Breed Information

General Health

A very compassionate but stubborn breed, they are found in most home environments. French Bulldogs strive as companion pets and a protector of their family, and they enjoy their time in the show ring! As a breed, French Bulldogs fall under the Non-Sporting group. French Bulldogs are smaller-sized dogs and can come in several different colors –Brindle (subtle “tiger stripe” effect), fawn, or cream which are standard colors, but you also have blue and blue fawn.

Average Food Cost: $10–20 a week

Feeding Requirements: French Bulldogs can be fussy eaters, so care must be taken to watch their weight. We personally feed our puppies and adults either Orijen amazing grains regional red or Orijen puppy, along with A Pup Above.

Other Expenses: Puppies generally cost around $1500-3000. This is a relatively healthy breed but can have some health issues, so vets’ bills could be a little high. However, pet insurance for unexpected events is always a good idea.

Lifespan: 10-12 years

Average litter size: 3 Pups

Early Screening and Evaluation Q & A

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Worming your dog throughout its lifetime is important, and you should talk to your vet about a suitable worming program for your puppy at the earliest opportunity. Regular worming protects your dog’s health and helps prevent the spread of infection and potentially hazardous health risks to other animals and humans. Worm infections carried by your dog do not always display obvious symptoms, so a treatment schedule is vital.

Signs aren’t always obvious

Dogs can appear healthy even with worm infections. Detecting an infection can be tricky, particularly as worm eggs are too small to be easily visible in your pet’s feces. In addition, your dog may be more at risk from some worm infections than others, depending on where you live.

Therefore, keeping your dog’s treatment regular and up-to-date is extremely important.

General signs to look for include:

  • The presence of visible worm segments that could stick to your dog’s bottom and become itchy. This can cause dogs to “scoot,” dragging their bottoms along the ground with their back legs.
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A dull, lifeless coat
  • A change in appetite (it may be either increased or decreased depending on the type of worms present)
  • A lack of energy
  • A pot-bellied appearance (most commonly seen in puppies)
  • Breathing difficulties and coughing

You should seek advice from your vet if you see any of the above signs in your dog. Your vet will be able to investigate the problem and provide appropriate advice and treatment.

How Often Should You Deworm?

All animals are at risk of acquiring worm infections. However, some animals will be at higher risk than others depending on their lifestyle and the area in which you live. Children are at increased risk of disease from worms; if you have a young family or your dog often comes into contact with children, you should pay particular attention to regular worming.

You can also do many other practical things to help prevent the spread of worm infections among your pets and family. These are as follows:

  • ‘Poop scooping’ -make sure you pick up your dog’s feces immediately on a walk and remove it from the lawn or surrounding outdoor environment daily-bag it, and put it in designated poop bins
  • Ensure you and your children wash your hands after handling / stroking your dog
  • Wash all food, including fruit and vegetables, before eating them
  • Don’t allow children to put dirt in their mouths
  • Throw away any food dropped on the floor/ground rather than eating
  • Cover children’s sandpits when not in use

Traveling Pets

There are specific parasitic worms to which your pet may be exposed on visiting countries outside the USA. Two notable worms are Heartworm, transmitted by a mosquito bite, which could be fatal in your dog if not prevented, and one type of Tapeworm, which can cause serious and fatal diseases in people. If you intend to travel with your dog, you should talk to your vet in plenty of time to establish the best worming regime to ensure the protection of both your dog’s health and that of your family. For further information about what you need to do before, during, and after travel abroad with your dog, refer to the Pet Travel Scheme guidelines or contact your travel agent.


There are several infectious diseases that dogs are susceptible to throughout their life. Some of these diseases are life-threatening, and young puppies are particularly vulnerable. So your puppy must be vaccinated against them at a young age. Further vaccination is essential to ensure your puppy continues to be healthy and happy throughout its entire life.

First vaccinations

First vaccinations can be given from approximately six weeks of age. However, this can vary depending on the normal practice of your vet. Four main infectious diseases are vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis. All of these diseases can be fatal, so after its first course of vaccinations, your puppy will need booster vaccinations according to your vet’s advice.

Once a puppy is vaccinated, the vet will issue a vaccination certificate showing a record of exactly when the puppy was vaccinated, and which product was used. This should be kept safe as you may need to show them at boarding kennels, dog-training classes or if you take your dog abroad. It is also useful should you change your vet and he may recommend a slightly different regime, and it will be useful to see what vaccination your puppy has had in the past.

Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, you should not take it anywhere where it might come into contact with dogs or ground that may be infected. However, puppies are most receptive to new environments and situations at this age, so keeping them confined to your house and garden can be counterproductive. To continue your puppy’s socialization program during these important first weeks at home, you should take your puppy out to different places in your arms or the car to get used to different situations and noises and let it meet new people.

Does vaccination have any side effects?

Anybody who has ever been vaccinated knows that it can occasionally make you feel quite feverish and poorly for a short while. While this effect is not pleasant, it is a sign that the vaccine is stimulating the body’s disease defenses. The perfect vaccine would not cause those effects, but not all vaccines are perfect. However, safety is paramount in the licensing of vaccines. Exceptionally there can very occasionally be more severe side effects, but they are so rare that the benefits obtained with vaccination far outweigh the risks. If you are concerned about possible side effects, discuss this with your vet before the vaccine is administered to your puppy.

How frequently should vaccines be used?

Vaccination plays a very important role in the control of infectious diseases. While it is recognized that adverse reactions such as an allergic response or a lack of efficacy may occasionally occur, an analysis of the overall benefits and risks strongly supports the continued use of vaccination. Vets should thoroughly assess the benefits and risks on an individual basis and discuss them with clients when deciding the timing of vaccination and the use of particular vaccines.

What are the benefits of vaccinating dogs?

There is no doubt that the use of vaccination has been of huge benefit to our pets by bringing some very unpleasant diseases under control. The use of ‘combination’ or ‘multivalent’ vaccines (where several different vaccines are given together) has transformed the control of many diseases in dogs and cats. Virus diseases such as canine distemper, adenoviruses (viral hepatitis), and canine parvovirus used to be scourged. The development of vaccines and their widespread use has brought the diseases in question under control. How vaccines have been used in dogs is rather different from how they have been used in farm animals. The difference is that whereas in farm animals, the aim is to prevent the spread of disease and to protect the herd, in the dog and cats, it is the individual animal that the vaccine is being used to protect. Prevention is better than cure, especially with diseases such as distemper and parvovirus, where if the animal survives, it is often left with permanent damage of some kind.

Character & Temperament

French Bulldogs are vivacious, deeply affectionate, and intelligent. And socialization is a vital component in rearing your puppy. The more different experiences your puppy is exposed to, the better it is for the pup. Socializing helps you to teach your puppy how it is to behave in certain situations.

We have started the process of socializing as much as possible without exposing the pup to the outside world before it has completed its vaccinations. After the vaccinations are complete, you can continue the work.

Diet & Exercise

Little and often

Like all infants, puppies grow very rapidly and require a specially formulated diet to aid their physical development. A high-quality growth food is recommended and needs to be fed at evenly spaced intervals to avoid overstretching your puppy’s small stomach.

The most suitable diet should be easily digested and produce dark brown, firm, formed stools. If your puppy produces soft or light stools or has wind or diarrhea, then the diet may not suit your puppy, or it might have some kind of digestive problem or infection. If the condition persists for more than 2 days, consult your vet for advice.

Please remember that stability in the diet will help maintain good digestion. Any change in diet should be made very gradually over at least a week to avoid upset, we do over a month, and you should try a new diet for at least 10 days before making any further changes.

If your puppy develops the runs (it can happen with the change of residence and also differences in local water) –give him/her some boiled white rice with chicken or tuna for 24 hours or a TBS of 100% pumpkin 3 x’s a day for 1 day to allow his/her tummy to settle.

Typical Feeding Guide

Start your puppy off on four meals daily – make sure to space these out throughout the day and give the last meal close to bedtime, as this can help them settle. Ideally, a young puppy should go for at least 4 hours between meals. Typical feeding times would be:

  • 8:00 AM
  • 12:00 PM Midday
  • 4:00 PM
  • 8:00 PM
  • + Possibly a small snack just before bed

However, these feeding times can be altered to suit your personal schedule. Times are not set, but it is best to set a schedule for the puppy within an hour of regular times.

It is better not to leave food down and not to change your puppy’s food regularly, as this could cause havoc with its digestion and toilet training regime. However, ensure water is always available to your puppy, so never take its water bowl away. Do not leave food down overnight, as it will be detrimental to toilet training.

Reduce this feeding to three meals a day at roughly 8-12 weeks and then two meals a day at six months. French Bulldog puppies aged 8 to 12 weeks feed around 1 and a half cups of food daily in 3 separate meals.

It is very important not to make a fuss over food. Puppies will learn that not eating food will get them coaxing, cuddling, and alternative ‘treats’ and will continue to be fussy throughout its life.


The quantity of food should be approximately the same for each meal. Puppies can be greedy or picky with their food, so it can sometimes be difficult to gauge how much to give them. Care should be taken not to over or underfeed your puppy. Puppies can often appear ‘chubby’, particularly after eating, but they should have a defined ‘waist’ under normal circumstances. If you doubt your puppy’s weight or diet, consult your vet when you next visit for a puppy check-up. Follow directions on your food bag or consult your vet.

Dry complete foods

Choose a food specially designed for puppies to get the best out of your puppy’s development. There is a wide range of complete dry foods on the market, and the quality varies widely. If your puppy does not seem to like eating dry completely and this is what you wish to feed, you can try soaking the food in a little warm water to soften it or mix in a little tinned puppy food, gradually reducing the quantity until your puppy is fully weaned and accepts dry completely.

Semi-moist, pouch, and tinned foods

As with complete dry foods, semi-moist, pouch, and tinned foods can vary in quality. Again, choose a good quality diet that is easily digestible, nutritionally complete, and does not require additional foods to be added to it. As before, it is best to avoid changes in your puppy’s diet- so if you find a product that works for your puppy, stick to it.


Giving treats is a good way to reward your dog during training and encourage the behavior you want. A wide variety of prepared and natural treats on the market vary hugely in quality. Some commercial treats have lots of sugar, colorings, milk products, and fat, so always check the ingredients label. Good quality prepared treats have been developed with dogs’ dietary needs in mind.

However, all treats should be given sparingly and never comprise more than 15% of your puppy’s total calorie intake. If you use treats regularly, reduce the amount of main food your dog receives to avoid obesity. Some chew treats have proven ability to help prevent dental diseases, but again check the label to ensure you are getting a genuine product.

Feeding tips

  • Clean, fresh water should always be available.
  • Do not refill half-empty bowls but ensure that fresh food is always provided at each mealtime. This is particularly true in hot weather when food left in bowls can attract flies and other insects.
  • Half-full cans of dog food should be kept covered in the fridge.
  • It is better to stick to one variety of complete puppy food, so you don’t need to add anything to the diet. Always remember that over-supplementing can be harmful to your puppy.
  • As long as your puppy is not showing any growth or digestive problems, resist the temptation to change its diet or offer it a range of foods, as you may turn your puppy into a fussy eater.
  • Never change your puppy’s diet abruptly (unless under the direction of your vet). If you want to change their diet, do it gradually over a period of a few days to a week or longer if necessary.
  • Avoid feeding your puppy before traveling in the car, as this can encourage car sickness.
  • Do not feed your puppy an hour before or after exercise or play, as this could lead to stomach dilation, a life-threatening condition requiring immediate veterinary intervention.
  • Leave your puppy in peace while it is eating from its bowl. Taking the bowl away while eating causes anxiety, which can lead to food aggression. If you want to be sure that your puppy is comfortable with you approaching it during mealtimes, add a little food to the bowl while it is eating so it sees you as an asset rather than a threat.
  • Never feed your dog from the table or your plate, as this encourages drooling and attention-seeking behaviors, such as begging and barking.

Foods to Avoid

When bringing a new puppy into the home, it is vital to remember that puppies are inquisitive creatures and likely to eat anything they come across. The canine body and digestive system are very different from our own, so foods that are safe for us can prove toxic to a dog. Below is a list of food to avoid, and if your pup does consume it by accident, contact the vet immediately.

  • Raw Bread Dough–Bread dough made with live yeast can be hazardous if ingested by dogs. The warm, moist environment allows the yeast to multiply, causing the stomach to expand. As yeast multiplies, alcohol is also produced, which can lead to intoxication.
  • Chocolate & Coffee–Contains Theobromine & caffeine. It can be found in most chocolate products, including cocoa powder and cocoa shell-based products. A general rule of thumb for chocolate–the darker it is, the more toxic it is.
  • Alcohol –Dogs are far more sensitive to alcohol than humans. Ingesting a small amount of alcohol can cause significant intoxication.
  • Grapes & Raisins–Grapes and raisins have been associated with kidney failure in dogs. Toxins can take up to 12 hours to become apparent.
  • Hops–Cultivated hops used for brewing beer are associated with life-threatening signs in dogs. Both fresh and spent (cooked) hops are dangerous.
  • Macadamia Nuts–Unlikely to be fatal but can cause very uncomfortable symptoms for up to 48 hours.
  • Moldy Foods–Some molds produce toxins called tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause serious problems if ingested. As it’s not possible to determine which molds produce this, extra care must be taken to remove anything growing mold from your dog’s environment, such as fallen fruits or nuts.
  • Onions & Garlic–All close members of the onion family contain compounds that cause damage to the red blood cells. The rule of thumb is ‘the stronger it is, the more toxic it is’ –garlic is more toxic than onion based on weight.
  • Xylitol–Xylitol is a calorie-free sweetener widely used in products such as sugar-free gum. If consumed, it can lead to a rapid and severe drop in blood sugar levels.
  • Cooked Bones–cooked bones can easily splinter when chewed. These splinters can then become stuck in the intestines. This includes pieces of fish that may contain bones. Raw bones are much better and are good for the teeth.
  • Mushrooms –Just like with humans, lots of wild mushrooms can be poisonous, so be extra vigilant when out on walks where mushrooms may grow.

Small beginnings

French Bulldogs can be prone to joint problems. However, although Hip and Elbow Dysplasia is inherited, it can also be caused by environmental factors such as weight and exercise. Puppies need much less exercise than adult dogs, and over-exercise can cause damage to their joints.

There are steps you can take to protect further your puppy’s joints, particularly during the first year of their life when their bones are still soft:

  • On-lead walks should be limited to around 5 minutes for every month of their lives up to 12 months of age, e.g. at 3 months, 15 minutes. At 6 months, 30 minutes.
  • Do not allow your puppy to use stairs unless completely unavoidable. If it is essential for your puppy to use stairs, train them to use them sensibly by walking with them and using a lead to start off.
  • Try to discourage them from jumping on and off the furniture–this can place additional pressure on the elbows.
  • If you have older dogs or bigger dogs, avoid too much play, and make sure you have areas where both puppy and older/bigger dog(s) can rest. Avoid leaving them alone until you are comfortable that the puppy will not be hurt.

All dogs require regular exercise to remain fit and prevent them from becoming overweight, which may also lead to health problems. You should remember, however, that exercise needs to be introduced gradually and that a young puppy will not have the same exercise requirement as an adult dog. The duration and frequency of exercise should remain consistent, and any increases should be gradual.

Playing with your Puppy

French Bulldogs can become bored very quickly, and this often leads to destructiveness, including chewing and digging. Playing with toys and training is a fantastic way to wear them out mentally while putting minimal stress on their bones and joints. There are a wide variety of toys available to use. It is best to experiment and see what toys your pup finds most exciting.


Reasons for grooming: Remember ‘CHAIR’

Cleanliness. Keeping your dog’s coat clean by removing dirt and dead hair helps encourage new hair growth and reduces the amount of hair deposited on household furniture.

Health. Grooming helps to stimulate new coat growth and prevents the formation of knots or matting, which may lead to skin irritation.

Appearance. Most owners take pride in their dogs looking smart, and regular grooming will help your puppy look its best.

Inspection. Regular grooming is also a great way to check for parasites or suspicious lumps and bumps.

Relationship. Grooming is part of a dog’s socialization activities. Regular grooming helps create a bond between you and your puppy and accustoms your puppy to being handled.

Getting started

Start the grooming experience early on as part of your puppy’s socialization program and routines. Keep the sessions short to start with – just a couple of minutes, gradually increasing the time spent on the table. Always make the experience positive and rewarding with praise and suitable treats. Any struggle should be dealt with firmly but kindly, as your puppy may be frustrated, mischievous, or even afraid.

Build up the experience, and your puppy will accept the grooming routine. This will help with other activities, such as veterinary visits. Finish the grooming if your puppy shows signs of getting bored or tired so that each session ends positively.

Care of ears, nails, and eyes

  • Regularly check your puppy’s ears to see if they are clean. You can remove the excess dirt inside the ear flap with damp cotton wool. Never probe inside the ear, as you may perforate the eardrum.
  • If nails are excessively long, remove the tip of the claw, taking care not to cut the quick or blood vessel.
  • If needed, clean the eyes with clean, damp cotton wool using a separate piece for each eye.

External Parasites

A parasite lives on another animal (the host) and gets nourishment from the host. If left unchecked, the parasite causes disease. The most common external parasites found on dogs are fleas and ticks.

  • Excessive scratching and self-biting can be symptoms of flea infestation. Even if no fleas are to be seen, the presence of shiny black specks like coal dust (flea excreta) is a sure indication of the presence of fleas.
  • Ticks can be 3 to 4mm in length. They attach themselves to other animals in order to have a blood meal.

Other skin problems

  • Ringworm is a fungal disease affecting the skin, nails, and hair. Circular lesions appear, causing hair loss, which becomes scaly and crusty. Ringworm is contagious.
  • Dermatitis causes irritation, hair loss, and inflammation and results from environmental sensitivity.
  • Alopecia can range from a thinning of hair to total hair loss. It can be caused by several factors, such as skin parasites, hormonal imbalance, infections, stress, or poor nutrition. Seek veterinary advice for any skin problems.