Caring For Your American Bully

The most important part of raising or owning a Bully, is proper nutrition and health care. These helpful tips will give you some brief and general rules for properly raising a Bully. They may look fierce, but American bullies tend to be among the most affectionate of dogs, and are perfect for people who love dogs with big character, but don’t have enough space for bigger breeds at home.  Their gentle nature doesn’t seem to go with their threatening appearance, but American bullies make great companions for their owners and fit right into the family. 

These dogs are ideal companions that are loyal to their families, and have a gentle nature, even around small children, who they love playing and spending time with. As far as caring for your dog is concerned, it’s important to consider the basics: hygiene, food and especially exercise. They are not dogs that need lots of looking after, and are usually very  healthy when bred correctly. Although, unfortunately due to the popularity of the breed this isn’t always the case.  In this article we will cover the basics in providing the best care for your new family member starting with vaccinations, nutrition and exercise.

Your Bully is considered a puppy from 8 weeks to 6 months, to ensure the proper growth and health of your puppy, follow these tips. Regular vet visits, your puppy should get a series of puppy vaccinations. These vaccinations should be given in three week intervals. Your puppy should have a total of five. The vaccination should be a standard 7-way shot that begins at 5 weeks of age. In some areas, you may need to give your puppy a 7-way with Corona. Ask your local vet if that is needed in your area.

When your Bully reaches 6 months in age, have your vet give a 3 year rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccinations should be repeated every three years.

Every year, staring at 1 year of age, you should give your American Bully a 7-way vaccination as a booster.

Once a year have your vet do a complete health check on your Bully.

Dogs can be infected with a few different types of worms. It is always best to have your vet do a fecal check to see if your dog is infected with any worms, parasites, or bacteria.

We recommend having your dog checked every three months.

You should also have your vet start them on a heart worm preventative at 4 months. Some of these contain medications to kill other worm varieties as well as heart worm. Some are even effective for fleas and ticks, ask your vet to show you the different options they have.

You should always repeat a worming 14 days after the initial worming. Tape worms require a 3 day treatment. Always have your dog checked on a regular basis.

For Bullies under a year we recommend a high protein, high fat, quality food. Check your ingredients, the first 3 listed ingredients should be a form of meat. We recommend a high quality food with at least 20% fat content or higher, and at least 30% protein content or higher.

There are a lot of premium pet foods on the market that will have these ingredients.  As we covered in a previous article, there are several 5 Star Rated dry dog foods on the Dog Food Advisor’s website  Every dog is different, and responds differently to ingredients in the different food brands.  Your best bet is to select a 5 Star Rated food with high quality ingredients, avoiding any known allergies your dog may have.  You will notice changes in your dogs skin, itching and scripting around the eyes and feet if your dog has a food allergy or reacts to certain ingredients in their food.

There are also frozen food products that work very well, and raw feeding can be an excellent choice as well.  But feeding raw does consist of some research and food preparation on your end. Decide what you’re willing to commit to before starting any diet.

Quantity will depend on your dog, we feel it is best to feed an american bully puppy as much as they will eat. We also recommend feeding them three times a day, or free feeding all day long. Also, try and keep some fat on your Bully puppy this will aid in proper growth.  As your Bully gets older, their feeding patterns will change. After a year to a year ½, you should feed your dog enough to maintain a full look, but not overweight. Their metabolism will change on its own, and you will see the puppy fat change into muscle.

For dogs under a year and females we also recommend giving a calcium supplement, but do not give your dog too much calcium as this can cause more harm than good.  With all of the supplements being crammed down dog’s owner’s throats and marketed to us daily.. look beyond the hype.  A quality kibble, or raw diet and a few supplements (if necessary) is plenty.  

To recap: Good supplements- Multi Vitamin, Fish Oils, and a probiotic (FortiFlora) will cover everything your dog needs and then some. 

Vitamins and vitamin supplements can be good for dogs of all ages. There are different vitamins for different purposes and ages. Use one according to your dogs age. A multi purpose vitamin is recommended after 9 months. Vita Bully and Dynovite are both quality vitamin supplements.  More is not always better!  You do not need to over do it on the supplements.  If your dog has the genetic make up to have a “bullier” build it will mature into that, if it doesn’t all the supplements and training in the world aren’t going to add on the muscle mass you desire.  

How do I bulk up my pit bull or American Bully? 

Other Ways to Add Muscle/Mass

A lot of breeders will feed Satin Balls in the few weeks leading up into a show.  If you laughed at the term “satin balls” grow up.. Just kidding, I still can’t say that without a shit eating grin on my face.. As ridiculous as it sounds satin balls are unbelievable at adding weight and mass to your dog.

“Satin Balls” are a total canine diet. But be very careful, as it will put weight on a dog fast, if you feed enough. It can be feed by itself, but because it is so rich and high in calories, I only feed as a supplement.  So, if you have a sick dog needing to be built up or an underweight dog dog with little or no appetite, they may do very well on “Satin Balls” as a supplement.

Also, I give about a 1/4 pound occasionally, to maintain a beautiful coat and energy level.  Don’t mix or hide Satin Balls in with kibble, your dog will make a mess of the kibble, trying to get to the Satin Balls.  It is perfectly fine to freeze Satin Balls in pre-formed and weighed portions.  When mixing the ingredients, it is a gooey mess. There are many sites with recipes for “Satin Balls”, but I chose the following, because it breaks the recipe down into various sizes.

10 lbs cheap hamburger (high fat %)
1 large box Total cereal (about 12 cups cereal)
1 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 15 cups oats)
10 raw eggs
1 15oz jar wheat germ
10 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
Pinch of salt

“Whole Wheat Total” cereal (blue box) comes in large 1 lb 2 oz size (about 12 cups settled) and a smaller 12 oz size (about 8 cups cereal), which would work in Little Dog or Half Recipe. But in the long run, the large size is more economical. Don’t get Raisin Total or Lo Carb. Total.

Uncooked Oatmeal like “Quaker Old Fashioned Oats” and less expensive supermarket house brand, come in large 2 lb 10oz size (15 cups oats) or smaller 18 oz size (about 7 cups oats).

15oz jar of wheat germ is about 4 cups. Some stores only carry a 12oz jar of wheat germ, which contains about 3 and 1/4 cups of it.

Vegetable oil-use a good one. I use olive oil.

Last but not least is fresh water! Always make sure your Bully has access to fresh water at all times. We recommend replacing the water ever 4-6 hours.

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