There are many reasons to get an English Bulldog. They're great dogs, after all. But you might wonder, what is the lifespan of an English Bulldog?
Here is what you need to know about the average lifespan of this breed.
What Is the Lifespan of an English Bulldog?
Anyone who has an interest in making an English Bulldog a part of their family will likely have an interest in the answer to the question, what is the lifespan of an English Bulldog?
Unfortunately, the lifespan of an English Bulldog isn't as long as that of the average dog. The average lifespan for other dogs is about 13 years, while the average English Bulldog lives for about 8 years.
Why are English Bulldogs' lifespans so Short?
Unfortunately, the answer to "What is the lifespan of an English Bulldog?" is not as high as it should be. The average lifespan of this breed was once about 10 years, but it's been significantly shortened over the years.
The main reason for this is unethical human breeding practices. These practices have led to many health problems in English Bulldogs that cause decreased longevity.
It's actually possible to fix many of the current health problems in English Bulldogs by introducing other dog breeds into their gene pool. That can improve genetic diversity and help get rid of some of the features that are problematic.
However, some English Bulldog breeders don't want to do this. They think that it might change the breed too much.
Many of the breeding issues stem from the fact that the English Bulldog is so popular. As demand increases, breeders are engaging in unethical practices to increase supply.
Inbreeding is a common practice in these situations. Unfortunately, this leads to extremes in health problems that may have already existed within a line of bulldogs.
Think about the trademark physical features of an English Bulldog. These include the squished face, skin folds, and short and stocky body.
These features make the dogs more susceptible to certain health problems, and breeding two dogs with these problems just makes the problems more significant with every new generation.
Unfortunately, the English Bulldog is now one of the least healthy dog breeds out there.
What can an owner do?
There isn't anything you can do about the genetics of your particular dog. However, you can potentially increase his life expectancy by taking good care of him.
In many cases, if you're an attentive owner and give your dog the healthiest lifestyle possible, you can extend the life of your English Bulldog. Sometimes, you can extend his life to 10 to 12 years or even more.
People who want an answer to "What is the lifespan of an English Bulldog?" would definitely benefit from understanding typical health problems of the English Bulldog.
Typical Health Problems of an English Bulldog
There are many health problems that have a negative effect on the answer to the question, what is the lifespan of an English bulldog?
Anyone who's interested in owning a bulldog should be familiar with these problems and how to deal with them when they come up.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
These dogs are fairly likely to have respiratory problems, specifically Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.
"Brachy" means "shortened," and "cephalic" is a reference to the head. Bulldogs have shortened skull bones, which is what causes their faces to appear smushed.
Some people may think that this is just a superficial feature. However, the shorter bones of the nose and face alter the dog's anatomy in a significant way. The relationship with other soft tissue structures in the dog is different because of the brachycephalic structure, which can cause physical problems.
Bulldogs are very likely to have breathing problems because of their short noses and narrow nostrils. They're also more likely to be panting constantly and be in constant discomfort. They even have trouble eating and exercising because of this.
Because they have trouble breathing and exercising, English Bulldogs are also more likely to be obese. That ends up compounding the problem because obesity exacerbates the symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.
Keeping your English bulldog in a healthy weight range may be challenging, but it's very important.
You need to keep in mind that an English Bulldog is an indoor dog. You can't leave him outside for a long period of time. They have a heat intolerance that's related to their breathing problems.
This heat sensitivity also means that they can't tolerate vigorous exercise, where they would end up overheating. However, they can typically tolerate short walks on a daily basis. You should talk to your vet if you have any doubts about what your dog can handle.
The English Bulldog is somewhat susceptible to cherry eye, which is a disorder of the nictitating membrane, or a third eyelid. Most often, dogs will experience this when they're less than two years old.
That may not seem like a big deal on its own, but you should make sure to address it if it comes up. If it's left untreated, cherry eye can lead to other complications, such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. When you see red eyes in your dog, you should take him to your vet as soon as you can.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Dysplasia basically means malformation, in this case, malformation of the hip and elbow joints. These conditions can cause pain and discomfort, difficulty moving to a standing position, reluctance to move around, and general lameness. English Bulldogs are particularly susceptible to dysplasia because of their body structure.
The best thing you can do for your bulldog is to keep him at a healthy weight, in order to prevent or minimize joint problems.
Bulldogs aren't the most active dogs, but you should take them on regular walks when it's not too hot outside. You should also restrict their calorie intake so that they don't become obese.
Your vet may recommend supplements for dogs' joint health. It's also a good idea to keep your dog on low-calorie food. However, you shouldn't change your dog's diet or give him any supplement without consulting your vet first to make sure it's okay.
English Bulldogs are fairly prone to skin problems because of the folds in their skin. Specifically, they deal with skin fold dermatitis, or skin inflammation. The skin around their tails, lips, and facial folds is creased and ends up rubbing together and trapping a lot of moisture.
Anyone who has an English bulldog, then, will need to clean and dry the wrinkles in the bulldog's skin on a fairly regular basis. This is important because it'll help prevent bacterial growth and the subsequent bacterial skin infection.
If your bulldog has areas that are hairless, red or irritated, and producing a bad smell, this is likely skin fold dermatitis. Regular cleaning and drying can help prevent this. However, if it happens, you should go to your vet to see what the next steps are.
How to Take Care of an English Bulldog
Many English Bulldog owners will want to do everything they can to increase the answer to the question, what is the lifespan of an English Bulldog? You can do this by taking the best possible care of your bulldog.
If you want a specific idea of what this entails, you should ask your vet. After all, every English Bulldog is going to be different. They might not all need the exact same care in order to be as healthy as possible.
Diet and exercise
It's always important that dogs have access to fresh water at all times. However, it's even more important for English Bulldogs, considering their breathing problems and tendencies to overheat.
If you want to figure out a healthy diet for your English Bulldog, you can ask the breeder who sold him to you. You should also ask your vet. You can obtain a nutrition sheet, so you'll have a guide that tells you how often you should feed him and how much.
A good rule of thumb is to feed your bulldog 20 to 70 calories per pound of his body weight. You should also take his activity into account, however. If your dog is obese already or doesn't move around a lot, you might want to give him even less.
You'll need to feed an English Bulldog puppy two to three times per day. You shouldn't leave extra food out for him, however, because it can lead to overeating and obesity.
You need to make sure your dog gets daily exercise. However, bulldogs can't handle very rigorous exercise, so start by taking him for short walks, and gradually increase the distance if you feel it's appropriate.
Also, because bulldogs are heat sensitive, keep them indoors in the summer. Try to take them out when it's not very hot.
Different dogs have different grooming needs. Some have hair, rather than fur, and they need to be trimmed.
The English Bulldog is unique in that he's one of the few dogs who have skin folds as a trademark feature. As the owner of an English Bulldog, you'll have to clean the folds on their faces on a regular basis.
Make sure your vet is okay with your dog being exposed to peroxide and cornstarch; then, you just need to dip a cotton ball in peroxide, clean your dog's wrinkles with it, and apply cornstarch after this is done in order to help his skin dry. Just make sure you don't get the peroxide or cornstarch anywhere near his eyes.
You should brush your bulldog's teeth three times a week, with appropriate dog toothbrushes and toothpastes (make sure they're approved by your vet first, of course). You should also brush him with a grooming glove or other grooming brush and keep an eye on excessive shedding.
In the Ring with a Bulldog...
It can be sad to think about the answer to the question, what is the lifespan of an English Bulldog? Their trademark features lead to short lives. People have essentially done this to bulldogs by way of unethical breeding practices.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get an English Bulldog. You just need to be conscious of any health problems he might have and how to best address them.
It's a good idea to understand the health risks that every English Bulldog is more likely to face than the average dog. If you know what you're up against, you'll be better able to fight it. In some cases, you might even be able to create a happier answer to the question, what is the lifespan of an English bulldog?
Do you have an English Bulldog or have you had one in the past? Let us know all about your furry friend in the comments section!