Help! My French Bulldog Is Too Skinny!

Frenchies are adorable creatures, their little cute bodies and energetic personalities make them very entertaining. Besides fun and play, owning a Frenchie also comes with its fair share of concerns and one of the biggest is keeping the dog in top shape and maintaining a healthy weight.  As dog owners, it’s only natural to be concerned about how our little cuties look and keeping them healthy and happy is always our main concern. French bulldogs have a streak of stubborness and can be very assertive, this is why it isn’t unusual fo them to pick up poor habits.  Poor feeding habits in Frenchies can be a major cause for concern. Just like we humans, if they eat too little they become skinny and underweight and if they eat too much they become overweight.  This can lead to serious health problems. But besides food, what else can affect the weight and health of your little companion dog. What is the ideal weight for French bulldogs? What makes them so skinny and what feeding mistakes should I avoid? In a few short minutes you’ll find answers to these questions and more, keep scrolling …

[1] Why is my French bulldog too skinny? 

During different periods in their lives, dogs will either gain or loss weight and most times this is perfectly normal. But sometimes it isn’t! Which is why you need to observe your dog to know when she’s losing or gaining weight and when the weight loss isn’t right.  French bulldogs are not actually prone to weight problems, however, if you notice that your Frenchie suddenly lost about 10% of her normal body weight then you know that she’s probably malnourished and underweight. You can tell a very skinny dog simply by looking at the rib cage, if you can clearly see the ribs then that dog is definitely too skinny and underweight. Another sign of underweight is low energy levels. Frenchies are known to be very energetic and playful, and if you notice that yours tires and pants heavily after a few short run, then something really isn’t right. Your dog may be lacking adequate food supply and you need to review his meals to make sure they meet his nutritional needs. But food isn’t the only cause of weight loss in dogs. If you notice that your dog is losing weight despite eating health meals and even behaving normally, then it may be due to an illness.  Dogs suffer from a number of very serious health problems like diabetes, cancer, liver problems, heart disease, kidney problems, etc. A common health issue in dogs that usually result in sudden weight loss is worms. If a dog’s intestines are infested with parasites like tapeworms which constantly feed on all the dog’s food and nutrients, this causes rapid weight loss and low energy levels.  Anxious dogs also suffer from weight loss. In dogs, anxiety causes lack of appetite, if a dog is anxious and feels unsafe he’ll hardly eat. Unfinished food bowls and lack of appetite can also be a sign of an underlying illness. Weight loss can also be age related, dogs naturally lose weight as they grow old. If your French bulldog is very skinny and won’t fill up despite your efforts in feeding him well, talk to your veterinarian, your Frenchie may need a comprehensive checkup.

[2] What is the ideal French Bulldog weight? (6mths / 12 mths / 2 years old)

Knowing the ideal weight for French bulldogs at different points in their lives will help you determine if yours is healthy and you’ll be better able to detect when there’s a problem.  The ideal weight of Frenchies is determined by a number of other factors like; genetics, body shape, diet, activity level and sex. Male French bulldogs slightly weigh more than the females.  At 6 months, male Frenchies generally weigh between 15.5 and 23.6 pounds. 12 months old male Frenchies weigh between 19.8 and 30.4 pounds.  The average weight of 6 months old female Frenchies is from 13.8 to 22.1 pounds. At 12 months, female Frenchie will weigh between 17.6 and 28.4 pounds.  Adult (about 2 years) male Frenchies generally weigh between 20 – 28 pounds, while adult female Frenchies weigh from 18 – 26 pounds.

[3] What should I feed my underweight dog?

If you have an underweight dog, the first thing you will naturally do is give him more food. Provided the weight loss isn’t as a result of some disease or illness, you can help your Frenchie regain his weight by making sure he gets the adequate among of food and nutritional requirements.  You can encourage your Frenchie to eat more by giving him smaller portions of food several times a day. Instead of just giving him one large meal a day, that she’ll probably not finish, feed him several times a day as this will all add up and she’ll consume enough to regain his normal weight.  You can also try changing his food, a different type of food to better supply his nutritional requirements may just be what your Frenchie needs. Giving your French bulldog treats and snacks is also another effective way to make him eat more food and dogs love treat.  In addition to pet food and treats, you can also add supplements to your dogs diet. Supplements like vitamins will supply the additional nutrients your Frenchie needs and help him regain a healthy weight fast enough.  Alternatively, you can take your underweight Frenchie to a veterinarian for a medical assessment and get professional advice on the best food and supplements to help him regain his weight and energy. 

[4] What are some common feeding mistakes?

A healthy Frenchie is neither too thin or too chubby! Being either underweight or overweight makes these cuties susceptible to a number of serious health problems, which can shorten their lifespan, not to mention the damage it can cause to their physical structure. So how do you avoid this?  It’s simple! Feed him right. The body size and weight of your Frenchie largely depends on what you feed her. And when you feed her wrongly, the results will definitely be unhealthy for her. To keep your French bulldog in shape, avoid the following five most common feeding mistakes;

Not getting a special feeding bowl for your Frenchie:

Like humans, dogs are also creatures of habit and will always do things out of habit. Feeding your Frenchie from a special feeding bowl will prevent her from eating from any other way. Alternatively, if your let your Frenchie eat from the ground, she’ll form the habit of eating from the ground and will be at risk of picking up and eating unhealthy items in the yard, pack or anywhere. 

Not considering the right portion of food:

The size, age and activity level of your Frenchie will determine her nutritional requirements and how much food she needs to maintain a healthy weight. Just like how dogs can become underweight when they eat too little food, giving her much more than she needs will put her at risk of excessive weight gain and obesity. 

Not taking the age and lifestyle of your pet into account

Younger and very active dogs need more food that fully grown and less active dogs. Puppies and dogs less than 8 months can be fed as often as 4 to 6 times daily because they need more nutrients for healthy growth while less active adult dogs will need to eat only twice daily.

Sharing your food with your Frenchie

Sharing some of your food with your Frenchie may seem harmless, but it is because your pet will form the habit of always expecting to join you during meals. Besides never peacefully enjoying your meals, your Frenchies may refuse to eat from his bowl alone. Human food also contains things like salt, sugar and artificial colorants which aren’t healthy for dogs. 

Giving your Frenchie too many treats

Rewarding your Frenchie for good behaviour with fun treats is great for positive reinforcement but giving her too many treats for every little thing may be unhealthy because of the extra calories. Treats also shouldn’t replace real pet food because they don not contain the nutrients your dog requires. 

[5] What are some of the health risks for skinny French bulldogs? 

Overweight and obese dogs are actually more prone to serious health issues like liver and heart diseases. But underweight and skinny French bulldogs are also susceptible to a number of diseases like diabetes, kidney disease and gastrointestinal disease. Underweight dogs lack some important nutrients and have very low immune system which makes them vulnerable to different diseases, parasites and worms.