The average French Bulldog lifespan is between 9 and 12 years.
They are quite adorable, but unfortunately, they are prone to a wide range of health concerns.
These problems not only affect Frenchie lifespan but also have a profound impact on their quality of life.
Prospective Frenchie owners might be pondering the pros and cons of getting a French Bulldog.
One important thing to consider is the dog’s lifespan.
So, how long do French Bulldogs live?
French Bulldog Lifespan: How Long Do French Bulldogs Live?
The average French Bulldog lifespan is between 9 and 12 years.
Opinions and statistics vary, but we reached this figure using a combination of credible sources.
For instance, the American Kennel Club lists a French Bulldog life expectancy of 10-12 years.
And an informal survey by the British Kennel Club also recorded a median age of 9 years.
So, a typical French Bulldog lifespan should be between 9 and 12 years.
At the top end of the scale, the longest surviving French Bulldog reported in the Kennel Club survey reached just over 14.5 years old.
This is fairly average for dogs overall, but on the low end for small breeds. For instance, the Chihuahua has an average life expectancy of 17 years, thanks to a low likelihood of genetic health concerns.
But many Frenchies have far shorter lifespans. This review of over 2,200 French Bulldogs under veterinary care in 2013 reported 98 deaths, and the median age was just 3.6 years.
So why do so many Frenchies die young?
The French Bulldog is prone to many health concerns, some of which can be life-threatening. We recommend doing your research before considering this breed.
In general, there are a variety of factors that will influence French Bulldog longevity, which we will explore in the section below.
Factors Affecting French Bulldog Life Expectancy
Like any breed, Frenchies are more prone to certain health concerns than others.
Unfortunately, French Bulldogs, in general, have a high probability of health problems – higher than most other breeds.
All of these health concerns (discussed in more detail below) can affect the French Bulldog lifespan significantly.
Interestingly, even factors like stress and anxiety can shorten life expectancy.
It’s possible that the dog’s sex may also play a role.
One study noted that male Frenchies were more likely than females to be diagnosed with certain disorders, although the researchers noted that lifespans between male and female were unaffected.
Health Concerns of the French Bulldog
The most common health concerns, according to a recent study, were ear infections, diarrhea, conjunctivitis (pink-eye), over long nails and skinfold dermatitis.
More worryingly, 12.7% of the dogs in the study had upper respiratory tract disorders, caused by their brachycephalic facial structure (flat-faced).
In general, we do not recommend adopting flat-faced breeds, because of the high likelihood of breathing problems.
Because of their flat faces, many French Bulldogs have trouble breathing, and some suffer from sleep apnea, snoring, etc.
Most dangerously, they are unable to maintain a safe body temperature during exercise or hot weather. That’s because dogs rely on evaporation from the mouth and palate to cool down, but flat-faced breeds don’t have enough surface area to achieve that.
Too many French Bulldogs die suddenly from overheating during hot weather or exercise.
Some of these health problems can be tested for, but many are simply a result of the French Bulldog’s breeding.
Ultimately, we cannot recommend keeping French Bulldogs as pets. As cute as they are, the potential for serious health concerns is simply too high.
How to Help Your Frenchie Live a Long and Happy Life
If you own a French Bulldog or are considering adopting one, here are some things to keep in mind.
First and foremost, breeding parents should always be tested for avoidable health problems.
Reputable breeders should conduct all the available health tests for this breed in order to minimize the potential for health problems.
Not all health concerns can be tested for. Even so, choosing a breeder who conducts health tests will improve your odds of getting a healthy French Bulldog.
Two of the most common health tests for French Bulldogs are eye tests and hip tests.
Eye tests should be conducted on the breeding stock, including tests for hereditary cataracts and other eye health concerns.
Hip scoring is also available to test for the likelihood of hip dysplasia and related issues. Reputable breeders should provide these scores to potential puppy parents.
Unfortunately, many of the most serious health concerns cannot be tested for. That said, the breeder should always conduct all the available tests to rule out avoidable health problems.
You should only obtain a French Bulldog from a reputable breeder, or a licensed rescue facility. Ensure that the breeder is licensed, experienced, and conducts health tests on their breeding stock.
Once you have your pup, there are some things you can do to keep it healthy.
Ensuring a healthy diet – and keeping an eye out for food allergies, which are common – can help significantly.
Regular visits to the vet will help ensure that your pet stays healthy and that any health concerns are addressed as soon as possible.
Helping your dog get plenty of safe exercise will help, too. French Bulldogs are not super energetic, but they still enjoy frequent walks.
Keeping up with routine health maintenance, such as trimming nails and brushing teeth, will also help improve your dog’s health.
Lastly, you should treat your dog with love and kindness, and try to minimize its stress.
Longest Living French Bulldog
We know the average French Bulldog lifespan, but what’s been the longest living Frenchie?
Anecdotal reports suggest that some French Bulldogs have lived up to 15 years. However, we were unable to find a trustworthy source to prove this.
A survey conducted by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee listed the oldest French Bulldog as 14 years and 8 months. However, this was an informal survey.
As for documented long-living Frenchies, we can look to the news. Hank, a famous Frenchie owned by actor Denise Richards, lived to the ripe old age of 13 before passing away.
Final Thoughts on French Bulldog Lifespan
On average, you can expect a healthy French Bulldog to live for around 9 to 12 years.
Various factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise and lifestyle can affect the potential lifespan.
On the extreme ends, French Bulldogs have been known to live for almost 15 years. Sadly, many pass away very early in life, due to complications related to their health problems.
At first glance, a lifespan of 9 to 12 years seems good. However, it’s important to remember that many French Bulldogs have serious health problems throughout their lives. In other words, the quantity of life is not the same as quality of life.
Because of the Frenchie’s high probability for serious health concerns, in general, we do not recommend this breed.
Mayousse, Vincent, et al. “Prevalence of neurological disorders in French bulldog: a retrospective study of 343 cases (2002–2016).”
Dreschel, Nancy A. “The effects of fear and anxiety on health and lifespan in pet dogs.”