13 Reasons French Bulldogs Can Lose Hair

by Stuart | Last Updated:   May 20, 2021

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Your French Bulldog has a beautiful shiny coat. You may presume that, due to his short coat, he doesn’t shed a lot. But that is misleading.

Like other dog breeds, Frenchies shed quite regularly. The reason that your adorable Frenchie sheds hair is to rid their coats of old and damaged hair (just like you). 

However, if you notice that your Frenchie is losing more hair than usual, they might be suffering from a skin condition or other issue.

There are many different reasons as to why a French bulldog loses hair. Here are some important ones to be on the lookout for:

  1. Hair loss due to allergies
  2. Hot spots 
  3. Infections causing bald patches
  4. Acral lick dermatitis
  5. Seasonal Flank Baldness
  6. Hormonal problems
  7. Mange
  8. Pressure sores
  9. Poor nutrition
  10. Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia
French bulldog with hair loss staring back into camera

Possible Reasons For French Bulldog Hair Loss

1. Environmental Allergies 

Your Frenchie may be allergic to environmental allergens like mold, dust, and/or pollen. Exposure to these will make your dog itchy, leading to him scratching and licking himself to try to alleviate the itch and resulting in painful lesions and hair loss.

So if your Frenchie is suffering from uncontrollable itching, skin irritation, or hair loss, then you should consult your vet immediately.

3. Food allergies

When your French bulldog consumes a specific food he is allergic to, his body will produce a sudden allergic reaction.

If your vet suspects your dog of having a food allergy, he or she will perform a physical exam and take a detailed history of your Frenchie’s eating habits.

After that, your vet will likely recommend a hypoallergenic diet trial for at least 2 months to see if your dog is in fact allergic to the food.

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4. Flea Allergies

If your French Bulldog is losing hair around its neck and tail, there’s a good chance it’s due to fleas. These parasites can rapidly infest your dog and irritate their skin; this leads to intense scratching and itching, which can cause hair loss.

Visit your vet if you notice that your Frenchie seems to be suffering from a flea infestation. Treatment may include topical or internal medication, allergy shots, and avoiding the allergen.

5. Hot Spots

Hot Spots in French Bulldogs are also known as “Acute moist dermatitis”. It is a condition that can be caused by multiple factors.

Your poor pet will have symptoms like inflamed skin, infected, red, moist, itchy, painful, and oozy patches. Symptoms appear in areas that are prone to moisture like the neck, hips, under the ear flaps, and in between the skin folds. Moisture on the skin of a Frenchie provides ideal conditions for the proliferation of bacteria. 

The first step to treat hot spots is to clean and dry the area gently but thoroughly. Then visit your vet for ointments or a topical medication that can be used on your dog’s skin to alleviate symptoms.

6. Infections Causing Bald Patches

Bacteria and yeast are normally present on your French Bulldogs’ skin, but at times they can grow out of control and create an infection. Your poor dog can suffer from hair loss, itching, and redness due to bacterial or fungal yeast infections.

This, in turn, can lead to Ringworm. Ringworm is a type of fungus that causes hair loss, and round bald patches of infection. 

Red, itchy, or scaly bald patches on the head and body are cause for a trip to the veterinarian. After examining your pet, the vet will prescribe antibiotics or antifungals to treat the infection if needed. 

7. Acral Lick Dermatitis

Your French Bulldog could be shedding excess hair due to acral lick dermatitis. It is a kind of dermatitis that is caused by some psychological factors. 

Excessive licking is the main culprit. Frenchies resort to this when they are bored, stressed, or anxious.

The enzymes in your dog’s saliva can cause irritation, which gives rise to a localized dermatitis. However, this may become generalized over time and cause hair shedding and baldness. If your furry buddy is suffering from acral lick dermatitis, you should visit your vet to discuss treatment options.

8. Seasonal Flank Baldness

Seasonal Flank Baldness is a type of alopecia caused by your French bulldog’s decreased exposure to sunlight in the fall/winter months when there is less daylight.

Sunlight exposure gives your Frenchie the essential Vitamin D that gives hair follicles the needed vitamins to grow healthily. This issue usually occurs if you live in a cold environment or if your daily routine prohibits you from going outside.

Although Frenchies are indoor pets, they still need to get out daily.

9. Hormonal Problems

A dog’s hair growth is influenced by different hormones present in their bodies such as; estrogen, melatonin, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisol, and thyroxine.

If these hormones reach a certain abnormal level, either high or low, it can cause hair loss in your French Bulldog.

One of the most common hormonal problems that can cause hair loss in French Bulldogs is Hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland is producing hormones below the normal level. This problem can rapidly increase the rate of hair loss and cause the hair to become dry and brittle without itching.

Your vet may be able to prescribe a hormone replacement or thyroid medication to treat this issue in your Frenchie.

10. Mange 

Your dog’s hair loss may be due to mange, which is caused by mites. Mites are often buried in the hair follicles of your French Bulldog. 

There are 2 different species of mites which can lead to mange for your Frenchie; 

  • Demodex species, which causes Demodectic mange
  • Sarcoptes species, which causes Sarcoptic mange

Demodectic mange is localized on one spot of an infected Frenchie, while the Sarcoptic mange is more general on the body of the infected dog.

Your vet will conduct a thorough physical inspection of your Frenchie to identify the mite that may have embedded into his skin.

Treatment of mange varies depending upon whether it is localized or generalized. The vet will prescribe the medication accordingly.

11. Pressure Sores 

French Bulldogs that are old or heavy are prone to pressure sores where their elbows or other bony parts of the body come in regular contact with hard surfaces. 

As your dog ages their skin on the bony parts of their body will become thickened, calluses form, and hair shedding will occur in those areas. 

Your Frenchie will need treatment if calluses crack, bleed, or get infected. This problem can be prevented by providing your Frenchie with cushioned bedding and ensuring you are regularly checking their bonier joints for any new calluses.

12. Poor Nutrition

Nutritional deficiencies can also result in hair loss for a French Bulldog. 

Keratin and Biotin are key components of hair, as well as skin. They are needed for specific proteins to be synthesized properly. Without these, your Frenchies might have slow hair growth. Also, their hair may feel brittle, and eventually, hair loss may occur.

Your Frenchie’s food should be balanced to prevent nutritional deficiencies. If you are unsure of what type of food you should be feeding your fur baby, check out our article on the best types of foods for French Bulldogs or speak to your vet for recommendations. 

13. Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia

You might notice your Frenchie showing balding in the black areas of their hair. “Black hair Follicular Dysplasia” is a rare disorder that is passed down genetically. French Bulldogs are at increased risk for this disorder. 

As the name suggests, when this disorder is the culprit for hair loss only black hairs fall off a Frenchie’s body; the rest stay on. The drastic changes you see on your Frenchies coat are, however, permanent. Fortunately, this is not a life-threatening condition.

French Bulldogs with black hair follicular dysplasia are treated with supplements rich in fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin E. plus regularly cleaning of their affected areas. 

French Bulldog Hair Loss Due To Allergies

French bulldogs can develop allergies, just like humans, and some common signs are itchy skin and hair loss. Allergies are one of the most common causes for Frenchies to lose hair.

Many allergies are genetic and passed down through their parents. So, it is a good idea to review the parental pedigrees when purchasing your French Bulldog.

Regardless of pedigree, your Frenchie can still have allergies if even their parents were allergy-free. If you notice that your Frenchie seems to be suffering from allergies and losing hair as a result, you should visit your vet to discuss possible treatment options.

Some common signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction in your Frenchie are:

  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss or bald patches
  • Swelling on body
  • Red eyes or skin
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Diarrhea or vomit

Common Allergies That Your French Bulldog Might Be Suffering From:

  • Environmental allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Flea allergies

Conclusion

As pet owners, we know how stressful it is when your pet suddenly has a major change in their health and you don’t know what is behind the issue. We hope that this list of the 13 most common reasons why your French Bulldog is losing its hair has been helpful for you.

If you are unsure which of these issues is at play, it is always good to get a second opinion from your trusty friend, the vet.

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Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.
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