You may have heard that french bulldogs are hard to care for. While there is some additional care involved in owning a french bulldog, I wouldn’t necessarily call it hard. In fact, I believe that these little extra things you do for them just strengthens the bond between you and your frenchie.
So, what is this additional care I am talking about? Let’s start at the beginning:
You’ve picked up your little love muffin, bought the essentials, and hopefully read my last blog post and decided on a quality dog food. Now what? Now you prepare for the wonderful crazy life of frenchie parenthood!
There’s a reason frenchie parents love these little guys and gals so much and why most non-frenchie parents just won’t understand the profound love we feel for them. With their big expressive eyes, huge bat ears, frog legs, and big ole cuddly nature, you can’t help but fall in love!
However, just like any other relationship, this one takes a little work.
You can’t help but fall in love with your frenchie and your frenchie will love you just as much as you love them. They crave your love and want to be near you constantly so it’s important to provide your frenchie with plenty of attention. If you have multiple frenchies like I do, you need to carve out some one on one time with each one. Of course, most of the time all three are with me. However, I do take them on separate walks and will take them one at a time to the store so they have their special alone time. They really do appreciate this one on one time with mommy and daddy!
Socializing Your Frenchie
If you socialize these munchkins early, they are very easy to take along with you anywhere. They will love all the people they meet along the way and they will love all the sights there are to see.
Be careful not to socialize them with other dogs too early though. It is very important that puppies have all their shots before bringing them around any other dogs so puppy play time must wait a bit. You bring this cute little puppy home and want to show him or her off. So, you take them to the local dog friendly beach. Big mistake! Puppies can catch all sorts of diseases before they have all their shots. Make sure your puppy has all three sets of vaccinations before bringing them to the doggie beach, doggie park or any other doggie friendly area where you find congregations of dogs.
However, as soon as it is safe after they receive all their vaccinations, make sure to socialize them with other dogs as soon as possible. I wait at least a week after the third set of vaccinations to bring my puppies around other dogs. The sooner you socialize them with other dogs, the more likely they are to have a life long love for other pups.
I must add that your frenchie may be very protective over you around other dogs even when they have been socialized. One time I stopped to pet the cutest little puppy (maybe 3 months old) and Dozer lunged at her as to say “Stay away from my mommy!”
Let’s talk heart worm prevention
There are many heart worm prevention medications available. However, my go to has always been Heartguard. I have always given my pups of all breeds the Heartguard chews. They think it is a yummy treat which makes them easy to give and they are vet recommended. I tried Dozer on one of the pills that are heart worm prevention and flea prevention combined. However, the poor little guy just threw it right back up. So, back to Heartguard we went. Whatever heart worm prevention medicine you choose, just make sure you use one. Heart worms are easy to prevent with medication. However, they are hard and costly to cure.
Those wrinkly little faces we love sure are cute. However, with that cuteness comes some care. It is very important to wipe between the wrinkle folds every day. Bacteria can build up in the folds of their wrinkles if the dirt is not cleaned out regularly. I use Seventh Generation Baby Wipes, Free & Clear Unscented and Sensitive, Gentle as Water, with Flip Top Dispenser, 768 count (Packaging May Vary)In addition to wiping the wrinkle folds daily, it is important to use some type of wrinkle cream, wrinkle paste, or wrinkle balm weekly. I use Natural Dog Company Wrinkle Balm and it works well for me. None of my babies have ever had dried out noses or wrinkle folds or stinky faces.
A very common question from frenchie parents is: How do I get rid of those pesky brown tear stains? While using the wipes daily and the balm weekly definitely helps, I didn’t see a noticeable difference in my frenchies until I stopped giving them tap water to drink. I personally give my babies spring water to drink. Filtered water also works because it does not contain the iron and other impurities that are found in tap water. There are many products out there for tear stains. However, I have found that daily wiping along with applying the balm weekly and providing a clean source of drinking water is what has worked best for me. For extremely stubborn tear stains, these work very well: https://thefrenchiemamablog.com/product/healthy-breeds-tear-stain-wipes/
You will hear many different answers to the question “How often should I bathe my Frenchie?” The short answer is as often as they need it. If they smell, bathe them. If they roll around in the dirt or mud, bathe them. I personally bathe mine once every two weeks. Some may say that’s too often and that their skin will dry out. However, even my sensitive boy with food and environmental allergies never gets dried out skin. Bathing your frenchie with environmental allergies is actually a good thing as it cleans off all the allergens he or she may have picked up outside. You just need to choose the right shampoo. Early on I found a puppy shampoo that I loved which was TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo Puppies. I now use Natural Dog Company Sensitive Skin Oatmeal Shampoo.One thing to remember after bathing your frenchie is to flush out their ears with a good rinse such as VetWELL Cat and Dog Ear Cleaner – Otic Rinse Dog Ear Infection Treatment for Yeast, Mites and Odor in Pets – 8 oz (Sweet Pea Vanilla) if you get even the slightest bit of water in their ears. When water seeps into the ear canal, this leads to ear infections. Much like heart worm prevention, ear infections are cheaper to prevent than to treat.
Dental health is very important to your frenchie. Just like with humans, bad dental hygiene can lead to other health problems so it’s important to get rid of that tartar and not let it build up. You should brush your dogs teeth at least three times a week. I place the toothpaste on the toothbrush and let them lick it before brushing. This makes the process go easier and you are not forcing the toothbrush into their mouth. They may be hesitant at first. However, if you brush their teeth regularly, they will get used to it being part of their routine. Routine is everything with these pups. Once they get their routine down, they know exactly what they should be doing.
I have always been hesitant to trim my dogs nails afraid of accidentally cutting the quick and hurting them so I’ve always had my dogs nails trimmed at the groomer. Then, along comes COVID-19 and shuts everything down. What do I do? I remembered seeing a commercial for Dog Nail Grinder, 2-Speed Electric Dog Nail Clippers Trimmer Grinder, Portable Rechargeable Low Noise Pet Nail Grinder for Small Medium Large Dogs Cats Pets Painless Paws Grooming, 2 Grinding Wheels. The commercial mentioned that you didn’t have to worry about the clipping and cutting the quick so I researched these nail grinders and ended up purchasing one for myself. What a life saver it has been! I followed their directions and held it up to them first to get them use to the sound. I always only grind each nail for 5 seconds at a time as they suggest. It is amazing how easy it is to grind my frenchies nails! I wish I knew about these things years ago and saved myself thousands of dollars in grooming fees.
Baby wipes aren’t just for the face
I remember watching my ex’s mother wipe her dogs behind and thought to myself “I would never wipe my dogs butt.” Fast forward fifteen years later. Guess what? I’m wiping my dogs butts! You pretty much have to with these little guys and gals. Most dogs can reach their hind area and clean themselves if they need to. Our chunky little stout frenchies do not have that luxury. So yes, you have to do it for them. I don’t mind though, it’s just all a part of their grooming process. You may not need to brush them often due to their short coat, but you do have to wipe their hiney to get their hiney clean.
If your frenchie is not particularly fond of any of these care techniques, be sure to give them a treat and praise afterwards. I recently bought a new treat for my dogs that they absolutely love. 100% salmon is the only ingredient. I love that, they love them, and that is the key. You want to find a treat they absolutely love (and of course is good for them) and use it to praise them for all their good deeds.
I hope this blog post was helpful. Be sure to read my previous posts for detailed information about potty training and choosing a quality dog food.
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