Tom wrote in:
I am looking at getting a frenchy. I am obsessed and have been researching them for the past year or so on and off.
My only issue is health costs. I'm a student and am worried about the potential vet bills that may arise. I have noticed a lot seem to be due to their soft palate and hips/back.
Do you have any idea on the actual chances of Surgery if bought from a reputable breeder and how much you think a frenchys vet bills would on average cost? Are all these health issues actually a big issue or are they more of a buyer beware notice and are actually not that common?
This will be my second dog (first was a family one).
Thanks so much"
I can't speak for all French Bulldogs, but have learned the following:
1. Any pure bred dog should be bought from an AKC certified breeder, and its probably in your best interest to do your research on the breeder. Rocco was from a hobby breeder who bred Frenchies for a short while and stopped. From what I learned about the breeders they loved Frenchies and had some champion dogs over the years.
2. Often you get what you pay for. Buying a dog at a pet store is an exceptionally bad idea. Buying a dog online can be hazardous (Full disclosure: I did this, but did my research from previous owners and talked to the owner who lived in Ohio before buying Rocco).
3. Most people will tell you that the healthiest dogs are often mutts. Not all of them. But a lot of the mixed dogs you can find at shelters are great dogs. I wanted a Frenchie, and I think everyone has a right to get the dog they want. If I had a big farm, I would own 10 dogs. But I have a small condo in the city, and I felt I needed a lower energy dog that was good for small living. Yes, there are rescues that are certainly going to fit into that category, but believe it or not I had trouble finding French bulldog rescues. Also Rocco was my first dog, and I kind of wanted to learn how to raise a dog properly first before learning how to raise a rescue. I think the next time I get a dog, I will lean towards a rescue more now since I am more well versed in raising a dog.
4. Rocco had some issues early on. Of course as a protective dad - every sniffle and cough I would rush him to the vet and was convinced he was dying. I would say over the years from the neutering costs to shots and basic vet visits I paid out at least $1,000. At least, if not more. This is something to consider when you get a dog. You also can look into getting Pet Insurance. It is a bit of a gamble, but often the costs of insurance is a break even if you get it early enough. I looked into Pet Insurance for Rocco, and did the math - I figured I would opt out and simply pay out of pocket.
The two things you want to consider when getting a dog is Time and Money.
you have enough time to spend with your dog? You can't keep them trapped, alone for 12 hours while you are at work only to spend 4 hours with your pooch and then go to bed for 8 hours. That isn't fair.
Do you have enough money to spend on your dog? There are vet bills, doggie day care or dog walker costs, food costs, and emergency costs that do add up. You should seriously be prepared for this. Also a French Bulldog from a good breeder often costs from $2000 to $4500 for ONE dog. There is no such thing as a "cheap French bulldog". If you Googled that and found my page - HELLO. I'll repeat that - if you are looking for cheap French bulldogs, they do not exist. You are probably being swindled by someone who claims they have cheap French Bulldogs when they really just took a pug and crossed it with a bulldog and got something similar looking. Do your research. Are they AKC certified? Does the breeder have a history of breeding reputable Frenchies? Is the breeder located in the US or Canada (watch out for foreign breeders who ship to the U.S. - they can be organized crime related activities especially when they offer a dog at the "low price" of $1000).
This falls into the buyer beware category. Do your homework. And good luck!!