Archive for the ‘Outings’ Category

Warm weather tips for Frenchies

Friday, June 4th, 2010

One of the first things any prospective Frenchie owner needs to know is that they do NOT do well in extreme temperatures – especially heat!  Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed, meaning  they have been bred to have a normal lower jaw proportional to their body size, but they have a compressed upper jaw. While these smooshy faces are adorable, their health has been compromised to an extent to achieve their distinctive look.  Have a look at the comparison between the skull of a normal snouted dog and a brachy dog.

dog skull regular snout

dog skull brachy

BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS ARE THE MOST LIKELY CANDIDATES FOR HEAT STROKE.

The upper airways of the brachycephalic dog compromises their ability to easily take in air. Under normal conditions the compromise is not great enough to cause a problem.  It is vitally important than an owner not to let the dog become grossly overweight or get too hot in the summer months. 

Dog-Heat-StrokeThe brachycephalic dog is an inefficient panter and therefore often a victim of heat stress.  A dog with a more conventional face and throat is able to pass air quickly over the tongue through panting. When a dog pants, saliva evaporates from the tongue as air is passed across and the blood circulating through the tongue is efficiently cooled and circulated back to the rest of the body.

In a brachy pup, so much extra work is required to move the same amount of air that the airways become inflamed and swollen. This leads to a more severe obstruction, distress, and further over-heating. 

cooling vestOne thing you can do to help your pup stay cool in the summer months is invest in a cooling jacket.  This is basically like wearing an ice pak as they play outdoors.  Two come to mind if you are willing to pay the $30-$50 for them -  Chillybuddy cooling jacket and  Cool K-9 Evaporative Cooling Vest

cooling bandana

 

Something is better than nothing, so for $6-$10 you can purchase a cooling bandana.  Obviously this will not provide the same relief and protection from the heat, but at least it is something.  With the bandana, you will need to be vigiliant in keeping it cool and providing an extra way for your dog to cool off.  Our girls like a plastic kids waiding pool.

Frenchies love to run and play and clown around.  They do not know when to stop to catch their breath.  It is our responsibility as their owners to make sure they are protected.

heat stroke

Monthly Frenchie Playtime

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

We belong to a local group of French Bulldog owners (through Meetup.com) who meet the last Sunday of the month at a local dog park.  We had taken both Abby and Zoey a few times when they were younger, but stopped during the wet winter months.  The last meetup was a warm sunny day at the end of March, so I decided to take Abby alone.  Zoey had to stay home since she is still struggling with her random aggression issues.  Plus it gave them some time apart and a chance for Abby Scardy-Pants to gain some confidence without her big sister.

It was odd to have half of the sister group there.  Others were wondering where Zoey was, which made me feel worse for having to leave her home.  Plus it is hard to tell other owners “well one of them is now aggressive to other dogs so she is sequestered at home”  Sigh…

There were about 15+ other Frenchies there of all colors, sizes and ages.  This time Abby was not the youngest (she is 10 months now) since there was a 6 week old puppy and an another at 8 weeks old.  Still when I look at the little dumpling compared to the other full grown Frenchies, she still seems small!  I am waiting for her to get that broad chest and big block head, which I am told will happen after she turns 1. 

Abby March Meetup 1 blogA few pictures from the outing show Abby in comparison to the other Frenchies.  It is easy to see that she is smaller still and much thinner. 

 

 

 

Abby March Meetup blogIt was pretty warm so the pups pooped out easily.  Frenchies are prone to overheating, so the cool grass under the shade of a tree was the favored spot.  See how much smaller Abby is?  But there is no mistaking that Frenchie profile…

Abby June Bug March Meetup blogIf there was no tree shade, the pups would lay in the shade of our shadows.  Here Abby is with her friend JuneBug.  Junie has the largest Frenchie ears I have ever seen!

 

 

Abby March Meetup nap blogAfter the park visit, Abby was exhausted and crashed on the couch for a long nap.  (Wishing I could nap on a Sunday, but alas…)