You won’t find many dog breeds as loyal, loving, and adaptable as the French bulldog. They don’t bark excessively, make wonderful babysitters, and are practically perfect pups to own if you live in the city. They’re also very affectionate and usually have personalities much bigger than their actual stature.
In short, owning a French bulldog is a joy. They will wiggle and grunt their way into your heart and leave a mark on your soul that you won’t ever forget. Sadly, like every dog breed, there will come a day that your Frenchie comes to the end of their little doggie life. That’s the subject of today’s article, How Long Do French Bulldogs Live. So get out a box of tissues while we explore this sad subject and give you tips on how to deal with it.
The average lifespan of a French bulldog is between 10 and 12 years, although they can live slightly longer in some cases.
How Long Do French Bulldogs Live On Average?
Depending on the sources you check you’ll find different opinions on the lifespan of this wonderful dog breed. Some say it’s a little shorter, others a little bit longer, making it difficult to say exactly.
For example, if you check with the AKC will tell you that the typical French bulldog has a life expectancy of between 9 and 12 years. Across the pond, however, the British kennel club says that they live an average of 9 years.
Unfortunately, it seems that that French bulldogs tend to die a bit younger most other small breeds. For example, an article in Canine Medicine and Genetics from BMC from May of 2018 Showed that the median age of death was 3.6 years. (In the study, 2200 French bulldogs were included and 98 passed away.) That same study showed that nearly 13% of the Frenchies had upper respiratory tract disorders including sleep apnea and difficulty breathing, which may lead to their shorter lifespans.
What Are the Stages of a French Bulldogs Life By Year Ranges?
Like most dog breeds French bulldogs are all a bit different when it comes to maturing. That being said, there are four different stages of life that they go through and most of them start and end at about the same time.
From the day they’re born until they reach about 6 months your French bulldog is still considered a puppy.
From 6 months until they reach about 18 months of age your Frenchie is considered to be in their teenage’ years. Just like a human teenager, during this time you can expect your French bullie to be rambunctious, stubborn, and to cause a mess from time to time.
Between 18 months and 2 years old your French bulldog will continue to ‘fill-out’. They won’t get longer or taller but simply put on a few extra pounds. At this point, they will be considered an adult. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that they will sometimes still exhibit ‘puppy-like’ behavior. After all, they’re dogs, not humans.
If you are lucky enough to have a French bulldog that lives to be seven or eight years, they will then be considered a senior dog. Once they reach 10 years old they will be considered an ‘old’ dog. At this point, a lot of their senses will diminish including vision, hearing, and smell. They will have slower reaction times also, and sleep more during the day.
What’s The Longest Living French Bulldog’s Age?
While it’s difficult to say which French bulldog has lived longest (they don’t really keep statistics) there are a few French bullies of note. For example, actress Denise Richards had a French bullie names Hank who live to be 13. The AKC reported in 2016 that they were aware of a Frenchie that had live to be 14.5 years old. In May 2019 a study by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association listed their oldest French bulldog as being just shy of 15 years old. (14 years and 8 months to be exact.)
Statistically, What Are the Most Common Causes of Death in French Bulldogs?
Like all other dog breeds, there are several things that can cause a French bullie to pass away. One of the biggest factors is that they tend to be over-bred and also that they are brachycephalic dogs. Smaller dogs do tend to live longer lifespans than larger dogs, however, (with some exceptions). In terms of statistics, the following five causes of death are the most prevalent:
- Cancer (different forms) = 38%
- Neurological problems = 17%
- Old Age = 9%
- Respiratory problems = 7%
- Musculoskeletal problems = 4%
How Does the Lifespan of a French Bulldog Compare to Other Breeds?
French bulldogs are considered to be a medium size dog breed. As with other medium size dog breeds, they tend to live a little bit shorter lifespan than smaller dogs and a little bit longer than larger dogs. Below is a list of several dogs and their lifespans, going from longest to shortest:
- Chihuahua 15 to 17 years
- Chinese Crested 15 to 17 years
- English Toy Spaniel 13 to 15 years
- Poodle 12 to 15 years
- Jack Russel Terrier 12 to 14 years
- Yorkshire Terrier 12 to 14 years
- French Bulldog 12 to 14 years
- Staffordshire terrier 10 to 15 years
- Bulldog 10 to 12 years
- Boxer 10 to 12 years
- Rottweiler 10 to 12 years
- Saint Bernard 10 to 12 years
- Scottish Deerhound 10 to 12 years
- Irish Wolfhound 8 to 10 years
Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your French Bulldog
There are many things that you can do to help your French bulldog buddy to live a longer, healthier life. Yes, they do tend to have more health problems than some other dogs due to their brachycephalic nature, but many of the health problems that shorten their life can be avoided. Here are some of the most important things that you can do to help your Frenchie live a long, healthy life:
Feed Them a Healthy Diet
Just like humans, a healthy diet with less fat, sugar, and salt is very important for your French bulldog and will help them to live longer. It is vitally important that you check the label of any food that you are feeding your Frenchie so that they get the very best, with fewer fillers and added junk that contributes to health problems.
Don’t Overfeed Your Frenchie
Many French bulldog owners confuse overfeeding with caring. Giving your French bulldog too much food can be almost as damaging as giving them too little food. In fact, a study done in 2016 showed that, by feeding your French bulldog 25% less than the recommended daily amount of food, they can live approximately two years longer!
Always Give them Plenty of Water
Because of their brachycephalic face and nose, French bulldogs overheat quite easily. Always make sure that they have plenty of water to help them cool down, lubricate their joints, and keep the heart, lungs, liver, and other organs healthy.
Make Sure They Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is so important for your French bulldog! It reduces their stress, keeps them lean with less fat, and helps their heart stay healthy. Regular exercise also keeps them happy and increases the number of endorphins that their bodies produce, regulating their mood. Short walks are great as well as playing with them in the yard, letting them play fetch and all the fun things that make having a dog so awesome.
Take Them to the Veterinarian At Last Once a Year
Just like you go to the doctor once a year for your annual check-up, you should bring your French bulldog to the veterinarian for theirs. This allows your vet to keep track of any changes, notice any health problems that they might be developing, and allows them to treat them before they get serious. This preventive care can significantly increase the lifespan of your French bullie buddy.
Keep Them Mentally Stimulated
French bulldogs are a very intelligent breed of dog and need to be kept engaged and mentally stimulated. Learning new things, interacting with people and other dogs, and playing are vitally important to their mental and thus physical health. Teaching them tricks, playing with them regularly, and even enrolling them in a training course are all excellent ways to keep them engaged and healthy.
How To Tell If Your French Bulldog is Dying
Most dogs show similar signs when they are nearing the end of their life. They will lose interest in you, in play, and in other dogs. They will lose control of their bowel and bladder and lose their appetite as well. Extreme energy loss and fatigue are also common, as well as a very odd, noisy, or labored rate of breathing.
How To Make Your French Bulldog Comfortable During Its Final Days
When you realize that your French bulldog is dying, there are a few things that you could do to make them more comfortable:
- Stay close to them and comfort them
- Don’t bring any new people or pets in the situation
- Offer food and water but don’t force them to eat or drink
- Talk to your Vet about medications to ease their pain
- Make sure they have a soft, comfortable place to lie down
- Use a waterproof pad underneath your Frenchie so that they don’t have to get up to pee. (Pet diapers also work.)
- Give them a ‘forbidden treat’. Something they always liked to eat but weren’t allowed to have
When Should You Take your French Bulldog to the Vet to Be Euthanized?
From what we’re gleaned from reputable Veterinarian sources, there are 2 conditions that should be met to euthanize your French bullie (or any dog, for that matter):
- They must be suffering and have no options to get better either with time or medication
- You, their owner, must be ready also. This should be within reason, however, as letting your fur-buddy suffer just to prolong this obviously sad task thing isn’t fair to your pup.
The famous American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once wrote that “Into each life some rain must fall”. As wonderful, loving, and sweet as your French bullie might have been, the day will come that they will be gone. We hope that some of the advice in this article will help you when that day arrives.