An English bulldog can normally be expected to live between 8 and 10 years. Because of the pushed-in nose characteristic of the breed, breathing problems are common; heart problems are also common in the breed.

English bulldogs often have difficulty in cooling themselves by panting, so they need protection from hot temperatures. They are vulnerable to respiratory illnesses. They are also prone to gaining excess weight and need regular exercise to protect them from obesity and cardiac problems. Other problems that often affect the breed are hip dysplasia (a malformation of the hip socket which leads to lameness and arthritis) and skin lesions. When choosing a puppy, owners can protect themselves by buying from reputable breeders who use breeding stock free from genetic diseases.