From kayaking down the lazy river in matching life vests, snuggling up on the couch watching your favorite show for five hours straight, to “protecting” you from the Amazon delivery man, you and your Frenchie have made some doggone wonderful memories together.
One could say that your French bulldog is your bestie. Your number one. And as much as you’d love to keep this companionship going strong forever, eventually, All Dogs Go To Heaven. But how long do French Bulldogs live, exactly?
Most Frenchies will live anywhere from 10 to 12 years. That’s 70 to 98 in dog years, so generally speaking, they’re the beneficiaries of wonderfully long canine lives (made even better with you by their side).
What Factors Affect a French Bulldog’s Lifespan?
You and your Frenchie are like peanut butter and jelly—you can’t have one without the other. This leaves you wondering what factors contribute to their overall lifespan.
Moreover, is any of it within your control?
While their life expectancy might not be completely in your hands, you as a dog owner can be mindful of the following factors to ensure your pup lives a long and healthy life:1
If your best bud has a dog health problem, it could impact their overall quality of life, even with medical intervention. To that end, it’s important to understand certain conditions French Bulldogs are predisposed to due to their genotype and phenotype.
Here are a few health conditions that could potentially affect your Frenchie’s life expectancy:
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BAS) – Due to their short and flat facial structure, some French bulldogs find it difficult to breathe properly. In addition to difficulty breathing, other symptoms include snoring, an inability to stay in hot environments, and in serious cases, collapsing due to the inability to receive enough oxygen.2
- Corneal Ulcers – That smiling, smushy face lends itself to potential eye-related issues for French bulldogs. Because their eyes stick out further on their face, they’re more susceptible to eye traumas. These injuries have the potential to turn into corneal ulcers, which are quite painful and if left untreated, can lead to blindness.3
- Food allergies – Although your pup might not seem picky as they beg for a piece of your burger or a lick of your salted caramel ice cream, their digestion (or lack thereof) might disagree. Unfortunately, some Frenchies have sensitive tummies, often due to their predisposition to food allergies.4 Symptoms of a food allergy can consist of skin irritations, itching, a loss of appetite and energy, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Think about what you feed your Frenchie every day. Are they chowing down on generic kibble that has no mention of meat on the ingredient label? Or are they nibbling on food that proudly lists “poultry” or “fish” as their prized first ingredient?
Pro tip: if you can, always opt for option two. Dog food with protein as one of its main ingredients can help keep your pup full longer, and they’ll be more likely to maintain a healthy weight over time.
Here are some elements to consider when buying your next bag of dog food:5
- Choose wholesome ingredients like “whole-grain rice” or “cage-free chicken.” Avoid dog food that includes byproducts on the ingredient list.
- Look for lean proteins like chicken or fish.
- Keep the fat content moderately low.
Has your Frenchie seen the vet in the past six months? How about in the past year?
In a perfect world, a minimum of one routine check-up at your local veterinarian’s office is ideal. This allows the vet to measure their vitals, document their aging process, and screen any potential ailments that can affect a Frenchie’s well-being.
If they identify anything abnormal, they can give your best bud a more thorough examination to determine if further actions are needed.
On the plus side—if the vet does find signs of common French bulldog conditions, they have a better chance of nipping the issue in the bud before it progresses.
This could give your pup a longer life, which equates to more afternoon walks chasing the ducks at the park (if you guys are into that sort of thing).
Exposure to Heat
Yes, this is a very specific point, but it has an important purpose.
French Bulldogs don’t handle prolonged exposure to heat as well as Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, or Golden Retrievers. Their flattened snout can make it challenging to breathe an adequate amount of air. Without air, they can’t pant properly to cool themselves off, which could result in a potential heat stroke.
To avoid prolonged heat exposure, here are a few quick tips to keep your Frenchie cool as a cucumber:
- Keep outdoor exercise to a minimum on hot days.
- Give them plenty of shade and water.
- Cool them off with a bath, a homemade frozen pup-cicle, or a cooling body wrap.
- Avoid environments that are too humid, as this makes it more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature.
Pet maintenance is similar to car maintenance. In both scenarios, it’s important to monitor their health regularly to give them the greatest chance at a long, fruitful life.
Unlike car checkups, however, pet maintenance consists of more personal upkeep (similar to your own annual health screening).
While the following tasks aren’t necessarily time-consuming, they are a commitment that may ultimately increase your French Bulldog’s lifespan (hopefully to 98 dog years—or more!):
- Wash their dog bowls frequently to prevent the growth of bacteria.6
- Keep their faces clean and healthy by washing them at least once a week to remove any dirt, eye and nose boogies, and food remnants.
- Make sure their pearly whites stay white and more importantly—healthy (consider using a subscription that comes with monthly dental chews and dog-approved toothpaste, so you’ll never forget to order the products they need).
- Check their skin regularly for any signs of skin irritation which could be a sign of a food allergy.7
Tips for Helping to Extend Your French Bulldog’s Lifespan
We know you’ll do anything in your power to give your Frenchie a long and fulfilling life. Yearly vet checkups—consider it done. Washing their water bowls—will do. Buying them protein-rich dog food? You got it.
But beyond the necessities, there’s still more you can do. Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips you as a dog owner can implement into you and your doggo’s lifestyle to better improve their longevity.
Use Eco-Friendly Products
French bulldogs are kind of like toddlers. If they see a bottle of multi-purpose disinfectant, chances are they’ll want to put it in their mouths.
They can’t help themselves—they’re curious creatures.
Unfortunately, if they apply enough pressure and the plastic bottle breaks, they might ingest a mouthful of whatever toxic chemicals are in the liquid, and that could be extremely harmful to them (cue the stressful emergency trip to the vet).
Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid this type of circumstance:
- Keep cleaning products out of reach – Remove the temptation by keeping your cleaning products tucked away in a cabinet. If you’d keep it out of reach for your curious toddler, then the same applies to your inquisitive pup.
- Use eco-friendly products – Shop for eco-friendly cleaning products. Look for plant-based ingredients on the ingredient label.8 Products with natural ingredients are safer in the rare instance that your Frenchie gets his paws (or mouth) on an eco-friendly product bottle.
Spend Time With Them
Your frenchie puppy wants to be part of whatever you’re doing (literally anything). They’ll happily do it over and over because you’re their best friend and you make them happy (and they want to return the favor).
All of this time together creates oxytocin—for both you and your French Bulldog puppy! Oxytocin is known as one of the love hormones. As such, it elicits a positive feeling when you’re petting your furry pal and spending time with them9, which can give you both a sense of fulfillment.
With increased oxytocin levels and an overall sense of happiness from being together, your small dog might experience:10
- Better overall dog health
- Potentially longer life expectancy
Keep Them Active
As the proud owner of a French bulldog, you probably know that they’re content to do about as much (or as little) physical activity as you’re comfortable with.
Whether you both enjoy spending your afternoons on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns or you indulge in nightly jogs around your block, they’re content to partake, so long as they’re by your side.
While they may not require as much physical activity as other dog breeds, that doesn’t mean that they thrive on a sedentary lifestyle. If you as a french bulldog owner want to give them the best opportunity for a long, healthy life, it’s important to keep them active.
Here are some quick and easy (and fun) suggestions to provide them with ample exercise each day:
- Walk around a neighborhood you’ve never explored
- Play fetch with them
- Take them to the dog par
- Make an indoor obstacle course
- Organize a playdate with another furry friend
- Buy them a BarkBox subscription to provide them with hours of at-home entertainment
Let Your Frenchie Live Their Best (and Long) Life With BARK
With proper care and consideration, you French Bulldog owner should have plenty of years to give your small dog a happy life, and really—that’s all they want (and maybe the occasional exciting new toy).
For the latter, that’s where BARK comes in.
With love for all things dog-related, we’re here to make sure your pup stays nimble and happy for years to come with dog toys sent directly to your door every month! If you’re looking for a way to keep your Frenchie active, check out our BarkBox subscription today.
Show your frenchie puppy that the key to living a long life is living their best one.
- AKC. French Bulldog. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/french-bulldog/
- Royal Frenchel. What is a French Bulldog’s Lifespan? https://www.royalfrenchel.com/french-bulldog-lifespan/
- VCA. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Dogs. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/brachycephalic-airway-syndrome-in-dogs
- Frenchie Buddy. Why french bulldogs have a sensitive stomach and how to help them? https://frenchiebuddy.com/french-bulldog-with-sensitive-stomach/
- Rover. The 11 Best Dog Foods for French Bulldogs. https://www.rover.com/blog/reviews/best-dog-food-french-bulldogs/
- Doggie Solutions. How Often Should I Wash My Dog’s Food And Water Bowls? https://www.doggiesolutions.co.uk/blogs/helpful-articles-and-advice/how-often-should-i-wash-my-dogs-food-and-water-bowls
- Nom Nom. French Bulldogs With Skin Allergies. https://www.nomnomnow.com/learn/article/french-bulldogs-skin-allergies
- Blue and Green. Why Using Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Is Essential For Your Pets. https://blueandgreentomorrow.com/spend/why-using-eco-friendly-cleaning-products-is-essential-for-pets/
- The Wildest. Chemistry Between People and Pets Is Real (It’s Science). https://www.thewildest.com/dog-lifestyle/oxytocin-chemistry-between-people-and-dogs-real
- Dog’s Best Life. 7 simple tips to increase your French bulldog’s lifespan. https://dogsbestlife.com/dog-health/french-bulldog-lifespan/