Brrrrr! Winter is coming and your Frenchie suddenly doesn't want to go outside for more than 10 seconds? Yep. Classic Frenchie behavior. French Bulldogs get cold really easily and are very sensitive to cold weather. Here’s how to keep your Frenchie warm during the winter!
But first, why do Frenchies get cold so easily?
French Bulldogs get cold easily because of two main reasons: their facial structure and the type of fur they have.
Being a brachycephalic breed (i.e. super cute squishy face), Frenchies have a more compacted airway, which results in them having more trouble regulating their temperature properly. For the same reasons French Bulldogs don’t handle hot weather very well, they do not handle cold weather well.
Frenchies have a single outercoat of short fur, which means they do not have an undercoat to keep them warm. An undercoat is a fluffy and soft layer of hair beneath the outer coat that keeps dogs warm in winter and cool in the summer. For example, Huskies have an undercoat, whereas Boston Terriers have a single coat.
All of this means French Bulldogs are not very well adapted for cold weather.
Signs your French Bulldog is cold:
- Reluctance to go outside, not wanting to walk or wanting to go inside immediately
- Lifting paws off the ground outside
- Shivering or shaking
- Curling up
- Seeking warmth by snuggling, cuddling, hiding under blankets
- Slow movement
- Sleepiness or lethargy
- Acting anxious or uncomfortable
- Cold ears or paws to the touch
If your dog gets too cold for too long, it could lead to hypothermia, frostbite and illness. The best way to prevent hypothermia is to keep your Frenchie warm.
Here’s 9 ways to keep your Frenchie warm in cold winter weather!
1. Provide an indoor potty station
When the weather is too cold for your Frenchie to go potty outside, set up a potty area inside your warm home. You can use potty training pads, indoor potty stations or real grass patches. My favorite are grass patches because they are easiest to train your dog since they naturally want to go potty on grass and they are more environmentally friendly.
2. Carpets, beds & blankets
Putting carpets inside your home is a great way to keep your French Bulldog warm from the cold floors. My Frenchies Muffin and Teddy play a game we like to call “the floor is ice”, where they run from carpet to carpet to avoid the cold floors!
Provide warm bedding and blankets for your dog. Put their bedding away from cold floors and drafts by raising their bed, allowing them on the couch and putting their bed in a warm spot in the house, away from windows and doors.
3. Let your piggy roast by the fireplace
If you have a home with a warm and cozy fireplace, trust me, you’ll find your Frenchie laying next to it all winter long. Always monitor your French Bulldog’s exposure to the fireplace, making sure they keep a safe distance and don’t remain in front of the fire any longer than we would. We don’t really want the piggy to roast!
To protect your dog from open flames, install a fireguard screen around the fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace, a dog heater pad is also a great way to provide safe warmth for your bestie.
4. Give tepid water to drink
Water coming out of your fridge or tap will be extra cold during the winter and can lower your Frenchie’s body temperature when they drink it. Offer tepid water instead and put their water bowl in a warm spot in your house.
5. Gear up!
Make sure your Frenchie is ready to face the cold with winter appropriate gear. Here’s a couple of winter must-haves for your Frenchie: A warm winter coat, a comfy sweater, a hoodie and a pajama. Don’t forget to protect your bestie’s paws from the cold, snow and road salt with winter doggie boots. Shop our broad selection of Frenchie wear!
6. Make sure they have a warm place to sleep
A dog’s body temperature drops when they sleep along with the temperature of your home during cold winter nights. Put their bed in a warm spot with extra blankets, have them wear cute pajamas, or my favorite, allow them to snuggle and sleep in bed with you!
7. Stay inside
Dont go outside for too long in the winter and get inside immediately when they get cold.
Instead of going for a walk, play indoor games to burn off their energy. Let them have fun with a toy, dog puzzle or snuffle mat, a lickpad, a chew toy or bone or do some positive training.
The temperature inside your home should be kept between 22-24 degrees Celsius for a comfortable happy Frenchie.
8. Prepare your car rides
Do not leave your French Bulldog alone in a car and preheat it before going. Avoid car rides completely when it’s too cold.
9. Keep their fur dry
Wet fur feels a lot colder. Don't give them a bath when it's cold. Dry them with a towel if they come inside from rain.
Stay warm during the winter Frenchie friends! The cold is a great reason to snuggle and cuddle with your best Frenchie. Subscribe to our newsletter for more Frenchie tips & tricks!
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian, just a Frenchie mom. The content published on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your veterinarian.
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