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French Bulldog Lifespan


Talking about our pets’ lifespans is one of those sad topics that I’m sure we’d all like to avoid discussing— but it’s important to understand the ins and outs of your dog’s breed so that you can provide them with the highest quality of life.

In this article you’ll learn…

  • Lifespan— how long your average Frenchie lives and how it compares to other breeds
  • Lifestyle tips— there are a whole bunch of ways you can help your Frenchie live longer; only you can help your Frenchie live a healthier life
  • Causes of death— the 5 most common causes of death for French Bulldogs

What is the average French Bulldog Lifespan?

The average lifespan of a French Bulldog is between 10–12 years.

It’s important to note that this is just the average lifespan, and there are many ways that you can positively influence your Frenchie’s lifespan (and there are definitely things that can lower it!).

There are ways to increase your dog’s lifespan, health, and quality of life!

Fortunately, there some are things that you can do for your Frenchie to ensure they like a long, happy life.

These include…

  1. Daily exercise
  2. Avoid smoke & other airborne pollutants
  3. Go to the vet regularly
  4. A good diet
  5. Staying fit
  6. Good oral health
  7. Address breathing issues
  8. Reduce stress on their joints

How long do French Bulldogs live?

You can expect a healthy French Bulldog to live for around 10 – 12 years on average according to the AKC.

Compare this to the average dog lifespan which is around 10 – 13 years.

French Bulldog Lifespan Compared to Other Breeds

Compared to the average dog, Frenchies typically have slightly shorter lifespans— with this being said, they live longer than other Bulldogs such as the English Bulldog (who has an 8–10 year average lifespan).

BreedAverage Lifespan
French Bulldog10-12 years
Pug12-15 years
Boston Terrier13-15 years
English Bulldog8-10 years
Labrador Retriever~12 years
Shih-Tzu11-16 years
Average Dog10-13 years

What affects a French Bulldog’s lifespan?

There are many factors that can influence your dog’s lifespan— some positively, others negatively.

While some things — such as the genetics of your dog — are out of your control, you are able to contribute to a healthy lifestyle for your dog through their diet, exercise, and environment.

  1. Diet— do you share a lot of human food with them? do they eat a ton of treats? are they overweight?
  2. Lifestyle— activity level; do you take care of their joints?
  3. Environment— exposure to things such as second-hand smoke
  4. Genetics— some Frenchies are predisposed to certain health issues which can negatively impact their lifespan

8 Ways to Increase French Bulldog Lifespan

Here are some positive lifestyle changes you can make to help your French Bulldog live longer.

  1. Daily exercise— 30 minutes to two hours per day is sufficient
  2. Avoid smoke & other airborne pollutants— secondhand smoke and other toxic particles in the air can cause just as much of an issue for our Frenchies as they do for us humans!
  3. Go to the vet regularly— don’t ignore any health issues that arise
  4. A good diet— feed them a nutritious, high-quality diet
  5. Stay fit— it’s important for your Frenchie to maintain a healthy weight
  6. Good oral health— this includes frequent brushing and treating any oral diseases such as gum disease as they arise
  7. Address breathing issues— your Frenchie might need some kind of surgery to help them breathe better… your best bet is to discuss this with your vet if you suspect your Frenchie could benefit from such a surgery
  8. Reduce stress on their joints— keeping your Frenchie’s joints healthy is the key to staying active (which is the #1 way to keep your Frenchie healthy!)
  9. Regular flea and tick prevention
  10. Use non-toxic cleaning products and avoid harsh chemicals around your Frenchie

1 – Daily exercise

The best way to stay healthy & prolong life — for both humans and Frenchies — is daily exercise.

According to PetMD, “…it is generally recommended that your dog spend between 30 minutes to two hours being active every day—and not just on the weekends”

Exercising With Your Dog 101 — PetMD

Given the fact that Frenchies are prone to breathing issues & issues regulating their body temperature, it’s best to stick to the lower end of this recommendation & avoid excessively hot/cold environments.

Tips for Frenchie Fitness

Here are a few ways that you can keep your Frenchie active in a way that is good for their joints & won’t aggravate their breathing issues…

  • Short & sweet— keep outdoor play sessions short
  • Puppy pools— if playing outside on a hot day, get them a puppy pool to cool off
  • Play inside— play inside when it’s hot (or if you just don’t feel like going outside!)
  • Avoid big falls— avoid them jumping on/off high surfaces (use puppy stairs for high places)
  • Stay hydrated— keep a portable water bowl with you on walks (especially on hot summer days)
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2 – Avoid smoke & other airborne pollutants

Not only is smoke & secondhand smoke bad for us humans to breathe in, but it’s also just as bad (if not worse) for our pets!

In addition to smoke, there are also many other airborne particles (such as dust & mold) that can bother your Frenchie if they’re sensitive to them.

Examples of Harmful Things in the Air

  • Secondhand smoke— dogs that are exposed to secondhand smoke can develop respiratory problems, lung cancer, and other health issues.
  • Air pollutionexposure to air pollution, such as car exhaust and industrial emissions, can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, and skin irritation in dogs.
  • Pesticides— dogs can inhale pesticides or be exposed to them through grooming, which can lead to health problems such as liver and kidney damage, respiratory issues, and cancer.
  • Moldexposure to mold can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and other health issues in dogs.
  • Cleaning productssome cleaning products release toxic fumes into the air, which can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, and other health issues in dogs.

You can monitor the Air Quality Index

An Air Quality Index (AQI) level over 150 can be harmful to dogs, causing respiratory issues and worsening pre-existing health problems.

It’s important to monitor AQI levels and take necessary precautions when levels reach a dangerous range.

How to check the AQI

To check the AQI levels, you can visit websites such as AirNow or most weather sites. You can also download air quality apps for your smartphone that provide real-time AQI updates (it’s even built-in to iPhones now!).

Exposure to smoke & other pollutants can cause…

3 – Go to the vet regularly

You should be taking your Frenchie to the vet at least once a year.

When your Frenchie gets to be older, you can start taking them for checkups twice a year.

Don’t ignore symptoms!

Don’t ignore any weird symptoms your dog shows!

Sure, we don’t need to be running to the vet every time your Frenchie throws up or has diarrhea, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore them if the problem continues…

Get immediate vet attention for…
  • Difficulty breathing— sure Frenchies are prone to breathing issues, but if they’re suddenly having severe breathing issues, they need immediate vet attention
  • Seizures— they could be a sign of epilepsy, liver disease, or even a brain tumor
  • Unusual behavior— disorientation, confusion, or loss of coordination
  • Suspected poisoning— think your Frenchie ate something toxic? are they showing signs of poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, and lethargy? You don’t need to wait to see these signs… if you think they ate something toxic, get them help right away.
  • Trauma or serious injury— did your Frenchie jump off something and suddenly having issues walking? There’s no sense in trying to let them “walk it off”… get them to a vet ASAP.
The earlier you catch problems, the easier they are to treat

Take them to the vet whenever you notice something is off— the earlier you catch things, the better!

Trust your gut instinct!

And with all the health problems that Frenchies are predisposed to, if you think something’s off… there’s a decent chance there is.

4 – Feed them a nutritious, high-quality diet

Your Frenchie is what they eat— be sure to provide them with the nutrients they need to live a happy & healthy life.

There are numerous benefits to feeding your Frenchie a high-quality diet, among those are better health & a longer lifespan.

Benefits include…

  • Improved overall health— a high-quality diet provides all the essential nutrients a dog needs to maintain good health and support their overall well-being.
  • Better digestion— high-quality diets are made with high-quality ingredients that are easily digestible, reducing the risk of digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
  • Stronger immune system— a well-balanced diet provides the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed to support a strong immune system, reducing the risk of disease and illness.
  • Healthy skin and coat— a high-quality diet rich in essential fatty acids helps keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, shiny, and free of dryness and itching.
  • Maintained healthy weight— high-quality diets are made with ingredients that provide a balanced amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, which can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity. This can reduce the risk of joint problems and other health issues associated with being overweight.

Not all Frenchie foods are made the same…

When looking for a good food for your Frenchie, there are a few things that you want to look for as well as some things you want to avoid:

Look for these ingredients

  • High-quality whole protein at the top of the ingredient list— look for a dog food that lists a high-quality protein source (such as chicken, turkey, or salmon) as the first ingredient. Avoid foods that list meat by-products or fillers as the main ingredient.
  • Vitamins & minerals (such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids)— a good dog food should provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals for your Frenchie’s health, including Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which can support skin and coat health, joint health, and brain development.
  • Fruits & vegetables— a dog food that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide additional nutrients and fiber for your Frenchie. Look for foods that include ingredients like sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and blueberries.
  • Healthy fats— Frenchies need a balanced diet that includes healthy fats for energy and overall health. Look for dog foods that contain healthy fats like fish oil, flaxseed oil, or chicken fat.

Try to avoid

  1. Excessive protein— while protein is important, too much can strain kidneys and cause health problems. Choose a balanced diet with the right amount of protein.
  2. Animal by-products— these lower quality ingredients, like bones and internal organs, may not provide necessary nutrients.
  3. Products from China— some pet food made in China contains toxic ingredients like melamine. Look for products made in the US or Europe.
  4. “Meat-meal” or “by-products” or “meat”— these ingredients can refer to a variety of animal parts, including bones, hooves, and internal organs, and are of lower quality than meat..
  5. Allergens like grain, soy, and wheat (for some Frenchies)— some Frenchies are prone to food allergies, and grain, soy, and wheat are common allergens. Avoid allergens in their diet if necessary.
  6. BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, sodium selenite, and other toxins— these preservatives and chemicals can cause health problems and should be avoided. It’s important to choose a pet food that does not contain these ingredients.

By avoiding these ingredients, you can help ensure that your Frenchie is getting a healthy and nutritious diet.

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5 – Maintain a healthy weight

Frenchies — and other bulldogs — are known for easily packing on some weight.

Why it’s important for your Frenchie to maintain a healthy weight

  • Reduced risk of joint problems— Excess weight can put added stress on the joints, which can lead to conditions like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other joint problems.
  • Improved breathing— Frenchies are prone to breathing issues, and being overweight can make these problems even worse. Maintaining a healthy weight can help improve their breathing and reduce the risk of respiratory problems.
  • Longer lifespan— Studies have shown that overweight dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to dogs who maintain a healthy weight. Keeping your Frenchie at a healthy weight can help them live a longer, healthier life.
  • Higher energy levels— Dogs who are overweight tend to have lower energy levels and can become easily fatigued. A healthy weight can help keep energy levels high and keep your Frenchie feeling good and active.
  • Reduced risk of other health problems— Being overweight can also increase the risk of other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of these and other health problems.

Keeping your Frenchie a healthy weight is the key to keeping energy levels high & preventing breathing & joint issues from being aggravated.

Tips for keeping your Frenchie a healthy weight

Some good low-calorie Training Treats

My Frenchie's Favorite
Zuke's Mini Naturals
4.6
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Frenchies may be stubborn— but with a treat like this, they'll be doing whatever it takes to get another one...

With chicken as the #1 ingredient and only 3 calories per treat, this is one of my favorite Frenchie treats for both training & snacking.

Pros:
  • Made with chicken
  • Less than 3 calories per treat
  • Made with natural, whole ingredients
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Best Value
Wellness Wellbites
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The perfect low-calorie training treat.

With real beef as the #1 ingredient and no by-products or artificial ingredients, these are sure to have your Frenchie listening for more.

Pros:
  • All-natural
  • Made in the USA
  • Created by nutritionists and veterinarians
  • Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids to support healthy brain & coat development
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Best Seller
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Pros:
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  • Free of any artificial ingredients
  • Only made with real whole ingredients
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6 – Maintain oral health; frequent brushing

It’s important to keep your Frenchie’s mouth as clean & plaque-free as possible.

Dog breath never smells “good”, but if your Frenchie’s breath is bad enough to make you gag or you notice signs of dental disease (such as swollen gums or loose teeth)— it’s probably time to take them to the vet for a professional teeth cleaning.

Poor oral health left untreated can lead to many health issues such as…

  • Tooth loss— dental disease can cause teeth to become loose or fall out. This can be painful and impact your Frenchie’s ability to eat and play.
  • Abscesses— bacteria from dental disease can spread to other parts of the body and cause infections, including abscesses in the jaw or sinuses. This can be painful and require medical treatment.
  • Heart disease— there is a growing body of research linking dental disease to heart disease in dogs. The bacteria from dental disease can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation, which can contribute to heart problems.
  • Periodontal disease— this is a common dental issue in dogs, which is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums. Over time, this can lead to inflammation, infection, and damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues.

Oral Health Tips

Maintaining your Frenchie’s oral health doesn’t have to be hard…

I recommend the following…

  • Use dog tooth wipes for quick and easy cleaning
  • Get them professionally cleaned by a veterinarian once a year
  • Feed them dental treats like Greenies to remove plaque buildup and promote healthy teeth and gums

7 – Address any breathing issues

For a long & happy life, you should treat any breathing issues such as stenotic nares or elongated soft palate as early as possible.

Simple, routine surgeries can greatly improve your Frenchie’s breathing

These are fixable with surgery and will improve your Frenchie’s general health, quality of life, and lifespan.

These surgeries include…
  1. Stenotic Nares Surgery— this procedure involves widening the nostrils to allow for better airflow and to relieve respiratory distress
  2. Elongated Soft Palate Surgery— this procedure involves removing a portion of the soft palate, which can be too long and obstruct the airway
  3. Everted Laryngeal Saccules Surgery— this procedure involves removing saccules in the larynx that are blocking the airway

8 – Reduce stress on their joints

Your Frenchie needs to stay active to stay as healthy as possible…

This is why it’s so important to protect their joints from any injuries.

5 Tips for keeping your Frenchie’s joints healthy

  1. Don’t play too rough— While it’s important for your Frenchie to get plenty of exercise, it’s important to avoid rough play that can cause joint injuries. This includes activities like jumping, running on hard surfaces, or playing tug-of-war.
  2. Feed them a healthy diet— A healthy diet is important for maintaining your Frenchie’s overall health, including their joint health. Be sure to provide them with high-quality, balanced nutrition that includes the right mix of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight— Frenchies are prone to joint issues like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, which can be exacerbated by excess weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for reducing the risk of joint problems and keeping your Frenchie active and comfortable.
  4. Don’t let them jump off high surfaces— use puppy stairs on your bed & other high surfaces; jumping off high surfaces can put a lot of stress on your Frenchie’s joints, especially their spine and hips. Provide them with puppy stairs or ramps to help them safely get on and off high surfaces.
  5. Avoid holding a ball up in the air so that they jump up for it— when they land on their hind legs, it puts a lot of stress on their joints… This can be especially harmful for Frenchies, as their short legs and compact bodies make them more susceptible to joint injuries. Instead, play games that are gentler on their joints, such as fetch on flat ground or gentle tug-of-war.
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Pros:
  • Protects your Frenchie's joints
  • Tons of colors & patterns to match any room
  • Machine-washable cover that is easy to remove
  • Available in 3-steps, 4-steps, and 5-steps
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9 – Regular flea and tick prevention

Not only are fleas itchy and annoying, both fleas and ticks both can carry deadly diseases such as Lyme disease or Bartonellosis.

How you can prevent fleas & ticks

  • Wash their stuff— your Frenchie’s bedding and toys regularly
  • Medication— Using a monthly topical flea and tick preventative medication
  • Clean up— Vacuuming and cleaning your home regularly to remove any flea eggs or larvae
  • Check their skin— Checking your Frenchie regularly for fleas and ticks, especially after spending time outdoors

10 – Use non-toxic cleaning products and avoid harsh chemicals around your Frenchie

You have to be careful about what you use to clean your house.

While a lot of the common cleaning supplies might not be the greatest health-wise, there are tons of safe alternatives to these products.

You need to be careful of…

  • Anything harmful that you spray into their air
  • Floor cleaners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners if they have a habit of drinking out of the toilet

If your Frenchie runs around on your floor that you just cleaned using something toxic, then goes to lick their paws— it could cause poisoning.

Examples of safe cleaning products

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Citrus-based cleaners
  • Vinegar and water solution

Examples of unsafe cleaning products

  • Chlorine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Oven cleaners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Ammonia-based cleaners
  • Bleach and other chlorine-based cleaners

Examples of Bad Frenchie Lifestyle Choices

An all-around healthy lifestyle is the key to a long & healthy life.

These are some examples of things that you want your Frenchie to avoid…

  • Never exercise— Frenchies can be known for snoozing & being couch potatoes… make sure you keep them active with lots of toys & walks.
  • Eat a bunch of human food— for the foods that are safe to share, you’ll want to keep portions on the smaller sides and use it as an infrequent treat (maybe share some tasty food on their birthday!)

It’s best to prevent health issues in the first place!

The best way to keep your Frenchie happy & healthy for as long as possible is by preventing any health issues from arising in the first place…

Don’t forget: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

— Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus

What Do French Bulldogs Usually Die From?

The leading causes of death for French Bulldogs are respiratory disease, cancer, old age, heart failure, and kidney failure.

The 5 most common causes of French Bulldog deaths

Frenchies most commonly die from the following conditions…

  1. Cancer— cancer is a common cause of death in Frenchies, and it can develop in a variety of forms, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and mammary gland tumors.
  2. Old age— as Frenchies age, their bodies become less able to function normally, and they may develop age-related diseases and conditions that can lead to death.
  3. Heart failure— Frenchies are prone to heart problems, such as mitral valve disease, which can lead to heart failure.
  4. Kidney failure— kidney failure can occur as a result of age-related changes, or it can be a complication of a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  5. Respiratory disease— Frenchies are prone to respiratory problems due to their short snouts and flattened faces, which can lead to difficulty breathing and ultimately, respiratory disease. This can be exacerbated by environmental factors, such as air pollution and exposure to allergens.

These conditions can be managed

It’s important to be aware of these common causes of death in Frenchies and to work with a veterinarian to manage any health issues and prevent them from becoming more serious.

This can help extend your Frenchie’s life and ensure they are happy and healthy for as long as possible.

Do French Bulldogs Have Health Problems?

It shouldn’t surprise you that Frenchies have some health issues— they’re known for being notorious for their health issues.

Frenchies are notorious for their health problems… the most common being breathing issues and joint issues.

5 Most Common Frenchie Health Problems

  1. Allergies— Frenchies are prone to allergies, particularly skin allergies. This can cause itching, scratching, and skin infections. Allergies can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as food, pollen, or certain materials.
  2. Cherry eye— A condition where the gland in the dog’s third eyelid protrudes and becomes visible as a red mass in the corner of their eye. This can cause discomfort and may require surgery to correct.
  3. Spine issues— Frenchies are at risk for spinal problems, such as intervertebral disc disease, which can cause pain, weakness, and even paralysis. This is often due to their short, stocky build and can be exacerbated by weight gain.
  4. Breathing issues— Brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs have short snouts, which can lead to breathing difficulties. They may experience snoring, wheezing, and even respiratory distress in severe cases.
  5. Hip dysplasia, spine issues & other joint problems— Frenchies can develop joint problems, such as hip dysplasia or luxating patella (kneecap dislocation), which can cause pain and lameness. They are also at risk for spinal arthritis due to their predisposition to spinal problems. Proper nutrition and exercise can help reduce the risk of joint issues.

It’s important to note that not all French Bulldogs will experience these health problems, and some may develop other conditions not listed here.

Frenchie Health Guide
21 Most Common French Bulldog Health Problems

An in-depth guide on nearly every health problem affecting Frenchies.

Learn about the most common health problems & what you can do to manage them.

Learn about Frenchie Health

The healthiest of the bully breeds

Surprisingly though, Frenchies are the healthiest of all the “bully” breeds.

A lot of bully breeds are at high risk of hip dysplasia, especially the bigger bully breeds like the Great Dane & Bullmastiff.

This makes them healthier than…

  • Boxers
  • Bullmastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Bull Terriers
  • English Bulldogs
  • American Bulldogs
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • And more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the oldest living French Bulldog?

The oldest living French Bulldog was 14 and a half years old, according to an article from CTV News Vancouver Island.

What age is a French Bulldog considered a senior?

A French Bulldog is considered a senior around 8-9 years old.

What makes a dog a “senior” depends on their size— smaller dogs are considered seniors at 11 years of age.

How long do Mini French Bulldogs live?

It’s long been known that smaller dogs live significantly longer lives than larger breeds, however, the same is not true for mini Frenchies

On average, Mini Frenchies live 1–2 years shorter than normal Frenchies.

Male vs Female French Bulldog Lifespan

Studies have shown that female dogs have a slightly longer lifespan than their male counterparts.

While this study was done on many breeds of dogs, one can assume that it applies to Frenchies (and every other dog!)

SexAverage Lifespan
Male15.4 years
Female15.6 years
Overall15.4 years