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What Should my French Bulldog Weigh? Guidelines and Tips

A Healthy French Bulldog Weight

The obesity epidemic has been sweeping America for years.

Humans aren’t the only ones affected — our cats and dogs are just as susceptible (if not more) to obesity as a result of poor nutrition and lifestyle.

By now we all should understand the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight for ourselves, why should our pets be any different?


It is advised that you speak to your veterinarian for professional advice regarding your Frenchie’s health.

Use this information only as a guideline in helping you determine if you should seek professional advice.

Table of Contents

A lot of pets are overweight

It seems like common sense, however, a large majority of pets actually are overweight and their owners may be completely oblivious.

Frenchies already have it hard when it comes to their predisposition to a variety of health issues. By keeping them a healthy weight, they’ll live longer, happier lives.

Frenchies are prone to weight gain

Unfortunately, our French Bulldogs are prone to rapid weight gain, and you should avoid feeding them human food at all costs. You wouldn’t eat your dog’s food and they shouldn’t eat yours.

Health risks for overweight French Bulldogs

When your Frenchie is overweight, they’re at a much higher risk of developing this list of serious medical conditions.

Being overweight can lead to…

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Less stress on joints
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Injuries to bones, joints, and muscles

Overweight dogs live an average of two years fewer than those of healthy weight. It’s important for your Frenchie to maintain a healthy weight for a long & happy life.

Signs your French Bulldog is Fat

  • You can’t feel their ribs
  • You can’t see their waistline
  • They get tired easily, don’t want to exercise, or have difficulty moving
  • Shortness of breath & heavy panting with mild exercise
  • Visible fat rolls (not just normal Frenchie wrinkles)

What are the causes of weight gain in French Bulldogs?

1. Overfeeding

Not sure if you’re overfeeding your French Bulldog?

Well if you don’t know, there’s a pretty good chance you might be.

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2. Low Activity

As you could probably guess, if your Frenchie is just lounging around the house, munching on food most of the time, they’re bound to put on a few pounds.

Tips for keeping your Frenchie active

  • Play with toys— my Frenchie loves to play fetch or tug-of-war
  • Go for daily walks— the general recommendation for dogs is 3–4 walks per day for at least 15 minutes… but anything is better than nothing! Don’t overdo it!
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3. Breed

Some dog breeds are more likely to gain weight than others.

Frenchies put on weight easily

Frenchies are certainly one of those breeds, along with many other brachycephalic dog breeds such as Shih Tzus and pugs.

But it’s tough for them to lose it

It’s pretty easy for Frenchies to put on the weight, but tough to shed the extra weight. Be extra-conscientious before overfeeding your puppy or sharing human food.

4. Age

As dogs get older, their metabolisms tend to slow down. They also start to live more sedentary lifestyles.

So while you might’ve been feeding your Frenchie the same amount of food for years, their calorie needs might be starting to decline. This can lead to weight gain.

As your dog gets older, they might need to be switched to a senior formulation of their food as well as having their portion sizes reduced.

Get regular checkups at the vet

In some cases, excessive weight gain could be caused by a more serious illness or health issue… be sure to visit your vet if suspect something is up.

5. Reproductive Status

By reproductive status, we mean: is your dog neutered or spayed?

Dogs that are neutered or spayed are at a slightly higher risk of weight gain according to a study published in the July 15, 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association for two years following their surgery.

While this shouldn’t deter you from neutering or spaying your dog, it’s something to keep in mind as it is a risk factor for gaining weight.

6. Pre-Existing Diseases

There are some health conditions that can lead to weight gain.

The most common are hypothyroidism, cushing’s disease, and diabetes, but there are many other conditions & medications that might cause weight gain.

Weight gain is often caused by…

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Diabetes

French Bulldog Growth Chart

1 week1.2 – 2.2 lbs
4 weeks2.0 – 4.2 lbs
8 weeks5.0 – 6.9 lbs
12 weeks6.2 – 9 lbs
16 weeks9 – 12 lbs
18 weeks12 – 15 lbs
22 weeks13 – 16 lbs
26 weeks16 – 18 lbs
Adult23 – 28 lbs

A chart is good to get a general idea of your Frenchie’s weight, but it’s not definitive.

Here’s how to get a better assessment of your Frenchie’s weight.

Standing over your Frenchie, you should be able to feel their ribs, but not see them.

If you can see their ribs, they may be too skinny.

If you can’t see their ribs, place your hands on the side of their chest.

If you still can’t distinguish their rib cage from their waist, they could be overweight.

Overall, the shape of your Frenchie should be more hourglass-shaped than oval-shaped.

Frenchie Weight Loss Program – Becoming your Frenchie’s Personal Trainer

Fitness 101

If you have ever spent a decent amount of time in the gym, you’ll probably understand the importance of diet in maintaining a healthy weight.

Frenchies can’t look in the mirror like us…

When we humans start to gain weight, we notice it when we look in the mirror and can make changes to our diet and activity level accordingly.

You need to keep a close eye on their weight

Your Frenchie doesn’t have this luxury and it’s imperative that you keep a close eye on their weight as they’re notorious for putting on weight like it’s nothing.

Remember: Frenchies put on weight quick & lose it slowly…

It’s a family effort

Before we get started, let’s make sure everybody’s on the same page. Perhaps your kids have been feeding your little Frenchie french fries under the table unbeknownst.

Whatever it is, make sure your entire family is committed to your Frenchie’s weight loss plan.

Make sure someone isn’t overfeeding them behind your back!

No matter how often you go for walks, if your pup is scoffing down the leftovers or having a few too many midnight snacks, you won’t see any results.

Let’s get started! — Diet

First things first, you should take a look at your Frenchie’s diet. Are their meal portions too big? Are they gobbling up table scraps? Too many training treats?

PetMD recommends cutting food intake by 25 percent. Increase exercise slowly each day.

Consider a raw diet

Despite controversy over raw diets, there have been many benefits associated with them; one of them being weight loss.

They’re full of protein

These diets provide your dog with much more protein than dry food, which is essential for muscle strength.

This means the weight loss will be fat, not muscle mass.

They help your Frenchie feel more “full”

Raw diets also keep your French Bulldog feeling “full” after meals, meaning they won’t be scrounging around the house for crumbs.

Feed multiple, smaller meals each day

It has been shown that multiple, smaller meals are beneficial in weight loss when compared to one or two large meals every day.

More stable blood sugar levels

This is because your French Bulldog’s blood sugar level will be more consistent throughout the day, meaning their bodies are less likely to store the excess calories.

Consult with your veterinarian

Nobody knows your Frenchie’s health better than your veterinarian.

They will know the best brand and portion sizes specifically for your pup. If necessary, your veterinarian may also prescribe diet dog food for your Frenchie.

Hit the gym… or well, the outdoors

Just like we wouldn’t be able to hit the treadmill for an intense hour of cardio after a year hiatus from the gym, don’t expect your Frenchie to be any different.

Anything is better than nothing

If you aren’t already taking your Frenchie for regular, daily walks, begin doing so immediately.

A ten-minute walk is much better than nothing.

Frenchies love being outside

Frenchies love exploring the great outdoors and it’s a great stress reliever for us humans too!

You can even kill two birds with one stone and use getting your Frenchie to a healthy weight as a way to ease into a physical exercise habit. You and your Frenchie will be happier and healthier!

Daily walks are essential

It is recommended to walk your Frenchie for 30 minutes twice a day, however, this may not fit everybody’s circumstances.

You may live in a high-rise apartment in the heart of the city or simply not feel like going for a walk after a long day at the office.

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Regardless of what it is, there’s definitely a way to squeeze in some exercise!

Keep this in mind!

During the summer in hotter areas such as Florida or Texas, you and your Frenchie may find the heat unbearable.

Frenchies are prone to heatstroke

It’s important that you don’t let them overexert themselves as they’re prone to heatstroke.

A small, children’s pool works perfectly for cooling them off!

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Frenchies get cold too…

The same goes for extremely cold climates as well.

If you notice your Frenchie shivering when outside, a sweater is a worthwhile investment. Be sure to give extra cuddles when you’re back inside to warm them up!

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Alternatives to walking

  • Fetch
  • Tug-of-war
  • Doggy treadmill
  • Hide treats around the house
  • Running up and down the stairs

Skinny French Bulldog? Here’s how to gain weight

Do you think your French Bulldog is underweight?

Before you go and make any changes to their diet, it’s important to first determine whether or not they’re actually underweight.

Some Frenchies are a bit more slender than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re underweight.

How to know if your Frenchie is underweight

  • Visibility of Ribs: In a healthy dog, you should be able to feel their ribs easily when you lightly run your fingers over their side, but the ribs should not be visibly protruding. If you can see each individual rib, your Frenchie might be underweight.
  • Visibility of Spine, Hips, and Shoulder Bones: Similarly, you should be able to feel these bones, but they should not be clearly visible or protruding. If these bones are prominent, this is another sign that your dog might be underweight.
  • Hourglass Figure: Looking at your dog from above, they should have a discernible waist behind their ribs. If your Frenchie’s waist is extremely pronounced (an extreme “hourglass” shape), they might be underweight.
  • Abdominal Tuck: Viewed from the side, your dog’s abdomen should slope up from the bottom of their ribcage to inside their thighs. If this abdominal tuck is very severe, this can be another sign your Frenchie is underweight.
  • Energy Levels: Underweight dogs often exhibit low energy levels, lethargy, or other changes in behavior.

The best way to determine whether or not your Frenchie is underweight is by having them evaluated by their veterinarian.

They will also be able to figure out if there’s a more serious reason for them being underweight.

Why is my Frenchie skinny?

  1. Poor Diet: The dog might not be eating enough or might not be getting the right nutrients from its food.
  2. Illness or Parasites: Medical conditions, such as digestive disorders, or parasites can cause weight loss in dogs.
  3. Dental Problems: If your dog has dental issues, it might have trouble eating.
  4. Stress or Anxiety: Changes in environment or routine can lead to weight loss because the dog might eat less due to stress.

How to get your Frenchie to gain weight

So you’ve determined that your Frenchie is underweight. Now you want to know how to fatten up your French Bulldog — here’s some healthy ways to help them gain weight.

  • High-Quality Diet: Provide your Frenchie with a high-quality, balanced dog food that’s rich in protein and healthy fats. Avoid foods with fillers and artificial ingredients. Instead, look for food that lists a source of animal protein, like chicken, beef, or fish, as the first ingredient.
  • Increase Feeding Frequency: Instead of feeding your Frenchie two large meals per day, consider providing smaller meals more frequently. This approach can stimulate appetite and increase overall calorie intake.
  • Increase Portion Size: On the side of most dog food bags is a feeding chart. They usually have a range of how much food to feed them based off their weight. You can try feeding them the upper end of the range if you think they’re not getting enough food.
  • Treats and Toppers: Nutrient-dense treats can help add calories to your dog’s diet. You can also use food toppers, like cooked meat or dog-safe vegetables, to make your dog’s meals more appealing.
  • Regular Exercise: While it might seem counterintuitive if your dog is underweight, regular exercise can actually stimulate appetite and contribute to muscle development. Make sure your Frenchie is getting regular, appropriate exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average weight for a French Bulldog?

Male French Bulldogs typically weigh between 20-28 pounds (9-12 kg), while female French Bulldogs typically weigh between 16-24 pounds (7-11 kg).
However, individual weights can vary, so it’s important to consult with your vet about what is healthy for your specific pet.

How can I tell if my French Bulldog is overweight or underweight?

If you can see the ribs, spine, and hip bones prominently, your Frenchie may be underweight. Conversely, if you can’t feel these bones easily, your Frenchie may be overweight.
A healthy Frenchie should have a slight waistline and tuck in the abdomen. Consult with a vet for an accurate assessment.

How often should I feed my French Bulldog?

Most adult French Bulldogs are fed twice a day. Puppies require more frequent feeding. The amount of food will depend on their age, size, and activity level.

My French Bulldog is losing weight rapidly. What should I do?

Rapid weight loss can be a sign of a serious health problem. Consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

My French Bulldog seems to be gaining weight, even though their diet hasn’t changed. Why might this be?

Weight gain can result from a variety of factors, including decreased activity levels, aging, or underlying health issues. It’s best to consult with a vet if your dog is unexpectedly gaining weight.

Just remember

The key to weight loss in both humans and animals is the same: diet and exercise.

With enough persistence, you’ll achieve your goals in no time!

If all else fails, visit your vet

If your Frenchie is experiencing unexplainable weight gain or you’re not seeing much results from your diet, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian.

Did we miss anything? Got a suggestion?

Leave a comment down below and we’ll get back to you!


Thursday 12th of May 2022

Thank you loved reading up on frenchies


Wednesday 30th of November 2022

Thank you, Gail! Glad you enjoyed the post.