French Bulldogs are very cute. As the fourth most popular purebred dog breed in the United States, it just comes with the territory.
So when you first bring your new French Bulldog puppy or rescue dog home to stay, the temptation to let your new dog sleep in your bed will likely be very strong. To make matters worse, Frenchies are known as "criers."
Your puppy is crated and crying and you are awake anyway listening, so you relent and let your French Bulldog up into your bed with you. The crying stops. You feel better. Your dog feels better. You are cuddling as you slowly drift off to sleep. And then…
Suddenly you are wide awake again. Your dog isn't. Because all at once you realize something all experienced French Bulldogs know well. Frenchies are known to snore.
Yet the expectation has been established. In the morning, your dog is well rested and you are exhausted. When nighttime rolls around again, guess who wants to sleep in the big bed with you?
Should you let your French Bulldog sleep in your bed with you? Are there pros and cons to consider? What do the experts say? Let's take a closer look at this issue now.
Why Do French Bulldogs Want to Sleep With Their People?
If you rewind history several hundred (or thousand) years, the whole concept of separate rooms, let alone separate beds, might be most evident by its absence. As Atlas Obscura points out, people and their animals routinely shared a roof and, often, a bed.
It wasn't at all uncommon to find cows, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, and people all housed together, especially when the temperature outside got very hot or very cold.
During these times, animals represented a lot more than just a warm-blooded companion. Their health could make the difference between whether their people could earn a living or even survive from one day to the next.
Today, the instinct to share our lives, our homes, and our beds survive, but in the meantime, social norms have changed. Today, each family member has their own bed, including the family dog.
But unlike modern humans, modern canines have not yet evolved to see this as a good thing. Dogs, in general, tend to want to be with their people at all times and French Bulldogs want this more than most.
What Do French Bulldogs Sound Like When They Sleep?
If you are considering opening your home to a French Bulldog or you are just starting to care for a Frenchie for the first time, you may not know much about French Bulldog sleep routines.
We mentioned in the introduction here that snoring can become a not-insignificant night time issue…..but not for the French Bulldog.
It is you who will likely suffer the most from your Frenchie's restful slumbers. You can get a sneak peek (and listen) courtesy of a French Bulldog owner's YouTube video clip of their French Bulldog puppy snoring.
Could you sleep through that? If you just answered "no," you already know that letting your Frenchie sleep with you probably isn't a good idea.
Why Do French Bulldogs Snore So Much – And So Loudly?
In people, snoring loudly is often considered a warning sign of sleep apnea and can be a symptom of other health problems as well.
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) explains, French Bulldogs snore for the same reason they snuffle and snort – they have very short muzzles.
There are three main muzzle types in modern domestic dogs: long, medium, and short. The shortest muzzle type is technically called "brachycephalic" ("black-eee-seh-fall-ick").
The brachycephalic muzzle type is the one that creates that adorable smushed face look that makes dogs like Pugs and French Bulldogs so popular. But it can come with some health issues.
According to the French Bulldog Club of America, the most common health issues that short-muzzled dog breeds exhibit include these:
- Trouble breathing.
- Difficulty grasping and chewing food.
- Overheating easily.
- Spitting up food or regurgitating (vomiting up) food.
- Wheezing and snorting.
- Inability to swim and fly in airplanes.
- Canine sleep apnea.
- A very serious health condition called BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome).
The short muzzle of the French Bulldog means the respiratory passages are shortened and the jaw is overly crowded.
Because French Bulldogs have short, thick necks and large heads for their body size, this can also lead to extra skin and tissue inside the mouth and throat that can cut off airflow during the night, leading to sleep apnea and sometimes, death.
Can French Bulldog Snoring Be Cured?
While it is unlikely that you will be able to completely cure your French Bulldog's snoring issue, there is a lot you can do to minimize both the amount of snoring and the risk.
As the TMJ Therapy and Sleep Center of Colorado points out, keeping your Frenchie slim and trim can definitely take the pressure off the airways during sleep.
PetMD has these additional tips that can at least ease problems with snoring, if not cure the issue completely:
- Add a humidifier: moist air can ease breathing problems.
- Try postural therapy to keep your dog in a safer sleeping position.
- Schedule surgery to open and widen the nasal passages (stenotic nares).
- Have your dog's thyroid gland checked?
- Remove allergens from the home.
- Keep the sleeping area cool and clean.
Some of these remedies are a lot more time-consuming, expensive, and invasive than others. The best way to decide what to try first is to schedule a visit with your dog's veterinarian to discuss severity and options.
Should You Let Your Frenchie Sleep With You? Pros and Cons to Consider
Some French Bulldog owners are sound sleepers. If you fall into this category, you may not be worried about your Frenchie's snoring keeping you awake all night long.
Since this is the "con" that regularly tops the list of why you shouldn't let your Frenchie sleep in your bed, you may be wondering if there is anything else you need to know to help make up your mind.
In this final section, we'll take a close look at the main pros and cons of allowing your dog to sleep with you.
Pros of letting your Frenchie sleep with you
An interesting research study conducted by researchers working at the renowned Mayo Clinic found that there were no statistically significant reasons to ban dogs from your bed.
People who participated in the study got about the same amount and quality of sleep as people who did not let their dogs sleep with them.
Another Mayo Clinic research study showed that many people found the presence of their dog was comforting during the night.
The study did point out, however, that dogs that snored were less likely to be well tolerated by their people during the night.
Cons of letting your Frenchie sleep with you
WebMD for Pets reports that nearly half of all companion canines sleep with their owners in the same bed at night.
But just because it is common doesn't always mean that it is a good idea.
People who have pet allergies may suffer health-wise by letting their French Bulldog sleep in bed with them – even though Frenchie is a short-haired breed. This is because the allergies are caused by a protein on the skin, not by shed hair.
Pets like French Bulldogs that tend to snore, change positions, hog the covers, kick and scratch themselves during the night can be more disruptive.
One more reason not to let your French Bulldog sleep with you is one that pet owners often don't consider at first: other people and other pets.
Whether it is your child, your partner, or another family pet who wants to climb into bed with you, the bed can quickly become a crowded place as well as hotly-contested territory.
Ultimately, Letting Your French Bulldog Sleep With You Is Your Choice
There is no doubt that deciding whether to let your Frenchie sleep with you at night can be a tough choice to make.
This is especially true when your dog is a little puppy who is just desperate to be with you.
But it is worth remembering that behavior problems are easier to deal with if you don't let them become issues in the first place.
This is especially true if you plan to take your dog with you when you travel and accommodations may not always be so consistent.
Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Do you let your Frenchie sleep with you? How is this working out for you? Share your stories in the comments.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.