French Bulldogs, with their neat and refined appearance and adorable scrunchy faces, are wildly popular among dog lovers right now.
These dogs sure do know how to make a great first impression!
But French Bulldogs can be prone to skin and coat problems, especially in areas where their deep skin folds and wrinkles may unknowingly be hosting bacteria.
Frenchies also tend to have skin problems that can be made worse if they get overheated or are overexposed to natural sunlight. So let's take a look at how to make sure your French Bulldog's coat always stays healthy and shiny.
How to Keep French Bulldog Coat Shiny?
The best way to keep a French Bulldog coat shiny is to remember that what you put into your dog is often the number one reason why a dog's coat will look good or not so good.
So start with great, high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated to provide whole and complete nutrition to small dog breeds. Ask your veterinarian if you are not sure what to buy.
Next, use supplements like coconut oil and fish oil to make sure your dog's skin and coat are set up to be healthy from the inside out. Here again, ask your veterinarian if you are not sure which to use or how much to offer.
Learn Easy Tips from Frenchie Owners for Coat and All-Over Care
These two YouTube videos will give you all the "snout to tail" basics you need to start taking excellent care of your French Bulldog right from day one.
Some of the tips might not be what you expect, so be sure to watch both videos in their entirety.
This first YouTube video shares three amazing tips for giving your dog's coat an amazing shine and keep your dog's skin healthy and comfy to move about in.
This second YouTube video shares the other regular coat and overall health maintenance needs that your Frenchie will need your help with.
Skin and Coat Issues in French Bulldogs
As Vet4Bulldogs explains, French Bulldogs can be especially prone to developing some painful and disfiguring skin and coat issues.
Sometimes even the best coat care in the world might not be sufficient to completely guard your Frenchie against these coat issues.
If this occurs, it is important not to blame yourself, but to simply seek care from your dog's veterinarian as soon as possible.
It is also important to understand what you are looking at so you don't just think it is something you can correct with more brushing or a different care regiment. So let's take a look at some things that can happen to dull the French Bulldog coat.
Alopecia is a condition that can occur in both dogs and in people. It can be genetic or caused by other skin conditions.
Alopecia is hair loss. It can be partial or complete. Sometimes hair may start to look patchy and the coat may show signs of dry or flaky skin.
Demodex mange is an irritation caused by a skin parasite – the Demodex mite. These tiny mites are microscopic so you won't be able to see them at work on your dog's skin.
But you will see the results of their work, which can include skin irritation and alopecia, or coat patchiness. Sometimes mange resolves on its own in puppies. This is because their immune system strengthens as they grow up and repels the mites.
But if the situation does not resolve on its own, you will need to seek out veterinary care.
Yeast demoditis is a type of skin infection that often occurs in the deep skin folds around your French Bulldog's face, eyes, and lip folds. The ears, paw pads, and belly can also be affected.
Sometimes yeast bacteria announce their presence with a corn chip-type of smell. On the feet, this is often called "frito feet" in dogs.
As Central Texas Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital points out, pyoderma in French Bulldogs most often affects the lip folds, but it can impact other areas as well.
If the case can't be resolved with treatment, there is also a surgery to remove the skin folds that often work to stop it from recurring.
Keeping Your French Bulldog's Coat Shiny: Three Tips
As the French Bulldog Club of America explains, these dogs typically have short, flat, neat, single-layer coats that can get by very well with only occasional brushing.
Owners that are comfortable cleaning the ears, paw pads, anal sacs, skin folds, and noses of their dogs on their own typically never need to visit a professional groomer unless they want to enter their Frenchies in dog shows.
But this doesn't mean that keeping your French Bulldog's coat shiny and healthy is easy. Far from it!
Frenchies can struggle to self-groom
In fact, the French Bulldog anatomy can cause these dogs to have trouble with self-grooming – the common licking and grooming care that does typically do for themselves. This is especially true for the hindquarters of these dogs.
French Bulldogs are usually not flexible enough to even effectively reach their hindquarters or private areas to groom themselves. So you will need to do this for your dog.
Frenchies should not be bathed too frequently
As Blue Haven French Bulldogs breeder explains, the French Bulldog relies a lot on their natural skin oils to keep their short, neat coats conditioned and looking healthy and shiny.
If you bath your French Bulldog too frequently, this can deplete the skin oils and cause the skin and coat to dry out. This may mean restricting baths to once per quarter or even less frequently if you can manage it.
The type of dog shampoo you choose is also an important part of keeping your Frenchie's coat healthy and shiny. When you choose a shampoo, make sure it is made from all-natural ingredients and that it is appropriately pH balanced for canine skin.
Climate matters in French Bulldog coat health
Another factor far too many French Bulldog owners fail to factor in is their local climate!
For example, if you live in a normally humid area and you travel to an area where it is quite dry, you probably notice right away how your skin dries out and sends you running for the moisturizing lotion.
The same thing can happen to your French bulldog. If you live in a naturally dry climate, you will want to talk with your dog's veterinarian about the best way to keep your dog's skin from drying out too much and causing hair loss or discomfort.
Using Supplements for Keeping Your French Bulldog's Coat Shiny
In one of the videos you watched in an earlier section here, you noticed the owner discussed using fish oil and coconut oil to moisturize their bulldog's skin.
Fish oil for Frenchies
The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports the use of fish oil for dogs.
Not only can fish oil help keep your French Bulldog's coat and skin healthy, but it can also be an important supplement to help with heart, joint, and immune system function.
But before you rush out to buy supplements for your dog, always check with your dog's veterinarian and also read the ingredients in your Frenchie's food. Many complete and balanced dog foods today add in fish oil.
Your dog may need more than what is included in their food, but that should be up to your veterinarian to decide.
Coconut oil for Frenchies
As UVK French Bulldogs breeder points out, coconut oil has a remarkable suite of benefits for French Bulldogs.
For example, coconut oil has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which can help to repel and clear up any yeast, bacteria or fungal health issues with the skin and coat.
Coconut oil can also help with odor control and will make the coat shine. And because coconut oil is a natural disinfectant, it can help guard against infection if your dog gets a minor skin wound or insect bite.
Coconut oil also has breath-freshening benefits and can help regulate digestion, which can be important since Frenchies are notorious for having sensitive stomachs and gas.
Coping with French Bulldog Shedding in Coat Care
Any article on French Bulldog coat care would be remiss if it didn't mention how much these dogs can shed.
Just because the French Bulldog has a short, neat coats doesn't mean a French Bulldog can't shed like a pro!
This may mean that sometimes your dog's coat looks more patchy or sparse even if you are doing everything right.
Frequent brushing can help to deal with excess shedding and also stimulate the circulatory system in your dog's skin so the coat stays as healthy and shiny as possible during these year-round and seasonal shedding periods.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.