Did you know that most dog breeds are prone to certain diseases and health conditions? For example, Great Danes and other giant dogs are more likely to develop hip or elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and heart disease than smaller breeds. Their size puts them at risk for bone disorders and problems.
Small dog breeds, including French bulldogs, are genetically predisposed to certain disorders, too. Some may develop otitis externa because of their small ear canals. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS), intervertebral disc disease, and conjunctivitis are common as well.
The good news is, pet parents can talk through these risks by choosing a reputable Frenchie breeder. However, they still need to watch out for potential dangers, such as bee stings and heat stroke. Knowing what to feed your dog is just as important.
Not sure where to start? Let’s take a closer look at the major dangers to French bulldogs and how to keep your furry baby safe.
Watch out for Allergic Reactions
Frenchies are prone to canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) and allergies. The former is an inflammatory skin disease that may cause itching, papules, pustules, and skin lesions. Most dogs experience flare-ups after eating certain foods or when exposed to allergens.
Both CAD and allergies can occur in response to pollutants, dust mites, and other compounds. Fleas and skin infections can trigger flare-ups, too.
French bulldogs and other dogs diagnosed with these issues tend to rub, chew, lick, and bite their feet and other affected areas. This can worsen their symptoms, leading to hair loss, skin redness, and overall discomfort.
Treatment depends on the cause and severity of symptoms. Most vets prescribe corticosteroids, antihistamines, or allergen-specific immunotherapy. The latter can boost your pet’s immune system and provide lasting relief. As a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your Frenchie away from allergens and maintain a flea prevention regimen.
Don’t Let Your Frenchie Swim Unattended
Frenchies love to swim, but their unique facial structure can put them at risk of drowning. On top of that, their high muscle-to-fat ratio doesn’t allow them to stay afloat.
Just like pugs, boxers, and mastiffs, French bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed. They have flat faces, short legs, thick necks, stout bodies, and other physical traits that make it difficult to keep their heads above the water.
You can still go swimming with your Frenchie, but it’s important to keep an eye on him. Ideally, get him a life jacket with a safety handle on the back. Start with small bodies of water so he can adjust and learn to swim at his own pace.
Also, note that French bulldogs are more sensitive to heat than other breeds. Make sure he has easy access to drinking water and shade. A cooling collar or cooling vest may come in handy, too.
Beware of Toad Poisoning
Any dog, including French bulldogs, can ingest toad poison and lose his life in the blink of an eye. The same goes for humans — most people can die within 15 minutes of exposure to the poison.
If your Frenchie has licked or eaten a cane toad, it’s essential to call the vet immediately. The most common signs of toad poisoning include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Bright red gums
In severe cases, toad poisoning may cause rigidity, decreased heart rate, coma, or even death.
First, use a damp cloth to wipe your pet’s gums for 10 to 20 minutes or until the vet arrives. Further treatment will depend on his symptoms. Your Frenchie may need muscle relaxants, antiemetics, intravenous fluids, or heart medications.
What matters most is to make sure he survives the initial poisoning.
Take Safety Measures to Prevent Heatstroke
Like other snub-nosed animals, Frenchies are more susceptible to heatstroke, so you need to be extra careful when it’s hot outside.
Make sure you take safety measures to protect your Frenchie during a flight. The best thing you can do is to take him to the vet for a pre-flight checkup.
If everything looks fine, use these tips to keep him safe:
- Choose a TSA-approved pet carrier
- Make sure your Frenchie can travel in the cabin
- Take him on a walk before the flight
- Get him accustomed to his carrier prior to the big day
- Put some toys and treats in his crate
- Direct the air vents toward him during the flight
- Travel early in the morning or late in the evening
- Avoid indirect flights
- Attach a small water bottle to his crate
Most importantly, learn to recognize the signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. These may include fatigue, weakness, excessive panting, rapid heart rate, or glazed eyes.
If your Frenchie is anxious before the flight, ask the vet for natural stress relief remedies. Sedation is not recommended, but you may use herbal medicines, such as lavender or valerian root essential oil.
Some Foods and Plants Are Toxic to French Bulldogs
Last but not least, keep your pet away from chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic. These foods (and others) are poisonous to dogs and may cause severe reactions. The same goes for xylitol, a sugar alcohol found in toothpaste, sugar-free chewing gum, and baked goods.
Note that certain plants can be toxic to pets, too. Aloe vera, oregano, hibiscus, chamomile, and eucalyptus are just a few examples. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides a full list, so you might want to check it out.
Keep Your Frenchie Safe and Healthy
Like other dog breeds, French bulldogs are susceptible to certain diseases. They may also experience adverse reactions due to common allergens or certain food ingredients. It’s up to you to prevent these issues in the first place.
So, are you ready to become a pet parent? We are here to help. See our available puppies and take your pick or contact us to find out more!