If you've been on the Internet in the past few years, it's unlikely you've escaped seeing an adorable, wrinkly bulldog wagging its little tail-nub on Instagram. These cute puppies look innocent enough (it's no wonder their adorable, exaggerated features lead them to become one of the most popular breeds in America), but the breed is actually plagued with issues.
Why bulldogs are bad has less to do with the demeanor of innocent puppies and more to do with the fact that greedy breeders are overbreeding bulldogs. Selective breeding has made it so bulldogs barely resemble their original breed and have innumerable, lifelong health problems. In fact, there's such a shortage of healthy bulldogs that people actually resort to buying them from puppy mills overseas. These unregulated dog breeding factories are regarded as the hallmark of animal abuse.
Some people question whether perpetuating these bulldog health problems through pure-breeding is, in fact, animal cruelty. To be honest, that'd be pretty par for the course because even the breed's history is tarnished with egregious animal abuse.
Bulldogs got their name from the inhumane, cruel sport of bull-baiting, but bulldog breed problems aren't limited to their sordid past. Since the cruel sport fell out of favor, the breed has graduated from being intensely abused to intensely sick. With all the dogs in shelters that are struggling to find homes, is it really okay to support breeders who encourage the very man-made features that wreak havoc on generations of puppies? Here's why bulldogs are man-made abominations, and you should think twice before you adopt.
Bulldogs Have Such Giant Heads They Can Only Give Birth Via C-Section
C-sections save lives. Sometimes, it's really difficult for a mother (human or animal) to give birth. About 30% of human births in the United States are performed via a Cesarean section. While this isn't a tiny percentage of people by any means, it's definitely not the majority. This isn't the case with bulldogs, which have been selectively bred to the point that their heads are too large to pass through a birth canal. Bulldogs have disproportionately large heads, which may get them that blue ribbon at the dog show, but it also makes it impossible for bulldog moms to have a natural birth.
Those Adorable, Chubby Wrinkles Are Breeding Grounds For Bacteria And Fungus
Bulldogs are plagued with skin problems. Part of it has to do with the fact that the breed is prone to allergies (hello, eczema and dermatitis), but part of it is because they're bred to have tons and tons of adorable wrinkles. While these wrinkles are too cute to handle, they're breeding grounds for the fungi and bacteria that cause major infections. These infections can be extremely serious, and bulldogs need to get their skin folds wiped down every single day in order to prevent issues.
A Bulldog's Cute Stubby Legs And Chubby Body Can Actually Cause Immense Pain
Since bulldogs were bred to have unnaturally short legs and stocky frames, the breed is prone to a number of joint problems that cause immense pain. Bulldogs often suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (i.e. deformed hip and elbow joints) and degenerative spine disease. This not only causes pain, but prevents the dog from living a happy, puppy life (it will struggle to climb stairs, run or even stand up). This problem is exacerbated by weight gain. The more a bulldog weighs, the more pressure is put on their joints.
Bulldogs Are So Allergic They Often Need Highly Specialized Diets
Pure-breeding has left bulldogs with innumerable allergies. Many bulldog owners find themselves shelling out big bucks for highly specialized diets. A poor diet can cause the very skin rashes bulldogs are prone to (thick patches of eczema or painful acne). It also causes ulcers, GERD (a digestive disorder) and tear stains -- the staining on a dog's fur from an overflow of tears. Tear stains can lead to infected tear ducts which breed bacteria and yeast along with the puppy's excessive amount of wrinkles. The wrong diet can also cause obesity which further exacerbates every single health problem bulldogs are prone too.