The Guide for New French Bulldog Puppy Parents
Ahh, what a glorious day. You’re a new french bulldog puppy parent fresh off the block and now you’re here. We here at All About Frenchies want you to be prepared for your new life with your french bulldog puppy. You’re one of us now! We’ve crafted this entire website for the purpose of bringing you french bulldog information in order to ensure you and your frenchie have a happy, long life together.
French bulldogs are, in our humble opinion, the greatest breed of dog, ever. Just look:
Getting my first french bulldog puppy changed my life. I was not a dog person before my first frenchie. Now I’m french-bulldog-crazy (I’m actually animal crazy altogether. Screw human exceptionality!). However, despite my instant obsession with french bulldogs, I soon after realized that I knew nothing about the breed. So, I started reading. I bought every book written in English (and French) about the breed. I called the AKC and harangued their operating staff with questions. I looked up local french bulldog breeders and asked them even more questions. I read everything on the Internet even remotely related to french bulldogs and french bulldog care. Now, to save you all of that tedious reading, I’m going to itemize everything you need to know to spoil your new french bulldog puppy.
Items to purchase before you pickup your french bulldog puppy:
This post is going to assume you have already arranged to purchase an AKC-registered french bulldog puppy or you’ve already arranged to adopt a french bulldog. Click the links to read more about where to find breeders and how adoption works.
An orthopedic doggie bed (Frenchies can experience joint pain after playing hard):
A good orthopedic bed will ensure your french bulldog has a great place to rest, sleep, and lounge (copious amounts of lounging). We recommend measuring your kennel and getting a bed that will fit into the kennel comfortably. This will allow your frenchie to associate their kennel with a time of rest and comfort.
There are areas of your home where your french bulldog shouldn’t go. There are all kinds of dangerous chemicals in the average household that can harm a french bulldog if ingested. It’s best to use pet gates to cordon off sections of your home. This will protect your precious french bulldog and your sanity.
Get the large version. This is what I used for both of our french bulldog puppies. It has a divider that you gradually move further into the kennel as your french bulldog grows in size. When they’re fully grown, they’ll appreciate the additional space provided by the large kennel. It will allow them to stand up and stretch if they’re in the kennel for more than 45 minutes to an hour.
Read more here about the harness we recommend. Make sure to get the small or extra small if you have a tiny frenchie. Use the sizing chart.
A high-quality leash (splurge instead of buying new leashes after they get chewed)
An emergency first aid kit for dogs (This is critical) –
Your first aid kit should include all of the following:
• Magnifying glass
• Nail clippers and metal nail file
• Styptic powder or sticks
• Eye dropper or oral syringe
• 10-20ml Blunt-tipped syringe for administering milk of magnesia or activated charcoal
• Cotton swabs
• Cotton balls
• Clean towels – cloth and paper
• Rectal thermometer
• Lubricant such as mineral oil or KY Jelly
• Disposable gloves
• Bitter Apple or other product to discourage chewing
• Pet carrier
• Towel or blanket to use as a stretcher, another to keep your dog warm during transport (some pharmacies and camping outlets carry a thermal blanket)
• Cold packs and heat packs (wrap in towel before using)
• Wound disinfectant such as Betadine or Nolvasan
• Triple antibiotic ointment for skin
• Antibiotic ophthalmic ointment for eyes, e.g., Terramycin
• Eye wash solution
• Sterile saline
• Antidiarrheal medicine such as Pet Pectate
• Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for allergic reactions (obtain dose from your veterinarian)
• Cortisone spray to aid in itch relief
• Ear cleaning solution
• Hydrogen peroxide (used to make a dog vomit – only use as directed by a veterinarian)
• Activated charcoal to absorb ingested poisons (consult your veterinarian before using)
• Square gauze of various sizes – some sterile
• Non-stick pads
• First aid tape – both paper (easily comes off of skin) and adhesive types
• Bandage rolls – gauze and Vetwrap
• Band-Aids (for humans)
Form a relationship with a veterinarian
Before you become a full-time french bulldog parent, you need to at least have contacted a veterinarian. You want to get a feel for their schedule, how busy they are, if they recommend any french bulldog specialists, where the closest 24-hour pet clinic is located, et cetera. Store your veterinarian’s phone number in your cell phone.
Form a relationship with the closest emergency room 24/7
The same as above. Save the phone number for the closest 24-hour pet clinic in your phone. Also save the address so you can easily input it into your GPS in an emergency.
These are items and/or tasks you will need to have or complete before you bring home your french bulldog puppy. You will save yourself a lot of headache by getting these out of the way up front. We recommend that you save your local veterinarian’s phone number in your contacts list. We highly recommend you keep the number to the closest 24-hour emergency veterinarian clinic in your phone contacts as well. It can make all the difference in your french bulldog’s life. The same is true for a first aid kit for dogs. Keep medical supplies for your pets because accidents will happen. Always consult with a veterinarian for anything more serious than a scrape or mild rash.
Purchases to make AFTER you have brought home your french bulldog puppy:
Some purchases you can wait to make after you have brought your french bulldog puppy to their forever-home. These are tertiary purchases that can be purchased immediately or as-needed.
All frenchies love toys to tug and pull on, chew on, and toss around. For toy purchases, you should take your frenchie to a big box pet store and let them “choose” a few toys that they seem to enjoy. Every french bulldog companion we’ve ever had has loved to play “tug of war” with a rope-like toy. Frenchies also love to chew and will benefit from some natural hard chew toys like Yak Chews. Let your frenchie sniff around a few toys and offer them to her. If she reacts excitedly, consider that toy a winner. Be sure to replace old, worn out, chewed up, and damaged toys, as they can become a choking hazard.
Toiletries and Bath Goods for your French Bulldog Puppy:
Your frenchie will require a bath every week or so. It is better to wait until you bring your french bulldog puppy home before you run out and buy puppy shampoo and other toiletry-like items. The biggest reason for waiting is to allow yourself time to get a feel for the natural condition of your french bulldog’s coat and skin. Many french bulldogs experience myriad skin problems, including dry skin, hot spots, and more. If you find patches of dry skin on your french bulldog puppy after bathing, it may be time to consider picking up a puppy moisturizer. We like pretty much everything Warren-London makes. Vetericyn makes a good over-the-counter spray for treating the occasional hot spot (persistent hot spots should immediately be examined by a veterinarian). We highly recommend only using an organic, all natural oatmeal shampoo for your french bulldog puppy. French bulldogs have thin, sensitive skin that can become irritated by a large number chemicals used in commercial canine cleansers.
Believe it or not, your french bulldog can become sunburned just like you. If you plan on being outside for a long period of time, you will need to apply canine-safe sunscreen to your frenchie. We recommend you spray the backs, tops, and upper inside area of their ears. Spray a small amount on your fingertip and apply it to their entire brow. Also spread a small amount on their nose folds. Sunburn is extremely painful to dogs. Dogs naturally seek shaded, cool shelters in the wild. If you’re going to take your french bulldog outside for more than 30-45 minutes, you will need to apply sunscreen.
You can also pickup a really awesome Kong 40 SPF protection doggie tank top. The cool thing about this shirt is that you can soak it in water on hot days to help keep your french bulldog cool.
Last, but not least…
What french bulldog doesn’t need a sweet t-shirt to remind everyone that they’ve got it made in the shade?!