There’s something irresistible about the wonderfully wrinkled French Bulldog. Their small size, friendly personalities, and playful nature make them an excellent choice for singles and families alike.
But before you bring your puppy home, you should learn how to properly care for their specific needs. Let’s take a look at some important areas of French Bulldog care you should be on top of.
A Face Like No Other
With those delightful folds and bright eyes, you can’t resist giving a Frenchie a pat on the head or scratch behind those soft bat-like ears.
But their flat faces and many wrinkles need a bit of extra attention at grooming time. Be sure to wipe any dirt out from each fold with a damp cloth or alcohol-free baby wipe at least once a week. For pups that spend a lot of time outdoors or with other pets, it’s good to give their face a wipe every other day.
As well, don’t forget to dry their faces thoroughly after each cleaning. Any moisture left in those deep wrinkles could cause irritation and bacterial growth.
Keeping Your Frenchie Fit
Help your Frenchie stay fit with short walks, a good play session each day indoors, and plenty of opportunities to explore new areas away from home.
Don’t try to take your pup out in hot weather, however. This breed is sensitive to higher temperatures. Walks are best in the early morning or later in the evening. If it’s too hot out for a comfortable walk, stick to indoor games such as fetch or hide and seek with a favorite toy.
Too Hot to Handle
French Bulldogs are very sensitive to the heat, so keep a close eye on your pup’s comfort level.
This breed is prone to heat exhaustion; stay indoors on hot days and keep your house cool with an air conditioner or suitable air flow from fans.
Keeping cool fresh water out at all times is a great way to keep your pup’s body temperature in the safe range.
Watch out for excessive panting, lethargy, unusual drooling, and bright red or purple gums. These are signs of heat exhaustion and lack of oxygen.
Frenchies can get too cold, too. Watch out for shivering or breathing difficulties. As with other flat-faced dog breeds, breathing cold air puts extra strain on their respiratory systems. A warm coat and a long snuggle with you should keep your pal toasty on chilly days.
Watch out for Health Issues
Many purebred dogs come with a handful of common health issues.
French Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems due to their short, flat faces. Watch for labored breathing, especially after playtime or walks. Heat and extreme cold can make breathing issues worse.
Frenchies can also have back problems, too. If your pup is having trouble moving his or her back legs, it could be a sign of a degenerative myelopathy or a herniated disk. Only your veterinarian can diagnose these issues, so don’t hesitate to bring any concerns to the doctor. Early intervention can extend your Frenchie’s life.
Eye problems aren’t uncommon in this breed either. Look for any unusual redness, swelling, discharge, or signs that your dog isn’t seeing very well.
Some French Bulldogs can develop allergies to fleas and other insects, fabric softeners used on their bedding, and even the cleaning products you use around the house. Watch for “hot spots” that your pup keeps licking or chewing on.
An Ounce of Prevention
All dog breeds will benefit from frequent, appropriate preventative care. In addition to regular bathing, skinfold care, and keeping an eye on your pup’s weight, you should stay up to date on your pup’s vaccinations.
This is especially important for Frenchies with active social lives and those who spend time away from home. Your vet will tell you how often your furry friend should visit. Be sure to ask about flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
Fun and Games
Your French bulldog is sure to appreciate new tug toys, teethers and chewers, and small toys that can be used for hide and seek. If your dog likes to play fetch or chase, choose lightweight and soft throw toys that they can easily pick up.
Even though Frenchies are prone to obesity, it does not mean you can’t give your pal a special treat now and then. Find low calorie, healthy options at the vet’s office.
A Friend for Life
French bulldogs are playful, friendly, and sweet-natured dogs that can adapt to many lifestyles. It’s easy to see why this breed is so popular, especially with families that live in apartments or who don’t have large yards. With the right care, your Frenchie can be your best friend for many years to come.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.