Showing posts with label French bulldog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French bulldog. Show all posts

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Average lifespan of domestic cats is about four times longer than the French bulldog's

Let's say the average lifespan of a domestic cat is around 18 years, perhaps a bit less at 16 years. A recent study by a veterinarian which looked at a sample of over 30,000 dogs who died between January 1, 2016 and July 31, 2020 from 18 different breeds and crossbreeds in the UK produced some astonishing results but there may be some distortion because of Covid-19.

French bulldog
French bulldog. Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay.

French bulldog

The most astonishing finding was that the average lifespan of the French Bulldog in the UK is 4.53 years. As I say in the title this is about a quarter (25%) of the lifespan of a domestic cat. I think this distortion might come about because during Covid-19 when a lot of people adopted French bulldogs and they were imported from continental Europe. They were bred at puppy mills; disreputable establishments where the animals were bred very badly and their health was often unacceptable. I don't know the details but there was a lot of talk about the problem.

The actual sample size of the French bulldog was 232 which is quite small but not bad. And Ben the Vet on TikTok comments about this. He says that the average lifespan might be skewered by a large number of the French bulldogs dying at a young age for example after a slipped disc.

Flat-faced, extreme-bred dogs with very short lifespans

Nonetheless, these were real cases in real veterinary clinics and they are a true average of that sample at that time and in that place. And it's appalling. And I don't think the distortion is that bad because the average lifespan of the English bulldog was found to be 7.39 years, for the American bulldog it was 7.79 years for the Pug it was 7.65 years.

These are brachycephalic dog breeds with round heads and flat faces. They are bred to extreme as we say in the business and when you engage in extreme selective breeding you do tend to create health problems which can shorten life spans due in inbreeding and distortions of the anatomy.

Overall average

And also, somewhat worryingly, the overall average age of these 30,000 dogs was a measly 11.2 years. To me, that seems like a very short lifespan. It is certainly considerably shorter than the lifespan of the average domestic cat in the UK. I don't have a study on that but it must be around, as mentioned, 16+ years perhaps as much as 18 years.


The longest living dog breed is the Jack Russell terrier at 12.7 years. The Yorkshire terrier's average lifespan is 12.5 years. For the border collie it is 12.1 years and for the springer spaniel it is 11.9 years. The average mongrel a.k.a. cross breed is 11.8 years.

Full list

The full list is below.

  • Jack Russell terrier - 12.72 years
  • Yorkshire terrier - 12.54 years
  • Border collie - 12.10 years
  • Springer spaniel - 11.92 years
  • Crossbred - 11.82 years
  • Labrador retriever - 11.77 years
  • Staffordshire bull terrier - 11.33 years
  • Cocker spaniel - 11.31 years
  • Shih-tzu - 11.05 years
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel - 10.45 years
  • German shepherd dog - 10.16 years
  • Boxer - 10.04 years
  • Beagle - 9.85 years
  • Husky - 9.53 years
  • Chihuahua - 7.91 years
  • American bulldog - 7.79 years
  • Pug - 7.65 years
  • English bulldog - 7.39 years
  • French bulldog - 4.53 years

Dr Dan O'Neil, associate professor in Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College, and co-author of the paper, said: "Dogs have helped so many humans get through loneliness and isolation of the COVID pandemic.

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