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Common Health Issues That Can Impact French Bulldog Life Span

French bulldog sitting on the ground

Written by The Halo Team

August 8, 2023

The French bulldog is a playful, smart and adaptable dog breed that’s small in stature with a notable pushed-in or flat face. These small dogs come in many color variations and have large bat-like ears. Many people and families love the French bulldog because of the breed’s even temper and affectionate personality.

In 2022, French bulldogs took the number one spot in the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) most popular dog breed of the year contest. For the first time, it beat out the long-reigning champ, the Labrador retriever, after years of sitting in the top 10. Just looking at these adorable pups, it’s obvious why they’re so popular.

Unfortunately, the French bulldog’s lifespan is relatively low compared to other breeds. This is largely due to the many health problems Frenchies are prone to. Dog owners with French bulldogs need to understand these health issues so they can catch and manage them early if they want their dog to live a long, healthy life.

How Long Do French Bulldogs Live on Average?

The average life expectancy of a French bulldog is around 10 years. The French bulldog’s life span can be shortened if it doesn’t receive regular exercise, veterinary care and high-quality dog food. Many Frenchie life spans are also affected by genetic conditions, which can show themselves in a French bulldog puppy as early as a few weeks old.

As French bulldog owners, the good news is that your pup’s life expectancy can be considerably extended by providing appropriate care. What’s most important in extending the French bulldog life span? Frequent vet visits to screen for common health concerns are discussed in more detail below.

Common Health Issues in French Bulldogs

French bulldogs are more likely to get 20 common health conditions compared to other dogs. Among these health concerns, four problems are the most common in Frenchies: BOAS, hip dysplasia, IVDD and allergies.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

Brachycephalic dogs are those with flat faces. Flat-faced breeds were intentionally designed through breeding programs. Unfortunately, programs for breeding French bulldogs and other dogs with flat faces accidentally bred in some health problems — specifically, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.

BOAS is a condition that can cause trouble breathing due to the narrow nostrils and small windpipe you’ll find in a French bulldog. Breathing problems can significantly lessen a French bulldog’s life span, especially when paired with allergies. Signs your French bulldog may suffer from BOAS or other breathing conditions include snoring, snorting, excessive panting and fatigue.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition that results in a loose hip joint, leading to problems such as degenerative joint disease or arthritis. A French bulldog puppy will commonly inherit this condition from one or both parents, which leads to chronic pain and an overall lower quality of life. Poor quality of life can decrease the French bulldog’s life span by affecting the immune system and the desire to exercise or eat.

Treatment options include joint supplements, physical therapy and pain medications. Severe cases may require surgery, which comes with significant risks. Foremost among them is that these pups are more prone to anesthesia complications thanks to the breathing issues affecting the breed.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

IVDD causes the discs in a Frenchie’s vertebrae to bulge into the spinal cord space. Although IVDD can affect any dog’s health, a French bulldog is more prone to it due to its short, stocky legs.

IVDD is a serious health condition drastically affecting a French bulldog’s life span. For example, the disease can cause knuckling of the paws, a reluctance to move, hunched posture and loss of bladder or bowel control. Unfortunately, IVDD also causes significant pain and can lead to sudden paralysis.

Allergies

Your French bulldog can be affected by allergies, which can be to foods, medications or environmental factors like dust and pollen.

Allergies can also affect a French bulldog’s life span by causing a string of problems that come with their own side effects, including:

  • Excessive itching or licking (especially of the paws), which can lead to general discomfort
  • Watery eyes and sneezing, which can lead to general discomfort
  • Repeat ear infections, which can cause hearing difficulties over time
  • Digestive issues, which can lead to weight loss, dehydration, and pain
  • Breathing problems, especially if a French bulldog has BOAS

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help your French bulldogs live a long and healthy life. The most important aspects of care for your French bulldog puppy or dog are outlined below.

Creating a Safe Environment

Creating a safe environment for your Frenchie is always important, but this is especially important for French bulldog puppies since they’re more prone to getting into things they shouldn’t. You’ll want to ensure stairs are blocked off to avoid falls and that anything that shouldn’t be chewed on or eaten is out of reach. This can include medications, chemicals, electric cords and unsafe toys.

You’ll also need to create a safe environment outside to avoid your Frenchie getting hit by a car or running away when spooked. Many French bulldogs love to play with their pet owner since they’re such an affectionate dog breed. Halo Collar can help create a safe outdoor environment by helping them learn their home’s boundaries with a prompt to turn around when they get close to leaving the area. If your Frenchie does leave the fence stored in the Halo Collar, they’ll be guided back to safety using a Return Whistle.

Balanced Diet and Exercise

A healthy weight leads to a happy life and contributes significantly to living to or beyond an average life span. Your dog’s health will be best if it’s kept on a healthy diet and receives plenty of exercise. Physical fitness is excellent for you as well as your furry friends, so consider taking walks or playing in the yard together.

Of course, it’s important to note that many dogs are prone to overexerting themselves, especially when having fun. Be cautious that your pup doesn’t overdo it, and watch for signs that it may be getting tired. For example, noisier breathing, increased panting, and more frequent breaks are signs that it’s time to rest.

Regular Vet Checkups and Early Diagnosis

As soon as you get your French bulldog puppy, you should schedule its first vet appointment. After, you’ll want to take it in for regular checkups once or twice a year, plus anytime something seems to be amiss. Early diagnosis of common health problems can help treat or manage them before they get out of control and affect the average life span of your dog.

Mental Health and Socialization

French Bulldog sitting next to man
Good mental health is fundamental in your dog leading a long and happy life. That’s why keeping your pet mentally stimulated and socialized is a crucial part of dog ownership.

Mental stimulation can be achieved by taking your dog to new places and getting it toys specifically meant to be challenging or exciting. Consistent training for obedience and tricks can also help keep your dog healthy mentally.

Socialization should begin early and continue throughout your dog’s life. Consider puppy playdates with your friend’s dogs or regular visits to dog parks in your area. Introduce your Frenchie to people of different ages and other animals like cats. Proper socialization can ward off depression and reduce the risk of certain behavioral issues later.

Ensure Your French Bulldog’s Longevity With Halo Collar

The most important thing in ensuring your French bulldog’s longevity is safety. A safe dog is a healthy dog, and Halo Collar can help significantly with this. The Halo Collar was designed by professionals who understand your dog’s psychology and leverage this to keep it safe. Plus, you’ll receive a built-in dog activity tracker with a report that helps you ensure your dog gets enough exercise throughout the day.

With a 60-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose and your dog’s long life to gain. Invest in the Halo Collar to create a safe environment for your French bulldog today.

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