French Bulldogs never fail to capture hearts wherever they go, and it is rather disheartening that these sweet and friendly pooches are usually only around for a short while.
The French Bulldog is typically expected to live for between 10 to 12 years, but this dog breed is prone to several health conditions that can significantly shorten its lifespan. Some of the health conditions that Frenchies are prone to include cancer, hip dysplasia, entropion, brachycephalic airway syndrome and allergies, just to mention a few.
Most of these medical conditions can be easily treated, and with proper care and attention, it is even possible to prevent the occurrence of certain diseases in French Bulldogs. We’ll take a look at ways by which you can make your French Bulldog live longer in a bit, but before we do so, let’s see why most Frenchies typically have a short lifespan.
Why Do French Bulldogs Have A Short Lifespan?
French Bulldogs can live for between 12 to 14 years, provided that the pooch is able to stay relatively disease-free. But this is seldom the case, and it is common to see Frenchies live for just between 7 to 10 years before they die.
It is common knowledge that small-sized dogs tend to outlive their larger counterparts, but the Frenchie’s case is an exception. That said, factors that typically determine how long a French Bulldog will live for, and which aren’t unrelated to this pooch’s relatively short lifespan include:
Several studies, including this UK study in 2013, have shown that male Frenchies are more likely to develop health related issues, compared to their female counterparts. And this predisposition to diseases may likely have a negative impact on the pooch’s lifespan, although it has been observed that this is usually not the case.
French Bulldogs are notorious for easily succumbing to a long list of health conditions, and these medical conditions can seriously reduce the quality of a Frenchie’s life, thereby causing premature death.
French Bulldogs are naturally prone to several issues, and a Frenchie whose parents have a history of medical conditions has a higher chance of inheriting these diseases, thereby leading to a short life spent in and out of the vet’s.
In contrast, Frenchies who have inherited good genes from their parents should have a higher natural resistance to these diseases. And such pooches also have a better chance of going on to lead long, healthy lives.
To counter the problem of buying a Frenchie with bad genes, it is recommended that you only do business and purchase your pooch from a reputable breeder, with a track record for delivering quality at all times.
What Do Frenchies Usually Die From?
As inferred earlier, Frenchies are predisposed to a wide variety of health issues, especially respiratory-related issues, of which it can be majorly attributed to this pooch’s physical anatomy.
The good news is, the majority of these medical conditions are treatable, but Frenchie owners should be prepared to spend a fortune at the vet hospital to ensure that their pooches get quality lives.
That said, some of the health conditions that Frenchies are predisposed to, and which are responsible for a large number of deaths among this dog breed in a year include:
Cancer is one of the leading causes of canine deaths worldwide, and this deadly disease is equally responsible for a considerable number of Frenchie deaths.
Brain tumors and lymphoma are the most common and fatal variants of cancer that French Bulldogs typically suffer from. But this pooch is also predisposed to mast cell cancer, breast cancer, and bone cancer, just to mention a few.
Neurological disorders typically affect a French Bulldog’s nervous system, and they also claim a significant amount of Frenchie lives yearly.
Among all the neurological issues that Frenchies are prone to suffering from, the most commonly diagnosed, and by extension, the most dangerous disorder, is the Intervertebral Disc Disease.
Brain tumors also make up for a significant amount of neurological issues that Frenchies typically suffer from, and it is also common to come across one of these pooches suffering from degenerative myelopathy.
French Bulldogs are at a high risk of suffering respiratory issues, no thanks to their short snouts and pushed in faces. And a considerable number of Frenchies die yearly to a number of respiratory problems that typically occur due to the pooch’s unusual facial anatomy.
Common Health Issues
Other less fatal health issues that French Bulldogs typically suffer from include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Patellar luxation
- Skin fold dermatitis
- Heatstroke, and many more
How Do I Know My French Bulldog Is Dying?
The quickest way to do this is to observe and pay more attention to your Frenchie.
It is inevitable that we’ll, one day, have to part ways with our beloved French Bulldogs. And it is our duty as dog owners to learn as much as possible about the natural dying process in Frenchies, so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place to ensure that the pooch passes away comfortably.
That said, symptoms typically displayed by a dying Frenchie include and what you can do to make things easier for the pooch include:
French Bulldogs are very active dogs by nature; Hence, the pooch sleeping more, and beginning to show a lack of interest in daily activities that once used to get it excited are early signs that a Frenchie is dying.
How Can You Help?
- Let the Frenchie sleep as much as it wants.
- As much as possible, try to reduce noise around the pooch’s sleeping area.
Loss Of Weight And Appetite
In addition to exhibiting lethargy, a dying Frenchie typically tends to eat less food and the pooch may eventually stop eating altogether.
This tendency to reject food will, in turn, cause a dying Frenchie to lose body mass and the pooch typically looks emaciated.
How Can You Help?
- You can hand feed your Frenchie to encourage the pooch to eat.
- Consult with your vet to create a special diet plan to cope with your Frenchie’s weight loss.
As a French Bulldog nears death, it is common for the pooch to experience breathing difficulties. And this typically manifests as irregular or heavy breathing patterns.
How Can You Help?
- Take your Frenchie for a check-up immediately when you notice breathing difficulties.
Decrease In Body Temperature
As a Frenchie’s last days draw near, the pooch’s body temperature typically drops abnormally low. And when you stroke the Frenchie’s body, it’ll feel warm to the touch.
How Can You Help?
- Provide blankets to keep the Frenchie warm.
- Alternatively, you can regulate the home temperature so that it is comfortably warm for the pooch.
Additional signs that a French Bulldog is dying includes:
- Changes in gum color
- Social detachment
- Movement difficulties
- Visible signs of pain
How Can I Make My French Bulldog Live Longer?
Adopt A Nutritious Diet Plan
When it comes to nutritional requirements, French Bulldogs don’t differ much from other dog breeds. And the ideal meal for a Frenchie is one that lists protein-based whole meats such as lamb, chicken, beef or fish as the first and major ingredients. Plant-based proteins are also an option, but these should typically be used to round up the protein requirements.
Healthy fats such as fish oil or coconut oil help maintain the shiny appearance of a Frenchie’s coat, and in addition to carbohydrates, should also make up a significant portion of the pooch’s diet.
Food choices available for feeding a French Bulldog include dry kibble, commercial wet dog food, homemade meals and a raw diet. However, regardless of whatever method you choose to feed your Frenchie, it is important that the pooch’s diet contains the required nutrients. And this is why you should go for quality, vet-trusted dog food products such as the Pet Plate diet.
The Pet Plate diet is perfect for Frenchies, being a small dog breed, because you can submit the pooch’s exact physical characteristics and get a specially prepared diet. In addition, ingredients used in preparing Pet Plate meals are gotten from only the freshest and healthiest of sources, so you can be sure that your Frenchie will get maximum nutrition.
Multivitamins can also help boost a Frenchie’s immune system to ward off diseases, but you should consult with your vet before adding supplements to your pooch’s food.
In addition, French Bulldogs have an ill-fated history with dental infections, hence it will be a wise move to invest in dental water additives for this pooch.
French Bulldogs are typically low maintenance, but regardless, they require a certain amount of exercise and activities to stay physically and mentally fit.
Ideally, it is recommended that you exercise your Frenchie for a total of one hour per day. But this should be split into smaller sections of walks, and off-leash playtime within a fenced area. And in addition to these physical activities, you should also engage the Frenchie with interactive games and puzzles to keep the pooch mentally stimulated.
The Frenchie, being a Brachycephalic dog breed, is prone to suffering from breathing difficulties when over-exercised or exposed to too much sun; Hence, you should monitor your Frenchie while it is playing and quickly find ways to cool the pooch when you notice signs of heatstroke.
What Is The Longest Living French Bulldog? The record for the longest living French Bulldog ever belongs to a pooch named Popeye, that lived for an estimated 18 years! Popeye was born in the year 2002, and this pooch succumbed to cancer related complications early in the year 2021.
Do French Bulldogs Do Better In Pairs? French Bulldogs are extremely social animals that thrive well in a pack. And to prevent your Frenchie from becoming lonely or developing separation anxiety, it may be better to have 2 French Bulldogs. In addition to granting a Frenchie much needed companionship, you’ll also receive double the love from two French Bulldogs.
Is It Cruel To Buy A French Bulldog? French Bulldogs make for awesome pets, and they will make a wonderful addition to any family. However, it’s not advisable to purchase a French Bulldog when the buyer neither has the capacity nor the finances to cater for this pooch’s food, medical bills and grooming needs. The lack of accountability and providing basic care when purchasing a Frenchie is what many will perceive to be cruel.