How to Bathe a French Bulldog

French bulldogs are low to the ground and curious, a combination that leads to a dirty dog. A thorough bath for your Frenchie will keep it looking and smelling pleasant. Regular bathing also keeps your dog's skin and fur in good condition by preventing dryness. Make bath time relaxing for your pooch and you can both enjoy the time to bond.

Things You'll Need

  • Oatmeal or hypoallergenic shampoo
  • Towels
  • Cotton balls


    • 1

      Prepare the bath water. Run the water until it's a little above room temperature. French bulldogs overheat easily due to their small body size and short noses, so avoid water that is too hot.

    • 2

      Wet your dog's body, avoiding the face and ear canals. The pushed-in muzzle of the Frenchie diverts water close to the eyes, nose and mouth, which can be inhaled and cause choking.

    • 3

      Apply an oatmeal-based or hypoallergenic shampoo to your dog's body. French bulldogs are prone to sensitive skin, so avoid harsh or scented shampoos.

    • 4

      Lather the shampoo all over the dog's body using your fingertips. Scrub the torso, legs, top and bottom of the feet, belly, tail, rear-end, neck and top of the head.

    • 5

      Apply a small amount of water and hypoallergenic shampoo to your fingertips.

    • 6

      Rub your shampoo-coated fingers gently between the bulldog's facial folds. Frenchie facial folds retain dirt, food and other particles and need to be cleaned, but too much scrubbing will irritate the sensitive skin.

    • 7

      Angle your bulldog's head downward with one hand and use your other hand to apply a small amount of water to the face and wrinkles. Use your fingers to completely rinse between facial folds. Be careful not to squirt water up the nose or right into the eyes.

    • 8

      Rinse the rest of his body with warm water, until it runs clear. This signifies that all dirt has been washed off.

    • 9

      Run your hand over the dog's body to test for shampoo residue that needs re-rinsing. Shampoo left on the body can cause skin irritation.

    • 10

      Rub the entire body gently with a clean towel to dry your pet.

    • 11

      Use a soft towel or cotton ball to dry the facial folds, which are prone to irritation, if left too damp.

    • 12

      Clean your dog's ears with a dog ear-cleaning solution and cotton balls. These dogs have large bat ears, and removing dirt and debris helps prevent ear infection.

    • 13

      Trim your dog's toenails with nail trimmers. Long nails are bothersome for your dog and can scratch skin and flooring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask your dog's vet about using baby powder or cornstarch on its facial folds and between its toes to reduce moisture and irritation. Some Frenchie owners claim this is helpful, but veterinary information will help you decide if it's appropriate for your dog.
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  • Photo Credit Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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