This month, Dr. Al answers your questions about an English Bulldog’s eye problems and feeding wet food on a daily basis.
Q: We have an English bulldog and he is in good shape. However, his eyes are always seeping and red. We are constantly cleaning his face because of it. Is there anything to help with this? We are currently feeding him Holistic Select Duck Meal recipe. This seems to help with the hot spots he gets.
A: English Bulldogs, like many of the “flat nose breeds” can have a problem with excess tearing of the eyes. Diet rarely plays a role in causing the problem. On an English Bulldog, the nasal folds can be so large that the hair on them actually touch the eye and irritate it causing an increased in tearing. In addition, the eye lids may have problems that encourage excess tearing. Once the tearing starts it can stain the hair and be an ideal location for infection to start. Work closely with your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem.
Q: I have 2 small dogs (a Maltipoo and a terrier mix) both under 20 pounds. I have heard that I should not feed them wet food everyday, but I feed them 1/2 can of wet food and I leave the dry out for them to eat on throughout the day and I also give them some snacks throughout the day. Is this okay? Should I change my feeding schedule at all?
A: There is no problem feeding any dog a combination of canned and dry food as you have described. I would be careful to only feed enough each day to maintain a slightly lean body condition (that goes for small dogs and larger dogs as well).
Canned foods are nutritious and a great complement to dry diets. They can add variety to the diet and encourage proper nutrition in dogs that are picky eaters or having trouble maintaining adequate weight. They do contain significant calories and that should be considered when making up the daily diet.