Finally! Summer is right around the corner. Longer days with lots of sunshine are just what I need after the brutal winter we had here. Unfortunately, with that heat, it means restricted time spent outside with my Frenchie. In warmer weather, French Bulldogs could have trouble breathing, which leads to them not being able to cool their body temperature down quick enough. This could lead toward them fainting – or worse.
This is because French Bulldogs are one of the many brachycephalic breeds of dog. In case you are unaware, brachycephalic dogs have a flat and wide skull that restricts their breathing. This is the opposite of long nosed breeds such as a Lab or Retriever (which is called dolichocephalic). A brachycephalic dog’s skull appears as if it has been compressed from front to back so it makes identifying them pretty easy. They are basically all of those really cute dogs with those adorable smushy faces! (for an unofficial list of brachycephalic breeds, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalic_index#Cephalic_index_in_animal_breeding).
Regardless of what type of breed you have, there are some very important things to remember when you have your dog outside on a hot summer day:
- Never ever leave your dog in a car. The temperature inside of a car can rise very quickly – even if you leave a window cracked open. It can easily become lethal and is just not worth the risk.
- Always have water with you, or have some readily accessible.
- When outside with your dog for an extended period of time, try to be near an area that has shade and maybe even a breeze.
Inside, make sure their water bowl is constantly refilled (and always remember to give them fresh water at least once a day). You may also consider investing in a “keep cool mat” so after being outside, your dog can lie on something to help cool them down.
The Humane Society has a fantastic site that provides tips on how to keep dogs safe in the heat and what do to in case of an emergency. This is a page I suggest you bookmark: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_safe_heat_wave.html.
While keeping your dog safe and happy during the summer, always remember to have a fun time with your little fur-baby! If you and your dog are anything like my Ziggy, you can’t wait to dive into summer!