CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Today is National Puppy Day, and dog lovers around the country are giving their furry friends some extra love!
Speaking of cute pups, the American Kennel Club recently announced that, after over 30 years of being on top, a new dog breed has replaced the lab as the most popular breed in the United States - the French Bulldog.
More and more people are adding adorable little "Frenchies" to their families. If you're thinking about getting a French Bulldog, there are some very important things to know about this breed.
WCNC Charlotte spoke to Fred Wininger, Veterinary Neurologist with Care Charlotte about the health concerns surrounding French Bulldogs. So, what are the potential problems that you need to know if you want to bring a cute Frenchie into your home?
As Dr. Wininger points out, French Bulldogs "are an amazing breed, they have a personality unlike any other. They're just our lovable gremlins."
But, French Bulldogs are genetically disposed to a number of problems. Their cute, pushed-in faces make it difficult for them to breathe in hot environments, causing the dogs to overheat. Italso makes them more likely to catch pneumonia.
Frenchies are also predisposed to spine problems, as this breed has congenital malformations of the spine, spinal bifida, herniated discs and cysts on the spine among the possible issues. French Bulldogs also have a lot of gastrointestinal problems.
So, what is Dr. Wininger's advice for people who have their hearts set on this kind of breed?
Dr. Wininger's number one advice for those looking to get a French Bulldog is to ask your veterinarian about pet insurance, as these types of health problems can be very expensive. "The last think you want is for one of the major family medical decisions to be based off of finances," said Dr. Wininger.
While lots of dog breeds have medical problems, it's difficult to find a Frenchie that doesn't have the beginning of respiratory or spinal problems. This is why Dr. Wininger emphasizes the importance of being prepared when you have one of the adorable pups.