It’s no surprise to any of you that owning a dog is work! Especially when you have a busy work schedule.
Many of you ask questions about how we found and manage our little french bulldog, so I’m finally writing this blog post! And yes… her name is Ems (m’s) but short for EMS (Emergency Medical Services), we HAD to find a way to be creative!
Chris and I had been talking about getting a french bulldog for a while, before we took the plunge. We were lucky, and found a breeder that we were happy with, pretty quickly. One of my friends had gotten a dog from this breeder, and I am BIG on personal referrals. That’s pretty much the only way I will buy products or use services these days.
Roseflower Frenchies had this little lady ready to go, on a day that we were coming back from Mammoth, so we had a lot of time to discuss it in the car. I spoke to the breeder for a long time, to get a sense of how they bred their dogs and what they were looking for in owners. It was an obvious match right away. They are so thorough and genuinely good people, that just love their frenchies like children.
We were lucky because Chris happened to be off on injury during the time period that Ems came home with us. He had an above-the-elbow cast I might add, but a little pup was still manageable. Or so we thought! I remember the early days and how tired Chris was. I would go to work, and he would watch the pup all day. She required constant supervision and work with potty training. I am laughing out loud right now, remembering the first time that she used the doggy door and potty on her own. Proud parents we were!
Ems was crate trained from the start. Her breeder started the process and I am SO thankful. She only slept in our room for the first night (in her crate), more because we were paranoid. She slept downstairs in her crate from that point forward. We are SO glad that we did this from the start, because she loves her crate, associates it with her space only, and doesn’t cry or whine. We never let Ems sleep in bed! One reason being she would get used to that immediately and I cannot have a frenchie dictating my sleep schedule!!
Because she is crate trained, she stays there when we aren’t home. Once she grew out of puppy stage, we attempted to let her roam free while we were gone, and we ended up with furniture complete with teeth marks to the corners. She has all the toys in the world, but still couldn’t keep her chompers off the furniture.
Some the biggest questions I get:
1. What do you do with Ems when you go to work?
Ems stays in her crate, which is plenty big enough for her to lay down and stretch out. We continued to expand the crate as she grew larger. I’ve always been told that puppies can stay in their crate for as many hours as they are months old (i.e. 7 months old=7 hours). I’m not a vet, but this really seemed to be true for Ems. She is able to stay in her crate now for my entire work shift without accidents, but that rarely goes longer than 10 hours. Ems’ crate can be found here.
I think for many of you who are students or residents, your schedules may make it extremely tough to have a puppy, depending on if you have hired help or a significant other. When I was a resident, my shifts alone were 12 hours, more like 14 with clean up and charting time. That can be tough on a furry friend. However, some of you students out there who study from home or listen to lectures electronically, may have more time for a pup given your time spent at home is greater than if you had a daily job. Of course all of these problems can be improved with hired dog walkers or doggy daycares.
2. Where does Ems potty?
We live in a townhouse that is extremely vertical (LOTS of stairs). I know many of you deal with apartment life and/or cold weather that makes it less ideal to take your pups outside for their potty time. This of course depends on the size of your dog, but we LOVE the Porch Potty. We have a small balcony on our main floor where we installed a doggy door that Ems loves! She heads out there where her porch potty is located, and that’s where she does her business! The porch potty can be hooked up to any drainage system so that you can water it down regularly, to avoid a nasty smell. If there’s no drainage system for you to hook up to… well, you have to hose it down every few weeks. Not ideal, but we do it, and it works for us!
Ems still goes on walks and potties like a normal dog, but this helps with our schedules and Ems’ comfort.
3. Do you experience many health problems with your french bulldog?
We have been VERY lucky with Ems. She is healthy as can be! Minus the occasional fungal skin infection (common in frenchies), ear infection, and gas. It’s true… french bulldogs can be VERY gassy. Nothing a few candles can’t help. Or I just wave it in Chris’ direction!
Some common health problems for french bulldogs are- allergies, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, skin infections, and respiratory difficulties due to their brachycephalic nature (short skull/short nose). They have trouble controlling their body temperature during exercise and in the heat, so as an owner you have to be attentive and know when they need a break. Because let me tell you… Ems never wants a break. She will play and run herself into respiratory distress!
As a medical professional, even I am grossed out sometimes by the folds on folds on folds that I have to clean. It’s rather humorous actually. We had to get Ems used to this as soon as possible, so now she just lays there when we do it, but it was a fight initially. I clean her facial folds daily. Sorry for TMI here but… she also got the big ol’ thighs. So her folds down under need cleaning too. Yep, I told you it was TMI. She has required a dose of topical creams a time or two. At least this is prepping Chris for cleaning our baby in the future!
This is why many people say don’t get a french bulldog if you are time constrained OR financially limited. They do come with a level of risk. But we have been very lucky so far.
4. What do you feed Ems?
Ems was eating dry food recommended by the vet initially. Blue Buffalo and Royal Canine were a couple of the foods she had tried. Then I discovered Pet Plate. I asked her vet about it, and since it’s freshly cooked, all natural, and made with nutrients to support dogs of any size, she approved. I cannot tell you how much Ems loves Pet Plate. We noticed a huge change in her waistline (for real), she seemed to drink less water (other times she acts like she’s in the sahara desert which makes me wonder if the dry food is messing with her electrolytes), and she has substantially less gas… almost none. And believe me, that is a WIN.
The meals come in 4 flavors, chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb. If you’re interested in letting your pup indulge, you can try it for 25% off with code MAJESTIC25 here. If they have any promotions running, you will get an added 25% off with my code 🙂 Ems says “you’re welcome”.
This little french bulldog gives us a run for our money, it’s no lie, but I wouldn’t change a thing! French bulldogs have so much personality, their little gremlin faces are to-die-for, and they are such lovers. Yes… they will run the house if you allow them to. They are stubborn and tend to have a mind of their own! But with a little love and direction, they will most definitely be your new best friend.