid any yanking or pulling from above as this can cause back injuries if overdone.
Pet treadmill fun
For city-dwellers with little time or space for outdoor bulldog exercise, a pet treadmill could be the answer.
These are special machines that are safe for dogs to use. Although it will take a little bit of extra training for your dog to learn, they are an excellent solution for all-weather dog training and exercise.
As a tip, look at buying a variant that folds up so that they don't take up extra storage space.
Using a treadmill will simulate a light run for your bulldog. It's a great way for your dog to burn off some extra treats and tone those legs!
Bulldog Exercise for a Happy and Healthy Life
Whether it's maintaining an ideal weight, dealing with breathing issues, or just making sure your dog gets enough daily movement, bulldog exercise is crucial in maintaining a long and healthy life.
Lazy lounge-lizards and hyperactive hounds alike need the right amount of daily bulldog exercise. Remember that exercise should be enjoyable for both you and your dog. Don't think of it as a chore. Instead, take the time to unwind, relax, and spend some quality time with your dearest friend.
Do you have any fun or interesting bulldog exercise games? We'd love to hear from you. Don't be afraid to drop a comment below!