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The 6 Biggest Surprises Of Owning A French Bulldog

wtfrenchie

Are french bulldogs taking over?

Frenchies have become such a popular breed; I’m surprised they don’t rank in the Top 3. The American Kennel Club ranks French Bulldogs as sixth most popular in the US. 

Fun fact: I honestly had no idea what a French Bulldog was nine years ago. I wasn’t introduced til 2010 and my first thought (don’t hate me): that is the ugliest dog ever! I know. I was closed and now my eyes are open. I finally awoke from a bad dream, lol.

I guess that was my first biggest surprise! I get so many questions about Weston + Fira and about frenchies in general on Instagram and IRL. I am just now so in love with the breed. Here are the other 6 things that totally surprised me about having french bulldogs in my life.

1. Get used to having frenchie “glitter” all over you

I had NO idea french bulldogs shed this much. Since they have a single coat of short hair, I assumed they would be low maintenance. Their little hairs can actually be pretty coarse and stick in your clothes like needles. We’ve just gotten used to having white fur all over our clothes and gathering like dust bunnies on the floors. 

2. They’re not just couch potatoes!

With their round bodies and meaty rolls, most assume french bulldogs are lazy dogs but I’ve found that most are very active and love to run. Since Fira is so small, she does get tired eventually but Weston could run a marathon. When he was younger, I used to take him jogging with me to Runyun Canyon (stairs/hiking) and he kept right up with me. 

They love to wrestle + play and are up for a lot of activities. Although they do make great apartment dogs because of their size, it’s important to give them daily exercise.

 

3. Please don’t leave me

This breed is definitely known to be your shadow. Frenchies don’t like to be left alone for too many hours and prefer to be with their owners 24/7. Seriously. If we are all out and either Jon or I go into a store/bathroom, Weston + Fira will wait near the door and keep their eyes locked

If I’m holding one of my friends’ frenchies and they leave for a second, it’s the same thing. Their frenchie will not budge until their mom comes back.

They are definitely an affectionate breed and are your best (and most clingy) friend. 

4. Health 101

So, yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that frenchies have a lot of health problems. There are so many different factors to this, depending on how they were bred, their diet and genetics. It’s hard to tell what health issues your frenchie will have in the future, if any. Weston is 8.5 years old and has literally never been to the vet for anything. I think he may be the most least-seen frenchie at the vet, lol. Fira is 3 and she’s already had the nasal + throat palate surgery (to help with breathing) and has been to the vet for a few things (bacteria infection in her muzzle, bacterial pneumonia). But no back/IVDD/hip surgeries; knock on wood!

They definitely need more care than other dogs. Like, cleaning their folds and wrinkles to prevent bacteria from growing. Making sure they don’t jump off beds too often (can add strain on their backs) or even getting a shorter bed. We’re considering a flat japanese-style platform bed in the future. We’re going to risk our own backs instead, haha.

Frenchies also overheat. Make sure you don’t take them out for too long when it’s hot outside. I think they hate the summer because they don’t get to run outside as much! Consider a cooling vest, a cooling pad or bandana.

Many french bulldog owners get pet insurance for these reasons, so that may be something to look into. We personally didn’t get insurance for them.

5. Obsessed

Once you become a frenchie mom/dad, you will yell “FRENCHIE!” at every french bulldog on the street, on TV, at the park…

Other people will run towards your dog(s) screaming “frenchie!” “omg so cute” “can I touch?”

One time we were driving and Weston had his head poked out the back window. A guy in another car stuck his head out and yelled “FRENCHIeEeeEEee” as he drove by. Weston gets catcalled on the daily. 🙂

You will follow all the frenchies on instagram and become one of those people.

 

6. Breeders VS Adoption

I never was the type that had a specific breed in mind when wanting a dog–I just wanted a dog to love. But then when I was introduced to frenchies, with their unique looks, personality and mannerisms, it was hard not to fall in love with them. 

I just knew, I HAD to have a french bulldog.

I have this weird guilt/conflict inside about this topic. Because, I totally get it. Even with the kid topic,  we’ve talked about not having children but if we decided to to have them we would adopt.

But the thing with french bulldogs is, it’s really rare to find them up for adoption, unless you rescue which also brings a whole host of other problems. Usually, they are dropped off because people can’t afford their health bills anymore. 🙁

With purebred dogs from a reputable breeder, you pretty much know what you’re getting—even down to their unique personalities. 

It’s still a strange conflict I have and our next dog will definitely be adopted/rescued. What are your guys’ thoughts on the topic?

 

Photos by: Mary Carmen Haber

1. Massimo Dutti Cotton Shirt With Pockets.

2. SAINT RUE City Leash. [15% off code: rue15]

3. Pawmigo Free-Fit Harness. [10% off code: WTF10]

4. Round Rattan Bag

5. WTFrenchie Frenchie Mom Tee.

6. iRobot Roomba. 

 

Where's The Frenchie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and incorporates affiliate links.

HOME TOUR: Jeni + Laffy from @ParisAndPups

Paris and Pups…

If you saw that instagram handle, wouldn’t you be intrigued and quickly follow too? And a frenchie, no less! I met Jeni @parisandpups in person last year (or it could have been 2017; Jeni? lol) in Paris and we immediately bonded over our love of kimchi (she’s half korean!), design, travel and of course, frenchies. 
 
She is just as lovely in person as she is online. Her writing style and stories just drift you away into a little corner brasserie in Paris or tinkering away at home in your own quaint Parisian pied-à-terre.
 
Jeni, her husband and their french bulldog Lafayette moved to their beautiful Parisian apartment from California five years ago. Naturally, I was curious what differences there are between the two cultures. Jeni says she’s always redesigning and moving things around–I guess that’s the plight of a creative! Never truly satisfied and always more to be done. 🙂
 
So, let’s get on with the questions and dreamy photos!
 
 
 

How has living in Paris influenced your design choices?

Living in Paris hasn’t really influenced my design choices but its because I live in Paris that I’ve learned to adore the typical Haussmannien exteriors and interiors my former modern-self never appreciated before. The perfectly lined rows of buildings designed with chevron parquet floors, marble fireplaces under baroque mirrors and all that bright white cornice and molding! Oh la la! 
 
french apartment tour

 

Have you given your apartment “french accents?”

We have one antique French mirror we found while in the south of France that apparently dates back to the early 19th cicle. We plan on a couple additions such adding cornicing on our ceilings and rectangle wall paneling which is typical of the quintessential Parisian apartment we’ve all seen. 

 
Our building dates back to 1910 and we were told that our doors and brass hardware are original to that time. I don’t have the heart to change them even though the doors don’t close all the way or hardware no longer works. So by keeping those original features, I feel that the original “French accents” remain in place. We also selected antique gold elements such as the kitchen/bathroom sink which is sort-of Parisienne and fits in with the time period of this apartment.
 
 
 
 
 
 

What characteristics of Parisian apartments differ from American?

Oh where do I start! I think the most notable difference is the compartmented floor plans. Although the open-concept living is becoming increasingly popular, compartmentalized layouts are the norm. Each room is dedicated or closed off as it’s own separate and privately functioning room. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to go back to living in a space where my toilet was in the same room as my bath/shower. 

 
 

How would you describe your interior style?

I’m still trying to figure that out for myself but I think it’s fair to say that my interior style is very much eclectic. In our space, you’ll find Scandinavian pieces, bohemian touches and modern elements scattered throughout. Living in France has taught me that “Less is more,” so I try to stay as minimal as possible. That also explains why I’m always changing things around. Trying to give it a fresh new look. You’ve seen my IG account. Our home is ever evolving…

 

What’s your favorite room and why?

The bedroom! I love lounging on the bed and taking in the bright and warming glow of sunlight. Our flat is located on a corner of two streets and the bedroom brings in the most light. Oui, I’m there oftentimes than any other room. 

 
 

What’s the most personal piece of furniture or decor in your apartment?

That would have to be the mirrors I designed and crafted in both our bedroom and living area. Those hand cracked marble stones adhered to mirrors adds such a personal and sculptural statement for me. Their display always reminds me to continue creating art and really adds a touch of originality space for me. No one in the world will ever have the same and I love that idea.
 
marble stone mirror
 
 

What’s Laffy’s favorite room? 

Laffy loves whatever room I’m in but if I had to really say, Laffy really enjoys the bedroom the most. In the mornings just after his by-the-bedside stretches or when I’m laying on the bed, he’s always wanting to get on too. Its such a luxury for him when he’s allowed morning snuggle time or those few times during the month when we permit him to sleep with us at night. He’s loves to burrow himself deep in the blankets and sleep sideways. Thankfully we recently got a bigger bed and now it’s been more comfortable to have him up there with us. Who knows, he may get to sleep with us more often which also makes it more challenging when we don’t allow him up.

french bulldog white bed
 

What would you add/change to your apartment if price wasn’t an object? 

There are so many things I’d like to change but on top of my list is completing our next project; installing a custom built partition between the living and dining area. I have two particular designs I have saved. One with wood archways and the second would be black/grey metal with tri-folding glass doors. I feel that either look would add an interesting architectural perspective that would not only help break up the rooms but also offer a second bedroom if needed. 

 
You can find Jeni at @parisandpups and her one-of-a-kind mirrors in her Etsy store
 

DIY: Bar Cart For Your Dog’s Storage

closet storage at home

Perfect storage idea for your dog…

So, as I was browsing Amazon (did you know they have some really amazing home brands now? I’ll link some of my fave finds below), I ran across this adorable Art Deco-ish bar cart and an idea came to me. How cute would it be for dog storage?!

It makes a really neat little area for the pups’ things and fits shampoos and bottles perfectly. I’m so pleased with how it came out! 

See that vent there? We call this Fira’s corner because she sits right in front of the heater vent at all times. She literally turns into a hot potato lying there for hours. 

They have their own closet area but this corner is perfect for quick grabs like treats, poo bags (I put them in a treat jar), sprays, etc. 

Super easy and fun to organize! It also already comes assembled (woo!). Hope you like!

My AMAZON Faves:

 

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Review: Organic Pet Care Line from Zogics Pet

Hi guys! Sooo, how often do you bathe your dog?

This might sound gross but Weston + Fira only end up getting baths once every 6-8 weeks. Of course, if they have been at the beach getting muddy or have dog drool on them from the dog park, they’ll get one or at least a wipe-down. But otherwise, I don’t really find them getting stinky or dirty.

I find their natural scent smells soooo gooood–it smells just like doll hair.

When it’s time for b-a-t-h—by the way, I can’t say the word around Weston or he’ll run away. He literally knows that word and skiddles sideways to another room. To make it easier on everyone, I usually just wash them myself

I get in the tub with them too. I think it makes them feel safer. Or they could be quietly seething and wondering if they can chew my fingers off.

Well, I just discovered this new, all-organic line Zogics Pet. I actually met the founder last year when we visited 33 Main in Lenox Massachusetts! Zogics is also based in Lenox–the cutest little town ever.

All natural, organic ingredients

These products are so clean. Free of parabens, pH balanced and organic. I don’t use products that have parabens or harsh SLS and your dog(s) shouldn’t either. Harsh soaps/SLS can really dry out their skin.

After their baths, Weston + Fira are SO SOFT! Even strangers have been commenting. After shampooing and washing, I sprayed the Conditioner all over then wiped them down with a towel. When they were all dried, I spritzed a few more times. The scent is so nice and mild—vanilla almond with Moroccan argan oil. 

grooming french bulldogs

My new fave is actually this Waterless Shampoo. It’s a foam and you just apply + wipe it down. A must for travel. If you follow and watch our IG stories, last night Fira got into the fireplace chasing her ball and when she turned her head around, we DIED. She had black soot around her eye like a huge eyebrow. It was seriously adorable.

Water didn’t wipe it off so I used the foam and it worked like a charm! It also leaves such a clean, almost-dry feeling.

 

If anyone is interesting in trying them out, the prices are really good, especially the 4-pc set ($55.80)! And you can get 20% off with code: WTF20

I Reviewed 6 Dog Bowls To Find The Best Dog Bowl for French Bulldogs

dog bowls review

The Best Dog Bowl Ever?

Ok, so those of you with flat-nosed breeds know how hard it can be finding just the right dog bowl. They’re either too short, too deep, not elevated, not cute, etc etc.

Not only does Fira have a non-existant snout, she also is the MESSIEST eater. Half of her food ends up on the floor. So, I wanted to look for something with a tray or something that catches the fall-out food. Her bowl would also be tipped over on its side after she was finished eating. She is crazy.

Their bowls for the past couple years have been these Dylan Kendall ceramic bowls with little feet–elevated and adorable.

 

But alas, it was time for a change…

My criteria for the bowls this time was mainly for Fira. Weston is the quietest, most gentle, delicate eater—he doesn’t spill a drop! Fira is a messy one. Weston also has a longer snout than Fira, making it easier for him to reach his food. 

So, Fira needed a bowl that would be suitable for her non-existant snout, easy for clean-up, something that would stay put on the floor and match our house decor.

Here are the bowls I picked up:

 

Ono The Good Bowl: When I opened the box for this, I was ooo-ing and ah-ing over the way it was sleekly packaged and just super clean/modern. The bowls are really shallow and wide, so it helps smaller-snouted dogs get into the bowl better. 

The removable silver bowls stay snug in the mat and the best feature of these bowls are that the entire silicone mat stays gripped to the floor so it didn’t go anywhere

Modern Elevated Feeder: The design of this one is uber modern with nice clean lines. I could see this really being a nice accent piece in a contemporary kitchen. It has a solid weight so it doesn’t feel cheap. It’s about 5.5 inches high which isn’t bad but a liiiittle high for Fira. When she started eating, she kept spilling a bunch of the food on the floor. 

Elevated Bowls with No-Spill Resin: this one I wasn’t expecting to like so much but it WORKS. Fira ate her entire dinner and there was not a speck on the floor–woohoo! It definitely slid out of the bowl but it slid into those raised sides and she ate every last bit. This one is the cheapest of the bunch and I’ll definitely keep it. 

Elevated Feeder with Glass Bowls: nice sturdy design with glass bowls and ANGLED so it’s tilted towards your pet for better eating. This one I had high hopes for but since the bowls are pretty small, the food still got everywhere. 

This one would still be great if your pup (or cat) is a neat eater. 

Martha Stewart Slow Feeder Bowl: if your dog eats super fast, like Fira does, a dog bowl for fast eaters is a smart option. A slow bowl is great as it forces them to work around the bowl and gives them time to chew + digest etc. Sometimes it feels like some dogs don’t even chew their food! This one did not work for them at allll. Fira couldn’t get her little face in and just stared at it confused and frustrated—make sure to watch @wtfrenchie IG TV for the full video to see her cute confused face lol.

Hammered Copper Bowl: Um, I only got this because it matched my copper mugs. No regrets. It shall become their water bowl.

 

THE WINNER.

I’m actually surprised I loved Elevated Bowls with No-Spill Resin out of the bunch. It was the least expensive one on the list and I usually don’t go for brighter colors like this (the other colors are green and aqua blue) but it checks all the boxes for the perfect dog bowl (for now)! Love that it’s elevated and it is the perfect size. It does move around a little on the floor since it doesn’t have grips on the bottom and is extra-light plastic. It’s the lightest of the bunch in terms of weight but it still wins because it catches any food that falls out. 

Now the Ono is going to be Weston’s new dog bowl since he has no problems with lower bowls. I just love its sleek design and shallow bowl size. So excited they have their new bowls that work for each of them—yay!

Make sure to watch our new IGTV video of the full review and the pups trying the dog bowls out. By the way, if you’re wondering what we feed them, we like to mix it up with homemade dog food or fresh, human-grade cooked foods from our favorite company Pure Dog Food. You can get $20 off your first order with our code (minimum $40 order): wtfrenchie.


UPDATED:

The Elevated Bowls with No-Spill Resin  was a great bowl but still not perfect. Fira needed something sturdy so it didn’t move around, high around the edges so it didn’t spill over the sides but not too high where she couldn’t reach. So, I tried a few more…

iBard Dual Slanted Bowl. I was first attracted to this bowl for the style. It’s really soft, pretty and mimimal. I thought this one would do the trick but because the material is very lightweight, it shifts around and still, there was spillage. This bowl would be beautiful for a non-messy eater though.

A slanted dog bowl specifically designed for french bulldogs and flat nosed breeds! This one worked much better—it’s very solid so it stays put but I still felt it wasn’t slanted enough. Some food spilled over the top edge. 

Ok, love the slant on this stainless steel bowl! The only thing you would need is a silicone mat on the bottom so it stays put and doesn’t move around. This one is also the least expensive on the list—less than 10 bucks!

When I was posting about bowls on Instagram, I got sooo many messages raving about this Enhanced Pet Bowl. It’s made for french bulldog problems like this. Sturdy grip on the bottom, large area for their face to move around and at an angle. Some food still spilled over the top—Fira tends to push up the food to the back of the bowl causing it to go over—but this one is probably the closest to ticking off all the boxes.

 

 

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Before + After: The Frenchies’ New Closet Tour

Look at that mess!

In my own closet, my belts and scarves are organized in their own little containers. Shoes are in order. Clothes are in order by color (white, neutrals, pinks, green/olive, brown + lastly black) then in categories like skirts, jeans, dresses.

So, it was about time I do the pups’ little closet! They have their own nook which has several cabinets and drawers. It was always such an eye sore, with a mix of collars and leashes thrown in out of sight and random poo bags, sprays etc. 

So I set to work measuring and staying up til 2am browsing The Container Store’s website, Amazon and Ikea. (If this isn’t obvious yet, I LOVE organizing!)

Here’s the BEFORE…

 

And the AFTER…

Ahhh…

Doesn’t that just instantly make you feel so much better??? Clutter can literally give me a headache. Now this space is so easy to sift through and sort, saving time and stress finding whatever I need for the pups. Flea meds, wipes, toothpaste all in one container. Bandanas, bow ties, socks in another.

I found those cute pink boxes at IKEA and put seasonal costumes in them to keep the cabinets looking clean. Lower containers hold sweaters and shirts. 

 

  1. 3-Section Drawer Organizer. These are the organizers I bought to roll up their leashes and collars. Perfect!
  2. 6-Section Drawer Organizer. I like that this organizer has a bigger space in the middle—more room for leashes. 
  3. Clear Plastic Organizer. Wouldn’t this one be cute to hold a bunch of poo bag rolls??
  4. InterDesign Bins. For clothes, grooming products, etc.
  5. 8-piece Bin Pack. Super organized and interlocks together.
  6. DIY Plastic Grid Organizer. Create your own grid by cutting and sliding into place. I was so close to getting these as it’s more convenient + customizable but wasn’t sure if it was strong enough to keep rolled up leashes in place. I didn’t want it to look bendy and sloppy. 

So what do you think of the Before + After?? How do you organize your pups’ stuff?

 

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Where's The Frenchie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and incorporates affiliate links.

DIY: Natural Flea Repellent Spray with Essential Oils

I’ve been wanting to make this flea spray for awhile now and finallyyy got around to doing it. I usually use the normal vet brands on the pups sparingly but I always hated it. It just smells sooo much like chemicals (which it is) and if I can find an alernative that works, then I usually prefer the latter. I don’t even take Advil or birth control myself because the thought of putting chemicals in my body doesn’t feel right. So, obviously I’m going to be a crazy dog mom and do the same for my pups. Um, have you seen my various recipes for homemade dog food? And yes, the dogs still get their vaccines–I’m not in total Jenny McCarthy territory.

So off to Google I go… I used this blog post for reference–has a lot of good info about what repels fleas and ticks. I just put 1/2 cup of water plus 7 drops lavender oil and 7 drops cedarwood (why does cedarwood smell like Jack Daniels?) in a bottle. I wanted to add apple cider vinegar too but realized I packed it (we recently moved and put most of our stuff in a storage pod) and I didn’t feel like buying a whole bottle of vinegar for 5 drops.

I just apply a few squirts around the back of their neck and shoulders where they can’t reach to lick it etc. I think I’ll do it a couple times a week. If you’re going outdoors or somewhere super leafy I’d spritz heavily. Another cool thing you can do is wet a tissue with this solution and use it to wipe down their ears. Easy peasy. What other natural stuff can I make next???

BTW–I’m going to try this product Wondercide too. All natural, organic, etc. Click here to get $10 off your order!

 

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