The popularity of Frenchies is largely due to their sweet and comical nature a well as being excellent and and loyal companion dogs. But being a brachiocephalic breed, they do have difficulty regulating their body temperatures - they get hot quickly and can easily overheat resulting in many serious health problems and sometimes even death. So as responsible Frenchie pawrents its up to you to look out and protect them - especially as we move into the Aussie summer!
So what causes them to overheat?
Its largely to do with their body shape and build, being a stocky brachiocephalic breed they have difficulty panting and keeping cool like other dogs do. Whilst extreme heat is a concern for any dog, Frenchies in particular can find it deadly. So always provide plenty of fresh water, preferably indoors with airconditioning. If you are outside with your Frenchie at a park, beach, forest or other location always head for the shade and keep your visit short.
How will I know if my Frenchie is overheating?
Knowing you dog and what is normal for them is always a good start. But things to look out for are symptoms such as:
Foaming at the mouth
Struggling to breathe
Extreme panting or heaving of the chest
A discoloured, loose or floppy tongue
Flushed red skin inside the ears
If you see any of these, or a combination of these, you need to leap into immediate action to try to help your Frenchie cool down.
So what can you do to help OR avoid a Frenchie heat problem ?
1. WET WET WET
Give them access to a toddler wadding pool or clam shell with about 4 inches of water. FRENCHIES CAN’T SWIM - so only every have a small amount of water in it and provide supervision. These should be cleaned with diluted white vinegar to keep algae and bugs away and filled with clean water daily. (https://www.bunnings.com.au/products/outdoor-living/outdoor-play-equipment/sandpits)
2. ICE ICE BABY!
Use a cold or ice pack on their chest or around their neck. They might resist the cold at first but once the relief starts they will soon settle and accept the help. You can also run ice cubes over their head including directly behind and between the ears. At the same time you can put ice cubes in a bowl for them to lick or eat - Whisky, my 10 month old Frenchie adores ice cubes. We let him have it inside a well as outside - it’s only water and our floors can take it!
3. WINDSWEPT AND INTERESTING
Use an oscillating fan (our favourite is the rechargeable Ryobi One+ 18V Hybrid Portable Fan - which we take to the Championship Shows with us). If the fan is not enough on its own, you can get a spray bottle and mist their coat with the fan on it too - start by wetting their belly and chest and make sure the water is getting through to the skin not just sitting on top of their fur. This powerful combination should lower that temperature quick smart and make your Fur Baby much more comfy. (Ryobi Fan)
4. OUTSIDE DOG - WHAT’S THAT?
Don’t forget to crank up that air conditioner! Being companion dogs, Frenchies need to live inside and stay cool - so a good home cooling system is a must. If your home has tiles these areas will be much cooler that carpet or wooden floors.
Purchase some cooling accessories such as a pressure active cooling gel matt (we personally love the Green Pet Shop brand) or something to wear like an ice bandana or cooling vest. These are a lightweight way to provide your Frenchie with some relief from the scorching summer heat. Some can be left in the refrigerator to be used ready when needed or you can just dip them in water to activate them - which is great if you are away from home and can’t access the fridge. (Hurtta Dog Cooling Coat)
Have and AWESOME AND SAFE Summer…
Frenchies are awesome companions and deserve the very best care we can give them in return. I hope these options above help you find the right solution for your and your Fur Baby to help them stay cool, safe and well all summer long!
Waggy Tails Karen