This most lovable Frenchies breed may occasionally present health issues typical of breeds that have been interbred for many centuries. However, this is not a cause for alarm. Every breed has its own health peculiarities
As long as you are aware of some of the most common issues with the health of Frenchies, and take some very obvious precautions, the chances are that you and your pet will have an issue-free and happy lifetime together.
Because all breeds with a “flat” face may face some breathing difficulties (This is also applicable to the Boston Terrier), it means that Frenchies find it difficult to regulate their body temperature. Dogs pant when they are warm, to ventilate their bodies more efficiently. Frenchies cannot breathe in and out with the rapidity of other breeds, and so do take care not to leave them in environments that are too warm.
Similarly, the very short fur of their coats means that they feel the cold acutely and must be well wrapped up when going for winter walks.
OK – so these are the two most obvious potential problems, but ones that you can very easily manage.
French Bulldog health problems
All dogs have what is often called a “third eyelid”. This provides fluids and moisture to the eyes. Like many breeds, French bulldog eyes can sometimes develop an issue with this, which we discuss later. But it is not generally a big deal and can be easily dealt with either by you or your specialist and usually without the need for surgery.
French bulldog ears can acquire infections just like any other dog. Whether they stand up like Batman ears, or softer lolling rose ears is irrelevant. There are several reasons why your Frenchies might get ear problems. Anything from their environment, a food allergy, or simply not having their ears cleaned often enough. Ask your vet for advice and some ear cleaning products as well as a quick lesson on how to clean your Frenchie’s ears.
Some people ask “do Frenchies shed?” Every dog sheds some fur but Frenchies do not shed excessively usually. A daily brush with a soft brush and a weekly bath with a very gentle natural shampoo will help to reduce any tendency to shed.
Frenchies size weight and height
Another thing you might be wondering about French bulldogs is how big do they get?. A full grown French bulldog is a stocky, compact little dog that will grow to about one foot tall (12 inches / 30 cm) at the shoulder and reach a weight of 19 to 28 pounds (9 to 13 kg) depending on the strain and breeding. There’s no such thing as a miniature French bulldog – the breed is small to begin with, which makes it very suitable for apartment dwellers.
French bulldog weight chart
The orange area represents the average weight of French Bulldogs.
Life expectancy and health issues of Frenchies
All breeds have an average life expectancy and lifespan. The old adage of 1 human year = 7 dog years means your Frenchie’s lifespan is about 84 to 91 human years (12 to 13 years) depending on what source you refer to, which is not far off the average across all dog breeds. The life expectancy of your French bulldog does depend on its health, and any animal can succumb to a number of unpleasant and unwanted conditions.
Breeding, birthing and litters
You may wonder how many puppies French bulldogs have. The average litter size is 3 to 5 puppies. Next question often is, can French bulldogs breed naturally? And the answer is not really. The hips of the male are not designed for doggy lovemaking and artificial means are almost always used to ensure conception in the dam. For French bulldog birth, the lady is almost always delivered by caesarean section. This is one of the causes of the high prices set by breeders, for puppy Frenchies. It answers the question: why Frenchies cost so much? Read our article about AKC French Bulldog Breeders, or our in-depth explanation of their cost: Why French Bulldogs are expensive.
Common French bulldog health problems
As we said previously, there are some important aspects that are relevant to this breed but once you are aware of them, perform normal and adequate preventative measures (e.g. avoid excessive heat or cold), then you will be well on top of the situation. Here are some other things to watch for:
French bulldog Ears
French bulldog floppy ears are seen by some as a charming attribute while others prefer ears to be upright in the Batman mode. In fact, English and American breeders almost came to blows over this several hundred years ago. Pay no attention to this. Sometimes your Frenchie will have one ear up and the other floppy. We think this is adorable.
French bulldog Eyes
French bulldog “cherry eye” is not unique to this breed. Every dog has a so-called third eyelid that is vital for keeping their eyes moist. Sometimes this becomes detached from its normal anchorage and slips out (prolapsed) looking like a red protuberance in the corner of the eye. Seek veterinary advice should this happen, but it’s not serious and can be easily rectified.
French bulldog Breathing & Nose
French bulldog dry nose is not unique to this breed but does frequently occur. It used to be said that a dry nose in a dog indicated sickness but this is certainly not always the case. However, it can be extremely irritating for your Frenchie. Very often it is caused by some allergen but it can take some time and patience to isolate the cause. See what your vet advises in the first instance, and some cream applications may be recommended to alleviate the symptoms.
French bulldog snoring is totally natural, and is just a lovable trait. You will quickly learn to live with it and it’s never too intrusive or loud. Breathing problems in your French bulldog are common to all interbred and flat faced breeds – but they often are not problematic. A daily walk helps to clear the airwaves but do take your Frenchie to the vet if breathing difficulties seem to persist.
French bulldog Back Problem
French bulldog hip dysplasia is genetic, and even the biggest canine breeds can suffer from it. It’s related to an abnormal joint structure in the hips and is often evidenced by a reluctance to climb stairs or difficulty in simply getting up. It can cause lameness and impaired mobility along with pain.
French bulldog Teeth
French Bulldog teeth – Like all short-faced dogs, your Frenchie may be prone to gum disease (periodontal disease), which could lead to bad breath or even pain. Dental dog chews, or even regular brushing is the best approach, and regular check-ups at your vet will help to identify any potential issues.
French bulldog Skin issues
French bulldogs may develop an itchy skin or other skin problems. Their scratching is a totally natural reaction but you should ask your vet for advice initially because there can be many causes and specialist guidance is always better to achieve a fast solution than trial and error by yourself.
The French Bulldog Health Infographic
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