French Bulldogs are a wonderful addition to any home and can bring joy and happiness to any family. They’ll keep you entertained for hours with their fun-filled frolicking and can be the most loyal companions one can have! This article will talk about your pup’s health, specifically when your Frenchie starts overheating, and what to do about it.
French bulldogs are more sensitive to health risks and need to care for more than other breeds. One specific factor that needs to be taken care of is that French bulldogs are a part of the brachycephalic breed of dogs. This means that their skulls are much smaller in ratio to the contents of their mouths and head.
In summary, brachycephalic dogs have a tough time breathing. Their noses are shorter than normal, which is why they usually have their mouths open to facilitate breathing. Along with this, their excessive breathing can lead to further problems. This is why you need to be extra careful when handling French bulldogs!
French Bulldogs also find it very hard to exercise and can easily get tired from even a little exercise. This, coupled with poor body temperature regulation, makes it tough for them to adapt to hotter temperatures. This is why your French bulldog overheating is a serious matter that you should deal with as quickly as possible!
Symptoms of your French Bulldog overheating
The first step to solving any problem is to correctly identify when it occurs! If you notice any of the following symptoms happening to your Frenchie, then it can be a cause for concern!
Severe or ragged breathing
If you see your French bulldog panting more excessively than usual, then that might be a sign that it feels very exhausted due to heavy breathing. This is a common occurrence when your doggie reaches its temperature tolerance.
Weakness and falling unconscious
Severe exhaustion from overheating can cause your French bulldog to become severely weak or pass out completely. This can occur during a rigorous exercise session, as the dog may not be able to cope with excessive exercise, which creates further problems along with the heat.
Pale or dark red gums
This is another symptom that your French bulldog is overheating, which is causing its orifices to change color.
The issues with French bulldogs and heat
A French bulldog’s temperature tolerance is low for several reasons. We will list them here so you better understand your furry friend.
As we mentioned before, the main reason is that French bulldogs belong to the brachycephalic breed of dogs, which have shorter snouts and thinner nostrils. This is coupled with a small mouth that is incapable of housing the bulldog’s tongue. This makes it harder for them to breathe and consequently leads to overheating in higher temperatures properly.
French bulldogs are also incapable of long exercise sessions. Even a little exercise can cause them to struggle with breathing. Long walks in the sun can also cause them to overheat, and you might find your Frenchie needing a water break within a few minutes of a walk on a sunny day.
If we talk about inside the home, rooms with excessive temperatures can also cause both discomfort and breathing issues to your Frenchie, and if there’s a heater running in a closed room, then that’s a surefire recipe for disaster.
If your Frenchie does not have a source of fresh cold water at all times, then it may start to overheat since it is not properly hydrated. This will also cause excessive panting and breathing and can cause heatstroke in some severe cases.
How to deal with French bulldog overheating?
Now that we’ve gone over both the symptoms and reasons why your Frenchie might be overheating let’s talk about how we can solve this.
You need to make sure of several things to prevent your Frenchie from overheating, which are related to both indoor and outdoor activities.
If you’re keen on exercising with your Frenchie, make sure that their exercise sessions are limited to 15-20 minutes of light exercise. Excessive exercise is never beneficial for your Frenchie, and you don’t want to overwhelm them with extra exercise.
Keep water close when you exercise your Frenchie, and regularly give them small amounts of water since too much water can also be problematic for your dog.
If you’re planning to take them out for a walk, make sure to keep the duration of the walk around 10-15 minutes since French bulldogs can barely walk for longer amounts of time.
Another important factor is to use a harness to walk your dog instead of a leash since a leash causes unwanted stress on the dog’s internal organs when they pull on it. For a dog that already has breathing issues, this is a definite no-no. A great solution for this is a soft mesh dog harness from Pupteck, which is a affordable yet effective solution when you want to ensure that your dog doesn’t face breathing issues while walking. The harness is made from a mesh material, padded to provide comfort, and doesn’t strain the neck.
Also, take short breaks to regulate their walking, and if you think that they’re overheating or breathing too excessively, carry them for the rest of the walk. Walking your Frenchie in the early morning or evening is also advised when the temperature is in the lower range. Walking your dog in direct sunlight can harm them since constant heat exposure can cause them to overheat easily.
When dealing with your Frenchie indoors, always make sure that fresh cold water is available for them easily. This can be achieved by placing small water bowls in every room that your dog frequents. However, keep an eye on their drinking habits since drinking too much water can cause water intoxication.
Ensure that your Frenchie doesn’t get locked inside a room with little or no ventilation. This can cause severe problems for the brachycephalic breed of dogs. Keep your room temperature slightly above chilly and not in the higher range since that would cause your dog to overheat excessively.
Letting your dog cool off in the water
Letting your French bulldog near water isn’t a good idea since they’re terrible swimmers. This is because they must constantly focus on keeping their head above water, which shifts their center of gravity and causes them to sink more.
However, there are several other ways of incorporating a swimming session into your Frenchie’s life so they can cool off on a hot day!
Getting your Frenchie a small doggie pool is a great idea since you won’t have to worry about your doggie having trouble swimming, and they can easily cool off on a hot day! For example, we chose this pool from Pecute that can easily let your dog cool off. The great thing about this pool is that it is collapsible, foldable, and has a quick drainage design. So, you can easily set up as well as uninstall this pool in your yard.
If you find that the pool is too big for your Frenchie, then don’t worry! Just fill the pool with a lower amount of water, preferably at a level that reaches your dog’s thighs.
Another great option when taking your French bulldog to the pool is to get them a lifejacket that helps them easily float. For example, this dog life jacket from Petglad is a great solution for your French bulldog! It has great floatation and a built-in chin support pad, so your dog is easily able to keep its snout above water. It also has a pickup handle on the back, so you can easily lift your dog out of the water.
Aside from all these methods of dealing with French bulldogs and heat, there are several other tips that you can use if you find your French bulldog overheating.
You can use damp towels to create a sort of bed for your Frenchie to lie on if it’s overheating. Pour water on them if you think they’re suffering from excessive heating.
Ensure to groom your Frenchie regularly since this can help with their shedding and keep their overall temperature down. If your Frenchie likes to stay outside, get them some shade with an umbrella or something similar.
If you take your dog with you on an errand, never leave them in the car. That can be fatal on hot days. Also, ensure that your dog has some sunscreen handy for a day on the beach or anywhere that involves an extended time in the sun.
Prevention is always better than a cure when it comes to French bulldogs. It is safer to provide a cool environment for your Frenchie before letting them succumb to hot temperatures and over-exertion. Hopefully, this guide will help you understand the problems of overheating and the correct way to solve them!