All dogs shed, but some a bit more than others. Contrary to popular belief, a short coat doesn’t always mean minimal shedding, so don’t let short coat breeds fool you.
Which brings the question: do French Bulldogs shed a lot?
French Bulldogs shed with moderation during the year, shedding the most twice a year – during the fall and spring. They also have a short and smooth coat that requires low grooming.
Shedding can become a problem when it is excessive or difficult to manage. Let’s see what tips you can implement to reduce it!
Do French Bulldogs Shed?
French Bulldogs have fine, smooth, and short hair. Luckily, Frenchies don’t have an undercoat which causes more shedding, but they do shed.
In comparison to similar dog breeds, French Bulldogs shed with moderation.
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Why Does a French Bulldog Shed?
Shedding is a natural way of removing dead hair, which allows a new coat to come in for seasonal changes in temperature.
It doesn’t happen all year around. French Bulldogs mostly shed twice a year, during the fall and spring. This is due to drastic temperature changes.
Usually, dogs get a thick coat during winter months and shed the excess hair in summer.
Since Frenchies live indoors, they are being shielded from extreme temperatures. This means that their natural body regulation don’t get thrown off balance, i.e., mostly only big changes of temperature triggers their shedding mechanism.
So, when your French Bulldog goes outside, his body registers a change in the temperature and he will continue to shed.
Depending on your previous experience with dogs, it might be difficult to visualize how shedding can become a problem.
I discovered this whilst fostering Tootsie the Pug, who is short-haired and sheds hair 357 days a year… i.e. A LOT!
That’s why I came up with some tips to reduce shedding whilst keeping your dog in ultimate health.
5 Tips to Reduce French Bulldog Shedding
So, what can you do to reduce excessive shedding?
Knowing that most of us have a busy lifestyle, here are 5 tips to reduce shedding that don’t require much of your time to accomplish:
#1 – Determine If It Is Excessive Shedding
According to WebMD Veterinary Reference, excessive shedding can be caused by stress, poor nutrition, allergies, or medical problem.
During a check-up, your veterinarian will be able determine if your French Bulldog’s hair loss is part of the normal shedding process or is a symptom of an underlying disorder.
Signs of excessive shedding in French Bulldogs include:
- Skin irritation (redness, bumps, rashes or scabs).
- Open sores.
- Bald spots or thinning of the coat.
- Dull or dry hair.
- Constant foot licking or face rubbing.
If you notice any of the following, consult with your veterinarian.
#2 – Eliminate What Causes Excessive Shedding
Once the vet eliminates the possibility of a medical condition like:
- Fungal or bacterial infections.
- Some form of allergy.
- Kidney, liver, thyroid, or adrenal disease.
- Immune disease.
But you notice a change on how much your French Bulldogs sheds, here’s a list of possible causes:
- Bathing too often and/or using a shampoo with harmful ingredients.
- Lack of regular brushing.
- A diet low in nutrients.
- Living in a stressful environment.
Next, let’s see how to put these into practice!
#3 – Adapt Your French Bulldog’s Bathing Routine
Does bathing my French Bulldog help with shedding?
Bathing your French Bulldog, more often than not, doesn’t improve shedding. On the contrary, overly bathing your pooch can cause skin irritation.
As a rule of thumb, dogs only really need to have a bath when they get filthy, or they start to smell.
They need natural oils in their fur to keep their coats and skin healthy and frequent bathing strips these oils out of their skin.
Which shampoo should I use?
Go for a dog shampoo that is:
- Free of harsh chemicals (i.e. no sulfates and fragrance).
- Certified organic ingredients (like organic coconut oil).
This dog shampoo has worked for me (and my dogs)!
Regardless of which shampoo you prefer, avoid these harmful ingredients:
- D-trans Allethrin: It is from a class of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids, derived from natural chemicals found in chrysanthemums. Synthetic varieties are significantly more potent and persistent than naturally-occurring products and can cause allergic responses. Also a suspected endocrine system disruptor.
- Resmethrin: It is also from the chemical class called pyrethroids.
- Pyriproxyfen and S-Methoprene: It is considered relatively safe with low toxicity. However, data is lacking about their risks when combined with the above chemicals, which may be the case on some dog shampoo.
Also, you should avoid shampoos that include oatmeal since some dogs (including Frenchies and Boston Terriers) have allergy problems with grains.
#4 – Brush Your Frenchie’s Coat Weekly
Thanks to their short coat, your French Bulldog doesn’t require daily brushing. However, you should brush your Frenchie weekly to get rid of the excessive dead hair on their coat.
Every time I am grooming a short-haired dog, like a Frenchie, I use a rubber brush (Amazon link) once a week. It fits in your hand and you can groom your pooch as if you were petting him, i.e., using the same motion.
Plus, dogs find it relaxing because it feels more like a massage than a grooming session!
Insider Tip: Introduce grooming as soon as possible, but get your pooch used to it gradually. If you want your dog to love this activity, take it easy, only do a bit at a time and reward your pooch each time after grooming!
Brushing your dog will also help you to keep an eye on parasites like fleas, lice, mites and ticks, which cause skin problems and more severe issues too.
Another advantage of this breed is that they don’t need regular bathing unless they get very dirty or they start to smell. Plus, overbathing your pooch can cause skin irritation and actually make things worse!
#5 – Feed Your Dog A Balanced Diet
Whether you buy your dog food or make it yourself, your pup needs a balanced diet which is species-appropriate to stay healthy inside and outside.
Fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for a healthy coat, and they can control shedding.
Also, your Frenchie needs to be well hydrated, which is essential for good skin and a healthy coat.
So, what does a healthy, species-appropriate diet look like?
Apart from providing your pooch with plenty of fresh water, a dog diet should include:
- High-quality protein – muscle meat, not pieces or parts.
- Moderate level of animal fat.
- High levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3s).
- High moisture content.
- A few fresh cut veggies (mimics prey’s stomach contents).
- No grains.
- No potatoes or other starches.
Insider Tip: When buying commercial food, watch out for fillers like grains and starches and go for high protein and healthy fat options instead.
When trying different dog food, see if you notice any difference in your French Bulldog’s shedding pattern. You can also use natural supplements for dogs, for instance, krill oil capsules, which have omega-3 fatty acids.
#6 – Provide a Low Stress Environment
High-stress levels in dogs can cause excessive shedding.
So, if your French Bulldog is shedding more than usual, he might be under stress.
There are many changes and situations that can cause stress. Some common triggers include:
- Novelty: Exposure to new items, new people or new animals, especially when they haven’t been socialized.
- Boredom: Lack of mental stimulation like playtime, exercise, and training.
- Loud noises: Fireworks, thunderstorms, heavy wind, etc.
- Sudden changes: In the house/environment, household members or daily routine.
- Punitive training methods: Shock collars, yelling, hitting, etc.
- Separation anxiety: Staying at home alone for long hours.
- Trauma: A loss of a fellow pet or owner.
Help your doggie by providing him a quiet place to chill. Check How to Create a Dog Safe Zone for Your Pooch to Relax to know what to consider when doing so.
Also, here are some remedies to reduce stress in dogs:
- Provide a plush toy designed to soothe dogs like Smart Pet Love’s Snuggle Puppy Toy.
- Leave the radio on and choose a non-stop classical music channel; it’s been found that dogs find it relaxing. Also, you can play some relaxing music designed for dogs that are found to soothe anxiety in our canine friends.
- Turn on the White Noise Sound Machine, it works wonders with dogs that suffer from anxiety. It also helps them sleep better (this is also applicable for humans!)
- Wraps like Thundershirt anxiety jacket help your dog relax when feeling fearful e.g. when there’s a thunderstorm.
- The lavender essential oil has also been proven to reduce the stress response in dogs. You can place two drops on your pug’s collar or bedding. Otherwise, you can use a diffuser around your house for an overall calming effect.
- As an alternative to lavender, Adaptil is a well-known diffuser to curb stress-related unwanted behaviours. The diffuser emits an odourless pheromone that provides a strong signal of comfort and security to dogs.
Read also: How to Calm Dog Fears and Anxiety blog posts.
#Bonus – Pet Graded Vacuum Cleaner
Well, this is more for your own sake than your dog’s! But it makes a huge difference.
When you have a dog, it’s best to assume that you will need to clean on a regular basis – for me, that translates to at least once a week (I’m a busy woman and I don’t exactly jump for joy when it comes to cleaning – not my thing!)
A vacuum cleaner for pets (like Dyson Animal) is the best way to pick up pet hair, dander, and dirt from the floor and furniture.