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EXERCISING YOUR YOUNG FRENCH BULLDOG PUPPY
The exercise requirement of a French bulldog puppy is quite different from that of an adult dog. While healthy Frenchie adult generally require 15 to 20 minutes of brisk walks every day, the case is different for French bulldog pups.
Daily walks are not a necessity and are not even recommended for puppies because their bones, muscle and joints are still in development as opposed to that of the adults. In fact, waking your Frenchie puppy daily may result in complications and harm rather than making them healthier.
The best way of exercising a French bulldog puppy is to give it free reins in playing as much as possible with toys suitable for his age. Socialization is another form of exercise for pups because it is an excellent way of expending that puppy energy while becoming socially acquainted with other people, pets and places and also learning new social skills.
The older your Frenchie gets, the more their needs for actual physical exercise increases. Usually, French bulldog pups under three months should not be taken out for walks in public since at this age, they haven’t become fully vaccinated.
If you do need to walk your Frenchie pup, the maximum amount of time for a puppy is around 2 minutes for every month of age. So, for instance, if your pup is 3 months old, the walking time will be 3 (month) multiplied by 2 minutes and that will of course be 6 minutes of exercise.
When walking your pup, ensure you look out for signs of fatigue and exhaustion such as panting, lagging behind, etc. and take them as cues for stopping the walk immediately.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR FRENCH BULLDOG EXERCISE?
Although French Bulldogs are generally low energy and are happy with apartment living, they need exercise just like the rest of us.
Making sure your dog gets exercise at least once a day is recommended. Whether that be a trip to the dog park or a walk around the block.
One of the many bonuses to having a Frenchie is that you can do this without carving out too much time during the day. Short walks and playtime at home provide the perfect amount of exercise for them without running the risk of overworking your dog.
WHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FRENCHIE?
There are a lot of different activities to meet the interests of your dog and get them moving. Frenchies are known to be smart and social, so consider providing them with physical activity that can appeal to both of these qualities.
If you live in the city, take your dog on a walk down the street to get a coffee (plus, you’ll brighten everyone’s day with your adorable pup).
If you’re more of a suburban dweller, spend time actively playing with your dog in the yard. It can also be nice to take your dog to a local dog park where they can interact and socialize with other dogs.
Overall, it is recommended that Frenchies walk for about 15-20 minutes per day at a minimum.
WHAT IF IT'S WINTER AND IT'S TOO COLD TO GO OUTSIDE?
One easy inside activity is to use house-friendly toys to get your Frenchie moving. This could be a good old fashioned tennis ball or a toy that your Frenchie naturally gravitates to.
If you feel like investing a little bit more time in training your dog, hide and go seek is a great way to appeal to your dog’s curious and playful side while also giving them exercise. First, teach your Frenchie a word like “stay” (or use a word they already know that conveys the same meaning) and continue to say the word while you hide somewhere in the house. Then, train your dog to respond to another word to come and find you. You might be more successful with this activity with a treat, but overtime they will want to find you even without the treat.
CAN I OVER-EXERCICE MY FRENCH BULLDOG?
As with any dog, Frenchies can be over-exercised. However, Frenchies are at particular risk because they are a brachycephalic breed (with a flatter face and shorter nose) that makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature.
The best way to determine the amount of exercise you should be providing your dog is to be particularly observant of when they tire during physical activity.
Whether you just added a Frenchie puppy to your family or have had one as a companion for many years, it is important to know that Frenchies are prone to being overworked more easily. Overworking puppies and older dogs puts them at greater risk for joint problems and heat exhaustion.
In addition, because older Frenchies have given so much love over their lives, their heart might not be as efficient as it once was and may render them more tired when exercising.
Thankfully, Frenchies are pretty smart when it comes to this kind of thing. Whilst they can become over-excited at times, they will typically stop exercising and try to cool themselves down if they need to. So if you live in a hotter climate, we would recommend investing in a dog or children’s pool that your Frenchie can cool down in after they exercise.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN EXERCISING MY FRENCH BULLDOG
Given that Frenchies have a harder time regulating their body temperature, you should always walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day (generally below 70 degrees Fahrenheit). You might also consider having play time in an air-conditioned place during the summer months. Always make sure to bring water and have shade readily available when you are walking your dog outside.
Be sure to pay attention to your Frenchie’s behavior when they are out for walks. The first signs of heat exhaustion usually consist of increased panting and foamy saliva. If your dog experiences this, it’s important to help bring your dog’s body temperature down by placing them in cool water and using a fan.
Although Frenchies are generally calm, puppies can be nippy especially when they are excited or around new people (or dogs) and environments. Although this behavior usually decreases with age, it is important to socialize your dog with other dogs, people, and environments at an early age to prevent this hyperactive behavior and allow your dog to lead an active lifestyle.
To make walking fun and easy for both you and your French bulldog, here are 3 helpful tips.
1. Use a Harness when walking
For brachycephalic dog breeds like the French bulldog, it is recommended to use a harness rather than a collar when walking them. This is to prevent their restricted air passages from causing complications while you are walking them. Putting them on a harness will also ensure they don’t jump at everything on the way and get distracted from the walk.
2. Exercise in the early mornings and evening
This is especially important during the hot climate. Again, this is because the French bulldog is a brachycephalic breed and is prone to overheating. Take your dog out for a walk in the mornings and evenings when the weather is cooler.
3. Walk them with treats
To make walking fun and also keep your dog by your side, you can consider walking them with quality treats. This should serve as a lure to keep your pup from pulling on its harness and staying by your side while walking.
SIGNS YOU ARE EXERCISING YOUR FRENCHIE TOO MUCH
Exercise provides a range of physical and mental benefits to your French bulldog. These include joints limber, maintains muscle mass, prevent obesity and generally keep your dog happy and healthy.
However, as important as exercise is, it is even more important to make sure you aren’t over-exercising your French bulldog. Over-exercising, whether your dog is obese or not, isn’t something that should be encouraged because it can lead to health issues in the dog.
So, how do you know when you are over-exercising your Frenchie?
1. Worn-out Paw Pads
Paw pad injury is common in French bulldogs when they are being over-exercised. Regular walking without pad injury is painful enough for dogs since they can’t walk as well as humans can. However, it gets even worse when your dog has a blistered paw. Always look at the bottom of your dog’s paws to check out the conditions of his pads. Over-exercised pads always have tears present.
2. Sore Muscles
Pain in the muscles is another sign that your Frenchie is being overworked by you. One way of detecting muscular pains in your dog is to observe whether it struggles to pick itself up after resting from the exercise. Your dog may also avoid walking up and down the stairs because it is in so much pain.
Heatstroke is a very common problem in French bulldogs because of their inability to regulate their body temperature. Overheating typically occurs when your dog’s body temperature increases to over 106 degrees.
4. Joint Issues
Over-exercising can result in joint pains as a result of over-exerting your dog’s physical prowess.
5. Behavioral Changes
The most obvious signs of over-exercising which any caring dog owner should detect at once is changes in behaviors of the dog. For instance, if your Frenchie normally enjoys walking with you but suddenly starts to shy away from any form of walking, you may want to pay a visit to your vet to find out why your dog is refusing exercise.