Sweet and adorable, French Bulldogs are among the easiest dogs to care for when it comes to their grooming needs. Their short fur and big ears don’t need much work to keep clean, and their nails and wrinkles only need a few moments to be properly cared for. Not only does a regular grooming session keep your Frenchie looking impressive, but it’s also the perfect way to spend time bonding with your dog.
Despite their minimal upkeep, French Bulldogs can benefit from the right approach to their grooming routines. This list includes eight tips for making your Frenchie’s grooming session as effective and enjoyable as possible. Some aspects of your dog’s grooming should be done more than others. This guide includes helpful notes on when you should groom their fur or clip their nails.
The 9 French Bulldog Grooming Tips & Tricks
1. Start a Grooming Routine
Grooming routines are ideal for bonding with your dog and keeping them clean and smelling nice and helping their fur look sleek and shiny. The more consistent your dog’s grooming sessions are, the more benefits they’ll gain from the routine. Your French Bulldog will also be more likely to enjoy the attention if they are familiar with the sessions.
Introduce your dog to their grooming routine as early as possible. The younger your dog is when you start grooming them, the easier it’ll be later. If your dog’s older, take your time and use plenty of positive reinforcement to teach them that the tools that you use are nothing to be afraid of. With time and patience, your dog will begin to enjoy the sessions, no matter how old they are.
2. Brush Their Fur
French Bulldogs have short, fine coats. At first glance, their fur doesn’t look like it needs brushing at all, especially compared to double-coated dogs like German Shepherds or Collies.
While a Frenchie only has a single coat, their fur still sheds and collects dirt during their adventures. Use a grooming mitt or a soft medium-bristle brush to remove any shed hair and distribute the natural oils throughout your dog’s coat. Not only will the oils help keep their coat in good health, but regular brushing also promotes the growth of new hair and keeps them looking sleek.
Unlike dogs with thicker, more heavily shedding coats, Frenchies only need to be brushed once a week for the best results.
3. Clean Their Ears
Although French Bulldogs don’t have folded ears, they can still get dirt stuck in them. The large size of their ears can be a magnet for all sorts of debris to get trapped inside during their adventures.
Part of your French Bulldogs’ grooming routine should include paying careful attention to their ears. Check your French Bulldogs’ ears regularly, and clean them if they need it. This will help reduce the chances of your Frenchie suffering from an ear infection due to any trapped dirt.
4. Clean Their Face Wrinkles
Places prone to collecting dirt that are often overlooked are the cute wrinkles on your French Bulldog’s face. These areas can be incredibly delicate and can even trap moisture during your dog’s bath. Both the trapped dirt and moisture can irritate your French Bulldog’s sensitive skin and lead to infections.
If you do use water to clean your Frenchie’s face, make sure you dry their wrinkles thoroughly after the bath. You can also use wet wipes that are safe for pets. These will enable you to make sure their faces are clean without leaving moisture behind or causing the sensitive skin to flare up.
5. Clip Their Nails
All dogs need their nails clipped regularly. If you live in a city and walk your dog regularly, the concrete will naturally help wear down your French Bulldog’s claws, but it’s still a good idea to regularly check their feet and the length of their nails. The click of doggy nails on the floor might be an adorable way for your dog to announce their presence, but too-long claws can cause discomfort and pain.
There are two ways that you can clip your dog’s nails: nail clippers or a grinder designed for dogs. You’ll need to introduce your dog to these tools with plenty of positive reinforcement to make sure they don’t struggle when you use them. You can get their nails clipped at a veterinary clinic or a professional groomer, but learning how to do it yourself is faster and saves money.
6. Infrequent Bathtimes
Too many baths can dry out any dog’s skin. For Frenchies, which are prone to sensitive skin, bathtimes should be rare occurrences. Once a month or when they get overbearingly smelly — provided that it’s not every day — is often more than enough for these canines.
When you do bathe your Frenchie, remember to use the right shampoo. Dog shampoo designed for sensitive skin can be beneficial if you know that your dog suffers from skin issues. For French Bulldogs that don’t suffer from skin allergies, though, normal doggy shampoo works just as well for infrequent baths. Try not to get any moisture in the wrinkles on their faces, as these areas can trap moisture and be prone to infection.
Use the Right Shampoo
Remember, don’t use human shampoo on your dog. Dogs have a neutral pH balance to their skin, and their shampoo is formulated accordingly. Our skin is naturally more acidic, and human shampoo can leave a dog’s skin dry, flaky, and at greater risk of viral or bacterial infections.
One-off use of human shampoo might not make a difference for dogs without sensitive skin, but Frenchies often suffer from flare-ups. Using a shampoo designed for humans might make them uncomfortably itchy.
7. Look Out for Red or Itchy Skin
Many French Bulldogs suffer from sensitive skin. Keeping an eye out for any flare-ups should be a big part of your grooming routine. Not only will paying attention to any redness or inflamed skin help you treat the skin issues as they arise, but you’ll also be able to adjust anything that your dog could be reacting to.
Too many baths or the wrong food can both cause skin allergies. Cut down on the number of bathtimes, and brush your Frenchie more often instead. You can also talk to your veterinarian about food sensitivities that can cause itchiness and about diets that you can try instead.
8. Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Their short, squashed nose is part of what makes your French Bulldog an adorable member of the family. It also makes their jaw a slightly different shape compared to other canine breeds, which can make them susceptible to dental issues if their teeth aren’t looked after properly.
Introduce your Frenchie to a toothbrush designed for dogs when they’re a puppy, and use special canine toothpaste to brush their teeth regularly. You don’t need to brush them twice a day, but you should do so a few times a week at least. If you find a flavor of toothpaste that your dog loves, you might find that they love having their teeth brushed more than you do!
9. Use Positive Reinforcement
The French Bulldog is notorious for their friendliness but also their stubborn streak. If they don’t want to do something, they won’t. They are, however, naturally a people pleaser and love to be around their favorite people even if they don’t always want the same things that you do. Help them accept their new grooming routine by making it a pleasant, enjoyable experience for them.
Positive reinforcement through treats and praise, along with fun grooming sessions, is a great way to encourage your Frenchie to ask for more, rather than squirm away whenever you break out the brushes.
Their naturally short fur makes the French Bulldog a relatively low-maintenance breed. They can still benefit from a regular grooming schedule, though. Along with brushing their fur once a week and keeping their nails clipped, remember to check their ears and face wrinkles and to brush their teeth.
Frenchies can also be stubborn and might protest against their grooming if they find it uncomfortable or boring. Use positive reinforcement, and keep the routine fun and interesting to let them enjoy it too.