A French Bulldog Life

How to Care for an Ageing French Bulldog

Top 6 ways to care for an ageing French Bulldog

How to care for an ageing french bulldog

Here at A French Bulldog Life we want our frenchies to live the longest, healthiest life possible!! So today we discuss 6 ways to care for an ageing French Bulldog and way to reduce the impact of ageing. Afterall, a healthy Frenchie is a happy Frenchie!

1. The importance of exercising your French Bulldog

Everyone has heard the term ‘use it or lose it’! And it’s just the same with dogs. It is vitally important to keep your Frenchie active as they age to keep their joints moving and their fitness level up. Exercise will also assist in avoiding obesity in older years. The difference may be that instead of higher intensity longer activities, your older Frenchie might need shorter walks, but a few times a day. With those little legs they don’t need intense running activities but a nice casual stroll for 15-30 minutes in cool weather will do the trick. Low impact activities are best and watch how your Frenchie recovers to judge if they need more or less activity.

French bulldog exercise ideas

2. It is always important to keep your Frenchie active and happy, but more-so as they age.

Dogs, as with people, should continue to move and exercise as they age to reduce the onset of stiffness, soreness and continue a level of fitness. There are, however, some signs of ageing to look out for and address to ensure your French Bulldog feels younger for longer, and has a happy, healthy and more comfortable life into its older years.

Protecting your french bulldogs ears

3. Reducing potential deafness in your Frenchie (and coping with hearing loss)

If your French Bulldog is having hearing issues, you will notice they will fail to respond to noises and calls. The first thing to do is get a check up with your veterinarian so they can check their ears and confirm if this is the case. They may have blocked ear drums from a bath or swim.
Deafness can cause issues when walking off-lead as they may not respond to a call-back, lose their way and get lost. They also may not hear danger coming which makes it imperative to keep them on the lead so you can be their ears for them.
Unfamiliar stimuli will also cause a deaf dog distress. That is, it is best to avoid really loud noises and startling your dog. This can result in them panicking and getting unsettled.
A great way to prepare for any possible future issues is to add and continue to use hand signals during training, so they are well imbedded with your Frenchie and you can rely on them in later years.
If your french bulldog is losing their hearing, you could attach a “I am deaf” tag to their dog collar so people know if he is interacting with other dogs, in a dog park, say.
Enriching your dogs life with other senses such as smell can ensure that they still have a happy life and can taste delicious dog treats, bones and dog food they love. Brushing their coats and massages also will enhance their life with the sense of touch as these are very relaxing (for most dogs).
The only possible advantage of deafness could be that your French Bulldog might not hear and thus, react badly to thunder or fireworks!

4. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) in Frenchies

Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is caused by changes in the brain and its chemical balance.  I guess you could call it similar to Alzheimer’s in humans.
By incorporating mental stimulation with interactive toys, a diet rich in antioxidants and moderate physical activity may help to mitigate the effects of CCD. If you think your Frenchie is displaying unusual behaviour then speak with your vet, and have them checked out.

 Mental stimulation for your dog

5. Incontinence in dogs

A lot of elderly dogs experience issues with going to the toilet. Your vet is your best friend if this starts to occur in order to find the true cause. It may be caused by joint issues or arthritis making it too painful for your pooch to go outside. But know that as painful as it is for you to clean up after them, it will be equally as distressing for your dog.
Spending time outside will help with the mess (if the weather is suitable) otherwise puppy pads on the floor where they are living and sleeping will help too. You may have to limit some areas of the house to avoid spoiling carpets and rugs, with puppy fences. Ensuring your frenchie gets lots of opportunities to go outside to relieve himself is important.
Along with having plenty of fresh water for them to drink. It’s not the time to limit their drinking as this can make things worse.
There is also the option of fitting your dog with pet diapers. The best thing to do is talk to your vet about urinary incontinence treatment options.

French bulldog losing eye sight

5. Eye Problems in Frenchies

Do you suspect something isn’t quite right with your French bulldog’s eyesight? Some of the symptoms of vision loss are:
– Pawing at the eyes or face due to an obvious irritation
– Eyes becoming cloudy
– Running into furniture or objects
– Changes in their behaviour
– Not confident to go or down upstairs or jump onto furniture
– A change in their behaviour indicating a form of anxiety
– Swollen or puffy eyes

There are many reasons dog blindness can occur, such as diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma and SARDs.
Cataracts are a loss of transparency in the lens and caused by a disruption of cells in the lens. Eventually that loss in transparency will lead to total blindness.
Surgery is the only option to reverse this, but it may not be viable in some older dogs. But this is not always successful and in most cases, not. Most cases of eyesight loss are irreversible.
The good news is that if this occurs slowly over time, your Frenchie will manage fairly well for quite some time. You can help them by not moving furniture around or changing what they know. Their sense of smell will also assist them to navigate! Keep the same routines and your dog will cope well until they lose all sight.

Loss of appetite in dog

6. Appetite loss in French bulldogs

As your Frenchie ages, their appetite may reduce over time. A dog’s digestion becomes more sensitive with age so maintaining a constant, consistent good quality diet will be crucial to maintain a healthy weight and digestive system.

However, if you notice a sudden loss of appetite it could indicate something more serious and is definitely worth a trip to your local vet. The most common reason for loss of appetite is infection or disease, which often couples with lethargy.

Top 6 Ways to care for an ageing French Bulldog

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