French Bulldog Runny Nose Issues – Why Does My French Bulldog Have a Runny Nose?

Did you know that your French Bulldog has 220 million receptors for smell? That’s really a lot compared to our lowly 5 million. Although it is known as a breed with many (mostly small) quirks, there is one serious quirk that every Frenchie owner will encounter at some point during their lifetime. The infamous Frenchie runny nose.  

My French Bulldog has a knack for wiping his nose right on my pant leg, shirt, or our blue couch leaving a snail trail behind.  Is this normal for a Frenchie or is this abnormal and something to be concerned about?  Find out below everything you might want to know about French bulldog runny nose issues and why your French Bulldog may have a runny nose?

Is It Normal for a French Bulldog To Have a Runny Nose? 

Yes, it is perfectly normal for your Frenchie to have a runny nose.  First of all, we want to emphasize that if you notice a nasal discharge in your dog, you don’t need to panic.  Almost every Frenchie I have ever met has a wet nose and it is perfectly normal. 

This is usually a sign of something as simple as your dog’s excitement when you get home from work. However, keep in mind that Frenchie runny nose can be a symptom of a problem as serious as cancer.  I don’t mean to scare you but you should know it could be something minor all the way up to something serious.  

Generally, you shouldn’t worry too much about it, unless it happens on a regular basis or if it appears unusual. For example, if the discharge is cloudy, yellow, green, or smelly, this can be a cause for concern. All in all, the French bulldog’s runny nose is a completely normal phenomenon, quite similar to people who start sneezing and sniffling when allergy season begins.

Flat-faced dogs (scientifically called brachycephalic breeds) have runny noses more often than other breeds.  This makes perfect sense right?  The short little, smushed in face of your Frenchie doesn’t have the same capacity for snot as a dog breed with a much longer snout.   

Causes & Symptoms of French Bulldog Runny Noses

There are many possible causes of a runny nose, most of them are mild and not worth panicking about, however, there are some serious cases in which it is necessary to seek the help of your veterinarian. Accordingly, identifying the root cause of your dog’s runny nose is essential to providing relief. Find out the most common causes and symptoms below.


Frenchies are known to have all kinds of allergies and proper testing by your Vet can show you what kind of allergies your dog may have.  French Bulldogs can be allergic to all kinds of things such as their food, fleas, or environmental allergens.  Most of them are fairly harmless and very treatable. Here are some signs you may notice if your Frenchie has allergies:  

  • Itching
  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Ear infection
  • Excessive licking
  • And of course a runny nose

Pro tip:  One way to reduce runny nose in your Frenchie (along with other allergic symptoms) can be to find the source of the allergens and remove those allergy sources from their environment.  As an example, my Frenchie Augie proved to be allergic to his food so we had to put him on a specific diet of Purina HA food.  This has done the trick for us.


A runny nose in your Frenchie could be a sign of a greater issue and getting checked by your veterinarian is important in these cases.  Some sources of infection that could cause a runny nose include:  bacterial, fungal, or viral infections) cause changes in the texture and color of the discharge.

  •       Discharge has an unpleasant odor
  •       Sudden nosebleeds
  •       Coughing

If any of these issues present in your French Bulldog, don’t delay in bringing your French Bulldog to see the Vet.  The Vet and their team will likely do some testing to determine the source of the issue and give you a plan of action to help treat your Frenchie.

Polyps and Tumors 

Nasal polyps and tumors may also lead to a runny nose in your Frenchie but I find it is best not to jump to conclusions that this is the cause.  If you suspect your dog has issues, go see a qualified Vetrinarian and they can assess your (lead, pus, or mucus) although once cured there is still a small chance that they will return.

  •       Noisy breathing
  •        Possible bumps on one side of your dog’s nose
  •       Decrease or complete loss of appetite

French bulldog phlegm can be a sign of a problem, so pay attention to it as well, as it may cause pneumonia or some other secondary bacterial infection. In addition to the above, there are many other causes of French bulldog runny nose, but these are the most common.

How Do I Know If My French Bulldog Has a Cold? 

Compared to almost every other dog breed, Frenchies can catch colds much more often and are much more sensitive to cold and flu symptoms. This is primarily because the mucus gets trapped in their smaller than average head cavities, and this can ultimately lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia.

Keep in mind that dogs don’t get the same viruses as humans, but rather get infections that cause cold-like symptoms, and according to experts, these are the most common:

  •       Runny nose
  •       Nasal discharge
  •       Watery eyes
  •       Sneezing
  •       Cough
  •       Decrease or complete loss of appetite
  •       Shivering
  •       High temperature/warm ears
  •       Heavy breathing
  •       Lethargy

To be honest, it’s rare for a disease like a cold to pass from a human to a dog and vice versa, but it’s still impossible. However, don’t let that stop you from getting your daily dose of cuddling, though. Take a look at this article as well if you want to know more about taking care of an English bulldog.

What Can I Do For My Dog’s Runny Nose? 

We often hear the question “my French bulldog puppy sounds congested, what should I do”, therefore, allow us to explain in a little more detail.

Treatment for French bulldog stuffy nose depends on what’s causing the issue in the first place. If it is different allergies, then as you can guess, allergy medicines can help soothe the symptoms. On the other hand, if it is an infection of some kind, antibiotics or antifungals are proven to be effective to combat harmful bacteria.

However, before starting any of the treatments, we advise you to first consult with an expert. They generally perform numerous checks and tests such as listening to the chest and lungs, as well as x-rays and various types of blood tests. So, the best thing you can do if your French bulldog sounds congested is to take him to a professional to get some much-needed help.

How do you clear a French bulldog’s nose?

Hygiene is a very important step that shouldn’t be skipped during this period. Keeping the face clean is highly desirable when your dog is experiencing nasal discharge.

We recommend that you use a damp, warm cloth to clean around the face, between facial wrinkles, and around the eyes. This is the most proven method to wipe the discharge that might be blocking the nose. Finally, don’t forget to dry between the folds to prevent bacteria growth and further complications.

French Bulldog Runny Nose Issues – Final Thoughts

The sense of smell is undoubtedly the most important thing for any dog. It enables them to perceive the world around them and to understand their environment. Accordingly, French bulldog nasal congestion can have a major impact on their quality of life.

If it only happens occasionally and for a short time, there is nothing to worry about, but things go downhill when their little noses keep dripping for longer periods or if accompanied by smell or color.

That’s it, now you know everything you need to know about French bulldog runny nose issues – why does my French bulldog have a runny nose?

Other French Bulldog Health topics to explore:  

French Bulldog allergic to grass

French Bulldog eye problems

French Bulldog anal glands

Reasons to bring your Frenchie to a dermatologist

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