French Bulldog Lifespan – How Long Do Frenchies Live?
The average lifespan of a French bulldog is 10 years. Some have lived longer than 20 years! However, some are still living into their 30’s or even 40’s. A few have been known to live well beyond 60 years old! But it seems like they don’t age at all…well maybe not for them anyway. They’re just too darn cute to die young.
A French bulldog is a large breed of dog with a very muscular body. They are quite short, but they make up for it in other ways.
Their size makes them great guard dogs and they love to hunt. They are also excellent jumpers and climbers. If you’ve ever seen one chasing rabbits around, then you know what I mean! You’d think that these traits would make them good companions, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.
They tend to be stubborn and over protective of those close to them. This often leads to fights between owners and their beloved pets.
These fights are usually fatal if not handled properly. There have been cases where owners have killed their own children because they were jealous of the attention that their pet was getting from the owner! Thankfully there haven’t been many such incidents involving adult bulldogs though. It is best to raise them when they are puppies though. It is much easier to train and mold them into well behaved adults.
They love the attention that children give them and sometimes even prefer it! However, adult dogs aren’t so fond of the little rugrats.
They will often chase them if they get too close, which can obviously be harmful to both parties. It is for this reason that many breeders do not allow children under the age of 10 to interact with the pets without supervision.
It’s a shame too because these dogs are very playful and great with kids. That’s probably why they are so protective of them!
If you are a parent and thinking about getting one of these dogs, just be sure that your child knows how to behave around them. Teach them what is and what isn’t acceptable. Also make sure to supervise at all times. Other than that, they’ll be the best of friends!
How Long Do French Bulldog Live
The average lifespan of a purebred French bulldog is 10 to 20 years. Most live about 12 years; some live longer.
The oldest on record was 28.
As with other breeds, the largest factor in how long your Frenchie lives is genetics. Some breeds have various health issues that can shorten their lives; the French bulldog generally does not, but precisely because it doesn’t health issues (or at least very few) it can suffer from injury or disease just like any other breed.
How to Tell if Your Frenchie is Sick
The most common issue for French bulldogs, as with many small breeds, are breathing problems — they tend to have smal nostrils and short snouts.
If you notice your dog is breathing through its mouth more than normal, it could be a sign of illness. Of course, dogs breathe through their mouths when it’s hot outside, so don’t necessarily right away blame a mouth-breather on illness.
If your dog’s mouth-breathing is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a runny nose or exhaustion, then it could be a sign of illness.
French bulldogs are also susceptible to skin conditions, so if you notice your dog has a rash or excessive dry skin, take him to the vet.
Grooming Your Frenchie
All dogs need regular grooming and the French bulldog is no exception. The problem is that the Frenchie hates water and getting your dog wet is kind of essential when it comes to getting him clean.
If you’re willing to put in the effort to hand-groom him, then you’re off to a good start, though he’s not going to like it at first. Praise him a lot during and afterwards and always give him a treat when you’re done to reinforce good behavior.
Brush him regularly.
Trim his nails when they get too long.
Give him a bath every so often. Use a dog shampoo and dry him completely afterward (don’t worry if he isn’t fond of the bath at first, he’ll get used to it).
Keep his ears clean. Wet your thumb and forefinger, then insert them into his ear canal and remove all the dirt you can find.
Clip his facial hair. The hair around his eyes and muzzle often grows long and sometimes hangs in his eyes.
Use grooming shears to trim it back.
Food & Diet
Most dogs will eat anything, French bulldogs included, but that doesn’t mean you should just give him whatever you have lying around. His diet needs to be as healthy as possible so he can lead a healthier life and avoid illness.
Feed your Frenchie a quality dog food. Not only do most offer healthy ingredients, they also include the necessary nutrients your dog needs, which is important since Frenchies have a tendency to put on weight if you let them (which can lead to all kinds of other health issues down the road).
Talk to your veterinarian about which food would be best for your dog; he or she can suggest one that fits your budget and is filled with the necessary nutrients.
If you want to give your Frenchie a treat now and then, and he doesn’t have any health issues that would prevent him from having them, there are some healthy options. Small bits of fruits and vegetables (like carrots, green beans, apples, or pepper strips) are good treats for French bulldogs, as are dog biscuits (break them into small pieces, though).
Never give him people food, as it can make him sick and some of it can be dangerous for his health.
Like other dogs that have short muzzles, French bulldogs have difficulty breathing, so he shouldn’t engage in any activity that involves him swimming.
If your Frenchie is overweight, make sure you’re exercising him every day. A healthy weight is very important for Frenchies.
Even if your Frenchie isn’t overweight, make sure you’re giving him daily exercise; 30 minutes to an hour a day is enough. Take him on walks, play catch with a ball with him in the yard (Frenchie owners love this one), or let him run around inside the house (provided he doesn’t make a mess, of course). Jog with him if you’re both in shape and your veterinarian says it’s okay, but only do so slowly since running can be hard for dogs with short muzzles.
As for what you should do if your Frenchie is overweight, that’s simple: get him to a healthy weight and then maintain it. One thing you should never do is starve your dog or diet him too severely.
Your Frenchie needs his nutrition, and if you make him lose weight too quickly, he’ll be prone to health problems. Talk to your veterinarian about a diet for your dog and follow it consistently.
Common Health Problems
As with any dog breed, French bulldogs can suffer from a variety of health problems. To keep your Frenchie as healthy as possible, take him to the veterinarian for checkups and make sure he gets the necessary vaccines.
Brachycephalic syndrome is a condition common to many French bulldogs. It can affect their breathing, and it can also cause eye problems, ear problems, skin problems, urinary problems, and intestinal problems.
Ask your veterinarian about getting your Frenchie DNA tested to see if he has this syndrome. Certain types of dog foods can help alleviate the symptoms.
Cherry eye is another common condition in Frenchies. The gland of the third eyelid grows into the corner of the dog’s eye, and if it’s not fixed, it can cause the dog to go blind in that eye.
Ask your veterinarian about having it repaired if this condition occurs in your Frenchie.
Braces are also a common problem for French bulldogs. Many of them need to wear braces to fix crooked teeth or to hold their mouths in the right positions so they can chew food properly.
Talk to your veterinarian about your Frenchie’s mouth and whether or not he needs corrective surgery.
Incontinence is also a problem in French bulldogs, especially as they grow older. Take your Frenchie to the veterinarian if you notice him peeing on the carpet or floor or if you notice him pacing a lot near his food bowl or water bowl.
French bulldogs are very intelligent and typically very easy to train. These dogs are known to be very obedient, especially if their owners show strong leadership skills.
Be firm, be consistent, and be patient when training your Frenchie and he should learn all of his basic commands. If you’re not experienced in training dogs, you may want to enroll in a basic dog-training course so you can learn how to get your dog to listen.
One of the best ways to train your Frenchie is with positive reinforcement. Treated your dog well when he gets things right and he’ll be much more likely to listen to you.
French bulldogs don’t respond well to harsh training methods, so if you’re screaming at him or hitting him when he does something wrong, you can expect behaviors like aggression and disobedience.
French bulldogs are small dogs with big personalities. They’re lively, energetic, and if you don’t give them the proper amount of exercise, they’ll find their own ways of amusing themselves, usually by getting into trouble.
Make sure you take your Frenchie on walks daily, and if you don’t have the time or the energy to take him out, make sure you have a fenced-in backyard for him to play in.
These dogs are great for people living in apartments because they don’t need space to run around, although a couple walks daily will do them good. If you jog or bike, your Frenchie would love to come with you on these activities.
These dogs are very affectionate and love to be around their owners, so if you like to stay active, your Frenchie will like to come along for the ride.
Height: Up to 11 inches
Weight: 14-17 pounds
Life Span: 10-12 years
Even though the French bulldog is a small breed, he still has special needs. These dogs are very prone to respiratory problems, so make sure your Frenchie is always kept at a reasonable temperature and isn’t exposed to any harsh pollen, chemicals, or other irritants.
These dogs also have very delicate bones that can easily be broken, so be extra careful if you take your Frenchie with you when you go hiking or participate in any other activities that could pose a risk of your dog falling or being hurt.
The Frenchie’s skin is also very sensitive and can easily be burned, so always be sure to give him a lot of shade whenever you take him out during the summer. If he does get overheated or sunburned, make sure to immediately lower his temperature by placing cool cloths on his body and always contact your veterinarian if his condition does not improve.
This breed should also never be bathed in hot water, as their skin cannot tolerate temperatures that most dogs can. Overall, this breed is very friendly and easy to care for, as long as their owners take the time to meet their special needs.
Respiratory Distress: French bulldogs are prone to respiratory issues such as snoring, nosebleeds, labored breathing, and coughing. These issues are often tied to their narrow heads and accelerated heart rate due to their excitement.
If your Frenchie begins showing any of these signs, have him checked out by his veterinarian as soon as possible.
Skin Conditions: Frenchies have very sensitive skin and are prone to a wide variety of skin conditions including hotspots, eczema, and allergic reactions to fleas or food. These conditions are often itchy which can result in excessive scratching that causes their skin to bleed.
If you notice any excessive scratching, redness, or hair loss on your Frenchie, have him checked by his veterinarian immediately.
Skin Infections: Another common problem among French bulldogs is skin infections. Like skin conditions, these infections are often itchy and can cause your dog to rub his face on anything he can find.
If you notice that your Frenchie begins rubbing his face a lot or you see any redness or bleeding, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
Dental Problems: Frenchies often suffer from dental issues that cause extreme pain. The most common issue is tooth decay, which can be caused by a number of factors including food and breathing.
If your Frenchie’s teeth are in bad condition, it can lead to infection in the gums or even the roots of the teeth. Take your Frenchie to the veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms: bad breath, swollen gums, abnormal tooth coloration, or increased tooth sensitivity.
Hip Dysplasia: French bulldogs are prone to hip dysplasia, which is a condition that can lead to severe arthritis in their hip joints as early as 1-2 years old. Symptoms include a noticeable limp, difficulty getting up when lying down, or reluctance to climb stairs.
Have your veterinarian examine your Frenchie if you notice any of these symptoms in your dog.
Cancer: French bulldogs are prone to various types of cancer, most commonly bone cancer which causes debilitating pain in the afflicted limb. Ask your veterinarian to perform screenings for bone cancer if you ever notice any of the following symptoms: any limp that doesn’t go away, a toe or foot that turns black or blue, or any swelling or redness in the foot or leg.
Allergies: The most common allergy in Frenchies is an allergy to fleas. If you live in an area infested with fleas, you should regularly treat your Frenchie to prevent his allergic reactions to the flea bites.
Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best treatment for your dog depending on your living situation and your dog’s age and health.
If you are looking for a dog that has relatively few health problems and a long lifespan, we recommend that you look at our list of healthiest dog breeds.
Sources & references used in this article:
Demography and disorders of the French bulldog population under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2013 by DG O’Neill, L Baral, DB Church, DC Brodbelt… – Canine Genetics and …, 2018 – Springer
Come for the looks, stay for the personality? A mixed methods investigation of reacquisition and owner recommendation of Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and … by RMA Packer, DG O’Neill, F Fletcher, MJ Farnworth – Plos one, 2020 – journals.plos.org
Assessment of welfare and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome signs in young, breeding age French Bulldogs and Pugs, using owner questionnaire, physical … by M Aromaa, L Lilja-Maula, MM Rajamäki – Animal Welfare, 2019 – helda.helsinki.fi
French Bulldog: The Frenchie by J Markovics – 2010 – books.google.com
How does severe brachycephaly affect dog’s lives? Results of a structured preoperative owner questionnaire by FS Roedler, S Pohl, GU Oechtering – The Veterinary Journal, 2013 – Elsevier