Comparing the Lifespan of French Bulldogs to Other Small Breeds 2024

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Understanding how long our furry friends will be with us is important for pet owners. Small dog breeds like French Bulldogs, have their specific needs and lifespan. Thus, knowing the average lifespan of different dog breeds prepares us to provide the best care possible. We can make informed decisions about our pets’ health, diet, and lifestyle. We ensure they live the happiest, the healthiest lives they can.

In this article, we’ll highlight a French Bulldogs lifespan compared to other small dog breeds. We’ll look at common health issues, share insights from veterinary studies, and offer tips to help your little companion live a long and happy life.

Average Lifespan of French Bulldogs Facts and Statistics

  1. French Bulldogs, often called “Frenchies,” are a beloved breed known for their charming personalities and distinctive looks. With their bat-like ears and wrinkled faces, they have a unique appeal that makes them popular pets.
  2. French Bulldogs are small, sturdy dogs with a friendly and affectionate nature. They are great companions, often forming strong bonds with their owners. Frenchies are also known for their playful and sometimes comical behavior, making them a joy to have around.
  3. On average, French Bulldogs live between 10 to 12 years. While this is a decent lifespan, it is somewhat shorter compared to other small dog breeds. 
  4. Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years, and Dachshunds often live between 12 and 16 years.
  5. Pugs, another popular small breed, typically live 12 to 15 years, while Shih Tzus have a lifespan of 10 to 16 years. 
  6. Each breed has its own health challenges, but overall, Frenchies tend to have more health issues that can impact their longevity.
  7. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper exercise are crucial for maintaining a French Bulldog’s health. Owners who are proactive about their pet’s health can help extend their lifespan.
  8. A loving and safe home environment plays a significant role in a Frenchie’s life. Reducing stress and ensuring a comfortable living space can positively impact their overall well-being.

Common Causes of Mortality in Small Breeds Facts and Statistics

  1. Small breeds are prone to certain health problems due to their size and genetics. Common issues include dental problems, obesity, and joint issues. 
  2. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that dental disease affects 85% of dogs over three, with small breeds being particularly vulnerable due to their crowded teeth. 
  3. Obesity is another significant issue, with the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimating that 56% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese, which can lead to joint issues and other health problems.
  4. Due to their unique physical traits, French Bulldogs face specific health challenges. According to a study by the Royal Veterinary College, the most common cause of death for French Bulldogs is Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). French Bulldogs have short snouts, leading to breathing difficulties. The study found that 66% of French Bulldogs suffer from BOAS, significantly impacting their lifespan.
  5. Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the hip joints, causing pain and mobility issues. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals reports that hip dysplasia affects approximately 15% of French Bulldogs.
  6. French Bulldogs are prone to congenital heart disease. A study in Veterinary Record showed that 6.4% of French Bulldogs had some form of cardiac disease, contributing to their mortality.
  7. Similar to French Bulldogs, Pugs often suffer from BOAS. A study in the Journal of Small Animal Practice found that 58% of Pugs have significant respiratory issues. Obesity is another issue, with the same study noting that 34% of Pugs are obese.
  8. Dental issues are prevalent, with up to 90% of Chihuahuas experiencing dental disease by age four. Heart disease is also common, with a study in the Journal of Veterinary Cardiology finding that 12% of Chihuahuas develop mitral valve disease.
  9. With their long bodies and short legs, Dachshunds are prone to back problems, particularly intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). The Veterinary Journal reports that 19-24% of Dachshunds will suffer from IVDD at some point in their lives.
  10. Eye problems, such as cataracts and dry eye, are common in Shih Tzus. A study in the Veterinary Ophthalmology Journal found that 35% of Shih Tzus develop cataracts as they age.

Factors Affecting Lifespan in Small Breeds

  1. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that dogs with fewer genetic health issues had a 10-20% longer lifespan compared to those with hereditary conditions.
  2. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 56% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese, which can reduce a dog’s lifespan by up to two years. Feeding your dog a diet rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals supports overall health and longevity.
  3. According to a study in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, dogs that received regular veterinary care lived up to 15% longer than those that did not have consistent care. Vaccinations, dental cleanings, and routine blood tests are all part of comprehensive veterinary care that can extend your dog’s life.
  4. A study from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science found that dogs who received regular exercise had a 20% lower risk of obesity-related health issues, which can significantly extend their lifespan.
  5. The Journal of Veterinary Behavior highlighted that dogs in nurturing environments had lower stress levels and better overall health, which can add years to their lives. Providing a safe space, regular companionship, and mental stimulation are key components of a healthy environment.

Tips for Extending the Lifespan of French Bulldogs and Other Small Breeds

  1. A study from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science found that dogs who received regular physical and mental exercise had a 20% lower risk of obesity-related health issues, significantly extending their lifespan. Engage your dog with daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys to keep their mind and body active.
  2. Regular check-ups are key to early detection of health issues. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), early detection can make treatment more effective and less costly, improving the overall quality and length of your dog’s life. Routine blood tests, dental exams, and heart check-ups can spot potential issues early, allowing prompt treatment.


Like other small breeds, French Bulldogs face unique health challenges that require attentive and proactive care. By being aware of common causes of mortality, owners mitigate these risks. Regular check-ups and early detection of health problems are crucial for addressing potential issues before they become severe.

Proper diet and nutrition are fundamental in preventing obesity and maintaining a healthy weight, which is vital for reducing the risk of various health issues. Coupled with regular exercise and mental stimulation, a well-balanced diet helps keep small dogs fit and happy.

By following these guidelines and understanding the importance of each factor, you can help your French Bulldog or other small breed enjoy a long, fulfilling life. With the right care, your furry friend can remain a happy, healthy companion for many years to come.


What is the average lifespan of French Bulldogs compared to other small breeds?

The average lifespan of French Bulldogs is around 10 to 12 years, which is shorter compared to other small breeds like Chihuahuas (up to 20 years) and Dachshunds (12 to 16 years), influenced by factors such as genetics, care, and environment.

What are the most common health issues affecting the lifespan of French Bulldogs?

French Bulldogs are prone to several specific health issues that can impact their lifespan, including brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), hip dysplasia, and various cardiac problems.

How can I help extend the lifespan of my small breed dog?

Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, exercise, preventative measures, and a safe, loving environment are key to extending your small breed dog’s lifespan.


  1. “Prevalence of periodontal disease in dogs.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  2. “Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.” Pet Obesity Facts & Risks.
  3. “Disorders of French Bulldogs under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2013.” Royal Veterinary College.
  4. “Hip Dysplasia Statistics.” Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
  5. “Prevalence of cardiac disease in French Bulldogs.” Veterinary Record.
  6. “Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in Pugs.” Journal of Small Animal Practice.
  7. “Dental Disease in Chihuahuas.” Journal of Veterinary Dentistry.
  8. “Mitral Valve Disease in Chihuahuas.” Journal of Veterinary Cardiology.
  9. “Intervertebral Disc Disease in Dachshunds.” Veterinary Journal.
  10. “Ocular Disorders in Shih Tzus.” Veterinary Ophthalmology Journal.
  11. “Impact of regular veterinary care on dog lifespan.” Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
  12. “Benefits of regular exercise for dogs.” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
  13. “Preventative care for small breed dogs.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  14. “Early detection and treatment of health issues in pets.” American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Dr. Majid Tanveer

Veterinary advice reviewed by Dr. Majid Tanveer (Licensed Veterinarian & Doctor of Veterinary Medicine)

About The Author

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