French Bulldogs date back all the way to the 1850s, when British dwarf Bulldog breeds such as Toy Bulldogs became increasingly popular in Northern France. When bred with French breeds in the region, the resulting crosses were called French Bulldogs.
These dogs were identified by their short-nosed faces and pointed, large bat-like ears. Their oversized ears make them very lovable and desirable, and they have since become very popular and fashionable dogs to own.
A French Bulldog is a small breed of dog, perfect for small dog lovers and those who live in apartments and homes with less space.
The French Bulldog, or Frenchie is a lovely companion dog initially bred to be a miniature Bulldog, and has a gentle, friendly and outgoing personality. They love their humans, and are wonderful furry friends to keep.
They are relatively low maintenance, as they only require about 1 hour of exercise a day, and have short coats that don’t require much upkeep.
Despite having cute little legs, and small bodies, the French Bulldog still needs ample exercise, as they can be prone to obesity. So, how much should a Frenchie really weigh?
What Is The Ideal French Bulldog Weight?
French Bulldogs are small sized dogs, with small legs, and bulky bodies. Therefore, they should not weigh a whole lot, or they can become prone to obesity and can become overweight.
A typical male French Bulldog should weigh between 20 to 28 pounds, and is usually about 11 to 12 inches in height. In comparison, female French Bulldogs weigh from 18 to 26 pounds, and are generally between 11 to 12 inches in height.
That being said, the ideal weight for a French Bulldog will depend on a range of factors such as body shape, genetics and health conditions.
Why Are Frenchies Prone To Weight Gain?
Frenchies are prone to a lot of health conditions due to their shortened noses and flat faces. However, many people are unaware that weight gain is another common issue for a Frenchie.
So, why are French Bulldogs prone to weight gain? Well, it is mostly because of the fact that they just love food.
Frenchies love to eat and munch on anything they can find, and will find it difficult to self regulate when it comes to eating. This means that they will eat and eat until someone stops them!
Therefore, it’s important for owners to prevent Frenchies from overindulging or eating more than they should, as they can quickly become overweight because they gain weight so quickly and so easily.
As they are such small dogs, an overweight Frenchie will struggle if it is overweight, and will not be able to carry itself well, and may struggle to go on walks or get up any stairs. This can seriously reduce their quality of life.
To avoid this, you’ll want to ensure that you control their meals, by only giving them two meals a day with limited portions. The recommended calories for a Frenchie is about 15 calories in every pound that the dog weighs, if they are of a healthy weight.
You’ll need to portion out the food, and only offer meals with about an 11-12 hours interval, so twice a day. You may want to feed your Frenchie just once a day if they are struggling with obesity.
You should also never feed your French Bulldog human food, and only give them their recommended daily amount.
Frenchies can also be prone to pirating food, or stealing food from you, which can also lead to excess weight gain, so make sure that you keep an eye on your Frenchie’s eating habits, or they could be at risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and laboured breathing.
How Do I Know If My Frenchie Is Overweight?
If you have a Frenchie, then you also have a responsibility to watch over your dog, and ensure that there are no changes to their health that could pose a risk to them. To do this, you need to complete some routine checks of your French Bulldog.
We recommend that you either weigh your Frenchie to keep track of their weight, or do your own manual checks.
To do a manual check, you will need to apply a small bit of pressure to the chest of your Frenchie. By pressing down with your fingers gently, you will need to see whether you can feel the ribcage.
If you cannot feel the ribcage, and only fatty, fleshy pouches, then your dog may be a little too overweight.
Another easy way to check if your Frenchie is overweight, is to check whether the chest is wider than the abdomen. If it is not wider than the abdomen, then the dog may be too overweight.
Signs Of An Overweight Frenchie
There are other signs that you can look for to see if your Frenchie is fat or overweight.
For instance, there are some visual indicators that your Frenchie needs to lose weight. We’ve already discussed the manual check above, but you will notice signs that your dog is overweight by looking at them.
If they seem to have a layer of fat around the stomach, ribs and neck, then it could be a sign that they need to lose some weight.
A healthy sized Frenchie will have an hourglass shape from above, and their waistline should be slightly visible. Again, the belly should not be wider than the chest. If it is, then the French Bulldog is overweight.
In addition, when the dog curls up to go to sleep, you may notice that the spine is slightly visible, but has a thin layer of fat over it. If you cannot see the spine at all when the dog is curled up in a sleeping position, then it could be time for your pooch to drop a few pounds!
If you think that your dog is overweight, you should speak to a veterinarian before you make any major dietary changes. If you give your dog new or different food, you will need to wean them off the old food first and make the change slowly in order to avoid any sickness and diarrhea.
Other signs that your dog has become overweight are if they are now unable to do things.
For instance, if your dog cannot groom itself, walk up the stairs, lick or scratch itself and generally struggles to move around, then they may need to lose some weight. Losing weight will give them extra flexibility and range of movement.
Frenchies are known for their heavy breathing due to their flat faces, however, they can start getting even more breathless when they are overexerted.
They may begin panting after exercise or strenuous activity, which is actually normal. What is not normal is if a French Bulldog is very exerted after a short walk or activity.
This can be an indicator that the dog is overweight, as it is struggling to carry its own weight around. If your Frenchie seems to struggle to walk, to climb up stairs or to run around, then it may be too overweight for its size.
You will know that your French Bulldog is too fat or bigger than it should be when it seems overexerted and overwhelmed by simple activities and non strenuous exercises.
If this is the case, then you may need to speak to the veterinarian about implementing a diet and fitness plan for your furry friend.
Common Causes Of Weight Gain In French Bulldogs
Sometimes, overfeeding is not the only reason for an overweight or fat French Bulldog. A whole host of health problems and conditions could be the cause for the rapid weight gain.
For instance, some French Bulldogs may gain weight due to medication that they are on, whereas others will gain weight due to chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Other reasons could be water retention and bloating due to health problems, sickness or illness, whereas other Frenchies may gain weight due to internal parasites.
Some of the most common reasons Frenchies gain weight are possible pregnancies, or if the dog has recently been neutered, which can result in lethargy and a lack of energy.
Other Frenchies will become less energetic and active as they age, which can also result in weight gain due to a lack of exercise.
Tips To Keep Your Frenchie Healthy
If you are worried about your French Bulldog gaining weight rapidly, and their health declining, then there are a few things that you can do to prevent this.
Ensure You’re Feeding Correctly
The first thing that we advise is that you check that your Frenchie is getting a proper, balanced diet.
More dog owners than you think guess and estimate how much food their dog should be having, rather than stick to the correct guidelines.
This can result in overfeeding and weight gain, especially if you also offer your dog treats and little bits of human food.
Instead, you should be measuring the dog food out according to your dog’s breed, weight and dietary requirements to ensure that they are eating correctly. You should also consult th guidelines on the specific dog food that you are giving your Frenchie.
Frenchies should be fed about 25-30 calories per pound of body weight, but this should be the ideal body weight. As always, consult a veterinarian if you are unsure what food to give your French Bulldog.
Offer Lighter Foods
If you’re worried about your Frenchie becoming overweight or obese, then it could be a good idea to offer them lighter foods with less calories and more protein. This is so your Frenchie can burn off excess calories and fat, and will still have energy and minerals from the protein.
As mentioned above, Frenchies only need about 25 calories per pound of body weight, so if your average French Bulldog weighs about 27 pounds, then they should be eating no more than 675 calories a day.
French Bulldogs can be prone to gaining weight rapidly. So, what would you do if you started gaining weight quickly? You would cut out the snacks! The same goes for your Frenchie. If your Frenchie is piling on the pounds, then you should stop giving them as many treats.
As a general rule, treats should only be about 10% of your dog’s calorie intake, so you should not be giving many treats at all. In addition, you need to be wary of your Frenchie taking foods from other people in the house.
Frenchies love to poach foods from humans, and they will scavenge for scraps that they can find on the floor or in the kitchen. So, try to restrict the treats!
Reduce Portion Sizes
If you already have an overweight Frenchie, then this is an issue that needs to be rectified ASAP.
To help your French Bulldog shed the excess weight, you may need to reduce the portion sizes that you are feeding them. Make sure you consult a veterinarian first.
Some dogs are fed the right amount, not overfed any treats or human food and they still gain weight. This is usually because they cannot burn it off. If your dog is not getting enough exercise, then the pounds will all start to add up.
Now, Frenchies are not very agile creatures, but they still need regular exercise and walks, just not for too long as they have very small legs and are prone to overheating. However, they should be walked at least once a day.
If your Frenchie is overweight, then you have to monitor them. Weigh your Frenchie every few days to ensure that they are on target for losing the weight as best as they can.
Dogs won’t just stand on the weighing scales though, so you’ll have to weigh yourself, then stand on the scales holding your dog and weigh the both of you. The difference between the two weights is what your Frenchie weighs.
Common Health Problems For Frenchies
French Bulldogs are prone to a range of health problems, which is why it is paramount that you ensure that they do not become overweight as this can put a lot of strain on their hearts and their overall health.
Some of the most common health problems for Frenchies are respiratory distress and difficulty breathing. Due to their shorter snouts, French Bulldogs can have many struggles whilst breathing, can suffer from shortness of breath, and laboured breathing. They can also be prone to rapid weight gain, and can therefore become overweight quickly.
Frenchies can also suffer from cleft palates, which can cause excess sneezing and snorting. They may also be prone to allergies, and may need specialized diets to keep them healthy.
Some may also have BOAS, or Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome due to being flat faced. They can also have a lot of dental problems as the teeth are often more crowded in shorter faced dogs.
French bulldogs can be prone to heatstroke, as they struggle to remain cool due to short and compact nasal bones. Due to their large, open ears, ear infections are also common in Frenchies.
Due to the range of health conditions that Frenchies are already predisposed to, by keeping them at a healthy weight, and not overweight, you can give them the best chance of a long, happy life.
When You Should Consult A Veterinarian
If you have any concerns about the health of your dog, then you should seek advice and treatment from a veterinarian. In particular, if you notice that your dog’s quality of life has declined rapidly, then you will need to seek help from a veterinarian.
If your Frenchie is overweight, then the veterinarian will offer a diet plan or exercise program to help get your dog back to a healthy weight.
Your dog can quickly become your best friend. So, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that they live a long healthy life by your side.
Frenchies can be prone to rapid weight gain, so it is important that you can spot the signs of obesity, and take precautions and steps to keep your Frenchie happy and healthy for a long time.