Given the upcoming warm days, it is good to know that the French Bulldog is among the breeds that DO NOT tolerate heat. Therefore, we advise you to be careful and always keep one thing in mind.
This article is dedicated to all those dogs, especially French Bulldogs, who were injured and even died in hot weather. Some as a result of ignorance, and others as a result of negligence on the part of their owners. We hope this does not happen again!
When will dog heatstroke happen?
Heat stress usually occurs on very hot days or on several consecutive moderately warm days. The heat contributes to the rapid or gradual loss of electrolytes from the body, so the longer the hot period, the more likely the dog is to receive heat stress.
How do dogs regulate body temperature?
The dog regulates its temperature in three main ways:
- Breathing with an open mouth.
- Heat loss through the paws, but not like people’s sweating.
- Heat loss through areas with minimal hair cover, ie. abdomen, anus.
Why will dog heatstroke happen?
Dark dogs absorb more heat than light dogs because they do not reflect light and are therefore more prone to overheating. Dogs that have strenuous walks or exercise in warm weather are also at risk. In addition, heat stress can also occur in dogs left indoors without sufficient circulation of fresh air, such as a car, trailer or box.
Heatstroke & the French bulldog
There is no breed of dog that is immune to heat exhaustion; but, French bulldogs, because to their shorter breathing system, are more likely to succumb to the condition than the vast majority of other breeds. Leaving a dog inside a hot car on a warm day is the leading cause of heat exhaustion in dogs. If the temperature outside is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside the car can very quickly rise to above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be fatal to the dog.
The Frenchie has shorter airways than most dogs and this leads to less chance of the air that the dog takes in cooling and as dogs cannot sweat the only means they have of cooling down is by panting.
There are other factors that can lead to heat exhaustion in dogs and particularly the frenchie, the dog’s physical condition, the age of the dog and acclimatization to the weather. However, all frenchies no matter how active they are or how well they breathe normally are more at risk from heat stroke than other breeds.
Symptoms of dog heatstroke:
The signs of heatstroke in a dog are
- Dogs suffering from overheating are usually static and do not dare to move.
- Their breathing is very fast and their mucous membranes (gums, conjunctiva) are bluish.
- Breathing is extremely difficult and usually reduces salivation.
- Beginning to pant heavily.
- Flushed and red skin on the inside of the ears.
- Overall weakness.
- Dog is not stable.
- Beginning to stagger.
- Fainting or loss of consciousness.
- Vomiting or collapse may occur.
If your frenchie is showing signs of heatstroke then you must cool him down immediately, don’t try taking him to the vets you might not have time, heatstroke can be deadly. If the dog is not treated at this stage, it will die.
What to do during dog heatstroke?
The first priority is to cool the dog relatively quickly. The most important cooling areas are the head and neck to prevent brain damage and calm breathing. It can be placed under running water, being careful where it pours. If you have ice it can be placed on the back of the nose or on the side of the neck. Leave the running water until the dog’s breathing calms down. You can also wet your dog’s mouth, but don’t expect him to drink too much water because he is unable to swallow, and too much water can choke him.
When it starts to breathe a little easier, turn off the taps and put them on wet towels.
Be careful! Too rapid a drop in temperature can also damage the brain. When breathing returns to normal, leave the dog on wet towels and give him some water to drink. Measure its temperature and continue cooling until it reaches a temperature of -39.5-39 C.
- Never try to give water to your dog, his airways might become swollen which could result in the dog taking water into the lungs.
- Hose your dog down with cool but not cold water.
- Place an ice pack on the head and but do not wrap it in wet towels.
- Do not put towels on the dog, this will not allow the heat to separate.
- Where possible get the dog into a bath of cool water again not cold.
- If your dog’s airways are swelling due to him panting a lot, you can use the children’s allergy treatment Benaydryl by dropper into your dog’s mouth, it is wise to consult your vet for the exact dosage for your dog.
- Keep up with this treatment until the temperature shows signs of normalizing, then and only then transport your dog to the vet.
Prevention of dog heatstroke:
Of course, preventing heat stress is much better than having to treat yourself.
Common sense should come into play here, always remain alert to your dog’s needs what might seem like a cooler day to you could be hot for your dog. Always limit the time your dog spends outside in the warm/hot weather and remember that most dogs will play forever regardless of if they are overheating.
Always make sure your dogs have enough shade and water. If it is to be left in a confined space, make sure that:
- there is sufficient ventilation.
- water is available
- there is a shade
Puppies and adults are especially sensitive to heat. If the dog is in one of these categories, you should always leave wet towels or newspapers in their place. You can also use ice cubes that melt gradually or a fan to move the air. If you use a fan in puppies, make sure it blows over them, not over them.
In very hot weather it is good to give the dog electrolytes(There are various brands available) to restore their loss more easily and to prevent heat stress. There are two very useful supplements, especially after several consecutive hot days.
- Bi-carbonate soda is the main salt that is lost and therefore it is important to recover. Less can be added to the diet (for large dogs one teaspoon a day, and for small halves) The dose can be increased in very hot weather. Dogs don’t like it in drinking water.
- If you travel in hot weather, in addition to electrolytes, always recharge with plenty of water and ice, and if necessary, you can put them on wet towels. Dogs will cool down most quickly through the legs, abdomen and anus. The heat rises, so do not cover them with wet towels.
Remember that in such circumstances you need to find good shade, with good air circulation and give electrolytes.
Always make sure there is a shaded area for your dog to go and lie down in and that there is plenty of fresh cool drinking water for your dog. Just as you keep a first aid kit for yourself and your family you should keep one also for your frenchie, it could consist of the following:
- A bottle of distilled water.
- A cool-down cloth.
- A cool-down coat.
- Some towels.
- A bottle of children’s Benaydryl and an eyedropper.
Remember that heat stress can occur on a not-so-hot day, especially if it was very hot the day before.
Remember, too, that heat stress can kill your dog!
😍 These gadgets are on my Frenchie’s wishlist, maybe your Frenchie needs them too? 🥰
✅ We laughed so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks. Watch funny clips HERE
✅ My Frenchie has been self-conscious about his hair for years. He finally has the confidence to go on walks now. Other dogs don’t even know it’s a wig! What a steal!! LOL
✅ These matching sweaters are absolutely adorable. Fits my 22lb French bulldog like a glove, his shirt is super soft.
✅ Lots of folks said it was the cutest thing they had seen in a long time! It came with adjustable straps just in case the Frenchie gains weight (again.)
✅ Safety first, right? My Frenchie loves bike rides in the backpack but not so much in the rain, this Goggle/Hemlet set really helps keep the rain out of the eyes and ears.
✅ Omg too cute😍 I do not need to explain why your Frenchie needs it right?
✅ The hoodie is really well made and super soft fleece-lined! My Frenchie has been in it for hours, which is not common… safe to say it is puppy approved!
✅ You only need this one high-quality water-resistant jacket for Winter. Necessary piece. Make sure you check out the reviews to get the right size instead of keeping returning.
✅ There are built-in ear holes for comfort, which is how my Frenchie usually wears it, but sometimes we just have to keep those ears covered up and keep the heat in on the super-cold days.
✅ This playpen is a life saver! They can be linked together if desired to create a larger pen.
✅ No animal should have to sleep on the floor and hurt or be cold. I asked my Frenchie for a review – unfortunately he’s too busy snoring, farting and sleeping on it to answer me…lol
✅ This is a fantastic car seat w lots of clever features. The entire seat can collapse to fit into its own carrying bag, though it’s easily put together again in 30 sec. The cover that the dogs rest on is silky soft faux fur which doesn’t seem to snag dirt and debris. It easily zips out for washing, and during the summer you can reverse the cover so the canvas side is up and not the fur. The pillow that boosts the dogs up in the seat has a soft foam side akin to memory foam. It’s very roomy and well made for a small Frenchie.
✅ The couch is stylish and lightweight but definitely sturdy. As an added bonus the legs have non-skid pads on the bottom so it won’t slide when he gets in and out of it. Holding up pretty good even when Frenchie digs in it…
✅ Let me do you a favor and let you know that you NEED this NOW!!! It was very comfortable for me at this height. No pain or awkward positions and I didn’t get soaked.
✅ I don’t remember seeing any other pet strollers using this kind of high-end wheels. Perfect for the small puppy that is old or can’t walk much.