Why Do Bulldogs Die So Young? 6 Tips to Make Your Bulldog Live Longer

All dog owners want nothing more than to spend their whole lives with their dogs, but unfortunately, dogs have shorter lifespans than humans.

Bulldogs, in particular, have an even shorter lifespan compared to other dogs, which causes many to wonder why these dogs tend to die so young.

So, why do Bulldogs die so young? Bulldogs die so young because they’re prone to developing various health conditions such as heart diseases, respiratory failures, cancer, skin problems, and joint problems. They might also die young because they were subjected to physical trauma or poison.

Keep reading to learn more about how long Bulldogs live, why they die so young, and what you can do to make your Bulldog live longer.

How Long Do Bulldogs Live? 

There are many studies that have been done on the English Bulldog’s lifespan.

According to a study by the UK Kennel Club and British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the average lifespan for an English bulldog is 8.25 only, and 8.9% have died of old age.

Meanwhile, 20% of Bulldogs die from cardiac-related conditions, and 18% die of cancer.

Various other studies were done that showed that the average lifespan of Bulldogs ranges from 6 to 8 years and that some Bulldogs might even live up to 10 years. 

How long the dog will live varies depending on various factors, including the dog’s genetics, health, diet, exercise, and overall living conditions.

Why Do Bulldogs Die So Young? 

a photo of a sick bulldog to show why bulldogs die so young

Bulldogs die so young because they’re prone to develop various fatal health problems such as heart problems, respiratory problems, and cancer. They might also die young because of outside factors such as exposure to physical trauma or getting poisoned, but this is also a possibility with other dog breeds.

5 Reasons Why Bulldogs Die Young

Just like any breed, There are some health issues that Bulldogs are prone to develop, which affect their lifespans. 

What makes Bulldogs particularly vulnerable to dying young are the issues that they are more prone to than other dog breeds. These issues are consequences of our selective breeding over the last couple of centuries, which has harmed bulldogs more than almost any other dog breed.

Sometimes the symptoms don’t appear right away, while others may appear and cause death immediately.

So, let’s take a close look at the main reasons why Bulldogs die young and the symptoms you should look out for.

Respiratory Failure

It’s well known that English bulldogs have a very sensitive respiratory system. And that’s because of the narrow and short airways that make them prone to overheating and respiratory distress.

Leaving your dog in hot weather can lead to overheating. If it’s not cooled down immediately, your Bulldog will die within hours.

Symptoms of respiratory failure include 

  • Excessive shivering and trembling
  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Nasal congestion
  • Lack of energy

If you notice any symptoms, make sure to take your dog to the vet immediately to get the necessary treatment.

Heart Diseases 

Undiagnosed heart diseases will lead to sudden death for both young and adult Bulldogs.

The most common heart disease in Bulldogs is dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a genetic condition that can’t be diagnosed easily.

Irregular heartbeats are also a reason for Bulldog’s death. So, make sure to monitor your dog’s heart rate and go to the vet immediately if you notice any abnormalities.

Early diagnosing can help save your Bulldog’s life. So, are some symptoms of heart disease that you should be on the lookout for:

  •  Loss of appetite 
  •  Lack of Energy
  •  Difficulties with Breathing
  • Irregular Heart Rate
  •  Coughing

If you notice any symptoms, make sure to take your dog to the vet immediately to get the necessary treatment.


Heartworm is a condition that’s caused by a parasitic worm that invades the Bulldog’s systems and leads to serious health problems, such as lung diseases, heart failure, and organ damage.

If it’s not diagnosed early, it will lead to death. But, the good news is that heartworms are preventable.

So, make sure to consult a vet about the best preventive measures to take to keep your Bulldog safe from suffering from heartworms.


Bulldogs can get poisoned very easily, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors, as the dog might be exposed to a toxic plant or try to eat something that contains poison from the street.

However, Bulldog might also get poisoned when they’re indoors as there are many toxic things lying around at your home, such as 

  • Medicine
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts
  • Chewing gums
  • Chocolates
  • Caffeine
  • Toothpaste
  • Cleaning Products
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cigarettes

So, make sure to watch over your dog and keep it away from anything that might poison it, whether it’s outdoors or indoors.

Symptoms of poisoning include:

If you notice any symptoms, make sure to take your dog to the vet immediately to get the necessary treatment.

Physical Trauma

Your Bulldog might fall from a high place or get into a car accident that causes it to suffer from physical trauma. This could lead to broken bones and severe bleeding, which will cause the dog to die.

Bulldogs can also suffer from physical trauma from actions that you don’t really expect to be dangerous. For example, Bulldogs often get hurt from jumping or running too quickly or for too long.

The bleeding might also be internal, lasting from several hours to several days without the owner noticing anything wrong.

So, make sure to watch over your dog if it’s standing near a window in a high place or if it’s outside during traffic. If any accident happens, you need to take the dog to the vet immediately, even if you can’t tell that there’s anything wrong with it.

How to Help your Bulldog Live Longer?

As mentioned before, the lifespan of Bulldogs varies depending on various factors, including the dog’s genetics, health, diet, exercise, and overall living conditions.

Luckily, there are some measures you can take to help your Bulldog live longer. So, let’s take a look at these measures in more detail:

Examine your Bulldog’s Body Regularly

It’s just a quick examination that will not take 5 minutes from you, but it can save your Bulldog’s life.

Always be observant and check up on your dog’s body, tummy if it’s bloated, and eyes. If you notice irregular things, make an appointment with the vet immediately. 

Take Your Bulldog for Check-Ups With The Vet

Checking up on your Bulldog’s health at the vet will help you to diagnose any health issues early. So, make sure to take your Bulldogs for check-ups at the vet every now and then.

I know that visiting the vet and checking up on your dog a lot can be expensive, but at least it will not be as expensive as getting to do surgeries and spending money on a lot of medicines due to late diagnosing.

Keep An Eye On Your Bulldog When Outdoors

Always supervise your dog when he is out, so you can take quick action if he is going to chew something or run through the traffic.

Also, keeping your eye on him will make you notice if he suddenly gets overheated due to the hot weather, so you can immediately try to cool him before the situation gets worsen.

If you are going to leave your Bulldog alone when it’s out in the yard, make sure that you are putting a fence all around it. That will help prevent your Bulldog from wandering off and being exposed to any situation that might get him hurt or poisoned. Such as car accidents.

Don’t Let Your Bulldog Be Exposed To High Temperature

The hot weather is your Bulldog’s enemy. It’s one of the main reasons that lead bulldogs to sudden death because of getting their body overheated.

Make sure you are making your Bulldog stay indoors on sunny and hot days while providing them water.

Vaccinate And Deworm Your Bulldog

Getting your dog vaccinated and dewormed against preventable issues will make great and strong protection for his body. It will increase his immunity system, so he will be less likely to be ill.

Don’t ever skip vaccinating your dog, and never be late. Skipping it can affect your dog negatively and make them prone to many diseases.

Choose Your Plants Carefully

If you have a garden, you should be aware that there are some plants that are super toxic to your bulldogs and can immediately kill them if they are consumed in certain amounts.

Sago palm, Aloe vera, daffodil, Gladiola, and Ivy, for example, are some of those plants that you shouldn’t plant in your garden for the safety of your dog. 

How to Tell That Your Bulldog Is Dying?

You will find your dog suffering from these symptoms when he is dying:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of the ability to move and play
  • Loss of energy
  • Weight loss
  • No longer drinking water
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Slowed respiration
  • Being unconscious 

How to Comfort a Dying Bulldog? 

If you recognize that your dog is dying, the best thing to do is to comfort it in his last days. It’s a very hard situation for you to deal with, but your dog needs to remain close as you are its only friend.

Here are some tips you can follow to comfort a dying Bulldog and make its last days easier.

Stay Close to Your Dog

Your Bulldog needs more attention, love, and care from you during this period.

Always sit close to it as much as you can. Talk to it in a soft tone and tell him that everything is okay.

The dog can feel the affection you are giving to them at this time, but it might not be responsive. However, your comfort will make it feel calm and safe.

Don’t Introduce It To New Dogs Or People

Avoid introducing your Bulldog to a new environment during this period, as it will cause it to be stressed and uncomfortable.

They don’t have the energy to communicate or play, so getting them exposed to these situations could make them feel that they want to get up and communicate, but they are immobile.

If people are visiting your home, make sure they are gentle and kind to the dog. And if there are any children, just explain to them that your dog is getting older and not feeling well, so he can’t play these days.

Do The Normal Activities If He Is Able To

Take him for a walk or play with him if he has the energy to do so. This will make their mental health better.

But if they can’t, just stick to the normal routine at home without pushing him to do something. Just stay caring and gentle.

Take Your Dog To The Vet

Medication can help your Bulldog to make their pain easier. It will help live longer with the appropriate medication, and it can reduce some symptoms like coughing and vomiting. 

Keep in mind that medication can’t prevent your dog from dying, but it can make him more comfortable in his last days.

What to Do If Your Dog Dies? 

The best option to do is to call the nearest vet to have them handle the situation. 

They are capable of dealing with the disposal, such as a burial or cremation, depending on your choice.

Some owners choose cremation to keep part of their dog always with them and memorialize their remains. Meanwhile, other owners choose to bury their dogs close to their homes to make their pets rest near to them till the end of their life. 

If you decide to bury your dog, make sure you are burying them on your own property, as it’s illegal to bury animals in the gardens of rented homes or on any property that you don’t own and in any public areas.

Related Questions 

Do Dogs Know They Are Dying? 

Dogs know they are dying as they can feel it. They feel that these are their last days, so they will be super-attached to you and stay close to you to spend as much as they can. They will also display various abnormal behaviors.

Do Dogs Cry When They Are Dying? 

Dogs do not exactly cry when they are dying, but they make various noises that might seem as if they’re crying, such as whimpering, groaning, and whining. They might also bite or growl if someone gets close to them as a way to express their discomfort.

Do Dogs Want to Be Alone When They Are Dying? 

Dogs do not want to be alone when they are dying. Instead, they will need to spend their last days with you, as you are the only one who can comfort them and make them feel safe at these moments. They will also be more dependent on you as they won’t be physically strong enough to move around or do any activities.

Helpful Resources

How Long Do Dogs Live?

2021 Pet Health Trends Report

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