As we head into spring, the weather in many areas is beginning to warm up. It is a fun time to get outside, especially if you have been cooped up inside your house all winter, but it is important to remember that with the warmer weather, there is an increased risk for heatstrokes in your English Bulldog, French Bulldog, or Pug.
While all dogs are at risk for heatstroke, some are more susceptible than others. In fact, one study found that bulldogs are 14 times more likely to experience heatstroke than Labrador Retrievers. This is because brachycephalic breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, are more prone to respiratory issues in the first place because of their shorter snouts. This physical characteristic makes them susceptible to heatstroke especially when the weather gets hot.
Bulldogs and pugs have less surface area for panting, which is how dogs cool themselves off. Additionally, their shortened airways are more susceptible to obstruction and collapse, both of which can make it difficult for them to breathe.
What can you do to help prevent your bulldog or pug from suffering from heatstroke?
Heatstrokes can be deadly, so it is important to take measures to prevent them.
- Avoid taking your dog out in hot weather, especially during the midday hours when the sun is at its strongest.
- On the hottest days, find an indoor play area where your dog can play and be social but not be exposed to the warmer temperatures.
- If you must take them out, try to stick to shady areas and avoid asphalt or concrete surfaces, which can get very hot.
- Put a cooling vest on your dog when you take them outside. These are specially designed to help keep your dog cool and can be found at most pet stores.
- Never leave your bulldog or pug in a car, even for a short period of time. The temperature inside a car can rise quickly, even on cooler days, and can be deadly for your dog.
- Have fresh water available at all times and make sure your dog is drinking regularly, especially if they are playing or exercising.
- Use Squishface Wrinkle Wipes to wipe off excess sweat, especially between their wrinkles and folds.
What are the signs of heatstroke?
Be aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs, which include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty breathing
- Glazed eyes
- Dark or bright red tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness or confusion
- Vomiting or diarrhea
What should I do if I think my bulldog or pug is having heatstroke?
If you think your bulldog or pug is suffering from heatstroke, it is important to act quickly. Remove them from the hot environment and try to cool them down by spraying them with cool water or applying cool compresses to their body. Do not use cold water, as this can cause shock. Once they are out of the heat, call your vet immediately.
Although the idea that your bulldog or pug might suffer a heatstroke can be very scary, it is not a reason to avoid getting outside altogether. Getting outside and going on walks are very important for your dog's overall health and well-being.
By following these simple tips and knowing the signs to look out for, you can help keep your bulldog or pug safe and avoid a potentially deadly heatstroke.
Don’t forget to check out our blog every week for more great tips and tricks for wrinkly dogs and their owners.