Let’s face it, our French Bulldogs are little comedians. From their snorts to their epic zoomies, they keep us entertained with their adorable quirks. But sometimes, those funny noises turn into something a little concerning, like a cough or a gag. If your Frenchie’s been hacking away and you’re wondering what’s going on, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Why is my French bulldog coughing like something stuck in his throat?

Don’t worry, fellow Frenchie fan! That cough that sounds like your pup swallowed a squeaky toy can be a bit of a head-scratcher. There are a few reasons why your little bulldog might be hacking away. But a couple of things to consider first.

Is it a cough or a gag?

Sometimes the line can be blurry between a cough and a gag. A cough is usually a forceful expulsion of air, often accompanied by a hacking sound. A gag, on the other hand, might look more like your Frenchie is trying to bring something up but nothing comes out.

What are the common causes of coughing in French Bulldogs?

Here are some of the reasons your little Frenchie might be having a coughing fit:

  • Kennel Cough: This highly contagious respiratory infection is common in places where dogs congregate, like boarding facilities or dog parks. Kennel cough usually presents with a dry, hacking cough that might sound like something is stuck in your dog’s throat.
  • Allergies: Just like us, French Bulldogs can suffer from allergies to things like pollen, dust mites, or even mold. Allergic reactions can cause coughing, sneezing, and even reverse sneezing (more on that later!).
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome: This is a fancy term for the anatomical challenges faced by flat-faced breeds like French Bulldogs. Their short noses and narrowed airways can make them prone to snoring, wheezing, and even coughing, especially after exercise or playtime with some of our awesome Printies dog bandanas! (Speaking of playtime, make sure to choose a bandana that won’t restrict your Frenchie’ breathing during those zoomies!)
  • Reverse Sneeze: This can be a scary sight for a pet parent, but it’s usually harmless. A reverse sneeze happens when a Frenchie’s soft palate gets irritated, causing them to snort and gasp for air. It might look like they’re choking, but it usually only lasts for a few seconds.
  • Swallowed Something: Of course, there’s always the possibility your curious pup might have inhaled or swallowed something they shouldn’t have.

What to do if my French Bulldog is coughing?

If your Frenchie’s cough is mild and infrequent, it might not be a cause for immediate concern. However, there are some situations where you should see your vet right away:

  • The cough is severe or persistent.
  • Your Frenchie is coughing up white foam or phlegm.
  • They seem lethargic or have a fever.
  • They have trouble breathing.
  • The cough started after they boarded at a kennel or went to the dog park.

No matter what, if your Frenchie’s cough is worrying you, err on the side of caution and schedule a visit with your veterinarian. They can help diagnose the cause of the cough and recommend the best course of treatment.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to keep your Frenchie comfortable:

  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, which can help soothe a cough.
  • Take them for short, on-leash walks instead of letting them run around freely, especially if you suspect allergies.
  • Make sure they have fresh, cool water available at all times.
  • Cuddle up with them on a comfy pet bed – sometimes all they need is a little love and attention!

Remember, a happy and healthy Frenchie is a quiet Frenchie (well, as quiet as they can be!). By understanding the potential causes of coughing and knowing when to see the vet, you can help your furry friend breathe easy.

Sources and References
  • Hagen, Sarah. “French Bulldog Is Coughing and Gagging.” All about Frenchies, 26 Feb. 2023, allaboutfrenchies.com/french-bulldog-is-coughing-and-gagging/. Accessed 2 May 2024.
  • Dwight Alleyne. “Dog Coughing & Gagging? Here’s What to Do.” Tractive, 14 Dec. 2023, tractive.com/blog/en/health/dog-coughing-gagging-causes-treatment. Accessed 2 May 2024.
  • Trudell Animal Health. “Common Causes of Coughing in Dogs | Trudell Animal Health.” Www.trudellanimalhealth.com, www.trudellanimalhealth.com/learn/further-reading/common-causes-coughing-dogs.

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