Generally speaking, English Bulldogs tend to not live as long as other breeds — the average Bulldog lifespan is just eight years, while the average lifespan for other dogs is 13 years. But why?
Sadly, human breeding practices are the main culprit. And while there isn’t anything you can do about the genetics of your dog, there is much you can do as an owner that will influence your English Bulldog life expectancy.
The English Bulldog doesn’t come close to being the longest-living dog breed, but they also aren’t the shortest lived either, so let’s look at this with the glass half full. And though eight years is the average English Bulldog lifespan, with healthy practices and attentive care, you can often extend his life to 10 or 12 years. Let’s take a look at how.
What Can You Do To Extend Your English Bulldog’s Lifespan?
You shouldn’t necessarily be discouraged by the Bulldog’s relatively short lifespan. Those years will be filled with love, silliness, and lots of fun and cuddles with your dog. But to help you do your homework, here are a few things you can do to help extend his lifespan.
Get Your English Bulldog From A Reputable Breeder
The first thing you can do to help your Bulldog’s lifespan is to purchase one from a reputable breeder.
Do your homework when you’re looking for a puppy and make sure his parents don’t have a history of any genetic diseases. You’ll also want to find a veterinarian who has experience working with the breed and is knowledgeable.
Feed Your Dog A Healthy Diet
Another easy way to help extend your English Bulldog’s lifespan is to feed him a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet throughout his life. You’ll want more than the generic big name food brands, and will want to go for something organic and more healthy. You’ll also need to limit your bulldog’s food intake as he can seemingly never get enough food.
English Bulldog’s are very food motivated, and you will often need to use treats to get him going, so make sure you are giving him healthy treats as well, otherwise you will risk fattening him up. Also be sure not to feed him food from the table, and make sure to monitor any children, as they are often enablers of your dog’s begging and will think it’s funny to give him food.
Give Your English Bulldog Enough Exercise
While the English Bulldog is a relatively low maintenance animal when it comes to exercise, this breed still needs a moderate amount to stay healthy.
Along with a healthy diet, taking your pup for a daily walk or two will be greatly appreciated by your dog and will help him stay fit. If you don’t know how often you should be walking your dog, talk to your veterinarian for further recommendations.
A Bulldog can easily pack on pounds to his frame, and though he might look cute when he is chubby and full of rolls, you’ll want to keep yours as trim as you can if you want them to live the longest possible life.
Be Proactive About Your English Bulldog’s Health
Another easy thing you can do as a Bulldog owner is just to pay attention and be proactive.
Watch your dog’s behavior closely and if you notice him acting strange or moving differently, take him in to see your vet. And keep up with the maintenance required of your dog — wipe his skin folds daily to stave off bacteria, brush your dog’s teeth, check his skin for any hot spots, and bathe him regularly. These small upkeep tasks can go a long way toward the health and longevity of your dog.
The English Bulldog currently ranks as the fourth most popular dog breed in America, with no signs of it becoming less popular on the horizon. This has veterinarians worried because most English Bulldogs will develop genetic conditions like canine hip dysplasia, heart disease, and other debilitating conditions.
This is because breeding preferences to create today’s desired Bulldog look have forgotten to take into account the dog’s health. Until this practice changes, the breed will continue to be a relatively unhealthy breed. However, using the simple tactics listed above can put your dog in the best possible position to live a long and happy life with you.