Widely known for their brachycephalic skulls, bat ears and restricted airflows, French bulldog breathing issues represent one of the most common health concerns in this breed. Their respiratory issues may range from moderate to severe, and can also depend on many other factors such as obesity and weather conditions. Therefore, if you want to become a Frenchie parent, it would be good to know the facts about their possible health issues.
The reasons why is your French bulldog breathing heavily
Since Frenchies have flat skulls, narrow nostrils, and elongated soft palates, they’re on a higher tendency to suffer from a variety of breathing health issues. French bulldogs have short/ smushed facial bones but also an equal amount of tissue in their mouth like all other dogs. Due to this feature, they often deal with blocked airways and the inability to draw in enough air. This can also be very problematic if you live in a warm climate. Since they become unable to oxygenate properly, they become more prone to overheating. Heatstroke in French bulldogs represents a life-treating condition that requires immediate reaction and help.
The issues that follow brachycephalic airway syndrome in the French bulldog breed:
- narrow nostrils that don’t allow a dog to inhale enough air
- a restricted windpipe (a tube made up of sturdy rings of cartilage through which air is transported to and from the lungs )
- elongated soft palate (the soft part of the roof of the mouth is too long for the size of the dog’s mouth and restricts the airflow )
- Laryngeal collapse (caused by chronic stress placed on the cartilage of the larynx. As a result, the larynx (the voicebox) is unable to open normally and causes the restriction in airflow).
How to determine whether your French bulldog goes through troubles with breathing?
The first sign that will relieve you if your French bulldog breathes heavily is the noisy breathing. Even though Frenchies might sound like they constantly breathe hard, the noisy sound that sounds like rasping, or honking represents the sign of over-exhausting. Other symptoms include snorting, gagging, choking, and vomiting. Your pooch will look uncomfy to spend time in warm weather and will look like he’s not getting enough oxygen.
Therefore, you should be very careful when spending time in the hot weather. All the previously mentioned symptoms of difficult French bulldog breathing could have been from the heat or from an inverted sneeze.
In case of an inverted sneeze, you can help your pet by putting your fingers over the nostrils for a couple of seconds. This will reset the breathing and even though you’re not sure whether it is an inverted sneeze, this practice won’t harm your dog.
How to avoid French bulldog breathing issues?
- Turn the air conditioner on
During the summer season, you should allow your Frenchie to spend time in an air-conditioned room. They best suit temperatures between 18-23 C degrees. Therefore, place your Frenchie’s bed in the coolest place in the house and out of direct sunlight to prevent him from overheating.
Cooling beds represent great tools for helping a dog to breathe easier when they become overheated. They feature a sort of cooling gel that can lower the dog’s body temperature. In most cases, they’re also made of a special cooling fabric that is waterproof and provides a cooling effect. The following Self-cooling pad bed is available in 2 colors, many sizes, and features a cooling gel.
- Do not overexert your Frenchie
Whatever the part of the year, French bulldogs shouldn’t be exposed to difficult training due to their restricted airflows. However, regular activity is important for maintaining healthy body weight and supporting muscles. Therefore, we recommend you take your dog on 15-min walks at least twice a day.
- Activity is based on age
Always keep in mind that your Frenchie’s activity is based on his age. So, the best rule is to decrease the amount of activity as the dog ages by paying attention to his nutritional intake. Ask your vet to prescribe him a low-calorie diet that will prevent him from obesity
- Keep the dog’s weight within normal limits
Obesity can be one of the triggers for respiratory issues. Therefore, it’s important to keep your Frenchie’s weight within normal limits. The recommended weight for males is 20-28 pounds, while for females it should be 18-26 pounds. If you’re not sure whether your Frenchie is overweight, we recommend you to check these 3 signs.