How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

With those curious eyes, inquisitive ears, and endearing snuffles, what’s not to love about the French Bulldog?

Cousin to the huskier Bulldog, they were bred in England and made their way over to France as companions and fierce ratters. That bat-eared silhouette makes them instantly recognizable, and 15 million Instagram Frenchie posts prove their enduring popularity.

There’s a price, however, for all that cuteness. You might often hear the distinctive signs of the breed’s respiratory issues and not understand the cause or what can be done to ease symptoms.

Why do French Bulldogs have breathing problems?

All those distinctive sniffles, snuffles, and snorts (as endearing as they may be) commonly occur in both the canine and feline flat-faced breeds. The shortened snout, which was encouraged during breeding selections to create the adorable smooshed face, resulted in some anatomical limitations. Unfortunately, as the breed’s skull shrunk the structures inside didn’t follow the same path.

Common problems of this include:

  • abnormally narrow nostrils that restrict air flow (stenotic nares)
  • the soft, back roof of the mouth is too long and obstructs the airway (elongated soft palate)
  • a restrictive windpipe (hypoplastic trachea)
  • sacs along the voice box blocking the trachea (everted laryngeal saccules)

Collectively these respiratory related problems shared by short-muzzled pets are called Brachycephalic (Short Head) Airway Syndrome. Not every dog presents with all the above. Just like their personalities, each Frenchie’s anatomy is unique, but seek to understand your pup’s makeup and have an open dialogue with your veterinarian.

How do you diagnose French Bulldog breathing problems?

Particular signs coincide with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS). Symptoms can range from mild to severe, especially if multiple problems exist.

The symptoms to watch out for are both visual and auditory. For an easy point of reference, consider known human afflictions such as snorting, gagging, coughing, snoring, apnea, labored respiration, and vomiting. A dog with a very noisy, raspy and rapid respiration rate will make distinct sounds. For animals with narrow nostrils, for example, it’s easier to inhale through the mouth rather than the nose.

In short, dogs with cute, squished faces are mouth breathers.

In addition, because French Bulldogs are compact, they are more easily affected by high temperatures and problems associated with weight gain. A pet with varying degrees of BAS may collapse after exercise, gag on drool, vomit after eating or even pass out. Some French Bulldogs have large tongues and that can exacerbate the difficulties of a narrow airspace.

If you have any concerns or notice episodes getting worse and witness other issues such as collapsing and lethargy, consult with your vet right away. Noisy breathing is common, but not normal. Treatment plans are available to help your furry friend breathe easier and live a long, more energetic life.

How do you treat French Bulldog breathing problems?

Treatment depends entirely on the severity of the problems present. Watching your pup’s weight can help since an overweight Frenchie is more likely to present respiratory distress. These little guys are also not heat-tolerant, and the more restricted their airway the quicker they become distressed. Air conditioning, access to cool water, and avoiding high summer heat will go a long way to avoiding fainting episodes due to physical stress, heat stroke, and swollen air passages.

Other simple changes such as using a harness around the chest rather than a collar around the neck to avoid pressure on the windpipe can alleviate mild symptoms. Allergic reactions that cause overproduction of mucous or swelling in the throat may be eased by medications or dietary alterations.

Surgery is an option for French Bulldogs that have pinched nostrils, elongated palates, or swollen saccules. The outcomes depend on the number of issues present, the age of the animal, and the severity of the situation. Unfortunately, the nature of flat-faces means that such pets are also susceptible to problems with anesthesia. A veterinarian, therefore, will perform a full examination after diagnosis, take x-rays, and assess overall health before forming a plan for the patient.

Whether surgery is the route to go depends upon a lot of factors. In some cases, it can make a profound impact on comfort and longevity. Though prognosis will favor a young dog, older animals can still benefit from corrective procedures.

The Frankie Harness

If you’re looking for a walking harness for your Frenchie, check out the Frankie Harness.

What makes the Frankie walking harness great for French Bulldogs? Here are 6 reasons:

  • Stress Distribution. This harness distributes any pressure generated from the pulling of the leash across your Frenchie’s chest and shoulders, rather than on their neck and throat.
  • Breathable. The mesh polyester material makes this harness breathable so that your Frenchie doesn’t get too hot while they are wearing it.
  • Comfortable. The soft cushioned lining and mesh fabric are lightweight and extra comfortable for your pup.
  • Adjustable. If your Frenchie drops a few pounds (or puts on a few) the chest clip can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Unique. This harness is made just for Frenchies, so you can show off your love for the breed by strutting around with an iconic French Bulldog on your dog’s chest!
  • Affordable. We priced this harness at a fair and affordable price when compared to other harnesses on the market, so our Frenchie community don’t feel the squeeze.

Now you know the French Bulldog’s secret

It’s been suggested in studies that about half of the members of short-faced breeds present with BAS, however, there is no definitive way to predict it. Research conducted at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge suggests that nostril size was significant, and a yearly assessment of risk factors is good practice.

You have the knowledge to help your slobber-prone friend gather up all that oxygen a little easier. Listen for signs of distress, watch heat and weight, switch to a harness leash, and bring any concerns or thoughts to your vet.

After all, a Frenchie needs all the extra energy to jump on your lap and chew your shoes!

Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.

  • Home
  • About Frankie
  • Ask a Vet
  • French Bulldog Info
  • Store
    • Harnesses
    • Clothes
      • Hoodies
      • Jackets
      • Sweaters
      • All Clothes
    • Accessories
      • Bow Ties
      • All Accessories
    • Gifts
      • Decor
      • Bedding
      • All Gifts
    • Beds
    • All Products
  • Affiliate Disclaimer
  • Contact
    • Write For Us
    • Advertise
    • Contact
  • Home
  • General
  • 5 Tips For Raising a French Bulldog

5 Tips For Raising a French Bulldog

  • By Emily Green
  • April 8, 2020
  • No comments

Note: This is a guest post written by Emily, the CEO, and Founder of Doggie Designer. Thanks Emily!

Frenchies are one of the cutest, most agreeable breeds around. That said, there are some unique challenges when raising a French Bulldog into a well-rounded canine.

Attitude starts in the home, so if you’re ready to learn then read on and we’ll help you address any problems that might crop up during your Frenchie’s journey.

1. Overcome Stubbornness Early

Frenchies are adorable. It seems like they know it too. They can be stubborn and even manipulative if you let them. Many people try to take advantage of training them with food, but often they end up with an overweight dog who only listens when they have a treat ready to go.

You don’t have to fall into this trap. Instead, you should begin training your Frenchie as soon as he or she comes home.

And make sure that you don’t always cave into those big Frenchie eyes. It takes practice on your part, but the sooner you can help your dog understand that you’re in charge… the better.

2. Crate Train to Avoid Housebreaking Problems

Frenchies are notoriously hard to housebreak. Crate training from an early age is the best way to help them learn not to go potty inside the house.

It’s a strategy that works well with many dog breeds. Far from being cruel, however, giving your dog a crate gives them a den that mimics how they live in the wild. More importantly, few dogs will want to use the bathroom in their home.

Introduce them to the crate slowly. There are two big rules to using a crate properly that many people neglect.

The first is using the crate as a punishment. You shouldn’t use the crate to punish your dog, at all, it’s supposed to be their cozy little home. A place for them to retreat from the household if they’d like.

Following that, you’ll also want to avoid letting other animals in the crate or messing with the things inside it too much. If you have children then let them know that the crate is off-limits. This helps reinforce the crate as a positive thing for your dog.

3. Make Vet Visits Regular

French Bulldogs have some specific health problems that crop up over time. That means registering your dog with a vet as soon as you get them, and it also means you’ll have to attend regular checkups to keep them healthy.

Some of the problems associated just come from the exceptionally short muzzle of French Bulldogs. Breathing problems can occur due to the shape of the dog’s nose. It’s unfortunate but it does happen over time.

Other problems also crop up frequently in the breed, such as allergies and food sensitivities, unfortunately. It’s just a fact of life, and our beloved Frenchies aren’t with us for as long as many small dogs.

If you can’t afford regular veterinarian visits, and the high likelihood of large bills in the future, then you may want to look into another breed.

4. Moderate Their Food Intake and Walks

French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, especially when their owners don’t take the time to make them less food-driven. Even worse, they can’t be exercised too heavily due to the breathing issues caused by the shape of their skull.

You should always watch your Frenchie for signs of becoming obese. They’re still Bulldogs and should appear stout and muscular, not chubby. Since heavy exercise isn’t really possible with the breed, you should be counting calories for your dog.

Keep them spry and you’ll have a companion dog with much more energy.

Likewise, you need to pick and choose your battles when it comes to walks. If it’s particularly hot and humid outside, for instance, it may be best to leave the dog indoors. Bad weather conditions can cause your Frenchie to have trouble breathing during your exercise session.

Consider them a “light exercise” dog. Food intake is more important than normal with your Frenchie since you won’t be able to just have them “work it off”.

5. Prepare for Warm Weather

Since Frenchies are often assailed by weather, it’s doubly important that you ensure they’re comfortable when the season gets hot.

Things like dehumidifiers and air conditioners can help dogs who are home all day. Remember that high temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable for this breed of dog… they can be fatal.

Water should always be available as well. If you’re not in an area with great tap water, then consider using filtered water to help them stay healthy. Water is a non-negotiable requirement for any dog, just make sure they have ready access to it.

If you’re uncomfortable in your home… it’s worse for your French Bulldog. They’re already prone to overheating and you don’t want to exasperate the problem.

Keeping Frenchies Healthy and Happy

While French Bulldogs have some unique challenges to their husbandry, you can help to raise a healthy and happy dog without having to go to extreme lengths.

Give the above tips a shot and always do your research when you think something may be amiss. If you do that, then you and your dog are sure to have a wonderful life together!

About the author:

Emily Green, Doggie Designer CEO & Founder, and the proud owner of Chew Barka, Cooper, and Nelson.

Emily’s love and enthusiasm for dogs have been there ever since she got her first dog at 6 years old. She started this site as a hobby project to help dog owners find answers to the questions she had while owning her first dog.

She’s known as one of Chicago’s most dedicated dog people. You’ll also find her at multiple pet trade shows and conferences each year such as P3, Groom Expo, and Interzoo.

Her specialties and favorite topics are grooming, breed profiles, nutrition and helping others find the right gear for their canines’ needs.

This year we are seeing big weather swings and with that, more upper respiratory infections in puppies than we would normally. But there is good news. It is possible to get away from treating URI in every litter!

  • Do an intranasal vaccine for kennel cough (your choice) when puppies start eating gruel. This is usually good to do at the same time as the parvo only vaccine. You want the vaccine in one week before you see URI issues start.
  • Most URI issues start one week after mom leaves. The week before, start doing saline/lincomycin nose drops. Just drip it in the nostril and let them blow it back out.
  • If we get mucus back, repeat until it comes out clear.
  • Do that to the puppy four times a day for two days then twice a day until you are comfortable. Usually after about three days, watch closely for issues then go to doing this twice a week. If this is your first time doing this, don’t worry, it is quick and easy to do.
  • Only a few URI’s usually happen when a puppy is nursing. Saline/lincomycin nose drops are okay and they keep baby on milk. If the baby is stuffed up and can’t breathe, they can’t nurse.
  • Use saline drops four times a day or as much as needed to get the puppy on a nipple. Our goal is to open their nose so they can breathe and nurse. If you have never used saline drops, most fear aspirating them. But this is not an issue with saline. If you get it into the lung, they just absorb it like they do with subcutaneous fluids. I’ve been using this technique for 20 years now I have never had an aspirating issue.

Lastly, be ready with doxycycline if any puppy starts to get sick with a URI that you’re uncomfortable with. Penicillins (amoxycillin) won’t penetrate mucus and will not be effective for an upper respiratory. And, of course, it’s always a good idea to work with your personal veterinarian on any difficult URI issues.

Next time an upper respiratory infection affects one of your puppies, give our Pet Care Pros a call at 800-786-4751. We are here to help you get through it and come up with a plan to prevent respiratory issues or anything else that has your pets feeling under the weather.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

Posted on Last updated: April 4, 2021 By: Author Jane Pettitt

A cool, wet nose is associated with a healthy dog so it’s easy to understand how a warm, dry nose causes owners to feel concerned. Dogs naturally alternate between wet and dry noses and certain breeds tend to have dryer noses than others, the French Bulldog being one of them.

Why is my French Bulldog’s Nose so dry?

The French Bulldog is a breed that often has a dry nose because it is prone to nasal hyperkeratosis, an excessive production of keratin that leads to flakiness. But this isn’t the reason behind every case of nose dryness. French Bulldogs can develop dry nose for several other reasons.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Is it normal for a French Bulldog to have a dry nose?

French Bulldogs are brachycephalic, which means they have short noses and flat faces. These features of their anatomy make it quite normal for them to regularly have dry noses.

Common causes of dry noses in French Bulldogs

There are several triggers of dry noses in French Bulldogs and not all are medical. You can often blame the weather, dehydration, allergies, strenuous activity, and even too much sleep. Of course, there can be medical reasons too.

The weather can cause French Bulldog dry nose

Cold weather, wind or a hot, sunny day can contribute to your French Bulldogs nose dryness. In the winter, heating your house can also dry out your Frenchies nose.

Keep a close watch for dryness in these conditions and be ready to apply preventative treatment.

Dry nose caused by dehydration

Most dogs drink all he water they need to remain hydrated but sometimes in extremely hot conditions they just don’t drink enough.

Encourage your French Bulldog to drink as much as you can to prevent its nose from drying out.

Allergies can cause a Frenchie’s nose to dry out

For some reason, the little Frenchie is prone to suffering from allergies. There are two main triggers: food, contact and seasonal.

A change of food can cause an allergic reaction because of different ingredients, so this is something to bear in mind if it coincides with your French Bulldog developing a dry nose.

Coming into contact with certain types of plastic toys or food dishes can be the cause of allergic reactions as can seasonal allergies such as hay fever. In this case, could a new toy or dish be responsible?

Why sleeping too much leads to a dry nose

Many Frenchies love their sleep, especially in their senior years. When a dog is asleep it doesn’t lick its nose meaning it might look quite dry after a long nap.

Once your dog awakes from its slumber, its nose should soon become moist, but keep an eye on the situation.

Medical reasons for French Bulldog’s a dry nose

French Bulldogs are prone to nasal hyperkeratosis, an intense form of nasal dryness.

When anything has the prefix hyper, it means there’s a lot of it. In a nutshell, hyperkeratosis is the overproduction of keratin. Keratin is a protein that produces hair, claws, and nails amongst other things.

Put simply, sometimes the cause of a dry nose on a French Bulldog might be down to an overproduction of a certain type of protein.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

When the volume of keratin reaches a certain level, it becomes flaky and some crusty bits may start to shed. This will need attention. There are some home remedies that often work but if they don’t you should seek the help of a vet.

If at any point a dry nose is accompanied by a nasty odor, always contact your vet.

How to moisturize a French Bulldogs dry nose

What’s special about the French Bulldog’s nose?

I’m not sure if ‘special’ is the right word here as it seems to cause them no end of problems. The nose on a French Bulldog can be the cause of all kinds of issues for this little dog.

The French Bulldog is brachycephalic, a term applied to all dogs that have short noses and a somewhat flat face.

Because of this French Bulldogs are often not allowed on flights as sadly, several have died during the journey. Unfortunately, dogs with these little stubby noses have problems breathing when they are stressed and their temperatures are elevated.

With no efficient way to regulate their temperature, they can quickly succumb to this relatively hostile environment in the aircraft’s hold.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Also, because of the above problem, it is recommended that the French Bulldog lives in an environment that is properly temperature-controlled, ideally with air conditioning but this obviously depends on where you live.

Care must be taken when you take them out on a sunny day for instance and regular breaks in the shade are required due to this inability to control their temperature.

Can the problems with Frenchie’s noses be serious?

A dry nose can cause problems yes as if left untreated it can bleed and infection can set in. Although, this usually be averted.

This could be said for many conditions though and comes back to the importance of regular checkups at your vet’s.

When you spend a lot of time with your Frenchie, it can be easy to miss problems as they can sometimes develop so slowly. It’s like a growing child, you don’t actually see them grow but all of a sudden they’re taller than you – how did that happen?

Nasal hyperkeratosis is not life-threatening in itself – so first things first, if you’ve just noticed it, don’t worry – you will most likely be able to treat this at home.

Cures for a French Bulldogs dry nose

If you want to treat a French Bulldog’s nasal hyperkeratosis or any other dryness of the nose at home, it’s quite straightforward. These simple steps should make a positive difference:

  1. Firstly, we need to rehydrate the skin. So, with nice warm water (not too hot or cold as this will be unpleasant for your Frenchie) you should soak thoroughly their nose. How you choose to do this is up to you but as long as the water is warm that you don’t in any way scrub, your dog shouldn’t mind you doing this.
  2. After ensuring your hands are nice and clean, apply some petroleum jelly to the area. Again, this won’t irritate your French Bulldog and actually it may remove some of the unpleasantness for them in a short amount of time.
  3. Repeat this application of petroleum jelly, once a day for around a week and a half. However, if you’re finding the problem has worsened or not improved after this time – do give your vets a call to discuss other options.

In summary, though, most people treat a dry nose on a French Bulldog from home with very good results and in the vast majority of times, it is nothing to worry about.

French Bulldog Dry Nose: Conclusion

Usually, you will find that with a bit of home-care the problem of a dry nose on your French Bulldog will quickly go. The key to this though and other problems is early detection and before any potential infection sets in.

Unfortunately, this is just one of those things with the French Bulldog that you may have to deal with during their little lives. They are more than worth it though!

  • Home
  • About Frankie
  • Ask a Vet
  • French Bulldog Info
  • Store
    • Harnesses
    • Clothes
      • Hoodies
      • Jackets
      • Sweaters
      • All Clothes
    • Accessories
      • Bow Ties
      • All Accessories
    • Gifts
      • Decor
      • Bedding
      • All Gifts
    • Beds
    • All Products
  • Affiliate Disclaimer
  • Contact
    • Write For Us
    • Advertise
    • Contact
  • Home
  • General
  • 5 Tips For Raising a French Bulldog

5 Tips For Raising a French Bulldog

  • By Emily Green
  • April 8, 2020
  • No comments

Note: This is a guest post written by Emily, the CEO, and Founder of Doggie Designer. Thanks Emily!

Frenchies are one of the cutest, most agreeable breeds around. That said, there are some unique challenges when raising a French Bulldog into a well-rounded canine.

Attitude starts in the home, so if you’re ready to learn then read on and we’ll help you address any problems that might crop up during your Frenchie’s journey.

1. Overcome Stubbornness Early

Frenchies are adorable. It seems like they know it too. They can be stubborn and even manipulative if you let them. Many people try to take advantage of training them with food, but often they end up with an overweight dog who only listens when they have a treat ready to go.

You don’t have to fall into this trap. Instead, you should begin training your Frenchie as soon as he or she comes home.

And make sure that you don’t always cave into those big Frenchie eyes. It takes practice on your part, but the sooner you can help your dog understand that you’re in charge… the better.

2. Crate Train to Avoid Housebreaking Problems

Frenchies are notoriously hard to housebreak. Crate training from an early age is the best way to help them learn not to go potty inside the house.

It’s a strategy that works well with many dog breeds. Far from being cruel, however, giving your dog a crate gives them a den that mimics how they live in the wild. More importantly, few dogs will want to use the bathroom in their home.

Introduce them to the crate slowly. There are two big rules to using a crate properly that many people neglect.

The first is using the crate as a punishment. You shouldn’t use the crate to punish your dog, at all, it’s supposed to be their cozy little home. A place for them to retreat from the household if they’d like.

Following that, you’ll also want to avoid letting other animals in the crate or messing with the things inside it too much. If you have children then let them know that the crate is off-limits. This helps reinforce the crate as a positive thing for your dog.

3. Make Vet Visits Regular

French Bulldogs have some specific health problems that crop up over time. That means registering your dog with a vet as soon as you get them, and it also means you’ll have to attend regular checkups to keep them healthy.

Some of the problems associated just come from the exceptionally short muzzle of French Bulldogs. Breathing problems can occur due to the shape of the dog’s nose. It’s unfortunate but it does happen over time.

Other problems also crop up frequently in the breed, such as allergies and food sensitivities, unfortunately. It’s just a fact of life, and our beloved Frenchies aren’t with us for as long as many small dogs.

If you can’t afford regular veterinarian visits, and the high likelihood of large bills in the future, then you may want to look into another breed.

4. Moderate Their Food Intake and Walks

French Bulldogs are prone to obesity, especially when their owners don’t take the time to make them less food-driven. Even worse, they can’t be exercised too heavily due to the breathing issues caused by the shape of their skull.

You should always watch your Frenchie for signs of becoming obese. They’re still Bulldogs and should appear stout and muscular, not chubby. Since heavy exercise isn’t really possible with the breed, you should be counting calories for your dog.

Keep them spry and you’ll have a companion dog with much more energy.

Likewise, you need to pick and choose your battles when it comes to walks. If it’s particularly hot and humid outside, for instance, it may be best to leave the dog indoors. Bad weather conditions can cause your Frenchie to have trouble breathing during your exercise session.

Consider them a “light exercise” dog. Food intake is more important than normal with your Frenchie since you won’t be able to just have them “work it off”.

5. Prepare for Warm Weather

Since Frenchies are often assailed by weather, it’s doubly important that you ensure they’re comfortable when the season gets hot.

Things like dehumidifiers and air conditioners can help dogs who are home all day. Remember that high temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable for this breed of dog… they can be fatal.

Water should always be available as well. If you’re not in an area with great tap water, then consider using filtered water to help them stay healthy. Water is a non-negotiable requirement for any dog, just make sure they have ready access to it.

If you’re uncomfortable in your home… it’s worse for your French Bulldog. They’re already prone to overheating and you don’t want to exasperate the problem.

Keeping Frenchies Healthy and Happy

While French Bulldogs have some unique challenges to their husbandry, you can help to raise a healthy and happy dog without having to go to extreme lengths.

Give the above tips a shot and always do your research when you think something may be amiss. If you do that, then you and your dog are sure to have a wonderful life together!

About the author:

Emily Green, Doggie Designer CEO & Founder, and the proud owner of Chew Barka, Cooper, and Nelson.

Emily’s love and enthusiasm for dogs have been there ever since she got her first dog at 6 years old. She started this site as a hobby project to help dog owners find answers to the questions she had while owning her first dog.

She’s known as one of Chicago’s most dedicated dog people. You’ll also find her at multiple pet trade shows and conferences each year such as P3, Groom Expo, and Interzoo.

Her specialties and favorite topics are grooming, breed profiles, nutrition and helping others find the right gear for their canines’ needs.

French Bulldogs are popular pet choices because they are sweet and loyal, not to mention the perfect size for all house types and family sizes.

While they have a large personality packed inside a small body, they do require a lot of care. French Bulldogs are a breed that come with many health concerns to watch for, but their nose is the root cause of many of them.

Dry Nose and Peeling

Unfortunately, nasal hyperkeratosis is a very common problem for French Bulldogs. This condition causes a protein overgrowth and leads to a dry nose that will eventually crust and peel if not cared for properly.

The peeling occurs when the keratin has grown too much, becomes hard, and then flakes off. This can be prevented by moisturizing your dog’s nose with specialty oils. Lotions specifically designed for dogs and containing coconut oil, Shea butter, and other oils will keep the nose in optimal health by moisturizing the skin for hours after application.

The Snout Soother vegan dog balm is a great way to soothe your Frenchie’s chapped nose. It is fragrance-free and has organic ingredients.

Breathing Problems and Soft Palate

French Bulldogs have an elongated soft palate which hampers their breathing ability, and most dogs will compensate by breathing through their mouth instead of their nose.

They may develop Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome because of their short noses, so owners will want to keep an eye on them when their lungs are being taxed. Warning signs can include snoring, snorting, or loud breathing. However, they may get so bad the dog will gag or cough while doing heavier exercises.

Finally, the breathing issues will complicate any surgery that your dog may have to have during his or her life, including spaying or neutering. Along with the soft palate reducing the amount of air the breed can take in, it will also increase the amount of mucus produced. This may cause the dog to choke while eating or drinking, so food time should be monitored.

Smell

As stated above, the French Bulldog is prone to having a nose that can crust over. In addition to this crust, the snout is pushed in so there are flaps of skin that can be a breeding ground for bacteria growth.

Skin fold dermatitis is extremely common for this breed and if an odor is noticed, a veterinarian should be consulted. There are creams and ointments that help control the bacteria and fungus that have overgrown. However, your veterinarian may also prescribe some shampoos that can be used on a regular basis to keep the number of bacteria under control.

Nasal Discharge

Bulldogs are extremely prone to environmental allergies because of their shortened snout. It is common to see a clear discharge from the nostrils. If the allergies seem to be bothering your pup, allergy medication can be prescribed, as well as food that helps decrease aggravating the current allergies. However, it is vital that you keep an eye on the color of the discharge because infections are possible. If the discharge has a yellow or green color, then a veterinarian should be consulted.

Care for French Bulldogs Nose

Owning a French bulldog requires a lot more care than other breeds. To give your dog the best chance at avoiding nose problems, owners should be willing to apply ointment on the nose daily, as well as making sure you watch for any hardship of breathing.

When you bathe your dog, make sure you are cleaning under the folds of the skin, and drying in between as well. It is also wise to clean the folds with hydrogen peroxide to kill any bacteria and prevent an infection from growing.

Should Surgery Be Considered?

Soft palate surgery is an option for French Bulldog owners. However, due to breathing complications that can arise from surgery, it is best to be certain that the surgery is necessary. Talking to your veterinarian and regular check-ups will help owners get a better idea whether preventative surgery should be considered.

Soft palate shortening is a quick procedure that brings fast results but may be unnecessary if the owner keeps up with the maintenance required.

Another surgery that is an option for Frenchie owners is a Stenotic Nares repair. This surgery widens the Stenotic Nares to increase the amount of airflow that the dog gets through the nose. The time when surgery should not be avoided is when the dog is unable to breathe, chokes regularly while drinking or eating, or infections become a regular thing.

Conclusion

If you decide to own a French Bulldog you will likely be required to keep up with a number of different maintenance challenges. They are more prone to health issues, but with proper maintenance and care, they make great pets. Keeping the nose moistened and clean prevents a majority of the breathing problems the dog may encounter. However, finding a good veterinarian that understands the health needs will help you decide if you should be concerned and contemplate surgery to offer your dog an easier time breathing.

Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.

French bulldogs, with their big beautiful eyes and adorable bat-shaped ears, are often referred to as “Frenchie’s”. There are many characteristics of a “Frenchie” that make them a great choice for a pet.

They make good watchdogs, don’t require much space or exercise, and they respond well to reward-based training methods. Unfortunately, their small stature and weight can cause them to have breathing problems. The French bulldog’s respiratory tract can make it difficult for them to breathe, especially when it’s hot.

Here are the main signs to be aware of to know if your loveable Frenchie is experiencing any breathing problems.

Watching for Breathing Problems:

Listen to their breathing:

Under normal conditions (in cool weather and when your dog is not under stress), you’ll probably hear some noisy breathing that doesn’t bother them. But, if you hear noisy breathing that sounds like honking or rasping, your little Frenchie may have a breathing problem.This breathing noise is caused by the compressed anatomy of the French bulldog’s airways. The noisier their breathing, the worse their condition could be.

Monitor your dog during exercise:

If your dog is reluctant to exercise or lags behind on walks, they may be having trouble breathing. You may notice your French bulldog panting heavily with their tongue sticking out.If your dog has breathing problems, exercise will place extra demands on their body. For example, their body will need more oxygen which they can’t supply because they physically can’t draw extra air in.

Look inside dog’s mouth:

If your French bulldog is really struggling to breath and is not getting enough oxygen, the membranes on their mouth and tongue will look blue or purple. Healthy membranes should appear pink. You may also notice your dog drooling. This is because they are concentrating so hard on breathing that they don’t want to take time out to swallow.

Monitor your French Bulldog’s behaviour:

Your Frenchie may collapse or faint if they are overtired and not getting enough oxygen. You may notice your dog appear uncomfortable or restless in hotter weather when it’s harder for them to breathe. Other signs of breathing problems can include:

  • Snorting
  • Choking
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging

    Getting a Vet’s Diagnosis

    Take your French Bulldog to the Veterinarian:

    The vet will monitor your dog’s breathing and chest movement. The vet will also look for any physical landmarks that is making it hard for your dog to breathe, like narrow nostrils or a large tongue that blocks the back of the throat. Listening to noisy breathing is also important in diagnosing breathing problems. This can help detect any signs of chest infection or heart murmurs which create a fluid build-up in the lungs. Both of these conditions can contribute to breathing problems.

If you are noticing any sings of abnormal breathing in your Frenchie at any period, contact one of our mobile vets at Vets on Call. Download the Vets on Call mobile app today for iPhone or Android and book a vet to come straight to your door.

This year we are seeing big weather swings and with that, more upper respiratory infections in puppies than we would normally. But there is good news. It is possible to get away from treating URI in every litter!

  • Do an intranasal vaccine for kennel cough (your choice) when puppies start eating gruel. This is usually good to do at the same time as the parvo only vaccine. You want the vaccine in one week before you see URI issues start.
  • Most URI issues start one week after mom leaves. The week before, start doing saline/lincomycin nose drops. Just drip it in the nostril and let them blow it back out.
  • If we get mucus back, repeat until it comes out clear.
  • Do that to the puppy four times a day for two days then twice a day until you are comfortable. Usually after about three days, watch closely for issues then go to doing this twice a week. If this is your first time doing this, don’t worry, it is quick and easy to do.
  • Only a few URI’s usually happen when a puppy is nursing. Saline/lincomycin nose drops are okay and they keep baby on milk. If the baby is stuffed up and can’t breathe, they can’t nurse.
  • Use saline drops four times a day or as much as needed to get the puppy on a nipple. Our goal is to open their nose so they can breathe and nurse. If you have never used saline drops, most fear aspirating them. But this is not an issue with saline. If you get it into the lung, they just absorb it like they do with subcutaneous fluids. I’ve been using this technique for 20 years now I have never had an aspirating issue.

Lastly, be ready with doxycycline if any puppy starts to get sick with a URI that you’re uncomfortable with. Penicillins (amoxycillin) won’t penetrate mucus and will not be effective for an upper respiratory. And, of course, it’s always a good idea to work with your personal veterinarian on any difficult URI issues.

Next time an upper respiratory infection affects one of your puppies, give our Pet Care Pros a call at 800-786-4751. We are here to help you get through it and come up with a plan to prevent respiratory issues or anything else that has your pets feeling under the weather.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health