French Bulldog Winter Care – The Basics
Are you looking for Tips on French Bulldog Winter Care? Check them out in less than 5 minutes! The Frenchies are one of the breeds that have most issues during winter. Not only they will be uncomfortable during this season, but they’re also prone to suffer from winter-related conditions that would worry any doggy parent. If you’re about to face your first wintertime with a Frenchie, then you came to the right place.
In this article you’ll find all guidelines related to French Bulldog Winter Care:
- All about the risks Frenchies face during winter.
- How to avoid such risks.
- And the most useful preventive measures to take to eliminate them as a possibility.
When you finish reading this article, you’ll know how to fend off cold for your Frenchie, and to eliminate all the possible dangers of winter. Finally, you’ll be able to enjoy the snowy days ahead, without looking back at your poor puppy enclosed inside the house. He’ll be with you wrecking your snowmen. Let’s get started!
“Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground”AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association
French Bulldog Winter Care: Health Risk for French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs, just like other brachycephalic breeds, and breeds in the non-sporting group, are slightly more prone to suffer during long cold winters. Why? Well, for starters, this time of the year is already scary for most dogs, who can suffer from different issues during winter. The most common ones are:
- Dry skin, nose, paws, and coats: When cold is set free, all the places of a dog’s body that remain rather humid, start suffering from dryness. During winter, the air is cooler yet less humid than during the rest of the year.
- Frostbite: This is what happens when dog’s bodies redirect all blood to their core to keep their heart and lungs hot. This leaves their legs, paws, ears, and tails without warm blood to keep them, well, alive. Eventually, if the tissue sustains heavy damage, those parts can even fall off. They can lose legs, paws, and, in Frenchies, their beautiful bat-ears!
- Hypothermia: This affects even humans and is possibly fatal for both humans and dogs. In dogs, however, the effects are more common and all of them are more prone to suffer from it because they’re closer to the ground.
- Worsened arthritis.
- Worsened diabetes.
All of these issues are a concern for most dog owners. In the case of French Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds, there are added issues directly related to that condition. Sore throats, troubled breathing, allergies, and colds are among them. As you can see, winter wouldn’t be their favorite time of the year!
“If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly”AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association
Tips to save French Bulldogs from Frostbite and Hypothermia
Of the mentioned dangers, hypothermia and frostbite are possibly the most dangerous. Frostbite can lead to amputated body parts, and hypothermia can be fatal. If you suspect your dog is suffering from any of them, take him to the vet immediately! If that’s not an option, here are some of the actions that can save your Frenchie’s life:
- First of all, take him inside. Never leave him outside! Make sure to keep him in a warm room with a humidifier on. Do not elevate the temperature inside nor put them near hot places; this can make the damage worse!
- Check his temperature. If it’s lower than 101 °F (38 °C), you will need to treat his hypothermia by making him recover a normal temperature. This is vital! If he shows signs of frostbite (gray or blueish skin, usually the tips of their ears), don’t treat them immediately; hypothermia is more dangerous.
- Dry him with a towel, and then use a hairdryer just to ensure that he recovers his body temperature. Progress from the lowest heat setting to the highest every 10 minutes between settings. Do so while keeping a distance of 10 inches at least.
- Surround him with dry warm blankets or heat pads. If you don’t have any, some plastic bottles with hot water should do the trick.
- Offer him some warm water. Water that’s not cold can help him recover his temperature. You can also use his favorite salt-less broth (meat, chicken, fish, or vegetable).
- By now, he should be slightly more active. If you check his temperature and it’s within normal levels, then most of the danger is off. If not, and he’s still a little bit sluggish, then maintain the treatment until you can take him to the vet.
- If he’s recovering, you can proceed to warm the frostbite-affected areas. You can use warm water compresses (warmed at 104 °F – 40 °C max). You can also heat water (to the same temperature) and place his paws inside them, while softly massaging them.
All of the mentioned tips can help diminish the damage, but still, getting him checked with a professional is much better. The vet must be your first option in these cases!
“Deicers have the potential to harm pets. Some, like calcium-based products, may be more toxic, while others, like those containing urea, might be less toxic. Most of these products are relatively safe and may cause nothing more than an upset stomach or mild skin irritation. Too much contact or ingestion could lead to dry, cracked, bleeding, or burned paws, or diarrhea and vomiting”AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association
French Bulldog Winter Care: Tips to keep them comfortable, happy, and healthy during winter
Wintertime doesn’t have to be painful for Frenchies, and you’re the only one that can fix this for them. Here’s a checklist for French Bulldog Winter Care that you can use to keep them in great shape during winter and in year-round cold places – shoutout to Alaskan Frenchies!
- Make your house a Frenchie haven: If you keep your house comfortable enough so you don’t have to leave, you can do the same for your Frenchie! This includes keeping them warm, of course. You can keep their water, their food, bedding, and warmer, as well as giving him a sweater for French Bulldogs to fend off cold. This especially useful during long winter nights.
- Keep him active inside: If you have a walking machine, a few toys, and some spare time, you can keep any Frenchie fit inside the comfortable palace of your house. This will help them maintain a healthy weight during winter, and also to fend off boredom.
- Hydration is key: You might think that giving them water during cold seasons would be counterproductive. Instead, as we said, winter is dry in comparison to other seasons, so hydration is key. Not only you have to give him warm water, but also wet food is useful. Using nose balms, paws wax, and skin balms is also a good idea. Check out our selected skin products and shampoos to keep them in great shape. Don’t avoid giving him baths. You must do it, as it’s the best time to check him all around. Make sure to have plenty of warm water though.
Those three tips will help you keep your Frenchie healthy, happy, and comfortable during long winters.
French Bulldog Winter Care: Winter Clothes for French Bulldogs
Even though the tips above are awesome if you don’t plan to leave your house, it’s highly probable that you will have to some time. That’s why it’s important to provide your Frenchie with proper winter clothes for French Bulldogs. We, at FrenchBulldogsClub.org, cannot stress this enough; they need it! Unlike other dogs, they are a short-legged breed, which makes them closer to the ground. Also, they have short coats, so they’re not well prepared to face harsh nor mild winters. Here’s what you need:
- Winter coats and jackets for French Bulldogs – snowy outdoors: Thick coats that help them keep their temperature levels during snowy days. They are the most useful to fend off cold but are only made to be outside. Make sure to pick one with a hoodie to diminish the risk of frostbite affecting their ears.
- Winter boots for French Bulldogs – outdoors: Comfortable booties that are made to sustain different terrains. They provide Frenchies with a much better grip and an extra layer of protection against street deicing chemicals and salts. Still, the use of paw balm is necessary.
- Raincoats for French Bulldogs – wet winters without snow: Perfect mild winter apparel with an efficient waterproof design. They focus on winters with rainy days but are not so good at maintaining their temperatures. They’re useful to pair with other types of coats and jackets for extra protection.
- Sweaters for French Bulldogs – Indoors: Only for indoor use and to go out in cars during winter. They are useful to keep them warm at home, as well as comfortable enough for them to sleep wearing it. They’re also fashionable.
From 1 being of utmost importance to 4 being useful, you must select them using the next guidelines:
- Design and sizing: A coat may have the perfect materials, but if it doesn’t fit your Frenchie, it won’t work at all! This, and comfort, are of the utmost importance when choosing the right French Bulldog booties.
- Fleece and warming materials inside: The most useful materials to keep Frenchies warm are a must!
- Waterproof materials outside: If your pup gets wet, risks are multiplied. The warmer, the better!
- Color and fashion: You must always prefer colorfulness (yellow, orange, and reflective green) as your go-to options. Fashion is not so important concerning your Frenchie’s safety!
“Pets should NEVER be left alone in vehicles. Leaving a pet in a vehicle is always dangerous, and in cold weather, it increases the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning or hypothermia”ALVMA – Alabama Veterinary Medical Association
French Bulldog Pajamas – Inside the house.
Even though it’s not vital, it’s highly recommended that you get your dog some Pajamas. French Bulldog Pajamas are rather hard to come by, due to the size of their chest and short body.
They are important when:
- You want your dog to be warm during nights.
- If your French Bulldog has his covers but still seems chili.
- And if nights are extra cold where you live (is it snowy outside? Your pup needs them!)
It’s fair to say that they are also highly fashionable and cute, though as usual, functionality is more important.
Frequently Asked Questions – French Bulldog Winter Care
Of course, they can! Just like humans, they get excited the first time they get to see, taste, and feel the snow. Still, this is an activity that you must prepare to supervise. It’s also not recommended to do it for long periods.
Even though it will be hard to stop them (if they even try), you must not let them do it. This can lead them to ingest chemicals and deicing salts present in the streets.
Sure! They can do it, but not for long periods. Also, you must ensure that they’re properly dried when they get inside, as their coats are prone to allergies and skin conditions related to humidity.
Keeping them safe during winter is not an easy task, but it possible having good French Bulldog Winter Care. Still, doing it is a pleasure when you truly love this breed and similar ones. It’s vital to keep them warm; there’s no way they can achieve this on their own. They need our help to stay healthy, happy, and comfortable during the coldest days.
We love to see winter as only a way we can get to spend more time close to them; a time that you and your family will certainly enjoy. There’s no reason to be afraid of winter if you’re a Frenchie owner. With our tips, you’re more than prepared to face it.
Just as with other pets, French Bulldogs come with a set of challenges that will test your patience and love for them. And maybe, winter is the ultimate test.
Are you up to the challenge?