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5 Causes Of French Bulldog Breathing Problems + 3 Solutions

5 Causes Of French Bulldog Breathing Problems + 3 Solutions

We can all agree that French Bulldogs have the cutest face that almost nobody can resist, right? But, that cute face can also cause a French Bulldog breathing problems. 

This is something that future French Bulldog dog owners need to know. Sometimes, it can sound really scary, and you will certainly get concerned. Them breathing fast can be the result of many different things.

Some situations are not that scary, like your dog running for a long time and getting tired. On the other hand, breathing problems can occur because of some health issues that you need to treat as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about this breed’s breathing problems, then carry on reading this article – there is a lot to go through. 

What Causes French Bulldog Breathing Problems? Does Your Frenchie Have This Problem?

black French Bulldog

A lot of us are aware that French Bulldogs are not really known for being an active dog breed. These dogs are the true epitome of couch potatoes. This is the reason why a lot of people who don’t lead an active lifestyle choose this breed.

Since these dogs have low energy levels, you will be able to notice them breathing heavily. This is when the question arises. Is my dog just tired or is there another problem that is making him or her breathe with difficulties?

Well, their brachycephalic skull is one of the main reasons why this dog breed will have breathing problems. You might be confused with this term. This means that the dog has a flat face.

A fun fact is that Frenchies didn’t look like this at the beginning of their development. Their flat face was specifically made to look like this.

Here are some of the things that are connected to the appearance of their skull that will cause your French Bulldog breathing problems:

1. Narrow Nostrils

Another, more professional, term for narrow nostrils is stenotic nares. What does this mean? Well, dog breeds like French Bulldogs have very small nostrils, which causes them to breathe improperly. 

They don’t have the ability to take in and let out enough air, and this is why you will hear them breathing heavily. 

The good thing is that this can be surgically fixed. It sounds scary, but it is almost like a routine procedure. You just need to make sure that you find the right vet to do the job. 

The nostrils that look like this will also make these dogs tire easily, and there is a very big chance that you will have a little snore demon. Prepare your ear plugs because you will probably need them during the night. 

2. Hypoplastic Trachea

Hypoplastic Trachea is something that French and English Bulldogs have. Not to get you confused… ‘Trachea’ is a name for the windpipe. French Bulldogs have a windpipe that is narrower than what other dogs usually have.

This causes their airflow to be restricted, which, of course, leads to them breathing abnormally. 

If any problems occur with the upper airway in this dog, you can have some serious problems. They are already narrow to begin with, so if anything causes it to narrow even more, you will need to react fast.

3. Elongated Soft Palate

close shot of tired French Bulldog

An elongated soft palate is something that was brought upon these dogs in the breeding process when breeders were trying to get the cute, flat face we all know and love today. 

Unfortunately, this cuteness comes with a price for the dog. The elongated soft palate means that there is excessive tissue in the dog’s mouth. 

It is located on the roof of the mouth, just behind the hard palate. To be even more precise, it is at a place where the soft tissue meets the bone.

This tissue makes it hard for the pooch to get enough air in. The tissue can be surgically removed, and it is usually advised to be removed. 

4. Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is a health issue that usually affects French Bulldog puppies. With this health problem, the lungs will become inflamed, but not because your pooch was in a cold place or got some kind of cold.

This occurs when the cute puppy has inhaled some sort of foreign material. The most common thing that they inhale (and that causes this issue) is their own vomit. 

Aspiration pneumonia can be quite common with Frenchies, and this is the reason why breeders take extra care and keep an eye on their puppies until they get to your home. 

The breeder will most likely tell you about this problem, so you as well can keep an eye on the puppy. 

5. Enlarged Tonsils

Enlarged tonsils can happen naturally when the dog is born, but in most cases, you can look at this like a health issue that can appear at any given point.

Tonsils that get bigger than they normally are will most definitely cause your French Bulldog to have issues with breathing. 

When the vet detects this problem, he or she will suggest tonsil removal surgery. In some cases, it will be needed and not brought up as a suggestion.

What To Do To Help Your Frenchie That Has Breathing Problems

French Bulldog puppy looking up

The problem with your French Bulldog breathing difficulties is that they can get even worse over time, especially if you don’t take care of them properly. 

There are some things that you need to be prepared for if you plan to own or maybe already own a French Bulldog puppy. 

The things we will list apply to other dog breeds as well, but they are really important for this specific breed. 

Here are some things that you need to do to make breathing for your pooch a bit easier.

1. Surgery

This might sound extreme, but we already saw that some conditions that are making a French Bulldog breathe fast need to be solved via surgery.

You can be doing everything great, but some of the things that can genetically occur with your dog can still be causing it to breathe hard.

This is something that your vet needs to assess as to whether or not your dog is in need of a particular surgery. If they approve, you should go through with it. 

2. Don’t Over-Exercise The Dog

French Bulldogs are the true definition of a lazy dog, but don’t be fooled – this doesn’t mean that they don’t like to play. There will be moments when you will be able to see your dog running around with other dogs for quite some time.

You, as the dog owner, are responsible for making sure that your pooch gets enough time out during the playtime. They might seem like they are not getting tired, but they most certainly are.

When it comes to other types of exercise, don’t expect this dog to be delighted about any of them. You should keep them active, but not too much. A walk here and there is enough for them.

Even an easy and short walk can make these dogs get tired and breathe heavily. When you notice that, you should either take a little break or carry your dog home, depending on the level of tiredness. 

RELATED: Is Your Dog Refusing To Walk? Here’s What You Can Do To Help

3. Exchange A Collar For A Harness

French Bulldog standing by lake

These pooches have enough problems when it comes to breathing, and a collar around their neck can sometimes be uncomfortable for this dog. However, if you want to stick with collars, here is our list of best French Bulldog collars we prepared for you. 

Harnesses are an amazing replacement for collars. They will not make any contact with the dog’s neck since they are placed on the dog’s body. 

Just make sure that you get the right size. If you get a big harness, your dog can slip out of it. If it is too small, it can make your dog uncomfortable. 

3. Make Sure Your Dog Is Out Of The Heat

Their cute face is one of the main reasons why French Bulldogs have problems with breathing. It also causes your dog to have the lack of ability to cool down. 

They get overheated very easily, even when it is not hot outside. Imagine how hot they get when they are out in the sun when the temperatures are high; thus, something that these dogs are prone to is heatstroke. 

If you live in a place that has a warm climate, avoid taking your Frenchie out in the middle of the day. Early in the morning, and when the sun goes down are the best times. 

To Sum It Up

sad french bulldog looking through window

French Bulldog breathing problems are no joke. It can cause your dog discomfort and other health issues, and it will most definitely make the dog owner overwhelmed. 

Unfortunately, most of the things that cause a Frenchie to breathe heavily are connected to their adorable face. You can say, in this case, that beauty comes with a price.

Some of these can be fixed with surgery while others are not that easily fixable. There are also some things that you can do to make sure that your Frenchie is able to breathe as normal as possible.

Read Next: 12 Reasons For Your German Shepherd Breathing Fast