People often think that dogs are capable to live outdoors and withstand different weather conditions. And while many dog breeds can tolerate living in a cold climate, it’s not your Frenchie’s cup of tea. Before bringing a French bulldog puppy to your family, you need to know that they're not outside dogs!
Since they have one-layered coats and brachycephalic skulls, Frenchies are prone to conditions such as hypothermia and hyperthermia. In other words, they best suit living in temperate climates.
Why do French Bulldogs can’t stand extreme weather conditions?
French Bulldogs are considered for dogs whose bodies lose heat faster than they can produce it. Unlike mountain dogs, Frenchies don’t feel comfortable being outside for a long time in winter. A similar rule applies to the summer. Frenchies are more prone to dehydrate in hot weather because of having shortened nostrils. Since French Bulldogs are brachycephalic dogs, they have elongated soft palates. In other words, their tissue between nose cavities and mouth covers the throat more than it should. That’s why they’re prone to allergies and breathing issues too. Whether you’re taking your Frenchie outside in summer or winter, you need to keep in mind the following things.
French Bulldog’s requirements
As we previously mentioned, French Bulldogs can’t stand too warm or too cold weather. They can easily become dehydrated in summer or catch a cold in winter. Hypothermia may turn out to be fatal if you don’t react quickly and help your pet to restore normal body temperature. In severe cases of hypothermia, a dog can even show the symptoms of weakness, stiffened muscles, and a slow heart rate. To prevent these symptoms, you may consider taking your Frenchie on a few short walks instead of two longer ones.
Since your little gremlin needs to feel warm when going outside in the winter, you can dress him/her into a cozy French bulldog winter jacket, vest, or sweater. A dog who is feeling uncomfortable in cold weather will also alternately raise its legs during strolls. Fast breathing, shivering, muscle stiffness, and pale or gray gums are other signs that every dog owner should know to spot.
French Bulldog owners should especially be cautious about road salt in winter. It can harm your Frenchie’s sensitive paw skin and even cause chemical burns. Due to this, cleaning your Frenchie’s paws after every walk is highly preferred. You can do that by using a wet towel, or baby wet wipes. Using dog paw balms is also recommended since they soothe the paw skin and provide a protective barrier. Petroleum jelly and Vaseline can also be the first aid to a dog’s cracked and dry paws.
Nail trimming is highly recommended in winter conditions. French Bulldogs in cold weather, especially if there’s ice and snow outside, need to have trimmed nails to get better traction. Accidental slipping may go wrong and cause injuries in a dog’s hips, joints, and muscles. Senior French bulldogs are at a higher risk of getting injuries when walking on slippery surfaces.
Wearing dog boots
Buying quality French bulldog boots can be a great solution for keeping your dog’s paws warm and safe. If your French bulldog is not a big fan of wearing protective footwear, we recommend you buy waterproof dog socks. They are elastic and provide a more natural feeling during walking. French bulldog boots will not only keep your Frenchie’s paws warm but will also make him the most famous dog in the neighborhood. Taking a French bulldog in cold weather outside might sound challenging, but with a few safety tips, it can become an enjoyable experience for both of you. By teaching your Frenchie to get used to wearing dog boots, you can also escape cleaning his/her paws every time you get back from a stroll.
Leaving your Frenchie in the car
Leaving your French bulldog in the car in cold weather conditions is not recommended for many reasons. Mild hypothermia begins when the temperature drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides slowed heart rate and shivering, hypothermia can also result in cardiac and respiratory failure, brain damage, coma, and even death.
Keep your Frenchie’s weight within normal ranges
We all know that French Bulldogs during cold months can easily become obese. That often happens due to restricted outside activity and a few extra holiday treats. You probably haven’t heard of the fact that more than half of the dogs in the world are overweight. Obesity makes significant stress on the body and makes our muscles suffer. Not only in people but also dogs, obesity burdens the heart and leads to many health issues.
Beware of winter chemicals
Winter chemicals such as anti-freeze are extremely poisonous to dogs. Since it is sweet tasted, anti-freeze seems to be very attractive to pets. However, intake of even small amounts can cause poisoning and end up tragically.
Make sure the water is not cold
Just like humans, dogs can get a cold too. If they drink cold water, they can suffer from a sore throat. Therefore, you always have to make sure that the water in your French bulldog’s bowl is placed in the warmest place in the house.
It’s a fact that taking a French Bulldog in cold weather might sound challenging. However, all French Bulldog owners should be in tune with their four-legged friends’ personalities and needs. You can both spend a pleasant time outdoors by taking into account all the previously mentioned tips.