How Do I Get My French Bulldog To Gain Weight?


Many owners of the Frenchie do seem to obsess themselves with ensuring that their dog is at the correct weight for their size. Whether it’s a question that’s based off a health concern or whether it’s because they don’t look big enough, it’s a question that’s being asked a lot. So, I thought I’d try and make things quite clear as I couldn’t find a definitive article on this and I’ve been meaning to write it for a while, so here it is.

How do I get my French Bulldog to gain weight? If you want your French Bulldog to gain weight there is actually little you can do to change the final size and weight of your French Bulldog. You should feed them a balanced diet and ensure they are not overweight. If her parents were quite small, there is a good chance she will be also.

How Much Should The French Bulldog Weigh?

Before we go on, let’s take a look at how much your Frenchie should weigh on average. Take a look at the below chart:

Age (weeks)Weight (lbs)
11.2 – 2.2
42 – 4.2
85 – 6.9
126.2 – 9
169 – 12
1812 – 15
2213 – 16
2616 – 18
7817 – 23

Now, with those numbers, we can plot a graph to make it easier to understand.

How Do I Get My French Bulldog To Gain Weight?

So simply take the age of your Bulldog (in weeks) and draw a vertical line. Where it intersects the graph line is the average weight of a French Bulldog at that time. Bear in mind these are averages though and like there’s not a pre-determined weight for a human’s age, the same goes for the Frenchie. Also, these are the averages for both a male and a female.

Ideal Weight For A Male French Bulldog

On average, you should expect your French Bulldog to weigh between 20 and 28 lbs when fully grown. As far as dimensions, they will typically be between 27 and 31 cm in height. Note that typically, the male Frenchie is a little heavier than females.

Ideal Weight For A Female French Bulldog

Again, using averages your female Bully when mature will weigh between 17 and 26 lbs. Their height, however, will be very similar to a male French Bulldog’s (between 27 and 31 cm).

What’s The Best Diet for the French Bulldog?

How Do I Get My French Bulldog To Gain Weight?

The first few days and weeks will not be something you have a lot of control of. It will be up to her mother to ensure she gets enough food and if this doesn’t happen then it can impact how big your Bully will become when it reaches maturity at around two years. After this point, the responsibility of her falls squarely on your shoulders and you need to ensure she is provided with a wholesome diet.  There’s no one answer to this as, like us, they may like some foods more than others. Generally speaking though, your French Bulldog should have the below included in her diet:

  • Carbs – To ensure a decent blood sugar level the diet of your dog should be quite low in carbs.
  • Fat – Canola oil, chicken fat and flaxseed are a great source of fat. It’s recommended that about 8% of your Frenchie’s diet contains fat.
  • Protein – Lamb, fish, Chicken, and Beef, for example, you don’t need me to list all the meets though. Your Bully won’t mind what they have. Now, for little puppy’s it’s suggested that around 22% of their diet is protein and when they’re older, about 18%.

Ensure there’s variety in their diet, you don’t have to feed them the same thing every single day. Although, if it’s obvious they love it and it includes everything they need, then why not? The food that you provide your French Bulldog whilst they are still growing will have an impact on their growth rate. There is more to it than that though.

I mentioned earlier that a lot rides on those first few days and weeks and also genetics. Did you see how big the mother and father were? I know it’s not always possible but there’s a good chance your Frenchie will end up a similar size to them and there might not be much you can do about it.

It’s a fine line though between feeding them the right amount and over-feeding them, overdoing it can have almost as many negative health problems related to it as under-feeding them. 

Do You Need To Be Concerned About Their Weight?

If you think that there might be health issues, then consider the below:

  • Are they eating a balanced meal of 3 meals a day (for puppies) if they’re under six months and 2 meals a day if older than that?
  • Are they drinking?
  • Are there any problems with their toilet routines?
  • Do they appear active and full of energy?

If the answer to the above questions is ‘yes’, then it’s most likely you have nothing to worry about regarding their weight. For example, if you look at the above chart when you’re French Bulldog is 20 weeks and they weigh 12 or 13 pounds, then you may start to worry and wonder if there’s anything wrong.

That’s totally understandable but you can’t change mother nature. Your Frenchie will carry on growing up to around a year (it does vary a bit). So if you’ve not reached this point then they still have some growing to be done and their growth rate may change over time. As long as you’re providing balanced meals and she’s eating those meals and doing all the things I mentioned above, there really is nothing else you can do. 

If, however you think that she seems a little bit depressed, perhaps not her usual self, maybe not eating as much or has irregular bowel movements and especially if she’s not drinking – then this is the time to contact the vet to get a check-up.

There are other health complications related to an overweight French Bulldog. They are more susceptible to heart disease and diabetes for instance.

Is Your French Bulldog Overweight?

There are some ways to determine whether your French Bulldog is overweight:

  • They may look more podgy than muscularly defined. This may be difficult for you to notice as it’s a very gradual thing. A good idea is to take photos (which most people do these days) and compare month on month.
  • The French Bulldog already has problems with its breathing and being overweight will not help this. If, after some exercise, you notice their breathing is labored then it is a sign that they may be overweight.
  • Other people have commented that an over-weight Frenchie will take less care in itself. Whether that’s because she has less energy and just can’t be bothered or it’s more difficult physically when they’re heavier is unsure.

Is Your French Bulldog Underweight?

This is less common with this breed but it is something to look for. If they don’t always finish their food and are going to the toilet more frequently it can actually happen quite quickly. Again, comparing their photos against last month, etc. may help you identify this.

Look at their body, can you see their rib cage? You will definitely be able to fill them but do they stand out when you’re looking at them? If so, ensure they’re eating and if you’re worried then seek advice from your vet. Unfortunately, an underweight Frenchie can be a symptom of something more serious, such as a kidney-related disease. It’s unlikely, but better to put your mind at ease if worried.

But I Want My French Bulldog to be BIGGER!

Do you mean you want them physically bigger or more muscular? There is nothing you can do about the skeletal size of your French Bulldog. The outcome is almost set by the time they come out of their mother.

However, the best you can do is to ensure they get the right food, ensure they don’t get bored (and therefore become anxious) and also play with them sufficiently. Although the French Bulldog doesn’t require much exercise, they will want to play with you (and generally just spend time with you) at every opportunity, so make sure you don’t disappoint! 

You must be very careful not to over-feed the Frenchie. Being overweight will cause problems with their (already complicated) breathing in hotter weather.

Any Other Reasons?

Did you check the history of their mother and father? There are some types of French Bulldog that are thinner than others. For instance, a lot of Russian imported dogs do have a much thinner look and will always look like this, whatever you do. Whereas, American French Bulldogs have more of a pug-like look to them. 

Should I Contact My Vet?

If you’re worried, then why not? However, a common mistake a lot of people make is not providing the whole picture to their vet and actually ending up misleading them. Make a diary of both their food intake and their exercise routine.

If you’re particularly worried, take a note of how frequently they go to the toilet (and whether it appears ‘normal’ or not). Also, take frequent photos of them. If you don’t want to take your French Bulldog to the vet (as it can stress them out) then you may be able to send them photos.

Just provide your vet with the facts and don’t tell them what you think it is, this is their job and you may be sending them in the wrong direction inadvertently

Finally, if you’d like to see a Complete Guide on the French Bulldog then please check my article out. It will give you all the information you could ever want about this rather unique breed!

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences and those of my family and friends .

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