We love them for their squished faces, as well as their wrinkled snouts and foreheads. It is the one breed that has learned to embrace their wrinkles! However, all of that cuteness also requires a beauty regimen to keep their skin clean and infection free.
Frenchie skin folds need proper cleaning regimens due to the canine not being able to deep clean their faces. Food, dirt, or drainage from their eyes may seep into the skin folds and cause buildup. Depending on the environment, humidity or moisture can also accumulate in the folds, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus. So what do you do about it?
The skin folds need to be cleaned regularly, usually once weekly, but you may need to clean more often depending on how deep the skin folds are on your pup. If your Frenchie is a messy eater or has deep wrinkles, a daily cleaning may be needed. Also, skin folds may deepen as your pup ages, so cleaning may not be needed as much when the dog is younger but more frequent cleaning may be necessary with age.
Cleaning the folds is not difficult; however, limit how much additional moisture added to the area. A moist wipe works well but make sure it is for sensitive skin to help limit any chemicals or irritants, especially since this will be used close to the dog’s eyes. (I like the moist wipes by Seventh Generation since they are alcohol and paraben free). Take a moist wipe and gently wipe in the folds of the skin, and try to wipe in both an upward and downward motion to remove all dirt and grime. After cleansing the area, you can add an additional step to cleanse and tone the skin.
Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic, which also helps to soothe irritated skin. Mix a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar with water. Apply the mixture to a Q-tip or a cotton swab, and gently rub in the skin folds. The Q-tip or cotton swab should be moist but not saturated since we want to limit moisture to the fold area. Remember to be extra cautious when cleaning the folds closer to the eye, and avoid the eye area when using the apple cider vinegar and water solution. Afterwards, take a dry clean cloth and glide it through the skin folds to make sure that any extra moisture has been removed. The area should be dry when finished so that moisture is not trapped in the folds, which could lead to a fungal infection.
During warmer months, moisture can become trapped in the skin folds, which can lead to bacteria or fungal growth, ultimately causing dermatitis. If this becomes an issue add a small amount of talc-free baby powder in the skin folds to absorb any excess moisture after the cleaning process. In order to control application and to prevent powder from getting into your dog's eyes, putting the powder into a squeeze bottle can allow for more control and limit excess powder when applying to the skin folds. Remember, avoid the eye area, and wash out your dog’s eyes immediately if powder gets into the eyes.
If you are noticing a lot of redness or if the folds are smelly, itchy, inflamed, or emitting a discharge, this could be a sign of an infection. When in doubt, get your canine to the vet immediately for assessment and/or treatment, if necessary.
Proper skin hygiene is necessary for a happy and healthy dog. Maintaining healthy skin helps to reduce inflammation, irritation, and possibly infection.
Play some relaxing waterfall music and get your pooch ready for a Frenchie facial because those cute wrinkles need pampering too. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and any Frenchie that I have met takes their appearance seriously.