While they are adorable and come with a built-in fur coat, when the winter arrives it is easy to get worried. So… so French Bulldogs get cold?
Yes, French Bulldogs definitely feel the chill when the winter comes or even if the AC is set on overdrive. These short-haired dogs are not good at regulating their own body heat and this means for owners that supervision and a helping hand will be needed whenever it’s cold or very hot outside.
In today’s article, we’ll tell you a little more about how Frenchies react to the cold so that in the end you’ll know how to tell if they are feeling the chill and have some excellent strategies to use to keep your doggy warm. Let’s talk about French Bulldogs, the cold, and what you can do to help!
How cold is too cold for a French Bulldog?
Frenchies are small dogs and can get cold quite easily. As such, for an adult French Bulldog, 40 degrees is going to be way too cold for them! If they are old dogs or pups, and especially if healthy considerations are at play, then they will be even more sensitive to the cold.
Consider a winter coat for your Frenchie that you can use for quick potty breaks outside. There are some options that will still allow your Frenchie to potty so that breaks outside can be as brief as possible. 50 to 60 degrees is where your Frenchie is still going to be comfortable in the cold.
45 degrees is okay, but best approached with caution. Around this temperature, you can still take your dog outside, but you want to keep a close eye on them to help ensure that they don’t start shivering or showing other signs of the cold.
Signs your Frenchie is too cold
First off, the most obvious sign that you will see when your French Bulldog is taking a chill will be shivering. They might whine, but don’t count on this – it’s best to go by their body language.
If you notice that your dog is hesitant to put their feet to the ground, then this is due to the cold, and you want to take them inside as soon as possible. Your dog might also seem lethargic, moping about and moving slowly, and this is another sign that the cold is taking a toll on them.
If your dog is inside, you’ll notice them quickly adopting nesting behaviors, such as burrowing into the covers, sitting in front of the space heater, or simply shivering and staying close. Thankfully, their body language is very clear – so if they are outdoors, get them in quickly and get a little warm broth in them.
If you are indoors, then turn up the heat a little or settle together for a snuggle with a nice, heavy blanket or comforter. You might also consider a heating pad for the winter – such things can help immensely, as these little dogs simply do not do well in the cold.
Should I get my Frenchie a coat?
Yes, you really should consider getting your French Bulldog a little bit of winter gear. French Bulldogs cannot regulate their body temperature very well and this can make winter very hard on these little guys and gals. A coat is a good start for keeping your little one warm.
A headband can help as well, for minimizing the chill on their ears, and for their paws you can get doggy shoes or boots and if that seems a bit much to you, then settle for some paw balm.
Paw Balm is available commercially either online or at your local pet store and by rubbing it into the paws you can give your dog a little bit of protection against the cold ground. Vaseline also works in a pinch, so that’s another possibility for your pup’s paws and will help to keep them from drying out from the excessive cold.
Finally, when your dog is inside where it is much warmer, don’t forget to take off that winter gear. Just as your dog doesn’t warm themselves up very efficiently, they aren’t very good at cooling themselves down, either. Inside, they can easily get in and out of blankets, so take the coat and boots off once they are safely indoors.
Keeping your Bulldog warm at night
You have a number of great options for ensuring that your Bulldog is warm and cozy during the nighttime. If the chill in the house is mild, for instance, then you can simply create a ‘nest’ or warm, soft blankets, arranged in a circle in your dog’s bed. This will let them nestle in and adjust the blankets as needed.
You can also elevate the bed a little bit over the floor and this will also make a difference, especially with older dogs. Beds that are directly on the floor tend to be colder than those that are elevated, so this is another simple fix that can make an appreciable difference.
Winter pajamas are another good way to help your short-coated buddy to keep warm in the winter. They are thin enough that your dog won’t overheat and should help them to keep a little more body heat in.
The caveat, of course, is that they can’t put them on by themselves, but you can make putting them on a part of your nightly ritual and it’s actually kind of cute! Finally, consider letting your dog sleep in the bed with you when it’s winter. This will keep both of you warm and will only make your bond stronger!
The French Bulldog winter-sleep schedule
If your French Bulldog seems to sleep quite a bit more in the winter, then this is not necessarily a reason to panic. This breed sleeps a lot anyway, and you might not really notice this until the naps get excessive in winter. Even when it’s warm, they’ll sleep for 12 to 14 hours a day and it’s completely normal.
When it’s cold, your dog will most often be curled up in front of your space heater or nestled in the nearest blanket or sofa corner, and they might even fight you a little about going outside. This is because they are a short-haired breed and since they cannot regulate their body heat well, your dog is feeling the cold!
So, unless those naps are accompanied by shivering or if the temperature is below 45 degrees, then those naps are normal and will be a little bit more than 50% per day. The best thing that you can do is to keep a small, but warm blanket nearby and tuck your little one in for their naps.
They’ll appreciate the effort and when it starts getting warm again, they’ll be back to their bouncy, playful selves in no time!
A runny nose is normal – usually
French Bulldogs are brachycephalic, which is a fancy way of saying that they’ve got flat faces. As such, they are a little more prone to respiratory distress than other breeds and they’ll also sniffle a lot and get runny noses quite easily.
Normally, this is to be expected, but you should keep an eye on the discharge – especially when it’s cold. If it’s clear, then this is normal, but any color to the discharge should be considered a red flag and a good excuse for a vet checkup.
Discharge from the eyes or nose should be completely clear and thin and if so, then this is safe. You’ll probably notice more in the spring if they have allergies, and in the winter when it’s cold. As long as it’s clear and not being produced in very large amounts then you can relax.
This is all part and parcel of brachycephalic dogs such as the French Bulldog.
Additional warming options for your Frenchie
You’ve got a number of additional strategies that can help to ensure that your French Bulldog doesn’t get too chilly when it’s cold outside. Hot water bottles are a good example, though you need to get ones that are hard plastic – as standard hot water bottles might be chewed!
Alternately, you could use a heating pad, as these are also very welcome additions to a dog bed that can definitely keep your dog warm and toasty. An electric blanket is a good way to keep warm that both of you can share – so this is also worth your consideration.
Finally, consider a space heater if you haven’t got one already. There are a number of space heaters available with protective grills so that you won’t have to worry about your dog getting too close and getting burned.
They are inexpensive and can make a huge difference in the room that you are sharing, so keep space heaters as a final option to think about for the upcoming winter. Your dog will definitely appreciate this and we think that you’ll find that you will as well!
Winter is coming… be prepared!
Today we’ve taken a closer look at French Bulldogs and what you can do to help keep your little one warm in the winter. Watch out for temperatures below 45 degrees and consider investing in some palm balm and a coat to help for those inevitable potty breaks.
Elevating the dog bed is also a good idea and a hot water bottle or heating bad will also surely be appreciated. Winter is definitely rough on your Frenchie, but with a little love and a helping hand you and your furry friend are going to be just fine!