Basic FAQs

Are Pugs or French Bulldogs Healthier? Which one to Buy?

Are Pugs or French Bulldogs Healthier?

Both Pugs and French Bulldogs face health challenges due to their brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature, making them prone to breathing difficulties and overheating. French Bulldogs often encounter issues like hip dysplasia and certain genetic disorders. Pugs, on the other hand, may suffer from eye problems and are prone to obesity. Neither breed can be broadly classified as “healthier”; individual health depends on specific genetics and proper care. Prospective owners should be aware of both breeds’ health issues and be prepared for associated veterinary needs and breeding costs.

Pugs or French Bulldogs Healthier

Difference between French Bulldogs and Pugs

Aspect French Bulldog Pug
History Originated in England, later developed in France in the 1800s. Originated in China around 2,000 years ago, popular in the Dutch royal court.
Size Small breed, weighs 16-28 pounds, 11-12 inches tall. Small breed, weighs 14-18 pounds, 10-14 inches tall.
Personality Affectionate, easygoing, known for adaptability. Charming, mischievous, loving, good with children.
Color Brindle, fawn, white, etc. Fawn, black, apricot, silver, etc.
Price Generally more expensive, ranging from $1,500 to $30,000. Usually cheaper, ranging from $500 to $5,000.
Lifespan 10-12 years. 12-15 years.
Health Prone to brachycephalic syndrome, hip dysplasia, allergies. Prone to brachycephalic syndrome, eye issues, obesity.
Training Moderately easy to train, can be stubborn. Fairly easy to train but can be stubborn.
Care Regular grooming, exercise, and attention are needed. Requires regular cleaning of facial wrinkles, moderate exercise.
Popularity Very popular, ranked 4th most popular breed by AKC Consistently popular, ranked 28th by AKC
Barking Tends to bark less, but can be vocal when alerting owners. Known to be quite vocal and can bark a lot.

French Bulldogs and Pugs Health Overview

French Bulldog Health Issues

Brachycephalic Syndrome

French Bulldogs, with their flat faces, often suffer from brachycephalic syndrome. This condition includes respiratory challenges, causing difficulty in breathing and regulating body temperature. It results from the compressed airways, nostrils, and throats common in these breeds. Owners must be cautious to prevent overheating, especially in hot and humid weather.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in which the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint, leading to arthritis or pain. French Bulldogs are particularly susceptible due to their unique skeletal structure. Early detection and management can alleviate discomfort, with treatments ranging from medications to surgery.


French Bulldogs experience various allergies, including food, contact, and inhalant allergies. Symptoms can include itching, redness, and respiratory issues. Identifying and eliminating allergens and appropriate medical treatments are crucial for managing these allergic reactions.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

IVDD in French Bulldogs occurs when discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column rupture or herniate, causing pain, nerve damage, and, sometimes, paralysis. French Bulldogs are at risk due to their compact frame and stout build. Early intervention, medical management, or surgery can help manage this condition.


French Bulldogs are prone to obesity due to their compact size and reduced activity levels. Excessive weight can exacerbate existing health issues like hip dysplasia and brachycephalic syndrome. A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential to maintain an optimal weight.

French Bulldog Health Issues 

Pugs Health Issues

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Pugs, like French Bulldogs, are brachycephalic breeds with flat faces and shortened airways. This physical trait can lead to breathing difficulties, especially in hot or humid conditions. Pugs can be prone to snoring and overheating. Owners should ensure they stay calm and avoid strenuous exercise during warm weather.

Eye Problems

Pugs often experience various eye issues due to their prominent, bulging eyes. Conditions like corneal ulcers, dry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy are common. Regular eye check-ups and immediate attention to noticeable discomfort or visual impairment can help manage these conditions effectively.


Pugs have a tendency to gain weight, making obesity a significant concern. Extra weight can lead to or exacerbate other health issues, such as joint problems and breathing difficulties. Proper diet and regular exercise are essential to keep a pug at a healthy weight.

Skin Infections

The deep folds in a pug’s skin can be prone to infections if not cleaned and maintained correctly. Infections can lead to itchiness, discomfort, and more severe skin conditions. Regular cleaning and grooming are essential to keep their skin healthy.

Joint Issues

Pugs can suffer from joint issues like hip dysplasia and luxating patella, where the thigh bone doesn’t fit well into the hip joint or the kneecap moves out of place. These conditions can be managed with appropriate weight management, medications, and, in severe cases, surgery.

Pugs Health Issues

What is Pug’s Average Lifespan?

Pugs typically live for about 12-15 years. Various factors can influence their lifespan, including diet, exercise, and genetic health issues. Proper care, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine veterinary check-ups can contribute to a longer, healthier life for a Pug.

What is the French Bulldog’s Average Lifespan?

French Bulldogs lifespan is around 10-12 years. Like Pugs, their life expectancy is influenced by their overall health care, genetic issues, diet, and exercise. Ensuring they are not overweight, addressing health issues promptly, and providing a balanced diet and regular veterinary care can enhance their quality of life and longevity.

Pug vs. French Bulldog: Which is Better?

Choosing between a Pug and a French Bulldog depends on individual preferences and lifestyle. Pugs are playful sociable, and bond well with families and other pets. French Bulldogs are calm adaptable, and make excellent companions for city living. Both breeds have similar health issues related to their brachycephalic nature. Consider factors like energy levels, temperament, and maintenance needs to determine the best fit for your household.

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy?

  • Provide a balanced diet to maintain optimal weight, as pugs are prone to obesity.
  • Ensure regular exercise to keep them active and healthy, but avoid overexertion.
  • Clean their facial wrinkles regularly to prevent infections and skin issues.
  • Schedule routine veterinary check-ups to monitor and address health concerns.
  • Keep them cool in hot weather to avoid overheating due to their brachycephalic nature.
  • Administer vaccinations and preventative medications to protect against common diseases.
  • Offer mental stimulation through toys and activities to enhance their mental health.
  • Ensure dental hygiene practices to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
  • Socialize them early to promote a well-adjusted and friendly temperament.
  • Use harnesses instead of collars to avoid pressure on their neck and spine during walks.

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy


Which breed is more accessible to care for in terms of health maintenance?

Neither breed is distinctly easier; both have their unique health challenges. Pugs require eye health and weight management attention, while French Bulldogs need care for respiratory and skeletal issues. Consider your ability to manage these specific needs when choosing a breed.

What is a healthier dog compared to French Bulldogs and Pugs?

French Bulldogs and Pugs have health issues due to their brachycephalic nature. If you’re looking for breeds with fewer health concerns, consider dogs with fewer genetic issues and a more diverse gene pool, like mixed-breed dogs or breeds not prone to brachycephalic syndrome.

Are Pugs cheaper than French Bulldogs?

Yes, Pugs are generally less expensive to purchase than French Bulldogs. However, both breeds can incur significant veterinary costs due to their specific health issues. Consider both the initial cost and potential healthcare expenses when choosing a breed.

Are Pugs or French Bulldogs good family pets?

Pugs and French Bulldogs can be excellent family pets due to their affectionate and friendly nature. They’re adaptable, good with children, and relatively easy to care for, making them popular for families. Consider your family’s lifestyle and the breed’s needs to ensure a good match.

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