The French Bulldog has soared in popularity in recent years, with the number of Kennel Club registrations rising from 2,771 in 2011, to 39,266 in 2020. Frenchies, as they're often affectionately referred to, currently rank within the top 10 most popular breeds in the UK.
With their adorable appearance and their versatile temperament, it's no wonder the Frenchie is such a popular companion. Their small stature, clown-like behaviour, and devotion to people make them an excellent pet, but French Bulldogs are also prone to a range of health issues that prospective owners should be aware of.
Common health concerns for French Bulldogs
If you're considering adding a Frenchie to your family, it's natural to want to know how long French Bulldogs live. The lifespan of your dog will be influenced by factors such as breeding, genetics and individual health, but it is a sad fact that French Bulldogs can have a higher chance of developing certain health problems compared to other breeds. Ocular, respiratory, dermatological and neurological issues have all been identified as potential concerns. Patellar luxation, spinal disease and hip dysplasia are also possible, so it's advisable that dog owners always ensure genetic testing has been carried out on the parents of French Bulldog puppies.
A recent study found the most common problems to affect French Bulldogs include ear infections, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis and skin fold dermatitis, in addition to upper respiratory tract disorders due to their facial structure and short snout.
With their flat faces, French Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems and can suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome. The soft palate of the French Bulldog can obstruct the airway, making breathing more complicated. Particular care must be taken in hot weather, as flat faced breeds have less surface area on the palate, making it much harder for them to cool down.
Life stages of the French Bulldog
Frenchies can usually only give birth to 2 or 3 puppies within a litter.
Your Frenchie will be considered an adult at around 18 months of age, by which point they will be fully grown. By 7-8 years old they will be considered a senior dog. While all senior dogs require special care, older French Bulldogs can experience joint, skin and respiratory issues. Your vet will be able to advise on the best care and treatment plan for your four-legged friend as they age.
What is the life expectancy of the French Bulldog?
Establishing exactly how long French Bulldogs live can be difficult as factors such as genetics and individual health play a large part. A shocking 4.53 year average lifespan was recently reported in a UK study, however their average life expectancy is between 10 to 12 years old.
The American Kennel Club has the oldest French Bulldog on record at 14 years old, while informal reports suggest the oldest Frenchie ever was Popeye, who lived for 18 years, 3 months and 8 days!
Do female French Bulldogs live longer than males?
Choosing the gender of your canine companion is a personal decision, but when it comes to health, you may have wondered whether one gender lives longer. Research suggests that while male dogs show an increased predisposition to certain illnesses, the average lifespan of females and males was unaffected.
How long do French Bulldogs live: Age calculator
The best way of working out your French Bulldog's age in human years is through the use of a dog age calculator. This takes into account the breed and size of the dog, which are all key factors in providing an accurate reflection of your pet's age.
How can I help my French Bulldog live longer?
How long French Bulldogs live varies between individuals, in much the same way it does with any breed. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to help your beloved companion live a long and healthy life.
Select a high-quality diet
Ensuring your French Bulldog is fed a high-quality diet can go a long way in ensuring they maintain the correct weight and that their skin and coat is in the best condition possible. The right diet also helps prevent excess weight on their joints and can help avoid allergies and forms of dermatitis.
Arrange regular vet checks
Prevention is always better than cure, and this is particularly relevant in the case of this delicate breed. Having your Frenchie regularly seen by your trusted vet will help rule out any potential health issues. Your vet will be able to keep an eye on your dog's respiratory system, joint health and any dermatological concerns.
Provide safe exercise
Exercising your French Bulldog safely is extremely important. This breed cannot be overexerted or exposed to very hot weather, as they find it much harder than other breeds to cool themselves back down. Low-intensity walks are the way to go, with the opportunity to rest and recover as required.
Avoid allergens in the environment
French Bulldogs can be sensitive to allergens in the environment, so care should be taken to minimise the risk of allergies and breathing difficulties. All natural cleaning products can reduce the risk of allergens for your pet.
While it's important to be aware of the health concerns associated with this breed, with the right care and attention your dog should enjoy many happy, healthy years by your side. They will no doubt reward your devotion with all of the love, laughs and snuggles that have made Frenchies the beloved companion they are today.