The average lifespan of French Bulldogs is 10 to 15 years.
French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed. As a result of the compacted airway and the bulk of the French bulldog, they have an inability to effectively regulate their body temperature. While a regular canine may suffer to some degree from the heat, to a Frenchie it may be lethal. It is imperative that they be protected from temperature extremes at all times, and that they always have access to fresh water and shade.
French bulldogs frequently require artificial insemination, and caesarean section to give birth, with over 80% of litters delivered this way. Breeding French Bulldogs is a very time consuming and expensive exercise and should not be taken lightly.
Back and Spine
French bulldogs can suffer from an assortment of back, disk and spinal diseases and disorders, most of which are probably related to the fact that they were selectively chosen from the dwarf examples of the bulldog breed. French bulldogs are prone to having congenital hemivertebrae, which will show on an x-ray.
Frenchies can be susceptible to allergies, especially food allergies. Avoid any dog food containing corn or corn products (have you ever heard of wolves attacking a corn field to eat the corn!). Many Frenchies are allergic to any food that contains any grain or grain product. Chicken can also be a high allergen for some Frenchies, not all. There are now grain free options on the market for dogs who have food allergies. It is very common for Frenchies to lick their feet.
French bulldogs have a tendency towards eye issues. Cherry eye can sometimes occur, although it is more common in English Bulldogs and Pugs. Glaucoma, retinal fold dysplasia, corneal ulcers and juvenile cataracts are also conditions which have been known to afflict French bulldogs. The skin folds under the eyes of the French bulldog should be cleaned regularly and kept dry. Tear stains are common on lighter-colored dogs.
Reputable breeders do everything they can to produce puppies which are as healthy as possible, but every health screening test in the world still isn’t enough to ensure that nothing will ever happen to your Frenchie. Breathing problems, spinal conditions, allergies, heat stroke, joint problems, Cushings, Addisons, eye problems – they’re out there, and they can happen. Are you prepared to deal with this, if and when it does? Owning a Frenchie is not for the faint of heart – and it’s also not for those who can’t afford good veterinary care.