French bulldogs are a loyal companion to have in life. They will love you and your family unconditionally. Here, our Orange vets share some useful knowledge about French bulldogs, how to care for them, and some special considerations when making the decision to own one.
What to Know Before Getting a French Bulldog
French bulldogs are a fairly recognizable breed of dog with their tiny size, smushed-in faces, and large ears. They also make for great family dogs with their undying affection. Before raising a French bulldog puppy, there are a few things to know about the health and care of French bulldogs.
French Bulldog Personalities & Physical Characteristics
Between their appearance and outgoing personality, French bulldogs are a highly sought-after companion. Unfortunately, they are a breed that experiences a number of different health concerns, some of the most common being orthopedic issues and respiratory problems. If you choose to raise a Frenchie, you can expect them to live an average of 10 to 12 years.
While they are muscular, they are actually quite small and only weigh up to 28 pounds on average. Their head is fairly large, along with their ears and eyes. Those large ears are one of the main distinguishing features of this breed.
French bulldogs come in many different colors and shades, usually ranging from white or tan, all the way to black. Their fur is short and smooth and they have notably wrinkly skin.
French bulldogs are happy and affectionate as well as playful. They make great companions for children and are suitable for apartment living.
It's important to know that not all Frenchies are fond of other animals. If you plan on having a French bulldog along with another pet, you may want to reach out to a trainer for assistance in introducing them.
Frenchies are loyal to their families but will also warm up quickly to new friends. If you aren't a fan of long runs then this breed of dog may be great for you as they enjoy naps and their joints don't do well with excessive exercise.
What to Know About Caring For Frenchies
Like other breeds of dogs, there are many different aspects of care that should be considered. Some of the areas of care include:
Grooming French bulldogs are fairly easy since they have short, smooth coats. This means that they won't get soiled easily and therefore won't require baths all that often. Because they don't run around a ton, they're nails may grow too long. This means that they will require regular nail trimming. You should be sure to clean their face wrinkles and ears often as this is an area where debris may frequently become trapped.
Dental problems are common among this dog breed so you should be vigilant in brushing their teeth on a daily basis.
Visiting the Vet
French bulldogs will need to visit the vet regularly for routine checkups and preventive care. Diseases affecting the respiratory system can have a serious impact on a French bulldog's health. By bringing your French bulldog in for annual wellness exams, your vet will have the opportunity to diagnose and treat conditions before they become too serious.
During your dog's visit, we will also recommend and administer any necessary preventive care medications and vaccinations including parasites such as hookworms and deadly diseases like rabies.
The good news for those who aren't big fans of long walks or running around is that French bulldogs are content with only being walked once or twice a day for a short time. You should also try to prevent your Frenchie from jumping onto the furniture or off of stairs as this can cause damage to their limbs and joints.
Diet & Nutrition
The diet for a French bulldog can consist of a high-quality dry kibble. If your dog has any health concerns that require a special diet, your vet can help with recommendations or prescriptions. You should keep in mind that overfeeding can be a serious issue as Frenchies are prone to becoming overweight.
Health Concerns When Owning a French Bulldog
Many purebred dogs experience health issues and French bulldogs are no exception. Some of the issues can become chronic, requiring ongoing care and management for the entirety of your dog's life. Some of these health concerns include:
- Orthopedic problems (Patella luxation, hip dysplasia, and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
- Skin conditions (Allergies and skin fold dermatitis or pyoderma)
- Ear and eye problems (Otitis externa, pinkeye, and corneal issues)
- Breathing problems
Special Considerations for French Bulldogs
French bulldogs can easily become overheated. This means that you will need to pay extra attention to them during warmer weather. Some of the early signs of overheating are panting and excessive thirst. Some of the other symptoms that your dog may display are dizziness, lethargy, or sudden collapse. If your French bulldog shows these symptoms, they may have heatstroke which is a veterinary emergency and requires immediate medical care.
You should also be mindful of your Frenchie when around water. They are unable to swim like other dogs and the size of their head makes it easy for them to tip forward in the water. Never leave your French bulldog unattended near water.
French Bulldog Care at Vet4HealthyPet
As delightful as flat-faced dogs are, it is essential for pet parents to recognize that the characteristic facial and snout shape of these breeds may result in a range of health concerns that need the expert attention of veterinarians with experience caring for these breeds.
At Vet4HealthyPet, our bulldog specialists offer the services your bulldog or brachycephalic dog needs to restore and maintain problem-free breathing, optimal weight, and great overall health – now and well into old age.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.