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7 Reasons an English Bulldog Cannot Live Outside

7 Reasons an English Bulldog Cannot Live Outside

Because of their appearance, it’s easy to believe that English Bulldogs are eager to get outside and explore nature, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. English Bulldogs have a very challenging time being outside for longer than a 10- to a 15-minute time frame in most temperatures and are much happier being inside on your lap.

Why can’t an English Bulldog live outside? Here are seven reasons English Bulldogs cannot – and should not – live outside:

  1. Their short snouts don’t have time to warm up the air they breathe.
  2. Their short snouts also don’t allow for proper panting.
  3. They have a harder time regulating their body temperature.
  4. Their extra layers of skin can become quite smelly when kept in the heat for too long.
  5. They can suffer from sunburns when left outside for too long.
  6. They may suffer from allergies.
  7. They are bred to be companion dogs and can feel lonely and depressed when left outside.

If you are still curious about why your English Bulldog has difficulty being left outside, this article is going to explain these seven reasons in more detail. It will also discuss some excellent tips and tricks on how to make sure your English Bulldog gets enough exercise and outdoor time safely and securely.

The Top 7 Reasons Why English Bulldogs Can’t Live Outside

It’s probably shocking to hear that an English Bulldog can’t live outside. After all, many people get a dog with the assumption that they can be kept out while the family is away at work or school, so knowing that your English Bulldog can’t be left outside for more than 15 minutes can be a pretty big shocker.

Bulldogs still need plenty of exercises though, so check out this guide if you’d like to know more about how to exercise your English bulldog.

The reasons why your English Bulldog should stay indoors as much as possible are rather serious, though. Knowing these reasons will help you to understand your precious furry friend better. On the other hand, it will also teach some individuals and families why they might not want this type of breed.

1.   Their short snouts don’t have time to warm up the air they breathe.

Perhaps the biggest problem when it comes to English Bulldogs not being able to stay outside for very long is their snouts. While their noses can be one of their most adorable features, it also brings the most problems when it comes to breathing and regulating their temperature. An English Bulldog’s snout is the main reason why they can’t live outside.

The first issue with the snout is that it is incredibly short. When the English Bulldog inhales cold weather, it doesn’t have time to warm up. When the bulldog breathes in the cold air, it can lower its body temperature very quickly.

This is a terrible predicament for the English Bulldog. If they are not able to warm themselves up in cold temperatures, it can lead to a medical emergency like their toes becoming frost-bitten and their body temperature dropping to hypothermic levels.

So, what should the owner do? After all, English Bulldogs love to play in the snow, but it’s a huge risk to let them out to play.

Here are some tips to keep your English Bulldog warm when they are outside in the cold:

  • Never let them out if the temperature is below 25 Fahrenheit. This is too cold for an English Bulldog, and nothing you do to ensure they stay warm will work when the temperature drops this low.
  • Limit their outdoor time to 25 minutes or less. Remember – your English Bulldog can suffer from hypothermia because of their short snout (and shorter coat), so they shouldn’t be left in cold temperatures for too long.
  • Warm them up with a blanket. As mentioned in “Bulldogs and Cold Weather,” when your English Bulldog is done playing, bring them inside and wrap them in a cozy blanket to help their temperature return to a reasonable level.
  • Consider a doggy coat. We have all seen dogs in outfits, whether they were a frilly dress or a Halloween costume. But what about thick, cozy dog coats and sweaters? Sure, they are adorable, but there is sometimes a reason for them – and that reason is to keep your dog warm when they are frolicking in cold weather.

We recommend the Kuoser Dog Coat because it’s cute, but it is also waterproof and windproof to ensure your English Bulldog stays nice and cozy – even when the temperature drops to less than desirable numbers. An easy hook and loop closure means putting this coat on your pup is hassle-free, and the reversible design allows for more fun looks for your dog. For less than $20 you can make sure your English Bulldog can better handle the cold weather.

Any time you think your English Bulldog is suffering from hypothermia, you need to act fast and call the veterinarian. Sometimes the issue can be resolved with a warm blanket and water inside the home, while other times, it may lead to a medical emergency.

As explained by “Hypothermia in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments,” here are some signs of hypothermia to look out for:

  • Extreme shivering and trembling that stops and starts again.
  • Your dog becomes extremely tired and weak.
  • The fur, as well as the skin, is incredibly cold.
  • The dog’s temperature is less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Your dog experiences a sudden decrease in heart rate.
  • Pupils become dilated.
  • Gums become pale or a light shade of blue.
  • The dog experiences trouble walking and breathing.
  • Your dog may fall unconscious.
  • The dog can fall into a coma.

Acting fast is the best thing you can do in this situation. Always make sure you are keeping a close eye on your English Bulldog and do not let them stay outside in cold temperatures for very long.

2.   Their short snouts also don’t allow for proper panting.

This leads us to problem number two when it comes to an English Bulldog’s snout: they can’t pant as well, which means they are not able to regulate their temperature. If they are outside in the heat, they have a high chance of overheating quickly. English Bulldogs have the potential of overheating even when the temperature is as fair as 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does that mean that there is no chance of your English Bulldog being able to enjoy the weather? Of course not. If the owner is being responsible by keeping an eye on his English Bulldog and making sure to keep his canine cool while playing outside, there shouldn’t be much to worry about.

The first thing you should do is to make sure your English Bulldog stays as cool as possible when frolicking outside in the warmer temperatures. Bullymake suggests some great tips for bringing your bulldog outside in warm temperatures:

  • Limit their time outside. Just like you need to limit your English Bulldog’s outside time in cold temperatures, you must restrict their adventures outside during warmer temperatures, as well. They shouldn’t be left for more than 15 to 20 minutes, as their short snout may lead to overheating.
  • Never leave your English Bulldog unattended. Remember – just because 15 to 20 minutes seems to be the average time a bulldog can spend outside doesn’t mean it is going to be the same for all dogs. Some bulldogs may be a bit more finicky, and anything longer than 10 minutes, especially in hotter temperatures such as 85 or 90, can lead to overheating.
  • Make sure the home is cooled down. When you have an English Bulldog, you cannot shut off the air conditioner to save a few bucks. The inside of the home should provide a cool, safe place for them to relax and sleep. You may consider giving them an area where there is a tiled floor to cool down on.
  • Cool them down with some water. If you notice your English Bulldog is starting to become too hot, remove them from the heat immediately and hose them down with some cold water. Make sure the water gets on their paws.
  • Give them a pool to splash in – but make sure it is shallow. Don’t think that your English Bulldog can hop into a pool, and everything will be fine – English Bulldogs can’t swim, and they can easily drown. Having a shallow pool is an excellent idea as English Bulldogs love splashing around, and it helps them stay cool.
  • Make sure there is plenty of water to drink. Keep their water bowl filled. This will ensure that they don’t overheat or dehydrate, which can lead to a slew of other medical problems.

Also, keep an eye out for these signs and symptoms of overheating in your English Bulldog:

  • Your dog experiences a sudden increase in panting paired with heaving.
  • Strange noises are coming from the dog’s throat.
  • The tongue becomes floppy and discolored.
  • Your dog experiences sudden, complete exhaustion.

If you think your English Bulldog is suffering from heat exhaustion, it is essential to help them immediately. The best solution is to hose them down with some cool water, give them water to drink, and bring them inside and place a fan in front of them to help them relax and cool down.

3.   They have a harder time regulating their body temperature.

If there is one other clear feature of an English Bulldog (and this one might be your favorite), it’s their loose, floppy skin. They seem to have wrinkles for days thanks to all the extra skin, but that’s what makes the English Bulldog so special and unique – and it’s also what causes them to have such a hard time regulating their temperature.

An English Bulldog’s skin brings about two problems:

  • The extra layers of skin make it hard for the bulldog to cool down.
  • The thinness of their skin also makes it challenging for them to stay warm.

Talk about a double whammy!

4.   Their extra layers of skin can become quite smelly when kept in the heat for too long.

This issue also involves a bulldog’s extra skin. While their additional layers of skin make the English Bulldog adorable, it also means that all the skin underneath the floppy coats can become stinky and gross – especially if they are running around in the heat.

Think of it this way: as a human, you might end up chafing in between your thighs after being outside in hot weather. As uncomfortable as it is, it’s likely a bit smelly, especially if you have been frolicking under the sun. The same is true for your English Bulldog; when playing outside, the extra layers of skin can begin to smell.

So, should you avoid letting your bulldog have some fun in the sun? Of course not! It does mean, though, that you should give your canine pal a good wash when they are all done exploring and running around.

5.   They can suffer from sunburns when left outside for too long.

Did you know that your English Bulldog (as well as many other dog breeds) can become sunburned? Most people think of this as just a human problem, but it’s all too real for your furry friend, also.

While some sunburns are nothing more than an irritation, others can cause serious problems, such as:

  • An English Bulldog can scratch their sunburn, which could lead to an infection.
  • An untreated sunburn can become inflamed, red, and infected.

So how can you make sure sunburn doesn’t occur with your English Bulldog? “Can English Bulldogs Stay Outside in the Heat? Having Sun Fun!” shares some fantastic tips, including:

  • Limit their outdoor time. Remember – English Bulldogs shouldn’t roam around in the heat for any more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Make sure you offer a shady area for them to relax. Even a few minutes into playtime, your English Bulldog can become hot and tired. Make sure there is a shady tree or umbrella for your dog to escape the sun’s rays and cool down.
  • Consider applying dog-safe sunscreen. That’s right – there is dog-safe sunscreen on the market, and it could be a lifesaver for your furry best friend.

We highly recommend the Emmy’s Best Dog Sun Skin Protector. This top-of-the-line sunscreen is uniquely designed for dogs of all breeds. Not only does it protect their precious skin from the harmful rays of the sun, but it’s designed to nourish the skin thoroughly as well.

Known for being chemically-free, this sunscreen is ideal for your English Bulldog. It’s also grease-free and easy to use thanks to the spray bottle construction. Spray it all-around your dog’s coat and feel happy and confident that they are being protected while roaming around in the sun, while also putting fears of grease and chemicals to rest.

6.   They may suffer from allergies.

Much like sunburn isn’t a human-specific condition, neither is allergies. However, most people assume that dogs can’t get allergies because they were meant to be outside. The truth is, even your English Bulldog can suffer from allergies, which can either be year-round or seasonal.

If you think that allergies might be plaguing your English Bulldog, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for provided by Anna Burke in “Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment:”

  • Excessive itching
  • Formation of hives
  • Swelling (Near the face, eyes, and ears)
  • Skin that is reddened and inflamed
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Ear infections
  • Itching and running eyes
  • Excessive licking

If you think that your dog is suffering an allergic reaction to something outside, then it’s crucial to have your English Bulldog checked out by a veterinarian. In most cases, they will be able to prescribe your dog a medication that helps them with this issue.

7.   They are bred to be companion dogs and can feel lonely and depressed when left outside.

The English Bulldog has come a long way, as explained superbly in “The History of Bulldogs.” They were never designed to be a hunter or a guard dog. Today, the English Bulldog is specifically bred to be a lap dog. They enjoy spending their time indoors – which is also the safest place for them to be – and relaxing with their owners.

The English Bulldog’s temperament is very relaxed and friendly – even though they may appear to be aggressive because of their facial features. They tend to be on the lazy side and very loyal to their owners. They could spend the entire day sitting on their owner’s lap and be perfectly happy about it.

This is another reason why English Bulldogs should not be left outside – this breed is a companion breed, and they will get lonely and depressed being outside by themselves. They do not know how and do not want to know how to amuse themselves for extended periods.


English Bulldogs are not designed to be outside for long periods. A quick walk here and there is okay, but anything longer than 20 minutes in the heat or cold can lead to disaster for the English Bulldog. They are susceptible to hypothermia and overheating and can even become lonely when left outside. For the health of your English Bulldog, keep them indoors for the bulk of their life and keep outdoor time to a minimum. 

Learn More

If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.