Perhaps the most recognizable dog breed today is the French Bulldog. Also known as the Frenchie, these cute pups are noticeable for their small stature, big ears, and squashed faces.
Thanks to their adorable looks and affectionate personalities, it’s no wonder that French Bulldogs are now the most popular dog breed in America, overtaking the Labrador Retriever, which previously held the top spot for over 30 years.
Frenchies can make great family pets, but they do have a lot of health and behavioral problems that can be challenging, particularly for new owners.
Whether you’re rescuing your French Bulldog or buying a puppy, you need to make sure you know what you’re getting into and how to avoid any potential problems. That’s why we’ve listed some of the top issues Frenchie owners might encounter and how to handle them correctly to ensure your pet enjoys a long, happy life that enriches yours.
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Common Health Issues of French Bulldogs
Most people know that French Bulldogs often have breathing issues, but you might not realize the full extent of it. These dogs are just one of many Brachycephalic dog breeds. What that means is that because French Bulldogs have short noses and flat faces, they’re prone to breathing difficulties. This can lead to snoring, snorting, and difficulty breathing in hot weather. Avoid strenuous exercise in hot conditions, ensure proper ventilation, and provide a cool and shaded environment. In some severe cases, surgery might help, so speak to your vet if the issues are really bad.
Many Frenchies are deeply connected to their owners, which is what makes them such great pets. Still, one downside to this is that they can be susceptible to separation anxiety, which can lead to serious behavioral problems. If you notice that your dog becomes destructive or agitated when you leave the house, then try slowly acclimating them to your absence by leaving for short periods to begin with. Try walking your dog before you go out to make them sleepy so they rest while you’re away. Then, give them a lick mat or a kong toy with soft food, like dog-safe peanut butter or soft cheese in it to keep them occupied.
Many Frenchies suffer from stomach sensitivities, which can mean that they struggle to eat many foods. If your dog is not eating or has very loose stools, then you should try checking for any food intolerances. US Pet Food Intolerance offers dedicated tests for dogs, which you can administer in your home and get quick results from. You’ll then be able to work out which foods are causing issues and then eliminate these ingredients from your dog’s diet.
As well as stomach sensitivities, French Bulldogs are also prone to weight gain, which can easily lead to obesity. Excess weight can exacerbate other health issues with this breed, so it’s worth working hard to make sure that your dog stays at a healthy weight. Feed them a balanced diet and ensure they get regular exercise, as well as weigh them regularly and take them to the vet often to make sure they’re in good general health.
French Bulldogs are versatile pets who make amazing companions for families, couples or single owners living in a range of circumstances. If you understand the common issues they can have, as outlined in this article, you can help your Frenchie to be a great pet and loving furry friend for many years to come.