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Why Do French Bulldogs Snort?

French Bulldogs are some of the most lovable dogs in the world.

They’re cute, cuddly and kind and loads of fun!

At the same time, they’re known for making some “unique” noises, aside from the traditional noises common to dogs.

If you’re a new French bulldog owner, the sounds your pup makes can be startling, but you shouldn’t be alarmed.

Frenchies have been known to snort, slurp, purr, fart, wail, “snuffle,” and more!

Reasons Why French Bulldogs Snort

French Bulldogs are a rather talkative breed and often make noises in their efforts to communicate with their human family.

Most of these noises are normal, i.e., barking, growling, slurping when drinking water, sneezing and snorting.

Although some of the noises your pup makes could be due to health or environmental causes, a lot of them are just part and parcel of being a French Bulldog.

Snorting is one of those noises that, for the most part, is normal for a Frenchie due to its physical makeup.

snorting frenchie dog

One of the most prominent characteristics of a French Bulldog is its short muzzle and scrunched up face.

A short muzzle puts all your Frenchie’s facial features – its eyes, nose, mouth, jaw, teeth and tongue – in close proximity, causing congestion.

This congestion of your pup’s facial structures affects its ability to breathe.

In addition, a Frenchie’s nostrils are short and narrow, which limits airflow in and out.

If your pup’s airways become obstructed, it may snort to clear its  passageways to facilitate breathing.

Your pup may snort when exposed to allergens in its environment or when sleeping in certain positions that constrict breathing.

French Bulldogs, like Pugs, Shih Tzus and Boston Terriers, are what’s considered a brachycephalic breed.

This breed is known for their short muzzles and/or flat faces that make them susceptible to breathing problems.

Other Weird Noises Frenchies Make

The longer you own your Frenchie, the more you’ll agree – they make the strangest sounds!

Some of the noises they make can be comparable to a bird singing, a pig snorting or a cat purring.

If you couldn’t see where these sounds were coming from, chances are you’d never guess they originated from your Frenchie pup.

Here are a few examples of the  noises that may emanate from your French Bulldog.

Purring

Cats are known to purr when they feel relaxed and content.

In like manner, Frenchies emit a sound that closely resembles purring when they feel comfortable and happy.

They may purr as they’re napping in their bed or when they spot you as you’re coming home from work.

Purring, on its own, is generally a sign of happiness.

If it’s accompanied by signs of pain or distress, purring could be a symptom of a health issue that needs to be addressed.

By tuning in to your pet’s behavior, you can tell whether its noises are harmless or need to be checked by a vet.

Slurping

Many dogs slurp when drinking water, but Frenchies often slurp even when there’s no water around!

Your Frenchie may slurp softly when eating or expecting a treat.

woman giving dog treats

Snuffling

Snuffling (noisy breathing through the nose) often goes hand in hand with snorting for a French Bulldog.

Again, it’s due to having short, narrow nostrils and is common in brachycephalic dogs.

Your pup may snuffle when sniffing around in the yard, searching for its toys or looking for a treat.

Snoring

Frenchies are natural snorers – some more than others.

If your pup is healthy, there’s no cause for concern.

If your Frenchie has never snored before and suddenly starts, have him checked by your vet.

Frenchies have an extended soft palate – that’s the tissue located between your pup’s mouth and nose – and it’s this physical feature that causes snoring.

If snoring is a serious problem for you or your pup, your vet can resolve this issue through a simple surgical procedure. 

Reverse sneezing

This noise is perhaps the most alarming noise you’ll hear from your French Bulldog.

The first time, it may even scare you!

As startling as it may look or sound, however, it’s not harmful to your pup.

A reserve sneeze starts with your pet inhaling quickly through its nose a few times and then snorting, grunting or gagging as he lets the air out.

It can be quite loud and may occur when your pup is excited or when he’s in contact with allergens and they’re irritating his sinus passages.

It sounds like hyperventilation, but it’s not.

It’s essentially a muscle spasm caused by irritation of your pup’s airways.   

french bulldog yawning

Wailing

Wailing is your Frenchie’s way of saying he’s lonely or his response to a scolding.

It may sound like your pup’s in pain.

However, if there are no other symptoms to indicate that your dog’s in distress, it’s just a doleful dirge to get your attention.  

Farting

Farting is normal for a Frenchie, although not all that pleasant!

Due to your Frenchie’s short muzzle, there’s a tendency for it to swallow air when it eats or drinks.

This air eventually comes out the other side as gas.

If your Frenchie shows other symptoms along with passing gas, such as vomiting or diarrhea, contact your vet.

Should You Be Worried When Your French Bulldog Snorts?

Most, if not all, of the noises your Frenchie makes are normal to some extent, even though they may seem otherwise.

Frenchies communicate through the noises they make and by tuning in to these sounds, you can figure out what message your pup is trying to get across.

Is it hungry, tired, scared, content or merely passing the time of day normally?

Noises accompanied by changes in your dog’s behavior could indicate a health problem and are worth investigating further.

When it comes to snorting, that’s pretty normal for a French Bulldog.

Your Frenchie may snort during a walk, when it’s playing outside or sniffing around the yard.

Snorting helps clear out your pup’s nostrils and airway passages.

It can be likened to people blowing their nose.

Occasional snorting isn’t a problem for a French Bulldog.

Unusual or excessive snorting accompanied by wheezing,  difficulty breathing or other distressful symptoms should be checked by your vet.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health.

french bulldog in grass

What to Do About Your Frenchie Snorting

If you’re worried or annoyed by some of your Frenchie’s noises, such as snorting, reverse sneezing, snuffling, there are some measures you can take to help quieten him down.

Frenchies are at risk of overheating, even when temperatures aren’t that hot.

Snorting is sometimes prompted by your pup gasping for air or panting to cool off after being in the sun.

By scheduling walks or outdoor time during the cool of the day, you can keep your dog from overheating, which can help minimize his snorting fits.

If your dog’s snorting is turning into reverse sneezing, gently cover its nostrils with your fingers so that your pup has to breathe through its mouth.

This will stop the reverse sneezing attack.

If these episodes occur frequently or increase in severity, contact your vet.

Frenchies don’t need vigorous exercise, but they do need exercise daily to keep them from getting fat.

Obesity can make breathing harder for your dog as well as lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease, heart failure and other serious health problems.

If you smoke, avoid smoking around your Frenchie as it can trigger respiratory problems.

Sleeping with your pup can be a problem if it snores a lot.

Elevating your Frenchie’s head with a pillow could minimize this problem.

You can also try using a humidifier in your room to increase moisture in the air and reduce your pup’s snoring.

In Summary

There’s never a dull moment when you own a Frenchie and that’s part of the joy of parenting a French Bulldog.

Loving your dog often means putting up with some of its funny quirks, antics and noises.

Although many of the noises your pup makes are part of its makeup and personality, you should be aware that this breed is sensitive to breathing problems.

Allergies, temperature changes, high humidity and cigarette smoke can impact your pup’s ability to breathe and lead to respiratory problems.

When in doubt about the sounds your Frenchie is making, it’s always good to have him checked by your vet.

By ruling out health issues, you can have peace of mind that your Frenchie’s noises are just another aspect of its wonderful makeup that you love so much.

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National Canine Research Association of America