Porkchop the English Bulldog cooling down

Ways to keep your bulldog cool in the summer.

Self Cooling Pet PadEvery bulldog is a potential victim of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, especially during summer or during the hot dry months of the year. Dogs that have shorter breathing systems like Bulldogs and Pugs are at a much greater risk and are highly susceptible when it comes to heat strokes. The shorter the airway means the lesser possibility of cooling the air which dogs inhale into their bodies. Dogs, of course do not sweat and their only means of reducing built-up body heat is by panting.  Cooling CoatHeat strokes and excessive heat exhaustion among pets, if left unattended may lead to their eminent death. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, vomiting reddening of the skin inside of the ears while heat strokes are indicated by weakness, staggering, fainting or loss of consciousness. Veterinarians have warned pet owners to be extra careful in handling their pets especially during the hot dry months.

Therefore it is important for dog owners, especially those who own dogs which are highly susceptible to heat strokes, to know the simple ABC’s in keeping their dog cool and safe during the hot summer.

  1. Never ever leave your pet dog in a car especially on warm days. A car parked under the heat of the scorching sun can reach to sweltering temperature, therefore raising the risk of the dog left inside to catching heat stroke and dehydration. Both very young and very old dogs are at risk for heat strokes. However all Bulldogs, unfortunately, no matter how well they breathe, or how active they are, are at high risk from heat strokes.
  2. Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain

    Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain

    Try to keep the dogs out of the sun if the temperature outside reaches up to more than 85 degrees.

  3. Be careful in walking the dog. It is a good idea to walk your dog either in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower. There are many areas where the temperatures are high in the warm months. During the summer, temperatures will be at their highest at the middle of the day.
  4. If your dogs have thick coats, it is best to shave or trim them off a little bit to at least alleviate the heat that they feel. Pet grooming is also best practiced during the high months as parasitic insects like ticks and fleas are common during summer.
  5. Take the pet’s temperature from time to time. A normal temperature is between 101-102 degrees. A body temperature of about 104 degrees or higher can probably cause heat stroke among pets.
  6. Place your pet dog in a tub of cool running water. Take note, cool running water not cold! You can also spray them with a hose. Make sure that the cool water contacts the skin and doesn’t simply run off their coat. Thoroughly wet the belly and inside the legs. Take their temperature if possible to know when to stop cooling. A safe temperature is below 103 degrees.
Bulldog in water, Make room for 3 puppies in a water bowl! American Bulldog!

By Fifth World Art from Flickr.com

If your bulldog however shows early signs of heat stroke, cooling him down as rapidly as possible would be the best thing to do. Don’t wait for veterinary treatment. Heat Strokes are emergencies that should be taken seriously. You can try the cooling methods suggested in number 4. Treat the dog now!  Do not force them to drink water because the swelling airways can cause any liquid that the take in to be regurgitated and possibly aspirated into their lungs. If your dog’s temperatures is 105 degrees or higher, rub a piece of ice on his tongue, 10 seconds on then another 10 seconds off. Hose the dog down with cool water “again, cool not cold. Apply an ice pack to the dog, and soaked towels or any other form of fabric to their body to cool them down.

Bulldog Cooling BandanaIf the dog has somehow cooled down, bring him to a veterinarian who can check him for symptoms of shock, a very dangerous condition that usually follows a severe heat stroke.

You can also use a regular cooling bandana.