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How Often Should You Bathe A French Bulldog?

How Often Should You Bathe A French Bulldog?

Do you have a French Bulldog puppy and haven’t bathed them before? Maybe you want to know what kind of shampoo is safe for dogs? Here’s everything you need to now about how often you should bathe a French Bulldog.

How Often Should You Bathe A French Bulldog? French Bulldogs should be bathed once every 2-3 months. Washing them too often can dry out and irritate their sensitive skin. However, some Frenchies love to jump in puddles and roll in mud, so you may need to bath them more often if they get smelly or dirty! 

Read on to find out what dog shampoo is best for your French Bulldog’s sensitive skin and for a step-by-step on how to bathe them properly. 

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

What Dog Shampoo Should I Use For My French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs are known for having sensitive skin, so you need to choose a gentle doggy shampoo to bathe them with.

Ensure it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or scents because they can irritate your Frenchie’s skin. Any dog shampoos containing parabens or sulfates should also be avoided.

Colloidal oatmeal shampoos for dogs are often popular for French Bulldogs, because they’re gentle on their skin but still effective at removing dirt. 

Burt’s Bees is one good option. This dog shampoo contains colloidal oat flour and honey. It’s free from fragrances, sulfates, colors and nasty chemicals, making it safe for both adult dogs and puppies (just be sure to check the label first!).

Just remember, mild shampoos that don’t contain sulfates won’t lather as much, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working!

It’s also important not to use human shampoo on your French Bulldog. It can quickly remove their natural coat oils, drying their skin and leaving them prone to infections.

Your French Bulldog’s skin is not as acidic as our own skin, so our human shampoos are not suitable for them.

And, because Frenchies are already prone to having sensitive skin that is easily irritated, it makes it even more important not to wash them with human shampoos. 

Another option is Earthbath. They do a fragrance free range of dog shampoos and conditioners that can be used for adult dogs. They include oatmeal and Aloe Vera that can help to soothe and moisturize your Frenchie’s skin.

Some of the shampoos in the Earthbath collection can also be used for puppies over 6 weeks too. Just be sure to check each label to make sure it’s suitable before purchase.

Another dog shampoo option is by ‘Animology’. They offer a mild puppy shampoo which has a built-in conditioner that’s free from sulphates, silicone, parabens and is also SLS free. However, it does contain fragrance, which may not be suitable for some French Bulldogs.

Animology also offer a ‘fox poo shampoo’, specifically for those French Bulldogs that love to roll!

Because French Bulldogs can have sensitive skin and some can suffer with Colour Dilution Alopecia, it may be best to do a patch test first to be sure your chosen dog shampoo doesn’t irritate them.

Every dog is different so this is a good way to be sure before doing a full bath!

Do French Bulldogs Smell?

Yes, sometimes French Bulldogs can be smelly! The skin folds on their face and body can encourage food and dirt to become trapped and bacteria to multiply.

This can cause a funky smell or even infections to develop. This means their facial and body folds must be wiped clean daily.

If your Frenchie smells ‘musty’ and is much itchier than usual, then it’s likely they’ve got a yeast infection in the folds of their skin.

Aside from this, French Bulldogs are generally not a particularly smelly breed from a doggy point of view. 

French Bulldog puppy on a blue background with a speech bubble that says 'Do I need a bath today?'
French Bulldog Puppy Needing A Bath

How Do You Bathe A French Bulldog?

This is how to bathe a French Bulldog:

Get Your Equipment Ready First

Getting everything ready that you need to bathe your French Bulldog, will make your life much easier!

This way, you have everything to hand, and don’t need to search for things in the middle of bath time!

So grab your towels, doggy shampoo, brush, treats, shower head, or jug – and you’re good to go! 

Test The Water Temperature

You should use warm water to bathe your French Bulldog. Not too hot or cold, or else it’ll be uncomfortable for them and make them reluctant to be washed.

Warm water also helps to open your Frenchie’s hair follicles, making the doggy shampoo work more effectively. 

Gently Lift Your French Bulldog Into The Bath

Because of their small size, you may be able to wash your French Bulldog in your sink if it’s large enough to fit them in comfortably.

If you decide on this instead of the bath, make sure your Frenchie doesn’t jump out. They could hurt themselves jumping from that height!

Gently pick up your French Bulldog and place them into the bath or sink. 

Make Bath Time Fun For Your French Bulldog 

French Bulldogs love to have fun! So, why not make bath time fun for them too.

Get some of their favorite toys and let them play with them while they’re having their bath.

Some Frenchies may not feel comfortable enough in the bath to want to play, so don’t force them if they don’t want to.

However, if they do like to play, it can be a good distraction!

Use A Mat In The Bath

Putting a bathmat or even a towel in the bottom of the bathtub can help your French Bulldog get a better grip on the slippery surface.

This can help them feel more secure and reduce their anxiety and risk of injury from slipping. 

Rinse Your French Bulldog’s Coat

Start rinsing your French Bulldog’s coat from their shoulders, working towards their bottom. This helps remove any dirt trapped in their fur. 

Some Frenchies don’t mind you using the showerhead to wash them, but others may prefer you to use a jug to pour water over them. 

Either way, make sure their coat is thoroughly wet before you start to shampoo them.  

French Bulldog in the bath with a speech bubble that says 'I love having a bath!'
French Bulldog Being Bathed

Use A Dog Shampoo Brush To Wash Your French Bulldog

You can shampoo your French Bulldog’s coat using your hands, but you’ll get a better lather if you use a doggy shampoo brush.

These are usually made with silicone bristles where you squeeze some doggy shampoo into the brush itself.

Then, the doggy shampoo is released when you start brushing your Frenchie with it, and lathers up brilliantly!

Your French Bulldog will enjoy the massage too! 

Avoid Shampooing Your French Bulldog’s Face 

Even if the dog shampoo you’re using is marketed as ‘tear-safe’, it’s still not a good idea to get it near your French Bulldog’s eyes.

In fact, it’s best to avoid shampooing their face and ears altogether when they’re bathed.

Even gentle doggy shampoo can irritate their eyes and cause sore spots in their skin folds if you don’t rinse it all off completely.

You can wipe their face down separately after their bath without any doggy shampoo. 

Rinse Your French Bulldog Thoroughly 

Make sure you thoroughly rinse all the shampoo off your French Bulldog. Use the showerhead or jug to wash all the shampoo from their coat.

It’s essential none is left behind, as this can irritate your Frenchie’s delicate skin and make them itchy. 

Wipe Your French Bulldog’s Skin Folds

French Bulldogs naturally have skin folds on their face and body, and some may be tighter than others.

Instead of shampooing them, you can gently wipe them with a damp, clean, soft cloth.

Ideally, this should be done daily, not just when your Frenchie is being bathed. 

Reward Your French Bulldog For Staying Calm

French Bulldogs usually love their food, so you can reward them with a tasty treat for staying calm in the bath. You can even use a lickmat that attaches to the side of the bath as a distraction.

Spreading dog-safe peanut butter (must be xylitol free), meat paste, or cheese spread onto the lickmat gives your Frenchie something to lick at while being bathed.

Not only does this keep them busy, but it’ll make them look forward to bath time too! 

Let Your French Bulldog Shake Off 

It’s entirely natural for your French Bulldog to shake as soon as they get wet!

Although they only weigh up to 28lbs, you’ll be surprised how much water they can shake off themselves and how far it can travel!

So, have plenty of towels at the ready and let them shake if they feel the need to. 

Carefully Lift Your French Bulldog Out Of The Bath

If they’re comfortable with it, you can wrap a towel around your French Bulldog before carefully lifting them out of the bath. Place them down onto another towel on the floor.

They’re almost certain to want to shake now, so try to get as much water off them as possible. 

By covering them with a towel the minute they get out of the bath, they’ll hopefully shake most of the water onto that.

Towel Dry Your French Bulldog

Give your French Bulldog a good rub down with a towel. 

Concentrate especially on their skin folds because any moisture trapped in them can cause sore spots or infections to develop.

This is a common issue in your Frenchie’s face folds and tail pocket, so try to make sure they’re properly dried off. 

So, there you have it! French Bulldogs only need to be bathed every 2-3 months, unless they get covered in mud or roll in something stinky! Bathing them too often can irritate and dry out their sensitive skin. Be sure to use dog shampoo, and wipe over their face folds with water, rinsing thoroughly! Soon, your Frenchie will be all clean and fresh – and ready to start rolling again!

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