Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Marco C.
French bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds. So, you might wonder what are the common French bulldog medical issues and what to do about them? Do French bulldogs have health problems that are worth pointing out or are they are a relatively healthy breed?
Unfortunately – they are not. Due to their selective breeding progression from an 80 pound (36 kg) English cattle dog to a 28 pound (13 kg) French designer lap dog, Frenchies have developed quite a few health issues along the way. This doesn’t make them a “bad” breed, of course – Frenchies are one of the best family dog breeds out there! However, they do have a few special requirements you’ll need to keep in mind.
French Bulldog Medical Issues To Watch Out For
As much as we love them, we have to admit that French bulldogs are far from the healthiest breed out there. According to a study of 2,228 Frenchies conducted in 2018 by the Royal Veterinary College in the UK, 72.4% of all Frenchies develop at least one of the several major health problems listed above.
More worryingly, a lot of these issues start as soon as the dog’s 2nd or 3rd year and progress slowly over time. This means that even more care and resources need to be put into the dog to make sure that your pet is feeling as well as possible. Some of the several significant French bulldog health issues you’ll need to watch out for include:
- Skinfold dermatitis
- Pyoderma – a bacterial skin infection
- French bulldog allergies
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
- URT infection
- Frenchie ear infections
- Hip dysplasia
- Luxating patellas
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Learn more about: French Bulldog Full Grown Weight And Growth Chart
Of course, if you pick a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder, the risks for many of these conditions get drastically reduced. From there on, it’s all a matter of giving your dog proper care. Do that, and your Frenchie can be just as healthy as any other dog.
Are French Bulldogs Too Sickly To Be Worth It?
This will more or less depend on your budget and on how much care you’re able to spare, we’re sorry to say. Whichever way you slice it, unless you’re really lucky, your Frenchie will require a bit more medical care than the average dog.
However, if you’re willing to do that, Frenchies more than makeup for it with their fantastic, friendly, gentle, and playful personalities. On the other hand, if you’re specifically looking for a lovely but low-maintenance dog, the French bulldog is probably not the breed for you.
How Expensive To Deal With Are The Common French Bulldog Medical Issues?
This depends on the condition. However, the worst cases of issues such as Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) can cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars and many hours of rehabilitation therapy. Of course, there are much milder cases but you should be ready for the more extreme scenarios if you want a Frenchie.
Should You Get Health Insurance For Your Frenchie?
Most of the time – yes. Adult Frenchies, in particular, are prime candidates for canine insurance. This will depend on the exact health and genetics of the dog, of course – there’s no reason in paying for canine insurance if your dog has healthy and well taken care of. However, very often it’s a good idea to get some insurance for a French bulldog.
How To Make Sure That Your French Bulldog Medical Issues Are As Minimal As Possible?
The very first step in ensuring you have a healthy pup is one we harp on in every text – find a good breeder. Reputable breeders make sure that they breed their pups according to the best kennel standards. They avoid inbreeding at all costs, they weed out negative genetic predispositions, and them do their best to breed specifically for good temperament, great health, and high intelligence.
A reputable breeder will offer both a health certificate for the pup and certificates for its parents. Such a breeder will also allow you to take a personal look at the parents and their entire litter. In contrast, picking a Frenchie from a puppy mill or a pet store isn’t just a roll of the dice – it almost guarantees improper breeding standards and a lot of health and behavioral problems.
Once you’ve got a healthy pup, the next step is to find a good vet to look over the pup and make sure it grows up healthy. Routine bi-annual pet visits are a must for a breed like the Frenchie as this will guarantee that any health issue will either be prevented or will be caught early on.
Aside from that, the rest is just a matter of proper care. Enough exercise, a good diet, proper grooming and skincare, and adequate mental stimulation are all essential. Do that, and your French bulldog will be as healthy as any other dog (and much more adorable).
It pains us to say but French bulldogs are not the healthiest dogs out there. They aren’t even “average” in terms of health – there are inarguably unhealthy. However, this doesn’t make them bad pets. Instead, it just makes them “high maintenance”.
Getting your pup from a reputable breeder is the first costly step – such dogs do cost an extra penny. However, that’s worth it down the line. Finding a good vet can also be tricky and often means higher vet fees. However, again, that’s also worth it overall.
The rest is just a matter of good food, good exercise, and good grooming – things every owner should do for every dog. Do that, and the average French bulldog lifespan is actually 10 – 14 years – much better than most other breeds’ lifespan. Besides, that’s just the average. A particularly healthy, lucky, and well taken care of Frenchie can live even beyond the 14-year mark!