French bulldogs are a breed of dogs that have gained popularity over the past few decades.
They are cuddly, docile and playful but it is important to know what you’re getting into before buying or adopting one.
Most importantly, French bulldogs, like all brachycephalic breeds, suffer from many health issues due to their physical characteristics.
The lifespan for a French bulldog can be a short as 7-10 years since they often die prematurely due to breathing difficulties such as collapsed lungs which can be caused by their flat faces.
A well-bred French Bulldog can live the full 12-14 years (assuming they do not have the brachycephalic dog syndrome or other diseases causing a premature death).
It’s also crucial for owners to recognize that partly due to their natural features like short noses and squished faces, Frenchies need plenty of socialization with people and other animals.
While the grunting noises may sound silly, they really can be interpreted wrongly by other dogs. That being said, it should be clear that all dogs need socialization.
A good breeder will have taken measures to ensure that the puppies do not have any problems, which includes a good breeding program and health testing.
What Do French Bulldogs Usually Die From?
French bulldogs, like all breeds of dogs, are subject to a wide variety of health problems.
Some common causes of death for Frenchies include cancer, bloat (gastric torsion), hip dysplasia issues, IVDD, heart failure related to breathing issues, hemangiosarcoma, hypoglycemia, and Addison’s disease.
There is no one cause of death for the majority of French bulldogs. They just seem to be more prone to certain types of diseases or conditions which can lead to their early death.
Do French Bulldogs Have Health Problems?
Frenchies are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They’re small, adorable and have a whole lot of personality.
But you may not know that there’s more to this breed than meets the eye.
And that includes undesirable health issues.
Poor breeding, genetic predispositions, as well as external factors can all potentially shorten your French Bulldog’s lifespan.
Below I’ve covered the most common issues in French Bulldogs and what you can do.
Frenchies are definitely not free from health issues, but they still might be a great fit for you if you know what you’re dealing with and how to handle or avoid certain issues.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common orthopedic diseases in dogs, French Bulldogs are no exception.
It occurs when the ball and socket joint don’t fit together correctly, which can lead to pain and lameness.
There are a few things you should know about this condition before getting your rescue checked out by a vet.
Symptoms include difficulty standing up from a sitting position, difficulty walking or running, inability to climb stairs without assistance, an arched back posture (indicating that weight is being shifted onto the front legs), and reluctance or refusal to go on walks or play fetch.
If you bought a pup from a breeder, it can be helpful to perform hip/elbow x-rays, when the bone growth is finished at around 1 1/2 years at the earliest.
French Bulldogs are a breed of dogs that require careful attention to their eyes.
Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, causing discomfort and irritation.
The dog may rub his eye with one or both paws because of the constant irritation. If not treated, this condition can lead to ulceration or corneal abrasion.
The condition can be prevented by gently massaging the dog’s eyelids daily, to keep them from rolling inward.
If you notice your french bulldog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it may be entropion and should be treated as soon as possible by a veterinarian.
A vet can prescribe topical ointment or eye drops that will help ease discomfort.
When it comes to dog health, there are many common conditions that can affect your pup. One of the most serious is IVDD.
This condition often affects dogs who are over 50 lbs and have a long back. Although neither of these describe the Frenchie, it’s still a known medical issue.
What does IVDD stand for? Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is an injury to one or more of the discs that lie between the vertebrae in your pet’s back.
A dog’s spinal cord is made up of many vertebrae that are connected by discs and surrounded by a protective membrane.
The spine can be injured or damaged in many ways, including from cancer, trauma, infections, congenital defects and IVDD.
These discs act as cushions between the bones to absorb shocks during movement.
Rupturing of these discs can cause severe pain.
When these discs break down they may begin to leak fluid which compresses nearby nerves causing pain and loss of control over muscles in the legs with varying degrees of paralysis depending on how badly these structures are damaged.
A major issue for Frenchies are brachycephalic respiratory problems. Do not buy poorly bred puppies with this issue, no matter how cute they may look.
This is a condition that affects dogs with short noses and makes it difficult for them to breathe.
The problem stems from their anatomy, which includes a shortened nasal passage and an elongated soft palate.
These anatomical differences make it difficult for these animals to cool themselves when they pant because the air has trouble passing through the nose, causing them to overheat quickly.
It also causes difficulty in regulating breathing as well as changes in the shape of their faces.
While buyers may find the short, squashed nose “cute”, it can be a life-threatening issue for dogs.
Also, would you like not being able to cool off or not having sufficient airflow?
Dogs regulate a lot through their breathing and one of the symptoms of poorly bred French Bulldogs is the fact that they never close their mouth and lie down to cool down instead of just pant.
Dog owners often face the difficult decision of whether or not to euthanize their pet when they are diagnosed with heart failure, so do your best to not let it get so far.
It can be difficult to know if your dog might be at risk for heart failure, but it’s important to take steps today that will help you and your pet live a long, happy life together.
What are some signs my dog may have heart failure?
-Inability to exercise without becoming short of breath or showing other symptoms like coughing or rapid breathing
-Loss of appetite
-Weight loss (or gain) over a period of time
Heart failure in dogs is a disease that causes an animal’s heart to become enlarged and weakened.
If left untreated, it can lead to congestive heart failure, which will cause them to develop symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and increased thirst.
Often, heart failure can be prevented by managing a dog’s weight and preventing obesity.
Dogs that have been diagnosed with heart failure should not be allowed to exercise strenuously, or at all in some cases.
Some medications may help slow the progression of heart damage from high blood pressure or diabetes as well.
French Bulldog Lifespan – Healthy = Frugal
Yep, you’ve heard that right.
Having a healthy Frenchie can actually save you money. Remember what I told you above about the health conditions?
A major pet health insurance has collected data on what their claims have cost in the past.
|Health condition||Vet cost|
And the Frenchie is rated as a high risk breed for two out of these three conditions.
Hip Dyplasia may not look like a life-threatening condition but especially in the early senior years, many dogs have to be euthanised.
Why? The pain of living with this condition daily can be severe. There are also limitations when walking which may a physical exercise deficit as well as excess weight.
Following the tips below to increase your French Bulldog’s lifespan to somewhere around 10-14 years can actually decrease the cost you have to spend at the vet (and can spend it on an appropriate diet instead).
How Old Was the Oldest French Bulldog?
The oldest French Bulldog ever was 18 years old.
The dog’s name was Popeye and he lived to be 18 years, 3 months, and 8 days old. He died on January 15th of this year from cancer.
How To Increase Your Frenchie’s Lifespan
French Bulldogs are known to be one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.
Most people who own them, however, do not know that they are prone to some health complications as the ones mentioned above.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help your Frenchie live longer and healthier:
- Healthy diet
- Mental stimulation
Healthy diet: Dogs need to have a balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbs.
French Bulldogs are prone to weight gain which puts them at risk for diabetes so be mindful of that while feeding your dog food with high amounts of calories.
Exercise: French Bulldogs require exercise just like any other breed. Be careful to not over-exercise them since they are prone to back problems.
As with any dog, you should take them on walks and be mindful of how many stairs your Frenchie can handle before becoming tired.
Mental Stimulation: Frenchies are intelligent dogs who need mental stimulation just like humans do.
It is important that you find ways to stimulate their minds by playing games or teaching new tricks.
Grooming: When it comes to grooming, French Bulldogs require more work than you might expect with their short coat.
You will need to brush your dog weekly, as well as clean their facial fold regularly using facial wipes to keep them dry.
Preventing trauma: Trauma is the leading cause of death in puppies and smaller breeds are physically very similar to puppies and are prone to fatal injury.
Please always be attentive when playing with your dog and avoid jumping, sharp movements or sudden noises.
Avoid sleeping with your Frenchie in bed at night and never leave them unattended in a room where there is an unsecured window.
For safe transportation in the car, use the GENORTH Dog Car Seat and always keep him buckled up.
When leaving the house, leash your dog and avoid overly crowded places.
Dental care: Having their teeth regularly brushed will also go a long way towards increasing their longevity since this reduces plaque buildup on their teeth – another significant factor when considering how to increase French Bulldog lifespan!
Cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly and sending him to check-ups every year will prevent any serious teeth damage.
Also, the number one thing to improve the lifespan of this specific breed is buying from a responsible breeder to avoid a pup with breathing issues.
If you’re bringing home a rescue, get him checked out by the vet so you know about potential breathing issues, heart/kidney issues, or other diseases beforehand and can take preventative measures right now that might improve your dog’s life quality and longevity.