Do American Bulldogs Need a Coat in the Winter?

Do American Bulldogs Need a Coat in the Winter?
Image by Garden State Hiker

It is well-known that the short-haired, brachycephalic American Bulldog finds it fairly difficult to tolerate the extremely hot temperatures of summer weather. But what about winter?

Does an American Bulldog fare well in cooler temperatures, or do they require extra protection against these extreme temperatures, too? Do American Bulldogs need a coat in the winter? Let’s take a look at this:

If you just want the answer then I have it for you. American Bulldog’s short single coat will not allow them to tolerate the rain for very long. Yes, a dog coat will help protect your dog.

My Top 4 American Bulldog coats

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What Kind of Natural Coat Does an American Bulldog Have?

Did you know that some breeds of dog have a unique, well-insulating double coat, that sheds very little? Dogs like this include the Husky and the Poodle. However, unfortunately, the American Bulldog is not included in this category of naturally warmer dogs who have a double coat.

Instead, the American Bulldog has a much shorter single coat, that sheds constantly and does not provide much protection against any extreme temperatures.

You’d think that, since they can’t bear summer temperatures, American Bulldogs might prefer the wintertime. But actually, American Bulldogs tend to find the winter just as difficult.

Does an American Bulldog Need a Coat in the Winter Rain?

As a brachycephalic breed, does an American Bulldog tend to be glad of a chance to cool down, during walks, with a shower? Or do they refuse to put a paw outside the door the first sign of a drizzle?

Well, as with all dogs, every American Bulldog is an individual. This means that, while some Bulldogs are total divas about rain, refusing to set foot outside at the slightest sign of drizzle, other Bulldogs do enjoy a bit of a splash about in the rain.

However, an American Bulldog’s short single coat will not allow them to tolerate the rain for very long.

They will cool down extremely quickly when they get wet. Because of this, getting a light coat for your American Bulldog to wear in the winter rain is a good idea, especially if you’re planning a long walk.

Even if you aren’t staying out for very long in the rain, at least you won’t have to dry your American Bulldog when you come in if they wear a coat!

Best Rain Coat For An American Bulldog

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How Does an American Bulldog Cope With Snow?

Since the breed tends to be neither fond of warm temperatures nor getting wet, what about snow? Surely an American Bulldog should be fine with spending a much longer time in extremely cold yet dryer conditions?

Well, once again, each American Bulldog is an individual. Most American Bulldogs should be content enough in the more gentle minus Celsius temperatures, or 32°F, for around an hour-long walk, or a strenuous play session.

That being said, if it starts to actively snow, an American Bulldog will absolutely need to wear a coat, to keep them from getting wet.

As well as this, your American Bulldog should absolutely wear a warm and waterproof coat if you are planning on staying outside in these extremely cold temperatures for a very long time, regardless of whether it is actively snowing.

One other concern is the road salt used when it snows. Road salt is actually very acidic, which can often cause an American Bulldog’s sensitive paws to crack.

However, thankfully, many online pet stores stock various great Vaseline-like balms for dogs, that can be rubbed on your American Bulldog’s feet before you take them for a walk by a salted, icy road.

These work great – if your American Bulldog doesn’t lick all the balm off.

Or, an alternative method is to invest in a good set of snow socks or booties for your American Bulldog, which provides a more permanent solution to the problem of road salt paw burn.

Many snow booties even offer a good grip, to prevent your American Bulldog from slipping in more icy conditions. Some pooches might not tolerate booties well, but plenty of American Bulldogs love them.

Hurtta Extreme Warmer Dog Snow Jacket

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Can an American Bulldog Sleep Outside in the Winter?

So if an American Bulldog can’t spend too long outside in the more extreme Winter temperatures, what about sleeping outside? Is this possible?

Actually, yes. If you have a well-insulated kennel outside, sleeping outdoors can be a great idea for brachycephalic breeds of dogs like the American Bulldog.

After all, spending long periods of time indoors with the heat on full can be very difficult for these flat-faced breeds, and many owners find their American Bulldog lying stretched out with their back against a door that leads outside, just like a draught excluder!

If your American Bulldog wants to sleep outside in the Winter like this, why not let them? They should surely enjoy it. Just make sure that your yard is secure enough to prevent your American Bulldog from escaping or being stolen. 

What Temperatures Can an American Bulldog Cope With?

So, previously we’ve mainly talked about how long an American Bulldog can stay out in the winter rain and snow. But, what actual temperatures are appropriate for an American Bulldog to spend time in, and how cold does it have to get for the Winter temperatures to be dangerous to an American Bulldog?

Well, when an American Bulldog isn’t being active, hasn’t got damp fur and there’s no wind chill, this thin-coated pooch should only start to feel uncomfortably cool when they’re chilling out at 0°C or 32°F.

But, if there is even mild precipitation making your American Bulldog’s fur wet, or even a gentle breeze at this temperature, these conditions then become extremely dangerous for your American Bulldog to spend any long amount of time in.

If extreme wind chill or excessive precipitation occurs, think about bringing your American Bulldog in, or try to find another way to provide shelter for your American Bulldog.

But if you are spending a long time out in this temperature with these conditions, a good waterproof, warm coat will keep your American Bulldog safe and comfortable for a good walk or play session.

So, Do American Bulldogs Need a Coat in the Winter?

So, whether or not your American Bulldog needs a coat really depends on how the Winter conditions are where you live. But whether you use it more for style or more for protection from extreme temperatures, don’t let anyone make fun of your Bulldog’s wardrobe of outdoor wear!

Getting a coat for your American Bulldog to wear in Winter is one of the best and most easy things you can do for their health.

For more about American Bulldogs see my other articles below

By Michelle McDaid

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