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Do French Bulldogs Swim?

Do French Bulldogs Swim?

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Reading time: 7 minutes.

Amazing photographs and videos of dogs swimming can be found all over the internet, and they display some great talents, but not the lovely French bulldogs. This raises the question of whether or not French Bulldogs can swim.

In general, French Bulldogs aren’t the best swimmers. Like other bulldog breeds, the French Bulldog has Brachycephaly, which means they have a small, broad skull that gives them their signature squished face. Due to these flat noses, they must tilt their heads up higher to keep their heads out of the water, making swimming a perilous and exhausting activity.

Continue reading to learn more regarding whether French Bulldogs can swim, whether it’s safe to allow your French Bulldog to swim, how to make swimming safer for your Frenchie, and more.

Do French Bulldogs Swim?

We’ve all been led to assume that no dog can’t swim, but the fact is very different. French bulldogs are unable to swim, and no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to train them to do so. Some owners undoubtedly remark that their Frenchie can swim.

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However, their Frenchie has most likely spent many happy hours in the pool and has most likely never attempted to swim in choppy seas. The swimming instinct is present in Frenchies, yet they are unable to swim. 

Overall, French Bulldogs cannot swim due to their lovely smushed faces, thick neck structures, and small bodies. They have to exert a great deal of effort just to keep their heads above water. Even when they try to swim on their own like the rest of the dogs, they sink like rocks. 

Why Can’t French Bulldogs Swim?

French Bulldogs aren’t known for their swimming abilities. Due to their large torsos, flat snouts, strong muscles, and hefty bones, this breed is not meant to float in water for lengthy periods of time.

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Like other bulldog breeds, the French Bulldog has Brachycephaly, which means they have a small, broad skull that gives them their signature squished face. Unfortunately, this adorable face feature creates a slew of health complications for these dogs, including clogged nasal passages, snoring, snorting, partial airway blockage, and other respiratory disorders.

Frenchies have to raise their heads up higher to keep their heads out of the water because of their flat noses, making it more difficult for them to stay afloat. To make things even more difficult, their massive torsos and small legs aren’t exactly conducive to swimming.

Are French Bulldogs a Drowning Risk?

French Bulldogs are one breed that should never be left alone when it comes to water. Frenchies have a top-heavy build, which causes them to sink swiftly. Another danger lurks in the form of a short snout that can’t readily reach above water.

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If one of these dogs falls into the water, you’ll have to act swiftly to save them. These canines lack the physical strength to return to the surface fast on their own, putting them in danger when left alone.

Despite the fact that certain dogs of this breed can swim up to 15 feet, the risk of permitting one of these dogs in the water is relatively high. Only allow supervised swimming with a life jacket or safer options for French Bulldog pet owners.

Before selecting how to let your French Bulldog participate in water-related activities, you should learn more about why these dogs are not water-friendly.

Can Swimming Lead to Oxygen Deprivation in French Bulldogs?

For French Bulldogs, oxygen deprivation is a serious worry. Since sports like swimming take a lot of physical activity, weariness to the point of drowning is a genuine concern that can put your dog’s CPR abilities to the test.

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Although there are symptoms that your dog is experiencing trouble that you can monitor for, oxygen deprivation can happen fast. In any case, preventing an incidence like this is always better.

Can You Still Let a French Bulldog Swim Safely Even Though They’re Brachycephalic?

It is essential that you always keep an eye on your French Bulldog when they’re swimming. If possible, keep them in shallow water. If your Frenchie has never been in the water before, start small with a kiddie pool. It’s an excellent, safe method to introduce your dog to water sports while also keeping them cool throughout the heat.

Since French Bulldogs are exercise intolerant due to their respiratory issues, the only safe method for them to swim is with a buoyant life jacket that will keep them from overexerting themselves. 

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The life vest should include adjustable straps to guarantee a snug fit, grab handles for simple rescue, and a neck float to keep their head above water for optimal protection. Whether your Frenchie joins you on a kayaking or boating vacation or you’re just resting poolside, choosing the correct life jacket for them is critical and could just possibly save their life.

What Can You Do as An Owner to Make Swimming Safe and Comfortable for Your French Bulldog?

As a general rule, you should never leave your French Bulldog unsupervised near water. Even the fittest and most youthful individuals can only float for a short time. Exhaustion and heat might also make it difficult for them to swim. Of course, these adorable dogs need to cool down, so what can owners do to ensure their French Bulldogs’ safety and comfort when in the water?

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Allowing Your French Bulldog to Swim in Shallow Streams, Creeks and Water

Even if the explanation to why French Bulldogs can’t swim seems depressing, the good news is that your Frenchie may still enjoy the water in a safe manner. It’s critical to understand your alternatives in order to make the greatest decision.

Allowing your French Bulldog to swim in shallow waters is a wonderful option since swimming in deeper water can cause both health and respiratory problems. Allow your Frenchie to splash about in small ponds or creeks. Make sure they can still reach the ground, so they don’t have to raise their head too far.

Consider a tiny wading pool if you’re hesitant about taking your dog out in the water. The size that you would use for a newborn or toddler should be enough for a dog the size of a Frenchie.

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Equipping Your French Bulldog with a High-Quality Flotation Device

The most straightforward approach to keep your French Bulldog from drowning is to keep them away from bodies of water unless they are wearing a robust doggie flotation device. They need excellent buoyancy to stay afloat because their little legs and respiratory issues prohibit them from doing so on their own. 

Consider investing in a high-quality canine life jacket if you wish to let your French Bulldog swim in deeper water. These flotation devices keep your Frenchie’s head above water, minimizing their water intake. Allow your Frenchie to wear the vest before entering the water to verify that they are comfortable with it. Reward them for cooperating and maintaining a relaxed demeanor.

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It’s critical to ensure that the jacket fits properly and fastens smoothly. A handle is another item to keep an eye out for. If required, a flotation device with a handle allows you to catch your dog swiftly and easily.

However, while your French Bulldog is in the water, these floating devices do not substitute supervision. Accidents do happen, and you always want to make sure your Frenchie is safe when engaging in a potentially harmful activity.

Always Supervise Your French Bulldog When Around Water

When swimming or off-leash near water, make sure you keep an eye on your French Bulldog at all times. Since Frenchies are poor swimmers, mishaps are unavoidably common. When a French Bulldog is struggling in the water, they may begin to inhale significant amounts of water. As a result, the water fills their stomach. Therefore, when French bulldogs begin to sink, they tend to sink completely.

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This sinking may happen in the blink of an eye; your dog may be swimming joyfully one moment and then vanish the next. On all excursions to open water sources, constant supervision is essential to ensure your dog’s safety.

Consulting a Trainer

Consult a professional dog swimming trainer for the best advice on how to introduce your French Bulldog to the water or even to take full-fledged swimming skills. Although these training sessions will cost money, the expense is nothing compared to any potential vet bills and emergency medical intervention needed to save your Frenchie from a drowning accident.

Final Thoughts

Overall, French Bulldogs are not known for their swimming abilities. Due to their flat noses, Frenchies must tilt their heads up higher to keep their heads out of the water, making swimming dangerous and laborious.

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However, swimming is an excellent way for your dog to get some exercise while having fun. The incapacity of the French Bulldog to swim should not prevent you from having fun with your beloved Frenchie in the water. Make sure you constantly follow safety steps to save your dog from drowning. Please with your veterinarian if you have any health concerns about your French Bulldog taking the plunge.

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