Bulldogs are some of the most charming breeds out there… their squat frame and bulbous head along with the bat ears (in Frenchies) make them a pet favorite to households everywhere. They are small, easy to handle, and are generally well behaved, needing very little exercise but plenty of love and affection from their owners. Among some of their most distinctive traits is the purring habit. If you’re a Bulldog owner yourself, you know that snorting, snuffling, and purring go with the territory of this short-faced breed. Here’s all you need to know about this common behavior and what you need to do to prevent any unwanted medical issues in your beloved doggie.
The Root of the Behavior
The first thing that comes to mind when we refer to animal purring is a comfortable state of relief and joy. Just as you would relax on your living room sofa at the end of a stressful day at work, your pup might be feeling the same when he’s purring. It’s always important to consider the context in order to establish if your doggie is purring out of happiness or for some other reason. If he does it just as you approach him, it could simply mean that he’s happy to see you. Purring is especially prevalent in young puppies in the midst of naps or meals. However, the characteristic shape and structure of the Bulldog play a huge role in their snorting or purring habit. Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have shorter snouts than other dogs. The pushed in faces and turned up noses can lead to a variety of breathing problems causing them to snort, snuffle, wheeze, grunt, and snore loudly.
Unfortunately, this condition is a direct result of the breeding practices in Bulldogs, which has completely changed the relationship between their facial bones and soft tissue structures over time. Their structural deformities along with high stress and uncomfortably hot temperatures, can lead to plenty of respiratory difficulties and in some cases, even death. Bulldogs snort and snuffle their way through life… it’s just the way things are, still, a lot of complications and health issues can be prevented by the way you take care of him. Apart from respiratory issues, purring in Bulldogs can also indicate intense abdominal aching. If you notice any sign of discomfort or illness in your dog, don’t hesitate to contact your vet and have them do a full check of their respiratory system. While purring can be endearing to some people, it could also be a sign of a medical condition, so don’t ignore it.
Encouraging the Behavior
How do you help alleviate your Bulldog’s medical problems if most of their health issues are inherited? Well, the first thing is to purchase your dog from a reputable breeder. This means that, if both parents of your beloved Bulldog have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary diseases, your pup has less risk of developing those conditions. These certificates can also confirm that the breeder is using healthy breeding practices. As most Bulldogs are “created” through artificial insemination, due to their problems giving birth, this information is very important to know before you bring your puppy home.
Regular veterinary checkups will also help prevent or at least partially prevent any unwanted health issues that accompany their breathing problems such as spinal disorders, eye, heart, and joint diseases as well. You will also need to protect them from heatstroke, so when the weather gets too hot for them to handle, make sure you keep them indoors and have your home air-conditioned. Bulldogs don’t need to be outside that long, as they prefer curling up and relaxing on the sofa instead. Only 15 minutes of walks every day are enough to maintain their physical condition.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Keeping your doggie in good shape is essential for his health and well-being, so you should be proactive and do your part as well. The most important aspects of his daily grooming needs require you to check for any skin conditions, clean folds, or signs of obesity. Ensure that he is eating right and try to feed him food that you can prepare at home instead of store-bought products. Obesity is a contributing factor to many of the conditions Bulldogs have to face, so put him on a healthy diet, give him enough exercise, and pay attention to his behavior.
Bulldogs can develop a lot of health issues due to their breeding process and physical structure, but that should not stop them from enjoying everyday life. In spite of their snorting, snoring, and grunting, most Bulldog owners get used to the noises quickly and find them to be an endearing part of their lovable personality. Consult with your vet if you think there might be more to your pup’s purr than a simple act of relaxation and contempt.