If you have a Frenchie or you’re considering getting one, you have probably wondered at some point: what is the average French Bulldog lifespan and what factors affect the length of your dog’s life? In this article you’ll find the answers to these questions, and we’ll also share the best advice on how you can ensure a long and happy life for your Frenchie.
How long do French Bulldogs live?
According to the AKC, the average life expectancy of a French Bulldog is 10-12 years. Among all the bulldog breeds Frenchies are considered to live the longest, by comparison English Bulldogs live 8 years on average. These numbers are of course hugely affected by various factors like a Frenchie’s genetics, how they are cared for in their first few weeks and the quality of their adult life.
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The most common Frenchie health issues you should know about
It’s no secret that French Bulldogs are prone to several health issues, which doesn’t mean that they will be developed for certain, but as a responsible parent you should definitely be aware of them. If you choose your Frenchie from a reputable breeder who’ll do anything to breed only healthy puppies, you can hugely reduce the risk of your dog having any of these issues.
French Bulldogs are a sensitive breed when it comes to some allergens in their food and environment. To cut down the chances of developing allergies in our puppies, we give them the best quality food and vitamins, still we live in an increasingly poisonous world where both humans and our furry friends are more likely to get allergic. Fortunately all allergies can be kept under control, read here about the most common ones.
IVDD stands for Intervertebral Disc Disease and is a back issue that may affect French Bulldogs and other dog breeds. Intervertebral discs act as cushions between the bony vertebrae allowing movement in the spine and if one of these is damaged, it may put pressure on the spinal cord resulting in back pain or impairment of movement. A dog may not actually show any physical signs until there’s a trigger like falling or jumping.
Although French Bulldogs are considered to be at risk of this disease, the chances of actually developing it are still quite low. As a Frenchie parent you need to be aware though and take all necessary precautions to lower its possibility, like keeping your dog at a healthy weight and putting ramps up to your furniture. That way you can largely limit jumping and help preserve your baby’s back.
Similarly to other breeds with short snouts, French bulldogs may also be prone to breathing problems and develop brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome or BOAS. There’s some controversy around this topic, so we think it’s important to state right away what is considered normal when it comes to a Frenchie’s breathing and what’s not.
For someone who is not familiar with the breed, their loud breathing and snoring may seem excessive and they might think there’s something wrong with these dogs. The truth is that unless a French Bulldog is not hindered in their daily activities, so they can play and run around with ease they are normal. On the other hand, if they become short of breath, start panting fast and even need to lie down during some sort of physical exercise, a surgery might be suggested to help them.
This is how you can ensure a happy and long life to your Frenchie
1. Choose your puppy from a decent, reputable breeder
Genetics affect a French bulldog’s lifespan to a huge degree, so one of the first things you need to do when looking for a family member for at least a decade is to choose a trusted and reputable breeder. Only they can guarantee that you receive a healthy and strong puppy from a quality bloodline. We at TomKings are extremely selective about the breeding parents, we know the bloodlines for generations and exclude any Frenchie that shows any possibility of carrying a health issue. Avoiding puppy mills is definitely deciding factor when it comes to the length of your French Bulldog’s life. Check out the average French Bulldog Price at a reputable breeder.
2. Focus on the right diet
Keeping your Frenchie on a healthy and balanced diet also has a large impact on their lifespan. You should always aim for a high-quality dog food which has all the necessary nutrients. Choosing a grain-free food is a great option as it has more protein, meat and animal fats with a lower level of carbohydrates. Read our guide on how to choose the perfect dog food for your Frenchie.
A raw meat diet like B.A.R.F. has numerous benefits for Frenchies so it is highly recommended, but you can also decide to give your puppy cooked home-made food as well. Whatever your choice is, as a responsible Frenchie parent you need to educate yourself as much as possible about your fur baby’s nutritional needs and avoid some common mistakes that could even shorten their life.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Frenchies are prone to obesity, which can unfortunately lead to some unwanted health issues like back problems, high blood pressure, problems with insulin and so on. Read our article to learn more about watching dogs’ calories.
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3. Good veterinarian, regular checkup
Finding a really good vet and taking your Frenchie to regular checkups is absolutely necessary to ensure a long and healthy life. They will not only make sure that your puppy stays up to date with the yearly vaccinations, but will also do blood panels to see if there are any abnormalities or maybe some vitamins or supplements are needed.
It’s very important that you consult your vet whenever your Frenchie seems to have any sort of issue with their health in order to establish the right diagnosis and successfully treat the issue. Minor skin problems can be treated at home but for example lethargy and lack of appetite are two common symptoms that mean your puppy requires immediate medical attention. Accidents can always happen so having pet insurance is an absolutely must for Frenchie parents!
4. The importance of training and exercise
Frenchies are companion dogs so they hugely depend on human interaction. That’s why it’s not recommended to leave them on their own for a very long time, otherwise they are likely to develop severe separation anxiety. Similarly to humans, stress has a large impact on health and their lifespan as well. If you still need to leave your puppy alone for an extended period of time (about 3-5 hours) you need to train them first and find someone who would look after your baby while you’re gone.
Owning a Frenchie means that you need to carve out a considerable amount of time of your day to train them and make sure they are getting enough exercise. A short walk in the morning and the afternoon with a couple of training or playing sessions throughout the day are ideal and will tire your Frenchie enough both physically and mentally. If you ask us, playtime is by far the best form of exercise that you can do with your dog whether indoors or outdoors! However, you definitely shouldn’t overdo any sort of exercise with your Frenchie due to their smushed faces and small size, especially in high temperatures.
5. Do not expose your Frenchie to too much heat (watch out for dehydration)
French Bulldogs don’t do well in heat because of their flat faces, so you need to keep a close eye on your puppy during the summer months. Being outside in a park on the sun or walking when it’s still too hot can really affect your poor pup! Always watch out for signs like heavy breathing and panting, foaming at the mouth, hanging or discolored tongue, excessive drooling or lethargy and learn how you can help your Frenchie cool down. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh water as well, as dehydration and heatstroke may also largely affect a French Bulldog’s lifespan.
6. Frenchies do really need your love and care
To end on a happier note, the most you can do to improve the lifespan of your Frenchie is that you love them and do everything you can to make their life happy and rich. Find different ways to bond with your puppy and they’ll give back all that love tenfold! Frenchies are popular for a reason: they have the most amazing personality among all dog breeds and if you give them the life they deserve, they’ll make you happy for many years to come.
The typical lifespan of a French Bulldog is 10-12 years.
You can help your Frenchie live longer by choosing a reputable breeder, focusing on the right diet, finding a good vet, ensuring regular training and exercise, not exposing them to too much heat and most of all loving them!
The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and their customers, and show puppies from their breed. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.