Caring For Your French Bulldog

In general, dogs are very social animals that have cohabited and worked with humans for thousands of years.  They have played extremely important roles in many different cultures and are highly valued for their intelligence and loyalty.  When you bring a dog into your life, it is vitally important that you train them and care for them properly.

Although dogs play an important role in  society today, many dog owners both old and new find that they run into many different challenges when it comes to training their new friend and properly caring for them.  While many people want to own a dog, such as a French Bulldog, many do not know how to train them.  A dog that does untrained will not bring happiness to their owners, and there are far too many people who allow their dogs to develop bad habits.

The first step to properly caring for your French Bulldog is to make sure you are purchasing a high quality food.  Even if the food is on the expensive side, the good quality food will give your French Bulldog the proper nutrients to make sure that they are feeling and looking their best from the inside out.

French Bulldogs and all dogs in general are similar to small children and should be treated as such.  Your French Bulldog shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time because they will likely get into trouble.  When your dog is left alone at home, they should have a designated area with boundaries containing chew toys and other things that will keep them distracted without getting them into trouble.

When your French Bulldog behaves properly they need to be praised and rewarded accordingly.  This will teach them that good behavior leads to positive rewards, and will reinforce the good behaviors as they do them.  This will also discourage bad behaviors. If your dog misbehaves, a punishment should also be given so that they can understand the difference between right and wrong.

When you are disciplining your French Bulldog, it is important to understand the clear difference between discipline and abuse. There are some dog owners that don’t understand this and it leads to their dogs being hit, kicked or worse.  This is considered abuse and it may even cause your dog to attack you.  When you train your dog it is important that they respond out of respect to you, not out of fear.

A good way to discipline your French Bulldog without hitting them is to fill a spray bottle with water and spray them while giving them a verbal warning against the bad behavior.  This will get the message across in a non-abusive way.  How you go about training your French Bulldog is very important and will ultimately determine the behaviors of the dog when they are fully grown.  It will also help your dog live out a long and happy life with you by their side.

 

 

Bones For Your French Bulldog – A Delicious Treat or A Healthy Snack?

There are many varying opinions between dog experts as to whether bones should be given to a dog raw, cooked, hard, or soft and even whether they should be given at all.  The one unanimous opinion among all experts is that you should NEVER give a dog splintering bones from chicken, pork, fowl or rabbit.  These bones can splinter off, get caught in your dogs throat and cause death.

Marrow bones are the common symbol of a treat for a dog, and all dogs generally love chewing on these.  You need to be careful that the size of bone you are giving is the correct size for your dog.   Large breeds will handle bones much easier than small dog breeds.  Bones that are mostly cartilage such as shoulder, knuckle and soft rib bones are good chewing material and can be consumed entirely without problems.

The real danger of consuming bones is in the possible intestinal compaction that can occur.  This occurs more frequently in small dogs such as French Bulldogs if the chewed bone has not been mixed with other digestible material in your dog’s stomach.  A small amount of bone shouldn’t cause any trouble if it is given after a meal.  However, pork chop and steak bones can be dangerous especially if your dog is anxious and tries to eat the meat and fat off too quickly.  If they do this they run the risk of bone splinters causing intestinal injury.

The best policy to follow with your French Bulldog is as follows:

A teething puppy should always be given a bone, either real or imitation, to chew on.  An adult dog can have a suitable bone, either real or imitation as an occasional treat perhaps once per week.  It will give them enormous pleasure and will also help keep teeth clean and free of tartar.  Remember, nylon bones offer the same advantages of real bones without any health risks!

Caring For Your Senior French Bulldog

Your French Bulldog has given you many wonderful years of companionship and in return, you should make your pet’s final years are as comfortable as can be. You will know when your beloved Frenchie is approaching his or her golden years by the rate in which they mature. Generally, the larger the dog is, the faster they mature. For a French Bulldog, when your dog reaches about 8 years old they are experiencing or quickly approaching their senior years. When your dog reaches this stage it’s important that they receive the correct amount of exercise, nutrition and veterinary care.

Signs of an Aging French Bulldog

Your Frenchie will show signs of age in a few different ways.  A healthy senior French Bulldog will generally have a decreased energy level.  Your dog may sleep more often than he used to and/or become tired more quickly during exercise or activities that once were no problem for them physically.  They also may appear to be stiff after playing or after getting up from a rest, which is attributed to arthritis due to aging.

One of the best ways to comfort an aging dog is to provide them with comfortable sleeping quarters.  There are many companies that design special therapeutic dog beds specifically for the aging and arthritic pooch.  These special beds are designed to take the pressure off of your Frenchie’s aching joints and are generally made from memory foam.  These beds also have removable covers and are made from machine washable materials that benefit you least your senior Frenchie has an accident in his or her bed.

Exercise

An appropriate exercise regiment will help your senior French Bulldog avoid further problems such as weight gain and arthritis.  Regular exercise will also help to improve digestion and circulation, but this needs to be done in moderation so your dog won’t overdo it.  A nice short walk a few times per day in addition to some low key playing should be just enough to do the trick.

Proper Nutrition

As your French Bulldog gets older, their dietary needs will change.  Make sure you are selecting a food that is appropriate for your dogs needs and conditions.  A proper senior dog food will have fewer calories, higher protein and added vitamins and minerals that will help your dogs coat and teeth to remain in good health.

Weight gain due to a slowing metabolism is a very common problem, especially with aging French Bulldogs.  You can test to see if your dog is overweight simply by placing your hands on their backbone and feeling for their ribcage.  If you can’t fee it, chances are that your Frenchie is a bit overweight.  If your pup needs to shed some pounds, look for a lower fat and calorie food.

Veterinary Care

As your French Bulldog ages, they will be experiencing many physical and emotional changes.  It is important that you keep up on their health with twice annual geriatric screenings in addition to their regular check-ups and shots.

So long as you continue to love your Frenchie and give them the best possible senior care, they will live a long and happy life with you right up to the very end.

Worming Your French Bulldog

Worming your dog on a regular basis is essential to protect them against internal parasites. The worming involves administering the medication in liquid or tablet form.  Adult dogs need to be wormed a minimum of once per year, however once every six months is strongly preferred.  Dogs showing any signs of infection should be wormed immediately and all breeding bitches are to be wormed prior to mating.

There are many types of roundworm parasites that can affect your dog, but the most harmful of the roundworms are those that belong to the Ascarid family and live in the small intestine feeding on the digesting food in the dog’s gut.  Ascarids are particularly harmful to puppies because they can penetrate the gut wall and pass via the blood to the liver and then to the lungs.  From there they can crawl up the trachea to be coughed up and swallowed ending up back in the gut.  Infected puppies are at a much higher risk for developing hepatitis, pneumonia, fits and gut obstructions.  Regular puppy worming treatment is vital.

As puppies get older, the worms will travel to the muscles where they can form cysts.  These worms can lie dormant until the dog becomes pregnant.  They can then migrate to the lungs and this is why virtually every puppy is born with roundworms and must be wormed very regularly at a young age.

Roundworms can infect humans, and in a low number of cases they can cause disease.  Proper hygiene and common sense concerning children and puppies should control the transmission of worms to humans.

Tapeworms can be identified by a dog dragging it’s rear end across the floor.  Because these worms tickle the dogs anus, if you see your dog scooting, you may want to visually inspect the feces and treat it as soon as possible.

Caring For French Bulldogs with Hypoallergenic Conditions

Some dog breeds, such as French Bulldogs, are more susceptible to allergies that others. The allergies are generally caused by reactions to flea bites, irritable stomachs that have difficulty digesting food, small nasal passages or they may even be allergic to their own hair and dander.

The most common signs of allergies in your French Bulldog will include raw skin, patches of missing hair, red skin, hives, coughing, sneezing, excessive chewing and licking of paws, watery eyes, vomiting and diarrhea.  While these symptoms may disappear after a few days it’s important to watch your Frenchie closely in case the symptoms return.  If they do, taking the dog to the vet is the solution.  Often times, the allergy can be traced back to an ingredient in their food so changing their diet could eliminate the allergy all together.  Also, treating your French Bulldog for fleas and ticks could reduce the allergy as well.

When your French Bulldog is suffering from allergies their mood can fluctuate.  They can become irritable, lethargic, clingy, or even angry.  When your Frenchie is reacting to the discomfort caused by allergies, discipline will not work.  The best way to remedy this is to learn how to properly care for your pup once the source of the allergy is revealed.  One option would be to keep a log of your French Bulldog’s activities and symptoms so that you can show the vet who can then recommend a treatment.

Some small breeds, such as the French Bulldog, may have breathing issues as they age and there is little that can be done about this.  Keeping their sleeping and eating area clean and free of dust is the best way to maintain healthy breathing in your aging pet.  You could purchase a hepa filter that will trap any free floating dust, particles and other air pollutants.  Also, as important as exercise is for the health and well being of all dogs, keeping small breeds indoors and playing with them will give them adequate exercise while preventing them from contracting a head cold which can make their breathing problems worse.

If you notice that your French Bulldog has fleas or that they have been bitten by fleas, you should bathe your Frenchie using a flea shampoo designed to kill fleas and flea eggs.  Depending on the severity of the flea problem, you may also need to rid your home of fleas by using a carpet spray or calling an exterminator so that the re-infestation does not occur.  Once the fleas are gone, you should spray your Frenchie each time they go outside.  This will prevent new fleas from jumping onto your pet and entering your home.  If your dog has sustained open bites or wounds from scratching you should wait until these areas have healed before attempting to bathe them with a flea shampoo or spray them with a repellent.  Using a product such as Advantage that can be placed at the back of the neck and top of the tail is the best way to kill the fleas while allowing the wounds to properly heal.

Vomiting can occur if your Frenchie is allergic to their food.  If this happens, you should visit the vet first to make sure that the vomiting isn’t caused by something internal such as an intestinal blockage.  At this point, they can recommend a new food for your dog and the vomiting should cease.

Dogs that are allergic to their own hair and dander have the worst allergies of all because there isn’t very much that can be done for them.  If your dog is allergic to their hair and dander you need to make sure that they are bathed and groomed on a very regular basis.  Brush them every day to remove excess hair and dander and bathe them once per month.  If the allergies are persistent, the vet could prescribe an anti-histamine to help control the pet’s suffering.

Can Chew Treats Kill Your French Bulldog?

Chew treats are quite common among all dog owners.  If you currently or have ever owned a dog, you have given dozens of these treats to your friend and they absolutely love them!  These chew treats help to clean their teeth and keep them distracted or occupied for long periods of time.  However, these treats are NOT harmless and can actually cause serious injury and even death.

Why are chew treats so dangerous?

The two most popular kinds of edible chew treats on the market are made from rawhide or compressed vegetable protein.  When your Frenchie chews on these treats, they are at risk to swallow large pieces of them.  The pieces of chew treat is indigestible and can easily become lodged in the intestines.  Intestinal blockages can kill a dog within hours.  They cause a condition called intestinal strangulation where blood flow is cut off from the intestines completely.  When this happens, the intestines begin to die and rot.

How do I know if my dog has an intestinal blockage?

Vomiting, refusal to eat, regurgitation, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain are all symptoms of a possible intestinal blockage.  If your French Bulldog has any of these symptoms you should seek the care of a veterinarian as soon as possible.  Intestinal blockages do not clear on their own and require surgery to remove.

Should I stop giving my dog chew treats?

You don’t need to stop giving them chew treats, but you should always be vigilant about monitoring the use of the treats.  When you can’t be around to supervise your Frenchie, take them away.  Further, when the treat has broken down to small pieces, discard them and replace.

Remember, as a French Bulldog owner it is your responsibility to look after your pet’s health and well being.  Losing your pet to a preventable accident such as a chew treat becoming lodged in the intestines would be a total shame.  Make sure to keep a watchful eye over your Frenchie and they will live out a long and happy life with you by their side.

 

Best Hygiene Practices For French Bulldogs

Washing your French Bulldog is important, but it’s not as important as you may think.  The fact is that healthy dogs actually do not need to be bathed that often at all.  Most people choose to bathe and groom their dogs to give them a more pleasant scent and appearance.  The time you spend bathing your dog is ideal to use to check for fleas and ticks, cleaning the ears and brushing the teeth as well.  Since most dogs dislike these tasks, getting them done all at once will be easiest on you and your Frenchie friend.  Although most dogs don’t enjoy the bath itself, your pooch will appreciate the contact and attention they will receive from you during that time.

Brushing your French Bulldog’s teeth is being active about dental hygiene.  Most vets will recommend that it’s done about twice per week to help your Frenchie maintain healthy teeth and gums.  If you don’t regularly do this, don’t worry as it is never too late to start.  Your pup should have their own toothbrush and special doggy toothpaste.  Make sure you brush the back teeth in small circles just as you would your own teeth, and brush up and down the length of the canine teeth in the front.  Because dogs have a sensitive sense of taste and smell, brushing your dog’s teeth with a minty human toothpaste will always be a very uncomfortable experience for your dog.  If you do this, they will be less likely to cooperate with the task.  The special doggy toothpaste is flavored with dog approved flavors and scents which will ultimately make for a much better experience for both you and your Frenchie.

Ticks are an invasive arachnid that will cling onto your French Bulldog and ingest your pet’s blood as it’s food source.  Ticks are most common in wooded areas, but no matter where you live, all dogs should be checked regularly for ticks as they carry a number of diseases.  The most common place to check for ticks would be on your dog’s belly or neck around the collar area.  The tick will be buried in their fur, but can be removed using tweezers.  If you are unsure of how to remove the tick, it is best to take your dog to a vet and have them show you how to remove it.  If the tick is not fully removed, it can lead to further complications.

As well as ticks, fleas are generally found under the dog’s fur making direct contact with the skin. The presence of fleas can be spotted easily by looking for the flea droppings on your French Bulldog’s coat.  These droppings look like small flecks of black pepper and the fleas themselves look like bits of brown rice and are generally about an eighth of an inch in length.  Fleas are not as easily picked off of your pet such as ticks.  When you have confirmed the presence of fleas, applying a flea medication will control and eliminate the presence of fleas within a matter of hours.

Pet supply stores will carry a special solution that is used for cleaning your Frenchie’s ears.  Ear mites, small insects that live and feed inside of the dog’s ear can be a common occurrence.  Over time, the bodies of these short-lived insects can build up and form a black substance.  Using a cotton swab dipped in the ear cleaning solution, you will be able to easily clean the inner ear to remove the dirt and mites.  This process is quick and will result in avoiding ear infections and earaches in your French Bulldog.

 

Aromatherapy For Your French Bulldog

Emotions play a critical role in the lives of human beings.  Feelings of sadness, happiness, anger, frustration, fear and love are what helps to shape our human experience.  Just as these feelings are paramount in our existence, they are also an integral part of your French Bulldog’s experience.  Aromatherapy can provide instant, profound and long lasting effects on an animal’s overall health and well being.

When we leave our French Bulldog’s alone for extended periods of time, ignore them, feed them food with little nutritional value, abandon them or involve them in any other negative situation we are causing them to feel stress.  Stress can lead to health problems in your French Bulldog such as exhaustion, itching, hair loss, panting and even aggression.  Aromatherapy can be used to treat your Frenchie’s hot spots, irritated skin, ear infections, rashes, bites, cuts, scrapes, incisions from surgery, bad breath, flatulence and more.

French Bulldogs are faithful friends for life.  They give us affection, joy and loyalty, but they are also emotionally dependent on their Humans.  Your Frenchie is always in sync with your mood but they have a hard time coping with emotional stress and loneliness which is why dogs require more attention than any other animal.

If your French Bulldog is suffering from a yeast or ear infection you can use either of the following to treat it.  For ease of application and use, place the oils in a spray bottle with a base oil and swab the inside of the ear after each cleansing.

Lavender – lavender oil soothes the skin and relieves the itching caused by irritation.

Tea Tree – tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal

Bergamot – bergamot oil can be used as an anti-fungal

Roman Chamomile – roman chamomile can be used to sooth and heal soft tissues

 

Essential oils can be used to create a natural and very effective flea repellent by using Peppermint, citronella, lemon and clary sage.  Further, the risk of ticks can be reduced by using geranium oil, bay, lavender and myrrh.  Using about 15-20 drops of these oils diluted with base oil and sprayed directly on your French Bulldog daily will keep ticks and fleas away.

To help relieve emotional stress on your pet, simply mix 6 drops of lavender, 1 drop of neroli and 4 drops of marjoram essential oils and mix directly with a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond.  Place this mixture directly on the spine and head of your French Bulldog lightly and repeat whenever necessary.

To help relieve anxiety & lonliness simply mix 1 drop of rose otto, 5 drops of cypress and 5 drops of marjoram essential oils mixed with a carrier oil.  Place this mixture directly on the spine and head and repeat whenever necessary.

To reduce nervousness & hyperactivity mix 6 drops of lavender, 2 drops of roman chamomile and 4 drops of petitgrain essential oils mixed with a carrier oil.  Place this mixture directly on the spine and head and repeat whenever necessary.

When mixing the essential oils for use in pet aromatherapy it is very important to consider your French Bulldog’s sensitive sense of smell.  Any dog that is overwhelmed by the smells of these essential oil blends may react by pacing, whining or trying to remove the oils by rubbing themselves on the ground.  It is important to slowly introduce the oils to your pets in small amounts so that they become used to the different scents.

Ideal Dental Care For French Bulldogs

Proper dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans.  Just like us, your French Bulldog’s teeth can gather plaque after eating and when that plaque builds up, hardens and becomes the brown substance we all know as tartar.  The tartar will accumulate and work it’s way under the gums and cause your Frenchie to experience painful infections and gum disease.  People brush their teeth multiple times per day to prevent the build up of tartar, so what does your dog do?

 

Teeth Brushing for your French Bulldog

Veterinarians recommend that dog owners brush their dog’s teeth at least twice per week to keep the tartar build up under control.  Most pet stores will carry specially formulated toothpaste and specially designed brushes just for your dog.  Because a dog’s sense of taste and smell is far more powerful than ours, trying to brush your Frenchie’s teeth with your mint toothpaste will be a terrible experience for them.  It is recommended that you only use the dog toothpaste when doing this because it will make it easier to get your Frenchie used to the idea of having his teeth brushed regularly.

 

Dental Chews

Brushing your French Bulldog’s teeth can be a time consuming and possibly difficult experience on a regular basis.  If you are finding that you are looking for an alternative method to the brushing, look no further than a dental chew.  Your Frenchie’s natural tendency to chew is a built-in dental care mechanism.  Dog biscuits will break into small pieces when chewed and rub against the teeth to help remove some of the build up.  There is never a substitute for brushing that will work as well, but if you can’t do the brushing make sure that you can give your Frenchie a crunchy biscuit on a regular basis.

 

Mouth Diseases in French Bulldogs

Frenchies that don’t receive proper dental care and don’t have regular access to teeth cleaning foods run the risk of several types of mouth disease.  These diseases can be as mild as gingivitis and as serious as a bacterial infection that can spread throughout your French Bulldog’s bloodstream causing organ damage.  It is critically important to take proper care of your dog’s teeth on a regular basis.

 

Dog Dentistry

Just like humans have access to a dentist, dental services are available for dogs as well.  A dog’s teeth can be filled, capped and even pulled if necessary.  The best course of action, however is prevention.  Providing proper dental care to your dog over time will prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort to your Frenchie, not to mention a costly dental bill to you.

 

Bandaging Your Injured French Bulldog

Owning a French Bulldog is a big responsibility and some might even compare that responsibility to that of having a baby. The advantage of having a dog instead of a baby, is that the dog won’t grow older and turn into a stressful teenager.  Since dogs can be viewed as babies, it is foreseeable that they will possibly end up in dangerous or unsafe situations.  French Bulldogs can become trapped in small spaces or get hit by something that will injure one of their limbs.  It is important to learn how to bandage your Frenchie if this situation ever arises to keep the limb from becoming further injured.  The following are the basic ways of bandaging your injured French Bulldog.

1.  When your Frenchie has a bandage, it should always be kept clean and dry.  It is very important to make sure your healing dog stays inside most of the time while the bandage is in place.  If you live in a wet climate, when your dog goes outside to use the bathroom it is a good idea to wrap a plastic bread bag or trash bag around the bandage to keep it dry.  Also, it is important that you check the bandage a few times per day for foul odors or discharge.  If you find either of these things you should contact your vet immediately.  You should note that keeping the bandage clean and dry could require you to change it a few times per day.

 

2.  After you bring your Frenchie home from the vet you will need to check the bandage to make sure it is still secured in the correct spot.  Sometimes the dog may attempt to scratch or chew the bandage off.  Look closely at the position of the bandage as it might have slipped up or down the pet.  The bandage could have also become loose on one end, especially if the abdomen or leg have been bandaged.  When the bandage becomes too loose or stretched out, it is time to change the bandage.

 

3.  If your Frenchie has a bandage on it’s leg you need to make sure it’s not wrapped too tightly.  Pay attention to how the toes appear at the bottom of the bandage at least two times per day.  This will indicate sweating, swelling or pain in the leg.  Check for skin chaffing, redness, discharge or swelling both before and after changing the bandage.

 

4.  To prevent your French Bulldog from chewing on the bandage place them in a cone collar.  If your Frenchie is still trying to chew or scratch in excess you should consult your vet.

 

Please remember that any of the following symptoms will warrant an immediate trip to the vet:

– Swelling above or below the bandage

– Chewing the bandage

– Bandage becomes wet

– Bleeding or discharge above, below or through the bandage

– Scheduled bandage changes