French Bulldogs on the Trail: The Ultimate Hiking Companion?

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Are French Bulldogs good for Hiking?

If you love hiking and you also adore french bulldogs

I’m sure you are probably wondering if your Frenchie is suitable for hiking?

Well, you are not alone.

As a hiker, it can sometimes get lonely.

We all need companionship, and the first person who comes to mind is your furry best friend. So, it’s perfectly normal to wonder if your French Bulldog can go hiking with you.

Although, French bulldogs are often thought to be lazy creatures.

Running, jumping, walking, hiking is not their cup of tea.

Many people ask this question, thinking they’re doing something wrong to trigger their Frenchies into avoiding the hike, but the fact is, it all depends on the way you raise your pet.

They’re not necessarily the top preference of breed for hiking.

We know, a French bulldog will charm their way into your life, but if you’re a super active and athletic person, then you might want to reconsider your choice.

The issue with hiking is that they suffer from breathing problems. Their nose allows minimal airflow into their respiratory system, which gives them breathing problems.

This makes them more vulnerable to stress out and get tired quicker than usual.

Hiking or walking on a hot sunny day will wear them out quite fast, and they might struggle a lot trying to adjust.

Still, the fact remains that they are biologically incapable of participating in prolonged activities such as running, swimming, and walking. Since their hiking ability also depends on the way you raised them.

If your dog isn’t necessarily stepping out of the house and lazing around the house with no activity at all, you cannot expect it to be ready for a long hike suddenly. They won’t be able to cope up with the activity.

They’d have to put in extra effort, energy and time into getting used to it.

In this case, it’s recommended to keep the hike short and have plenty of water with you for you and your French pet

Can French Bulldogs Go on long walks?

Are French bulldogs good for hiking

Yes, you can definitely take your French bulldog on a long walk, considering some strict guidelines before you do.

There are many health factors involved when deciding to take your pet for a walk. It’s important to address these factors beforehand.

  • Breathing issues

Because of their restricted airflow in the system, and this causes breathing problems. Incase your pet has any breathing-related problems, taking them on a long walk can produce other problems in the long run.

  • Heat

Animals are super sensitive to hot weather. The heat causes them to breathe faster and longer, and this can cause more breathing problems.

It can also cause heat strokes if the temperate exceed 39 degrees. The sugar level drops, and this leads to several health problems.

We also talk about how to prevent heat stroke in French bulldog , check out this article.

If you’re planning to go on a long walk with your pet, then make sure to follow these tips

  1. Take a walk in the forest since there’s plenty of shade, and it’s much cooler in temperature.

2. If possible, take a walk by a river, pond, or lake since the temperatures a lot cooler and your pet can cool down quicker.

3. Make sure your French bulldog is prepared to take a walk in its gear.
Proper boots, dog coat, food, drinking bowl, and a collar are some essentials to keep with you.

How Far can French Bulldogs hike?

I’m sure if you own a Frenchie, you will be a bit hesitant to hike with your fur bestie. That’s because we all know that bulldogs have a breathing problem, which is due to their body temperature.

What’s more, Frenchies are prone to suffering from heat strokes compared to other breed types. Luckily, they can still hike but not as far as you’d like them to.

Typically, your French Bulldog can walk for up to three miles. But the distance will vary depending on the type of exercise you expose your furry friend to daily.

More importantly, the weather will also affect the distance that your dog will walk. If it’s too hot, then don’t expect your pooch to walk that far. At the very least, on a regular day, your Frenchie will comfortably walk up to three miles.

How to Prepare your Frenchie for trail hiking?

For your pup to endure the trail hiking, you will have to prepare her physically. Yes, you heard that right!

If you’ve never taken your dog for walks, then now is the right time to start. Start by slowly adding minutes of a daily walk routine for the next several weeks.

For instance, you can start by adding three minutes of daily walk a day, translating to twenty-one minutes every week.

By the third week, your pup should be able to walk for an hour without any strain. But if you do take these walks with your pooch, then you don’t have anything to worry about.

The next week, you can pick up and start walking at least one hour daily. You can continue with this type of training for a few days until you are comfortable that your pup can handle short trails.

On top of that, remember to add food and water into the mix since your dog will have an increase in daily water intake to remain active.

You should also ensure your dog is well-behaved and socialized for the hiking experience. That includes knowing the necessary obedience skills such as ‘sit,’ ‘stay’ and ‘come.’

And walking on a leash is a crucial behavior during the hike.

Your dog doesn’t necessarily have to heel, but the essence of the whole hiking experience is not to drag your dog along the woods.

Try to manage any excessive barking since it will help keep your senses to the surrounding.

How to know your Frenchie hiking limit?

As long as you keep going, your Frenchie will go the extra mile for you, especially when both of you are hiking. But at some point, your dog will likely give up not because of lack of will but because her frail body can’t take it anymore.

And in some cases, your dog will probably have a severe condition. So, before it gets to that point, let’s take a look at some of the signs you should look out for to tell when your dog has reached her hiking limit:

  • Excessive Panting; in most cases, when your dog is tired, she will start to breathe heavily. That means that your fur best friend has had enough. And if there’s no drooling presented, then there’s a high chance that your pup is dehydrated.
  • Ears are moving back; that’s a clear sign that your pup is burning her last fuel.
  • Change in walking style; when your pup starts to walk sluggishly, limp, or get a wobbly walking style, then it’s time to call it quits. Any signs of lameness might be a clear indication that the little champ is worn out.
  • Foaming; another significant sign that you should look out for is when your dog starts to foam in the mouth. That’s a sign of heatstroke.

    Therefore, you will have to find shade and give your dog some cold water immediately. You can also squeeze a lemon in the windpipe in case the saliva is frozen mousse. That will help avoid suffocation due to the lathery saliva.

Top 7 Tips for Hiking with your Frenchie

Now that you are well acquainted with some of the procedures you should follow when hiking with your Frenchie, I can share with you some of my hacks. To be honest, if this is going to be your first-time hiking with your fur bestie, then trust me, it’s going to be challenging.

Dogs, including your Frenchie, will always require your full attention. So, if you are hiking just to clear your mind and avoid some of the stresses at home, then it’s probably a good idea to let your pooch stay at home.

However, in case you are going hiking just to change your scenery, then you should take your pooch for the companionship.

With that in mind, pay close attention to the tips below. If anything, they will help smoothen your first or future experiences with your pup when hiking.

1.     Carry cooling snacks for your fur bestie

It’s probably going to be hot outside. That said, carry a few snacks in a cooler that will help hydrate both you and your pup.

I recommend that you carry ice cubes in a cooler. But that’s not all! Keep frozen snacks in there. These snacks will act as a great addition to your water, or you can even chew on them. But remember, meals are not substituting water.

One snack that you could necessarily bring in your hiking is a banana. Make sure to cut them into small pieces that will smoothly go down the throat of your furry hiking buddy. Honesty, frozen fruits are paw-fest quick snacks for your Frenchie.

2.     Use a harness instead of a collar

Most hikers, including me, will recommend you hike your Frenchie on a harness rather than a collar. It’s meant to be better for their airway when compared to collars. More importantly, you can easily avoid breathing problems in your fur bestie later in life when you use a harness. Take your time to find the best harness perfect for your muscular Frenchie.

3.     Stick to early morning and evenings

As you’ve already figured out by now, Frenchies are prone to breathing difficulties. Therefore, it’s vital to avoid the heat. Every dog has an issue breathing when it’s too hot outside.

So, you will need to make a plan for those hot days. Don’t take your French Bulldog outside midday. Enjoy early morning hikes instead. That will help you protect the health of your puppy.

4.     Take breaks in your walk

Hiking for hours and hours without any breaks will wear both of you out. What’s more, it will also affect the endurance of your pup. So, adding breaks into your hike will help create a smooth experience.

5. Be aware of exhaustion

Even French bulldogs are sort of lazy dogs, but they can have a lot of energy sometimes. They might not realize they’re exhausting themselves.

As they have short legs, they have to double the effort when keeping up with speed.

It’s our responsibility to stop them from wearing out. For them, building stamina is a huge deal. So, if you notice they’re tired, cut the hike short and continue some other day.

6. Pick a smoother trail

Choose a path that’s easy to cross. These French dogs are physically restricted in some ways.

Their body isn’t able to leap off of high points or get through challenging obstacles.

Try choosing a path that doesn’t have any high points or any huge water bodies such as rivers and creeks as they can’t swim that well.

7. Create activities

Build their stamina by training them to be more physically active. Involve them in training games and activities that build certain skills required while hiking.

They need to navigate well, move around hurdles, and take on difficult paths. Plan an activity every day and stick to it.

What is the ideal hiking place for Frenchie?

The best place to hike with your Frenchie is a place with lots of shade, trees, and also water streams. Always try your best to avoid desert environments, especially places without any sort of shade.

What to bring when hiking with your French Bulldog?

Well, apart from the frozen snacks and harness, there are a few extra things you could bring when hiking with your fur best friend:

  • Water
  • First aid kit for your pup
  • Poop bags: Yes, that’s right! You know she’ll need those bathroom breaks along the way.
  • Dog Tag just in case she gets lost. Crossing fingers that doesn’t happen anyway!
  • A portable fan

Wrap up

Now, you are ready to take an adventurous hike with your best bud. I guarantee you; your dog will be happy to go with you on this walk.

To make the experience more entertaining and enjoyable for both of you, use the above tips. And with time, your pup will be your go-to partner when you need to take a hike.

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