Did you buy a French Bulldog thinking you wouldn’t have to groom?
Unfortunately, Frenchies need just as much care and grooming as other dogs. Sure, their fur is short and fine, but there are a number of other things to consider when it comes to French Bulldog grooming.
Bathing and Cleaning
Does your French Bulldog have skin issues?
If they do then you’re not alone. This breed is prone to issues like sensitive skin and allergies. Even food allergies can manifest as skin problems in the form of rashes, yeast infections, and lesions secondary to scratching.
Regular bathing with hypoallergenic shampoo can help relieve many of these symptoms. You could consult your vet about whether or not your Frenchie requires a prescription shampoo, but there are several alternatives on the market that do a great job. We recommend the Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo for Dry Itchy Skin from Rocco & Roxie, which is available on Amazon here.
You should also assess your Frenchie’s need for any conditioners or rinses, which can soothe and moisturize the skin. Depending on how frequently you bathe your pet, a conditioner may help keep their coat from drying out.
Short-haired dogs technically only need baths two or three times a year. However, French Bulldogs benefit from monthly or weekly baths due to their special needs and susceptibility to allergies.
A Frenchie’s sturdy and square frame makes them stable on their feet. However, they will appreciate if you place a rubber mat on the bath tub’s slick surface to keep them from sliding around.
Also, test different water temperatures to determine your Frenchie’s preference. Your dog will be much more cooperative if you do not hit them with ice cold (or steaming hot) water.
Don’t be afraid to get physical with your bully during bath time. Once you soak their fur and skin, apply the shampoo and really work it into their coat. Your Frenchie will love the extra attention and the benefits of a vigorous massage. Plus, the shampoo does its best work when it comes in contact with the skin.
Remember, some prescription shampoos do not lather well. So don’t stress yourself and your Frenchie out by trying to create a froth from one of these. If you use a medicated shampoo, allow it to sit on your dog’s skin for the entire prescribed amount of time. Most shampoos for allergies and skin infections work largely by contact. Since all baths eventually end, make the most of the shampoo’s interaction with your dog’s skin.
To finish off the process, rinse all shampoo thoroughly to avoid a source of skin irritation. Just watch out for that inevitable body shake that will come next!
Your French Bulldog may have short fur, but they still benefit from regular brushing. Fortunately, their fur won’t be plagued with mats!
Brushing serves several functions for your Frenchie:
- Removes dead skin cells.
- Gets rid of dead hair, dirt
- Stimulates circulation of blood to the skin.
- Awakens nerve endings and provides sensory pleasure.
- Spreads natural oils through your dog’s coat
Since the bulldog’s coat is short, brushing does not take much time. Ideally, you should brush your pet every day, but once or twice a week will suffice.
Frenchies thoroughly enjoy attention and social interactions with their owners. Brushing allows you to establish stronger bonds with your pup and also affords an opportunity to examine their skin for any new problems. Plus, Frenchies experience moderate levels of shedding. Your house will be cleaner if you brush dead hair out consistently!
Rubber bristles seem to work well for Frenchies. They remove light dirt, and their flexibility is gentle on sensitive skin. But be especially careful around any skin sores. Our choice of brush is the ZoomGroo.
Your French Bulldog has a number of health considerations that you can address with conscientious grooming.
- Ears. Frenchies are not as prone to ear problems as English Bulldogs, but they can get yeast and bacterial infections. Check ears regularly for any abnormal discharge or odor. You can clean the outer canal with a damp cloth, cotton ball, warm water, or an ear cleansing solution.
- Eyes. Keep the tear tracts clean and observe the eyes for any discharge or redness. Frenchies are susceptible to certain eye problems such as Cherry Eye, so look out for any concerning symptoms.
- Wrinkles and facial folds. The Frenchie face is prone to bacterial and yeast infections so look to gently clean in these folds at least a couple of times a week with a dry tissue or antibacterial solution. You can use a sanitizing baby wipe or damp cloth. If your dog is sensitive, use water or scentless wipes. Check wrinkles for yeast, redness or weeping. Gently manipulate the folds to clean under them.
- Anal glands. Some Frenchies have a problem with naturally emptying the scent organs located just inside the anus. You may be able to express them yourself, or you may need to visit your vet. It is a routine, quick procedure.
- Toenails. Clip them at least every six weeks. Enlist your vet’s help if your Frenchie doesn’t tolerate the audacity of you touching their paws!
When you groom your Frenchie, always be conscious of their breathing challenges. Keep sessions short, as fun as possible, and stress-free. An anxious French Bulldog will suffer from respiratory distress more readily than other breeds.
Other maintenance and grooming for French Bulldogs
- Brushing teeth. If possible, accustom your Frenchie to having their mouth handled when young. Brush a few times a week for good oral hygiene and to examine their mouth. Alternatively, you can buy dental sticks for your pup to chew on.
- Cleaning under the tail. You can use sanitizing wipes similar to what you use for the wrinkles to ensure the area just under your pup’s tail is clean. This is another hot spot for infections.
- Moisturizing the elbows. You could utilize olive oils or special products to keep the elbows from becoming dry and scabby.
What are the best French bulldog grooming products?
- Hypoallergenic shampoo. If your dog has no skin issues and is not sensitive, you may choose a shampoo based on your preferences. Otherwise, you will have to choose one that deals with allergies, dryness, or dermatitis. We recommend the Soothe Oatmeal Shampoo for Dry Itchy Skin from Rocco & Roxie, which is available on Amazon here.
- Brush. Pick a brush with soft or rubber bristles. You can also use a special brush for de-shedding to work through the undercoat. If you’re looking for a great dog brush, the ZoomGroom Brush is a fan favorite!
- Fragrance-free baby wipes. You can use wipes on your pup’s paws and body as a way to remove allergens without needing to have a bath.
- Fish oil. Fish oil spray or chewable tablets can be a great (and tasty) addition to your Frenchie’s diet for maintaining a glossy coat and healthy skin. Amazing Nutritionals Omega-3 Fish Oil Chewable Tablet is our choice, available from Amazon here.
French Bulldogs are fairly low-maintenance dogs in the grooming department because you don’t have to clip or fluff them.
However, you do need to pay attention to their adorable wrinkles and sensitive skin. By knowing a few tips that work well for the Frenchie’s special idiosyncrasies, you will have a dog that looks and feels great.
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.