Who doesn’t love a French Bulldog? They have perfectly square, muscular bodies and a personality that lights up a room. They’re a little weird, snore like nobody’s business, and generally make the world a better place to live in.
Of course, if you love French bulldogs like I do, you’ll also be a fan of their perky ears.
Frenchie ears are one of the features that makes them so unique. In most cases, your Frenchie will have ears in an erect position from the time you bring him home. What you might not realize is that the ears may get a little floppy when they’re teething.
Dog owners worry if there’s something wrong with their Frenchie because of this. The truth is, there are reasons for this and we’re here to explain them.
When Will Those Adorable Bat-Like Ears Appear?
Don’t worry! It can take anywhere from five to 15 weeks after birth for your pup’s ears to stand up.
In the meantime, you might notice one ear stands up before the other. In fact, those ears might go up and down for a while. Keep reading for common reasons why this happens. Hint: It has something to do with teeth development.
The important thing is not to panic or worry. Some French bulldogs have floppy ears until the 7th or 8th month of life.
How French Bulldog Owners Care For Their Pups Like Pros
Always start your puppy on a high quality diet. A French bulldog puppy’s diet should be specifically designed for the breed. Foods that include brewer’s rice, chicken, dried beet pulp, oatmeal, flaxseed, pea fiber, beans and veggies are good choices.
Feed According to Life Stage
The three life stages of a French Bulldog include the puppy phase (under 12 months) to Adult (over 12 months) and then the senior years (10 years and over).
If you get your Frenchie from a breeder, they should be able to recommend the best food for your dog at each stage of life.
Feed a Balanced Diet with Calcium
A balanced dog diet contains protein from animals, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fat, and micronutrients like omega 3 fatty acids. Generally speaking, quality puppy food should have a ratio of between 1:2 or 1:4 of calcium to phosphorus.
Calcium, which can come from foods like low-fat versions of cottage cheese, soft goat cheese, mozzarella, or yogurt, is important for your growing dog’s bone and teeth health.
How to Clean a French Bulldog’s Ears
Whether your dog’s ears are standing upright or flopping down, it’s important to keep them clean. Floppy ears on any dog tend to trap moisture and debris.
The best thing you can do for your Frenchie is keep that area dry. That means putting a wad of cotton in his/her ears at bath time. It’s equally important for dogs with floppy or erect ears. If moisture settles in the ear it can cause painful ear issues.
Cleaning any pup’s ear is simple. Be very gentle and only clean around the outer part of the ear and along the ear flap. Use a cotton ball to dry the ear from any moisture.
Gently rub the area to remove visible signs of dirt or debris. Never put your finger or instrument directly into your pup’s ears.
There’s no need to use any special cleaners for your dog’s ears unless the veterinarian has prescribed something. Some people use products like Bark 2 Basics Ear Cleaner.
Overcleaning your dog’s ears can strip the ear of its natural wax. Although there’s no hard and fast rule, it’s thought your should only clean your puppy’s ears twice a month at the most.
What Does the Teething Stage Have to do with my dog’s ears?
Your pup’s ears go through different phrases before they actually point up. In fact, it’s very possible that your dog’s ears are already erect at 6 to 8 weeks of age. Then, the teething process happens and everything changes.
You’ll know your dog is teething when you notice tiny blood spots on toys or furniture. The gums may appear red and your dog may start chewing on everything you own, including your fingers. At this point, you’ll want to give your dog puppy-safe chew toys.
The teething process generally begins when your dog is abut 3 months old. It can last anywhere from 20 to 24 weeks. The process is usually complete at about 8 months of age.
New Frenchie owners may not realize that their dog’s ears go through a phase as well. Between the time of birth and teething, your dog’s growing body redirects calcium to focus on the development of strong, healthy teeth.
Normally, that calcium would be focused on building the cartilage in the puppy’s ears. It’s that strong cartilage that keeps those little ears in an upright position.
Once your dog has finished the teething phase, his ears should go back to those adorable at ears French Bulldogs are known for.
More Reasons For Floppy Ears of a French Bulldog
There are various reasons why your French Bulldog has floppy ears into adulthood. Although rare, here are some theories:
In some cases, your Frenchie may have floppy ears due to genetics. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your pup. It just means that your dog is unique. That said, ethical breeders comply with certain breeding standards. They should be careful when breeding to eliminate or lower the risk of genetic abnormalities.
Although unlikely, ear trauma at an early age may cause permanent damage. This could cause your dog’s ears to droop.
Theories on How to Encourage Pointy Ears During the Teething Phase
Although there is limited data on the following suggestions, they can’t hurt your dog. Always consult with a veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.
1. Professional Ear Taping
Taping is a common and painless procedure that should be performed by the breeder. It requires a piece of masking tape that is 1.5 inches in width.
The breeder will pull the bulldog’s ears into a flat position on the head. They then wrap the tape around the base of the ear and repeat on the other side.
After both ears are propped up by tape, another strip is used to connect both ears across the top of their heads. This offers reinforcement. The tape can be left on for five days before it’s gently removed.
Some people choose to repeat the process after 3 months.
2. Veterinarian Calcium Injection
In some cases, a veterinarian may agree to prescribe calcium injections for your dog. This injection helps to boost calcium levels.
If your veterinarian does this, he/she may suggest not including additional calcium supplements in your dog’s diet. It’s thought that crushed eggshells are a good source of calcium without causing harm to the puppy.
3. Parasitic Medication
It’s important to protect your dog from parasites. This includes everything from fleas to worms and ticks.
Talk to your veterinarian during your pup’s regular vaccine schedule about the best product to use and the best time to start using them.
There’s no guarantee that this will help your dog develop upright ears. However, if your dog happens to have mites (painful and itchy within the ear canal), you may find your Frenchie pup constantly scratching and digging his ears.
Excessive scratching can damage the cartilage that holds the ears upright. It can also cause sores on the ear flap and generally make your Frenchie miserable.
4. How to Look After Frenchie’s Floppy Ears
Any dog with floppy ears will be prone to ear infections.
Moisture and debris collect within the ear because of the heavy flap covering the ear canal. As a dog exercise and plays (as he should!), the ears get dirtier.
NOTE: Even French bulldogs with fully erect ears should have them cleaned regularly. Because they are so open to the elements, they can easily become congested with dust, debris, and moisture.
Look for the link below to the best video you’ll ever see on caring for a French bulldog.
5. Chew Toys Are a Must-Have
Chew toys help your puppy develop strong jaw muscles. They also help lessen the discomfort of teething. Make sure to purchase strong, premium quality chew toys.
Those adult teeth are strong and as they break through they leave your puppy at higher risk of chewing toys apart. This becomes a serious choking risk.
Summing it up
At the end of the day, we just want our Frenchie’s to be as happy and healthy as possible. These little pups deserve as much as we can give them, and that includes loving care.
Don’t be alarmed if his/her ears are still floppy for a while. As your dog goes through the teething phase you can expect those ears to do weird and wonderful things (one ear up and one ear down!).
Remember, you can always check with the breeder if you have any questions or concerns about your little Frenchie. Did you rescue your French Bulldog? If so, congratulations! There are plenty of online resources available to help you with specific health-related questions, including Your Dog’s Health Matters.
Watch this highly-recommended video:
Anything French Bulldog and watch the most comprehensive and entertaining video you’ll ever find on caring for your French bulldog’s ears.
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