French Bulldogs are a popular choice of dog breed for many, and it’s not hard to see why. Frenchie’s are gentle, playful, and friendly and not to mention stinking cute! You want to make sure when picking one you pick out a healthy pup, SoHow Do I Make Sure I’m Buying A Healthy French Bulldog?
While a French Bulldog will make a welcome and loved addition to your family, you must be wary when venturing out to purchase a Frenchie puppy. Extensively bred over the years for their favorable traits, French Bulldogs are likely to suffer from a wide range of genetic deformities, disorders, and diseases.
Your care and genetics will dictate how many issues a French Bulldog has throughout its life, so how do you make sure you are buying a healthy French Bulldog?
This article will take you over some of a Frenchies most common health issues, what to look for when picking out a French Bulldog puppy and what questions you absolutely must ask your breeder.
French Bulldog Health Issues
French Bulldogs have been extensively bred for generations favoring the flat-faced, stubbed nose, bat ears, and stumpy legs look that is just irresistibly cute. All of these features are what contribute to their common health issues.
See the list below for some of the most common health problems with Frenchies.
- BOAS (Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome) is a mouthful of a name, but it basically means severe respiratory problems due to their abnormally short snout.
- Dental issues – the short face of a French Bulldog also caused overcrowded teeth in the mouth. Dental problems may be ongoing.
- Cataracts – Frenchies are prone to eye issues, particularly in their adult to elderly years. Cataracts are most common, but conjunctivitis is also frequent.
- IDD (intervertebral disc disease) – the spinal shape of French Bulldogs puts pressure on the discs, and they can bulge or burst to cause spinal nerve damage
- Ear infections – those cute bat-like ears have their issues! Without a folded ear, they attract all sorts of dirt, dust and allergens and are prone to ear infections.
Many of these can be mitigated and managed with an owner with good knowledge and close care, but genetics can dictate many. Thus, it is essential to screen any Frenchie pup you want to buy,
Picking Out A Healthy French Bulldog Puppy
Just like you resemble your biological parents, a French Bulldogs’ fate is chosen by their genetic makeup – a random mix of genes from their mother and their father.
Learning about your prospective puppy’s family history will be one of the most beneficial things for you to do to make sure you are buying a healthy French Bulldog. Make sure you visit your puppy, their home, their litter, and their mother before committing to purchasing them.
Their mother should not be far from them, so it should be easy for you to view her or ask the breeder to let you see her. Ensure she has a clean bill of health from the vet and proof of her vet checks.
If the father is also available, you should also view him. Many breeders will not own the father. Instead, they hire them as stud breeders. So viewing the father is not always possible.. The breeder should still possess information about his health too!
Any good breeder should have a vet perform checks on the puppies for confirmation they are happy and healthy before advertising them for sale.
Some of the tests a vet should do on puppies include a physical health check, hearing test and providing them with their vaccinations.
Hearing loss at birth is a common congenital issue for French Bulldogs. Puppies should be cleared to have a good sense of hearing.
Vaccinations are also 100% the breeder’s responsibility to organise before a puppy leaves their property. Unvaccinated puppies are highly vulnerable to getting seriously ill, especially when they go to new environments.
Physical Health Check
When viewing the puppies, you can also do a physical health check yourself. While you are no professional veterinarian, you can still check some things with a little bit of knowledge and prior research.
Main things to check over include:
- Mouth – look inside the puppies mouth, looking for any abnormal excess of skin. This can be due to palate deformities and lead to respiratory issues.
- Eyes – ensure they are bright and vibrant. Look out for red or yellow eyes, which may be symptoms of hidden health issues.
- Coat – healthy puppies will have lovely coats that are soft and shiny.
- Ears – check both in and around the ears for any discharges. It may seem strange but give them a good sniff, as any odours can indicate an ear infection.
- Energy – healthy puppies should be active, alert and full of beans!
Breeding French Bulldogs can be profitable, so many breeders tend to get into it for the wrong reasons and do not tick all the boxes of a responsible and moral breeder.
Do some research into your breeder’s background and history and try to pick a breeder that has a good reputation and reviews from past customers.
Your breeder should happily answer all your questions and provide all paperwork when asked. Avoid breeders that are honest and open about their practices. Trust your gut!
Questions To Ask Your Breeder
You should be naturally cautious when picking out a breeder and a French Bulldog puppy. Ask extensive questions of your breeder to make sure you are buying a healthy French Bulldog. A knowledgeable and experienced breeder will have no issues answer the below questions!
- What’s the parent’s history? The breeder should provide all history of both parents with honestly and transparency.
- How old are the parents? A mother that is less than three years old should not be bred as her genetic health conditions may not be apparent yet and still develop.
- Can I see the parents? Viewing the parents and seeing them healthy and happy will help ease your mind.
- How much litter has the mother had already? Dogs should not be bred more than once a year as overbreeding can cause health defects with the mother and the young, Every 2 – 3 years is ideal.
- Where have the puppies been living? View the area the puppies have been kept in and ensure it is light, airy and clean to promote good health.
- How often have the puppies been handled? Puppies should be handled frequently to get them adequately used to human touch.
- Can I have a copy of their vet clearance? Ensure you can verify that the documentation is valid.
- Can I talk to a former buyer? Speaking to someone who has purchased a puppy from this breeder in the past can be helpful as they can assure you that their pup has grown up to be happy and healthy.
Tips For Buying A French Bulldog Puppy
- Never buy a puppy without seeing them and their parents first! Breeders may be dishonest about their condition so you should confirm this for yourself.
- Be wary of a low price. Frenchies are expensive due to the time, money and expertise involved in their very specific requirements for breeding. A cheap puppy may not be bred healthily.
- Consider adoption. While a puppy can be irresistible, many pounds have older Frenc Bulldogs looking for their forever homes also.
- Male vs female. While there is not any real scientific proof, many owners will tell you that male Frenchies tend to have more energy, while females will be more chilled out. Pick a gender based on how they will fit into your family.
Knowing how to buy a healthy French Bulldog starts with understanding the breed. It’s important that you’re bringing home not just any dog, but one who will be happy in your environment and lifestyle. This is why it’s so important for you to do your research before making this purchase; know what type of living space they need (or if they are apartment-friendly), their exercise requirements, what size food portions to provide them, etc.