When I first got my Frenchie, the very first thing that shocked me is his snoring. It’s loud enough to keep me awake at night whenever he’s on my bed. This led me to wonder: why do French Bulldogs snore a lot? As a brachycephalic breed, French Bulldogs are prone to become loud snorers. Most of the time, this raucous problem is harmless for the dog, but it could also point to a health issue.
As with snoring humans, there are many ways to at least limit your Frenchie’s ‘snorechestra’. But before that, it’s important to know why it’s happening in the first place.
Why do French Bulldogs snore?
The main reason why French Bulldogs snore is the anatomy of their airway. These dogs have soft and enlarged palates paired with narrow nostrils. When they fall asleep, their airway will relax, which will constrict the nasal passageways. This will lead to snoring as the air is forced into the narrowed airway.
Almost all French Bulldogs will snore. Also, the snoring will become worse as your Frenchie gets older since the back of its throat weakens. And if your dog gains excess weight, snoring would become a big problem.
So when does snoring becomes a problem in French Bulldogs? Aside from the fact that it can give you sleepless nights, it will also disrupt your dog’s sleep. Some French Bulldogs will be jolted awake whenever they snort too loud. This will make your dog sleepy and grumpy in the daytime, which isn’t a good thing.
Aside from that, allergies to dust, smoke, pollens, and other substances can worsen your French Bulldog’s snoring. Anything that irritates the nasal passages is guaranteed to make your dog’s snoring more unbearable.
You should also get your French Bulldog examined for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more than just loud snoring. What happens is that the dog’s breathing will suddenly stop. This will jolt the Frenchie awake, gasping for air, while others will seem to choke.
Moreover, a French Bulldog with sleep apnea will not have restful nights, and it can also lead to sudden dog deaths. Unfortunately, there are no CPAP machines made for dogs yet, and the only way to treat sleep apnea permanently is surgery, which has a lot of risks.
How can I stop my Frenchie from snoring?
The good news here is that you can do something to stop or reduce your dog’s snoring. Here are the steps that work for me and my dog:
1. Help your dog lose weight
French Bulldogs have a ravenous appetite, which makes them prone to obesity. And if you let the pooch gain weight, its snoring would become worse. It will also increase your dog’s risk of developing sleep apnea.
You should help your Frenchie lose weight by putting it in a low-calorie diet. For this, you can consult your dog’s vet to know the best food plan so your pet still gets proper nutrition despite the cutbacks.
Aside from that, you should encourage your French Bulldog to exercise. This breed doesn’t require strenuous activities, but you should engage them with low-impact exercises like walks, underwater treadmills, and playtime inside the house.
Always keep these exercise routines short as French Bulldogs can easily overheat. Also, time your neighborhood walks early in the morning or at dusk.
2. Keep the room temperature cool
Like I mentioned earlier, French Bulldogs can easily overheat when exposed to high temperatures. This is why you should always keep them indoors and in a temperature-controlled room. For those living in hot places like Arizona, Florida, and Texas, a functioning air conditioning unit is very important if you own a Frenchie.
While the cool temperature won’t fully stop your dog from snoring, it will reduce the noise to some extent. However, don’t crank up the thermostat too high, as very dry air can also make it hard for your dog to breathe. Cool and comfy should be the goal.
A room with excellent ventilation and air movement is the perfect choice for French Bulldogs.
3. Prop the dog’s head with a pillow
Frenchies like sleeping with their paws spread in front and their necks flat on the ground. This sleeping position makes the snoring louder and annoying. To prevent this, you can prop your dog’s head with a small pillow.
The slight elevation of the neck will help open the dog’s airways. It helps a lot in reducing the snoring sound for my dog since his nasal passages aren’t as blocked as when sleeping flatly on the floor.
The challenge here would be if your dog will remove the pillow. If your Frenchie hates the pillow, you can consider the next solution.
4. Consider getting a bolstered dog bed
A bolstered dog bed will encourage your French Bulldog to sleep with its head propped on the raised edges. This helps a lot in reducing snoring and keeping your dog comfy at night. In my experience, a bolstered or donut bed also helps with separation anxiety as the burrowing effect gives dogs a sense of safety.
Make sure that the bed is round, so your Frenchie has a pillow whichever direction it lies down. Getting the right size is also crucial, so your dog can curl up without feeling too constrained.
I recommend orthopedic dog beds since it’s made of memory foam that supports the dog’s joints. It will help delay the onset of arthritis and other joint problems. This bed will also keep your French Bulldog warm during cold days.
5. Don’t smoke near your dog
Secondhand smoke isn’t just harmful to humans but also to dogs. Smoke inhalation will irritate your French Bulldog’s airway, which can make them snore louder. It can also trigger allergic reactions and respiratory distress.
When that happens, your dog’s airway may swell and produce phlegm. They will find it hard to breathe, even during waking hours. Take note that even dogs can develop canine heart disease and lung cancer due to prolonged smoke exposure.
At home, we have a very strict rule against smoking indoors. We also consider it a mortal sin to smoke around kids and dogs.
If you’re keen to protect your dog from health problems while reducing its snoring, you should consider giving up your vice.
6. Keep the surroundings clean
Like smoke, dust and dirt can make your Frenchie’s snoring worse. It will also trigger allergic reactions on your part, which is a no-win situation for both you and your dog.
Vacuuming your house regularly will do wonders on indoor air quality. You should also regularly wash your sheets, the dog’s bed, dog toys, and other fabrics at home.
You should also watch out for the cleaning agents you’re using at home. Commercial cleaning chemicals have strong off-gassing that will cause respiratory irritations on humans and animals. As much as possible, resort to natural and safer options when cleaning your home.
Take note that cleanliness isn’t reserved inside your home. You should also extend it to your backyard, where your dog has access.
7. Check for nasal obstructions
French Bulldogs are a curious bunch, so don’t be surprised when you find something stuck up in their noses. It can be a blade of grass, a shredded piece of paper, or a part of their toy.
If your dog is suddenly snoring loudly and snorting when awake, take your time to check its nose. Get a flashlight and see if there are dislodged objects inside the dog’s nose.
If the object is located near the nose’s opening, you can try pulling it out using a sanitized pair of tweezers. However, if the foreign object is farther than your reach, the vet is the best person to call. Trying to get it out with DIY solutions may lead to catastrophic results.
8. Don’t hesitate to consult with a vet
If your dog’s snoring is getting out of hand, you shouldn’t shy away from professional advice. Your French Bulldog’s veterinarian can conduct a thorough examination to diagnose potential health problems.
The vet can also provide potential solutions to reduce your pet’s loud snoring. Aside from that, the veterinarian can discuss the option of surgically correcting your dog’s snoring (more on this below).
9. Check for dental problems
Yes, even dental problems can make your French Bulldog’s snoring worse. An infected tooth can become too inflamed that it’s already affecting the nasal area. This extended inflammation will make the dog’s airway narrow, thus the insomnia-inducing snore.
Make it a habit to check your dog’s mouth. If you see plaque building up, it’s best to bring your Frenchie to the veterinarian for cleaning. The earlier you get it fixed, the cheaper it will be. Also, it will spare your ears from the intense snoring of your dog, not to mention skipping the expensive vet fees due to severe infection.
10. Consider a surgical correction
If all the tips here don’t work in alleviating your French Bulldog’s snoring, you can consider surgical treatment. Under this procedure, a portion of the cartilage at the mouth’s back (stenotic nare resection)will be removed to make the airway wider.
Meanwhile, the vet can also cut out a tissue wedge (soft palate resection) at the back of the dog’s mouth.
This is a very common procedure conducted on brachycephalic breeds like Frenchies. However, not all veterinarians can or are willing to perform this treatment. This is largely due to the potential side effects and the risks of anesthesia observed in French Bulldogs.
Aside from that, this surgery is costly, ranging from $250 to $2,000. The cost can be higher, depending on the recovery care needed and complications your dog may suffer after the procedure. It’s very important to discuss this option with a licensed vet after a thorough examination of your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can French Bulldogs breathe properly?
A: French Bulldogs are prone to various breathing problems. Still, you can help them breathe properly by bringing them to the vet regularly. Also, removing irritants in your home like cigarette smoke, dust, and harsh cleaning products will help.
Q: Do humidifiers help reduce French Bulldog’s snoring?
A: Humidifiers can help a French Bulldog breathe, which can potentially reduce the loud snoring. However, always clean the humidifier to prevent the growth and spread of molds in your home. And if your dog has extreme sensitivities, I suggest consulting the vet first.
Q: Should I be concerned if my French Bulldogs snores every night?
A: Snoring is commonly observed on French Bulldogs. But if it’s occurring every night and in an unusually loud manner, there’s nothing to lose if you’ll call the vet. Your dog may have health issues that make the snoring worse.
Q: Will my French Bulldog’s snoring stop when it gets old?
A: Your French Bulldog’s snoring won’t stop as it gets older. In fact, it will only get louder. You just have to be patient, and I suggest placing your dog’s sleeping quarters away from your room.
Q: Why does my French Bulldog sound like snoring when breathing?
A: If your French Bulldog sounds like snoring while awake, something might be blocking its airway. You can conduct a quick check to see if there’s any dislodged object inside. You can also take the dog to the vet’s clinic for a more in-depth examination.
Q: Do I have to wake my dog up if he’s snoring?
A: Waking your dog can help stop the snoring temporarily. However, once your Frenchie goes back to sleep, it will just snore as usual. Instead of interrupting your dog’s sleep repeatedly, you can reduce the noise by giving it a bolstered bed and keeping the room cool.
Why do French Bulldogs snore? It’s primarily due to their anatomy. As brachycephalic or flat-nosed dogs, a Frenchie’s airway constricts during sleep. This leads air to be pushed through the nasal passage’s narrow walls, which produces a loud sound.
The good news is that you can do something about it. I hope the 10 tips I discussed above helped you in addressing the noisy problem. Do you have something to add? Share it with us below!