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Nighttime is prime time for the weather to get extremely cold, especially for a highly sensitive dog breed like French Bulldogs. It’s very important for all French Bulldog parents to understand what causes their dogs to get cold at night so they can take proper precautions.
So, do French bulldogs get cold at night? French bulldogs do get cold at night. They are a brachycephalic breed which means their bodies cannot regulate extreme temperatures and they tend to lose body heat too quickly. Their natural coats are also too short and do not offer them enough protection against cold weather.
Keep reading to learn about the reasons why French Bulldogs get cold at night, the effects of cold temperature on their health, and the best ways to keep them warm.
Why Do French Bulldogs Get Cold?
French bulldogs are very sensitive and their bodies are not really equipped to tolerate extreme temperatures so they tend to get cold easily, especially at night.
Let’s take a look at some of the physical reasons that cause French Bulldogs to get cold:
They are a brachycephalic breed which means they have a flattened face with a short snout. The way their skulls are shaped makes it difficult for them to warm up any cold air they inhale.
They are unable to regulate their core body temperature as their bodies lose heat faster than they can produce it
They have short natural coats which don’t offer enough protection against cold weather and allow their bodies to lose heat quicker.
They have short legs which means their bellies are more likely to come in touch with cold surfaces when they’re walking.
What Temperature Is Considered Too Cold for French Bulldogs?
A temperature of 4°C (40°F) or below is often considered too cold for French Bulldogs. Their bodies will not be able to tolerate this kind of temperature causing them to be at risk of developing many serious health issues.
So, it’s highly recommended not to take your French Bulldog in such extreme temperature and take some measures to keep it sufficiently warm. Keep in mind that the ideal temperature for bulldogs is usually around 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F).
What Are the Signs That Your French Bulldog Is Cold?
As a dog parent, it’s very important to be aware of the signs and symptoms you need to look out for so you can tell when your French Bulldog is feeling cold as this will allow you to quickly take action and protect your dog from getting sick.
Here’s a list of the most common signs and symptoms that your French bulldog is cold:
- Your dog will be refusing to go outside more often
- Your dog will be lifting its paws off the ground when outside
- Your dog will try making a nest by pulling at blankets or burrowing in bed
- Your dog will be feeling a clear lack of energy
- Your dog will be shivering and trembling more frequently
- Your dog will be barking or whining more frequently
If these signs are ignored for a long time, your French Bulldog will be more likely to become sick.
What Are the Effects of Cold Temperature on French Bulldogs?
Cold temperature has an extremely negative effect on French Bulldogs as it causes your dog to feel anxious and generally uncomfortable.
If you leave your French Bulldog feeling cold without taking any action to warm it up, then you will be putting it at risk of developing some serious health problems.
Let’s take a break down some of the health problems your French Bulldog might suffer from due to cold temperatures:
It’s very common for French Bulldogs to become sick with a slight cold or the flu during winter. It’s not a fatal medical condition and can usually be treated easily.
Here’s a list of common symptoms of cold/flu that you need to look out for:
- Sneezing and sniffling
- Runny nose and nasal discharge
- Warm ears
- Watery eyes
- Shivering and trembling
- Lack of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Wheezing or wet-sounding cough
- Breathing problems
The symptoms usually start off mildly with a few sniffles and sneezes but then develop quickly into a more severe condition with coughing and difficulties in breathing.
The best way to relieve many of the cold symptoms is to keep your dog well-rested and warm until the symptoms get better. Make sure to keep your dog hydrated by giving it more fluids in its diet.
You can use a steam vaporizer to clear your dog’s bronchial tubes which will reduce the cough and help your dog breathe so much easier.
If you notice that the cold symptoms are not going away and becoming more and more severe, then it’s recommended to consult your vet for treatment
Hypothermia is a medical condition where your dog’s body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. It’s one of the most dangerous health problems your dog might suffer from.
It mainly occurs due to exposure to extreme cold temperatures for a long period of time or having wet fur and skin from submersion in cold water for an extended period of time.
Here’s a list of common symptoms of Hypothermia that you need to look out for:
- Severe shivering and trembling
- Lack of energy and stupor-like state
- stiffened muscles trouble with movement
- Slowed heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Cold skin and fur
- Dilation in pupils
- Blue or pale gums and inner eyelids
- Breathing problems
If you notice any of these symptoms in your French bulldog, then you need to contact your veterinarian as hypothermia can be fatal if it’s not treated immediately
Frostbite is not a fatal medical condition but can still be very dangerous for your French Bulldog.
It mainly occurs due to exposure to extreme cold temperatures such as taking your dog for a walk in the snow without taking any protective measures.
It affects areas of the dog’s body that were most exposed to the cold by causing the blood vessels in these areas to narrow in an attempt to preserve the core body temperature.
Here’s a list of common symptoms of frostbite that you need to look out for:
- Discoloration in the affected area (pale, gray, or bluish)
- Coldness in the affected area
- Severe pain when touching the affected area
- Swelling and blisters in the affected area
If you notice any of these symptoms in your French bulldog, then you need to try warming up the areas affected with frostbite as much as possible and contact your veterinarian for proper treatment.
How to Keep Your French Bulldog Warm in Winter?
There are various precautions you can take to keep your French Bulldog warm in winter and protect it from getting sick.
Let’s take a closer look at those precautions:
1. Provide your dog with a warm place to sleep
It’s always coldest at night, so you need to provide your French Bulldog with a warm place to sleep.
Make sure to place the dog’s bed away from windows or drafts and out of cold rooms.
Do not place the bed near an electric heater or a radiator as this can be dangerous and might lead to more issues with regulating the dog’s body temperature since French Bulldogs cannot tolerate extreme heat either.
Put more bedding and thermal blankets in the dog’s bed to keep it warmer. It’s also recommended to use a dog bed that is raised off the floor to minimize contact with cold surfaces.
2. Do not leave your dog unsupervised
It’s highly unadvised to leave your dog unsupervised if your French Bulldog is outside as this can put the dog at risk of getting lost in the cold or swallowing too much snow.
You should also never leave your French Bulldog alone in a car during winter.
3. Do not go outside for long periods of time
If the temperature is too low or freezing, it’s better not to take your French Bulldog outside for long periods of time.
You need to find a place inside the house where your dog can do its house training or use a Potty Pad.
If your dog is used to taking walks outside, you try to find alternative methods of exercising indoors such as climbing stairs or playing a game of fetch.
4. Add extra nutrition to your dog’s diet but avoid overfeeding it
Your dog needs to eat a balanced diet to maintain its energy and body temperature in winter, so make sure you include all the necessary nutrients in the dog’s meals.
However, avoid overfeeding the dog since their exercise time will be much lower during winter and they can easily put on weight.
5. Make sure your dog is hydrated and that its water is not too cold
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause dehydration which leads to your dog having dried skin and paws. This can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful for your dog so you need to make sure it’s drinking water regularly during the winter.
You need to place the water bowl in a warm location at home so your dog feels comfortable enough to approach. You also need to make sure that the water temperature is not too cold for your dog to drink as cold water can cause a sore throat and more cold symptoms.
6. Dress your dog in a winter coat before going outside
Dressing your French Bulldog in a winter coat before going outside is one of the most effective ways of keeping it warm.
However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when choosing a coat for your dog.
The coat needs to cover the dog’s belly completely to prevent it from coming in direct contact with any cold surfaces. It will also be ideal if the jacket has a high collar or a hood to protect the dog’s neck and keep its ears warm.
It should be made from durable materials with multiple layers to provide sufficient protection against the cold.
The fit of the coat should be snug on the dog’s body without restricting its movement too much. It should also be easy to put on and remove with attachment methods like zippers or Velcro. It’s best to avoid attachment methods like buckles and snaps as they are not safe for your dog.
If you’re planning on taking your dog outside during the night, then you will need a coat with reflective strips on the back to make the dog easier to see in the dark.
To learn more, please take a minute to check out my complete but simple guide to why and when does your French bulldog needs a coat in winter here.
7. Protect your dog’s paws
Extreme cold temperatures can cause some damage to your French Bulldog’s paws causing them to dry out and crack which leads your dog to feel a lot of discomfort and pain.
Make sure to check your dog’s paws for damage regularly and apply a layer of Vaseline or paw wax on each paw to minimize the severity of the damage.
There are also some chemicals in the snow that might harm your dog if it gets on its paws. There might be even more severe issues if your dog accidentally licks its paws and ingest these chemicals.
So, it’s recommended to soak your dog’s paws in warm salty water to clean any chemicals that might be stuck on the dog’s paws then dry it thoroughly using a designated towel.
For maximum protection for your dog’s paws, it’s recommended to get your dog to wear winter boots before going outside. You need to select boots that are made from a thick waterproof material to prevent any moisture from soaking through and make sure that they fit your dog’s paws properly without limiting its movement.
8. Do not let your dog eat snow
If you take your French Bulldogs outside during the winter, avoid letting your dog eat any snow as it usually contains street salts and chemicals such as antifreeze which can be extremely dangerous for your dog to ingest.
Eating snow can cause other health problems for your dog such as frostbite.
9. Do not let your dog get wet
Cold temperature combined with being wet is one of the biggest risks in winter as it can cause your French Bulldog to develop cold symptoms or a severe case of hypothermia.
If you take it outside while it’s raining, make sure to dry it thoroughly and keep it warm when you get home.
10. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed
Make sure to regularly trim your French Bulldog’s nails during winter, especially when it’s snowing outside.
That is because it’s unsafe for a dog to have long nails as it can lead your dog to slide or skid on the icy ground which might cause a serious injury.
11. Look out for any signs that your dog is getting sick
It’s important to regularly check on your French Bulldog to see how well it’s handling the cold. Try to look out for any signs that your dog is too cold or getting sick so you can take action immediately.
12. Take your dog to the vet for a check-up
At the beginning of the winter season, take your French Bulldog to your vet for a health checkup.
This will allow you to check for signs of any pre-existing health issues that might become worse once the temperature gets colder and take proper precautions.
What Is the Best Winter Gear for French Bulldogs?
You need to select the best winter gear for your French Bulldog to protect against harsh weather.
So, here are some of the highest-rated winter coats and boots for dogs that you can purchase on Amazon:
The Best Winter Coats for French Bulldogs
This Kuoser Cozy Dog Coat is among one of the most popular winter coats available online.
It’s made from Polyester fiber and lined with synthetic insulation that will help keep your dog warm in the coldest months.
It’s very easy to put on and take off. It’s also designed to be reversible meaning your dog can wear it on both sides, with a stylish plaid pattern on one side and solid black on the other side.
It’s available in multiple colors and seven different sizes. The XS size can fit dogs that weigh 4-6 pounds while the 3XL size can fit dogs that weigh 60-100 pounds.
The Vecomfy Dog Hoodie is ideal for keeping your dog warm in cold weather while also protecting its ears.
It’s made of 3 layers of materials including fleece, cotton, and external waterproof material.
It is designed with elastic edges on the foot and waist area which makes it easy to put on and take off and allows you to adjust the fit according to the dog’s size.
It’s also designed with reflective steps on the back and a hole to attach your dog’s leash.
It is available in multiple colors and six different sizes.
The LESYPET Dog Coat is one of the most fashionable and durable coats designed for dogs.
It’s made from a water-resistant PU leather fabric with high-quality stitching that won’t wear out over time. Its design also includes a thick fur collar to protect your dog’s neck and provide extra warmth
It is very easy to put on and take off as it comes with Snap-On buttons.
It is available in multiple colors and sizes.
The Best Winter Boots for French Bulldogs
My Busy Dog boots are one of the best boots to protect your French Bulldog’s paws in extreme weather.
These boots are made from durable fabric with high-quality stitching. They are designed with strong, insulated, and waterproof soles that will guarantee your dog’s paws will not be exposed to any cold or moisture.
They come with two adjustable fastening straps that make them easy to put on and take off. These fastening straps have reflective strips on them to make your dog more visible when walking at night.
The All-Weather Paw Protector Dog Boots from Bark Brite are made specifically for French Bulldogs.
They are made of high-quality breathable neoprene material with flexible rubber soles.
This allows the boots to contour to your dog’s paw shape providing a tight and secure fit without restricting the dog’s.
They are designed with Velcro straps which makes them easy to put on and take off. They also come in multiple colors and sizes.
The EXPAWLORER Waterproof Dog Boots are perfect for talking your French Bulldog for a walk during harsh weather conditions
They are made from a strong waterproof material that will help protect your dog against the cold and keep its paws dry. They are also designed with grooved soles gives your dog better control while walking on icy ground and improve the dog’s traction
They come with two fastening straps that make them easy to put on and take off. These fastening straps have a reflective design on them to provide more visibility when walking at night.
They also come in a wide range of sizes for you to choose from.
How to Train Your French Bulldog to Wear Clothes?
You can start training your French Bulldog to wear clothes when they reach 8 to 12 weeks of age.
First, you need to allow the dog to sniff the clothes to familiarize itself with the scent of the material. Next, you need to gently rub the clothes along the dog’s body, so it can familiarize itself with the feeling of the material on its skin.
Once you feel like your dog is comfortable enough with wearing the clothes, you can start putting them on for a few seconds before taking them off.
Repeat the previous steps a few times while gradually increasing the amount of time your dog is wearing the clothes and eventually it will be completely comfortable with wearing clothes for extended periods of time.
Make sure to give your dog treats and praise throughout the whole process to help it associate clothes with a positive feeling and encourage it to continue wearing them.
Here is a really good video on how to train your dog to wear sweaters (and actually like it)
And here is another excellent video on getting your dog into their boots:
How to Treat Your French Bulldog’s Dry Nose?
To treat your French Bulldog’s dry nose, you can use a nose balm to soothe any cracking or irritation. You can also apply a layer of Vaseline on the dog’s nose before going outside for protection. Dried noses are mainly caused as a result of exposure to extremely cold temperatures or getting a cold.
Can French Bulldogs Live Outside?
French Bulldogs cannot live outside or sleep outside. That is because these dogs are bred to be inside dogs and they are usually unable to regulate their body temperatures in cold weather as well as hot weather. So, it’s important to keep only taking your dog outside when the temperature is moderate.
Is it safe for French Bulldogs to Play with Snow?
It is safe for French Bulldogs to play with snow as long as you’re taking proper precautions to protect them from extremely cold temperatures. Make sure to put your dog in a warm coat and winter boots before going outside in the snow. You also need to make sure your dog won’t eat any of the snow.
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