Unfortunately, French Bulldogs can have serious health problems, including its share of genetic concerns. The same genes that are responsible for the Frenchie's unique appearance are also to blame for some of its afflictions. The breed's dwarf body type, referred to a "chondrodystrophic", predisposes it to degenerative disc disease. Hemi-vertebrae and other congenital or hereditary malformations of the spine are also very common. French Bulldogs can also be affected by luxating patellas or slipping kneecaps. The French Bulldog is a "brachycephalic", or short faced breed. This can often lead to breathing problems caused by elongated soft palates and/or stenotic nares (pinched nostrils).
All brachycephalic breeds are affected to some extent by heat and humidity and French Bulldogs are no exception. Frenchies are physically unprepared to exist comfortably in hot, humid weather. Moderate exercise can become excessive exercise on an 80 degree day, jeopardizing the health of a Frenchie and moderate exercise in direct sunlight on a 70 degree day can be physically stressful. During the warmer months, exercise should be kept to a minimum or restricted to the cooler evenings. Last, but not least, because of their physical design and uneven weight distribution, most French Bulldogs do not swim and should never be left unsupervised around water.