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How much does a French Bulldog cost to own?

French Bulldog
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've ever asked yourself the question “how much does a French Bulldog cost to own?”, then you're going to be better prepared for the many expenses associated with this popular pooch than those who blindly decide to take one into their home without doing their research first. 

For the simple answer is that the French Bulldog is far from cheap, both to buy and to look after. But given how lovable, adaptable and low-maintenance these small dogs are, you're unlikely to resent the costs in the long run.

So long as you can afford the expense, the joy of having a French Bulldog can more than outweigh the pain of prizing open your purse. You'll find this breed will fit in effortlessly with your lifestyle, requires minimal exercise and trains well thanks to their high intelligence. Frenchies are also great watchdogs, yet friendly and welcoming to invited strangers.

With all of that in mind, let's look at how much it costs to own a French Bulldog. We're going to look at the price of French Bulldog puppies and the costs of food and training while also pondering whether there are reasons why you may not want to invest. Given that Frenchies are known for their health issues, medical costs are certainly a great financial concern. 

French Bulldog price for puppies

Frenchies cost a lot of money to breed. The females have very narrow hips and the male genitals can't reach, meaning they cannot reproduce naturally. Instead, the dogs require artificial insemination and this costs a breeder between $500 and $1,000. It's not 100 percent successful either and that also has to be considered in terms of expense, which is then passed on to a would-be owner.

On top of that, Frenchies require a cesarean section to give birth, which costs anywhere between $600 and $2,000. Add health tests, stud fees, vaccines, health tests and more, and a breeder is spending a hefty sum of money. In that sense, paying an average of $3,000 for a French Bulldog doesn't sound too extreme, although prices can double that. 

In general, the price reflects the fur color and how many puppies are in a litter. More expensive French bulldogs will also have parents who suffered fewer health issues and the females will have been fed a high protein diet. In general, the fewer puppies in a litter, the better: larger numbers mean there's a greater possibility of problems further down the line. But always check a breeder's reputation before parting with your money and, to lower costs, consider animal shelters too.

How much does it cost to own a French Bulldog: Food and supplies

Of course, costs are ongoing once you have a French Bulldog in your home. You will obviously need to feed your pet and the best dry dog food will help to keep the breed as healthy as possible. There are high-quality dry foods specially created for French Bulldogs such as Royal Canin French Bulldog Adult Dry Dog Food. It's also a good idea to consider grain free dog food to reduce flatulence.

You could be looking at around $500 each year to feed a French Bulldog, but the costs don't stop there. There are various set-up costs such as food and water bowls, a crate, leash and harness. Also consider the costs of the best dog toys. In their puppy phase, Frenchies will chew everything so you'll have a reasonably high turnover of toys at first: maybe think in the region of $200 annually. 

Yet toys are important to keep the breed mentally stimulated throughout their lives so replacing them to add variety is a good idea well into adulthood.

Don't forget grooming either. It doesn't take a long time to groom a French bulldog but you will need to buy the best dog grooming kit just to remove dead hair and promote skin oils, especially in the summer. You should invest in the best flea collars for dogs, too. French Bulldogs are as prone to ticks and fleas as any breed and they can suffer badly due to their sensitive skin.

How much does it cost to own a French Bulldog: Training and socialization

Small white and striped french bulldog puppy looking up at camera

(Image credit: Getty Images)

French Bulldogs are intelligent and they take well to being trained. You won't need to necessarily splash the cash to teach them the basics, so long as you are firm, consistent and patient. Yet you may decide to seek a little extra help by pursuing more formal training. 

Doing so can cost you around $500 and maybe a little more if your Frenchie ends up with behavioral issues, although it's generally rare. It's perhaps more important to seek formal training if you have very young children and if the dog is going to come into contact with other breeds. In general, though, they are easy and cheap to train.

How much does it cost to own a French Bulldog: Medical expenses

Now this is where the costs can really begin to rack up because French Bulldogs have a lot of health issues, so, first thing's first: always look for the best pet insurance if you are considering a French Bulldog. So much can and often does go wrong and that means you will need the financial back-up for those medical bills.

A neutered, microchipped, vaccinated French Bulldog (treatments also coming at a cost) could set you back about $50 each month, but much of that is going to depend on the premium level and how much excess you are willing to pay (again, another expense to factor in). But given the list of potential ailments is as long as your arm, you can't really own a French Bulldog without insurance.

There are six common French Bulldog health issues that include:

  • Breathing difficulties due to their flat faces
  • Skin allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Hip and spine problems
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Eye conditions such as corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis, inward rolling of the eyelid edges and juvenile cataracts

French bulldogs also risk overheating, obesity, thyroid issues such as hypothydrodism, deafness, more general allergies, and tracheal collapse. Males suffer more than females, however, according to researchers at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Buy a female and it's likely the overall cost will be lower.

Even so, given the problems (minimized by buying a Frenchie from a reputable breeder), it's wise to take a French bulldog to the vets each year for a check-up and that's maybe another $50. And remember, French Bulldogs can live to the age of 12 or so which means the costs of treatments and tests will likely continue for quite some time.

Are French Bulldogs expensive?

Short answer? Yes. Their purchase price and medical issues can mean you're splashing out lots of cash on an ongoing basis and it is why the breed is always included on a list of the most expensive dog breeds. According to the PDSA in the UK, you're looking at £12,000 over the course of a Frenchie's lifetime. That's equivalent to $16,000 and sounds about right.

Although the breed is amazing – check out these six fascinating French Bulldog facts – you really have to think long and hard before owning one. Make sure your finances are in check but also ensure you fully understand their health issues. 

It's also worth considering that the British Veterinary Association would actually rather people choose a different breed, saying selective breeding and prioritizing appearance over health has caused too many problems. Sometimes, it's not always about money.

David Crookes has been a journalist for more than 20 years and he has written for a host of magazines, newspapers, websites and books including World of Animals, BBC Earth, Dogs and Canines, Gadget and The Independent. Born in England, he lives in a household with two cats but he’s also keenly interested in the differences between the huge number of dog breeds — in fact, you can read many of his breed guides here on PetsRadar. With a lifelong passion for technology, too, he’s always on the lookout for useful devices that will allow people to spend more time with their pets.