How Often Should You Bathe a French Bulldog?


Washing and bathing are one of the biggest concerns new Frenchie owners have. After all, these guys can be prone to certain skin allergies, so if you could have your concerns over not just how often you bathe them, but also the products you’re using.

In this short guide, I want to explain how often we bathe Claude, the types of cleaning products we use, and why the answer isn’t as clear cut as some other websites might make it… but first, the main question over bathing times.

How often should you bathe a French Bulldog? Ideally you should bathe a French Bulldog no more than 5 times a year to avoid drying out their natural skin oils. However, this is very impractical in most cases, so the rule of thumb is to bathe them when they are smelly and very dirty but using the right cleaning products.

So, why isn’t the answer completely clear?

Well, let me give you a personal example. We live in the UK and it’s wet a lot of the time. We take Claude for his walks every day, and for half of the year that means a lot of mud.

He loves to cool down in muddy waters as you can see in this photo and will always get mud caked up his legs and under his belly.

how often to bathe a french bulldog puppy
We need to bathe our French Bulldog more often than we would like due to his playing habits!

Now, do we then want that muddy Frenchie in our living space and on our bed? No, of course not, so we do have to bathe our French Bulldog more often than we would ideally like.

And I am sure that will be the same for you.

So, how often do we bathe our French Bulldog in reality? Well, for us, probably a couple of times a month.

The rest of the time we will use towels and a brush to get rid of the mud once it’s dried, and occasionally use something called a dry shampoo spray.

You spray it on their coat, then wipe them down with a towel – meaning no bath or shower needed. You can see the dry shampoo we use on Amazon.

Why you should try to keep baths to a minimum

Earlier I mentioned that the more often you bathe a French Bulldog puppy, the more likely you are to dry out their skin’s natural oils. But what does this mean exactly?

Well, Frenchies have oils in their skins, just like all dogs do. It keeps their coat healthy, and their skin healthy too.

However, because French Bulldogs have short coats, it’s very easy for those natural oils to be stripped away by bathing and cleaning products.

test the shower water
We need to bathe as French Bulldog Claude as often as twice a month – not ideal, but needs necessitate regular washing.

So, that’s why it’s best to try to limit how often you bathe your French Bulldog.

But, as we know, that’s really not as practical as it sounds.

What products are best for bathing your Frenchie?

With that in mind, we know that the reality is you will be bathing your Frenchie more often than 5 times a year. So, what cleaning products should you use that will help to not just keep their natural oils in check, but also alleviate any itchiness or allergies?

Shampoo

Firstly, let’s look at the shampoo I recommend. It needs to be something that ticks these boxes:

  • PH balanced.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • De-odorizing.
  • Anti-itch formula.
  • Anti-dandruff formula.

And I found a shampoo that is said to deliver on all of these points. It’s called EarthBath on Amazon. It isn’t just great for dogs, but also is cruelty-free when made – so even more reasons for a dog lover to buy it.

I don’t recommend you use human shampoo on a Frenchie. It can contain PH levels that can be harmful for dogs and can severely irritate their eyes.

Post-bathe oils

After the bath, you might want to consider using a coconut-based cream and oil. It’s great for soothing French Bulldog skin which has got dry and itchy… if like us, you are bathing your Frenchie more often than you really want to, it’s a great way to help get his skin back into tip-top condition.

Coconut oil can help to improve your Frenchie’s skin as it will put moisture and healthy fats back into the skin’s lipid layer. It’s even said that coconut oil can help stop infections such as yeast or fungal based ones.

I’ve found one on Amazon, which has great reviews.

How often to bathe a French bulldog with allergies?

But what about Frenchies who do have allergies? Well, at this point I would defer you to your vet. We’re lucky in that our own boy Claude appears to be allergy-free.

I would recommend you speak with your vet and see what they say about bathing a French Bulldog with pre-existing skin allergies. 

How to bathe your French Bulldog

I’ve not gone into too much detail here on the actual bathing process itself.

What I recommend you do instead is read my guide to washing a Frenchie, which also includes a video of us bathing Claude using a similar shampoo to the one I recommended earlier.

Conclusion

To conclude, how often you bathe your Frenchie is all down to an as and when basis. If your French Bulldog is covered in mud and stinks, he needs a bath – no argument.

However, with lighter dirt, just brush it off, and possibly use the dry shampoo product I mentioned earlier.

The less often you bathe your French Bulldog with water and cleaning products, the less their natural oils, skin, and coat will suffer.

You might also like…

A Frenchie’s bum is a completely different situation altogether, as they can’t clean it themselves. If you want a giggle, you can see some photos of me wiping Claude’s bum, and the reasons why and how I do it so often.

Marc Aaron

I am one of Claude the French Bulldog's human parents. I write about all the things we've learned about owning a Frenchie, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way. Read more about Marc Aaron.

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