5 things to know before shopping for french bulldogs

If you are thinking about buying French bulldogs, you aren’t alone. These affectionate, energetic, and playful little dogs make great pets and are the fastest growing breed in the world [1]. Before you decide to purchase a French bulldog, it is important to do your research to ensure you know everything there is to know about this lovable breed. Pay careful attention to how they may affect your lifestyle, home, and budget.

Will You be a First Time Dog Owner?

If this will be your first dog, a French bulldog is an excellent choice, thanks to their gentle disposition and intelligence. In addition to being obedient and easily trained, they are usually happy around children of all ages and small animals. It is worth noting that French bulldogs may try to hunt down gerbils or hamsters, so you’ll need to make certain they are safe in their cage.

In addition, there are a few other breed specifics you should be aware of before you start your search for a French bulldog. Here are the top 5 things you should know.

  1. French bulldogs, which you may also see referred to as Frenchies, are a breed known as Brachycephalic. They are best known for their flat face and short muzzle, which can affect their breathing. As a result, they should only be anesthetized in critical situations. Their condensed respiratory system results in less cooling air passing through their bodies, which makes them more susceptible to heat stroke. Any heat, even mild heat, can adversely affect a French bulldog. This is why it is crucial you be aware of the heat, make certain water is always available, and ensure he always has a cool place to rest. Prevent overexertion by limiting certain activities, such as jogging.

A French bulldog’s elongated soft palate can also affect his airway, possibly resulting in chronic airway obstruction. This is why he is prone to mouth breathing, which tends to be noisy and include gagging, snorting, and foaming at the mouth. While surgery can be done to correct this, it should only be considered after a confirmed acute event.

When pressure is put on a French bulldog’s trachea, which usually results from respiratory problems experienced during physical activity, it can weaken and eventually collapse. This causes coughing, increased trouble breathing, decreased energy levels, and tiredness. If caught early, cough suppressants may help. Typically, Frenchies can live long, rewarding lives even with the problem, though surgery may be required in severe instances.

  1. Frenchies have two different ear shapes. Today, most Frenchies have “bat” ears (upright and rounded), but in the past, they often had rose-shaped ears that were folded over similar to an English bulldog’s ears. In the U.S., bat ears are considered the standard because they are more distinctive. While it is possible to find a U.S. born French bulldog with rose-shaped ears, it is considered a disqualifying characteristic according to the American Kennel Club.

  2. Flying is not recommended for French bulldogs. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that bulldogs, including Frenchies, are the breed most likely to die in airplane cargo holds due to their potential for respiratory issues [2]. This, along with the stress of being in an unfamiliar setting and/ or a temperature change, can cause their airway to collapse, cutting off their airflow. If you travel a good bit and plan to take your dog with you on flights, it is a good idea to consider a different breed.

  3. A Frenchie’s flat face can cause his nostrils to narrow, restricting airflow. This is known as stenotic nares. When diagnosed, surgery can be done to remove small wedges from the nostrils to facilitate better airflow. In mild cases, noisy breathing is a common symptom. In severe cases, the dog may become incredibly tired, gag, vomit, and collapse when too active.

  4. Swimming isn’t a recommended activity for Frenchies due to their flat faces, short muzzles, and top heavy shape. In fact, it can be almost impossible for him to keep his nose above the surface. This makes sinking easy, so it is important to keep him away from deep water. On a hot day, use a kiddie pool to help him cool off. Be sure to put on a life vest and watch out for him.

If a French bulldog’s potential for respiratory problems is not a deal breaker for you and you choose to start shopping around for one of your own, be aware of current scams. For example, there are claims that certain colors are very rare for the breed, resulting in a higher cost. The truth is that these rare colors can actually disqualify him from registration and from competing in show events. Only purchase Frenchies from ethical breeders with a good reputation.

While it’s true your French bulldog may be a tad high maintenance, he will certainly be your friend for life. He will love participating in family activities and be friendly to strangers, though he will be vocal if he senses danger. This also makes him a great watchdog.

[1] https://thehappypuppysite.com/french-bulldog-popularity/

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