Sharing your sleeping space with your dog can be considered a sweet and affectionate habit, however, certain breeds are prone to snoring. Just like humans, dogs that snore can make one hell of a racket and definitely do not make for a calming sleep environment.
Although the odd bout of snoring is usually harmless, regular, and prolonged snoring can be a sign of discomfort and may also disrupt the amount they sleep during the day.
Reasons Why French Bulldogs Snore
There are many reasons any dog may suffer from episodes of snoring, but certain breeds are more likely to experience this issue.
French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a broad skull with a very short snout and short airway.
This shortened airway restricts the passage of air to the lungs, which causes the dog to snore. BAS or Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome has also been linked to gastrointestinal disease in Frenchies.
It is not just the shape of a dog’s head or the length of its snout that will determine if a dog snores. The position of a dog’s body can also affect how often and/or how loudly they snore.
Dogs who sleep on their back are more likely to snore than a dog sleeping on their side. Back sleeping means the tongue naturally moves to the back of the mouth and will partially block the movement of air.
Allergies and irritants
Simple anatomy is not the only possible cause of snoring for Frenchies. Other medical ailments or environmental factors can lead to noisy sleepers. Breeds like the French Bulldog can be more susceptible to allergies and airborne pollutants such as pollen, cigarette smoke, and dust
Dogs have a highly sensitive sense of smell thanks to a mucous membrane inside the nose which absorbs odor molecules.
This large surface area can be easily irritated and inflamed by the things we use in our home. Scented candles, air fresheners, or diffusers are particularly aggravating, as are strong-smelling cleaning products.
This is one of the most common causes of snoring problems developing in dogs that did not use to snore. A dog carrying too much weight will have extra fat around its neck.
This layer of fat compresses the windpipe and disrupts the movement of air, which causes the vibrations we hear as snoring.
How To Stop Your French Bulldog From Snoring
Stopping your Frenchie from snoring may not happen overnight and the solution may demand drastic measures.
Surgery- For those dogs with severe snoring episodes and breathing difficulties, surgery may be the best treatment. A report published in 2018 concluded that the prevalence of GI (gastrointestinal disease) indicators in dogs with BAS did show improvement, but that this may vary between breeds
There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that treating digestive disorders may help to alleviate some of the snoring episodes.
Surgery involves removing the excess tissue from the back of the throat and also from the nasal passages if they are narrowed.
Get An Allergy Test
If your dog is otherwise healthy with no medical issues, ask your veterinarian to perform an allergy test. Identifying an allergy can help you to remove whatever is triggering the breathing difficulties and thus reduce the episodes of snoring.
For dogs who are overweight, a change in diet is essential for their health but will help to reduce the majority of the snoring. French Bulldogs gain weight quickly if their diet contains too much fat.
Gradually changing onto a low-fat, low-calorie diet will not only reduce your dog’s weight but also the frequency of his snoring episodes.
This should be done slowly over the course of 2 weeks, adding a small amount of the new food with each meal until you have weaned out the old food completely.
This should be done in conjunction with the diet changes. Exercise in combination with a diet change can help to reduce and then maintain a healthy weight. This helps to reduce the fat layers that compress the windpipe and therefore reduces the frequency and severity of the snoring.
Remedies For Snoring French Bulldogs
As with human snoring, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ cure. The remedies that work for one dog may have no effect on another. Trial and error is the best treatment here until you find a solution that suits you and your dog.
If your dog shares your bed, you can roll up a few towels and place them around him so that he finds it difficult to sprawl out on his back. This method encourages a more natural position of sleeping curled up or on their side.
Celebrity veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber recommends pet parents who struggle with snoring dogs to get a humidifier.
This helps to increase the moisture in the air and helps dogs to sleep better.
For dogs who suffer from allergies, it is important that you have a short daily cleaning routine. Dusting small ornaments, shelves, and fixtures that easily gather dust can help to reduce particles in the air. Check the filter on your vacuum. Those with a HEPA filter are best suited to remove dust and dirt.
Make sure you are cleaning your dog’s bedding as much as possible. If it is machine washable, use a hypoallergenic powder or fabric conditioner.
Encouraging your dog to sleep with his head on a pillow can reduce a substantial amount of his snoring. By elevating the head and neck you are helping to open the windpipe which will reduce the vibrations of the air as it passes through.
Snoring cannot be stopped completely for French Bulldogs due to their anatomy. Their short, broad skulls and short muzzles are not efficient carriers of air, so there will always be some air disturbance when they breathe.
All is not lost though, as you have plenty of remedies to try that will certainly help to alleviate the issue and provide a noticeable reduction in the frequency and loudness of his snoring.
As long as your Frenchie is happy and healthy, a little snoring is just part of the package!