French Bulldog Overheating Symptoms: What to Do

Frenchies love the outdoors, but like most brachycephalic breeds, the heat can be a bit of a problem for them. So it pays to know about French Bulldog overheating symptoms and what you can do to help. After all, these tiny dogs can’t handle excess heat due to their flat face, nose, and overall stocky build.

In this post, I listed all the possible symptoms, why Frenchies are prone to overheat, and remedies you can do to help your dog.

French Bulldog Overheating Symptoms - Frenchie panting

Why Do French Bulldogs Overheat?

Since French Bulldogs are bulky and small, heat can be challenging to endure. Plus, their flat faces give them compacted airways, making breathing harder. And although all dogs suffer in scorching heat, this can be fatal to Frenchies. 

That’s why you must protect your four-legged best friend at all times. And the best way is to be aware of the most common French Bulldog overheating symptoms. 


Common French Bulldog Overheating Symptoms to Watch Out For

So on the topic of overheating, here are the common signs and symptoms to watch out for: 

  • Heavy panting
  • Breathing heavily
  • Excess thirst
  • Staggering on each step
  • Sudden rise in body temperature
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling clumsily
  • Unconsciousness
  • Excess drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Persistent bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Bright or dark red tongue and gums

If you see your Frenchie suffering from any of these symptoms, consult with your vet immediately.


11 Ways to Address Overheating In French Bulldogs

If your Frenchie is experiencing any of the symptoms I mentioned earlier, here are ten efficient ways to cool your dog down:

Stay Hydrated

Among the most efficient ways to keep your Frenchies cool is by giving them plenty of water. So make sure to always have a clean bowl of water available for your dog, especially on hot days. When at home, you can ensure your Frenchie stays hydrated by placing bowls of water around the house.

However, like most things, giving too much can have consequences. Giving your dog too much water may lead to water intoxication, which can be deadly for French Bulldogs. It’s when a dog’s body absorbs too much body fluids it can handle. 

Although it’s improbable your dog will suffer from drinking a bowl of water, be cautious. And don’t let your Frenchie consume large amounts.

Hold an Ice Pack to Your Dog’s Chest or Stomach

Hold an ice pack to its chest or stomach if you see your Frenchie having a heat-fueled attack. This cooling method is easy and efficient, cooling down your dog in a pinch.

In addition, you can rub the ice pack over your dog’s head for the best results. Although your dog might fight and resist you at first, it will soon realize that you’re helping. After all, the coolness of the ice will hamper the severe heat they’re experiencing. 

Let Your Frenchie Swim in a Pool

If you have an active French Bulldog that loves playing outside, let it swim in a pool.

Allow your French Bulldog to swim in your pool if available, but if not, you can always buy a kiddie pool. It’s a cheap and efficient alternative, getting the job done without breaking the bank!

Just make sure to keep the pool clean and pest-free by changing the water regularly.

Providing French Bulldogs access to a safe pool can help them cool down whenever outside.

But keep in mind that Frenchie’s can’t swim naturally. So, ensure the pool only has a small amount of water. 

Lay Out Damp Towels For Your Dog to Lie On

After coming back from a walk under the scorching sun, I suggest letting your dog lie down on something cool. Damp towels are the fastest and easiest things you can prepare for your dog. These cool down your Frenchies in no time. 

You can place these towels on the floor or dog beds for added comfort. Otherwise, you’ll see your dog running around the house looking for a cool place to lie down.

Crank Up Your Air Conditioners

During the scorching summer months, it’s best to crank up your air conditioning units. Doing so gives your French Bulldog a cool place to play and sleep inside the home. Make sure to have the air conditioner in a well-ventilated room where your Frenchie can relax.

Pour or Spray Water on Your French Bulldog

French Bulldog Overheating Symptoms - Frenchie in the water

When it comes to overheating, water will be your best friend. And one of the easiest and most efficient ways to cool down a Frenchie is by pouring water on their bodies. Just make sure the water isn’t cold, as it can shock your dog. Instead, you can use tepid temperature, which you can get from your tap. 

The best areas to pour water on French Bulldogs are the head and stomach. Pouring water on a Frenchie’s head helps them cool down faster as the water drips down to their torso. 

On the other hand, stomachs are great for Frenchies who don’t like having water on their head. Since a dog’s stomach doesn’t have as much fur, it can cool down your Frenchie faster. 

Moreover, if you’re out for a walk, bringing a water bottle is ideal. This helps you spray your dog with water on the go. However, use this method with caution. After all, dogs have associated spray bottles with punishments. So though this method is efficient, its success will depend on your dog’s perception.

Invest in a Cooling Vest

Since French Bulldogs can’t handle high temperatures, getting the best cooling vest is ideal. These vests can help your Frenchie stay cool and comfortable even under extreme heat. It keeps your dog cool for a certain period, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors without issue. 

However, these vests can only last for a couple of hours as it uses water to keep your dog cool. That means once the water evaporates, you’re left with a regular vest. So only use it when absolutely necessary!

Spread Your Dog’s Fur

Spreading your Frenchie’s fur is an excellent way to cool them down. It’s best to do this after you’ve cooled down your dog with some water. Do this by spreading your French Bulldog’s hair apart with your fingers. This works so well because the exposed skin lets your dog’s fur experience better airflow. 

In addition, you can combine this method with pouring water onto their exposed skin. Doing this makes your dog absorb the cooling effects of water faster. 

Groom Any Excess Fur 

French Bulldogs will begin to shed their excess fur during the hotter months. However, it’s best to help speed up the process with supportive grooming. Doing this helps keep your dog’s body temperature down naturally. You can use a standard doggy brush or a de-shedding tool for this.

Overall, you can keep your Frenchie cooler in the hotter months with regular grooming. 

Let Your Dog Munch or Lick on Ice Cubes

During the hotter days, let your French Bulldog lick or gnaw on a couple of ice cubes. Combining this with your dog’s steady water intake can help them regular heat better. Ice cubes can improve heat tolerance while providing a refreshing treat—literally! And the best part is, it can help your Frenchie maintain near-perfect temperature outdoors and indoors as well. 

Use the Spray and Fan Combo

If you notice French Bulldog overheating symptoms taking over, an efficient method to consider is the spray and fan combo. Using a spray bottle with tepid water and an oscillating fan helps regulate your dog’s temp fast. 

Just make sure to use a spray bottle that releases a light mist when sprayed. These bottles help spread more water throughout your dog’s body. 

Douse your dog’s stomach for a couple of seconds and open up its undercoat by spreading the fur. Doing this opens up the airflow to your dog’s body. And make your Frenchie absorb the coolness after by placing your dog in a room with a rotating fan.

This combo should lower your dog’s temperature in no time. 


How to Prevent Overheating in French Bulldogs

You can avoid French Bulldog overheating symptoms with some preventive measures. And not to mention common sense. So to stop your Frenchie from overheating in the first place, follow the tips below. 

Never Walk Your Pet on Scorching Pavements

Like how you find walking on hot pavements barefoot uncomfortable, chances are, your French Bulldog is likely burning inside already. Not only with hot pavements burn your dog’s paws, but they can also cause extreme overheating. After all, your Frenchie is closer to the ground than you. 

So if you notice it’s an unbearably hot day outside, wait for it to become cooler before bringing your dog out.

Don’t Go for a Drive With Your Dog During Hotter Days

Although it seems like a quick drive in the summer months can’t do any harm, reality says otherwise. Since French Bulldogs can’t regulate their body temp well, sitting in a car during a hot day can be too much.

After all, the windows of most cars produce effects like that of a greenhouse. And if you’ve been in one, you’ll know how hot it can get inside.

These windows will raise the temperature inside your car, making it unbearably hot. So if it’s too hot for you to go outside, it will likely be much worse for your dog.

Never Leave Your French Bulldog Alone in a Parked Car

Whether you’re leaving your dog for a few minutes or hours, either way, this doesn’t seem right. And this can prove to be fatal, especially on hotter days. After all, the temperature inside a car rises fast, making it dangerous for Frenchies. 

Also, leaving your car windows open does little to nothing to lower the temperature. In addition, leaving the air conditioner on can lead to other consequences for your dog. If you plan on bringing your Frenchie out where you need to leave it inside your car—don’t.

Bring Your Frenchie Out for Walks in the Early Morning or Evening

Most Frenchies can’t handle going out for walks under the summer heat. Even at what you’d consider warm can be scorching hot for your dog. And this is especially true if you French Bulldog likes running around and playing. 

So to prevent your four-legged best friend from overheating, time your walks. The best and coolest times for walks are between early morning (6 am to 8 am) and evening, around 7 pm. These times are usually the coolest for most places. 

Let Your Dog Only Exercise in Cool Temperature

French Bulldog Overheating Symptoms - Frenchie outdoors

Let your French Bulldog only exercise in the coolest parts of the day during hotter days. However, this depends on where you live. So it may mean early morning for you, but it may be after sunset for others. In addition, staying in the shade when the sun is out is ideal. 

Either way, try not to overdo your dog’s exercises regardless of the time. After all, too much of anything won’t do any good for most dogs. 

That’s why I recommend refraining your dog from exercising if it’s 80°F to 90°F outdoors in general.

Separate Your Dog From Other Dogs

Since French Bulldogs are energetic and playful dogs, they don’t know when to stop. These dogs would run until they collapsed, literally! So keep an eye on your Frenchie whenever they’re playing with other dogs. It’s best to limit your dog’s play if you notice both parties beginning to get over-excited.

Keep Your Dog Away From Open Fires or Radiators

French Bulldogs are naturally stubborn and don’t know what’s best for them.

For example, you may notice your dog lying down beside your fireplace for hours on time. And though this warms your dog, it can get too hot for their body to handle after a while. But your dog will not understand that it’s bad for its health. 

So if you have any fireplaces, radiators, or other heat sources in the house, keep your dog away. And this applies even in the winter months as it can still lead to overheating. 

If necessary, keep an eye out on your dog whenever near these heat sources. Once you see your Frenchie acting differently, take it away immediately.

Invest in a Dog-Friendly Sunscreen

Dog-friendly sunscreens are a thing, and you need to get one for your French Bulldog. However, you need to carefully choose one for your dog as some come with some warnings. It’s best to avoid sunscreens with PABA or zinc oxide. These are toxic to dogs when ingested, so watch out for these.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can happen to my French Bulldog when it overheats?

A: Among the first symptoms you’ll see in a Frenchie overheating is loud breathing. Your dog may also show signs of fatigue, exhaustion, excess drooling, and shivering. And in the worst-case scenario, your French Bulldog may lose consciousness. 

Q: Why do French Bulldogs overheat so fast?

A: Since French Bulldogs have stocky builds and flat faces, their noses are short. For this reason, breathing can be a tad difficult for them, making them prone to overheating. So hot climates can be dangerous to these tiny dogs. 

Q: Can French Bulldogs die from overheating?

A: Scorching air and weather can be fatal to French Bulldogs. After all, these are brachycephalic dogs. That means they have stocky bodies and shortened snouts, making it hard to breathe as they have smaller airways. 

Q: What temperature is too extreme for French Bulldogs?

A: Never bring Frenchies out in temperatures exceeding 27°C (80°F). Doing so puts your French Bulldog’s health in danger, and in the worst scenario, can lead to your dog’s death. 

Q: Can a French Bulldog recover from overheating?

A: As long as a Frenchie doesn’t have an existing health issue, it should recover just fine. However, severe cases of overheating may lead to severe health complications like organ failure. 


Final Words

Knowing the most common French Bulldog overheating symptoms will help you prevent any tragedy early on. We hope this guide opened your eyes to overheating and learning more about its severity in dogs. Regardless, with your new knowledge in hand, you should be able to protect your Frenchie with ease.