How to Bathe Your French Bulldog: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Bathe Your French Bulldog Top Frenchie 1

French Bulldogs are truly a breed apart in so many ways. You, the Frenchie pawrent, already know this, of course! But what you may not yet know is that this uniqueness also extends to grooming your French Bulldog and more specifically how to bathe your French Bulldog.

In this short and sweet article on French Bulldog grooming and bathing, you will learn invaluable tips on how to bathe your French Bulldog to keep your precious Frenchie healthy and looking super dapper!

Why Proper Bathing Is Important for French Bulldogs

If there is one truth the pandemic has taught us all, it is that washing our hands excessively can really dry them out. 

The same basic principle applies to French Bulldog bathing – even more so since Frenchie skin often requires special handling.

French Bulldogs’ skin and coat types

The majority of Frenchies will grow up to sport a short, flat, neat single-layer coat

With less hair to offer protection and insulation, a Frenchie’s skin is by nature both sensitive and dry. 

This means less is more when it comes to bathing, which can strip the skin and coat of natural oils that are both moisturizing and nourishing.  

Common skin problems that French Bulldogs experience

Canine veterinarians are quick to warn French Bulldog pawrents to watch for common skin symptoms such as these.

·       Itching

·       Crusting or scabs

·       Bumps or acne

·       Redness

·       Swelling

·       Inflammation

·       Open sores

·       Hot spots

·       Hair loss (in patches or all over)

·       Dull coat

·       Yeast infections (ears, paw pads, skin folds)

What causes these types of French Bulldog skin symptoms? Allergies, infections, parasites and microbes, hormone fluctuations and autoimmune diseases are all possible culprits.

French Bulldog Allergies - Skin Fold Dermatitis
French Bulldog Allergies – Skin Fold Dermatitis

You may read this scary list and wonder if you should bathe your Frenchie more frequently to keep their skin extra clean. However, too-dry skin can actually make your dog even more prone to developing infections and other skin issues.

How bathing can help prevent skin problems and maintain overall health for your Frenchie

There are three main ways proper French Bulldog bathing can protect and potentially prevent certain skin and health issues.

1. Keep your dog’s skin and coat hydrated and nourished.

The skin and coat care products you choose to use on your Frenchie can make a big difference in how well the skin and coat function to protect your dog in between baths.

2. Help you spot small skin issues before they become big problems.

Your French Bulldog grooming and bathing routine gives you a great opportunity to examine your dog all over for skin problems

3. Treat existing skin or health issues to minimize symptoms.

Choosing the right shampoo and skin care products can make bath day a valuable part of your Frenchie’s healing regimen. There are all kinds of different dog shampoos and conditioners on the market today. 

Unless your veterinarian wants you to use something specific, try to choose a shampoo with the fewest and simplest natural and organic ingredients to minimize the risk of skin irritation.

If you’re looking for a great shampoo, we recommend Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Dog Shampoo.

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Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Dog Shampoo is an excellent product for anyone looking for a natural and gentle way to clean their French Bulldog. This shampoo is specifically formulated for dogs with sensitive skin, and the oatmeal helps soothe and moisturize their skin. We highly recommend Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Dog Shampoo for its effectiveness and natural ingredients. Your French Bulldog will thank you for using it!

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Other Shampoo Recommendations

BUGALUGS Baby Fresh Dog Shampoo Dog Grooming Shampoo - Top Frenchie
BUGALUGS Baby Fresh Dog Shampoo Dog Grooming Shampoo
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo & Conditioner - Top Frenchie
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo & Conditioner
Healthy Breeds French Bulldog Avocado Herbal Dog Shampoo - Top Frenchie
Healthy Breeds French Bulldog Avocado Herbal Dog Shampoo
Healthy Breeds French Bulldog Oatmeal Shampoo - Top Frenchie
Healthy Breeds French Bulldog Oatmeal Shampoo

Preparing your Frenchie for the Bath

The first time you ever bathe your French Bulldog, you may feel like it is a labor-intensive process. But the more you do it, the easier and quicker it will become. 

Follow these three steps to create the fastest and simplest bath day experience for your dog.

1. Gather necessary bathing supplies

Choose a special bucket or box where you will keep all bathing supplies and make sure to replenish it after each bath.

2. Prepare the bathing area

Safety is a huge priority anytime water is involved. Always use anti-slip mats and have plenty of towels on hand to sop up extra water. 

If your Frenchie is still very little, consider using a large sink instead of a bathtub for safety.

3. Brush your French Bulldog’s coat before the bath

Brushing your Frenchie before their bath allows you to remove dead shed hair, work out tangles and mats and identify any areas that may need special cleaning attention.

If you’re looking for the perfect brush, we recommend the HOP Home of Paws Short Hair Dog Brush.

HOP Home of Paws Short Hair Dog Brush

4.6 out of 5
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The HOP Home of Paws Short Hair Dog Brush is a grooming tool designed to help remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from the coat of short-haired dogs, especially French Bulldogs.

4.7 out of 5
4.9 out of 5
4.4 out of 5
4.6 out of 5


Comfortable handle for easy grip

Flexible, gentle bristles effectively remove loose hair

Can be used for both wet and dry grooming

Easy to clean and maintain


May not be suitable for dogs with REALLY sensitive skin

Some users reporting a couple of bristles falling out after a few uses, however reviews may not be accurate

Not suitable for other dogs you own if they have long hair

How to Bathe Your French Bulldog

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to Bathe Your French Bulldog. You may want to print out these steps and tape them near the area where you are going to bathe your Frenchie.

1. Get your French Bulldog comfortable in the water.

Use a thermometer to be sure the water is lukewarm (98.6F or 37C)

2. Wet your French Bulldog’s coat thoroughly.

You want to be sure you wet your Frenchie’s coat all the way through to the skin or the shampoo won’t be able to do its job properly.

3. Apply the shampoo and lather it into your French Bulldog’s coat.

With most shampoos, a little really can go a long way. Once you get a good lather going in one area of your dog’s coat, try using the excess lather on another area rather than pouring on yet more shampoo.

4. Rinse the shampoo out completely.

The less shampoo you can use to get the job done, the easier and faster it will be to rinse it out of your dog’s coat.

5. Apply conditioner and rinse it out (if necessary).

Canine conditioner can be a nice touch for adding back moisture and shine to your dog’s coat. Be sure you follow the instructions on the bottle – some conditioners are leave-in and others are made to be rinsed out.

6. Dry your French Bulldog’s coat with a towel or blow dryer.

A wet Frenchie is a miserable Frenchie. Have some super absorbent towels on hand to sop up excess water. Only use a blow dryer if the air temperature is cool or warm – hot air may cause skin burns.

Other Important Tips On Bathing Your French Bulldogs

Here are a few extra insider tips to help you plan for success with French Bulldog grooming and bathing.

How often to bathe a French Bulldog

Depending on who you ask, French Bulldogs should be bathed as frequently as every four to six weeks or as infrequently as quarterly.

When in doubt about bath time frequency for your pup, consult your canine veterinarian.

How to avoid getting water or soap in your French Bulldog’s ears and eyes.

A good technique to keep water out of your Frenchie’s ears is to clean the ears first and place cotton balls into the ear canals to keep them dry. 

You may also want to use a special cleaner around your Frenchie’s eyes and facial skin folds so you don’t risk getting shampoo in your dog’s eyes.

Use positive reinforcement techniques during the bathing process.

Remember, praise and treats are as essential as shampoo and towels on bath day. 


Now that you have read this entire article through, there is only one step left. It is time to give French Bulldog bathing a try with your own pup! Remember to have plenty of treats on hand and allow the praise and pats to flow freely.

Be sure to talk with your Frenchie’s veterinarian if you have any specific questions about the best bathing and grooming supplies or bath time products for your dog.

Every day, a brand new Frenchie pawrent gives their precious pup a bath for the very first time. Today, perhaps it is you! Being nervous is normal and even protective of your dog. But don’t worry – with the tips in this article, you are going to do a great job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use human shampoo on my French Bulldog?

Canine skin pH is more alkaline than human skin pH. 
This is why you should only use bath products like detanglers, shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for canine skin pH (yes, even gentle human baby shampoo may cause discomfort to your dog).

How do I know if my French Bulldog is clean enough after a bath?

This is a great question! If you follow the French Bulldog bathing steps outlined in this article, you won’t have to worry about having a dirty dog after bath day. 

However, if your Frenchie rolled in something extra-stinky, gotten skunk-sprayed or has any known skin issues, talk with your dog’s veterinarian about these special situations before bathing your pup.

Can I bathe my French Bulldog if they have skin allergies or other health issues?

If you know your French Bulldog is dealing with skin allergies or skin health issues, always talk with your canine veterinarian before bathing your pup. Your vet may want you to bathe on a different schedule or use different products while your dog is healing.

What should I do if my French Bulldog hates bath time?

No matter how tasty the treats are or how fun you make bath day, your Frenchie still may not like being bathed. Some dogs just never seem to get used to the experience and we may never know why.

However, you do have another option if you are worried bath time is interfering with your bond. Consider outsourcing this necessary task to a professional dog groomer!

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