If you have a French Bulldog, then you know these pups have a huge personality wrapped in a small package. These little clowns are loyal and loving and are excellent companion dogs. They fit perfectly into an apartment, they don’t need huge amounts of room to roam, and they aren’t known for being noisy (beyond a few snorts here and there, of course).
French Bulldogs are playful and silly and sometimes too smart for their own good. Even though they don’t often win awards in obedience due to their spectacular stubbornness, you can’t help but fall in love with French Bulldogs.
Frenchies do have a few special needs, and if you’re new to their world, you may still be learning how to care for yours in the way he or she deserves. We’re here to help. We’ve put together some tips for how to take care of your French Bulldog. Let’s dive in!
French Bulldog Challenges
French Bulldogs are amazing companions, but not everything is sunshine and roses. Every dog breed has its challenges, and Frenchies have a few quirks that can make them a little more challenging to care for. To properly take care of your French Bulldog, you need to be ready to deal with some of the difficult aspects of the breed.
Frenchies are very intelligent dogs. This can make them extra stubborn. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile, and make sure you know who’s boss. This means you need to be extra firm and focus on training to create a harmonious household.
French Bulldogs love their families, and they want to be with their people. Unfortunately, this can lead to separation anxiety. French Bulldogs are especially prone to developing separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Unfortunately, anxiety combined with boredom can lead to destructive behavior.
You may have noticed that your Frenchie seems to be just a tad snorty or snuffly. They may even snore. This is because they are brachycephalic dogs. In other words, they have a short nose. While this is part of their charm, it can also lead to sinus infections, wheezing, and a low tolerance for heat.
As a result of their unique facial structure, French Bulldogs can also be prone to dental problems. If not cared for properly, dental problems can quickly lead to other health issues.
Since Frenchies are small and naturally stocky, they can have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Gaining even a pound or two can make a huge difference in a small dog. This can lead to joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes as they grow older.
French Bulldog Basic Care
Now that you know some of the challenges of the breed, it’s time to learn how to keep them happy and healthy.
With all stubborn breeds, training is a must. French Bulldogs are no different. It will establish that you are in charge, and there are rules. Most importantly, it helps you understand your dog and will strengthen your bond. Another important aspect of training is the mental stimulation it provides for your dog.
All dogs, but especially intelligent breeds, need mental stimulation. A bored dog can easily become a destructive dog. Keep your dog’s brain engaged so they don’t become bored. In addition to training, food puzzle toys and snuffle mats can keep them occupied and stimulated enough to behave themselves.
Address separation anxiety before it starts. Crate training is a solution for some dogs, it makes them feel more comfortable and gives them a safe place. A pet sitter may also be a good way to keep your Frenchie from feeling stressed when left alone as they know they have a visitor stopping by to take care of them.
When preparing to leave your dog alone, don’t be afraid to use some helpful tools to make the process go smoothly. Using dog safe essential oils meant to soothe your dog and keep them calm is a great way to naturally help your dog with their alone time. This diffuser that clips onto your pup’s collar will release a calming scent that will help their anxiety totally melt away - perfect for while you’re away!
To keep your Frenchie from getting excessively plump, regular exercise is very important. A walk is a great way to keep them moving - just watch them closely to be sure they don’t overheat. If the weather is just too hot to allow outdoor activity, try a game of tug of war inside, or take them to a climate-controlled indoor dog park. French Bulldogs are naturally playful, so encourage them to play to help them stay fit and trim.
A healthy diet is also important to keep your French Bulldog looking svelte. Feed them a high-quality diet, and beware of excessive fillers. Limit feeding to twice a day instead of free feeding, which can lead to over-eating. You can replace high-calorie dog treats with dog-safe fruits and vegetables, like carrots or dehydrated sweet potatoes.
An important part of taking care of brachycephalic dogs is keeping the folds on their faces clean. These can get irritated or develop yeast or bacterial infections if not washed regularly. Gently wash and dry their folds daily to prevent skin infections.
Regular dental visits with their veterinarian will help prevent problems from developing. To keep things clean in-between visits, get your Frenchie used to regular tooth brushing sessions. Use a soft brush and toothpaste formulated for dogs to keep their teeth sparkling clean.
Bathing Your French Bulldog
A French Bulldog's face may need daily washing, but the rest of them doesn’t. A bath once or twice a month, along with regular brushing, is all they need to keep them clean. Just because they don’t have a fluffy coat doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a luxurious experience.
Make bath time like a pampering spa day by adding a dog bath bomb to their bath water. The essential oil blends will address any special skin issues they have going on (like aches, extra dirt, itchy skin, and more), and the pleasant scent will make bath time more enjoyable for both of you.
Frenchies are fabulous and fun dogs. They love attention and deserve to be pampered. For more ways to spoil your French Bulldog on bath day, see what else we have to offer at Fido Fizzies.