French Bulldogs have recently exploded in popularity, and it is quite easy to see why. Their smushed faces, pocket-size bodies, and too big ears are too cute to handle sometimes. The French Bulldog, however, comes with many health issues that owners should be cautious of, and overheating is a big one.
French bulldogs can live in and tolerate hot weather. However, these adorable dogs are prone to overheating quickly and need to always have cool air accessible for their health and safety. The same smushed face that makes the French bulldog so cute is also responsible for breathing issues that are compounded in extreme heat.
Continue reading further to learn more about special precautions to take for your French bulldog in hot weather, learn the signs of heat exhaustion, and gain some simple tips on how to prevent heatstroke in your French bulldog before it happens.
How Do I Know if My French Bulldog is Too Hot?
When humans get too hot, they have the luxury of using words to communicate their issues. Unfortunately, our furry friends cannot. Therefore, it is imperative to learn the signs of overheating when it comes to your dog. Each dog is different, but most bulldogs tend to exhibit the same symptoms of overheating.
Listening to your dog is the first sign you will notice if they are too hot. Heavy breathing, panting, and gurgling are tell-tell signs of overheating. Combine this is mouth foaming, red ears, and a loose floppy tongue are other not so obvious signs of your French bulldog overheating.
What Temperature is Too Hot for French Bulldogs?
There is no hard and fast rule of keeping your French bulldog at a set temperature. This is because each dog is different and can stand different temperatures. This can even be true for dogs of the same breed. Veterinarians do recommend, however, that you keep your French bulldog inside and air-conditioned in any temperatures reaching 85 degrees or higher.
How to Treat Overheating in French Bulldogs
You should never let your French bulldog get too hot. However, ff you are concerned that your bulldog is suffering from overheating or a heat stroke, there are several ways that you can try and cool down your dog.
Give them Ice Cubes
Give your French bulldog a few ice cubes to lick or bite on the hottest days. This, combined with a consistent supply of fresh, cool water, will allow the dog to adjust their body temperature while also offering a pleasant snack. While many owners believe that this should only be done when their dog is outside, it also helps a dog sustain a great body temperature while indoors.
Hold Ice Packs on Them
If you notice your furry friend is experiencing a severe heat-related episode, strapping a cold compress to their torso or stomach is a useful approach to adjust the temperature in a situation. While they may resist you at first, they will gradually come around after realizing that the extreme heat is being mitigated by the coolness of the ice. For maximum effect, wipe the cold pack over their forehead and between their ears.
Invest in a Kiddie Pool
If you have a French bulldog frolicking around your backyard, you will undoubtedly require a wading pool. A kiddie pool is a low-cost and practical solution. You only need to fill it to a depth of around 4 inches. If your dog is the adventurous type, he or she will like playing in the pool and cooling off in it.
Just remember to keep it clean and pest-free by dumping out the water regularly. To avoid algae growth and to erase any muddy paw prints left behind, simply clean it with diluted vinegar.
French bulldogs cannot swim! Therefore it is crucial to not overfill the kiddie pool and to always keep a watchful eye on your pup around water.
Put Them in Air Conditioning
In the summer, French bulldogs will need a cool area to exercise and sleep indoors, so an air conditioning system is a requirement. This should be placed in a well-ventilated area where your dog will spend most of its time. Tile floors can also help with cooling because they absorb cold.
No Air Conditioning? Use a Fan and Spray Bottle!
If you need to control your French bulldog’s temperature but are not by an air conditioner, use a spray bottle and a rotating fan. Just make sure you pick a bottle that sprays a light mist rather than a huge splash of water.
Simply wet your pup’s stomach for a few moments, then spread their fur with your fingertips to open up their coat. This allows more air to enter their body. Then, put them in an area with a spinning fan set to its highest level. This combination should cool them down in a matter of minutes.
Invest in Cooling Bandanas
If your French bulldog is seemingly suffering from overheating and you are not near air conditioning or a fan, you can use a cooling vest or bandana to help cool off your pup. These types of cooling fabrics do not require any electricity, you just dip them in water and they are ready to go. Cooling bandanas and vests are a great option for anyone on the go who would need an option for instantly cooling their French bulldog.
How to Prevent Heat Stroke in French Bulldogs
Knowing the signs of heat exhaustion in your French bulldog is crucial to treating them quickly and effectively. However, there are some additional tips you can use to prevent your French bulldog from overheating at all.
Always Have Hydration
Having free, accessible, and clean drinking water for your French bulldog at all times can greatly diminish their chances of having a heat stroke. If you notice your dog struggling to breathe from overheating, you should act quickly to provide fresh water.
Stay Inside in Very Hot Weather
If you know that the temperature will be very hot, the best course of action is to keep your French bulldog inside. This means that outside potty breaks may need to come in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day.
Leaving your French bulldog at home while you are away on hot days is also recommended to avoid heatstroke in your pup. The best way to avoid a heat stroke is to avoid the heat altogether. Besides, your furry friend will thank you for not taking them out in deadly temperatures.
Use a Cooling Pad
French bulldogs who overheat can use a simple cooling pad to help regulate their body temperatures. These special pads use a sun-activated gel to cool dog the dog when they lay on the pad. Cooling pads are great to have if you are going to be outside a lot and you need your French bulldog to cool himself down when needed.
Never Leave Your Dog in a Car
Leaving pets in hot cars is one of the number one reasons that they perish. You should never, ever leave your French bulldog, or any dog for that matter, inside of a car during hot weather. Even if the temperature is a mild 75 degrees, the inside of the car can create temperatures double that in just a short time.
If you are a Tesla owner, you have an option to turn on ‘dog mode’. This keeps a portion of the car’s battery running so that the air conditioner can stay on while your dog is in the car. However, if you choose to use this function, be sure to check on your pup regularly.
Give Your Dog Frequent Baths
Frequently bathing your dog in the hot summer months will help to regulate your French bulldog’s body temperature more easily. This is because they will be in a semi-constant state of having wet fur. While they do not have a lot of fur, wetting their coat is an excellent way to help them stay cool.
More Feedings on Hot Days
Most veterinarians will recommend that you feed your dog no more than twice per day. In the hot summer months, however, it is recommended that you feed your French bulldog smaller meals more often throughout the day. This is because a dog that isn’t so full will be able to regulate its body temperature on its own more easily.
You can also give your dog yummy treats throughout the day instead of dog food when it is very hot. Cold fruits and vegetables that are water-heavy, like watermelon, strawberries, or blackberries are an excellent choice to help cool your dog down and give them a boost of energy to power through the day.
Walk on Soft Ground
Taking your French bulldog on a lot of walks is always recommended to control their weight and provide stimulating exercise at the same time. Walking in the summer on hot asphalt is not recommended. The heat from the asphalt can radiate up and into your dog’s body.
Walking on the soft ground not only removes the extreme heat from their toes, but also helps to maintain good bone structure, paw padding, and hip movement.