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Can English Bulldogs Stay Outside in the Heat?

Everyone enjoys a hot summer’s day, so it’s okay to leave my English bulldog out in the heat, right? Wrong!
So, can your English bulldog stay outside in the heat? No, English bulldogs are not safe when they’re left outside in the heat for extended periods of time. Due to their unfortunate anatomy, bulldogs cannot handle extreme temperatures and have been known to suffer in temperatures as mild as 72 degrees Fahrenheit. While bulldogs enjoy the occasional walk in the park or day at the beach, they should be closely monitored at all times to ensure that they are breathing properly.
It’s okay to take your bulldog outside, but if you aren’t careful, it could be detrimental to their health. There’s a chance it could even be fatal. Here are some facts and tips that will ensure your bulldog has the perfect day in the sun.

Bulldogs and Heat Don’t Mix

Most dogs love frolicking in the sun. Temperatures that seem harsh to humans are a breeze for a lot of dogs, but not bulldogs. Why is it that bulldogs can’t seem to take the heat?
Unlike a lot of breeds that were bred for working or hunting (shepherd dogs, retrievers, etc.) After bull-baiting was outlawed and Bulldogs were left without a job, they were bred for looks and to be lap dogs.
Dogs control their temperature through panting. Because bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed and have a compromised respiratory system, they have a hard time breathing in the first place. This makes it difficult for bulldogs to cool down.
Even in mild climates, it can be hard for a bulldog to regulate its temperature. Bulldogs have been known to experience heat stroke in temperatures as low as 72 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t know about you, but that is just about when I’m starting to take off my winter sweater.
But the heat isn’t the only thing that makes the warmer months difficult for your bulldog. The myriad of allergies and sunburns may also pose a serious risk to your bulldog if it’s left outside during the warmer months.

Threats Your Bulldog Faces in the Summer

The sun isn’t your bulldog’s friend. Bulldogs, like a lot of people I know, are at risk for sunburn or a variety of pesky allergies which, if not treated, could lead to potentially serious issues. Let’s look at both of these problems, assess their risks, and look at potential solutions.


That’s right, your dog can be sunburned too! The nose and eyes of a bulldog are especially sensitive to the sun’s harmful rays. While sunburn is little more than irritating, if left untreated it could lead to more serious issues. For example, bulldogs, like people, are likely to pick and scratch areas that are itchy and stingy.
Bulldogs, however, have sharp nails that may scratch or even deeply cut an eye or a nose.
Sunburns could also become red and infected if they’re left untreated for too long. An infection on your dog’s skin will do more than just annoy them. In extreme circumstances, can lead to vomiting, diarrhea or a host of other problems.
Here are a few tips to help your dog combat the harmful effects of the sun.
  • Don’t leave your dog unattended outside. This is the number one most important rule for bulldogs. If you keep your dog outside all day he will get sick! Remember the risks involved with the sun and keep an eye on your pup.
  • Make sure you have a shady resting area. After playing in the sun, it’s nice to crash under a shady tree or umbrella. Your dog will appreciate the break and will recuperate better in the cool shade.
  • Apply dog-safe sunscreen to your dog’s nose, as well as a little under the eyes. Burning is no fun but can be inevitable when out it the sun. To reduce the risk of your dog getting burned, consider applying a dog-safe sunscreen to your dog’s more sensitive areas. Trust me, you’ll both be glad you did!
But sunburns aren’t the only thing to be careful of when it starts heating up outside. Also, be on the lookout for allergies which could harm your pooch.


The summer months bring more than scorching heat and fun pool parties, it is also the season of allergies and head colds. Most people are too busy griping about their own allergies to realize that their dog may be suffering from the sniffles as well.
English bulldogs are especially vulnerable to pollen allergies. Sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and a host of other irritating symptoms could plague your dog if you don’t keep a careful eye on them.
If your bulldog is suffering from any of the aforementioned ailments here are some things that you can do to help.
  • Keep your dogs face clean and free of eye gunk or boogers. These can become infected and hurt your bulldog.
Get allergy medication for your dog. Yup, it exists. They are usually available at any big name pet store, but then can also be found online or at a vet’s office.
  • If your dog seems seriously ill, try taking them to a vet for further examination.
It will be pretty obvious to tell if your dog is suffering from allergies if you are keeping an eye on them. Allergies usually aren’t very serious unless the problem is neglected for a long time.

When Can I leave My Bulldog Outside?

OK, so we now know that is a bad idea to leave a bulldog outside in the heat, but what about when it is relatively cool outside? I mean, what if your local weather is relatively mild? Is it alright then?
Bulldogs are fickle creatures and, much like your wife, they are always complaining that it is either too hot or too cold. Even in relatively mild climates, bulldogs can suffer if the temperature isn’t just right.
The cold can be as harmful to a bulldog as the heat can be. Once again, their anatomy is the enemy. They are too small to heat up the air they breathe to a suitable temperature, and they can’t move around fast enough to keep warm.
If you want to find out more about when you can leave your dog outside, you can read another great article here.

How to Have Fun in the Heat With a Bulldog

Although it can be dangerous to leave your bulldog out in the heat all day that doesn’t mean that bulldogs don’t enjoy the occasional stroll in the sun. Here are some things you can do and the precautions to take before you leave with your bulldog.
  • Have a fun day at the beach. A beach is a great place for your bulldog. Although the sun may be blazing, your dog will be able to cool himself off when he takes a dip in the sea. Just make sure you keep his face clean of sand, and you don’t let him get too far out into the water. Bulldogs can’t swim very well!
  • Take an afternoon stroll through the park. Dogs love going on walks just as much as the Cookie Monster loves cookies. Indulge your bulldog and take a jaunt around the block. Not only will you be able to enjoy a little fun in your sun, but the exercise is also great for your bulldog. Try to take a 15-minute walk with your dog at least 5 times a week.
  • Try a day camping trip. If you go camping in a wooded area with plenty of shade, your bulldog should have no trouble cooling off if things get too hot. I wouldn’t recommend overnight camping though. Temperatures tend to plummet to an unsafe level and your bulldog won’t be able to stand the cold.

Related Questions

Can Bulldogs live outside in the cold? Bulldogs can’t stand the cold any more than they can the heat. Bulldogs lose body heat fast and have a hard time getting it back up. If your dog is outside in below freezing temperatures for more than an hour, they may face serious health hazards. Keep your dog inside during the cold months.
What is the ideal temperature for English Bulldogs? English bulldogs should have a body temperature of 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter or cooler than this should be met with serious attention, and, if persistent, a trip to the vet. Bulldogs can easily maintain this temperature if kept inside and away from the harsh elements.
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