As easy as the bulldog is to keep healthy, the one problem that the bulldog can suffer from is overheating. Although heat is hard on all dogs, the bulldog in particular cannot stand the heat. The main cooling method of dogs is panting to get rid of body heat. Dogs with a short nose such as bulldogs have a more difficult time panting to keep cool. Many of them have a difficult time even breathing due to a small trachea, pinched nostril or an elongated soft palette. The shape of their throat makes it difficult for them to pant enough to keep them cool in warm weather. The fact that the bulldog is a heavily massed dog contributes even more to their difficulty in dealing with the heat.
There are certain symptoms you can look for if you suspect your bulldog may be suffering from heat. These include being unresponsive, having dry gums that may be dark red or pale, erratic breathing, vomiting, or glazed eyes. If the dog is in the final stages of heat stroke, he may have convulsions or lapse into unconsciousness. If any of these symptoms appear and you have reason to suspect heat stroke, put the dog in the shade and put cool water on his nose. Get him in a tub of cool water or apply ice packs, if possible. Allow the dog to drink some cool water, but don't force the issue. Getting a little lemon juice down his throat has also proven helpful in this situation. Get him to the vet immediately if there is no instant improvement.
An important thing for any dog owner is for them to know what their dog looks like and acts when he's healthy. Some things to be aware of are their normal body temperature, the color of their gums, and normal behavior when healthy and happy. This makes it much easier to quickly spot when he becomes sick as well as arming you with information to give the vet to help him with a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.
Besides knowing what to do in the case of overheating or heatstroke, it is also important to know what to do to prevent it in the first place. Always keep your bulldog in the shade to make sure he stays cool. Do not take your dog with you in warm weather unless absolutely necessary. Remember, what feels like a warm day to us is an extremely hot day to dogs, specifically the bulldog. If you do need to take him with you, bring along a jug or bottle of water in case of emergency. Make sure your bulldog always has fresh cool water to drink. The bulldog loves to play with children and won't know when he's had enough until he's overheated. It's up to you to monitor his activity level.