Over the past few years, the French bulldog breed has become increasingly popular because of these dogs’ sweet, lovey-dovey nature and bright, bat-eared cuteness. The French bulldog, or Frenchie, is seen everywhere nowadays, and the breed’s wrinkled forehead, short, muscular stature, and signature big ears just beg for attention. But all these unique characteristics also beg the question: How do we best care for this particular breed? Read our Town & Country Animal Hospital team’s complete guide to French bulldog care. 

Basic French bulldog needs

French bulldogs’ basic needs are similar to those of other dog breeds. Frenchies must be fed high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food, have access to clean, fresh water at all times, and have access to shelter from the elements. Our veterinarian can provide you with the best information regarding diet type. French bulldogs, like all dogs, should be fed a diet approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) to ensure they receive the appropriate balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and minerals to maintain their health. Also, remember that you need to measure your French bulldog’s food portions to help prevent them from becoming obese and developing other health issues as a result. Most French bulldogs are small and weigh less than 28 pounds, so check with our veterinarian to learn the proper amount to feed your dog. 

In addition, provide clean, fresh water to your dog to ensure they remain hydrated. Frenchies are prone to overheating in warm, humid environments, and providing cool water at all times is essential to maintaining a healthy body.

French bulldog grooming and hygiene

Frenchies require minimal grooming, but they do require regular care, as do all dogs. While French bulldogs do not shed much, their short coat still needs to be brushed weekly to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils evenly through their coat. You should trim your Frenchie’s nails regularly to avoid overgrowth and breakage, which can be painful. The Frenchie’s facial folds must be kept clean and dry, their ears should be cleaned regularly, and they need to have an occasional bath. You should brush your dog’s teeth daily to help your furry pal avoid developing dental disease.

French bulldog exercise and training

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), French bulldogs only need moderate exercise and can stay in shape with daily playtime and walks. Because they have a forward stance and are heavier in the front part of their bodies, swimming is not a natural sport for these dogs, and they have a drowning risk if they are not monitored closely when in a pool, pond, or other body of water. Many French bulldogs enjoy sports such as agility and rally. However, do not let your Frenchie exert themselves in warm or humid weather, which can exacerbate their breathing challenges. 

All dogs need basic obedience training to be good citizens, and French bulldogs are no exception. Start your puppy with socialization classes, a good way to ensure they become a well-adjusted adult dog. If your Frenchie is older, they can benefit from consistent, positive reinforcement training to promote good behavior and correct bad habits. Some French bulldogs can be stubborn, but most want to please their owners, making them easier to train. 

Health concerns and preventive care for French bulldogs

French bulldogs are generally a healthy breed. However, they have particular challenges with their anatomy that need careful monitoring. French bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have shortened faces and, therefore, shortened airways. Brachycephalic pets typically have loud or ragged breathing and can develop progressive breathing problems because of their shortened snout. Closely monitor your French bulldog, especially in warm or humid weather, to avoid an emergency room visit. 

Other French bulldog health issues include skin allergies, eye problems, and autoimmune diseases. Although these health conditions may never develop, the best way to care for your dog is by ensuring they receive regular preventive care with our Town & Country Animal Hospital team. Regular checkups are essential for catching any problems early before they develop into a serious health concern. Early disease detection can make treatment tolerable for your pet and less expensive for you. 

French bulldogs are endearing, cute, and fun and have found their way into Americans’ hearts. If you have a French bulldog and would like more care information, schedule an appointment with our Town & Country Animal Hospital team.