If you get yourselves a Frenchie, be prepared to share at least 10-14 years of your lives with them! Whilst they are generally robust and healthy dogs that will be an active member of the family, there are some health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Now, this isn’t a video that should worry you. The ailments that will be mentioned are just what can affect your French Bulldog, not what will affect them. Along with love and care, the research and awareness of topics such as common health conditions are what makes a responsible dog owner!
HEALTH (MAJOR, MINOR, PREVENTATIVE MEASURES)
So, lets dive right into it. If you caught my video of the comparison of Frenchies and American Bulldogs, you will have heard me describe French Bulldogs as a Brachycephalic breed. Breeds of this type are described as having a shortened muzzle or a flat face. Now, a lot of the major health concerns of Frenchie’s stems from this appearance fault. Yes, they’re cute but it is to their own detriment. Issues that arise from a shortened muzzle include; laboured (noisy) breathing, breathing difficulty, heat intolerance and a heightened risk of asphyxiation pneumonia. It is absolutely crucial to be aware of these issues in order to manage them effectively. To prevent excess laboured breathing, Frenchie’s shouldn’t be allowed to over-exert themselves, or be exercised in the heat. Their inability to pant efficiently to oxygenate or cool down is a serious fault. If they were to overheat, its very time critical to get them to the vets before they go into shock. Now, I don’t want to scare any potential Frenchie owners, I just want to prevent any Frenchie’s suffering due to a lack of reliable education.
Another medical concern is the possibility of them suffering from herniated disks in their spine. It is due to their compact size and that they have been bred with curly tails that has put added pressure on their spine. It’s possible for them to suffer from this should they fall awkwardly or be allowed to roughhouse before fully developed. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this should it happen is spinal surgery, which is as serious as it sounds. Good quality insurance is a must when picking this breed to bring home. Vet care is expensive, but for good reason. Do yourselves, and your Frenchie, a favour and research into reputable insurance before picking out a puppy.
I’d love to give you preventative measures to protect your Frenchie against these medical concerns but the only way to really stop these issues is from responsible breeding. Due to the massive popularity of these little dogs, there are a lot of below par breeders out there. The ones that haven’t done the research, the ones that don’t know the issues of breeding flat faced dogs with one another and it’s the dog and their owners that suffer for it. My advice to you is that you need to do extensive research into buying Frenchie puppies. Make sure you see mum with the puppies, and you want to make sure that mum looks healthy and cared for. Education is absolutely key to reducing the backyard breeders from making money and instead investing money into responsible breeding.
As always, any concerns that you have with your dogs, please do call the vets. A veterinary professional is where you will get the most reliable health advice, at Fenrir, our aim is to make you aware of these issues. Not to diagnose them.
A crucial part to keeping a healthy dog comes down quite heavily on to the diet you provide for them! A key part of their diet is that it should be quality ingredients, you want to stay away from the processed, colourful kibble that is commonly seen in pet shops. Make sure there is a good balance in their diet as well. A mix of easily unprocessed, lean animal proteins, complex carbs, nutrients from fruit and veg, omega 3 and 6 and for it to be easily digestible. You can gauge your Frenchie’s health by taking note of their coat condition, their bowel movements and energy levels.
Just be careful to keep your French Bulldog at a healthy weight, males should be no more than 12kg whereas females should be around 10kg. They can be prone to weight gain. To tackle this, take their treats from their daily allowance and take them for multiple short walks during the day if the weather allows you to.
To summarise, no one wants to think about their dog getting a major illness or condition but researching and being prepared for if they do is a part of being a responsible dog owner. Whilst French Bulldogs are prone to some debilitating issues, you can learn to manage them to keep their quality of life high! It cannot be stressed enough that this breed has been subjected to exploitation in recent years. Their popularity has caused irresponsible breeding that has accentuated some of their medical issues. To best tackle this, please, please do you research before buying one. A healthy Frenchie will be a loved, fun member of the family but one from a reckless breeder will more than likely come with the challenge of major medical issues.
Their diet can be summarised by saying that they need a balanced, unprocessed, digestible diet to ensure they’re healthy. Also deviate their calorie intake according to their activity levels, they’re prone to weight gain so don’t be feeding them too much, especially in the summer if they’re limited on exercise possibilities.
And the last reminder, any concerns you have about the health of your dog should be addressed by a vet, the quicker you can get them seen and diagnosed, the better the outcome will be.