Is a French Bulldog joining your family?
Read this page to find out important health issues and all the things
you need to buy to make your new family member comfortable
in your home.
Small throat & nose openings makes excessive exercise & heat dangerous to this breed. Their throats can swell during the strain to get enough air into their body during these situations and the dog can suffocate quickly so be careful when pet is playing with children outside during warm months. These are not outside dogs and should never be left outside in hot climates for any period of time-just quick trips to go potty and back inside.
This link has detailed explanations of breathing issues of flat faced dogs: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_brachycephalic.html
There is surgery that can easily correct breathing problems in bulldogs, but it should be done by a specialist surgeon as soon as symptoms present.
In my experience, symptoms appear anywhere from 7 months old to 2 years old.
Symptoms: Spitting up clear mucous or white foam and food regularly. Making gagging noises. Dog starts tiring quickly after normal exertion he used to perform with no panting. Dog passes out.
Should you need help locating such a specialist in your area your breeder should be able to recommend one or visit French Bulldog Vet Links
French Bulldogs cannot tolerate intravenous anesthesia and should have pure gas to put them under during surgical procedures-i.e. spaying/neutering, teeth cleaning etc. Isoflurane is the best gas for this use. Note: A reversible intravenous anesthesia that lasts 20 seconds so the tube for gas may be inserted for gas administration should not be confused with using intravenous anesthesia through out the entire surgery.
Non-Reversible Intravenous anesthesia can easily cause death in this breed. Click HERE for correct protocol details.
Smaller tubing such as used for Chihuahua’s is the correct size for gas administration.
To be safe Frenchies should not be put under anesthesia for a lengthy time until 6 months of age except in case of an emergency.
Young and old Frenchies are more prone to have adverse reactions to anesthesia.
NO ACEPROMOZENE EVER!!!
Teeth Cleaning- In most cases teeth cleaning at Vet clinics requires the use of anesthesia and is conducted by a vet tech and NOT the veterinarian. Be sure and ask lots of questions about the clinic's teeth cleaning procedure before leaving your Frenchie in their care. Make sure clinic is aware of the anesthesia issues with this breed and they will use gas instead of intravenous or ACEPROMOZENE. Also request the vet conduct the cleaning himself or herself to supervise the administration of anesthesia -even if it costs more.
Certain colors are not allowed by the breed standard because they carry genes for genetic defects. Disqualifying colors were placed in the breed standard not for aesthetic reasons, but to promote good health. BLUE is not allowed because FBs this color are prone to go blind and develop cataracts at an early age. To see more about color and health click here: FB COLORS.
Since Frenchies have small throat openings you must be careful when giving pills that are not chewable.
When giving oral medications such as pills, place pill in small amount of peanut butter or cream cheese on a butter knife and wipe it on the back of the dog's tongue when they open their mouth. They will gladly swallow the pill.
Frenchie spines are not normal. Many have deformed vertebrae in their spines to achieve the necessary roached back to meet the breed standard. There are varying degrees of vertebrae deformity called Hemi-vertebrae and Butterfly vertebrae and if they are located in the supported area of the thorax most dogs will live a full active life with no limitations on physical activity. It is important to X Ray all puppies to determine the degree and location of deformed vertebrae in order to place the puppy in the appropriate home environment. At Maxime French BUlldogs all our puppies are x rayed at 8 - 9 weeks old.
Read all about FB spine issues by Dr. Jan Grebe here: FB Back Talk
DO NOT ALLOW your Frenchie to jump down from heights above the level of a chair or sofa cushion. Jumping off the bed onto the floor is the largest cause of soft tissue injuries in this breed and can easily herniate or rupture a disk.
Due to their “top heavy” weight-some French Bulldogs must be careful going DOWN stairs as they become seniors.
This same “top heavy” weight distribution prevents them from swimming if not completely then for any length of time.
Those who own pools or live near water should be careful and closely supervise their Frenchies when they have access to the water.
Note: Once Frenchies reach 5 yrs. and older they may suffer back injuries jumping down from heights they were able to before due to degenerative disk disease common in Frenchies. Due to the unusual construction of a French Bulldog's spine, some FBs are more prone to injury than others. An X-Ray as a puppy can help identify Frenchies that may have a problem as they age so the owner knows what to avoid.
FBs & Cancer
Mast Cell Tumors are common in this breed. The good news is malignant tumors detected early with a needle biopsy can be removed and eliminated. They can take different forms: small wart like growth on top of the dermis or lump under the skin are some of the forms. Late detection and removal can result in expensive treatment or death. To find out more and what to look for see these links:
Puppy food should be fed for this breed for the first 6 months of life. Depending on your FB's metabolism they can transition to adult food at 7-8 months of age. I feed Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Puppy .
Stay away from MEAL based foods such as Nutro or Royal Canin that are low in nutrients, primarily rice and not suitable for this muscular breed.
Purina is the only pet food manufacturer who owns all the plants their canned and dry food products are manufactured in and therefore control the quality of ingredients that go into those foods.
Because of strict quality controls, Purina was the only pet food manufacturer that did not have their foods recalled 3 years ago. Pro Plan and ONE are their top quality brands with real meat as the first ingredient.
All Purina pet food formulas are tested in the Purina Research Center to make sure each formula contains 100% of all the necessary nutrients and vitamins to prolong your pet's life and promote health.
Remember whenever changing foods to transition in the new food by mixing it with the old for 10 days so as not to cause upset to the digestive tract. An adult Pro Plan formula such as PP Chicken Shredded Blends or PP Sm Bites Lamb will be suitable when they go off the puppy.
Should your dog develop any kind of skin irritations and severe scratching-please consult your breeder first for advise since she may have other dogs in her line that have the same allergies and can steer you in the right direction.
Many vets are prone to give steroids, cortisone & Derm Caps to “band aid” the problem instead of treating the source which is either food or environmental
(airborne) allergies. Unless you have your dog tested for antigens you will not know what is causing the allergic reactions.
The old wives tale of corn causing all the allergy problems with dogs is not true.
A dog can be allergic to any food ingredient not just corn. A food trial elimination diet must be done to find out what your dog is allergic to if it is food.
Just like people dogs are allergic to airborne antigens such as mold, dust, weeds, grass etc. In fact, I have a friend whose dog is allergic to humans. :)
Even though food allergies may not be the cause it is what is tested for first because it is less expensive to test for food allergies than air borne antigens.
Once food allergies are detected the easiest and least expensive route is to try feeding a therapeutic diet of a novel protein( not found in other foods like Salmon, Duck or Venison) such as Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach & Skin or Purina Veterinary Diets HA or DVM diet Royal Canin Vegetarian is a good place to start to detect if food allergies are the source.
If no improvement on therapeutic diets you need to get your dog formal allergy testing at a specialist who performs a skin test to detect antigens your dog is reacting to. Then an antigen serum is made for your dog to inject weekly to prevent allergic reactions.
NOTE: Testing for allergies using blood work by a regular vet that is not a Deramtology DVM is not always effective. A regular vet has training learned in a seminar vs. a Dermatologist DVM who has years of study past vet school specializing in allergy detection and treatment.
PET INSURANCE GET IT!
This is an expensive breed to purchase and maintain especially if there is a health issue.
Pet insurance companies allow you to choose the deductable and coverage you can afford for your pet. They do have differences in what they cover as well as percentages and sometimes caps on what they pay. So take the time read the policies and find the best coverage that fits your pocket book and covers the above health issues.
After a lot of research, these are the top four Pet Insurance companies my puppy owners choose:
Which sex is right for you?
Another consideration is whether a male or female would be right for your family dynamic. A good breeder will know the personality of each puppy by the time they are 4-6 weeks old and be able to advise new owners which puppy will suit them best.
On a general basis there are differences in the personalities of each sex in this breed and the difference is the opposite of other breeds. So don't be surprised when a breeder asks you why you want a male or female-she is only trying to educate you and make sure you get the kind of desired behavior you are expecting from that sex.
Females are the boss in this breed (just like humans, ha). In general the girls are more active and I think a little smarter and therefore more entertaining. They tend to have more energy than the males and tend to suit homes with a more active lifestyle. Females make wonderful playmates in households with children who have lots of energy to play. The females are my favorite because they have so much personality.
Males although intelligent are mellow and have less energy. They tend to be more obedient making them easier to potty train early (opposite of other breeds). They prefer to lie on the couch and watch the action that goes on around them vs. engaging in it.
Another consideration is if you already have a dog and it is an alpha dog, a new pet of the opposite sex is generally best to induct into your canine family. Two dogs of the same sex can co exist nicely provided they both are not alpha.
French Bulldogs canNOT chew any rawhide or leather/hoof type dog treats -due to their small throat size the raw hide pieces can break off and lodge in their throat.
Have plenty of hard nylon chew bones for them to chew in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Nylabone DuraChews are their favorites and they last a long time. Caution to not get the softer plastic Nylabones which Bullies can break off pieces and choke on ONLY GET NYLABONES FOR POWERFUL CHEWERS. Here are our favorites.
Do not give your dog Greenies! These do not dissolve in the stomach and can block the intestine.
For their own safety all our dogs are crate trained and stay in their wire crate when we leave our home. Crates provide your pet with their own private space and provide a sense of security for your pet.
Wire crates with hook on water bowls are the best environment for a Frenchie when the owner is away or it is time to go to bed (if they do not sleep in your bed that is)- They also are an important aid in potty training.
Wire crates are cooler and allow your pet to see out better than the plastic airline crates. For those times your pet wants privacy or warmth you can cover the wire crate with a towel.
Besides allowing your pet to see out better the wire crates also have a removable bottom pan that you can take out and clean as needed.
The best wire crates are made by Central Metal Crates
The size for French Bulldogs measures 24"L x 18"W x 18"H
Some crates come with their own bottom pan, but the better ones sell them separately so be sure and get a pan bottom for the crate.
Crate pads can be purchased on line or at dog shows.
or various places including PetSmart & Petco. Size needed is #200 or to fit 24"L x 18"W crate.
Stainless Steel Crate Bowls- size 20 oz for most frenchies, but 30oz for boys with big heads.
Found at Petedge website not sold at Petco or Petsmart unfortunately.
You can get them hook on or bolt on.
Bolt on Crate bowls Hook on Crate bowls
Another form of confinement that aids in potty training is an X-Pen. It is a wire paneled topless pen you can modify the shape and size of to suit your needs. I use them indoors when potty training young dogs or to block off access to an area.
Outside they can be used when you travel to create a large area of confinement on the grass.
SOFT Carry on passenger in cabin airline crate-
Your Frenchie will fit in the LARGE size and slide under the seat in front of you in the passenger cabin.
Sherpa on wheels
Large 11 1/2" W x 19 3/4"D x 11"HSherpa bag
Large 20"L x 11 1/2"H x 11 3/4"W
Soft travel Crate for hotel room -
The size needed for small to average French bulldogs:
StopGap Small Mesh Crate 24 x 18 x 18 Crate folds up and fits in case.Carrying case can be checked on plane with baggage while your pet travels in a Sherpa soft carry on bag in the cabin with you.
Happy Trails Pet Stroller-
Never leave your pet in the car!
Folds flat for storage or travel
Large storage basket for toys, treats, water bottle etc.
Large 8" wheels for use on smooth and rough terrain
Durable, breathable mesh provides airflow & visibility
One-hand fold mechanism - folds in less than 5 seconds.
Parent tray holds keys, cell phone, beverage, etc.
Front & back entries zip open for quick, easy access
tough, water resistant 600 Denier nylon fabric.
To see a list of poisonous plants and flowers for DOGS
To see a list of poisonous FOOD for DOGS
Lastly, a good breeder should offer a written health guarantee of at least a year and conduct veterinary testing and screening of at least the spines on their pups and breeding dogs to assure new puppy owners they are receiving a healthy, well bred pup. You should also be offered a time period of at least 72 hours to return the puppy for a FULL refund.
This link shows you what a well bred French bulldog should look like.
To purchase a breed video go to the AKC on line store.
Please read as much as you can on this breed's health issues and personality traits.
A good place to start is this Frenchie book list:
Don't forget the French Bulldog Club of America website has excellent information on health : http://frenchbulldogclub.org/about-frenchies/understanding-frenchies/understanding-our-health-issues
Enjoy your French Bulldog and get ready to embark
on an incredible life experience filled with humor and joy.