Why your Frenchie reverse sneezes, how to stop it and how to avoid it

We love Frenchies for endless reasons, one of them being their funny, clownlike faces. They have adorable short noses which is why they often reverse sneeze. In most cases, it’s absolutely normal but as we get quite a few questions from worried puppy parents, we’d like to share with you our experience and tips.


What is reverse sneezing in dogs?

If you have a Frenchie, you probably know what it is: fast and repetitive inhalations through the nose accompanied by snorting. It sounds like they are inhaling a sneeze, hence it’s called ‘reverse sneezing.’

It can be very scary when you notice it the first few times, as you might be worried that your pup is choking, but in most cases, there’s nothing to worry about. 

Why is my dog reverse sneezing?

First of all, it comes with all the traits of French Bulldogs: due to their short noses they snort, snore, gasp more, and louder than some other breeds. It’s not abnormal, and we have to take this into consideration when we select this adorable breed.

Physical activities

Activities that make your pup breathe heavier increase their reverse sneezing. These include walking, running, playing outside, and being involved in physical adventures. 

One thing to be careful about is when you walk your baby on the leash and they pull on it to get to all the world. This might irritate their throat and may result in reverse sneezing. To avoid this, use a front-clip harness which is no pull and choke free (and you have more control of your furry friend).


It can happen when your puppy gets enthusiastic about seeing you (or a loved one) again, at the sight of their favorite treats or toys. But excitement can also be caused by anxiety when they feel insecure which you would want to stop anyway.

Note the events which make your pooch feel extreme emotion and try to avoid these cases. 

Just a few examples: don’t let them wait too much before you feed them, put them in another room while guests are arriving and you’re busy with them, do crate training if staying alone makes them anxious.


Reverse sneezing can get stronger when body temperature increases. Frenchies have a small body and can overheat very easily, so make sure you control their temperature and keep them cool even in extremely hot weather.


Allergens like dust, pollen, smoke might irritate your Frenchie which results in increased reverse sneezing. You can avoid this by staying away from cigarette smoke, heavily polluted areas, or even pollen if that is the problem. 

Reverse sneezing can be a symptom of nasal mites, which a vet will be able to diagnose and treat.

How to treat reverse sneezing

As you could see from the above in most cases reverse sneezing is nothing to worry about and nothing to overreact about. It might be scary, or even annoying when your pup is too loud, but it comes as part of the adorable traits they have.

If you see your girl or boy is suffering try the following tips:

  • Place your fingers on the nostrils to close them for a moment.
  • Try gently massaging their throat to help them halt their sneezes.
  • Help them cool down, have a walk, have fresh air.
  • Talk to them smoothly to help them relax.

As they get older and/or heavier reverse sneezing can get worse, but surgery is only needed in very few cases.

Expert piece of advice from Sandra, Tom Kings Puppies

My vet recommended a surgery to fix reverse sneezing of my pup when the dog was 1 year old. I refused that as it didn’t bother me and apparently my pup was fine. Now my pooch is 9 years old could be better, which proves that dogs can live a happy life even with reverse sneezing. I would only consider surgery if I noted that reverse sneezing prevents my puppy from leading a quality life.

There are some cases however when surgery is needed, be cautious when noticing any of the below symptoms:

  • Your pup breathes even after a short work
  • He or she often chokes when eating
  • He or she becomes very slow at activities
  • He or she keeps his or her mouth open when sleeping.

Even if French bulldog reverse sneezing is normal, if you notice something unusual, record it and show the video to your vet.

The article was written based on the experience of the Tom Kings Puppies Team. Tom Kings Puppies have been breeding French Bulldogs for 12 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and show a puppy from their breed. Check their available puppies here, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.


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