It’s hard to resist the adorable wrinkles and inquisitive faces of French Bulldogs.
After spending a little time with one of these friendly little Bat Pigs, it’s tempting to rush out and get your own.
Before you do, however, make sure your budget can handle both the cost of purchasing and owning a dog.
Your new furry friend will depend on you for everything from food to toys to vet care, so it’s important to make sure you can afford to care for them properly.
Here is a breakdown of the common costs that come along with owning a French Bulldog:
French Bulldogs are one of the most expensive breeds, costing between $1,400 and an astonishing $8,500.
Frenchies are expensive because they are notoriously difficult to breed correctly. The breed’s wide shoulders make deliveries almost impossible, and reputable breeders simply won’t take the risk. As a result, French Bulldogs are delivered via C-section, which is more expensive than traditional birth. This expense comes on top of normal breeding expenses like prenatal care, puppy vaccinations and incidentals such as toys.
Color choice also affects the cost of French Bulldog puppies. Desirable but rare colors such as blue/grey or black and tan will cost more than common colors like fawn, pied or brindle.
If you enjoy the breed’s personality and don’t care if your dog is registered, you can save money by adopting your Frenchie from a shelter or rescue organization. Shelter dogs can cost as little as $50 to $200, so you’ll save a significant amount of money by going this route. There is, however, no guarantee that you are getting a purebred animal if you adopt in this way.
Feeding the Beast
You want your Frenchie to be healthy, so you won’t want to buy the cheapest dog food you can find. Feeding high-quality and nutritionally complete food matters. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to go with a purely organic raw food diet that you prepare yourself. As a dog owner, your best course of action will be to ignore the hype and feed your pet what your vet recommends.
Recommendations for the breed often include a diet with minimal wheat products, as these can cause digestive issues. Digestive issues can also cause severe flatulence – which is very common with Frenchies! First-time dog owners are often surprised at how large of an odor can come from such a little dog. It is best to choose a food with only a small amount of corn products, as well, as corn byproducts can cause skin rashes in Frenchies.
Ideally, you’ll want to feed a French Bulldog a food made specifically for small dog breeds. Pound for pound, small dogs burn more calories than larger dogs. As a result, they need a more nutrient-rich food than their larger counterparts.
You can feed a French Bulldog for $20 to $30 a month in most cases. If your dog has special dietary needs or you opt for a raw food or organic diet, you’ll spend more (up to $400 a year), but this is generally not necessary.
It’s not unusual for French Bulldogs to require special care, so you’ll need to factor that into your budget. It is possible to get a perfectly healthy Frenchie and pay only for routine checkups, vaccinations and dental care. If you do, the vet expenses of owning a French Bulldog may be as low as $500 a year and could be less.
You never know, however, when an emergency will strike, and some Frenchies simply aren’t as healthy as others. Even if you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder and take excellent care of them, the breed is prone to some health problems.
French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, which is a fancy way of saying they have short, smashed faces. Though incredibly charming, this trait can lead to breathing problems. It also increases the risk of complications when the dog is placed under anaesthesia, so you’ll need a vet well-versed in dealing with brachycephalic breeds.
Like all dwarf breeds, French Bulldogs are more prone to disc problems and may experience degenerative back problems at a young age. Hip dysplasia is also common.
It is very difficult to estimate the cost of these disorders, several of which require surgery followed by ongoing medications and therapies. The severity of the problem will impact the cost, as will allergies and other individual factors. Surgeries to correct a breathing problem can easily cost $5,000. Fixing hip dysplasia can cost between $4,000 and $7,000 and spinal problems involving surgery can cost $9,000 or more.
Fortunately, pet health insurance is now readily available and can help offset many of these expenses. Depending on the plan you pick, insurance for a French Bulldog will cost about $50 to $80 a month.
Your new puppy will need a leash, harness, bed, and toys along with some treats. You’ll also need a crate if you plan on crate training or using a crate to keep your puppy out of trouble when they are left unsupervised. In most western countries you’re also required to purchase a dog license each year. These expenses are minimal but are still part of your overall dog ownership budget. Expect to spend about $200 a year on these items or more if you plan to spoil your furry family member.
Training costs are typically only incurred when you first get your dog and are not ongoing. You’ll likely need training help with a Frenchie as the breed is notoriously difficult to housebreak. On average, it costs $500 to train a dog. You may end up paying more if you select an especially stubborn specimen.
At some point in time, you may need to go on a trip and leave your dog behind. If so, expect to pay $40 to $50 per night for a kennel and $50 a night or more for dog hotels and spas. Local pet sitters may charge less and are often willing to come to your home where your dog is more comfortable. Always check references when hiring a pet sitter, however, to ensure your dog will get the care and attention they need while you are away.
Of course, you may be able to take your dog with you if you stay at the right hotels. You’ll pay a bit more for dog-friendly accommodations, but your Frenchie is likely to be happier traveling with you whenever possible.
French Bulldogs are wonderful companion animals who provide lots of love and cuddles. They are an expensive breed, however, and one that can come with a high lifetime cost of ownership.
Though these bat-eared cuties are worth every penny, it’s only fair to you and your future pet to make sure you can afford to give a dog the care they need throughout their life.
Underestimating the cost of caring for your pet could leave you in a position where re-homing may be the best option for the animal. Because they get so attached to their owners, this scenario would be as heartbreaking for the dog as it would be for you.
Luckily, with a bit of foresight and planning, you can ensure that you and your French Bulldog have a long and happy life together.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.