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    by Sebastiano Battaglia May 16, 2023 6 min read

    Both French Bulldog puppies and adults may experience difficulty breathing, overheating, and dental problems as a result of their brachycephalic anatomy. Therefore, it’s important for owners to be aware of these potential health concerns and take proactive steps to ensure their French Bulldogs remain happy and healthy pets.

    Joint Care

    If you’re a French Bulldog owner, you know that those floppy ears and alert eyes can bring endless love and companionship. But as is the case with any breed, their adorable snout comes along with certain health risks – namely skeletal and joint issues. As we get to know our furry friends better, it’s important for us to be aware of these potential issues so we can properly advise them through life’s small bumps, keeping them healthy and bringing an extra dose of joy all around! 

    Hip dysplasia is a congenital malformation. In a study, more than 70% of French Bulldogs showed indications of caudal articular process dysplasia.[i] Since Frenchies have this propensity for joint issues, it is important to keep a close eye on them for evidence of pain or movement issues. Regular veterinary checkups will also help.

    CBD is also helpful, and it is a natural compound derived from hemp plants. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in these plants. There is evidence that it can help dogs with common joint issues, inflammation and pain. As CBD products continue to gain popularity, you may want to try introducing it to your furry friend and maximizing these benefits.

    Diet

    Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for French Bulldogs, both puppies and adults, to ensure optimal health and longevity. Just like humans, a well-balanced diet impacts every aspect of their overall health, from weight management to preventing diseases. A nutritious French Bulldog diet should consist of high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs, including a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It’s crucial to choose food that is specifically formulated for their breed and age group to ensure they receive the appropriate amount of nutrients. Additionally, introducing too many treats or table scraps can lead to weight gain, an increased risk of heart disease, and other health issues, so moderation is key.

    If you are adding dietary supplements such as CBD to prevent or assist with health issues, these can also be added to food or given in treat form. 

    Grooming

    French Bulldog grooming is essential for the overall health of these beloved dogs, whether they are puppies or adults. It’s important to establish a consistent grooming routine that includes regular hair brushing, nail clipping, and ear cleaning to prevent any health issues from arising. Bathing should be done as needed, usually every 2-3 months, to avoid drying out their sensitive skin. Special attention should be given to the color of their coat, as Frenchies are known for their unique and sometimes rare coloring, such as the lilac Merle. By using color-enhancing shampoos and conditioners, their coat will stay vibrant and beautiful. Be sure to read labels carefully to make sure these products are safe. With proper grooming, your French Bulldog will not only look great but also feel great.

    Exercise

    French Bulldog exercise requirements are an important aspect of their health and well-being. While these lovable pups are known for their short and stocky builds, they still need regular physical activity to maintain strong joints and muscles. Whether you have a rambunctious French Bulldog puppy or an adult companion, it’s essential to meet their exercise requirements to keep them healthy and happy.

    However, these requirements may differ depending on your pup’s age, size, and overall health. Engaging in regular, low-impact activities like short walks, gentle playtime, and swimming can help keep their muscles and joints in good condition. Exercise time is also a great time to evaluation your dog’s movement, any pain level, and joint health. Some owners prefer to administer a low dose of vitamin B for energy levels along with a dose of CBD for inflammation after a good canine workout. As with any breed, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best exercise plan for your furry friend.

    Training

    Training a French Bulldog is vital for a happy and well-rounded pet. Whether you are starting with a young puppy or an adult dog, it’s never too late to begin training. French Bulldogs are intelligent and can be trained in many different ways, but they can also be independent and stubborn. Positive reinforcement is the key to successful French Bulldog training. Reward-based training, which includes verbal praise and treats, will be more effective in getting the right behavior from your furry friend. Patience, consistency, and repetition are essential when training a French Bulldog. With a little bit of time and effort, your French Bulldog will be a well-behaved pet that you can take anywhere. Remember, every obedient behavior deserves a treat and lots of love!

    portrait of purebred french bulldogs in front of white background

    Breeding

     Breeding French Bulldogs is a complex process that involves careful planning and attention to detail. French Bulldog puppies are highly sought after for their distinctive personalities, charming looks and unique coloring. Making sure that the adults being bred are healthy and strong is of paramount importance. When it comes to whelping, French Bulldogs require special care due to their unique physical characteristics, which can make giving birth a difficult and potentially risky process. Additionally, understanding the breeding cycle and recognizing the signs of heat is crucial for successful breeding. For those truly dedicated to the breed, French Bulldog breeding can be a rewarding pursuit, but it requires a high level of commitment, knowledge, and expertise.

    When considering breeding French Bulldogs, it is also important to try to improve the breed. Some breeders are now actively working on breeding for dogs that breathe better. Brachycephalic syndrome is a disorder caused by too much soft tissue within the airways of flat-faced breeds. Studies show that “there is an urgent need for breeding efforts to improve the health status of those dogs.”[ii]

    It may be helpful for breeders to prioritize the health of breeding stock by conducting thorough health testing. It is so difficult to have a puppy and then receive a heartbreaking diagnosis like a genetic disease or heart condition that could have been prevented through early detection. Thankfully, today’s breeders have an abundance of effective resources at their disposal to avoid such disasters. Even a simple cheek swab can reveal whether your foundation stock is carriers of a potentially harmful disease or physical condition that can be managed upfront. Though it’s not an indication of their fitness as breeders, you can carefully select dogs to ensure the healthiest puppies possible.

    Another interesting thing to note about French Bulldogs is that they are usually not bred in the same way as many other dogs. While Frenchies have the ability to reproduce naturally, it is a highly uncommon occurrence on account of their physical constraints. Most Frenchies are bred via artificial insemination.  

    Coloring

    Since 1911, the AKC-approved French Bulldog breed standard has mandated specific color requirements that continue to be in effect today. This list can be useful for dogs chosen to show in AKC specific shows. The list includes all brindle, fawn, white, brindle and white. To expand on this, see the following list:

    While these colors are considered standard, some owners do prefer colors that are non-standard. This includes colors such as blue, Merle, lilac, Isabella, chocolate, blue fawn, and platinum. Both standard and non-standard colors can be quite attractive, but it is important to know the difference when considering showing or breeding dogs.

    Fun Facts about Frenchies

    Did you know that in the past, French Bulldogs had rose-shaped ears similar to English Bulldogs? However, American breeders preferred the eye-catching bat ears that are now popular in the USA. If you’re considering a French Bulldog as a pet, chances are you’ll be the proud owner of a bat-eared pup.

    The famous ship that famously sunk in the 1900s had a French Bulldog on board. Yes, that’s the Titanic, and it is documented in photographs that a Frenchie was a passenger. 

    Frenchies are known for being “talkative.” They are not quiet dogs and they express themselves with gargles, yaps, grumbles, and vocal yawns! Although they are so talkative, most Frenchies don’t bark much. 

    All in all, considering a French Bulldog as a pet can be a fantastic decision for those looking for an entertaining and playful addition to their family. They have remarkable personalities with plenty of love and loyalty to give - making them ideal for any home that craves company and enjoys lots of laughter. As pet owners, we must be aware of their particular health considerations, but with proper treatment, they can live long lives full of joy and happiness. There is never a dull moment with a Frenchie! Whether you are looking to add some friendship or spice up the family dynamic, getting a French Bulldog is always surefire way to guarantee plenty of smiles. 

    References

    [i] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29464823/

    [ii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31841527/

    Sebastiano Battaglia
    Sebastiano Battaglia

    Seb has been a research scientist for the past two decades and is the founder and owner of My Blissful Pet. Seb grew up with cats and dogs and married his passion for science and animals with My Blissful Pet by wanting to help dogs and cats live healthier lives.

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