Caring for your Frenchie in the Summer
There’s arguably no better time of the year — Summer.
From June to September, we can ditch our jackets and sweatpants and throw on our favorite t-shirts and shorts.
Goodbye, chilly weather, and hello warm sunshine. There’s not a cloud in sight.
While most of us gladly welcome the Summer weather, I’m sure you can agree that sometimes it just gets too hot, especially for those of you from hot and humid places such as Florida or Southern California.
Let’s put it this way.
If you think it’s hot out, then your Frenchie must think the world’s on fire!
Good looks come at a cost
Frenchies are what is known as a brachycephalic breed — which basically means they have flat faces just like Pugs, Shih Tzus, Boston Terriers, and more!
Their smushed little faces may be the cutest thing ever…
But these good looks come at a cost.
Their flat faces make them prone to overheating
Unfortunately these flat faced breeds have a hard time regulating their body temperature, and summertime is undoubtedly the hardest time for them.
While you should always be watchful of them overheating, it’s even more important during the summer.
But they can still have fun outside!
This doesn’t mean that your Frenchie needs to sit in doors watching TV all summer, though!
There are tons of ways to help keep your Frenchie cool & comfy this summer, inside or out.
How to Keep your Frenchie Cool this Summer
- Don’t underestimate the heat
- Hydration, hydration, hydration!
- Time your walks
- Don’t forget sunscreen
- Use shade & cooling products
1. Don’t Underestimate the Heat
Just because YOU can handle the heat, doesn’t mean your Frenchie can!
Make sure you keep a close eye on your Frenchie when they’re out in the heat, especially if they’re playing around & exerting themselves.
Your Frenchie might not even know when it’s time to take a break! That’s when you need to step in and help them cool off.
Be mindful of hot asphalt
Make sure that you’re not walking them on the hot asphalt.
If you can’t put your hand on the ground without burning it, then it’s too hot for your Frenchie!
The solution to hot asphalt: A Frenchie Cot
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the ground gets extremely hot during the Summer.
There’s gotta be a way your Frenchie can hang around outside without being toasted by the scorching hot asphalt, right?
My Frenchie loves laying on her cot outside.
It keeps her off the hot ground while still being able to bask in the sun.
They’re comfy, and she loves using it all-year-round.
2. Hydration, hydration, hydration!
How to keep your Frenchie quenched
You’ll want to keep water easily accessible to your Frenchie at all times.
This means having a bowl of water outside as well as a few throughout the house.
Hydration on the go
I like keeping a collapsible water bowl attached to my leash during the summer too. These bowls come in a pack of two and have a convenient buckle to attach to nearly anything.
Collapsible & convenient— a must-have for traveling, long walks, and long days out of the house.
- BPA-free & dishwasher safe
- Folds flat for efficient storage and travel
- Climbing buckle to attach to nearly anything
- Make mealtime easy and quick anywhere, indoors or outdoors
Signs of Dehydration and Overheating
Knowing the signs of dehydration & overheating can help you save your Frenchie from heatstroke.
Early Signs of Overheating
- Sunken eyes
- Bright red dry gums
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Heavy panting and/or lethargy
- Thick drool (usually comes out of the side of your Frenchie’s mouth)
Severe Signs of Heatstroke
- Unwilling to move
- Uncontrollable peeing or pooping
- Wobbly legs and trouble with balance
- Noisy breathing (okay, Frenchies always breathe loud, but you should be able to tell when something’s wrong)
What to do if your Frenchie is dehydrated or overheated
If your Frenchie is dehydrated or overheated, it’s important to take immediate action to cool them down and provide them with proper hydration. Here’s what you can do:
Ways to cool off your Frenchie
- Move them to a cooler area: Bring your Frenchie inside to an air-conditioned room or a shady spot. This will help them escape the heat and allow their body temperature to start lowering.
- Provide fresh water: Offer your Frenchie cool, fresh water to drink. Make sure the water is not too cold, as extreme temperature changes can be uncomfortable for them. Encourage them to drink, but do not force water into their mouth.
- Let them cool off in their pool: A shallow puppy pool is a safe & effective way to help your Frenchie get some relief from the heat. Frenchies can’t swim without a life jacket, so make sure they’re in a shallow pool just for them.
- Use a cold, wet towel or cloth: Soak a towel or cloth in cool (not icy cold) water, wring out the excess, and gently place it on your Frenchie’s body. Focus on the neck, underarms, and groin area, as these are areas where blood vessels are closer to the skin’s surface. Re-wet and reapply the towel as needed to keep it cool.
- Utilize a fan or air conditioning: If available, turn on a fan or air conditioning unit to help circulate cool air around your Frenchie. This will aid in reducing their body temperature.
- Offer ice cubes: Some dogs enjoy licking ice cubes or even chewing on them. You can offer your Frenchie some ice cubes to help cool them down. However, make sure they don’t chew them too quickly or swallow them whole.
You may or may not know, but Frenchies are about as far from an Olympic swimmer as you can get.
They need a shallow dog pool that is safe for them to be in without a lifejacket.
Frenchies get overheated easily— especially in the summertime...
This easy-to-setup foldable pool is the perfect solution to keeping your Frenchie nice & cool on a hot day.
- Easy to set up
- No inflation necessary
- Perfect size for Frenchies
If symptoms are severe, you should take them to a vet ASAP.
3. Time your walks
I’m sure we’ve all ran outside for a minute and left your shoes back inside.
Walking on burning hot asphalt is no fun. If you can’t walk barefoot on the ground or place your hand there for more than a few seconds, it’s too hot for your Frenchie to be walking on.
Signs it’s too hot for a walk
- Limping or hopping: Do you notice your Frenchie is limping or hopping as they walk? It’s probably too hot.
- Hot ground test: Place your bare hand or foot flat on the ground for 10 seconds. Does it start to burn? Then it’s too hot
- Reluctance to walk or stoppage during the walk: If your Frenchie starts to slow down, sit or lie down frequently during the walk, or shows signs of discomfort while walking, it may be due to the heat affecting them.
- Excessive drooling or foaming: Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth can occur when a dog is overheated. If you notice your Frenchie drooling excessively or having foam around their mouth, it may be a sign that the heat is taking a toll on them. When I notice my Frenchie drooling a lot on the walk, I just pick her up and walk home.
Tips for Summertime Walks
- Stay under shaded areas
- Walk on the grass as much as possible
- Have your Frenchie throw on some shoes
- Concrete doesn’t get as hot as asphalt (it still gets hot though!)
We don’t mind a little bit of heat
Sometimes it seems like we just can’t escape the heat.
There’s definitely a fine line between “hot and nice” and “brutally hot and suffocating” weather.
Early or late walks are best
To get around this, you’ll need to time your walks to be early in the morning or later in the evening.
Sure, a short walk to go potty during the day won’t hurt, just keep it short and sweet.
4. Don’t forget sunscreen
We aren’t the only ones that can get sunburnt. Frenchies can too!
If your Frenchie is going to be outside for extended periods of time, you should seriously think about putting some sunscreen on them.
At the very least, you’ll want to put sunscreen on their nose and ears as those are the most susceptible to sunburn. You can also apply it to their whole coat.
5. Use shade & cooling products
There a whole bunch of products available to make summer cooler for your Frenchie
There’s nothing like cranking a fan on max and blowing the cool air right on your face when it’s hot out.
Whether your Frenchie is inside or outside, fans are an easy way to keep their temperature in check.
Here’s a cool battery operated fan to keep your Frenchie cool wherever they go.
If your Frenchie is anything like mine, then they absolutely love to soak in the heat and sunbathe for what seems like hours
Just because it’s hot out, doesn’t mean the fun needs to stop, however, you’ll need to make a few accommodations.
Don’t Forget the Summertime Dangers
Summer isn’t all fun and games when it comes to your Frenchie.
That blistering heat can drain your Frenchie’s energy quickly and leave them trying to catch their breath.
A few things to keep in mind
- The ground gets really hot — if you can’t hold your hand to it, they can’t walk
- Never leave your Frenchie alone in the car, especially during the Summer
- Be careful around swimming pools, Frenchies can’t swim without a life jacket.
- Traveling by plane is much more of an ordeal — the planes can get really hot before the AC gets turned on, so you’ll want to board last to avoid standing in the heat for long
- Be careful of pests such as ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas