Most Important Bulldog Health Issues to Know About

Bulldogs can be some of the cutest and most fun-loving dogs to own. With that being said, you should know there are some common bulldog health issues they often encounter.

Learning more about these bulldog illnesses can help you to take the best care of your bulldog now and the future, as well.

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

One of the most common health issues for bulldogs is called brachycephalic airway syndrome. This basically means their nose is smooshed and their breathing passages are often flattened. This can cause them to have a tough time eating, be intolerant of exercise, get extremely uncomfortable, or have difficulty breathing.

If your bulldog becomes obese, this condition can be made even worse.

Temperature Regulation Issues

Dogs pant because it helps regulate body heat. However, many bulldogs, mostly those who have brachycephalic airway syndrome, have a tough time regulating their body temperature.

If you notice your bulldog panting excessively, heaving when panting, seeming exhausted when breathing, making odd noises in their throat, or foaming at the mouth, they might be overheating. You should get them cooled down and hydrated as quickly as possible.

Skin Issues

Unfortunately, Bulldogs are also prone to have skin issues and allergies. Many bulldogs will get eczema. This is when their skin is dried out and itchy. They may develop a rash from this. Bug bites, stress, and allergies can cause eczema in bulldogs. Your bulldog may also get a bacterial infection, hot spots, or interdigital cysts.

Joint and Bone Disease

Due to a bulldog’s build, they may be prone to certain joint and bone diseases. Your bulldog might experience canine hip dysplasia, joint or ligament injuries, or arthritis. If you notice that your bulldog isn’t seeming interested in activities they usually enjoy and they have a difficult time moving around, they may be suffering from a joint or bone disease.

Eye Issues

Many bulldogs will experience eye issues in their elderly years. Cherry eye is one of the eye issues your bulldog might have. If you notice a big red bump around your dog’s eye, they could have cherry eye. Dry eye and brachycephalic ocular disease are 2 other eye issues commonly found in bulldogs.

Head Shakes

Head shakes are often seen in bulldogs. These can be scary and if you notice them, you should take your bulldog to the veterinarian to get checked out. Generally, this is caused by stress or low blood sugar.


Bulldogs, unfortunately, have more allergies and sensitivities than most other dog breeds because of their makeup. They might experience skin or food allergies. Keep an eye out for allergies in your bulldog. If you think your dog may be allergic to anything, talk to their veterinarian right away. These are some of the most important bulldog health problems that you should know about. Owning a bulldog can be a wonderful experience. They are fun to play with and can make for a great family pet. As long as you keep an eye out for these health issues, you can keep your bulldog safe and happy.

Of all of the domesticated breeds of dogs around the world, the English Bulldog has been dealt one of the unluckier hands, in the way of health. If you and your family are considering adopting a Bulldog, you should take the time to consider whether you are ready to tackle any of the health issues that they are prone to face in their lifetimes. These health issues shouldn’t necessarily stop you from adopting a Bulldog. They should just be kept in mind in case it’s not something that can be worked into your particular lifestyle.

Respiratory Problems

Due to the selective breeding that took place to “shrink” Bulldogs over the centuries, respiratory issues have become a major issue with the breed. “Brachycephalic airway”, a fancy term that loosely translates to “shortened head” includes a handful of breathing issues that are directly related to the anatomical structure of the dog’s head and face. Often, bulldog genetics lead to them suffering from issues such as exercise intolerance, trouble eating, and even chronic discomfort. The dog's weight contributes highly to how intensely their brachycephalic airway issues will interfere with their life. Therefore, it's crucial to keep your Bulldogs weight under control to avoid potential airway issues. In mild cases, brachycephalic airway problems may also be managed through regular exercise and avoiding hot and humid air.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

The word “dysplasia” already doesn’t sound like fun. Knowing that it means a malformation has occurred at the hip and/or elbow joint makes it sound even worse. Some statics have said that English Bulldogs rank the highest of the breeds who suffer from this problem with their joints. Hip or elbow dysplasia can cause these dogs to face issues like chronic pain, trouble with physical activity, meaning they will be reluctant to perform activities like running and jumping. Just like with brachycephalic airway problems, helping your Bulldog maintain a healthy weight and exercise regimen are among the best things you can do to potentially avoid or mediate their joint issues.

Skin Issues

Other notable issues that Bulldogs will likely face in their lifetime are chronic skin issues. From dermatitis to allergies, Bulldog's skin is particularly prone to having chronic problems. To avoid or remediate some of these issues, a Bulldog owner will need to be on top of cleaning and drying under the folds of skin that occur naturally on Bulldogs. Especially the ones around and on their face. On the other hand, allergies are often unavoidable and may require special attention to their diets.


Due to poor breeding habits of Bulldogs by humans in years past, the breed has come to face these chronic issues more often than not. Making owning an English Bulldog a handful at times. Knowing these things before adopting a Bulldog into your family can make a world of difference. 

What health issues do French Bulldogs have?

Bulldogs often suffer from eye, heart, and joint diseases, as well as spinal disorders. The most common health problem they have is trouble breathing.

Do all French Bulldogs have health issues?

Although not all bulldogs encounter a lot of health problems in their lifetime, most Frenchies, do. Due to their flat faces, they're very prone to having some type of breathing issues.

Are American Bulldogs prone to health problems?

Unfortunately, due to this breed's genetic and physical makeup, they're very prone to having many different health problems. Some of the health risks that they're prone to include obesity, thyroid problems, allergies, overheating, and more.

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Written by Leo Roux

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