UK’s most popular dog breed is the most expensive to insure

French Bulldog at vets

French Bulldogs are the most expensive breed to insure costing an average of £950 a year and they are also the most popular in the UK with the Labrador Retriever coming second and the Cocker Spaniel coming third.

French bulldog

French bulldog. Photo in public domain.


Frankly, it’s quite shocking to note that the most unhealthy breed is the most popular. It supports the argument that adopters of purebred dogs are not checking out the health of their selected breed. This is particularly so during the coronavirus pandemic when there’s been a surge in interest in adopting a dog and most often they are puppies (leading to scammers). The cheapest dog breed to insure is the Patterdale at £302. The data comes from Money Supermarket.

The sort of illnesses I’m referring to are genetically inherited illnesses. All dogs will occasionally suffer from the general pool of illnesses but when a dog, through selective breeding, is predisposed to certain diseases and conditions, it is a different matter entirely. It means that they are more likely to suffer from these conditions some of which care serious and they are all potentially chronic and, of course, in consequence health insurance goes up accordingly.

French Bulldog health issues

The French Bulldog has a brachycephalic head and a flat muzzle. This in itself creates problems. They can suffer from breathing problems called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. The flat face makes it harder for them to pant and cool down and in hot weather they can overheat which causes other problems. All brachycephalic (round headed and flat-faced) dogs have breathing problems and the same goes for cats (Persian) as well.

Also, their eyes are selectively bred to be prominent in their faces which means that they are exposed and can become injured more easily and they are more prone to infection. Further, a common problem with French Bulldogs is hip dysplasia in which the joint between the leg and the hip becomes loose causing lameness. Also, this dog’s distinctive bat ears our charming but they can be a cause of health problems. They have a narrow ear canal combined with a wide-open entry which allows germs and debris to enter the ear canal. Finally, sometimes French Bulldogs are born with hernias.

Patterdale health issues

The Patterdale also has some health problems but they are less severe. They must be because it is reflected in their health insurance premiums which are at one third of those of the French Bulldog. Young Patterdale terriers can develop small lumpy growths under their armpits and on their legs. They go down on their own but you will need a veterinarian’s opinion. Sometimes they suffer from hypothyroidism (a decrease in thyroid production) which can cause stunted growth. Eye problems appear to be the major health issue for this breed. They are prone to cataracts and watch out for conjunctivitis (pinkeye). Their dense coat predisposes them to fleas and finally it is said that obesity can be an issue with Patterdale terriers.

The moral of this little story is that people who want to adopt French bulldogs would be wise to check out inherited health issues associated with the breed before they make a final decision. And if you go ahead take out insurance! This is one case where health insurance would be a good idea.