Topics

Choosing Dog Food

Walking down the dog food aisle nowadays can be pretty intimidating. Just like humans’ food, dog food has trends. What we need to ask ourselves is are the trends beneficial for our dog or not. This can be a hard question to answer if you don’t have a background in animal nutrition but, I’m here to help!

Grain-Free vs. Grain

Let’s talk about one of the biggest trends out there right now, grain-free vs. grain in dog food. This has become a huge trend in dog food but again, is it beneficial? Based on what I have learned in animal nutrition, talking to different veterinarians, and some research I would say that it depends. If you talk to your vet and you both believe that your dog has a food sensitivity to grain, then yes, grain-free can be a great option for your pet. Some of these grain-free foods to have amazing formulas with a lot of great nutrients and omega fatty acids in them. I have been told by some vets that if you supplement the grain by making your dog rice to mix into their food that grain-free can still be okay. Just make sure you consult your vet before making any major changes to your dog’s diet. Recent studies have shown that grain-free dog food may cause heart problems later on. So I would just say to be careful with eliminating grain from your dog’s food. Some commercials may lead you to believe that dogs should not eat grain but, it is actually an important part of your dog’s diet so don’t’ let them fool you into thinking that your dog needs to “eat like a wolf”.

Meal

Another common misconception is that ‘meal’ in dog food is bad for your dog, this is not true. Meal is a perfectly healthy way for your dog to get protein and nutrients. Meal is simply the meat with the water and fat removed. This means that it will have a high protein content. So if you are wanting a high protein, lower fat diet for your dog this may be a good option for you.

Protein

What type of meat is best for your dog’s food? There are a lot of different opinions. Like any factor in dog food, it kind of depends on the dog. Make sure to try out different dog foods to see what works best for your dog but, don’t forget to slowly change food so you don’t upset your dog’s digestive system. One big trend in meat is lamb. I started hearing that Lamb is a great source of protein in dog food if you want your dog’s coat to be extra healthy. This is because lamb has a ton of essential amino acids. Essential amino acids have good fats which help your dog’s coat be healthier. Lamb is just one good choice for meat though. Chicken tends to be good lean meat and can be great for dogs with a sensitive stomach. These are just two examples of protein sources but, try out different options to see which one your dog responds best to. Make sure to factor in how much exercise your dog is getting when putting them on a high fat or high protein diet. Certain meats like fish are high in fats. Although this can be good for some dogs it may not be good for others such as less active dogs.

Size

Small bites or big? Based on the size of your dog and how fast they eat you can figure out which will work best for your dog. I recommend smaller bites for dogs that seem to eat super-fast and forget to chew some of their food as well, as smaller sized dogs. Bigger bites tend to be for larger dogs.

For reference, Saylor eats Blue Buffalo chicken and brown rice and I sometimes use Tiki Dog flavor booster/ tummy toppers. Links are listed below. Check them out!

Advertisements

Saylor’s 1st Birthday

I can’t believe she’s already one! It feels like just yesterday my mom pulled up in her car to bring her to me. She was so much smaller than I imagined and she immediately shot up to greet me. Ever since that day she has been the happiest, funniest, most friendly dog I have ever had.

This was the first picture my parents sent me of Saylor. Look at that little face!

 I got Saylor when she was 12 weeks old. I never thought that I would actually find a French bulldog in my price range but then my parents called. They told me that they were going down to Texas for work and had seen a puppy online in Dallas. To my surprise she was affordable and had been bred by a vet tech. My parents met the breeder on the way to Dallas and FaceTimed me so that a could see her. She was soo cute! I made sure to ask the breeder all of the questions that I needed to make sure that this was the Frenchie for me. She was very kind and answered even my most ridiculous questions. After sleeping on the decision, I woke up the next day with a clear mind and made my decision to get her. It was the best decision I ever made!

To celebrate her birthday we didn’t do anything too crazy. I just wanted to make sure that she was happy and had a great day. I started out by taking her to TjMaxx the day before to let her pick out a toy and a new bone. She had so much fun and was so excited when the cashier gave her 3 whole treats. I also ordered her a birthday hat for her off of amazon and it ended up being too cute. The day of her birthday I made her a pup cake. Strawberry seems to be her favorite flavor so I made it strawberry peanut butter flavor, which she went crazy over. After a nap break I took her to the dog park. There is nothing Saylor loves more then playing with other dogs so this made her very happy. She ended the day chewing on her bone, relaxing and then snoozing the night away. What a great way to end the day! Overall I would say she had a pretty great 1st birthday.

Here are some pictures from her big day!

Click the picture for the link to her party hat:

Link to the bone I got Saylor:

Follow us on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/saylor_the_frenchie/

https://www.instagram.com/madisonn_fisher/

Advertisements

Common Problems in French Bulldogs

 Let’s face it we all love the nugget-like look of the French bulldog but, this look can often predispose them to problems later on. I will list common problems with the French bulldogs below, along with explanations so that you are prepared for anything your Frenchie throws your way!

  1. Nostrils: French bulldogs can have nostril stenosis, or more closed nostrils. This can cause breathing problems. Since the French bulldog already has a brachycephalic (smooshed in) facial structure, you want to make sure that they don’t have breathing problems from other sources such as the nostrils. So when looking for a puppy make sure they have wide open nostrils. If you already have a Frenchie that has stenosis ask your veterinarian about ways to help this problem. My vet told me that there is a surgery they can do to help them breathe much better that he had even done on his own French bulldog! Just remember that there are options and you should consult you veterinarian to figure out which option may work best for you and you pup.
  2. Hips: Hip dysplasia is very common in French bulldogs. One sign that you can look for is lack of coordination but often times they will not show any signs. Your veterinarian should check for signs of this at checkups but you can always ask about it if you have any concerns. Trust me your vet appreciates when you ask them questions. It can show that you care and want to learn.
  3. Tail pocket: Saylor has the shortest tail ever so I have never had to deal with this problem but I have heard and read quite a lot about it. A tail pocket is when the tail forms a pocket like feature that often times gets dirty. It is not super common for French bulldogs to have tail pockets but, if they do they need to be cleaned constantly. If they are not cleaned properly infection can occur so make sure to ask your vet the best way to keep it clean.
  4. Spinal problems: French bulldogs sometimes get intervertebral disc disease. This is where the cushion between one or more vertebrae slips or even ruptures. This can cause the disc to press on the spinal cord.
  5. Diet: There are a couple of reasons why your Frenchie may need a special diet. One of these reasons is inflammatory bowel disease. This is an immune disorder that causes immune cells to overrun the lining. Nutrients cannot be absorbed as well if this occurs so your vet should help you come up with an appropriate diet for your dog. Medication may also be necessary. Another reason for a special diet is if your Frenchie has allergies. Allergies are very common in French bulldogs. If the allergies are caused by their food your vet will help you find the right food for your dog. Sometimes it can take a while to figure out which food source your dog is allergic to so be prepared.
  6. Allergies: Above I touch on food allergies but there are a lot of different sources. Seasonal allergies are another big problem. Most of the time your veterinarian can provide allergy medicine to help. My dog suffers from seasonal allergies and her hair started to become patchy and fall out in certain spots. When something causes your pup to have skin allergies it makes there hair stand up more making it fall out more easily. Along with an antihistamine from my veterinarian I did some research and found a supplement that has helped her hair grow back stronger and softer and is also supposed to provide immune support. My veterinarian informed me that these supplements were perfectly fine to give her. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog a new supplement. I will link the supplement below because I have seen positive results from them!

Link to the supplement I use!

Allergy Immune Supplement for Dogs Lamb- with Omega 3 Wild Alaskan Salmon Fish Oil & EpiCor + Digestive Prebiotics & Probiotics – Anti Itch & Skin Hot Spots + Seasonal Allergies – 90 Chews

*Disclaimer: I have learned a lot as an animal science major and also through having a French bulldog but in no way does this make me a veterinarian. If you feel that your French bulldog dog may have one of these problems, contact your local veterinarian to be safe.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Safety

Now that you have your new pup, lets talk about keeping them safe! Puppies are very curious and sometimes it may seem like it is impossible to keep them from getting into trouble. Here are some tips and reminders to keep your pup safe!

1.) Kennel: I know you may feel bad putting your pup in a kennel, especially if they are looking at you with that sad puppy dog face, but this is one of the best ways to avoid problems. Believe it or not most animals like to have their own space. It can help them feel safe and secure when you are not there. At first they may be scared and not want to be in the kennel. This is where positive reinforcement will come in handy! Start by giving them a treat whenever you put them in the kennel. This should help them think of the kennel in a more positive way. There are a lot of videos and sources online to help you get your pup comfortable in their new space as well!

2.) Wires: Make sure all wires are put away and out of reach! Keeping them behind furniture is always a good way of preventing any chewing.

3.) Heat: This is huge with French bulldogs!!! Make sure they don’t get over heated. Since Frenchies have a brachycephalic face (smushed) it makes it harder for them to breathe so they can over heated very quickly. So make sure they are drinking a lot of water. Never throw cold water on a over heating dog! I can make their body go into shock. Instead sprinkle cool water over their nose. One way I keep my Frenchie cool on long walks or at the dog park is a cooling bandana. I get mine from FrenchieBulldog. I will put a link below!

4.) Dog Park: Make sure you do not bring your pup to the dog park before they have had all of their puppy shots!

5.) Toxic foods/plants: Unfortunately there are a ton of foods dogs cannot eat as well as plants that can be toxic to dogs. Some of these foods and plants I will list below but there are more so always research if a food or plant is safe for your pup!

Toxic foods:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Some nuts ( can cause stomach or pancreas problems)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Too much salty snacks
  • Some essential oils (I wanted to list this to because there are a lot of essential oils that can be harmful to dogs. Always dilute the oil if you are going to use it and research if it is safe)

Toxic plants:

  • Autumn crocus
  • Azalea
  • Cylcamen
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies
  • Oleander
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • and more!

If you ever have any questions about things that may be potently harmful to your dog the ASPCA website is a great reference!

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets

Finding a Breeder

Saylor when she was 12 weeks old

Who doesn’t love puppies! We all love them but finding well bred French bulldogs can be a lot more challenging then it looks. When I started searching for my pup I was so excited but very quickly became overwhelmed. Finding a puppy is supposed to be fun but it is also a lot to think about. One major aspect of finding a good breeder is asking them how often they breed. A responsible breeder should not be breeding the same mom more than once or twice (not common in Frenchies) a year. This has a lot to do with the dogs cycle and allowing her body time to recuperate. Dogs also have a period of time where they are in Anestrus. This normally lasts a few months and the dog should not be sexually active. Think of this as a rest time for their bodies. It is not recommend to breed a dog during their first time in heat, so ask the owner how old the dog was when it was bred. Most dogs start going into heat around 6 months of age so that is a good way of indicating if the mom is being bred too young.

Now that we know a little about the breeding process lets talk about what to look for in the pups physical structure. Sometimes it is harder to tell when looking at a puppy if its structure is good or not. If you can see the mom and dad of the puppy that is a great way to see what the puppy’s structure will look like later on. Two of the major things I looked out for were hips and faces. French bulldogs are prone to hip dysplasia. This is a deformity of the hips. I looked at the build of the dog for this. I asked the breeder if the parents had any history of hip problems. Some will even provide veterinary proof. On the face I looked at the eyes to make sure they looked healthy and then the nose. Since French bulldogs have brachycephalic faces (flat, pushed in) they can have breathing problems. Make sure your French bulldog has wide open nostrils.

Finally, watch out for scammers! I never new this would be a problem until I started my search. Some pages will pop up as a ad. Be cautious of these. I would enter the name of the breeding site on another tab and see if the page would come up again. Sometimes when I did this warnings would pop up about the website and that it was a scam. Also be careful getting puppies flown in to you. Always try to see the puppy in person before you buy it not only to check on the health of the puppy but also to make sure it exists and they aren’t scamming you. Now that you know what to look for, have fun! Go out and find your “fur”ever friend.

Leave a comment below with any other suggestions you may have to help others find their new pup!

No comments to show.

*Tip-

This is a great potty pad holder if you are training your new puppy to be pad trained. Saylor uses this and it helps her make sure she is all the way on the pad so that she doesn’t miss. It also helps with any leakage and is easy to wipe down which helps with odor! I have had great success with this pad holder . Although she mainly goes outside now it helps a lot at night.