Do French Bulldogs Shed? (And How To Care For Their Coat)

The French Bulldog’s calm nature, loving personality and adorable face have made it increasingly popular as a companion dog. Many potential owners wonder if these dogs shed and what type of care their coats require.

Do French Bulldogs shed?  Yes, French Bulldogs do shed.  They are a smooth, short-coated dog, and are considered lower shed, but they do also have an undercoat which they lose seasonally.  Caring for their coat requires nothing more than brushing it once or twice a week with a soft bristle brush. A complete grooming regimen for the French Bulldog might consist of:

  • Brushing
  • Bathing
  • Nail Clipping
  • Ear Cleaning
  • Tooth Brushing
  • Wrinkle Care

How Much Do Frenchies Shed?

As a rule, French Bulldogs do not shed very much at all. Keep in mind, though, that shedding is a perfectly normal thing for the French Bulldog as it is for any dog. French Bulldogs, along with several other breeds, are often described as non-shedders. However, this is not completely true because all dogs shed a certain amount. It may not be heavy, but it’s still going to happen occasionally, and this is also the case with the French Bulldog.

Read our Frenchie Owner Interviews featuring Jackson the Frenchie and Frankie Danger where their humans share their shedding habits and more on what it’s like living with a Frenchie.

The French Bulldog’s smooth coat is one of the reasons why they tend to shed so little. Their heaviest shedding typically takes place twice a year when the dog is losing his undercoat. This type of shedding takes place as old damaged or lose hair is replaced by a fresh coat. It usually takes place in the spring and again in the fall.

You should also be aware that there is a range within the breed as to how much they will shed.  Meaning one might shed significantly more than another. We will go into reasons for this below.

What Factors Go Into How Much They Shed?

Various factors go into how much French Bulldogs shed.

  • Genetics
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Season

Genetics can make a difference. A Frenchie whose parents were both shedders is probably going to shed as well. Health also plays an important role in determining if and how much the Frenchie will shed. If there are some underlying health issues going on, the dog is likely to shed a little more than normal.

Lack of a good diet can also make a dog shed more often. If there is a vitamin or hormone deficiency, the dog may shed more often than it should or in larger amounts. It’s important to feed your French Bulldog high-quality dog food designed for large breed dogs. Some owners find it beneficial to give their Frenchies supplements such as flaxseed or olive oil, both of which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

These supplements may not eliminate the shedding but, by improving the texture and strength of the dog’s hair, can reduce the amount of hair the dog loses due to shedding. Few people realize how much a part nutrition can play on how much a dog sheds. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals indicates that these excessive shedding can be caused by these situations or conditions.

  • Parasites (lice, fleas or mites)
  • Self-induced trauma due to licking
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Immune disease
  • Certain medications
  • Food-related or inhalant allergies
  • Pregnancy or lactation
  • Improper nutrition
  • Sunburn
  • Cancer
  • Contact with irritating substances

Even a perfectly healthy French bulldog with good genetics is going to shed some hair as the season’s change. They get a new coat prior to winter to keep them warm and another coat in the spring to keep them cooler in the hot summer months.

How to Manage Your Frenchie’s Shedding?

The best way to manage the Frenchie’s shedding is by brushing him regularly. This will make the loose hair go on the brush rather than on the furniture or throughout the house. Brushing the Frenchie with a stripping comb will help loosen the dog’s hair, and a grooming mitt can help remove the excess hair. 

This is especially helpful during the times of the year when your Frenchie is changing coats. There are several excellent tools on the market today for shedding and grooming. Your vet may be able to offer suggestions on which products work the best.

Many owners recommend getting a rubber curry brush or a grooming glove help get any loose hairs from their Frenchie’s coat. 

Excessive shedding is often the first sign that a dog has some health issues going on. They might be very minor issues but still serious enough to cause more shedding than normal.

If your Frenchie seems to be shedding more than normal, or you notice any of the following symptoms, have your vet check out your Frenchie.

  • Excessive scratching
  • Skin irritations (scabs, redness, rashes or bumps)
  • Thinning of the coat or bald spots
  • Any type of open sores
  • Constant face rubbing or foot licking
  • Dry, dull hair that pulls out easily

French Bulldogs are prone to developing skin irritations and conditions such as dermatitis. This can increase the amount of shedding as well. It’s important to look over the dog as he’s being brushed. If there are skin issues going on or developing, they can be detected and treated early before excessive shedding becomes a problem.

Tips For Dealing With Shedding

The best way to deal with shedding is through proper grooming and hygiene. Bathing the Frenchie can do a lot towards dealing with and controlling shedding. To avoid drying out the Frenchie’s natural skin oils, you don’t want to bathe the dog too often. Unless the dog is spending a lot of time outdoors and getting really dirty, they shouldn’t need to be bathed more than once a month. French Bulldogs who spend the majority of their time indoors shed less than those that are outside a lot.

Because Frenchies have short smooth coats, they don’t need haircuts, which will reduce some shedding. Some Frenchie owners only bathe them a few times a year while others only bathe them on an as-needed basis. In addition to washing the body with a pet-safe shampoo and conditioner, you’ll also want to take care of individual parts of the body.

Face & Wrinkle Care

Canine facial wipes work well not just for washing the French Bulldog’s face but also for washing the facial wrinkles. It’s important to pay special attention to the dog’s wrinkles because they can be a breeding ground for bacteria. After washing all around the wrinkles, make sure you dry them thoroughly paying special attention to areas under the wrinkles.

Ear Care & Nail

Ear cleaning may not directly affect shedding but it can reduce the chance of the dog developing ear infections, which can make the dog sick and prone to heavier shedding. Nail trimming and teeth brushing can also be added to the grooming schedule if for no other reason than just to have the dog look as good as possible.

The better you take care of your French Bulldog, the less chance of the dog picking up some bug or virus, both of which can encourage shedding.

Are Certain Dog Foods Better for Preventing Shedding?

Your dog’s overall health is often a direct result of what the dog eats on a regular basis. Certain types of dog food can make a difference in how much your Frenchie sheds. Look for a dog food that’s rich in proteins, nutrients, healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid foods that have a high content of corn, wheat or soy. These are usually put in as fillers with little to no nutritional value. See our review on the best dog foods for French Bulldogs for more detailed information.

If you’re seriously trying to avoid these fillers, try using a grain-free diet. Dog food designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skins is also a good choice if you’re concerned about shedding. Dog food with meats, veggies, and legumes usually offers your dog the best combination of vitamins and nutrients.

Related Questions

Do Frenchies have sensitive skin?

Frenchies don’t necessarily have sensitive skin but are prone to skin allergies, which can make their skin scratchy, itchy and very dry. Frenchies also have wrinkles, which can become very sensitive if the area surrounding and under the wrinkles isn’t kept clean and dry.

How often should you brush a French Bulldog?

Due to your dog’s smooth coat, he doesn’t need to be brushed real often. However, if you want to keep the dirt and debris down to a minimum, you may want to brush him regularly with regularly meaning anywhere from every other day to a couple of days per week.

Conclusion

Bulldogs make great family pets and are relatively easy to maintain. In fact, they were ranked the 5th most popular dog in the United States by AKC in 2015. Although they’re not hypoallergenic as many people believe, they have been proven successful for those suffering from asthma or allergies. The French Bulldog’s smooth coat makes grooming easier than you’d think. The French Bulldog’s adaptability to almost any home situation makes him a dog sought after by many.