How to Care for a French Bulldog

by Quentin Coleman
The French bulldog's flat face is distinctive, but it also causes health problems.

The French bulldog's flat face is distinctive, but it also causes health problems.

french bulldog image by asiana from Fotolia.com

French bulldogs have been a recognized breed for more than 100 years in both North America and Europe. Their unusual flat face and domestic personality sets them apart from other breeds. French bulldogs are mostly bred as indoor, domesticated pets, and they have quite a few breed-specific health issues that owners must be ready to address. An informed, preventive health care strategy is the best way to help your dog avoid medical problems later in life.

Step 1

Exercise your French bulldog on a regular basis, but be careful of forcing him to perform extremely physically demanding activities. This is particularly important for dogs that are less than 2 years old. Jumping exercises, or even frequently jumping up and down stairs, can cause swollen or painful articulations that deform the dog's growth, according to French Bulldog Kingdom. Older dogs are not as prone to this condition as those that are still growing.

Step 2

Keep your dog in tolerable climate conditions during both the summer and winter. French bulldogs are not as well suited for life outdoors as many other domesticated breeds. These dogs have short hair, which offers them little protection from winter cold, but they are also vulnerable to summer heat. Their flat faces make them more likely to get overheated when left outdoors on a hot day, according to the French Bulldog Club of America.

Step 3

Feed your dog quality food on a regular basis, but avoid giving him too many treats or table food. French bulldogs are susceptible to weight issues, so it may be better to refuse your dog human food altogether. Give your dog an occasional treat or rawhide bone to give him something new to gnaw on. French bulldogs are prone to dietary issues, allergies in particular, so if your dog is having problems, consult your veterinarian about changing his diet.

Step 4

Take your dog to a pet clinic on a regular basis for a health checkup and testing. French bulldogs are relatively uncommon, so it may be challenging to find a veterinary specialist with substantial experience with the breed, according to the French Bulldog Club of America. Keep your dog's vaccinations current and ask your veterinarian about the possibility of allergies. French bulldogs are known to develop various types of allergies, and their symptoms are easily confused with an infectious disease or other problem.

Tip

  • Keep a close eye on your dog when you take him for walks or when he is exercising. Force him to stop and calm down if he gets too excited, or if the heat causes him to hyperventilate.

Warning

  • French bulldogs are typically higher maintenance than many other indoor breeds. It is important to research all the health requirements of the species before purchasing one.

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About the Author

Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.