Unlike many other dogs that have an undercoat and an overcoat, French Bulldogs only have one coat of hair, and this coat might show the dirt if the dog spends a lot of time outdoors. Bathing is the best way to keep your Frenchie looking and smelling his best.
How Often Should I Bathe My Frenchie? Frenchie’s should be bathed once every 1 to 2 months. Although many French Bulldog owners say they bathe them about 5 or 6 times a year, or as needed, most owners find the as needed comes more often than 5 or 6 times a year. You don’t want to bathe Frenchies too often or you’ll risk stripping their coats of its natural oils. If you have a Frenchie that loves rolling in the dirt, you may find that more frequent bathing is necessary; each Frenchie is different.
Methods To Keep Frenchies Clean Between Baths
As much as you probably dread bathing your Frenchie, in most cases, your Frenchie probably dreads it just as much. With that said, you’re going to want to keep him as possible in between baths to avoid having to bathe him any more than possible. Here are some methods to keep him clean and keep the need for bathing down to a minimum.
- Pet Wipes – Most pet owners are amazed at how good these work for wiping off surface dirt and debris. Scent-free baby wipes are just as effective. Avoid getting them in the dog’s eyes.
- Brush Regularly – With their short coats, you might not think they need to be brushed, but it’s an important part of the grooming process. The more often you comb/brush your Frenchie, the better he’ll look.
- Dry Shampoo – Simply apply dog-friendly dry shampoo on the dog and brush it out. This is great for keeping them smelling great. A homemade combination of cornstarch and baking soda works just as well.
- Keep Their Bedding Clean – You can’t expect your Frenchie to look and smell good if he’s sleeping in a dirty, smelly bed.
- Clean Their Ears – Keeping their ears clean will prevent odors and painful infection.
- Clean Their Mouth – To prevent your dog from stinky “doggie breath”, give him dental chews and consider brushing his teeth with canine toothpaste.
- Clean Their Tail Pocket – Clean the area around the tail, especially if it smells (more on tail pockets here).
- Doggie Sprays – These work great for keeping your Frenchie smelling good.
Keeping Their Ears Dry And Clean
Few things can sour a Frenchie, or any dog for that matter, on baths quicker than getting water in their ears or eyes. If you’ve ever had water in your ears and didn’t see it coming, you know what a strange feeling it is. It’s just as strange to your Frenchie. He won’t like it, and water in the ear can cause ear infections.
One good way to prevent water from getting in his ears is by putting cotton balls in his ears. When you’re pouring water over the dog, hold his head up with the nose pointing up so water will run down his back and away from his ears. Another way to prevent water in the ear is by washing the entire face with a damp washcloth rather than pouring water over his face.
Make Sure They Get A Good Bath
If you’re like most dog owners, bath time is definitely not your favorite time. However, once you’ve decided to bathe your Frenchie, you want it to be worth your time and want to make sure it’s a good one. Here are some tips for making bathtime a success.
- Use a dog shampoo for sensitive skin.
- Take your time and don’t rush the dog.
- Clean the ears, and wash any gunk from around the eyes.
- Gently lift the skin and clean inside your Frenchie’s wrinkles.
- Make sure you thoroughly dry the wrinkle area.
- If your Frenchie has tear stains, you can remove them with Desitin or a similar cream.
- Wash the dog’s nose, and apply a little Vaseline if it appears dry.
- Wash and clip the dog’s nails.
- Be sure to wash the dog’s rear end by the tail.
Keeping Them Calm In The Tub
Half of giving your Frenchie a good bath is in keeping them calm so they find it an enjoyable experience. Getting your Frenchie used to water at a young age can make a big difference in how the dog responds to water. Most dogs enjoy the water, and the ones that don’t have usually had a bad experience.
If you want to keep them calm, talk to them, pet them and take your time. Your dog will pick up on any anxiety you have. Have treats near the tub, and don’t be stingy about giving them to your Frenchie. If there is a certain time of day when your Frenchie seems more relaxed, trying giving the bath during that time.
Some dogs are startled by the slippery surface of the tub bottom. A quick and inexpensive remedy for this is to place a small towel on the bottom of the tub. When the towel gets wet, it will stick to the bottom of the tub and give your pup a nice non-slip place to stand.
Introducing Them To Bathtime
If you’re just introducing your Frenchie to a bath for the first time, hopefully, the Frenchie is still a puppy because it’s much easier to bathe a frightened and anxious puppy than it is with a 28-pound dog. Regardless of whether the Frenchie is a pup or an older dog, the introduction process is relatively similar. Start with just an inch or two of water and let the dog just sit in it for a bit. Give him some treats and pet him. You want the dog to remember this as a pleasant experience.
When he’s calm, gently pour a little water over his back. Don’t rush the process. Let the dog just sit there and get used to this new experience. As the dog becomes more accustomed to this, you can increase the amount of water in the tub and wash more of his body. Eventually, you’ll have a Frenchie that not only accepts baths but may even enjoy them!
What About Shampoo?
When it comes to shampoos, you can choose from a large variety on the market today. It’s all a matter of personal choice. You can purchase them at veterinarian offices, pet stores, Walmart or any retail store that sells pet supplies. Some owners use baby shampoo on their Frenchies because it allows them to clean around the eyes and in the facial wrinkles without the worry of getting soap in their eyes. If baby shampoo does get in his eyes, it’s not going to really bother the dog that much. If you want to stick with a dog shampoo, choose a mild shampoo designed for sensitive skin.
Should You Or Can You Use A Blower Dryer On Your Frenchie?
Yes, it’s very possible to use a blow dryer on your Frenchie, and many owners do it. Using a blow dryer on your Frenchie will dry the coat faster than letting it air dry, and a blow dryer can be used as long as you exercise safety. Let your dog get near to and smell the blow dryer before it’s turned on. Once you do turn it off, let him get used to the noisy sound. When you turn it on low, keep it a few inches away from his skin and blow in a circular motion to avoid burning him.
How can you keep your French Bulldogs ears free from infection?
The best way to keep his ears infection-free is by keeping them clean and dry. Take a cotton ball, absorb it with doggie ear cleaner, and clean the exposed parts of the ear. Using a flashlight, look inside the ear for dirt or wax. Take a cotton swab soaked with cleaner and gently remove any dirt, debris or wax. Don’t go in the ear canal but gently clean the outer part with the cotton swab. Gently dry the ear with a towel or rag. Another option is squirting the cleaner in the ear, gently pushing on the outside of the ear to move the cleaner around and dry thoroughly with a towel or cotton balls.
Can you bathe your Frenchie in the sink?
Your Frenchie is small enough to bathe in the sink, and it’s going to be more comfortable for you because the dog will be at waist level as opposed to you having to bend over a bathtub. Place a towel on the bottom of the sink to avoid the dog slipping and sliding around.
Unless he’s had this done many times, your Frenchie may be anxious about being up so high. Give him little treats throughout the bath to keep him happy. Have all your supplies ready to avoid having to leave him in the sink unattended to go get things
- Fill the sink with warm water.
- Gently pour water over the dog, avoiding the eyes and ears.
- Put shampoo on the dog and gently massage the body in a circular motion.
- Fill cups with warm running water and pour over the dog, again avoiding eyes and ears.
- Place a towel over the dog to absorb excess water. Allow him to shake.
- Wrap towel around him to dry. Brush him when he’s dry.
Bathing your Frenchie and keeping him clean doesn’t have to be as difficult as many owners think. Starting them off at a young age can make all the difference in how they accept the bathing process. With a few treats and a lot of TLC, your Frenchie just might look upon bathing time with the same enthusiasm as it looks at going for walks or playing in the park!