According to the American Kennel Club, the French Bulldog has made number one on the charts for the most popular dog in America.
How can you not love that face? The Frenchie is one of the smaller bulldogs. It's small enough to sit on your lap, ride easily in the car, and possibly even carry for short distances. The big tall ears and round little face with a button nose make the French Bulldog simply irresistible. So, it's no wonder, really, that it's grown in popularity recently.
But, I'm not exactly excited by the fact that a dog who can barely breathe, is easily overheated, and is genetically predisposed to have an extensive amount of potential health issues is the dog that everyone is running out to buy. These dogs have health issues because they are bred for their looks, not their well-being. Many of them will need surgery to open up their nasal passage so they can breathe better. That doesn't seem humane to me. Why are we doing this to these dogs? Because they are cute, they are in demand, and people can make money breeding them.
If you are considering a French Bulldog, consider this. Some of the common health issues that affect French Bulldogs include:
Brachycephalic Syndrome: French Bulldogs have short noses and flat faces, which can lead to breathing difficulties. This condition is known as brachycephalic syndrome and can result in snoring, snorting, and increased susceptibility to heatstroke.
Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain. It can affect the mobility of the dog.
Allergies: French Bulldogs can be prone to allergies, including food allergies, which may lead to skin problems and digestive issues.
Ear Infections: Their big ears can make them more susceptible to ear infections, so regular cleaning and maintenance are important.
Skin Fold Dermatitis: The wrinkles and folds on a French Bulldog's skin can trap moisture and lead to skin infections and irritations.
Eye Problems: French Bulldogs are prone to various eye conditions, including cherry eye (prolapsed gland of the third eyelid), cataracts, and corneal ulcers.
Joint Issues: Besides hip dysplasia, they can also be prone to other joint problems like patellar luxation, where the kneecap dislocates.
Heart Problems: Some French Bulldogs can develop heart issues, such as dilated cardiomyopathy.
Dental Issues: Dental problems, including gum disease and tooth decay, can be a concern in this breed due to their crowded teeth.
Intervertebral Disc Disease: French Bulldogs can be susceptible to back problems, particularly in the spinal discs, which may lead to pain and mobility issues.
Obesity: Due to their small size and tendency to gain weight easily, French Bulldogs can become overweight, which can exacerbate other health problems.
Heat Sensitivity: French Bulldogs are sensitive to heat due to their brachycephalic nature, and they can easily overheat, leading to heatstroke, which can be life-threatening.
Why are we creating dogs like this? It's so unfair to them. I think they are as adorable as anyone does, but my aesthetic preferences shouldn't supersede the poor quality of life these dogs often experience. Honestly, I wish people would just stop breeding them, but that's not going to happen as long as there is such a high demand for them.
So, if you are on the lookout for a Frenchie, try adopting one that needs a home first. They are out there. If you must get a puppy, look for a responsible breeder who aims to reduce the risk of genetic disorders. Make sure you know the health history and the temperament of the mom, dad, and grandparents. If a breeder can't give you that, then they aren't breeding with the puppy's health in mind.
As a guardian to a French Bulldog, it's important to be aware of the potential health issues and to work closely with your veterinarian to ensure your dog receives proper care and regular check-ups. Additionally, providing a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper grooming can contribute to a French Bulldog's overall well-being. Just because they are a stocky dog, doesn't mean they should be fat! Keeping your Frenchie at a proper weight is extremely important so they can breathe better. This poor pooch is already at such a genetic disadvantage compared to other canines, so it is vital that pet guardians of America's most popular dog breed do everything they can to make sure their fur babies have the best possible quality of life!