How Long do English Bulldogs Live? And How to Make Bulldogs Live Longer

The first thing that comes to the mind when you bring a little puppy home is their well-being and happiness. English bulldogs are one of the most sensitive breeds when it comes to health issues or infections due to their one-of-a-kind physical structure and genetics. If you are concerned about how long an English bulldog can live and what all can be done to keep your pet living for as long as possible, here’s a quick guide.

English Bulldogs live between 8-10 years on average. With the right care, some can live up to 10 to 12 years, while in rare cases, some may even reach up to 18 years of age.

Catering to their unique emotional and physical needs, along with regular medical care surely makes them lead a healthier and longer life.

A statistical analysis of English Bulldog life expectancy revealed the following lifespan expectations:

Low End of Range3.2 years
High End of Range11.3 years
Median8.4 years
Frequent Medical Care Life Expectancy5 – 7 years

A study of 180 English Bulldog deaths highlighted the top causes of deaths.

Cardiac Event20.0%
Old Age8.9%
Cerebral Vascular4.4%

Of the 8.9% of bulldogs who died of old age, the study found they were around 10 – 11 years of age.

How does the lifespan of English bulldogs compare with other breeds?

The average lifespan of an English bulldog is far below than that of most other breeds. To be precise, it’s about 30 percent less than the lifespan of other breeds due to several reasons involving their anatomy and health conditions.

Tips for extending the life expectancy of your bulldog

Maintain good oral health

Make sure you always pay attention to your bulldog’s oral hygiene and health, because it can add up to 3-4 years to their lives. Dogs older than three are likely to develop gum diseases and plaque that can lead to gingivitis. On entering the body, such bacteria can not only affect your pooch’s mouths, but also have adverse effects on its kidney, heart, and brain.

Prevent respiratory problems

Bulldogs can’t handle warm weather and are very sensitive to heat. Make sure you keep your pet indoors and in a cool environment during summers. Their short squished muzzle creates breathing problems and respiratory diseases can develop that can become fatal.

Maintain a healthy body weight

Feed the optimal amount of food to your bulldog to prevent them from getting overweight. If your pet gains extra weight, consult with your vet and together make a workout plan that helps your bulldog get to the right body weight. We know that this can be sometimes tough with English bulldogs, since they can be little piggies when it comes to devouring food, but you have to learn to be strict with them. You must ensure that they only eat the amount of food they need to, and no matter how cute those puppy eyes might be, you must learn to say no.

Visit the vet regularly

Annual check ups are a must so that vets can look out for any health issues before they develop. During these check ups, vets will also check for worms, ticks, and fleas, among other specific bulldog health issues like hip dysplasia and brachycephalic syndrome. IT’s also important to keep bulldogs up to date on their vaccines, such as ones that prevent hepatitis, rabies, parvovirus, and distemper.

Exercise regularly

Just like most dogs, English bulldogs too, love to go out daily, no matter how lazy they are. It’s good to give your bulldog regular exercise, and the nice thing is that it doesn’t take long to give them a good workout. About 5-15 minutes of walking at a brisk pace is a great cardiovascular workout for your dog. Keep in mind that a bulldog is prone to feeling breathless after rigorous workouts or when under stress, so don’t make these workouts and walks too arduous for them, lest you unintentionally cause your dog to develop breathing difficulties.

Understand your dog’s genetics

Understanding the genetics of your dog is important when addressing possible health concerns. If possible, having a quick insight into their ancestry will help you understand potential health issues that may affect your pet sometime later life. Some common genetic problems include cardiac and respiratory conditions, skin problems, digestive, or reproductive troubles. This is why it’s important to ask your breeder about your dog’s family tree, so that you can best prepare yourself for any health issues down the line.

Provide emotional support

The fact that bulldogs are super friendly and cuddly makes them long for an emotional connection with their owners. If your dog feels happy and content on an emotional level, they will surely have reduced stress levels and live longer. Most English bulldogs often behave relaxed which in turn sometimes leads to the homeowner getting a little less attentive towards them. Make sure this doesn’t happen and that your dog gets the attention and affection it so deserves. Spend as much quality time with them as possible—it will be beneficial for both your dog and you in the long run!

Healthy eating habits and food to help your bulldog live longer

One of the most significant things you can do to keep your dog live a healthier and longer life is to feed them a good and healthy diet. Make sure you feed them a well-balanced, nutritious diet that doesn’t only constitute big food brands, but also organic and natural items.

English bulldogs are very food oriented like most other dogs, but unlike more athletic breeds, they put on weight more easily. So go for low-calorie nutritious treats to reduce the risk of them becoming overweight. They must be fed 20-70 calories per pound daily, but this can vary according to the specific lifestyle of your pet. Feed your bulldog a few times daily, instead of giving them a large bowl full of food at once. Adding a little nutritious variations like fruits or vegetables to their meals will also keep them healthy.

Raw bones reduce the risk of dental problems until your dog is very old. Dogs that are only fed kibble develop dental diseases by the age of 3, thereby reducing their life due to systemic oral infections.

What nutrients will make your bulldog live longer?

So, what makes a well-balanced, nutritious diet? And what kind of nutrients does your bulldog need?

Omega fatty acids reduce inflammation and heal painful joints in bulldogs. While omega-6 is usually present in their diet, supplement omega-3 acids with some quality fish oil.

It’s essential to give them antioxidants as they destroy free radicals and delay aging. Raw veggies and fruits contain a high level of antioxidants, so make sure your mixing in fruits and veggie in to their diets.

5 common bulldog health issues that shorten their lifespans

Breathing problems

Difficulty breathing is the main reason behind the short lifespan of English bulldogs. The anatomy of their face, i.e. the small face and squished muzzle, leads to several breathing problems. They aren’t able to breathe in a sufficient amount of air due to the pinched nostrils, while the narrow trachea leads to wheezing.

Dental issues

All dogs get tartar and plaque build up in their teeth, and without the right dental care, they can catch mouth infections. English bulldogs are even more prone to dental problems as they have short and wide heads, thereby having a small mouth. Their teeth are overcrowded and squished in very tightly, often leading to gum problems and pain.

It’s advised to brush your bulldog’s teeth at least three times a week to reduce the risk of dental health problems. Dental neglect can even lead to kidney damage or liver problems, and can even reduce their lifespan by 1-3 years.


Right weight management is crucial to the life expectancy of your dog because English bulldogs are susceptible to gaining extra weight. Becoming overweight puts them at risk of back pain, digestive problems, metabolic disorders, and heart problems. Extra weight also intensifies the regular joints already put on this breed. Thus, it’s important to go for high-quality dog food and follow a specific meal plan, to avoid overindulgence.

Heat strokes

English bulldogs are very sensitive to strong heat and sun rays during summer. In fact, they have almost zero tolerance for harsh heat which can even lead to death due to heatstroke. It’s very important to manage your bulldog’s temperature and to keep him or indoors during the hottest times of the day. Check out our post on how to protect your bulldog from suffering from heat strokes.

Other health problems

Hip dysplasia, where the hip joint doesn’t function right leading to lameness or arthritis, is a major hereditary condition in English bulldogs. Apart from that, several dermatological issues, including hair loss and lesions are caused by their wrinkled skin. They are also at risk of vision problems due to the loose skin folds around their adorable eyes. Each of these can also reduce their life expectancy.

English bulldogs are a strong, stubborn but charming breed with many predispositions to health problems. The most important thing you can do as an owner to mitigate these problems is to consult a vet regularly, provide proper hygiene, and keep your bulldog on a healthy and nutritious diet. Not only will these help to extend the life span of your English Bulldog but it will also improve their quality of life.

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