French Bulldog Grooming 101: Tips & Tricks (For Beginners)

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The French Bulldog is as dapper a little dog as any ever created. These pups seem born to steal the spotlight, with their neat, short coat and debonaire demeanor. However, with great Dapperness comes great French Bulldog grooming responsibilities.

Is a Frenchie’s effortless look, really so effortless? How much help will your Frenchie need from you, the French Bulldog pawrent, to stay looking sharp and stunning? 

This article will give you a thorough overview of the when, how, what, where and how often your French Bulldog needs grooming. Learn what to do first and next. Discover recommended supplies and products to stock up on. Create a grooming schedule that works for you and your dog.

What’s The Best Way To Bath My French Bulldog?

These general French Bulldog bathing and cleaning tips will set you up for a lifetime of success caring for your Frenchie’s skin and coat, ears, paws and nails.

1.     Gentleness comes first.

Tip number one is simply this: put gentleness first. Whether your French Bulldog is an adult rescue or a little puppy, being bathed and cleaned is likely to feel quite strange at first!

You may also feel understandably tentative about your technique and worried you will do something wrong. Take the pressure off by turning bathing and cleaning your Frenchie into a game you can play together. Let the treats and praise flow freely.

2.     Prioritize safety.

Tip number two is to prioritize safety. Use only cleaning and care products specifically formulated for canine skin pH. This is especially important if your Frenchie has sensitive skin. Also, it’s generally advisable to steer clear of any medicated cleaners unless your veterinarian specifically recommends otherwise.

We recommend Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Dog Shampoo, which is available on Amazon here.

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 on sensitive skin and natural ingredients. Your French Bulldog will thank you for using it!

Other Top Shampoo Picks

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

Invest in a water temperature thermometer so you can test the water temperature. Aim for 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius) for your dog’s comfort. Also, make sure you put down anti-slip mats in the bath and on the floor to protect you both from slipping.

Have warm dry towels handy so your single-coated Frenchie doesn’t catch a chill. Test the hair dryer temperature in advance to be sure the warmed air isn’t too hot for your dog’s sensitive skin.

3.     Start right away.

Tip number three is the opposite of what you may feel tempted to do, which is to wait to start bathing and cleaning your Frenchie puppy until they grow up and develops their adult dog coat. 

But don’t wait. The earlier you introduce regular bathing and grooming to your Frenchie, the less scared your puppy will be of the whole process.

4.     Don’t skimp on the bathing details.

French Bulldogs have some special needs when it comes to routine bathing and cleaning. In particular, you will need to pay extra cleaning attention to your dog’s facial folds, tail pocket (skin folds around the tail and anal glands) ears and paws. 

5.     Consider investing in a professional grooming session.

Even if you plan to handle your Frenchie’s bathing and grooming needs yourself, investing in a professional grooming session is a great way to learn the ropes from a professional. Most dog groomers are happy to offer tips and guidance to their pawrent clients as part of a paid session. 

Shadowing a professional dog groomer can be particularly helpful with Frenchies because these dogs can have some particular grooming and cleaning needs.

For example, the Frenchie breed’s facial folds and the skin folds around their tail can collect dirt and require extra cleaning. Frenchies may also need extra cleaning for the tear stains around the eyes.

Cute Well Groomed French Bulldogs

Cute Well Well-groomed French Bulldogs

How Do You Brush Frenchies?

Brushing your French Bulldog is healthy for them! Weekly brushing stimulates the skin, aiding in circulation, sloughing off dead skin cells and encouraging dead hair to shed out and make way for new hair growth. These tips will help you brush your Frenchie correctly.

1.     Brush before you bathe.

French Bulldogs will never need a haircut because their single-layer short coat is rather self-maintaining. However, always brush your Frenchie well before their bath to remove dirt, debris, and dead hair from the coat.

2.     Examine your dog’s skin as you brush.

As an extra safety check, you can run your hand along behind the brush for each stroke to feel your dog’s skin and make sure all is well. 

If you find any abrasions or rough areas on your dog’s skin or paws, you can make a note to talk with your canine veterinarian about these.

3.     Always brush gently to avoid skin abrasion.

French Bulldogs tend to have sensitive skin compared to other breeds. Too vigorous brushing or using brushes with hard bristles can abrade the skin and cause your dog discomfort. And since Frenchies only have a single-layer coat, brushing through to the skin happens without much pressure.

4.     Choose soft brushes or grooming gloves.

Choose softer French bulldog grooming brushes with round tip bristles or use grooming gloves that fit over your hands to give you better control over the amount of pressure you use. 

You can use individual fingers on the glove to groom small areas around your dog’s eyes, inside the skin folds, inside the tail pocket and on the paw pads. For finishing, you can use a soft pin and bristle French Bulldog grooming brush or round-tip stainless steel comb to give your dog a smooth coat.

Kong Zoom Groom Review - Top Frenchie

The amount of loose hair it removed in one quick brush

The Kong Zoom Groom in action – Louis V Loves it!

How Do I Clean My French Bulldog’s Ears?

French Bulldogs have adorable “bat ears” that are a favorite part of their charm. But Frenchies also seem unusually prone to developing a condition called otitis externa, or infection of the outer ear canal. 

Learning how to properly examine and clean your Frenchie’s ears will help your dog remain infection-free. 

1.     Begin by gently handling your dog’s ears.

Start by just gently touching your pup’s ears, offering praise and treats as you do so. Once your dog is comfortable allowing you to touch and examine their ears, you can begin routine ear cleaning as part of the French Bulldog grooming process.

2.     Consult your veterinarian about ear cleaning solution.

Your canine veterinarian will be able to recommend a good ear-cleaning solution. Squirt it into your dog’s ear canal and massage the ear opening to work the solution down into the ear. Use a cotton ball to wipe away any excess. 

If you notice discharge or odor coming from your Frenchie’s ears, always contact your canine veterinarian for guidance.

3.     Trim away excess ear hair.

Use trimming shears to clip away excess hair growing in the outer ear canals so the hair doesn’t attract dirt and debris or block airflow.

If you’re looking for a great solution for cleaning your Frenchies ears, Stacie (our in-house product reviewer) and Louis V (Her dapper little Frenchie), highly recommended the Bugalugs soothing Ear Wipes and Eye Wipes. You can read the full review here.

Bugalugs Ear Wipes
Bugalugs Eye Wipes

How Do You Trim a Frenchie’s Nails?

Most dogs do not enjoy having their nails trimmed. However, you can do a lot to help your Frenchie get used to the process. 

The key is to have the right equipment and know exactly how to use it. Some owners who don’t feel confident prefer to have their veterinarian or a professional dog groomer tend to nail trimming. You will need to decide what feels right for you and your dog.

If you want to trim your Frenchie’s nails at home, you can either use a dremel nail grinder or a nail clipper (scissor style) or both. You should also have a nail file handy to smooth the nail. 

For safety, be sure to keep some disinfectant and styptic powder or silver nitrate on hand just in case you nick a nail.

Clipping or trimming your French Bulldog’s nails every two to three weeks should be sufficient to maintain the nails at a healthy length. 

Pawsafe Nail Clippers - Top Frenchie
Trim your dog’s Nails Every 2-3 Weeks With Pawsafe Nail Clippers

French Bulldog Grooming Schedule (Best Practices)

As a general rule, the following French Bulldog grooming schedule could be an ideal way to maintain your French Bulldog’s healthy appearance.

1.     Brush the coat – Weekly

As long as your Frenchie doesn’t get into anything stinky, you should be safe giving your dog’s coat a good thorough (but gentle!) weekly brushing.

2.     Clean skin folds and ears – Weekly

It is good to get into the habit of checking and cleaning your French Bulldog’s skin folds (In particular their facial folds and tail pocket area) and ears weekly when you brush their coat.

3.     Trim your dog’s nails – Every Two to Three Weeks

Most Frenchies do just fine with nail trimming every two to three weeks.

4.     Bathe your Frenchie – Monthly

French Bulldogs can struggle with dry skin and sensitive skin. Too-frequent bathing can cause the skin to dry out still further, especially in the winter season when the heat is blasting. A good year-round rule of thumb is to bathe your dog about once a month or even less frequently as needed.

Every French Bulldog groomer and pawrent has their own favorite products for bathing and grooming their pup. This list of recommended products for French Bulldog grooming is meant to give you a place to start and a general overview of what you will need.

·       Rubber grooming mitt or grooming gloves

·       Smoothing brush or soft bristle brush

·       Stainless steel round-tip comb

·       Gentle shampoo formulated for canine skin pH

·       Small round-tip trimming shears

·       Dremel nail grinder

·       Guillotine-style nail clippers

·       Ear cleaning solution formulated for canine skin pH

·       Dog tear stain remover

·       Styptic powder or silver nitrate 

·       Cotton balls or cotton gauze

·       Soft washcloth and plenty of dry towels

·       Anti-slip bath mats (one for the bath and one for the floor)

A smoothing brush has gentle bristles and is used to put the finishing touches on your Frenchie’s grooming routine, adding body and shine to the coat.

The Kong Zoom Groom massages and grooms at the same time. The soft rubber fingers are a magnet to loose hairs and gently removes them in short strokes. 

The Zoom Groom can be used in between and during bath time to massage the skin, remove shedding hairs, stimulate natural oil production leaving the coat clean and healthy.

Our product reviewers Stacie and Louis V, finds the Zoom Groom really easy to use with it soft grip, it makes brushing and shampooing easy with its wide bristles and its well-made and durable. She has owned hers for a over a year and its still like new. 

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These French Bulldog Grooming tips will help you to take excellent care of your French Bulldog’s grooming needs and sure they are looking their best with a smooth coat and healthy skin. Be sure to have plenty of treats on hand and praise your little pup to the skies to make bathing and grooming a fun bonding activity for you both!

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