When it comes to dogs, there are very few breeds that can actually be considered to be truly albino since there is a common misconception that any white dog must therefore be classed as such.
This is not true as while there are many breeds of dogs that can sport a white appearance such as huskies or white terriers, there are very few that could actually be classed as an albino, however, the French bulldog is one of them.
While they are largely similar to regular Frenchies, albino French bulldogs are a little different not only in their appearance, but also in how they need to be treated and cared for, especially because of their specific health conditions.
Here is all you need to know about albino French bulldogs including the differences that make them so unique, and why they are so rare.
Why Are Albino Dogs So Rare?
Albinism is caused by a genetic mutation known as tyrosinase which results in a complete lack of pigmentation or production of melanin in the skin, eyes and hair which is what gives albino dogs the clear white appearance that makes them so recognizable.
The reason albinism is so rare in dogs is that for a dog to become affected by it, both of the dogs parents must already be carrying albinism genes, however, because these mutated genes are recessive and result in a much lower life expectancy among dogs who have it, it means that many will not even live long enough to reproduce.
On top of this, there are many other genes dogs can carry that are similar to albinism, but that won’t be as damaging or dangerous to their health.
This includes leucism which is similar to albinism but that still retains some amount of pigmentation, meaning the dog’s offspring will still have a limited amount of color and will not receive all of the health issues that come with albinism.
Because of how precise these requirements have to be, it means finding an authentic albino French bulldog can be incredibly difficult, however, because they are so distinguishable, you will definitely be able to recognize one when you see it.
What Does An Albino French Bulldog Look Like?
It should first be noted that there are already a few types of Frenchies that are primarily white in appearance that can easily be mistaken for albino dogs.
This is especially the case with the solid white French bulldog which is white all around but usually has a black mask which can be a dead giveaway that it’s not albino.
The easiest way to therefore tell if a French bulldog is truly albino is through its eyes and skin. Regular Frenchies usually have brown eyes, however albino French bulldogs are known to instead have very bright eyes which are usually either pink, red or a very light blue.
It should also be noted that the lack of pigmentation will cause a pink hue around both the dog’s eyes and nose, so if you notice this color appearing on their nose but not the eyes, it may not be an albino bulldog since both need to be noticeable.
Another dead giveaway is the color of the dog’s skin. Albino French bulldogs are known to have very light pink skin which can actually burn extremely easily when exposed to the sun, so if you do notice that this pink color is a little more noticeable and lighter than usual, chances are it’s an albino dog.
Health Issues Of Albino French Bulldogs
Unfortunately, because albinism means that there is an absence of natural melanin in the body, this can lead to some health complications and issues that can commonly affect albino French bulldogs.
One of the biggest dangers is that because albino dogs have very sensitive and exposed skin, they are much more sensitive to light and skin cancers if they are out in the sun for too long.
It is therefore always advised to dress a pet albino Frenchie in protective clothing and to use sunscreen that is high in UVA and UVB factors in order to keep them safe.
While getting sunburnt is already fairly common for French bulldogs, albinos are far more sensitive to ultraviolet rays which is why an owner must always take extra care deciding when is the right time to take them outside.
Albino French bulldogs have also been reported to be more susceptible to developing a few different eye conditions including cataracts, cherry eye, dry eye and corneal ulcers.
Additionally, the lack of melanin and genetic mutations in their biological makeup also means that albino bulldogs naturally have a weaker immune system compared to most other dogs which means that their average lifespan is often a lot shorter than other French bulldogs with many of them not even living long enough to breed.
You can help to tackle this and assist the albino dog as much as possible by incorporating food into their diet that will strengthen their immune system.
Carrots are a great example since they are incredibly rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin A along with broccoli which dogs always tend to enjoy crunching on.
Life Expectancy Of Albino French Bulldogs
As mentioned previously, because of their weaker immune system it does mean that albino French bulldogs have a much lower average life expectancy compared to regular French bulldogs who can usually live up to 15 years when healthy and well cared for.
In comparison, albino French bulldogs often don’t live longer than 7 years, and this is only if their owner takes good care of them and ensures they stay protected from any diseases or infections.
Misconceptions About Albino French Bulldogs
While there are undoubtedly a lot of differences between regular French bulldogs and those that are albino, especially when it comes to their health and how much extra care is required by the owner, there are still a few misconceptions concerning these types of dogs which have been proven to be false or unreliable over the years.
Here are a few of the most popular misconceptions.
Albinism Causes Blindness
As mentioned previously, there are a few different eye conditions that can affect an albino French bulldog due to them having an absence of melanin in their systems such as cataracts and cherry eye, however, it is a misconception that albinism naturally leads to blindness in albino French bulldogs.
Instead, albinism can result in a condition called Progressive Retinal Atrophy which does mean the dog has a much higher chance of becoming blind but does not guarantee that this will happen.
They can become blind if their eyes are not properly cared for, however with that being said, just because they’re albino does not mean they are definitely going to become blind.
Albinism Can Cause Deafness
This is another rumor that is spread around relating to albino French bulldogs, however unlike the higher risk of blindness, studies have found that there is absolutely no correlation between albinism and deafness.
In fact, because of the bat-like shape of their ears, every type of French bulldog is at some risk of being affected by hearing problems upon their birth, though albinism has not been found to make this risk any lower or higher.
Albino French Bulldogs Are Less Friendly
They may look different and require a little extra care from their owners, however unlike what many people may claim, albinism has not been seen to cause any major or noticeable changes in the behavior or attitude of French bulldogs.
They will still be as curious, loving and affectionate as any other Frenchie, and while they can often be a little slower to notice and pick up on certain things due to their impaired eyesight, you will still be able to take them for walks without them getting violent or grouchy with their owners or any other dogs they spot on their trip.
Albino French Bulldogs Are Smaller
The genetic mutations and lack of melanin may affect the color of their skin but it will not affect their size or weight, meaning they will still be more or less the same size as most regular French bulldogs who often weigh up to 30lbs and reach a maximum height of 13 inches.
Considerations When Taking Care Of An Albino French Bulldog
Since they will require extra care and assistance to make them feel as comfortable and healthy as possible, there are a few key considerations that every owner should know about so that the Frenchie can be as happy and active as possible despite their condition.
For starters, it is crucially important that when brushing them, you use a gentle brush with rounded or ball tips since they will be far smoother and more comfortable on the sensitive skin of an albino bulldog as opposed to spikier brushes which can end up hurting or even scaring them.
Alongside brushing them with a gentle brush, their sensitive skin means that owners should always be cautious of how hot it is outside and make preparations accordingly.
If the temperatures are unusually high in the spring or summertime, it can be a better idea to take the dog out for a walk later in the evening when it starts to cool down, however if you do decide to take them out when the sun is shining, be sure to cover their entire body in sunscreen rather than just their nose or stomach.
It might go without saying for experienced dog owners, but even if you have some lying around the house, you should never resort to using human sunscreen on a dog since it can be toxic to them.
Instead, pick up a dog sunscreen that can be used on all breeds and that is high in UVA and UVB levels to keep them protected from the sun.
Finally, always pay extra attention to the characteristics of an albino French bulldog to notice if they are ever struggling to hear out of an ear or if their vision seems to be getting worse, or if you notice any gunk near their eye. If you do, it is always worth taking them straight to the veterinarian to make sure they are not in any pain.
Vests To Use On Albino French Bulldogs
The most crucial thing to always keep in mind when caring for an albino dog of any breed but especially the French bulldog is to make sure they are never too exposed to sunlight since this is what can cause the most damage to their skin and end up resulting in nasty health complications.
The easiest, and most stylish way to remedy this is to buy a light vest or coat to wear in the summer, however, because the temperatures will be a little warmer, it’s important to try fitting them with a smaller coat such as a light vest waistcoat since you don’t want them to become overheated or uncomfortable while outside.
An even better choice is cooling harness vests which allow the Frenchie to remain nimble and active while still having the majority of their body protected from ultraviolet sun rays.
You essentially want to avoid any coats or vests that are made of thicker materials such as wool since these can do more damage to the albino bulldog rather than keeping them protected.
If you slip your albino Frenchie into one of these light vests and cover the remainder of their body in sunscreen, they will be fully protected from the sun when going for a walk.
Albino French bulldogs are very much the same as other Frenchies when it comes to their characteristics and behavioral patterns, however because of their biological makeup, they are unfortunately far more prone to developing health problems which is why it is always crucial for any owner to know the necessary precautions so that they can keep their dog safe and happy at all times, especially when the temperatures start to rise in the summertime.