We’ve been taking our Frenchie to our local beach ever since he was a young puppy. As soon as he was old enough to go outdoors, we took him with us so he could experience the new sensations a beach can offer. In this very quick guide, I am going to share with you all we’ve learned about French Bulldogs and beaches.
Can French Bulldogs go to the beach? Yes, Frenchies can go to the beach. But do take care; French Bulldogs cannot swim, are very susceptible to hear stroke, plus hot sand could burn their paws. If you do decide to take your French Bulldog to the beach, take precautions.
That’s the short answer, but there is so much more to it. If you are going to be taking your French Bulldog to a beach, please read the following tips. It could be the difference between you having a great day out with your Frenchie, or something much more stressful.
Firstly; let’s get a very quick question out of the way regarding the most appropriate age you should take your Frenchie to the beach…
When can French Bulldog puppies go to the beach?
It’s safe to take your French Bulldog puppy to the beach around the age of 16 weeks (4 months), providing you take precaution regards the heat and water.
At this age they should have had their final injections. Vets recommend puppies are allowed out in public two weeks after their final set of vaccinations. You can read more about the best approach for taking your puppy out for the first time in this guide.
However, it’s not as simple as just getting them into your car and then heading down to the beach… there’s a lot you need to be prepared for; and here’s that Frenchie beach guide.
French Bulldog beach guide: 13 safety tips and advice
In this guide I am going to explain how you can protect your Frenchie on the beach from getting lost, getting sun burned, dehydrated, and when near the sea. It includes some links to certain products we’ve used on our fun Frenchie beach days.
1. Find a dog friendly beach
Check with your local council or government that dogs are allowed on the beach of your choice. Some beaches do actually ban dogs and you can get fined for just stepping on the beach with your Frenchie.
The rules can change throughout the year though; where we live, dogs are not allowed on the beach in the summer months but it’s fine in the winter.
2. Be prepared for the car journey to the beach
If you’re going to be driving to the beach, it could be your Frenchie’s first time in a car too. Puppies can get car sick (find out why) so perhaps have a few test drives before you head to the beach… also take plenty water in the car to avoid over-heating.
It’s also imperative that you have a car seat for your Frenchie. I’ve written at length about French Bulldog car seats. Click that link to see the ones with the best ratings.
Don’t forget this part as in the UK and some US states it’s illegal to drive with an un-restrained dog in your car… the reason being; safety!
Did You Know? In a car accident, the average sized French Bulldog can be propelled at 1,120 pounds of impact force. That weight can kill not just the dog, but also passengers.
3. Be careful near the water!
Whilst you might see videos of French Bulldogs swimming on YouTube, the reality is this breed cannot swim unless they are either an exceptional case or have a doggy like jacket on.
We keep a very close eye on Claude when he’s near the water, as once we learned the hard way when a wave went over his head. It was a quick panic, but we grabbed him… things could have been very different.
What you could do is buy this tie-out dog cable on Amazon.
You can clip it to your belt or a picnic box. It means your Frenchie can run about and explore the beach but can’t get too close to the water. We own one of these and also take it camping with us so Claude can get a better sniff outside of our tent.
4. Get your Frenchie a life jacket
Whilst Frenchies are terrible swimmers, most of them will still give it a good shot. After all, they are naturally inquisitive so will want to go check out the sea.
If you want to give your Frenchie the freedom of the beach, then I would recommend you buy a cute life jacket for them. I’ve reviewed and rated the best French Bulldog life jackets.
5. Make sure you have shade and plenty of water
Frenchies do not cope well in direct sunlight and heat. It doesn’t take long for them to overheat and quickly become poorly.
Whenever we take Claude the French Bulldog to the beach in the hotter summer months, we have adequate protection from the sun. In fact, I recommend that you completely avoid the beach during the hottest times of the day.
One of the best investments we ever made was a pop-up beach tent. It offers our kid the shade he needs, but also Claude. On hot days it only take a few minutes in the sun for Frenchies to need to get under covers – you can see the shade we bought on Amazon.
As well as the shade, you should also take plenty of bottled water and a small bowl. Your Frenchie will need more than usual on a hot beach day.
Handy Hint: Please also read my guide on how you can stop your Frenchie from over heating in the summer with 15 essential cooling down tips.
6. Don’t let them drink the sea water
On the topic of water, don’t let your Frenchie drink the sea or saltwater. Whilst a small amount is going to kill him or make him ill, larger amounts of saltwater can be dangerous.
Lots of saltwater can quickly dehydrate your Frenchie, meaning potential diarrhoea and vomiting… and death in more extreme cases.
7. Take additional sun protection
Frenchies are designed to sit in the sun. I’ve already explained how they can get very hot and dehydrated, but the sun can also affect them in other ways.
For example, your Frenchie’s nose will soon dry out and even get sunburnt. That can lead to painful cracking and possible discharge. Whichever way you look at it, a Frenchie with a burned nose isn’t going to be happy.
I can’t find the exact one we bought in a store, but Amazon have a similar product online; see the reviews of this Amazon doggy nose balm and sunscreen. I recommend you apply to their noses and ears – and anywhere where they don’t have as much hair and the skin is exposed.
Handy Hint: If your Frenchie already has a burned nose or a dryness around the nostrils, read this guide to find out how you can help get it feeling better.
8. Possibly even consider dog sunglasses
Whilst the jury is out on whether dogs actually need sunglasses or not, you can’t dispute how awesome a Frenchie wearing sunglasses is… and if you’re a social media and Instagram fan, you will love this photo opportunity.
But coming to think about it; decent eye protection isn’t just about the sun. With all that sand blowing around, a pair of sunglasses or goggles can also help to keep irritants out of your Frenchie’s eyes on the beach.
We’ve never put sunglasses on Claude, but if we were going to, we’d probably choose these doggy sunglasses and goggle on Amazon.
9. Stay safe and check for hazards in the sand
Unfortunately, there will be people who leave things on the beach that could harm your Frenchie. It could be some leftover food that has baked to nasty contamination levels in the sun. It might even be broken glass or fishing hooks buried in the sand.
When you get to the beach, do a quick check around your area. We even run our own hands through the sand to check for anything sharp or nasty.
10. Make sure your Frenchie is up to date with their treatments
You don’t want your Frenchie to get ill after a day on the beach, and believe it or not, there are risks. It’s all down to parasites… those little nasty fleas, ticks, and bacterial infections than can thrive on hot beaches.
For example, little pools of stagnant water on rockier beaches can contain bacteria that result in leptospirosis (read more on PetMD.com). Vets recommend you don’t let your dog drink from beach water pools, or even walk through them.
With regards to fleas and ticks, just make sure that your Frenchie is completely up to date with his flea treatment and tick prevention.
11. Be careful and respectful of other wildlife
The beaches near us are home to a wide range of wildlife. Our Frenchie loves to chase and hunt (see how) so we need to be extra careful as to not let him disturb birds nesting with eggs, touch washed up jelly fish, and eat seaweed.
You might live in a part of the world where seals or turtles reside. There could even be endangered and protected species you need to be careful of.
The bottom line is; please keep an eye on your Frenchie so he doesn’t get harmed or harm other animals on the beach.
12. Take doggy poo bags and clean up after your Frenchie
I can’t imagine you’re anything other than a responsible dog owner. But there are people out there who will let their dog soil the sand and not pick it up and dispose of it.
It’s drives me mad; there are kids at the beach. It’s not just the kids and people though; dog faeces can be toxic to wildlife and sea species too.
13. Give your Frenchie a rinse down at the end of the day
Whilst your Frenchie’s skin and coat are decent natural barriers against bacteria, I’d still recommend giving him a rinse down (or possibly even a bath). They are going to be covered with salt and sand, and possibly even some sand parasites in their fur.
To conclude, there’s no reason why your French Bulldog can’t go to the beach. As long as you take precautions and know the risks, it should be perfectly safe.