French Bulldogs have soared in popularity over the years; quickly becoming one of the most popular dogs in America. Their owners are caring, passionate, even fanatic, about the breed and their little Frenchies. They go to great lengths to ensure they’re looking their best (sometimes even dressing and accessorizing them). But one of the best ways you can ensure your French Bulldog always looks its best is by having it groomed.
A common question among Frenchie owners is, “Do French Bulldogs need to be groomed and, if so, how often?” Because French Bulldogs have a very short coat, they don’t need haircuts like many breeds, which decreases the amount of grooming required. However, they do have other grooming needs to not just make them look better but to keep them as healthy as possible. While it might seem like a big process, these grooming steps make a big difference in the overall well being of a Frenchie.
- Brushing regularly
- Bathing occasionally
- Nail trimming
- Wrinkle cleaning
- Tail cleaning
- Teeth brushing
How Often Should I Groom My Frenchie?
While French Bulldogs do require a lot less grooming than long-coated breeds because of their short coats, they do still need to be regular grooming. Short-coated dogs don’t shed that much other than in the spring and the fall when they lose their undercoat. What this entails is that the undercoat is shedding to make room for healthy new hair.
This process is referred to as “blowing their coats”. It’s not as common or messy as when German Shepherds, or other long-coated breeds, blow their coats, but it still does happen. When this happens, the Frenchie will shed some hair daily for a week or so. The most effective way to eliminate this hair is by using a de-shedding brush.
Even if your Frenchie isn’t experiencing the twice a year coat-blowing, he will still need to be brushed regularly. This is to keep the coat clean, glossy and smelling as pleasant as possible. This type of brushing should be done at least once a week.
Grooming Requirements & Maintenance
If you’re planning to do a lot of your Frenchie’s grooming yourself, you’ll need certain supplies.
- Allergy-free dog shampoo and conditioner
- Nail clippers or a nail grinder
- Doggie wipes
- Canine toothbrush & toothpaste
- High-velocity dryer
- Facial cleansing wipes
- Ear cleaner
- Curry brush
- Soft bristle brush
In addition to the basic bathing of your Frenchie, you’ll also want to perform other grooming, including:
- Ear cleaning
- Teeth brushing
- Nail clipping
- Tail pocket cleaning
During the bathing process, make sure to clean the dog’s ears with ear wipes. Do not use cotton swabs. Make sure you dry the inside of the ears thoroughly. Thoroughly drying all parts of your Frenchie is extremely important, especially around and under the face and body wrinkles.
Failure to keep these areas dry can result in bacteria growth and possible infections. Because of this dog’s susceptibility to breathing difficulties and skin irritations, it’s even more important to make sure the dog is bathed regularly and kept as dry as possible.
Keeping your Frenchie’s teeth looking clean and white requires cleaning and brushing. This is also something that should be done from a young age. Unlike other grooming processes, teeth brushing should be done every day using a canine toothbrush and canine toothpaste. There are also brushless oral care products you can use on your dog if he seems to be bothered by toothbrushes. Brushing your Frenchie’s teeth regularly will not only eliminate dog breath but will also prevent plaque and tooth decay.
Nail clipping is important for several reasons. If you’re doing it yourself, invest in a good set of canine nail clippers. Dogs are often sensitive to having their nails or feet touched. The importance of touching and feeling your Frenchie’s feet from a young age cannot be stressed enough. Even if you’re not about to clip the nails, touch the dog’s feet occasionally just to get him used to having them touched and not feeling discomfort.
Wrinkly dogs like the French Bulldog usually have a tail pocket, which is an indentation or dimple that’s either below or above the dog’s tail. It’s often so hard to spot, that many dog owners don’t even realize the dog has a tail pocket. French Bulldogs don’t usually get their tail pocket until they’re about 6 months old. The tail pocket is a great hiding space for dirt, debris, and moisture, so it’s very important that this area is cleaned to avoid bad odors and possible infections.
If time doesn’t permit it, or you just don’t wish to have the responsibility of grooming your French Bulldog yourself, you can also choose to take him to a professional groomer. Professional groomers will do as much or as little of the grooming as you request.
How Often Should I Bathe My French Bulldog?
One thing worth remembering is to not bathe your bulldog too often or you’ll dry out the natural skin oils the dog needs to maintain healthy hair and skin. Some people bathe their Frenchie’s once a month while others only do it a few times a year. Some also bathe the dog on an as-needed basis, which is usually once every 1 to 2 months.
How often you choose to bathe your French Bulldog will depend on several factors. Does your Frenchie spend a lot of time outdoors where he can get dirty or is he a couch potato? Dogs that spend most of the time indoors don’t need baths as often but may require a simple wiping of the face, feet and anal glands with wet wipes designed for sensitive dog skin.
Prior to grooming your French Bulldog, blow the coat with a dryer to loosen any dead hair and brush it for a bit. When you’re actually bathing your Frenchie, always use canine shampoo and avoid getting it in his eyes. Use canine wipes for specific areas like around the eyes, in the ears, in the paws, and near the tail. Make sure every part of the dog is dried thoroughly.
How Often Should I Clip My Frenchie’s Nails?
If you’ve heard that French Bulldogs are like humans when it comes to having their nails clipped, what was meant is that they need their nails cut regularly as well. Failure to trim their nails has been known to result in bone issues, joint pain, and general discomfort. When they’re allowed to grow long, there is also the chance that the dog will snag or break them, which can result in an infection.
With that said, your Frenchie’s nails should be clipped every 1 to 2 months. A good rule of thumb is if you hear the nails clicking on the floor as he walks, he’s due for a nail trim. Not every dog is the same, so you may want to adjust the nail-clipping schedule.
If your Frenchie is walked regularly on concrete sidewalks, their nails might naturally file, resulting in less-frequent nail clippings.
Every dog reacts differently to having its nails trimmed. As a rule, how the dog reacts is a direct result of past experiences. This is why it’s so important to get your French Bulldog accustomed to being handled and having his nails trimmed at a young age. Make it a pleasant experience that the dog will remember as a pleasant experience.
If you or a groomer clip too close and cut into the “quick”, which is the area right under the nail, it can result in bleeding and discomfort for the dog. The dog will remember that for a long time. Often dogs respond better if you’re not in the room with the groomer. Every dog will respond in its own manner.
Another great tool for trimming their nails is a nail grinder. It slowly grinds away the nail making it safer than nail clippers. They also leave the nail smooth, unlike clippers which tend to leave the nails sharp.
How much does a groomer typically charge for a short coat breed?
The price for grooming generally goes by breed, weight and the number of services you have done. Most groomers charge from $30 to $100. An average price to have your Frenchie groomed (bathed and brushed) is about $40. They often charge an additional $5 to $10 for additional services like nail trimming, teeth brushing, tail cleaning, etc.
What are some tips for making your Frenchie comfortable at the groomers?
If you’re taking your dog to the groomers for the first time, hopefully, it’s not the first time the dog has experienced simple grooming like brushing, bathing or nail clipping. The best way you can make your Frenchie comfortable at the groomers is to begin grooming him at a very young age. If your Frenchie is still not comfortable there, you may want to bring some small treats to give or have the groomer give him while he’s being groomed. Dogs also tend to behave better if you’re not in the room. You may want to try leaving the room during the grooming process.
If you’ve ever taken your Frenchie to the dog park, one of the first things you may have noticed about other dogs is their overall appearance. Even the most well-behaved dog may be overlooked if he has subpar or little grooming. Grooming your French Bulldog will have many benefits, including giving you a sense of pride, making the dog feel more confident and helping to promote better overall health and wellness for your pooch.