All about your French Bulldog

Sturdy and alert, with a fun and engaging personality.

French Bulldogs are loyal and affectionate, and are most content when curled up on your lap. Learn more about this playful, happy-go-lucky dog, from his grooming and exercise needs, to the things you can do to keep him happy and healthy.

Two French Bulldogs Race Through A Field

Breed information & advice

The French Bulldog belongs to the utility breed dog group and is lively and intelligent. His unique appearance – with distinctive bat ears, stocky build and comical expressions – along with his bright, easy-going personality, make him a popular pet.

  • A French Bulldog is a perfect companion dog and because he doesn't tend to bark much, he’s well-suited to living in an apartment or flat.
  • His coat requires minimal maintenance, but it’s a good idea to regularly check his skin folds.
  • Typically he will weigh between 7kg and 13kg, when fully grown.
  • A healthy French Bulldog will usually live for 11 to 14 years.

Typical size of a French Bulldog

Small: 28cm-30cm

Your Frenchie will thank you for a couple of short, daily walks to keep him fit. Keep a close eye on him on humid days – because of his short nose, he shouldn’t be exercised in heat, and he’ll need access to cool rooms in the summer.

Feed your dog high quality dry food twice a day – the quantity will depend on his age, size and activity levels, so always check the packet instructions. Wheat products may also cause digestive issues in some dogs.

Up to one hour of exercise per day

A relaxed dog with minimal needs, your French Bulldog will be just as happy curled up on your lap as he is going for a run.

Black French Bulldog Runs On A White Sandy Beach
Small French Bulldog Looking Straight Ahead

Common health problems & illnesses

Your French Bulldog will need all of the usual vaccinations and check-ups to help protect him against common ailments. There are some conditions which this breed is more prone to though, and you may want to familiarise yourself with the symptoms, so you know what to look out for.

1. Respiratory issues

Because of his shortened head and nose, the French Bulldog is susceptible to brachycephalic syndrome, meaning he may struggle to get air flowing freely into and out of the lungs. Problems can include an elongated soft palate and narrow nostrils. Look out for coughing, loud snoring and gagging, and speak to a vet if you have any concerns. It’s because of these breathing difficulties that care should be taken when walking your pet – especially in hot weather.

Respiratory conditions made up 7% of Tesco Pet Insurance claims in 2016 for this breed.

2. Spinal diseases

The French Bulldog’s distinctive shape is a result of chondrodystrophic dwarfism, which brings with it back problems. Intervertebral disc disease is a degenerative condition and a common cause of spinal issues in this breed. They can also suffer with malformations of the vertebrae themselves, which again can cause problems – signs of both may include pain, incontinence, mobility problems and weakness, so if you notice anything unusual in your dog, speak with a vet who will be able discuss treatment options with you.

3. Skin and ear issues

Skin and ear problems are commonly inherited. Atopic skin disease and skin fold dermatitis can occur in the deep folds on the dog’s face and rear if they aren’t regularly checked and kept clean and dry. French Bulldogs are also prone to otitis externa (an ear infection), due to the likelihood of allergies and a narrowed ear canal. Inflammation of the ear, itching and excess wax are all things to look out for, so contact your vet if you notice any of these signs.

4. Patellar Luxation

French Bulldogs may develop a condition known as patellar luxation, or ‘floating kneecap’. This is fairly common in many types of dogs, and is where the kneecap becomes dislocated. Signs to look out for include a ‘skip’ in his step when you’re exercising your dog. Speak to your vet who may suggest treatment such as physiotherapy, tips on managing your dog’s weight or medication.

5. Corneal ulcers

Corneal ulcers are one of the most common eye problems in a French Bulldog. The ulcers are classified as either deep or superficial and the cornea loses layers of tissue as a result. Keep a careful watch over your French Bulldog when he’s playing with other dogs, when he’s digging, and when you’re bathing him (never let soap get in his eyes). If you notice runny eyes, redness or constant blinking, then speak with your vet who may prescribe medication.

Dog name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your French Bulldog, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Dog name popularity

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your French Bulldog is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2016, and the average cost of treatment.

ConditionAverage treatment cost
Skin allergy£284.62
Respiratory condition£1,171.85
Corneal ulcer£496.88
Patella luxation£1,070.53

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/16 to 31/12/16.

Considering French Bulldog insurance?

We know your dog is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Pet Insurance.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

Grooming advice

Your French Bulldog isn’t high maintenance when it comes to his grooming routine. He’ll need a weekly brush to keep his coat in good condition.

French Bulldogs don’t wear down their nails naturally as some dogs do, so it’s a good idea to have them clipped as and when it’s needed. Get your puppy used to having his feet handled as early as possible, so that he looks forward to the grooming routine and you can use it as a time to bond.

It’s important to regularly check for any scabs, cuts, flaky skin and signs of infection while you’re grooming your dog, so you can catch any potential health concerns early on. After you’ve bathed him, take time to carefully and thoroughly dry in between his facial wrinkles to prevent bacterial infections.

Fun & interesting facts

  • The French Bulldog is a descendent of the Toy Bulldog, which was mixed with certain short-faced dogs from Europe during the 19th century to create the breed that was then imported to France.
  • This dog is popular with celebrities – Reese Witherspoon and Leonardo DiCaprio are among famous Frenchie owners.
  • It’s currently this breed’s time to shine on the silver screen. Catch him in starring roles in movies including From Hell and Due Date.
  • There was a French Bulldog on board the Titanic – a champion show dog owned by Robert W Daniel – and he was last seen swimming for his life as the ship sank.

Important information


The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.


vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

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