How to Bathe a French Bulldog

The French bulldog is tough, but loves his toilette.

The French bulldog is tough, but loves his toilette.

With his big bat ears, pugnacious little face and adorable wrinkles, cleaning your lovable Frenchie requires a bit more elbow grease than just his twice monthly baths. However, don't fret, with a little daily TLC you can easily troubleshoot all of the grooming issues that French bulldogs are prone to.

Semi-Monthly Bath

Wet your Frenchie thoroughly with the handheld shower nozzle. Your pup does not like temperature extremes, so use lukewarm or slightly warm water. Be sure to get the water into all of your doggy's wrinkly crevices.

Lather your dog's coat with the puppy, baby or horse shampoo. These shampoos are formulated to be extra-moisturizing -- normal dog shampoos and grown-up human shampoos are a bit too harsh for acne and yeast-prone Frenchies. Work the lather into your pup's adorable wrinkles, beginning at the top of the neck and proceeding all the way to the tip of the tail, and from the top of the back down to the belly and over each leg.

Rinse your pup thoroughly from neck to tail, from back to belly, and down each leg. Towel dry if necessary.

Squeeze the ear-cleaning solution into each of your doggy's ears. You can use a commercial dog ear-cleaning solution, or a couple of teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide per ear, or you can make your own ear cleaner by mixing equal parts isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, white vinegar and water. Allow your baby to shake the solution out, then wipe any remaining solution and debris off with a cotton pad.

Wipe your doggy's face with a baby wipe or damp washcloth, being sure to clean each wrinkle all the way down to the bottom. Pay particular attention to the areas around your pooch's eyes and lips.

Interim Grooming

Wipe down all of your doggy's wrinkles each day with baby wipes or a damp washcloth. French bulldogs are prone to yeast and bacterial infections, especially around the eyes (which cause tearstaining), muzzle (drool staining) and private parts.

Brush your pup thoroughly twice per week with a short-bristled brush, or clean those loose hairs out of her pelt with a small shedding blade and grooming chamois ("shammy"). French bulldogs are heavy shedders, so this step is a labor of love for your furniture and clothes, as well as for your dog.

Check your furbaby's nose for pale, dry spots ("scale nose" or "winter nose"). Use udder balm-style lotion to treat as necessary.

Investigate each of your pup's wrinkles, including "armpit" areas, for reddish, yeasty growths, scaly skin, acne and fur loss. Clean any problem areas with a cotton pad soaked in hydrogen peroxide, then cover the area with a zinc-based diaper cream. You may want to give recurrent problem areas a daily treatment with udder balm lotion.

Items you will need

  • Handheld shower nozzle
  • Puppy, baby or horse shampoo
  • Bath towel (optional)
  • Ear-cleaning solution
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Cotton pads
  • Short-bristled brush or small shedding blade and grooming chamois
  • Baby wipes or washcloth
  • Udder balm-style lotion
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Diaper cream (zinc-based)

Tip

  • French bulldogs are very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Your pooch may need more baths during summer and in hotter, wetter climates, and fewer in winter or milder living conditions.

Warning

  • Any skin issues that do not clear up with regular grooming should be checked out by your vet. Serious diseases, including thyroid malfunctions and highly contagious sarcoptic mange, can appear first as simple skin irritation.
 

About the Author

Angela Libal began writing professionally in 2005. She has published several books, specializing in zoology and animal husbandry. Libal holds a degree in behavioral science: animal science from Moorpark College, a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate student in cryptozoology.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images