Since French Bulldogs have a smooth, short coat, many people think they don’t shed.
However, Frenchies do shed!
You might be surprised to know that a French Bulldog sheds quite a bit.
While French Bulldogs might not be extreme shedders compared to some other breeds, they do shed a lot for a dog of their size and considering their length of coat.
The American Kennel Club rates their shedding level at three out of five. Let’s take a closer look at the details of French Bulldog shedding.
Why Do French Bulldogs Shed So Much?
All dogs shed: it’s a natural process that allows them to get rid of old, dead, or damaged hair. It keeps their coat healthy and allows new hair to grow. Frenchies are no exception to this rule.
French Bulldogs shed minimally throughout the year and more twice a year which is known as seasonal shedding. It helps them to regulate their body temperature to suit seasonal changes.
They shed more towards the summer months to get rid of their thicker winter coat and ensure they stay cool. As the winter months come around again, they shed the old summer coat and grow a thick coat to keep them warm.
How much hair your Frenchie sheds will also depend on genetics. Some Frenchies will shed more or less than others. You might be surprised to learn that a French Bulldog’s coat color (and the genetics that cause the color) can have an impact on how much they shed.
Most French Bulldogs have single coats, meaning just one layer. Dogs with a single coat tend to shed less, because there’s less fur.
However, some Frenchies have a double coat! This can include brindle-colored Frenchies and fawn Frenchies. This means they have two layers of coat: an undercoat and a top coat. This thicker coat means they’re likely to shed more.
What Causes French Bulldogs to Shed Excessively?
Excessive shedding refers to increased hair loss that isn’t normal for the breed. Although French Bulldogs do shed a fair amount, they shouldn’t shed excessively. Excessive shedding can be a sign of a deeper problem with your dog’s health.
If you’ve had your dog for a while and you notice a lot more loose hairs than usual, it’s always best to get them checked by a vet.
Signs and symptoms that might accompany excessive shedding include:
- Itchy skin: you might see your dog scratching a lot more.
- Skin irritation: you might notice that your dog’s skin is red, has a rash, has scabs or lumps.
- Balding spots: if you notice bald patches on your dog or areas where the hair is much thinner than the rest of the coat, this is a sign of a health problem.
- Change in coat condition: you may notice your dog’s coat is drier, rougher, or duller than usual.
- Other signs of ill health: if an increase in shedding is also paired with other signs of ill health, such as not eating, a change in behavior, being sick, or a change in toilet habits, then it’s time to see a vet.
So, what can cause excessive shedding? Well, there are a number of potential causes explained below.
1. An Imbalanced Diet
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Roy Cruzen states that the main reason dogs shed excessively is a poor diet.
Just like humans, it’s crucial that a dog’s diet is balanced. They need the right fuel to keep their bodies healthy and ensure they are functioning properly. When they aren’t getting the nutrients they need, it can lead to a range of health issues including excessive shedding.
2. Lack of Proper Grooming
Grooming is a vital part of how owners should care for their dogs. There are some well intentioned mistakes that pet owners may make while grooming which can lead to increased shedding.
Using the wrong shampoo (like a shampoo made for humans) can cause skin irritation and hair loss. Sometimes people don’t rinse their dog’s coat enough after they’ve shampooed them. This leaves residue in the coat and can irritate the coat and skin.
Bathing your dog too often or using a lot of harsh products may irritate your pup and cause skin issues.
When dogs are stressed, it takes a toll on their body. Dogs living in a high-stress environment or experiencing a stressful situation (such as a moving house or a change in routine) may experience excessive shedding.
Some dogs become stressed because they aren’t getting the stimulation or attention they need.
4. Hormone Imbalances
A change in your dog’s hormone levels can cause more shedding than usual. For example, a dog may start to shed more after giving birth, or after being spayed or neutered.
Skin parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites can cause skin irritation and shedding. This can cause your dog to itch, which then leads to secondary issues like infections.
Some dogs struggle with allergies which can cause skin problems, dry skin, shedding, and a range of other symptoms. Frenchies can be prone to allergic reactions and sensitive skin.
7. Other Underlying Diseases
There are a variety of health problems that can cause excessive shedding, including cancer; bacterial infections, fungal infections, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, and genetic health issues.
How to Stop a French Bulldog Shedding So Much
The important thing to remember is that shedding is a natural process, so you’re not going to be able to stop it completely. The good news is, there are ways to minimize shedding and stop loose fur from getting all over your home (and your clothes)!
1. Regular Brushing
Regularly brushing your Frenchie’s coat helps to get rid of the dead hair and stops it from being shed all over your home. It also helps to redistribute the natural oils through your dog’s smooth coat, keeping it healthy and encouraging new hair growth.
The American Kennel Club recommends brushing your Frenchie once a week with a medium-bristle brush or a grooming glove. You can also use a deshedding tool for short-haired dogs. See here for the best brushes for French Bulldogs.
2. Bathing Your Frenchie
Frenchies only need to be bathed when they get particularly dirty. The best way is to bathe your Frenchie once every one or two months. Over bathing can dry out their coat and lead to excess hair loss.
Using a high quality dog shampoo and a conditioner helps to keep your dog’s coat as healthy as possible, which can help to reduce shedding over time. Some owners find using a deshedding shampoo is helpful.
3. Having a Healthy Diet
We talked about the importance of a balanced diet for your dog earlier. Ensuring they’re eating high-quality French Bulldog dog food which is giving them all the nutrients they need helps to reduce shedding and keep them healthy. You should also make sure your dog always has access to fresh water and is staying hydrated, as this helps the health of their coat and skin.
4. Prevent Parasites
Keeping up with your dog’s parasite protection, such as fleaing and worming, helps to protect them from skin irritation, hair loss, and other symptoms that come with parasites. Checking their skin regularly for signs of parasites helps you to spot problems and deal with them quickly.
5. Lower Stress Levels
It’s important to keep your dog’s home life as low stress as possible. Ensure they have somewhere that is a safe quiet space, so they can retreat and relax if things in the home get over stimulating.
You can also help to keep their stress levels low by ensuring they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. Do your best to introduce changes gradually so your dog can get used to them.
6. Consider Supplements
Some French Bulldog owners find that introducing fatty acid supplements can help to keep the coat healthier and reduce shedding. Some good examples are fish oils, flaxseed oil, and linoleic acid. These supplements can also have other health benefits.
7. Protect Your Furniture
A simple way to reduce the impact of your French Bulldog’s shedding is to protect your furniture, especially during heavy shedding seasons. You can buy covers for your furniture which are easy to clean. You can also vacuum more regularly (with a good vacuum cleaner) to capture the hair that has been spread around the home.
What color French Bulldog sheds the least?
Many Frenchie owners feel that darker colored and black French Bulldogs shed less than lighter colored Frenchies. Keep in mind this isn’t science-based and you can’t stop shedding altogether.
What is the least shedding dog breed?
There’s no one specific breed that sheds the least, but there are breeds that shed less than others. The American Kennel Club lists a number of low-shedding dog breeds including Afghan Hounds, Bedlington Terriers, Bichon Frise, Poodles, and more.
- The American Kennel Club, (2022), French Bulldog.
- PetMD, (2018), Is Your Pet’s Excessive Shedding a Sign of Illness?
- Melody Schamble, (2021), Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed. American Kennel Club.