French Bulldog for Sale? Why You Should Never Buy One

‘Do French Bulldogs Have Health Issues?’ PETA Answers Your ‘Frenchie’ Queries

At any given moment on Petfinder alone, there are hundreds of thousands of dogs—including French bulldogs and “Frenchie” mixes—who need homes. And while questions like “How much does it cost to buy a French bulldog?” still flood the internet, PETA’s here to discuss the true costs of buying a French bulldog—or any other “purebred” dog—and they may surprise you.

French Bulldog Facts

Google has been used for queries like “Are French bulldogs high-maintenance?” and “Do French bulldogs have health problems?”—questions indicating that many people already know that buying these dogs isn’t a good idea. All “purebred” dogs, including French bulldogs, are purposely bred to have certain physical characteristics, which causes serious genetic problems that can leave them crippled, in nearly constant pain, and may even lead to an early death. This is the story of Arnie, a French bulldog bred by an American Kennel Club “Breeder of Merit,” a title given to breeders the club believes have gone “above and beyond on health issues, temperament, and genetic screening”:

What Do I Need to Know About French Bulldogs?

  • “Are French bulldogs genetically modified?”

Well, sort of. To achieve “breed-specific traits,” breeders inbreed French bulldogs, which means that they breed dogs who are related to each other—those with one or more relatives in common. It’s inbreeding that causes the health problems mentioned above.

  • “Do French bulldogs have to be artificially inseminated?”

As a result of selective breeding, bulldogs often have to be forcibly inseminated because their hips are too narrow to allow them to mate.

  • “Are French bulldogs born naturally?”

There’s no “unnatural” way to give birth, but French bulldogs have to deliver via C-section because their heads are too large and their hips are too small to allow pups through the birth canal.

  • “Are fluffy French bulldogs rare?”

Fluffy French bulldogs are exactly that—“Frenchies” who have slightly longer fur around their ears, neck, and body due to a rare recessive mutation in a gene called “fibroblast growth factor 5.” Because of the rarity of this mutation, fluffy Frenchies are often bred with family members to keep the breed “pure,” which further increases the likelihood that their puppies will have debilitating genetic health issues.

  • “Can French bulldogs fly on airplanes?”

French bulldogs have been bred to have flat faces, which can cause them to suffer from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. Because of this, many airlines have banned them as well as pugs, Pekingese, and other flat-faced or snub-nosed dog breeds from flying—a move United Airlines made only after a “Frenchie” died after being stowed in an overhead bin for roughly three and a half hours.

  • “Do French bulldogs get stolen?”

According to some reports, French bulldogs’ high price tag and small size make them frequent targets of dognappers.

Do French Bulldogs Have Health Problems?

French bulldogs’ “cute” features, a result of human manipulation, are the very reason they’re plagued with a lifetime of problems. An article in Time magazine estimates that as many as one in four “purebred” dogs is afflicted with a serious genetic problem.

He was slowly suffocating to death before my eyes,” said one French bulldog guardian of her companion’s breathing difficulties.

For “Frenchies” specifically, veterinarians warn guardians to expect a lifetime of expensive medical bills as a result of the dogs’ tendency to suffer from ear infections (because of their unnaturally narrow ear canals), diarrhea (in particular, French bulldog puppies have ultra-sensitive digestive systems), pinkeye (because of their irregularly protruding eyeballs), skin fold dermatitis (because of the wrinkly skin they’re deliberately bred to have), and the aforementioned brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, often requiring surgery.

I’ve walked into exam rooms where I had to raise my voice to be heard over the noisy breathing of the [brachycephalic] dog,” a professor of veterinary ethics at the University of California–Davis said.

Did you buy a French bulldog who suffers from these conditions?

So, How Much Does It Cost to Buy a French Bulldog?

Ultimately, the cost of buying a French bulldog or “Frenchie” mix is not only the dog’s very life but also the lives of multiple other dogs. Don’t throw money at the dog-breeding industry, which clearly doesn’t care about animals’ well-being. You’ll be doing an incalculable amount of good in the fight to end the companion animal overpopulation crisis by adopting from an open-admission shelter if you’re ready for the lifetime commitment. You’ll save an animal’s life and make room for another animal to have a chance at adoption. It’s a win-win situation!

What if I See a ‘French Bulldog for Sale’ Ad?

With millions of dogs, including “Frenchies” and French bulldog mixes, in need of homes, buying a “purebred” puppy—or any other animal—is a no-go. So whether you’re determined to find a French bulldog or another “purebred” companion or you’re just hoping to give any deserving mutt a new lease on life, please, visit or call your local open-admission animal shelter or use—but never, ever buy from a pet store, a breeder, websites like Craigslist, or anywhere else.

Adoption is the only option.

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