Can Bulldogs Live Outside? And Why Not?

Bulldogs are tough, muscular animals that may appear to be a perfect fit for the outdoors. But is this actually safe for your pet? Knowing their overall health and ability to survive in harsh temperatures will help you care for your dog.

Can bulldogs live outside? No, the bulldogs squished face and physical structure cannot tolerate the extreme temperatures that come from living outside. It is difficult for a bulldog to regulate its body temperature and they have been known to die from heat exhaustion in temperatures as low as 70 degrees. Bulldogs are bred to be indoor pets.
If you own or are interested in owning a bulldog, know that they will be indoor pets. A doghouse in the backyard isn’t enough for the little guy. That, however, doesn’t mean that your bulldog can never go outside. In fact, a day in the sun might be just what he needs to feel healthy and happy.

Bulldogs and the Outdoors

Bulldogs have been bred to be companion dogs. They are loyal, friendly, and a bit stubborn at times. Their short stocky bodies and large broad shoulders can give them a tough, mean look, but they are more bark than bite.
Given their bulky demeanor and tenacious attitude it may seem that your bulldog is rearing to live an adventurous life outside, but looks can be deceiving.
There are a lot of hazards outdoors that your bulldog is not fit to confront and may, in fact, be life-threatening to the little guy.
As already mentioned, a bulldog is not fit for high temperatures. Their body has difficulty cooling off. Even a short stroll in the sun can cause heat stroke in relatively mild temperatures.
Bulldogs don’t fare too well in the cold either. Due to their short noses, bulldogs cannot heat up air very well as they breathe it in. Breathing in cold air dramatically cools down a bulldog’s internal temperature and quickly.
As long as you adhere to these high and low temperatures while dressing for the occasion your bulldog should be fine. If you are wondering when to dress up your bulldog in a coat to keep in warm or in a cool jacket to beat the heat read this post here.
Bulldogs enjoy getting out, splashing in shallow puddles or sprinklers, and stretching their legs. It is great for both their physical and mental health but prolonged outdoor time can pose a significant risk to their overall health. At the end of the day, they have just been bred and built for indoor living.

Why Do Bulldogs Stink When Left Outside?

One of the most salient features on a bulldog is its… shall we say, ample amounts of skin? It can seem like a bulldog is swimming in its own body fat at times. These flowing waves of body fat are another surprising reason you should keep your bulldog indoors.
Anyone who has owned a bulldog will tell you that they need some amount of cleaning on the daily. As a bulldog grows, it develops large fatty fold that, much like your uncle’s chins, can be a breeding ground for all kinds of grime and funky smells.
Keeping your bulldog outside, much like your uncle, only causes him to dirty faster, thus causing the smell to sour exponentially.
But it is okay for your bulldog to get smelly from outdoor fun. Don’t fret about how dirty or stinky it may be after playing around and being active but rather what the long term benefits will be for your bulldog’s health.

Bulldogs with Allergies

Anyone who has allergies knows that it isn’t fun to go outside during the springtime. Oh sure, the flowers and warm weather are all perfectly pleasant, but the pollen is murder on the sinuses and takes all the fun out of a vernal walk.
Bulldogs, like humans, are susceptible to allergies that may inhibit their breathing. Pollen and dust allergies can cause great irritation to your bulldog and in rare circumstances, can have some pretty nasty side effects including death.
Be on the lookout to see if your dog has allergies. Here are a few signs that might help you. A bulldog with allergies may have:
  • Dry, rough paws
  • Bald Spots
  • Rashes or red inflamed skin
  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing (more than usual)
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Tiredness
If you aren’t sure whether or not your bulldog has allergies, then visit your vet. They can run tests to determine health and possible allergies.
If your bulldog does experience some of the adverse effects of allergies, there are a few things you can do to cure or protect them from a negative reaction.
  1. If you let your bulldog outside and you see any of previously described symptoms of an allergic reaction take them back inside as soon as you are able.
  2. For rashes, apply vet approved ointment to assist with the recovery process.
  3. If your bulldog develops breathing problems from outdoor exposure, seek your vet’s healthcare assistance.

Humans, a Bulldog’s Best Friend

Like most small dog species, bulldogs are not very good at looking after themselves. Bred for companionship, an untrained bulldogs bulldog will not fare well being left outdoors all day. From too much exposure they can show signs of distress, irritability, and more. Bulldogs can become quickly stressed if away from their owners for a prolonged period of time. Separation anxiety can take place and lead to rashes, loss of appetite, and more.
Short-nosed dogs, like bulldogs, also need constant monitoring to make sure they are breathing alright. You may have noticed the laborious effort a bulldog goes through just to breathe. Bulldogs require constant care and attention to first understand their needs and limits and then to establish perimeters around what will best support your bulldogs mental and physical health.

Taking a Bulldog Outside

While it isn’t healthy to leave your bulldog outside all day long, that doesn’t mean you can’t take him out into the sun for a fun day outdoors. On the contrary! Bulldogs love romping and frolicking as much as any other dog I know.
Bulldogs, just like any other dog breed, need a certain amount of exercise to remain healthy and strong. While bulldogs can get plenty of cardio in jumping on and off the couch, a walk in the park is a great way for your dog to stretch his legs and unwind.
In order for a bulldog to remain in tip-top condition, they require a minimum of 15 minutes of walking every day.
When taking your bulldog outside, make sure to keep a close eye on him. Remember that even in mild temperatures he could meet with exhaustion or hypothermia.
Also, come prepared. Always carry some water with you that can be given to your dog while outside.

Bulldogs and Camping

A lot of people wonder whether it is a good idea to take your bulldog on extended camping trips. I would be cautious about the weather and what would work best for your bulldog. Climate and temperatures can change rapidly while camping and this can be hard on your animal. Even if the forecast predicts temperate weather, you should be wary.
Instead of spending all day outdoors you can take your bulldog out on small day trips. An example would be a day at the beach. This should be fine as long as the temperature is not too hot, there is shade, plenty of drinkable water, and somewhere cool for your bully to splash around a bit. Not too deep though because your bulldog has difficulty swimming without proper gear.

Related Questions

What is the ideal temperature for a bulldog? The ideal internal body temperature for a bulldog is at 98 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to maintain this body temperature, Bulldogs should be kept in a space that is consistently around 70 degrees. Of course, all dogs are a bit different and some will prefer a different temperature than others. Monitor your bulldog for discomfort, like panting or shivering and make adjustments as needed. A good rule of thumb, if you feel comfortable, your dog probably does too. Make sure you keep plenty of water out as well so your bulldog can regulate his temperature easier.
For how many hours does a bulldog sleep? Adult bulldogs usually sleep from 12 to 14 hours a day. Puppies sleep for much longer. Anywhere from 18 to 20 hours a day. Make sure that your bulldog gets adequate rest in order to ensure their happiness. Read How Much Sleep Should a Bulldog Have? If your bulldog seems to be making an ungodly ruckus while he sleeps, don’t worry. Bulldogs are notoriously loud snorers, and two or three together have been known to keep entire neighborhoods awake with their huffing and puffing.

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