Are French Bulldogs Good For Hiking? A Few Good Tips.

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Is my French Bulldog good for Hiking? Many folks have posed this question, and I want to think that the little guys are, but it depends on how you raise your Frenchie. 

French Bulldogs are not the best breed of dog for Hiking. And if Hiking is a major aspect of your lifestyle, you may want to reconsider. On the other hand, if you cannot resist the charms of the lovely Frenchie, then here are a few tips.  Are French Bulldogs Good For Hiking? A Few Good tips.

Breathing problems connected with their short nose makes them susceptible to struggling in warm weather or stress. They also have only a short coat and must be kept warm in colder weather. 

If your Frenchie is used to staying at home much of the day with no or very little activity, and all of a sudden you decide just to go Hiking, it’s very likely that your Frenchie won’t even be able to maintain the effort. 

In any case, I would suggest keeping the Hiking short and having a container where your Frenchie can drink plenty of water. 

Now, if you are going to take your French Bulldog hiking, here are some things to consider 

Watch for fatigue when hiking with your French Bulldog

Frenchies seem to have endless energy, so it’s simple  to overlook that they are exhausting themselves in their enthusiasm to keep up and experience exciting sights and smells.

And because their legs are shorter, they need more effort to keep up with the pace. It is often up to us to prevent them when they get past their point of exhaustion. 

This is especially true if your Frenchie is new to trekking. It requires a while to create strength and stamina. Just as it’s hard for us beings to move out of a sedentary life to tackle paths, it’s also hard for our dogs. 

If you notice tiredness, consider cutting the hike short and save the rest of the trail for another day. 

If you notice exhaustion, think about cutting the walk short and saving the remainder of the route for the next time. 

Build up your French Bulldog Skills

Like you would spend more time increasing your fitness and endurance.  

It is essential to develop the same skills for your French Bulldog. When hiking, it’s reasonable to see rocks, streams, logs, and much more that need to manage.

They will need the skill to navigate below, through, and around these hurdles on a walking trail. Some Frenchies may lack confidence and the ability to walk on challenging paths and need encouragement to help them overcome these barriers.  

Some activities, such as agility training and games, can assist create these abilities even quicker while enhancing the connection for both you and your dog. 

You could, if you’re living in town, bring your French Bulldog on a walk down the road to have a cup of coffee. Take them into the local park and get them to chase a ball around a few times a week. 

Are you more of a suburban inhabitant? Spend some time actively playing in the yard with your dog. It might also be useful to bring your dog to a local dog park in which they can interact and communicate with other dogs.

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Photo by T Motivv

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Pick a trail that has less elevation or a clearer path for hiking your French Bulldog

Frenchies may have the same tenacity and courage as bigger dogs, but they still have real and unavoidable physical constraints. This involves having bodies that are not designed to meet some trail challenges. 

Leaping off of high surfaces puts a lot of load on their spines, which are already prone to spinal and discs issues. 

While rocks, steep trees, and the steepness of the path are widespread hindrances, water is another significant thing to remember. Creeks and rivers might seem like no large deal to bigger dogs, but they may pose a severe threat to the Frenchie. 

Most dogs can swim, but the French Bulldog struggles in this activity. A Frenchie could be swept downstream if they cross a quickly-moving waterway deeper than their legs.

Bring plenty of snacks while hiking with your French Bulldog

When Hiking, you’re going to burn a large number of calories. So, you’re packing additional snacks to maintain your energy level and stave off your hunger. Your little Frenchie is no different. Their small bodies need to refuel as much as you do. 

Count on raising their calories from 50-100 percent when you’re hiking, with more like 100 percent required if they are off-leash. 

Keep a supply of food or heavy-calorie healthy foods prepared. That way, your Frenchie can have a refreshing treat every time you stop for a bite.

The following Trial Treats are great for you, Frenchie, to maintain their energy. Click on the photo to check it out. 🙂

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Stop for rest breaks for your French Bulldog while hiking 

Breaks are essential to anyone who takes part in Hiking, mainly when it’s warm. But French Bulldogs will need more than the average number of rest breaks. Frenchies are also closer to earth and pick up heat from either heated ground.

They are also moving their shorter legs quicker than a larger dog, leading to them overheating earlier. There are also several race-specific temperature difficulties. 

French bulldogs, due to their short nose, get warm very quickly.  Their airways are smaller than a longer-nosed dog, and they can’t transfer heat as effectively. Hikes have to be shorter with these dogs, particularly in hotter weather. 

It requires some preparation, but make sure you don’t take your French Bulldog hiking in the midday heat on hot days; instead, appreciate an early morning walk or late afternoon. 

If you want to look a little more deeply at why your Frenchie overheats, here is a good study on Bulldogs: Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in English bulldogs.

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Hiking with French Bulldog
Photo by Neil Cooper

Pay heed to Wild Animals while hiking with your French Bulldog

At the beginning of many hiking paths , there may be signs showing what predators were seen in the region when they were last observed. Some signs also warn of continuing hazards, such as the existence of mountain lions or coyotes.

While bigger dogs may be regarded as a source of protection when walking, Frenchies may instead be considered tasty morsels by predators. A coyote can create a fast meal out of a French Bulldog walking farther from its owner on a hike. 

Check the sign at the beginning of the hiking trail. If you notice that wild animals are prevalent in the region, you may decide that it is prudent to maintain your Frenchie on a leash. That way, you have the best opportunity of preventing a run-in with wild animals. 

Having the right gear when hiking with your French Bulldog

French Bulldogs sometimes need help along the hiking trail, and getting the correct equipment can be an enormous help for both you and your dog. 

A dog harness with handles can be used to lift your Frenchie over collapsed logs or rocks or to even hold onto them as you cross streams. A harness with bright colors like red or orange can also improve visibility, which is useful if your dog tends to walk through the underbrush a lot.  

We have spoken about how the French Bulldog does not tolerate the heat well. Unfortunately, Frenchies do feel the cold due to their short coats. 

It’s essential to get acquainted with your dog’s capacity to manage the cold and look out for indications if and when they show they’re cold. In cold-weather Hiking, a warm coat is also an intelligent piece of equipment to complement the harnesses. 

Snow and ice can cause sore paws and may create havoc on your dog’s feet. An easy and cost-effective solution is to put some Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly on their paws before you head out or alternately try to invest in a couple of dog booties. 

Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots are great for your Hiking Frenchie. Click on the photo to check them out.

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Walking French Bulldogs
Photo Petr-Urbanek

Invest In A Dog backpack 

You have food, you’re taking a lot of rest breaks and going at a decent speed, and still, your little Frenchie is getting tired. At this point, you may have to carry them.

Your Frenchie may likely not be able to complete the hike on those little legs and may need a longer recovery break than you and have time to take.

You could use your backpack , either one produced for a dog or just a standard day pack that your dog can stick their head out. That way, you can carry them for part of the hike. 

The Frenchie Trekker

Published on Nov 11, 2018

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