How To Keep Your French Bulldog Safe on the Beach

French Bulldog safe

How To Keep Your French Bulldog Safe on the Beach This Summer 

French Bulldogs love going to the beach. I may be biased living by the sea, but I have yet to see a Frenchie who doesn’t like running on the sand, tearing through rock pools and even daring to dip their toes in the water.

Leia, our 4-year-old Frenchie, would spend all her day on a beach if she could, digging holes in the sand, peeing on endless amounts of seaweed and dabbling with water. She is a proper beach bum,  as in the picture above!

But for all the fun that can be had in the sand and surf, keeping your French Bulldog safe on the beach is important, and it is important to stay vigilant. For example, take your eyes off Leia for a moment and you can guarantee she will have found a washed-up dead Dogfish and then be rolling all over it! (Try getting THAT smell out with ordinary shampoo!)

French Bulldog Swimming Safety

While swimming is great exercise, not all Frenchies take to the water naturally. Never force your dog into the ocean. Let them enter at their own comfort level and keep a close eye on them as their short neck can make breathing difficult when swimming.

French Bulldog safe swimming

The ocean can also present hazards like strong tides and currents that could quickly overwhelm a small dog. Only allow swimming in calm water conditions. If your Frenchie does get into trouble, call emergency services immediately but avoid putting yourself at risk trying to rescue them directly. I know that is the perfectly correct guidance, but I wouldn’t think twice about going in after Leia if she got into trouble – wouldn’t you? That is as long as you can swim of course!

Be mindful that just a minute of swimming equals about 4 minutes of running for a dog. This intense exercise combined with cold water can lead to overexertion before they realise it.

After swimming, if there is a freshwater tap around (many beaches have them now) thoroughly rinse your Frenchie to remove saltwater residue as it could cause stomach upset if ingested when they groom themselves after their fun. Alternatively, have a bottle of water in the car to wash off the worst saltwater and finish the job at home.

And don’t forget to take a beach towel, there is nothing worse than a wet dog in a car!

Sun Protection For Your French Bulldog on the Beach

French bulldog beach suncream

Frenchies’ fine coats offer little protection from the sun’s rays. Apply pet-safe sunscreen to their skin, ears, and bellies before beach time to prevent burns. The sand can also heat up enough to burn sensitive paw pads, which is usually the time to get your Frenchie out of the heat and into a cool area – a café or car with cool air conditioning is ideal for them and you! Maybe you could use dog boots to protect their paws from hot sand and sharp shells? Just choose dog boots that are comfortable, fit snugly, and won’t come off easily in the sand.

If your Frenchie is anything like Leia, they will be rolling around in the sand and sticking her face straight into the wet sand – it gets everywhere! Therefore brush off all sand after leaving the beach, as it can irritate eyes and skin once dried out. The same goes for rinsing off any residues your dog may have encountered such as dead fish, or palm oil, as it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested.

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Keeping Your French Bulldog Cool on the Beach 

french bulldog beach cool

Keeping your Frenchie cool is crucial at the beach, as their flat faces make them prone to overheating. Provide plenty of fresh, cold water and take frequent rest breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned space. You can also invest in a cooling mat or vest for brachycephalic breeds. When swimming, keep sessions brief as the exertion combined with water temperature can quickly elevate their body heat. Most importantly, look out for signs of overheating like excessive panting, lethargy, or confusion, and don’t hesitate to end beach activities if your Frenchie seems distressed by the heat.

Be cautious about allowing your Frenchie to pick up beach toys or treats, as they are not as they appear. Many weird and wonderful things get washed up on beaches; some may be poisonous or dangerous to dogs.

French Bulldogs Need To Avoid Wildlife Encounters 

seaweed

Keep your pup away from dead seabirds or marine life like jellyfish (or dogfish!), as they could carry potential diseases or deliver poisonous stings. As innocuous as it looks, seaweed is also best avoided  as Frenchies should not eat it as it may swell and obstruct the digestive tract if consumed.

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Don’t Forget Fresh Water 

French Bulldog beach tips

Always take fresh, cool water and a portable dog bowl to the beach. French Bulldogs can overheat quickly, so provide plenty of drinking opportunities. Encourage your dog to drink before they get thirsty to prevent dehydration.

With some basic precautions around the water, heat, and wildlife, beach days can be fun for a Frenchie and their owners alike! Just introduce new activities slowly, watch them closely, and react quickly to any potential distress.

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