Can French Bulldogs Swim?

A hot day always feels better when you take a dip in your pool or go to the beach on a sunny day. Just like you, your cute canine loves to cool off on a hot summer day as well! But is it safe for French bulldogs to go near large bodies of water, and can French Bulldogs swim? That is what we’ll talk about in this article.

Like most dogs, Frenchies love taking a splash in the pool, but owners need to be careful not to let their pup go unsupervised. This is because French bulldogs have a body type that isn’t ideal for swimming.

Why Can’t French Bulldogs Swim?




Different types of dogs fall under the brachycephalic category. These dogs generally have shortened snouts. Other brachycephalic dog types are English bulldogs, Boxers, pugs, and Pekingese, among others.

These dogs have to lift their heads up in order to breathe more easily in water. This creates difficulty in floating, and French bulldogs have short legs and bulkier torsos, which makes it very hard for them to stay afloat.

You may have also noticed that when dogs dip in the water, they automatically turn their noses upwards to breathe more easily. For smaller dogs, like Frenchies, this shifts their weight to the lower part of their body, making it harder for them to stay above water.

Does this mean I should keep my Frenchie away from water?

Absolutely not! Just because your doggie cannot swim doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy a little dip in the water. Just not in the pool. Here’s a huge list of different things you can do if you want to make sure that your Frenchie can swim!

Get a shallow pool for your doggie

Getting a small pool is great since you don’t have to bring your dog into the pool with you. Smaller pools are made for animals, and if you can’t find one for animals, even a plastic pool made for kids can do that!

Make sure that the water level in the pool is around 4-5 inches deep. This is because you want to make sure that your Frenchie has a great time relaxing in the water, and you don’t have to worry about it having to struggle to stay afloat.

LIFEFAIR Foldable dog pool





LIFEFAIR has a great foldable pool which might be just the thing for your French bulldog! This way, you won’t have to be worried that French bulldogs can’t swim, and let them have some fun in this small pool.

The great thing about this pool is that it’s sturdy, leakproof, and takes only a minute to fill up if you have a high-pressure water hose. The pool comes with a bath brush, a hose connector, as well as a carry bag.

The pool is also very easy to drain. An inbuilt drainage cap helps drain the pool in a matter of seconds, and you can also directionally drain the pool by using a hose connecter, which conveniently comes with the pool.

PetiFine Foldable Dog pool





This dog pool is great for smaller pets, meaning it’s perfect for your French bulldog! The pool has anti-slip material on the base and is built sturdy, so there is no worrying about having it break easily. PetiFine is also easily drainable, meaning no hassle after you’re done bathing your doggie!

Getting a doggie pool float

If you’re still trying to get a yes to your question, ”can Frenchies swim?” we’ll reply, “on one condition.” What is that condition? Get a French bulldog pool float!

Swimways Spring Float Paddle Paws Dog Pool Float




One great pool float is available for around $45 and perfectly completes the job! Swimways Dog Pool Float is available on Amazon.

The great thing about this pool float is that it’s made for smaller dogs, meaning you can easily place your Frenchie on this pool float, and they can float in the pool all day! The pool float has a holding capacity of about 65 pounds, which can hold a French bulldog of any size.

Swimways has larger sizes as well if you are looking for a pool float that accommodates larger dogs.

The pool float has a pretty paw print pattern, which would look great in your pool or on the beach. The pool float measures around 52” x 31” x 9” (LxWxH).

Small slits on the side of the pool let some water into the pool float, so your pup can cool off as well without getting into the water!

Milliard Dog Float





Another great doggie float is one from Milliard. At around $27 (although at the time of writing, this item was on sale for around $23), the pool float is available on Amazon. 

This pool float has no slits in the base, meaning your doggie won’t get wet at all and can enjoy being in the pool without getting its fur wet.

This is made for larger dogs, so you can easily have 2-3 smaller doggies on it if you want. This is great if you have a pair of French bulldogs.

The great thing about this pool float is that it also has 4 built-in cup holders, meaning you can take a dip in the pool and have a drink while your pup rests on the float! This is great for when you have a pool party or just have some friends over for a little dip!

Getting your doggie a swimming jacket

Another great idea is to get a swimming jacket for your doggie! This will help your furry pal swim alongside you, and both you and your Frenchie can have hours of fun!

Make sure that your doggie’s swimming jacket can be tightened easily since you don’t want the jacket to slip off while your pup is in the pool. Here are some great swimming jackets that you can get for your French bulldog!

Petglad French Bulldog Life Jacket


Petglad French Bulldog Life Jacket



This life jacket is made especially for French Bulldogs and is designed for an adult French bulldog. It measures around 17”-30” for the dog’s chest girth and has a weight limit of 17-28 pounds.

The jacket also comes with a convenient neck support float, which helps keep the Frenchie’s neck above water. This is especially important as French bulldogs fall under the brachycephalic category, meaning they have shorter snouts which they try to keep up in order to breathe more easily.

The vest is made of buoyant material. The material is EPE pearl cotton and ripstop 600D oxford cloth. This makes it easier for your doggie to swim without getting tired easily.

The vest also has reflective stripes on it, making it easier for you to spot your pup. The swimming jacket also has a convenient handle on top, which you can use to either attach a leash to or you can easily pick up your doggie without putting any strain on its joints.

Getting your French bulldog to swim




Can French Bulldogs swim? With a bit of help, they sure can! After you’ve got a life jacket for your pup, try to get them to feel relaxed and comfortable in the water.

Make sure that there is no disturbance in the surrounding since that would only make your doggie anxious and keep its mind off of trying to swim. Try to keep in mind that since this is probably a new experience for your Frenchie, it is never a good idea just to leave them to their own devices.

Begin with taking your doggie to more shallow waters with their life jacket and leash secure and intact. Once your Frenchie is comfortable, try bringing it closer to deeper water, all the while supporting it with your hands.

Once they try paddling, it’s best to support them with one hand on their stomach so they stay afloat. If at any time they start panicking, it’s best to bring them back to shallow water or take them out until they’ve calmed down again.

Try using dog treats whenever they have a successful swim, which will help them look forward to dips in the water. This is a great way of positive reinforcement and will help you bond with your pup as well.

Can French Bulldogs Swim Final thoughts

This is just a general guideline for trying to get your French bulldog to enjoy a day at the pool. In summary, either avoid the pool and get a kiddie/animal pool for your pup. Or, you can get a swimming jacket (with chin support) and get your dog to swim. Be patient; pretty soon, you and your dog will have a great time together!

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