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Heatstroke in French Bulldogs (Be Careful)

French bulldogs are undeniably adorable with their squishy little faces and playful personalities.

However, this makes Frenchies more prone to heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.

As they struggle to regulate their body temperatures, Frenchies are at a higher risk of developing hyperthermia than other breeds, particularly during hot seasons.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment of heatstroke in French bulldogs.

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What Is Heatstroke In French Bulldogs? 

Heat stroke in French bulldogs, also known as hyperthermia, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when their body temperature exceeds 103°F (39.4°C).

Signs Of Heatstroke In French Bulldogs

Knowing the signs of heatstroke in French Bulldogs is vital for any owner, as this medical emergency can be fatal if not treated promptly.

heatstroke signs in French Bulldogs

Let’s look at some of the most common signs and symptoms of heatstroke in French Bulldogs.

  1. Excessive panting that gets worse
  2. Dizziness
  3. Excessive drooling
  4. Body temperature higher than 104° F
  5. Glazed eyes
  6. Lack of coordination & lethargy
  7. Loss of consciousness
  8. Rapid heart rate
  9. Bright red or pale gums
  10. Mental confusion

Excessive Panting

Excessive panting is the most common sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs.

Panting helps your pup cool down, but if they are panting excessively and you notice that it continues to worsen over time, this could be a sign of heatstroke.

As their body temperature rises, they may find it challenging to keep cool by traditional means, and excessive panting is their body’s way of combating this.


Dizziness is another symptom that could indicate heatstroke in French Bulldogs.

This often appears alongside excessive panting and can predict low blood pressure due to dehydration.

Your Frenchie may become unsteady, have difficulty standing or walking, or seem disoriented.

Excessive Drooling

Excessive drooling is another sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs. Your pup may start to salivate more than usual, and the saliva may become thick and foamy.

This is usually a result of dehydration, as their body attempts to cool down by releasing as much moisture as possible.

Body Temperature Higher than 104° F

A fever is another tell-tale sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs. Your Frenchie’s temperature may rise to dangerous levels, often reaching 105-106°F or higher.

Glazed Eyes

Glazed eyes can be another sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs. An overall glassy appearance and a decreased pupil size usually accompany this.

Lack of Coordination & Lethargy

Lack of coordination and lethargy can also be signs of heatstroke in French Bulldogs. Your pup may become listless, lack energy, and struggle to move or stand.

Their reflexes may also be affected, and they might find it difficult to coordinate their movements.

Loss of Consciousness

Loss of consciousness is a severe sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs and should not be taken lightly.

If your Frenchie loses consciousness, seeking immediate medical attention is essential, as this can be life-threatening.

Rapid Heart Rate

A rapid heart rate is another symptom that could indicate heatstroke in French Bulldogs.

This can be caused by dehydration or overexertion and is often accompanied by an increased breathing rate.

Bright Red or Pale Gums

Bright red or pale gums are another sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs. If your pup’s gums are bright red, it could indicate dehydration or overexertion.

On the other hand, pale gums may be caused by shock due to excessive exposure to high temperatures.

Mental Confusion

Mental confusion can be a sign of heatstroke in French Bulldogs as well. Your pup may seem disoriented or confused, not responding to commands or familiar surroundings as usual.

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Causes Of Heatstroke In French Bulldogs

Several different factors can cause heatstroke in French Bulldogs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.

  1. Overheating
  2. Lack of hydration
  3. Overweight
  4. Lack of airflow
  5. Brachycephalic breeds

Overheating, lack of hydration, being overweight, lack of airflow, and strenuous exercise are the leading causes of heatstroke in French Bulldogs.


French Bulldogs have short coats, making them more prone to overheating when exposed to high temperatures for too long.

Excessive exercise or playing in the heat can cause their body temperature to rise quickly, leading to heatstroke. 

Lack of Hydration

French Bulldogs need plenty of water, especially when it’s hot outside. If your pup isn’t drinking enough water or becomes dehydrated due to excessive sweating, it may be at risk for heatstroke. 


Overweight French Bulldogs are at a higher risk of developing heatstroke

Carrying extra weight can make it more difficult for your Frenchie to regulate its body temperature and cool down efficiently, increasing its overheating risk.

Lack of Air Flow

If your Frenchie is confined to an area with poor air circulation or no access to cool breezes, they may be at risk for heatstroke.

Brachycephalic Breeds

Finally, French Bulldogs, being brachycephalic breeds, can be more susceptible to heatstroke due to their short muzzles and flattened faces.

This makes it harder for Frenchies to pant and regulate their body temperature properly in hot weather.

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How to Prevent Heatstroke in Your Frenchie

Preventing heatstroke in French Bulldogs is of utmost importance. You can take simple steps to prevent it, including:

  1. Provide plenty of shade and water
  2. Avoid excessive exercise
  3. Avoid traveling with your Frenchie in a car when it’s hot
  4. Monitor temperatures
  5. Take breaks
  6. Use cooling vests

Prevent heatstroke in French Bulldogs by avoiding hot weather, providing shade and water, and never leaving them in a parked car.

Provide Plenty of Shade & Water

Make sure to provide plenty of shade and water for your pup when they’re outside. You can use a kennel, umbrella, or tent to help keep them cool in the sun.

In addition, ensure that they always have fresh, clean water available so that they can stay hydrated during their outdoor activities.

Avoid Excessive Exercise

Avoid excessive exercise in hot and humid weather, as this can put your Frenchie at risk of heatstroke.

Make sure to limit their outdoor activities to short walks and provide plenty of rest breaks so they don’t become overtired.

Avoid Traveling with Your Frenchie in a Car When It’s Hot

If you must travel with your Frenchie during hot weather, you should take precautions to keep them cool and comfortable.

This includes ensuring that the car is well-ventilated and air-conditioned, providing plenty of water, and taking frequent breaks to allow your pet to rest and cool down.

You should also avoid leaving your Frenchie alone in a parked car, even for a short time, as temperatures inside a parked car can quickly reach dangerous levels.

Monitor Temperatures

Be sure to monitor the temperature and humidity when taking your pup outdoors.

Take them out for a walk when it is not too hot or humid, as this can put them at risk of heatstroke. Limit their exposure to high temperatures and humidity as well.

Take Breaks

Take plenty of breaks to help your French Bulldog stay cool outdoors during summer. Ensure they have plenty of water, shade, and rest so they don’t become overheated or exhausted.

Use Cooling Vests

Cooling vests can be a great way to help keep your Frenchie cool during hot summer days. These vests provide cooling relief by drawing heat away from the body.

Check on your Frenchie frequently when using a cooling vest to ensure it’s working properly.

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Wrap-Up: Heatstroke in French Bulldogs

Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand heatstroke in French Bulldogs and how you can prevent it from harming your pooch.

Given their small size, brachycephaly, and thick fur coat, French Bulldogs are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke when exposed to hot temperatures for extended periods.

Keeping them cool and comfortable all season long requires proactive steps on behalf of their owners.

  1. No unnecessary travel, and never leave your Frenchie in a car.
  2. Avoid hot, humid conditions.
  3. Do short, low-intensity walks.
  4. Ensure access to water & shade when outside.

Lastly, if anything seems off, or if you notice any signs of heatstroke, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

We all know how serious heatstroke is for our beloved Frenchies, but by following these tips, you can keep them safe and keep them heatstroke-free.

Photo of author
Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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