expensive and worth it

It’s been an uneventful week or two, and thank goodness for that! We certainly needed a break after all the craziness that we’ve been dealing with lately. Jersey’s ruptured anal gland is all healed up, and he seems no worse for wear. Fingers crossed that NOW we will get a little break from all these trips to the vet & vet bills!

This past year or so has been a doozy in terms of health issues for my boys. Both have dealt with bouts of IVDD. Both have needed to have dental surgery to remove cracked molars. Then, of course, there was Jersey’s anal gland. It’s times like these that I think about how important Health Insurance for your pet is, and how important it is that people know what they are likely getting into when they bring home that sweet French Bulldog Puppy.

Frenchies are adorable, you guys. They’re cute as can be, they have WONDERFUL personalities, they’re funny, they’re great apartment/city dwelling dogs, and they are fabulous companions.  But they are also one of the most expensive dogs to own.

  • They very often have food sensitives and food or environmental allergies. You should anticipate spending top dollar on high end food and/or prepare it yourself. Even in these situations, many Frenchies have impossibly complicated allergies that their owners struggle for years to get under control.
  • Due to their adorable, squishy faces they very often have airway issues such as elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and general difficulty breathing. They are prone to heat stroke for this reason and extreme care should be given when the dog is outside in warm temperatures.
  • Due to their compressed skeletal system, they are prone to a number of serious joint issues like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) & Luxating Patella.
  •  Then of course there are the smaller issues, like their propensity towards Cherry Eye.
  • Or that due to their deep facial wrinkles, their faces need to be cleaned daily, otherwise they are likely to get a facial yeast infection.
  • If you’re super lucky, you’ll get a boy like Jersey who’s anal glands don’t empty on their own. Leaving you to either empty them yourself (no thanks!) or have to pay you vet/groomer to do it for you every few months… lest they become impacted.
  • Oh, and because Frenchies have the funny airways that they do, your vet will likely need to exercise extra care when your pup should need to go under anesthesia. Both of my boys have to do chest x-rays & full blood panels before going under. Which adds about $200-$300 onto the bill. Every time.

The point is, these guys are crazy expensive. You’ll shell out a ton of cash for that adorable puppy, and you will continue shelling out a ton of cash for the durations of it’s life. Going through as good, and reputable of a breeder as possible will hopefully limit how many complications your wee babe has. But even the best breeder in the world can’t guarantee a dog with zero health issues in their life time. Simply put–  if you own a Frenchie, it is very very very likely (My personal opinion is about 85% likely) that you will face some sort of large medical issue in their lifetime.

I don’t say all this to be the bearer of bad news. Or to be all ‘doom and gloom’. I also don’t say it to encourage people NOT to get Frenchies. I absolutely love this breed and can’t imagine my life without my boys! But I do think it’s important to be educated. When I got my boys (2 years apart) I did my research. I read the blogs and the articles and I chatted with the breeders. I asked all the right questions. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into.

“Prone to health issues” (whatever that meant)

Until you experience those health issues, you can’t possible wrap your brain around what that actually MEANS. I certainly didn’t think that my boys would ever suffer from IVDD. I never thought I’d find myself expressing my dog’s bladder after IVDD surgery, and teaching him how to walk again. And I certainly never thought that I’d be paying $2000 to have a cracked molar removed. I absolutely never thought that I’d have to burp my dog after meals to keep him from regurgitating everything he just ate! Ay caramba!

If you are thinking about getting a French Bulldog, please please please go into it with your eyes wide open. Know what you are getting yourself into. Get Pet Insurance or start a massive savings account— you’re going to need it at some point, I can almost guarantee. And then love the hell out of that perfect, disastrously unhealthy, fabulous little puppy of yours. Health issues and all– there really is nothing like a Frenchie.

Additional reading– 10 reasons to not get a French Bulldog.

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2 thoughts on “expensive and worth it

  1. I’m glad you are getting a break. Doesn’t it seem that bad stuff happens all at once sometimes?

    Such great advice about frenchies. I felt the same way having grown up with a hound dog, thought I knew what “prone to health issues” meant. French bulldogs take that to a whole new level.

    After my frenchie had IVDD surgery, I remember the vet joking “Congrats! You’ve just had one of the most expensive surgeries you could ever have on a dog” (next to ACL and hip surgery?) and he could need it again — aaah! Like, I had to get a damn LOAN out for him. Now when friends and family get dogs, like pugs, I always tell them to get insurance or be prepared because short nosed breeds really need extra care.

    Anecdotal story though — I have another dog, a pit/terrier mutt I adopted from the pound. She has had anal gland issues before and terrible summer allergies that come with a skin condition, far worse than my frenchie. She’s not as medically expensive and has no life threatening conditions like IVDD, but she does require more complex care on a regular basis with prescription shampoo and dermatitis spray and grain-free food, etc. than my frenchie (except when he has a disc episode). So, six of one, half a dozen of the other as the expression goes. Basically all dogs are expensive and will need medical intervention and care throughout their lives is what I tell myself.

  2. Such a great blog post! So many people see adding a PET to their lives as this wonderful opportunity to have a furry companion and it will be all love and fur and snuggles. They often don’t factor in a LIFETIME of considerations when it comes to check-ups, food, unexpected emergencies, skin conditions, etc, etc, etc. It is so important to consider that your dog or cat or bird or whatever animal coming into your life and family is a living, breathing creature who needs our constant care and attention. They aren’t just conversation starters! ❤

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