How Long Does a French Bulldog Live? Essential Lifespan Facts

As a Frenchie owner or someone considering adopting one, you might wonder how long a French Bulldog lives. Frenchies are known for their distinct appearance, friendly personality, and loyal nature. However, like all dog breeds, their lifespans can vary and a lot factors can influence it. 

Knowing the general life expectancy and the factors affecting it can help you provide the best care possible for your beloved Frenchie. Some health issues, which we will discuss shortly, are more common in this breed. Still, proper care, attention, and taking precautions against breed-specific concerns can help maximize their quality of life.

In the grand scheme of life, the years with a Frenchie, or any other dog, may seem fleeting. But the joy they bring is immeasurable. We’ve enlisted the help of Dr. Dan O’Neill in his research on this breed’s health conditions to give you the best idea on what to look out for to make sure your wrinkly little buddy is with you as long as possible.

So, How Long Do French Bulldogs Live?

French Bulldogs typically live between 7 to 13 years. However, a study using VetCompass data showed that their average life expectancy can be as low as 4.5 years. This shorter lifespan in the study could be due to various factors like health issues, not representing all French Bulldogs’ lifespans.

Regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, and exercise are essential to help maintain health. So is making sure to only support ethical breeders who health test their dogs when you’re looking to buy a French Bulldog Puppy.

Sadly, the study above on how long different types of pet dogs live in the UK  used a lot of information from vet visits of 30,563 dogs that died between 1st January 2016 and 31st July 2020 to figure this out. They found that on average, French Bulldogs live about 4.5 years. This is a lot shorter than most other dogs. 

By comparison, while a dog like the Jack Russell Terrier might live around 12.7 years, a French Bulldog’s life is usually much shorter. The study is really sure about this number because they looked at a lot of French Bulldogs. This means that if you have a French Bulldog, it might not live as long as other dogs you might know.

Another study found that, on average, they lived for about 3.6 years. This number, called the “median age,” means that half of the French Bulldogs in the study lived longer than 3.6 years, and half lived less. This is different from the average because it’s the middle point of all the ages. The study also notes that this might not be true for all French Bulldogs everywhere, just the ones they studied, who were a younger group.

Luckily, PubMed research explains that 4.5 is the median age for this breed. Median age age only means about half of Frenchie population may only have this short lifespan. This is not the life. So, it’s possible that this breed’s expectancy is 7 to 12 years despite the findings of the above study. 

But what did caused these young Frenchies to pass away so early? Knowing this can help you be proactive about your pup’s health and help them live as long as possble.

Most Common Causes Of Death In French Bulldogs

Here is a bar chart depicting the causes of mortality in French Bulldogs, based on the VetCompass study in the UK during 2013. The chart shows the different reasons for death and the number of cases for each cause.

However, don’t despair! Many Frenchies live very long and happy lives.  In some cases, with proper care, French Bulldogs might live longer than the average. The oldest recorded Frenchie, Popeye, lived an impressive 18 years. Even today, another Frenchie called Rocco is still going strong.

Understanding French Bulldog Lifespan And Factors Influencing Longevity 

There are several factors that can influence the longevity of your Frenchie. Some of these factors include:

  • Genetics: Just like humans, genetic makeup plays a role in determining breed lifespan.
  • Breeding: Responsible breeding practices can help ensure that Frenchies are born without genetic issues that could shorten their life expectancy. These practices involve breeders running genetic tests for common health issues before breeding parents. 
  • Health Issues: These dogs are prone to certain health problems, such as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), corneal ulcers, and food allergies. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help manage and prevent these issues, leading to a longer lifespan.

Male Versus Females Lifespan

There isn’t much difference between the lifespans of male and female French Bulldogs. Both genders typically have a life expectancy ranging from 10 to 12 years. However, the life expectancy table did show a slight difference between male (11.07) and female dogs (11.41), with females living slightly longer. 

Ensuring that your Frenchie gets proper care, appropriate nutrition, and regular exercise may help it live a happy and healthy life, regardless of whether it’s male or female.

Life Stages of French Bulldogs

Understanding the life stages of your dog can help you better care for them. Here are the main life stages, along with changes and challenges you might expect at each stage:

  1. Puppy (0-11 months): During this stage, your Frenchie is growing rapidly, both physically and mentally. Proper nutrition, socialization, and training are vital.
  2. Adolescent (1-2 years): In this stage, your pup may test boundaries. They also grow to how big Frenchies get as they attain physical maturity. Consistency in training and reinforcing good behavior are crucial.
  3. Adult (2-8 years): Frenchies are considered adults from around 2 years old. This is the best time to establish and maintain healthy habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and dental care.
  4. Senior (8+ years): At this stage, your Frenchie may begin to show signs of aging, such as a decrease in energy levels and the onset of age-related health issues. Regular vet visits and accommodating your older pet’s needs can help maintain their quality of life.

By understanding your canine’s lifespan and the factors that can influence it, you’ll be better equipped to provide the best possible care for your beloved pet, helping them live a long and happy life.

Health and Care for Longevity: Looking At The Most Common Conditions That Affect Your Frenchies Lifespan

Keeping up with routine health and maintenance is essential for prolonging your pup’s life. A proactive approach can help you identify and treat potential problems early on. Here are a few things you can do:

Nutrition and Diet

A well-balanced diet is essential to keep your dog healthy and increase their life expectancy. Feeding high-quality, age-appropriate food is important. Here are some dietary guidelines for your Frenchie:

  • Protein: Look for dog food with a high protein source (meat, fish, or poultry) at least 25% content
  • Fruits and veggies: Include a mix of fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Limited Ingredient Diets: Some of these canines may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients. If your Frenchie has specific dietary requirements, consider limited-ingredient or hypoallergenic dog food free from additives and fillers to avoid potential allergens.
  • Limited treats: Keep treats in moderation, as extra calories can contribute to obesity.

Exercise and Playtime

Although Frenchies are not as active as some other breeds, they still need daily exercise and playtime. Regular activity helps maintain a healthy weight and prevents behavioral issues. A 15-20-minute short walk twice a day would suffice and add indoor exercises like tug-of-war or fetch.

Remember to be cautious in hot or humid weather, as these dogs are prone to overheating. Don’t take them out to walk on a hot day since their short snouts make it hard to breathe. 

Routine Health Maintenance

Here are some practices to ensure your Frenchie stays in top shape:

  • Regular check-ups: Visit your vet at least once a year for wellness checkups.
  • Vaccines: Stay up-to-date with your Frenchie’s yearly boosters to prevent common diseases.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming helps maintain your dog’s coat health and reduces shedding.
  • Dental care: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent dental issues and bad breath.

By following these tips, you can help your dog enjoy a long and happy life with you.

Breed-Specific Health Concerns

Bulldog breeds often suffer from particular health issues due to their face shape and overall build. According to Dr. Alex Gough, DVM, hey also have genetics that make them predisposed to certain medical conditions. These include:

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

Frenchies, like other flat-faced breeds, are prone to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) due to the narrow nostrils and elongated soft palate. PubMed lists Frenchies among the top 3 most affected breeds, along with Bulldogs and Pugs. 

This condition causes difficulty in breathing and can lead to other respiratory problems. Keep an eye out for symptoms like labored and noisy breathing. These can lead to respiratory infections that are one of the leading causes of death in this breed.

Neurological Issues

Some French Bulldogs may develop neurological issues, like epilepsy, fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus) or spinal disorders. Regular vet examinations can help detect and treat these conditions early on. Spine and brain problems are two of the most common issues that affect how long a Frenchie lives, so be proactive about having these checked out by your veterinarian.

Back (spinal) Issues

This breed is also susceptible to back problems, including intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and using ramps to prevent strain can help minimize the risk of back issues.

Kidney Issues

Kidney problems, such as kidney stones or kidney disease, can also affect them. Consult your vet if you notice any changes in your Frenchie’s urinary habits, appetite, or water consumption.

Hip Dysplasia and Joint Health

Hip dysplasia is a common health issue among these dogs. It’s a genetic disorder that affects the hip joints, resulting in pain, discomfort, and limited mobility. When these conditions cause severe arthritis, they can really shorten your Frenchie’s life and affect their quality of life.

To maintain your Frenchie’s joint health, provide a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Respiratory Conditions

BOAS can also lead to other respiratory conditions. Watch out for respiratory issues like

  • Coughing;
  • Snoring, wheezing, and snorting when trying to breathe;
  • Collapsing episodes; and
  • Sleep apnea (sleep disturbances at night).

Regular vet check-ups are essential for detecting and treating these issues early on.

Heat Stroke

This breed’s flat faces and thick coats make them prone to heat stroke. During hot weather, make sure your Frenchie has access to shade, cool water, and air conditioning to prevent overheating.

Eye Problems

Eye problems, such as corneal ulcers, cherry eye, dry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts, are common in this breed. Regularly check your dog’s eyes for redness, swelling, or discharge, and consult your vet if you notice any issues.

Deafness and Ear Infections

They are prone to deafness and ear infections. Make sure to clean your Frenchie’s ears regularly and look out for signs of discomfort or inflammation.

Skin Problems

Skin allergies and infections like skin fold dermatitis can affect these dogs due to all the wrinkles, causing itchiness, redness, or hair loss. Keep your Frenchie’s skin clean and dry, and consult a vet if you notice any persistent issues.

Gastrointestinal Issues

These dogs may experience gastrointestinal disorders, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Monitor their diet and feeding habits, and work with your vet to address any GI issues that arise.

Dental Disease

Like all dog breeds, this can develop dental issues, such as periodontal disease and tooth loss. They are at an even higher risk of dental problems due to overcrowded teeth. Regular teeth cleaning and dental check-ups are essential for maintaining your Frenchie’s oral health.

Birthing Problems

Due to their physical structure, French Bulldogs often experience birthing complications. This is why many Frenchies require cesarean sections. If you plan to breed your Frenchie, work closely with your vet to ensure the safety of both mother and puppies. You can also see our article on how many puppies Frenchies have, and how big puppies get.

Cancer

Lastly, this breed, like other dogs, is not immune to cancer. Regular veterinary check-ups can help catch and treat cancer early on, improving your Frenchie’s chances of recovery.

Enhancing Quality of Life

There are a few things that can help life with your Frenchie better as follows:

Environmental Enrichment

To help your French bulldog live a healthier and happier life, it’s essential to provide an enriching environment. This includes ample opportunities for play and outlets for their energy. 

Consider setting up a play area with various dog toys, such as food puzzles, comfortable resting spots, and space for them to run around and explore. Keep the environment safe and clean, as this can positively impact their overall health and well-being.

Mental Stimulation and Affection

Mental stimulation is crucial for your pup’s well-being. Engage them in activities that challenge their mind, such as puzzle toys, fetching games, and obedience training. Regular exercise is also essential, as it helps maintain their energy levels and keeps them physically fit.

Don’t forget to show your love and affection, as the bond you share with your furry friend greatly contributes to their happiness. Spend time cuddling, petting, and ensuring they receive the touch and friendly interaction they crave from you.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

These dogs may experience occasional stress or anxiety. To help manage these emotions, try to maintain a consistent lifestyle and daily routine. This includes regular feeding times, walks, and bedtime schedules.

Additionally, if your dog is prone to separation anxiety, consider providing them with comforting items, such as a favorite toy or a piece of your clothing that carries your scent, and crate training them. Teach your dog to associate your departures with positive experiences by offering them treats or a favorite toy right before you leave.

Remember that by enhancing your French bulldog’s quality of life through environmental enrichment, mental stimulation and affection, and managing stress and anxiety, you’re ultimately contributing to a longer, healthier, and more enjoyable life for your beloved pet.

Special Considerations for French Bulldogs

Puppy Care and Early Development

When you first bring a French Bulldog puppy home, it’s essential to provide them with proper care and nutrition. A well-balanced diet is crucial for their growth and development. Besides, keep a close eye on your puppy’s weight, as Frenchies can be prone to obesity.

 Depending on their size and genetic makeup, male French Bulldogs can weigh between 16-28 pounds, while females often fall between 16-24 pounds. Remember to pay attention to diet and exercise as your pup grows.

Make sure to crate, train, and socialize your French Bulldog with other dogs and people early in their life. This is important for both their mental and physical development and will also help to prevent behavioral problems.

Senior French Bulldog Care

As your French Bulldog reaches their senior years, typically around the age of 8 or 9, you should continue to monitor their size and weight. Keep them on a balanced diet and engage them in age-appropriate exercise routines.

 Prioritize regular visits to the vet as some health issues that affect the breed can become more prevalent in their later years, such as:

  • Hip dysplasia;
  • Allergies; and
  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.

Additionally, provide your senior Frenchie with a comfortable and supportive living environment to help alleviate any stress on their joints.

Choosing a Responsible Breeder

Picking a responsible and trustworthy breeder is paramount when searching for a French Bulldog puppy for sale. A good breeder should prioritize the health and well-being of their puppies and be able to provide you with information about their lineage and heritage and genetic health test papers.

By selecting a reputable breeder, you can ensure that your dog has the best chance at a healthy and happy life. Remember that 

When researching, address these critical aspects:

  • Ask for health certifications and testing results for the puppy’s parents;
  • Review the breeder’s experience and reputation; and
  • Ensure that breeding happens in a clean, safe, and caring environment.

By taking these special considerations into account, you can effectively support and nurture your dog throughout their life.

French Bulldog Records and Trivia

Oldest French Bulldogs

The typical lifespan of a French Bulldog is around 10 to 12 years. Still, there are some remarkable Frenchies that have defied expectations. The oldest Frenchie on record was a male named Popeye, who lived an incredible 18 years, 3 months, and 8 days! Another notable French Bulldog, Rocco, reached the age of 17 years, which is quite a feat considering the average lifespan of this breed.

Remarkable Stories

1. Record-breaking litters: While Frenchies typically have litters of three to five puppies, there have been instances of larger litters. One such case involved a Frenchie in Northern Kenturky who gave birth to a whopping thirteen puppies – quite an accomplishment!

2. Celebrity Frenchies: These small dogs have captured the attention of many celebrities who adore their French Bulldogs. For instance, Lady Gaga’s Frenchie, Asia, has gained quite a following and even accompanied her to several events.

3. Frenchies in movies and TV: This popular breed has also made appearances in movies and TV shows, like the well-known French Bulldog named Stella in the TV show “Modern Family”.

Caring for your French Bulldog can help increase their longevity. Ensure they have a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of love and attention. Remember, even though their typical lifespan may be shorter than other small breeds, there are Frenchies that have lived well beyond expectations, and yours might do the same!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the average age for a French Bulldog to live?

The average lifespan of a French Bulldog is typically 10 to 12 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as genetics and lifestyle.

Is it true that Frenchies don’t live that long?

While it’s true that French Bulldogs have a slightly shorter lifespan compared to some other breeds, they can still live a fulfilling life with proper care and attention.

How can you tell how old a French Bulldog is?

Determining a French Bulldog’s age can be tricky, but there are general signs like graying fur, more frequent naps, and changes in energy levels. Consult a veterinarian for a more accurate determination of your dog’s age.

Are there common health issues that shorten a French Bulldog’s life?

Yes, French Bulldogs can be prone to various health issues, including respiratory problems, allergies, hip dysplasia, and heart conditions. Providing a healthy lifestyle and regular veterinary check-ups can help mitigate these risks and extend your dog’s life.

At what age is a French Bulldog considered a senior?

A French Bulldog is generally considered a senior around the age of 7 or 8. As your Frenchie ages, it’s essential to adjust their diet and exercise routine accordingly to keep them in good health.

Who was the oldest French Bulldog ever?

The oldest known French Bulldog on record was a male named Popeye, who lived to be a whopping 18 years!

Is 7 years old for a French Bulldog?

Seven years old is considered nearly senior for a French Bulldog. You may notice changes in your dog’s energy levels and overall demeanor at this age. Make sure to adjust their lifestyle, as needed, to ensure their continued health and happiness.

How long do French Bulldogs live with allergies?

Allergies can affect a French Bulldog’s quality of life, but they don’t necessarily shorten their lifespan. By properly managing their allergies through diet, medication, and regular check-ups, you can help your dog live a comfortable life.

How long does a French Bulldog live with cancer?

The length of a French Bulldog’s life with cancer depends on various factors, such as the type of cancer, the stage of the disease, and the treatment options available. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best course of action and get an accurate prognosis.

Final Thoughts

As a French Bulldog owner, it’s essential to understand that their average lifespan. Of course, factors such as diet, exercise, and overall health can impact how long your canine friend lives. To help your French Bulldog live a healthier and happier life, ensure a good diet, exercise, regular vet visits, and share a deep bond.

Remember, the oldest French Bulldog on record lived beyond the average lifespan at 18 years, thanks to proper care and attention. By focusing on your French Bulldog’s well-being and following the tips above, you can help your furry companion enjoy a fuller and happier life.

Sources

Tamsin de la Harpe

Tamsin de la Harpe, with a lively spirit and 15 years of experience in dog training and behavior, brings a unique flair to the team. Based in South Africa, she is deeply engaged in rehabilitating dogs, focusing on their mental and nutritional health. Tamsin's approach to dog behavior is hands-on and heartfelt, shaped by her life with her own dogs and horses. Her journey in canine behavior is ongoing, as she continues advanced studies in this field.

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