Have you ever lost a beloved pet before? We, as owners, always tend to choose what is best for our pets due to their shorter lifespan. Pet owners try to give them the best life they can possibly have while they are still with them. However, like with humans, there are cases when you should accept death as it is inevitable in the first place. Unfortunately, death does not spare anyone, and that includes our beloved fur children.
Frenchies are the number 1 choice by many due to their unique appearance and naively charming behavior. These dogs are among the most prominent dog breeds, and it is evident that a lot of people have them as they often fill people’s feeds on social media. Their uniqueness, however, also applies to their lifespan and how their owners should take care of them.
In this article, we will discuss the usual causes of a french bulldog’s death and how you can prepare for it. We will also discuss how they differ from most dogs, along with the complications that they are most prone to.
French Bulldogs Have Shorter Lifespans Than The Typical Dog Lifespan
🐕 Size Matters
Frenchies have relatively shorter lifespans than most dog breeds, along with most bulldogs. Though many dog breeds live up to 13 years on average, bulldogs are surprisingly exceeding ten years of lifespan. Because of how French bulldogs are built, they are prone to many respiratory and cardiac diseases that may occur as early as seven years of age. This is especially true for mini Frenchies, which are more prone to developing these diseases and have a shorter lifespan than regular-sized Frenchies.
🐕 Physical Shape
But what is the physical feature that allows them to become prone to these complications? It is primarily because of their flat faces or lack of a refined snout that makes them prone to respiratory problems. Frenchies and many bulldogs actually tend to hold their breaths while drinking as their noses are sometimes in the water fully. Their unique skeletal framing also makes them prone to joint diseases and dysplasia that can reduce their quality of life.
These complications are not actually exclusively because of their physical build itself. It actually has to do with their genetics, making them prone to deadlier diseases such as cancer. Their genetics have been highly distorted by selective breeding, which means unwanted traits are being passed down. Frenchie parents who have cancer can put their offspring at a higher risk of developing the same disease. That is the reason why breeders must have strict observation during ethical and careful methods when it comes to breeding bulldogs.
It is very important to provide essential care and maintenance to your Frenchie while they are still young. This can prevent the early development of complications and give your pet a better quality of life at a young age. It is also important to remember what common complications they can develop as they grow older, which will be talked about next.
Common Complications From Ageing
This chronic condition in dogs is one of the primary causes of death, especially on bulldogs, specifically the cancer that develops in their lymphocytes. These types of diseases can often be hard to cure as there is no definite assurance that they will be treated entirely. However, this deadly disease can often be regressed and cured fully if recognized at an early stage. Recognizing the early signs of cancer can be life-saving for your Frenchie. Some of these signs include a lump, changes in appetite or behavior, swelling, discharge, and abnormal odor.
If you ever attempt to get a Frenchie from a breeder, ask about its parents’ medical condition. If the parents have diseases like cancer and cardiac conditions, your new Frenchie is likely to be prone to those diseases. This can help you figure out how you should take care of your new pet.
🐕 Heart Complications
Some Frenchies develop congenital narrowness with their arteries as they age. They are also susceptible to complications such as heart murmur even during their puppy years. It is very important to regularly visit the vet for their examinations because it can detect signs of heart problems. This will help you and your vet prevents complications that may progress to more fatal stages.
With the correct lifestyle and weight management, you can actually prevent your dog’s heart complications at an older age. You have to make sure your Frenchie is at an average weight and gets the physical activity it needs. Simply walking and playing outside every day is often enough for the Frenchie required physical activity. However, it will be a great help if you are careful as too much exhaustion can cause breathing difficulties for your Frenchie.
🐕 Joint Problems And Dysplasia
Frenchies are also prone to developing problems with their joints and even dysplasia. These conditions can make your Frenchie unable to properly exercise or, in extreme cases, do basic physical activity. This can significantly reduce your Frenchie’s quality of life and makes them prone to obesity and diabetes due to lack of exercise. Joint problems and dysplasia are known to cause pain to the dog whenever they try to move around.
Frenchies are also prone to arthritis as they age. This is primarily genetic but can be prevented by promoting physical activity at a young age. Though these problems don’t usually cause death by themselves, they make your Frenchie more prone to fatal conditions.
🐕 Thyroid Conditions
Frenchies are prone to developing either Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which are polar opposites. Hypothyroidism, from the word “hypo,” which means low, takes place when the thyroid gland does not secrete enough hormones. In comparison, the opposite is true for hyperthyroidism. This can cause heart complications that may lead to death. It may also cause goiters, which causes the thyroid gland to swell abnormally.
There is also a condition known as autoimmune thyroiditis, which causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland. This can cause clinical abnormalities and complications that may lead to death. Fortunately, less severe cases of these conditions are curable, and you can reverse the effects through consistent medication.
Unvaccinated Frenchies Are More Prone To Deadly Diseases
Vaccinations are among the vital healthcare procedures that will significantly extend your pet’s lifespan. They provide immunizations against deadly diseases that a lot of animals, unfortunately, fall victim to. Though there are passive immunities and those which only reduce the chances, they are all very important. An example of this is the canine parvovirus, which can infect a vaccinated dog but at a lower rate.
Vaccinations will usually require boosters as well, which means more vet visits. A puppy would need to return to the vet clinic almost every month for its vaccinations and assessments. These simple visits are the best preventive measure you can do to detect early signs of complications and save your dog’s life.
Leaving your Frenchie unvaccinated can leave them prone to various fatal diseases. Below is the list of some common conditions that you can prevent through vaccination:
The most well-known disease among our pets takes several lives every year. Rabies is popular that almost always causes death once the symptoms appear. Fortunately, the vaccine for the disease can completely evade the chances of death as long as it is given before the symptoms occur. Your Frenchie can spread it through the saliva of another dog or animal infected by the disease.
This disease is also common to cause death to many household pets at an often high rate. It can potentially cause dehydration, intestinal complications, and sepsis, which can cause either death or permanent damage. Dogs who do survive parvo can recover in a certain period of time, depending on the severity, but this is rare for unvaccinated dogs. It is also worth mentioning that puppies are below six months and above six weeks.
Another contagious disease is a distemper with a high mortality rate among infected dogs. It mainly affects the respiratory system, which compromises the already vulnerable respiration of Frenchies. Unfortunately, like parvo, vaccinated dogs can still be infected but at a lower rate. But vaccination is still your best bet for protecting your Frenchie against this illness.
Factors That Affect Their Lifespan
No matter how vulnerable your Frenchie seems to be, you can still protect them. It would be best to consider the factors below that can significantly affect your pet’s lifespan.
🐕 Excellent Investment When It Comes To Healthcare
Owning a pet is expensive, without a doubt. This is especially true when it comes to providing proper healthcare for your Frenchie. Vet visits, climate, and environmental control, grooming, and maintenance are all going for your wallet. It should be wise to try and get pet insurance and emergency medications in case your pet suddenly becomes ill. There will be times when vets are not open due to circumstances, so it is good to have your own first-aid kit as well.
Neutering/spaying is a personal choice to be made by the pet owner themselves. However, it can significantly affect a dog’s lifespan as it reduces the chance of cancer in its reproductive system. It is usually advisable by vets and is very beneficial if you don’t plan on breeding your Frenchie with another.
🐕 Being Picky With What They Eat
Frenchies are known to have large appetites and will gladly eat anything they find tasty. However, they are not conscious of what they eat is beneficial for them or not. You, as the owner, have to pick their food for them and ensure that they have a healthy weight and balanced diet. Follow the rule where your dog’s treats should only consist of 10% of their diet.
🐕 Please make Sure They Are Happy
Stress can significantly affect your Frenchie’s lifespan as it directly influences their physical health. Spending time with them and giving them the care they need is enough to make them happy and content. Not only will this contribute to their health but ensure they make the most out of their short lives. You may also consider getting them a companion such as another dog if you are constantly away or absent.
Other Potentially Threatening Diseases You Should Watch Out For
Below are some common diseases that can become fatal or disabling if left untreated:
🐕 Cherry Eye And Eye-Related Problems
This occurs because there is a prolapse of their third eyelid, causing the eye to have a “cherry” appearance. Though it is entirely treatable, there are some cases where a dog can become blind due to this condition. Your Frenchie may also develop dry eyes where its eyes will lack tears for lubrication. Diabetic French bulldogs may also develop cataracts that can eventually lead to blindness.
🐕 Temperature Regulation Problems
French bulldogs sometimes have difficulty maintaining their average body temperatures. This can become a significant issue if you lack climate control in your house. Low temperatures can cause hypothermia, while high temperatures may lead to heatstroke. Make sure your Frenchie has complete hydration and has access to methods that can either make it warmer or cooler. An example of this is having air conditioners and heaters available indoors to suit their needs.
🐕 Skin Problems And Allergies
Frenchies are also prone to a bunch of skin problems that can become irritable and painful. Eczema and cysts are both common examples of these problems. They can cause lesions in the skin and make it prone to infection if left untreated.
French bulldogs are also prone to different kinds of allergies. Most commonly, they are prone to food allergies and specific materials in the air. It would be best to recognize these allergies immediately as they may cause breathing problems in the long run.
Our pets have short lifespans compared to us, and our memories with them are already their whole lives. It is vital that we take preventive measures instead of searching for a cure when it is too late. However vulnerable they may be, we can still give them the good life that they deserve. Always remember to take them to a professional whenever there is a complication that alarms you. These reasons should be enough to make future Frenchie owners realize that you need to dedicate a lot of time, money, and effort.