With their flat muzzles and bat ears, French bulldogs are proud owners of one of the most-iconic appearances. They have stout, short, and round bodies, and belong to low-energy breeds which can be one of the reasons why their owners should monitor their breathing. If you want to become an owner of this breed, then you probably want to know do French bulldogs have breathing problems.
What are the most common French bulldog breathing problems?
Frenchies have brachycephalic skulls, so they require the special attention of their owners when spending time in hot or cold weather. Their soft palates and shortened nostrils make them incapable to regulate their body temperature. Besides, French bulldogs can’t sustain long walks, hiking, and running, because they can quickly become overexerted and struggle for breath.
Some of the most common French bulldog breathing problems can be caused by their narrowed nostrils, elongated soft palates which can be benign to solve. On the other hand, breathing issues can also be caused by something more severe like brachycephalic airways syndrome.
Brachycephalic airways syndrome is followed by the inability to draw in enough air which may lead to heatstroke and hypothermia depending on the season.
How to recognize breathing problems in Frenchies?
If you want to discover if your French bulldog has breathing problems, you should observe some of the following symptoms:
- Heavy breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- The dog is concentrated on breathing so he can’t swallow the saliva
If you recognize any of these symptoms, your pooch needs immediate help. Your dog can collapse and even lose consciousness if you don’t react on time. If your Frenchie uses abdominal muscles to breathe and doesn’t move only the chest area in and out, then it means that he’s going through a severe breathing struggle.
A French bulldog who has breathing issues can struggle to breathe even during rest and sleeping. In that case, you should talk with your vet to find a permanent solution.
How to help a Frenchie with breathing problems?
If you’ve noticed that your dog experiences breathing issues in certain situations, one of the rules is to keep your Frenchie in a space where the temperature doesn’t exceed 23C degrees. French bulldogs best suit living in moderate temperatures between 18-23 C degrees. Cold weather can make them suffer from hypothermia, while hot weather makes them susceptible to get a heatstroke.
Choose a specific part of the day
To escape these issues, you should take your dog out by wearing protective and warm layers during the winter months. Besides, it’s essential to choose the warmest part of the day and to wear protective winter boots.
When we talk about French bulldogs in the hot weather, they should drink plenty of water and escape going out during the hottest part of the day. Other items to wear are the French bulldog summer cooling jacket or a Summer Cooling Vest for French bulldogs.
Activity should be based on the dog's age
Younger puppies possess higher energy levels so they can spend plenty of time playing, chasing, and running. However, adult and senior Frenchies require constant monitoring in order to recognize on time any breathing issue.
Don't over-exercise your Frenchie
Going to long and tiring walks can lead to fatigue and struggling with breathing issues. Therefore, keep the strolls short, and take your Frenchie out multiple times a day. In that way you'll keep him in a good shape and prevent him from obesity.
Surgery as the last option
If your dog struggles for breathe even when sitting on the couch and sleeping, then he'll probably need a surgery of the soft palate or nostrils. Narrow nostrils in Frenchies are genetically predisposed, so that's why it's important to buy a dog from a trusted and reputable breeder.