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Spotlight On The French Bulldog: A Little Dog With A Big Heart

January 1, 2024

French Bulldog Day is January 13th! These cute, lovable pooches definitely have a lot to celebrate. They successfully knocked the Lab out of the top spot, and are now America’s favorite dog! That’s no small feat for a small dog, especially given that the Labrador Retriever has been sitting there, cheerfully panting and wagging his tail, for over three decades. Fido also did very well in the AKC’s kennel events this year. A veterinarian puts the Frenchie in the spotlight in this article. 

French Bulldogs 101

French Bulldogs usually weigh under 30 pounds. They have a big heart and a huge personality, both of which are packed into a small, compact body. They typically live about 10 to 12 years. On the beauty care side, they have short, sleek fur that is easy to maintain and requires little grooming. 

They are easy keepers, though do have some specific needs due to their small size and the fact that they are brachycephalic. Ask your vet for more information. 

Why Are French Bulldogs So Special?

Fido may not have the intelligence of a Border Collie, the happy-go-lucky attitude of the Labrador (who is now America’s second-favorite dog), or the dignity and work ethic of a German Shepherd, but he certainly does have some special charms. As mentioned above, these dogs are cute, lovable, fun, and loyal. They’re also pretty easy keepers. They don’t require much exercise or room, and usually don’t bark without cause. (This makes them ideal for city dwellers.)

They’re also hilarious to watch. There’s a lot to be said for having a furry roommate that is constantly cracking you up with his antics.

Theft of French Bulldogs: Why Does This Happen So Often?

Unfortunately, French Bulldogs are one of the most commonly stolen dogs. Because of their popularity and small size, they fetch top dollar. (There is also a fluffy variety of the breed, which can cost as much as $30,000.) Frenchies are also small enough to be easily carried off. 

While you don’t need to hire a security team for your pup, you may want to take some precautions. Make sure your canine companion is microchipped and wearing identification tags. Never leave your dog unattended, and be extra vigilant in places such as parks or public areas, where he could get grabbed. Spaying or neutering can help discourage breeders, and is beneficial for many other reasons as well. You may also want to get a pet tracker, such as GPS tags. Finally, hang on to your adoption paperwork. Being able to prove ownership can be extremely important in a court case!

What Kind Of Temperament Does The French Bulldog Have?

Frenchies have wonderful personalities. They’re fun, playful, and affectionate, and tend to make friends with everyone.

However, that isn’t to say Fido is perfect. Frenchies can be a bit stubborn, and they tend to be quite protective. A good training and petiquette program is essential.

One thing to consider before adopting a Frenchie is the fact that these guys get very attached to their humans. If left alone too long, they become lonely and unhappy. If your furry pal is going to be home alone a lot, you may want to either get him a buddy, or go with a more independent breed.

What Is The Best Way To Take Care Of A French Bulldog?

Fido’s basic care needs are similar to those of any other dog: proper nutrition, adequate physical activity, proper veterinary care, and, of course, plenty of love. Your vet can give you specific advice.

However, there are a few things for potential owners to be aware of:

  • Brachycephalic breeds like Frenchies are particularly prone to overheating. Their short airways make it hard for them to regulate their body temperature, and can get winded very easily. Take extra precautions on hot days to keep your pooch cool. Consider getting a cooling mat or vest for your furry buddy during the summer months.
  • Fido cannot swim. Because Frenchies are so short, they can be in serious danger in even shallow water. You’ll need to be very, very careful around water.
  • Be careful about what you have at Fido’s eye level. Avoid placing sharp, thorny plants in places where he could run into them.

What Stars Own French Bulldogs?

Fido has a number of notable admirers. The top dog in that group is probably actor and rapper Snoop Dogg. (Note: Dogg’s dog, Frank, went missing in 2022. Fortunately, Frank has now been reunited with his owner.) Megan Thee Stallion has two Frenchies. (One of them, 4oe, has his own Instagram account and made an appearance on The Tonight Show in 2022.) Other fellow Frenchie lovers include Reese Witherspoon and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. We expect that list to keep growing. 

Health Concerns with French Bulldogs

Frenchies have very short airways. This makes them prone to a number of health problems, particularly respiratory issues.

Fido is also susceptible to eye problems, like cherry eye, as well as skin problems, and, unfortunately, intervertebral disc disease. Several tests are recommended for this breed, including patella, hip, and ophthalmologist exams, as well as cardiac exams. 

Dental issues are also not uncommon. Small dogs often have dental issues: they just don’t have much room for those 42 teeth! Fido is prone to issues such as overcrowding and misalignment, as well as gum disease, which is very prevalent among our canine pals in general.  

Keep up with your pet’s dental care, and watch for warning signs, such as drooling, bad breath, and tartar buildup. Ask your vet for more information. 

History Of The French Bulldog

Fido is a crossbreed of Paris’ ratter dogs and imported toy Bulldogs from England. The Frenchie first trotted onto the scene in the mid nineteenth century. Although the bulldogs in the Frenchie’s ancestry were historically used for bull-baiting and pit fighting, the French bulldog has always been a companion dog. That isn’t a coincidence: when bull-baiting was outlawed in the 1830s, breeders worked hard to deliberately remove aggressive traits from the breed. (They also stuck bat ears on Fido.) This effort proved to be very, very successful. The French bulldog soon became a beloved companion among French lace makers. The rest, as they say, is history.

What Foods Are Unsafe For Frenchies?

Frenchies are prone to obesity, due to their love of food. Avoid giving Fido foods high in fat. That includes fried foods, cheese, and fatty meats, like bacon and sausage. You should also avoid foods high in salt, since this can cause dehydration. (Sorry, buddy!)

Of course, you should also avoid foods that are unsafe for any dog, such as chocolate, grapes and raisins, meat on the bone, garlic, onions, and avocado. 

A word to the wise: Frenchies are very, very good at plying us with those sad expressions that are so effective in getting us to hand over delicious snacks. Steel yourself against Fido’s adorable bug eyes and pleading expression. It’s very, very easy for smaller breeds to pack on extra weight! Ask your Metairie, LA vet for more information.

Contact us, your Metairie, LA local pet clinic, if you have questions about French Bulldog care. We’e dedicated to offering great care!