Heatstroke is something every owner of any Bully breed (brachycephalic/snub-nosed) dog should educate themselves on, as French Bulldogs have smaller airways & flatter faces than most other breeds of dogs. Any breed of dog with pushed up snouts like French Bulldogs have a tougher time in hot weather than other long nose breeds. They will require extra care and precautions to make sure they keep comfortable and safe from the heat.
It is not uncommon to hear about someone who left their dog in a parked car, even for just a few minutes, and came back to find them suffering from heatstroke.
Keep your French Bulldog cool by using a cool spray bottle for outings. Cool coats, cool collars, ice etc. Here are a few links to cooling vest & collars that I use for my bully kids during the Summer months: https://glaciertek.com/products/chillydog-cool-vest-with-pack-set, CoolerDog Dog Cooling Vest and Cooling Collar - Ice Vest for Dogs Small (18" to 22" Girth) https://a.co/d/g0aAEfL
If temperatures are about 70-80ºF, a car can heat up to 100ºF within minutes. If the temperature is 85ºF, and the windows are slightly open the temperature inside can reach 102ºF in ten minutes and in 30 minutes it can reach 120ºF. On hot and humid days, the temperature inside a car parked in the sun can increase more than 30ºF each minute. That quickly becomes lethal, since at 110ºF most dogs are in danger of heatstroke. In many states it is even illegal to leave a pet in a parked car for even 5 mins. So we strongly recommend never leaving your french bulldog kids alone in a parked car even for a brief moment.
Of course the smaller breathing system of the French Bulldog is what puts them at a higher risk for heat stroke as a whole. These smaller airways mean less possibility of cooling the air which your French Bulldog draws into its body. Dogs do not sweat. Their only means of reducing built-up body heat is by panting. Statistically the leading cause of heat exhaustion, and its advancing into heat stroke in dogs; is leaving a dog in a hot car, but there are other things that cause it like the loss of electric in your home on a hot day while your at work, taking a bulldog for a long walk or event on a hot day, allowing your french bulldog to get over worked and pant excessively in general for any reason etc .
The best thing you can do is leave your French Bulldog breed at home when you go out and expect to go somewhere where pets are not allowed or where you will be unable to give him full attention if he does start panting hard. French Bulldogs dehydrate very quickly, so their water bowls need to be refilled several times a day with cool, fresh water in the warm Summer months.
When you take your French Bulldog outside to potty or walk during the day, be sure to limit the amount of time you allow your French Bulldog to remain outside, and make sure he stays in the shade as much as possible when walking him. Also, closely monitor your French Bulldogs breathing. If he begins to pant very heavily, that is your sign to take him inside or spray him with cool water, let him have a cold drink, and rest for a while. French bulldogs think that they can do everything that everyone else is doing regardless of their limitations so you must be their eyes for them :)
Your French Bulldog’s footpads can be sensitive to the heat as well. Hot pavement can even cause severe burns. For your French Bulldogs comfort, try to avoid walking him on hot pavement. We all know what it feels like to walk barefoot on blacktop in hot weather with the sun beating down, not very pleasant.
Signs of heatstroke include, among other things, excessive panting, fainting/ passing out, a body temperature of 104-110ºF, very dark or bright red or blue tongue, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, coma, and even death.
The first signs of heat exhaustion:
A normal temperature is between 101-102 degrees. A body temperature of about 104 degrees or higher could be evidence for heat stroke.
If you think your French Bulldog may be having a heatstroke:
Heat Stroke is an Emergency - Treat your French Bulldog NOW! Pull your frenchie's tongue as far out of his or her mouth that you can to clear/open the air way. DO NOT try to force your French Bulldog to drink water if he won't. His swelling airways can cause any liquid he takes in to be regurgitated and possibly aspirated into his lungs. However if your French Bulldog's temperature is 105 or higher rub a piece of ice on his tongue, 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Hose him down with cool water - not cold. If you are home you can place him in your bath tub. Apply an ice pack to him, and soaked towels or any other form of fabric to his body. Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your French Bulldog down as you don't want to put him into shock or constrict his blood vessels. Being sure the cool water contacts the skin and doesn't simply run off the coat. Thoroughly wet the belly and inside the legs. In extreme cases use an ice pack under the neck and front leg pits. Take a rectal temperature if possible to know when to stop cooling. A safe temperature to stop the cooling process is below 103.
To best help your French Bulldog handle the heat this summer, take him/her with you in places with A/C . If you won't be in A/C keep him at home and NOT in a hot car. Make sure he has a steady supply of cool fresh water, shade, decrease his amount of exertion, and try if possible to walk him and do any training in the cooler times of the day (normally early morning or evening). When on outings using a cool spray bottle and cooling products such as cool coats, cool collars, ice etc. Following these simple steps will ensure that your French Bulldog has a happy, safe and healthy summer.