French Bulldogs are hugely popular and it’s easy to understand why. But they are also very expensive to buy, with this often being the first hurdle to overcome with cost of ownership. But what many people will often overlook is the on-going cost of owning a Frenchie.
We’ve owned Claude for over 3 years now, so have a unique understanding of how much it costs to own a French Bulldog. In this guide I am going to breakdown the monthly and annual cost of ownership, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
But if you’re just here for a quick answer on how expensive a Frenchie is to buy and then own, then here’s my estimate…
How much does it cost to have a French Bulldog? French Bulldogs cost between £2,000 and £3,000 ($2,500 and $4,000) to buy. Then you can expect to also pay on average £1,700 ($2,190) in maintenance costs each year. This can include food, insurance, vet bills, toys, and many more expenses.
If you don’t have the money properly take care of and pay to keep your Frenchie healthy, please don’t get one. Frenchies are expensive to maintain!
So how do the costs above break down? Well here’s what our typical year of owning our French Bulldog looks like with the costs separated out.
How much does it cost to own a French Bulldog annually?
Please Note: This is a typical year shown below for us as owners, so you should be prepared for a lot more as you never know what might happen (get insured!).
The exact breakdown in costs of how expensive our Frenchie is to keep and maintain are:
- Buying a Frenchie: £2,000 to £3,000 ($2,500 to $4,000).
- Food and treats: £400 ($515).
- Insurance: £300 ($390).
- Vet visits: £120 ($155).
- Annual health check: £40 ($52).
- Flea treatment and tick collars: £180 ($232).
- Toys and bedding: £70 ($90).
- Dog walker and dog sitting: £590 ($760).
If you take the cost of buying your French Bulldog out of the expenses detailed above, that gives a grand total of £1,700 we have spent in the last 12 months. That converts to $2,190 US dollars.
If you average these maintenance costs out over a month, it means we have spent £141 ($182) a month taking care of our French Bulldog – they are very expensive to own and keep.
But here’s the thing; every year it could be very different. Below I have split those maintenance costs down further so you can see exactly what you might have to expect.
Are French bulldogs expensive to own?
Yes, there are, and you never know what to expect each month due to their range of health problems. Please make sure you have adequate insurance in place. Here’s every single cost of owning a French Bulldog we’ve had to pay out this year.
1. Pet insurance
Our Frenchie is insured for any conditions that aren’t pre-existing. That’s why you should insure your dog as soon as you get it, because if you try to insure them after an illness or accident, the insurance company won’t pay out.
We pay £25 ($33) a month for insurance. But don’t think that means everything is covered, it isn’t. As with all insurances you will have an excess. Ours I think is around £100. That means we have still had vet bills to pay this year which we couldn’t claim against.
Handy Hint: Here’s why you should insure your Frenchie in more detail including what it will and won’t cover you for in the event of accident or illness.
2. Vet bills
As mentioned, we aren’t covered for everything. In the last 12 months we’ve had to take Claude to the vets for two unexpected problems with his hip and back.
On one occasioned he jumped up and hurt his back. On the other occasion he hurt his hip whilst playing fetch and running with some of his other dog friends.
Both vet trips including him getting checked out and then being prescribed some dog pain killers. Each vet appointment cost around £60 ($77) each, making £120 ($155) in total for the year.
3. Annual health check
We also get Claude checked out each year by our vet. This is really important with Frenchies, and it’s a cost of ownership you don’t want to skip.
This check takes around 30 minutes and costs £40 ($52) each year.
4. Flea treatment and tick collars
The last cost relating to the health of your Frenchie is flea treatment and tick collars. Every three months we pay for £30 ($37) for a squeeze on anti-flea liquid. This needs to be repeated every quarter, meaning a cost of £120 ($148) each year.
We also buy Claude tick collars every 6 months. Not all owners buy these for their Frenchies, but for us it’s essential as we do a lot of walks in the forest. We get the Seresto brand (view on Amazon).
5. Dog walking and sitting services
Most days either my wife or I are at home. That means we don’t have to use dog sitting and walking people that often, but when we do it’s an expensive service!
For example, if we are going out all day, we will get a dog walker to come and get Claude from our house and take him out for a few hours. Our dog walker charges us £10 ($13) each time, and we do this a couple of times month meaning £20 ($26) a month, or £240 ($312) annually.
Then there are the times we go on a vacation. This is when owning a French Bulldog can cost a lot of money as we need a dog sitter to take him for 2 weeks. Thankfully we have a dog sitter who Claude absolutely loves, and he goes to stay with her for the fortnight we’re away… and it’s expensive.
For a two week vacation each year we need to pay our dog sitter £350 ($450).
6. Toys and bedding
Frenchies love to play (here’s what they love playing most) so you need a selection of toys to keep them entertained and mentally sharp. We’ve probably spent around £30 ($39) on new toys this year – a couple of chew toys and ball.
Handy Hint: I put a list together of the 18 best French Bulldog toys that Claude and his Frenchie friends love to play with. Go check that out for play-time inspiration!
We also bought him a new bed which was £40 ($52). It wasn’t anything fancy, just a cushioned bed as most of the time he’s on our bed or the sofa!
7. Food and treats
And finally, the biggest monthly expense of all which is feeding your Frenchie. Claude eats Royal Canin French Bulldog food (view on Amazon). It’s meant to come with most of the nutrients he needs and doesn’t make him fart as much as other foods we’ve tried.
I estimate we spend around £30 ($39) a month on his dog food, and then another couple of pounds on some treats each month. In total, it’s probably somewhere around £400 ($515) a year spent on food.
Handy Hint: If you have a Frenchie puppy please read this guide and feeding chart so you know how much to feed them and when.
To conclude, Frenchies are expensive to maintain.
It will cost a lot of money to own a French Bulldog, so make sure you have the annual income, and are adequately insured.
However, I believe that my example costs are probably quite low compared to many owners. With that in mind what could be the most you might have to spend on your Frenchie each year?
Let’s look at what could potentially be in store.
What’s the worst-case scenario?
And now a word of warning.
We’re lucky. We have a healthy French Bulldog who so far hasn’t had any serious health complications, but that might not have been the case, and could change in the future.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to bring your attention to some horror stories from other people who have shared their experiences on how much it costs to own a French Bulldog.
You need to take this all in…
You can expect a lifetime of expensive vet bills
According to a news report in The Telegraph, French Bulldog owners need to be prepared for a lot of expensive maintenance. They referred to a report from the Royal Veterinary College who warned about the unhealthy nature of Frenchies.
The college published a study which examined over 2,000 Frenchies, finding they were particularly prone to ailments such as:Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.
- Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome.
- Ear infections.
- Skin fold dermatitis.
So, what does that mean for you?
It means your Frenchie can suffer from one of 31 different health issues. You could have some very high vet bills to pay.
Make sure you know the background of your Frenchie
There are some very unscrupulous dealers out there. Dr O’Neill from the Royal Veterinary College said that:
“As well as the health risks associated with their extreme physical features, the public’s insatiable demand for French Bulldog puppies is fuelling a hugely profitable market for unscrupulous dealers and breeders. Many puppies are farmed in very low welfare conditions, often outside of the UK, and then passed off as healthy happy UK-bred puppies.”
If you don’t know the background of your Frenchie, or you have bought one from a rescue center, it’s likely that the health issues and therefore vet bills, will be a lot higher than average.
I found this comment on Facebook about the unexpected costs of owning a French Bulldog where the background isn’t entirely clear:
“Breathing problems, spinal conditions, allergies, heat stroke, joint problems, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s, eye problems – they’re out there, and they can happen. Are you prepared to deal with this, if and when it does? Owning a Frenchie is not for the faint of heart – and it’s also not for those who can’t afford good veterinary care. A good loving home means a lot, but in a breed with as many issues as Frenchies it is not always enough.”
The author of the Facebook post then detailed some of the costs she had to pay out for her poorly Frenchie:
- Grain free food: $50 to $75 a bag.
- Annual health exam and injections: $150 minimum.
- Faecal test: $25.
- Heartworm test: $30.
- Heartworm and flea prevention: $80 every 6months.
- Routine vet visits for ear, eye, and skin issues: $100 min per visit.
She then detailed how much it costs to own a French Bulldog who will need an operation or surgery:
- CT or MRI imaging: $2,000 minimum.
- Spinal surgery: $4,000 to $8,000.
- ACL or knee surgery: $2,500 minimum.
- Palate, stenotic nares or both: $500 to $1,500.
- Cataract surgery: $3,000.
- Allergy testing: $600 minimum.
The bottom line is this; no matter where you bought your Frenchie, you should expect and anticipate a lot of expensive vet bills. French Bulldogs are expensive to own, and even a puppy bought from the most reputable of breeders will have something they need to have looked at during their lifetime.
It’s a huge commitment owning a Frenchie. Yes, they will give you lots of joy and love, but you need to be financially committed to them as well. There are many pros and cons to being an owner.
Do your research into the breeder, ask the right questions, and then get adequate insurance in place before you even get the puppy home.
Handy Hint: Here is a list of questions to ask a breeder, and what to look for when buying a French Bulldog puppy for the first time.