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HOW HIGH DEMAND INCREASES THE MANY HEALTH CHALLENGES OF FRENCH BULLDOGS IN U.K.

A recent study reveals that over 12,000 dogs are now bred for the British market annually. Among the most popular breeds is our dear French Bulldog, which has so become popular the U.K. pet parents that the infamous Labrador Retrievers now ranks behind French Bulldogs in popularity. This is indeed, a glamorous development, but how has the Frenchies themselves fared in the midst of the society's embrace? Not quite appealing, health-wise. Hence, according to Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, "There's little reason to celebrate."


THE U.K. RESEARCH FINDINGS ON FRENCH BULLDOG HEALTH CHALLENGES

You can argue that Frenchies are naturally prone to health challenges, but this reality has been worsened in a way. In 2018, a U.K. study examined the many health challenges French Bulldogs face. In a research published in the journal, Canine Epigenetics, and Epidemiology, researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) studied 2,200 French Bulldogs of about 1+ years from over 300 Veterinary clinics. It was found that 72.4% of the sample had at least one recorded disorder, including conjunctivitis, diarrhea, and ear infections. Again Frenchies are not spared from some health conditions common among all brachycephalic breeds such as skin-fold dermatitis, cherry eye, and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.


In the words of the lead researcher and author, Dr. Dan O'Neill, "One of the interesting findings or our research is that male French Bulldogs appear to be less healthy than females. Males were more likely to get 8 out of the 26 most common health problems while there were no issues that females were more likely to get than males."


Many of these health problems are the results of low quality breeding practices which are typical of irresponsible breeders in puppy farms. Because they are only interested in making money, they produce a large number of puppies without adequate attention to their health, temperament or welfare.


However, there research finding has an alarming limitation in the sense that it may have only represented a great minority of the French Bulldogs in the U.K. market, 2,200 Frenchies that has visited a little above 300 Veterinary clinics across the United Kingdom. Chances are there are more Frenchies similarly affected but haven't been to the Veterinarian. Again, the dogs studied were all less than 2 years old, and at such an early stage, dogs are not yet showing much potential health problems until they have reached the age of maturity, thus, the discoveries made might not be all there is to be found. Those notwithstanding, it is beyond argument that their research is generally true and largely unassailable.


THE MANY HEALTH CHALLENGES FRENCH BULLDOGS FACE ARE NO BIG DEAL

It has been observed that some of the distinctive characteristics which make Frenchies prone to some health challenges may also be the same characteristics which make them unique and in high-demand, like their short muzzles and wide, prominent eyes.


Royal Veterinary College Dr. O'Neill reveals that "the public's insatiable demand for French Bulldog puppies is fuelling a hugely profitable market for unscrupulous dealers and breeder. Many Puppies are farmed in very low welfare conditions, often outside the UK, and then passed off as healthy happy UK-bred puppies..."


So, apparently, the many health challenges of French Bulldogs are no big deals for lovers of French Bulldogs but the high-demand and popularity of the French Bulldog in the U.K. is fuelling the breeding and business of unhealthy Frenchies which, in turn, increase the risk of health problems. It has become a typical case of "Buyers' Beware!" On the other hand, wise counsel could help. If you are intent on purchasing a Frenchie puppy in the United Kingdom, ensure that you double check the Puppy's background properly, or better still deal with members of the Kennel Club's Assured Breeder Scheme because they subscribe to and promote good breeding practice and aim to work together with breeders and buyers too, to eradicate reckless and non-reputable breeders out of business.


The fight to eradicate irresponsible breeders is not going to be an easy one because the cartel has grown to become a crime syndicate in the United Kingdom, due to the fact that the business of French Bulldog is so lucrative that some previous drug smugglers have switched to illegally smuggling French Bulldogs in the UK Frenchie market. The record has it that about 200 french bulldogs are illegally smuggled into the United Kingdom on a daily basis. They are buying these puppies as cheap as £40 ($50) and sell it as high as £2,000 (over $2,500), because there's a readily available market for them in the U.K.


If you are curious to know why people are so wild for Frenchies, click HERE to read our article on the subject. Drop your comments below. a million thanks for reading this piece. See you again.



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2 thoughts on “HOW HIGH DEMAND INCREASES THE MANY HEALTH CHALLENGES OF FRENCH BULLDOGS IN U.K.

  1. avatar Laurel says:

    Sometimes I feel guilty for owning a Frenchie! Does anyone else feel like this? Being the popularity has increased like crazy and people are more familiar with the breed, I feel people are going to judge me as contributing to the problems talked about in the article. My previous dogs were pound puppies that lived out their live with me and I had the space and property appropriate for their size. Later I moved into a condo in the city and was ready for a new furry friend. My whole life I’ve always had large dogs but my home and lifestyle was not going to yield to a large dog anymore and it would not be fare to dog to be in a small place without a yard. I had no idea what I would want and was not familiar with small breeds. Little did a know a Frenchie was on the horizon. A coworker of mine had one and was able to bring it to work. Over two years I got to see it grow from a strange alien into a beautiful loving sweetheart. I was even able to doggie sit when his owner was out of town. I fell in love with the breed. I saw how me and a Frenchie could give each other what we needed. I started asking my husband if we could get one and he brought up how expensive they are and medical bills could be high, but he didn’t say no. Little did I know he had been doing some research already and one day asked me to come look at the computer. There were two precious four week old pups up on the screen. We decided on one and contacted the breeder. She answered every question and sent pictures every couple days. The time came to go get our Frenchie so we packed the car for a 9 hour round trip. Our experience could not have been better. Do research! Our breeder only breeds two times then retires the female, makes you sign papers that you can’t breed, and (this sounds horrible especially when it’s a life), guarantees her puppies. We read tons of reviews and inquired from other buyers about the health. We have been very fortunate, absolutely no breathing issues or skin problems. The farts can clear a room- we’re so proud. It has been 7 years now that we have had our Ellie and love her so much. So why the guilt? I have a Frenchie that was born from a mother that WASN’T used, abused, and neglected. We didn’t choose a Frenchie to be trendy or for people to know the minimum you paid. We chose a breed that fit our lifestyle aware of the risks that could come along, and the commitment to love this precious dog its whole life. I pray the ones brought into the world under this crazy demand of the breed, have the same owners take the time to do research to learn about the traits of Frenchies so one day they don’t wind up at the shelter. Please don’t buy the designer/rare colored Frenchies and give your money to someone who cares less about a dog having potential life long problems. Thank you so much for your informative emails. I love your site.

  2. avatar Sue says:

    Hi, this is such a great website!!
    I have a piebald adorable medium size frenchie. If you decide to be a frenchie parent then get dog health insurance since costs will drain your pockets! It is extremely important to keep your frenchie in tip top shape. My little girl had early on skin issues that I immediately started researching vets who deal with allergies. My vet is awesome and she hooked me up with a vet dermatologist. He was able to diagnose right away her allergies and treat. Health insurance took care of her medical bills, thank god!!! So today she is almost two and very healthy!!! I continue with her allergy regiment that will more than likely follow her through her life. My message please be aware that French bulldogs in the U.S are now on the same level of bulldogs with health issues ranked #2.
    🐾🐾

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