Why French Bulldogs Are So Expensive — Even If You Adopt One


May 22 2023, Published 12:24 p.m. ET

There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friend — because they love you unconditionally, are quite excitable, and are always there when you need them. But if you’ve been feeling the itch — no, it’s not fleas — to get a dog, you’ve got many things to consider, such as your location, living situation, and your budget.

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Buying a dog from a breeder is never cheap, but certain dog breeds (like French Bulldogs) have upfront costs that can set you back thousands of dollars. And even if you adopt a French Bulldog — which would be our recommendation, rather than buying one — you'll still find them to be an expensive companion.

So, before you land on a cute little pup to join you on all your big city adventures, make sure you can afford to give them the life they deserve.

Let’s find out why French Bulldogs are so expensive.

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The French Bulldog is a highly coveted dog breed.

If you’re looking for a small, playful pup that can comfortably fit into your big city apartment life and doesn't bark much, you may want to consider a French Bulldog. A unique breed known for its large bat ears and calm disposition, the French Bulldog is one of the world’s most popular breeds.

Fun-loving, alert, adaptable and adorable, the French Bulldog resembles a miniature Bulldog with its large, square head, and heavy wrinkles rolled above their short nose. Their body is compact and muscular, and their coat shines.

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A charming and companionable breed, Frenchies don't bark much, but their alertness makes them excellent watchdogs. Highly adaptable, Frenchies are happy with singles, couples, or families with small children, and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.

Why are French Bulldogs so expensive?

Did you know the cost of a purebred French Bulldog puppy can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 — and up to $100,000? And we’re just getting started with the high costs of owning a French Bulldog.

Let's explore a few reasons why French Bulldogs are so expensive.

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1. Breeding French Bulldogs contributes to the breed's high price.

While French Bulldogs are expensive to purchase, the price can rise significantly depending on the reputation and location of the breeder. The more of an investment a breeder makes into producing healthy dogs in high-quality environments (or at least, the most the breeder claims to do this), the more you’ll pay.

Due to their body shape, Frenchies can’t mate on their own and reproduction requires artificial insemination, and due to their narrow hips, the mothers often require a C-section.

Surprisingly enough, even the color and pattern of the dog’s coat can impact the price, with colors like blue, chocolate, and lilac costing more – and certain cost patterns such as pied, merle, or brindle too.

Female French Bulldogs, especially if they have blue eyes, are more expensive too and could cost as much as $30,000.

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2. The French Bulldog can rack up high healthcare costs.

Some people believe that getting a Frenchie from a "good" breeder can help minimize the risk of certain health issues, but nothing is certain. French bulldogs are known for several health problems that can require expensive vet care, and these include:

  • Breathing issues: With their short nose and narrow airway, they're predisposed to brachycephalic airway syndrome, and other breathing abnormalities which can put them at a higher risk of aspiration pneumonia, anesthetic complications, and heat stroke.
  • Eye infections: Conjunctivitis is very common and will require a prescription medication to treat.
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  • Heat stroke: Frenchies are particularly vulnerable to heat strokes due to their nose and airway.
  • Abnormal vertebrae: The older the Frenchie, the more their spine can become misshapen, causing pain and limited movement. Intervertebral disc disease is an issue that many Frenchies face.
  • Hip dysplasia: Frenchies are predisposed to hip dysplasia, a congenital malformation of the hip joints where the head of the femur bone doesn’t fit correctly in the hip socket leading to arthritis, difficulty walking or jumping, and may require surgery.
  • Allergic skin disease: Allergies can cause itching and changes in the skin that may lead to inflammation or secondary infections of the skin and ears, requiring frequent vet visits and prescription medications to treat the infections and itching.
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3. The French Bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

Everyone wants a French Bulldog, so it’s no surprise the demand is causing a price spike. Voted the Most Popular Dog Breed of 2022, a Frenchie's bubbly, warm, and friendly personality makes them especially enchanting to people and other pets.

These unique, sweet, and funny dogs make great apartment dogs as they don’t require much exercise. They’re also the perfect companion dog and will never leave your side.

If you want a French Bulldog, adopt, don't shop.

There are numerous reasons to adopt a dog rather than pay for one from a breeder. And when it comes to a breed predisposed to as many health issues as the Frenchie, paying for one to be brought into the world is even less ethical. If you feel equipped to care for a French Bulldog, there are many dog rescue groups that specialize in placing Frenchies, such as the French Bulldog Rescue Network and SNORT Rescue.

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