American Bully Health

The average life expectancy of an American Bully is between 8 and 12 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages. However, they are known to suffer from certain hereditary and acquired health issues which are detailed below:

Hip dysplasia– dogs should be tested through the Animal Health Trust (AHT)
Elbow dysplasia – dogs should be tested through the Animal Health Trust (AHT)
Progressive retinal atrophy – dogs should be tested through the Animal Health Trust (AHT)
Demodicosis/demodex mange/demodectic mange
Cataracts
Cerebellar abiotrophy
Atrophy
Cleft lip/palette
Hypothyroidism
Ichthyosis
Luxating patella
Zinc responsive dermatosis
Congenital heart failure
Brachycephalic syndrome
Gassiness
Heat intolerance

What about vaccinations?

American Bully puppies would have had their first vaccinations, but it’s essential for them to have their follow-up jabs at the right time with the vaccination schedule being as follows:

10 -12 weeks old, bearing in mind that a puppy would not have full protection straight away, but would be fully protected 2 weeks after they have had their second vaccination

There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it’s best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether an American Bully should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.

What about spaying and neutering?

A male American Bully can safely be neutered when they are 6 months old and females can be spayed when they are 6 months old too.

What about obesity problems?

American Bullies like their food and are prone to gaining weight if not given enough daily exercise. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by several years so it is essential to keep an eye on an American Bully’s weight and to keep treats to a minimum.

What about allergies?

The American Bully is known to suffer from certain allergies and if there is a flare up, it is important to seek veterinary advice sooner rather than later because identifying triggers can prove challenging and time consuming.

Allergy triggers include the following:

Environment
A reaction to certain chemicals commonly found in household cleaning products
Seasonal allergies which include pollen and grasses
Food which includes certain meats and cereals often used as ingredients in commercially produced dog food
Tick and flea bites
Dust mites
Mould

What about breed specific breeding restrictions?

Currently, the American Bully is not recognized by the Kennel Club and as such there are no breed-specific breeding restrictions in place for the breed. However, responsible breeders should always follow Kennel Club breeding guidelines to ensure that American Bullies remain healthy.

What about Assured Breeder requirements?

There are no Assured Breeders for the American Bully because the breed is not recognized by the Kennel Club.

Caring for a American Bully

As with any other breed, American Bullies need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs at the different stages of their lives.
Caring for a American Bully puppy

Having decided that an American Bully is the right choice of dog, it’s important to get things ready in the home for a puppy’s arrival. With this said, it’s not just a house that needs puppy-proofing, but the garden too needs to be made safe for them to roam around in. All puppies like to gnaw on things and this includes electric wires and cables so it’s essential that they be put out of their reach. Garden tools and other implements should be stored away to avoid a boisterous puppy from injuring themselves.

Puppies need a lot of nap time and they can sleep for anything up to 21 hours a day which they need to do so they can develop and grow properly. As such, it’s important to set up a quiet area in a house for them to retreat to when they want to take a nap and ideally this should be not to out of the way but away from too much traffic. If there are children in the house, they need to be told not to disturb their pet when they are sleeping and not to approach them when they are eating too.

It’s always a good idea to limit the amount of rooms a puppy can roam around in for several reasons, one of which is because they would need to be housetrained and the second being they are less likely to get into trouble. A good way of keeping them in a chosen area is to fit child gates on doors to prevent the puppy from going into any rooms that owners don’t want them to go in.

An American Bully puppy would have been wormed before being sold and the documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:

Puppies should be wormed at 6 months old
They need to be wormed again when they are 8 months old
Puppies should be wormed when they are 10 months old
They need to be wormed when they are 12 months old

Things you’ll need for your puppy

There are items needed to care for a puppy which should be purchased well in advance of their arrival. The items needed include the following:

Feed and water bowls making sure they are not too deep and ideally, they should be ceramic rather than plastic or metal
A good quality dog collar, harness and lead
A dog crate that's not too small or too big that a puppy would feel lost in it
Good quality toys and chews
A well-made dog bed bearing in mind that a puppy could well chew on it
Baby and/or dog blankets to use in the puppy's crate and dog bed
Dog specific toothpaste and tooth brush
Shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for use on dogs
Grooming equipment

Keeping the noise down

All puppies are very sensitive to loud noises so it is important to keep the volume of a television down and not to play music too loudly either because it could frighten a American Bully puppy and prevent them from napping as they should during the day.
Keeping vet appointments

Reputable breeders would always ensure their puppies vaccinated before they are sold, but as previously mentioned, it is up to their new owners to make sure they are given their follow-up shots at the right time which should be as follows:

10 -12 weeks old, bearing in mind that a puppy would not have full protection straight away, but would only be fully protected 2 weeks after they have had their second vaccination

When it comes to boosters, it’s best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be up to date.
What about American Bullies when they reach their golden years?

When American Bullies reach their golden years, they get slower in many ways. They might start showing their age with more grey hairs appearing on their faces and more especially around their muzzles. Apart from a change in their appearance an American Bully’s personality might change too and this includes on how quick they are to respond to a command or when their names are called. The reason for this is that many older dog’s hearing is not as good as it once was. Other changes to watch out for in a American Bully when they reach their senior years include the following:

Their vision might be impaired and their eyes seem cloudy
Their teeth might not be as in good condition which means they may need dental work
Older dogs tend to sleep more during the day and they get up more frequently at night which is often because their cognitive function is not as sharp as it was when they were young which means older dogs are more easily confused
They tend to be less tolerant of loud noises and sounds
Dogs when they are older can be a little fussier about their food so it's important to rethink their diet and to make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy
An older dog's immune system often does not offer them the same protection against illness and infection which puts them more at risk of catching something and why they should see the vet more routinely
An older American Bully might not be so keen to go out for a walk and more especially longer ones
They muscle tone and body condition is not as good as when they were young
Older dogs often suffer from joint problems which can then lead to arthritis so it's well worth investing in a comfy dog bed and ideally one that an American Bully finds easier to get out of

Grooming

American Bullies have short, tight, close coats which in short means they are low maintenance on the grooming front. However, because they are prone to suffer from skin allergies, it’s best to give them the once over a few times a week. The earlier a skin problem is detected the better because if left for too long, it could flare up into something painful and a lot more severe. A regular wipe over with a chamois leather will also keep an American Bully’s coat nice and glossy.

It’s also important to check a dog’s ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax builds up in a dog’s ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Grooming tools needed for an American Bully

Having the right grooming tools helps keep an American Bully’s coat and skin in top condition. The tools needed to keep a dog’s coat looking good are as follows:

A grooming glove
A slicker brush
A bristle brush
Nail clippers
A pair of round ended scissors
Dog specific shampoo and conditioner

Exercise

Although not as active as many other “bully-type” breeds, the American Bully does need to be given a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes exercise every day. A shorter walk in the morning is fine, but a longer one in the afternoon is a must. This combined with lots of mental stimulation will keep an American Bully happy, fit, and healthy. If left to their own devices for long periods of time, not only will boredom set in but it could lead to an American Bully developing some unwanted and destructive behaviors around the home. It could also lead to dogs putting on too much weight which can shorten their lives by several years.

With this said, American Bully puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.

Feeding

If you get an American Bully puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same food to a puppy to avoid any tummy upsets. A puppy’s diet can be changed, but this needs to be done gradually, always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It’s also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by several years so it’s important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Feeding guide for a American Bully puppy

Once a puppy is settled into their new homes, it is safe to change their diets, but as previously touched upon, it needs to be done gradually and carefully to avoid any tummy upsets. As a rough guide, American Bully puppies can be fed the following amounts every day to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly:

2 months old - 231g to 271g depending on a puppy's build
3 months old - 276g to 341g depending on a puppy's build
4 months old - 297g to 371g depending on a puppy's build
5 months old - 304g to 410g depending on a puppy's build
6 months old - 304g to 446g depending on a puppy's build
7 months old - 282g to 446g depending on a puppy's build
9 months old - 240g to 387g depending on a puppy's build
11 months old - 216g to 320g depending on a puppy's build
12 months old - 215g to 318g depending on a puppy's build
11 months old - 476 g to 991 g depending on a puppy's build
12 months old - 434 g to 1201 g depending on a puppy's build

When an American Bully is 13 months old, they can be fed adult dog food.
Feeding guide for an adult American Bully

As a rough guide, an adult fully grown American Bully can be fed the following amounts every day to ensure they stay fit and healthy:

Dogs weighing 31 kg can be fed 320g to 512g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 50 kg can be fed 380g to 420g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 70 kg can be fed 420g to 492g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 90 kg can be fed 480g to 552g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 120 kg can be fed 552g to 600g depending on activity

Average Cost to keep/care for a American Bully

If you get an American Bully puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same food to a puppy to avoid any tummy upsets. A puppy’s diet can be changed, but this needs to be done gradually, always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It’s also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by several years so it’s important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.

Feeding guide for a American Bully puppy

Once a puppy is settled into their new homes, it is safe to change their diets, but as previously touched upon, it needs to be done gradually and carefully to avoid any tummy upsets. As a rough guide, American Bully puppies can be fed the following amounts every day to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly:

2 months old - 231g to 271g depending on a puppy's build
3 months old - 276g to 341g depending on a puppy's build
4 months old - 297g to 371g depending on a puppy's build
5 months old - 304g to 410g depending on a puppy's build
6 months old - 304g to 446g depending on a puppy's build
7 months old - 282g to 446g depending on a puppy's build
9 months old - 240g to 387g depending on a puppy's build
11 months old - 216g to 320g depending on a puppy's build
12 months old - 215g to 318g depending on a puppy's build
11 months old - 476 g to 991 g depending on a puppy's build
12 months old - 434 g to 1201 g depending on a puppy's build

When an American Bully is 13 months old, they can be fed adult dog food.
Feeding guide for an adult American Bully

As a rough guide, an adult fully grown American Bully can be fed the following amounts every day to ensure they stay fit and healthy:

Dogs weighing 31 kg can be fed 320g to 512g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 50 kg can be fed 380g to 420g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 70 kg can be fed 420g to 492g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 90 kg can be fed 480g to 552g depending on activity
Dogs weighing 120 kg can be fed 552g to 600g depending on activity

American Bully Buying Advice

When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.

The American Bully has found quite a large fanbase in the UK which means that well-bred puppies command a lot of money. As such, with the American Bullies there is specific advice, questions, and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which is as follows:

Potential owners may find many online and other adverts showing images of adorable American Bully puppies for sale. However, the sellers ask buyers for money up front before agreeing to deliver a puppy to a new home. Potential buyers should never buy a American Bully puppy unseen and should never pay a deposit to a seller before collecting a puppy from them
As previously touched upon, the American Bully is gaining a big fanbase in the UK. As such, there are many amateur breeders/people who breed from an American Bully far too often so they can make a quick profit without caring for the welfare of the puppies, their dam or the breed in general. Although not Kennel Club registered, responsible breeders should follow KC guidelines which state that a dam can only produce 4 litters and she must be between a certain age to do so. Anyone wishing to buy an American Bully puppy should think very carefully about who they purchase their puppy from and should always ask to see the relevant paperwork pertaining to a puppy's lineage, their vaccinations and their microchipping

Before the tail docking law came into effect in 2007, American Bully traditionally had their tails docked, but since the Animal Welfare Bill came into effect, it is now illegal to dock their tails and anyone who does dock an American Bully puppy’s tail would be subject to a heavy fine if they do not have the correct permissions and documentation, this includes breeders and owners

It is extremely important for breeders to provide the correct documentation relating to an American Bully’s parentage more especially as the breed is often confused with the American Pit Bull and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Having the necessary correct paperwork is essential in proving that an American Bully is what their documents state they are, and not a breed that falls under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991

It is also worth noting there have been reports that some US-based breeders use steroids to muscle their dogs up. This can lead to many health issues developing when an American Bully is no longer fed steroids which includes joint and internal organ issues

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