If you’re thinking about adding a French bulldog to your family, you might also be wondering how the new arrival might affect your household chores. Feeding, walking, and playtime routines are a given, of course. But how much do French bulldogs shed, and is there anything that can be done to prevent it?
About French Bulldog Shedding
Though it can be annoying, shedding is a natural process. It’s how dogs get rid of old or damaged hair. The phenomenon isn’t exclusive to canines, either. In fact, humans shed 50 to 100 hairs per day themselves, whether they notice it or not.
Some dogs are more prone to shedding than others. While health and behavior can play significant roles (see Possible Causes, below), the dog’s breed is a primary factor when it comes to hair loss.
If you’ve owned Frenchies in the past, you already know that shedding isn’t a major problem. That said, there are additional steps you can take to cut back on the amount of hair that winds up on your furniture and floors.
Regular grooming can help keep shedding under control. For a French bulldog, we would recommend going through the motions about once a week. Furrier breeds will require more care in this regard, which is one of the many reasons why we’re nuts about Frenchies.
Because french bulldog shedding is more common in the warmer months, you might need to step up the routine a bit. A pet grooming glove will the task that much easier. These ingenious tools are outfitted with tiny nodules on the palm, so you’re helping your pet to get rid of excess hair as you pet them. They’re affordable, convenient, and allow you to reach spots that can be difficult to access with a regular brush. Best of all, most dogs seem to love them.
Also, pay attention to the type of dog shampoo that you use. You might already be buying a formula that’s designed for sensitive skin, but if not, it’s time to switch. French bulldogs have notoriously tender skin. Look for a hypoallergenic shampoo that’s designed specifically for dogs. While some people swear by regular baby shampoo, dogs have a higher pH value than humans and require a different formula.
Always dry the pup immediately after bathing. In addition to being messy, wet fur will cause your dog to lose body heat, especially for short-haired breeds. For best results, use a microfiber towel with built-in handles to give you a firmer grip. You’ll want the dog’s fur to be slightly damp, not sopping wet.
The French bulldog’s coat is shiny, sleek, and fairly short—all good news if you’re trying to keep shedding under control. To help keep it shiny, we would recommend including a small amount of Omega-3 fats in their regular diet. Mix a raw fortified egg yolk into their food once a week, or slip a few sardines into their bowl. Just be careful not to overdo it, especially if your pup has a sensitive stomach.
Similarly, consider giving them fresh fruit instead of commercially prepared treats. Eating antioxidant-rich foods can help boost your pet’s immune system, thereby staving off the health issues that can lead to excessive shedding. Blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries are all good options, and they’re perfectly safe for canines to eat.
Making your own dog treats can be a fun and inexpensive way to introduce antioxidants into your dog’s diet. Just mix one cup of fruit or vegetable puree with two cups of whole wheat flour, roll out the dough, and cut it into uniform pieces using a cookie cutter. Bake the treats at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Using cookie cutters and molds that are specifically designed for dog treats is a nice touch.
You can experiment with different flavors as you wish. Just make sure the puree doesn’t include any onions or garlic—both are toxic to dogs.
Although French bulldogs are known for being great “apartment dogs” due to their docile personalities, they still require some exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog, so make sure to walk your pup regularly. A series of shorter walks throughout the day is recommended—about one hour per day total.
As a bonus, this allows the dog to shed outside rather than in the house, so there will be less hair for you to clean up. One caveat: Take care not to overexert the dog in warm weather, as this can cause respiratory issues and overheating.
No matter how vigilant you are about diet, exercise, and grooming, the fact remains that Frenchies shed, as all dogs do. If you allow your pup to join you on the couch, consider investing in a machine-washable furniture cover. There are also mats available that use high-decibel tones in order to scare pets off the furniture, but we’re not big fans of this method.
Alternatively, a sturdy pair of rubber gloves can be used to remove stubborn pet fur from couches and other furniture. Just put on the gloves and run your hands lightly over the upholstery—the hairs should come off easily. A dry or dampened sponge will also do the trick.
As we’ve established, Frenchies don’t typically shed that much to begin with. If you find that your furry companion is leaving behind more hair than usual, there’s probably an underlying reason. Before contacting your veterinarian, ask yourself the following questions:
—Is the dog taking any new medications that could trigger a reaction?
—Could he or she be suffering from a sunburn?
—Has he or she had a recent yeast or bacterial infection, or are there any other signs that would point to one?
—Is a flea or mite infestation a possibility?
—Are you using the right type of shampoo for your dog’s sensitive skin?
—Have there been any recent changes to the household (a move, a new family member, a disruption in the usual routine) that could be causing the animal stress?
After you’ve pinpointed the probable cause—or if you’ve been unable to do so—contact your vet to discuss treatment options.
Do French bulldogs shed? Without a doubt. Should that deter you from caring for one? Absolutely not.
As long as you pay attention to their diet and ensure that they get the proper care and exercise, you’ll find that Frenchies shed far less than many of their canine cousins.