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Summer Tips for English Bulldogs

With summertime in full swing, it's important to revisit the things an English Bulldog owner needs to remember when keeping their puppy or dog cool in the summer heat. One of the most important characteristics of the English Bulldog is their short snout which increases the tendency for them to become overheated. This means that unlike other breeds, special care must be given to the English Bulldog during warmer outside temperatures.

"My mom says my short snout makes me beautiful"

Below are a few important tips for keeping your babies cool during the summer:

1. Watch for excessive exercising & playing. Bulldogs love to play and run and are often unaware of how hot they are becoming. They will play at their max energy level until they pass out from heat exhaustion! (They’re stubborn, remember?!) Be sure that you are watching your English Bulldog when they are playing and running and be sure to stop them from being active if you notice excessive panting.

2. Avoid excessive time outside on extremely hot days. Bulldogs should be kept indoors for the most part, so don’t feel bad if you need to bring them inside to cool off. They tend to not do well in extremely hot or extremely cold conditions. Bulldogs will be more likely to overheat if they are left outside for long periods of time. If you must take your dog outside on hot days, be sure to provide fresh, cool water and a shady area with a breeze so they can cool off if needed.

3. Never leave your bulldog inside a closed vehicle on a hot day. This one should go without saying, however, it’s important to NOT leave your dog inside a car even if the windows are rolled down and the car is parked in the shade. A car parked in the shade with the windows rolled down is still susceptible to quickly increasing interior temperatures. Many states have laws allowing passer-by's to break open a window if they see a dog inside.

4. Provide water & shade if your dog is outside. Bulldogs are very easy going and will often not let their owners know if they are experiencing distress. If you will be outside with your bulldog for an extended period, be sure to provide cool water and a shady area where they can cool off. When providing water for your bulldog, NEVER USE ICE WATER. Ice cold water constricts the blood vessels in your bulldog and slows down cooling. Ice cubes work well for treats during the summertime but should not be used to bring down the temperature of your dog’s water for general drinking. Be sure your dog is not exposed to hot asphalt, concrete, or hot sand for long periods of time.

5. Monitor your dog, even when they are inside. Despite popular belief, overheating can happen even if your bulldog is inside your home. Bulldogs can get hot inside very easily – from playing or running too hard, or just sunning in front of a window. If your house feels hot to you, it feels even hotter for your babies. Don’t be afraid to crank up to AC or use fans to help circulate cooler air.

6. Check for signs of heatstroke and overheating. Bulldogs have a short snout, therefor, there is less area for warm air to pass over when they inhale. This means they can’t maintain a normal body temperature as easy as other breeds. Always monitor your bulldog and pay attention for signs of overheating or heat stroke:

  1. Dry, Dark, or Noticeably Pale Gums

  2. Body temperatures of 104-110 F

  3. Excessive, Rhythmic Panting

  4. Dark, Bright Red, Sticky, or Dry Tongue & Gums

  5. Unresponsiveness

  6. Glossy or Glazed-over eyes

  7. Staggering, Stupor, and/or Seizures

  8. Bloody Diarrhea or Vomiting

If you notice any of these signs in your bulldog, act quickly to cool them down by doing the following:

  1. Find shade or an air conditioner and get your bulldog out of the heat immediately.

  2. Use cool (NOT COLD) water to cool your bulldog – try and soak the dog if possible, in a bathtub or kiddie pool, or place cool wet cloths on your bulldog’s feet, neck, and around their head.

  3. Offer ice cubs for your baby to eat.

If you do these and you do not notice an improvement in your bulldog, contact your veterinarian (or an emergency veterinarian) immediately.


Sweetgrass English Bulldogs is in the Charleston, SC area. If you are local to the Charleston area, the below veterinarians offer emergency services:

Veterinary Specialty Care

Mt. Pleasant (985 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.): 843-216-7554

North Charleston (3163 W. Montague Ave.): 843-744-3372

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