Navigate to chapter
► Chapter One: Understanding French Bulldogs
► Chapter Two: Things to Know Before Getting a French Bulldog
► Chapter Three: Purchasing French Bulldogs
► Chapter Four: Caring for French Bulldogs
► Chapter Five: Meeting Your French Bulldog’s Nutritional Needs
► Chapter Six: Training Your French Bulldog
► Chapter Seven: Grooming Your French Bulldog Properly
► Chapter Eight: Breeding French Bulldogs
► Chapter Nine: Showing Your French Bulldog
► Chapter Ten: Keeping Your Dog Healthy
Chapter Four: Caring for French Bulldogs
After learning about the practical aspects of keeping a French Bulldog as a pet, you can now move on to learning how to care for your dog and the tasks involved. This section talks about his habitat and exercise requirements, and will teach you how to prepare your home and make it an ideal environment for your puppy. It is vital for both you and your puppy that he has a space to call his own so that you can feel safe knowing that you have a way to keep him confined in your absence without always keeping him in a crate.
You should ask yourself these questions first:
- Do you spend most of your time away from home? If yes, will you be able to bring your dog along with you?
French Bulldogs don’t like being alone or away from their owners for long periods of time and they suffer from separation anxiety. It’ll be cruel to subject them to that if you’re just planning on leaving them at home all the time.
- Are you equipped to pay extra medical bills?
French Bulldogs are known to be high-maintenance in terms of medical conditions so you have to be sure that you can shell out money in case of emergencies.
- Do you have what it takes to be a firm, consistent, patient and creative trainer?
These are all requirements for a well-behaved French Bulldog because they are very obstinate creatures and these qualities are needed in order to successfully train them.
- Can you tolerate drool, annoying noises and occasional smelly odors?
This breed snores, snorts, wheezes, and farts regularly. You have been warned.
For families, it would also be a good idea to sit down and ask all members if they are all on board with getting a dog. Once the decision is agreed upon, you can all discuss house rules and the distribution of tasks when caring for the dog (e.g. off-limits areas, feeding time, potty time, etc.) However, you should assign only one member of the family who will be the primary authority figure of the dog and will be in charge of housebreaking and training at all times.
The beauty of owning a French Bulldog is not having to worry about your living space or your fitness regime (or lack thereof). These little, adorable creatures can adapt to apartments or big houses or anything in between. They don’t need yards or vast spaces to feel at home. In fact, a significant percentage of this breed would probably be perfectly satisfied to lounge on just one couch with you for the rest of their life. Some of them enjoy playing but due to their size, they don’t really need a lot of space to be able to play. Your living room would suffice or you can take them out for a short walk. When walking your dog, be sure to lead the way to establish your authority. To prevent obesity, they need daily exercise for about 15 minutes. To prevent respiratory problems, do not exceed the physical activities allowed by their low stamina and endurance. A sign that you should stop and let them rest is when they start panting. Furthermore, in relation to their respiratory health concerns, they are not suited to live in places that don’t have air-conditioners to fight the heat of high-temperature days. Needless to say, they should be kept in cool places as much as possible. In case it is otherwise unavoidable, be sure to have cooling pads and drinking water for first aid. Don’t take them out for exercise on warm or humid days and definitely do not leave them under the sun for a long time. When you plan to stay outside for a long time—under tolerable weather conditions for your pet—apply canine sunscreen on your dog because this breed gets sunburned and it’s awfully painful for them. For owners that have a pool or who are fond of beach trips, it is of the utmost importance to know that your French Bulldog will instantly sink and drown in any body of water that exceeds their height. Constant supervision is a must when around dangerous-level waters. Fortunately for people who would insist on swimming with their Frenchies, there are life vests available for them.
Now, let’s move on to how you can ensure that your dog feels at-home and is comfortable. First, you will need to provide him with certain things. A crate is one of the most important things you will need when you bring your new puppy home. Not only will it be a place for your puppy to sleep, but it will also be a place where you can confine him during the times when you are away from home or when you cannot keep a close eye on him. Your puppy will also need some other basic things like a water bowl, a food bowl, a harness, a leash, toys, and grooming supplies.
When shopping for food and water bowls, safety and sanitation are the top two considerations. Stainless steel is the best material to go with because it is easy to clean and resistant to bacteria. Ceramic is another good option. Heavy bowls are also a plus because the puppy will be unable to tip it over or push it across the floor which will save you from cleaning unnecessary mess. Avoid plastic food and water bowls because they can become scratched and the scratches may harbor bacteria. Remember that it is important to opt for a harness instead of a collar for this breed, and you should choose one that is appropriate to his size. This may mean that you will purchase several harnesses and leashes while your puppy is still growing. A harness will be helpful during leash training because it will improve your control over your puppy.
Provide your puppy with an assortment of different toys and let him figure out which ones he likes. Having a variety of toys around the house is very important because you’ll need to use them to redirect your puppy’s natural chewing behavior as he learns what he is and is not allowed to chew on. As for grooming supplies, you’ll need a rubber hound glove or soft bristle brush for daily brushing.
Above all, what you need to remember is that the French Bulldog will thrive in a home where he is showered with attention and love.
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