The French bulldog money pit and dogflation

French bulldog is expensive to care for
French bulldog is expensive to care for because it is unhealthy. Image: MikeB

French bulldog is a shocker

The French bulldog can cost around £1,740 to insure in the UK because they are probably the unhealthiest dog breed. They suffer from 21 inherited diseases. Or perhaps it’s more than that but let’s just say that it is an awfully high number and as a consequence it is very hard to escape the conclusion that the popular French bulldog is the unhealthiest dog breed which clearly points to the fact that people who adopt the French bulldog are adopting the animal on appearance only while totally ignoring the more important aspect of dog adoption namely the health of the dog and how they’ve been bred.


But the point of this article is a trend called “dogflation” which as you might imagine refers to the inflationary prices demanded to keep your dog in good health and to a reasonable standard.

Shocking costs

Some of the numbers are shocking to be honest. The cost of pet care has increased by 12.8% overall in the past year according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK. And the website This Is Money states that owning a dog costs an extra £256 annually which brings the figure up to £2500 annually just to look after your dog companion.

Whopping total bill

That data also comes from the charity Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. And if somebody does the mathematics, they will find that a family owning a dog can pay as much as £27,800 over the average lifetime of their dog. That is a very big number and I think people should really be aware of that before they adopt a dog. Perhaps the major decision to address when adopting a dog companion is the cost of looking after the animal. And I’m talking about the cost in terms of maintenance over the lifetime of the dog not just the purchase price which in the case of the French Bulldog can be around £1700.

The charity Dogs Trust revealed that 80% (4 in 5) of dog owners are worried about looking after their dog and almost 10% say that they are very worried.

Big dog big expenses

Of course, the amount you spend on your dog depends upon their size to a certain extent and the kind of caregiving you wish to give but Battersea Dogs and Cats reports that some families will be spending more than £39,078 during their dog’s lifetime.

When you consider that it might be paid out of net income which means after-tax you probably have to earn about £60,000 over that time to pay for your dog. That is genuinely a big financial burden.

Dog sitting

In another survey carried out by the ferry operator Red Funnel they found that 1 in 8 owners spend a massive £500 annually on dog sitting services. On top of that you have one-off expenses in the first year of ownership such as buying bedding, toys, a collar and lead and vaccinations which can cost a total of £755.


By comparison, the charity Child Poverty Action Group worked out that it costs £3,864 a year to cover the essentials for a child from birth until they are the age of 18. That is not a lot more than the cost of a big dog!


Battersea also tells us that on average £7800 will be spent on grooming fees for dogs which includes nail trimming, washes and trims and blow dries et cetera.

Some dog owners spend more on their dog haircuts than they do on their own haircut. And that applies to women who tend to have quite expensive haircuts compared to men.

Health insurance the biggest expense

Of the regular costs, health insurance is the most expensive with bills not unusually being around £700 a year. Some owners of older dogs pay at least £120 a month in pet health insurance. Clearly, older dogs are going to require more healthcare and therefore typically the owner pays more in insurance premiums.

The ONS reports that the cost of veterinary treatment has soared by 13% in 2023 which will add £41 to household bills a Money Mail analysis revealed.


The title to this article refers to the £1740 insurance bill for a French Bulldog. The person who owns that Bulldog is Sonali Saujani. Her dog is called Luna and she is five years old. Sonali is a holistic healer from Offenham in Worcestershire, UK and the cost of insuring her dog has gone up by £564 over four years.

She says that Lula is her biggest expense and confirms that Luna has breathing problems, allergy problems, and skin conditions. She says that she probably spends about £500 a month on Luna which includes daycare, physiotherapy and supplements!

She sacrifices her own pleasures by not buying clothes or having expensive holidays.


As to food, the cost of it has gone up by 21% in the past year which adds a hefty £76 to annual household bills according to the ONS. Dog treats are risen by 16% over the same period.

Battersea tells us that food and treats can easily add up to £960 annually. The high cost of food is resulting in more families opting for own brand food such as from the supplier Pets at Home.

I hope this article is read by some people who want to adopt a dog and I hope that it makes them think twice because budgeting the cost of caregiving of a dog or cat is the number one task a person should complete before making that big step.

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Post Category: Dogs > Canine Health