Help! My French Bulldog Is Too Skinny!

Help! My French Bulldog Is Too Skinny!

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

You may have a French bulldog who is too skinny. Here are some reasons why. The lack of nutrition, illness, worms, and anxiety all contribute to poor health.

The purpose of this article is to explain “Help! My French Bulldog Is Too Skinny!”.

These delightful creatures have cute little bodies and energetic personalities that make them very entertaining. In addition to fun and play owning a Frenchie is not without its concerns. One of the biggest is keeping the dog in good shape and maintaining a healthy weight. 

Help! My French Bulldog Is Too Skinny!

We’re all concerned about how our little cuties look and keeping them healthy and happy is always our main concern as dog owners.

There is a streak of stubbornness and assertiveness in French bulldogs so it is not unusual for them to pick up bad habits. 

When it comes to Frenchies poor feeding habits can be a major concern leading some people to ask what is the average weight of a French Bulldog?

If they eat too little they become skinny and underweight and if they eat too much they become overweight. Overeating can lead to serious health problems.

In addition to food what else may affect your companion dogs weight and health? How much should a French bulldog weigh? Do they get skinny from eating too much? In a few minutes you’ll see the answers to these questions and more. Keep scrolling.

4 reasons that your French bulldog is too skinny 

Dogs will gain or lose weight at different times in their lives and this is perfectly normal. There are however times when this isnot the case! To be able to determine when your dog is losing or gaining weight and when the weight loss isnot normal you need to observe her. 

Although French Bulldogs are not prone to obesity if you notice your Frenchie has suddenly lost about 10% of her normal weight then she is probably malnourished and underweight. Look at the rib cage of the dog if you can clearly see the ribs then that dog is definitely very skinny and underweight. Low energy levels could also indicate being underweight.

In France Frenchies are known for their high energy levels and playfulness so if you notice that your tires and pants are heavily after a few short runs then something really isn’t right.

1. Poor nutrition

If your dog is not getting enough food then you should review his meals to ensure they meet his nutritional needs.

2. Illness

However food is not the only cause of weight loss in dogs. In the event that your dog appears to be losing weight despite eating healthy meals and behaving normally it may be due to an illness. 

Diabetes cancer liver diseases heart disease kidney diseases and other serious health problems affect dogs.

3. Worms

Dogs often lose weight suddenly due to worms which is a common health problem. When a dogs intestines are infected with parasites such as tapeworms that feed constantly on the dogs food and nutrients the result is rapid weight loss and low energy. Dogs that are anxious may lose weight as well.

4. Anxiety

The lack of appetite that dogs experience is caused by anxiety. If a dog feels unsafe or anxious he will not eat much. Lack of appetite and unfinished food bowls can also be indicators of a serious illness. The loss of weight in dogs can also be related to their age as they naturally lose weight as they age. Talk to your veterinarian if your French bulldog is very skinny and isnot filling up despite your best efforts to feed him well. He might need a comprehensive checkup.

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

You will be better able to identify when there is a problem if you know the ideal weight for French bulldogs at different points in their lives.  Besides genetics body shape diet level of activity and sex Frenchies have a number of other factors that affect their ideal weight. The male French bulldog weighs slightly more than the female.  Male Frenchies typically weigh between 15.5 and 23.6 pounds at 6 months of age. At 12 months their weight ranges from 19.8 to 30.4 pounds.  An average female Frenchie weighs between 13.8 and 22.1 pounds at 6 months old. The female Frenchie will weigh between 17.6 and 28.4 pounds at the age of 12 months.  Male Frenchies (about 2 years old) typically weigh 20 – 28 pounds while female Frenchies typically weigh 18 – 26 pounds.

4 causes of underweight French Bulldogs

Underweight French Bulldogs can be caused by four main factors.

1. Serious illness

Frenchies tend to lose weight if they have an underlying health condition that is causing them to lose weight. Common conditions include parasites kidney diseases and cancers.

You need to schedule an appointment with your French Bulldogs veterinarian if this has happened over weeks not days and you have tried to feed your French Bulldog more without success.

2. Poor nutrition

Second if your dog is too skinny it could be due to poor-quality food that does not contain enough nutrition for them to maintain a healthy weight.

Here are some tips for buying the best food that you can afford.

3. Growth spurt

The third reason that your Frenchie might be underweight is that they are young not fully mature and have experienced a growth spurt. By increasing the amount of food that you give them by about 20% they will be back to normal weight in just a few weeks.

4. Rescue Dog

Your French Bulldog is too thin for a fourth and final reason because its a rescue dog. Generally rescue dogs of all breeds are underweight (a survey from 2019 found that 47 percent of rescue dogs were too skinny.) It is more likely that French Bulldogs were rescued because their owners could not afford surgery than because they were neglected.

Tips on feeding a French Bulldog who is losing weight

After a trip to the vet hopefully you found out that your dog does not have any underlying conditions that are causing weight loss.

Its just a matter of putting that weight back on!

Below are a few quick tips on how you can feed a French Bulldog who is underweight.

First of all this is a process that will take weeks not days so you need to be patient.

Additionally you can use this calculator to find out how much to feed your dog daily based on his target weight and how active he is.

Thirdly divide that figure by three or four and provide them with food three or four times a day.

When you feed them little and often their stomachs will be able to digest the food more easily.

Finally stand beside them while they eat and take the food away when they have finished. You should not let your dogs “graze” all day long when they need to gain weight.

What are some common feeding mistakes?

Frenchies should be neither too thin nor too chubby to be healthy. These cuties are prone to a number of health problems which could shorten their lives and damage their physical structures if they are underweight or overweight. However how do you prevent them from experiencing these problems? Easy! Just feed them properly. A Frenchies weight and size are largely influenced by what she eats. The results of feeding her wrongly will surely be unhealthy for her. The following five most common feeding mistakes should be avoided to keep your French bulldog in shape;

Not getting a special feeding bowl for your Frenchie:

As with humans dogs also have habits and will always do what they are used to doing. Providing your Frenchie with a special feeding bowl will prevent her from eating in any other way.

By contrast if you let your Frenchie eat from the ground she may form the habit of eating from the ground and can pick up and eat unhealthy items in the yard pack or anywhere else. 

Not considering the right portion of food:

Depending on her size age and activity level your Frenchie will need different amounts of food to maintain a healthy weight. In the same way dogs can become underweight when they eat too little food giving them much more than she needs will put them at risk of becoming overweight. 

Not taking the age and lifestyle of your pet into account:

Dogs that are young and very active require more food than dogs that are fully grown and less active. Puppy and dogs under 8 months old can be fed up to 6 times a day because they need more nutrients for healthy growth while less active adult dogs will need only twice a day.

Sharing your food with your Frenchie:

The reason why you should not share your food with your Frenchie is that if your pet is accustomed to sharing your meals he or she will always expect to do so. In addition to never eating peacefully your Frenchies may refuse to eat from their bowl alone. Salt sugar and artificial colorants are also found in human food which is unhealthy for dogs. 

Giving your Frenchie too many treats:

Providing your Frenchie with fun treats for good behavior is great for positive reinforcement but too many treats can be unhealthy due to the excess calories. You should not replace your dogs real food with treats since they do not contain all of the nutrients he needs. 

Underweight French Bulldog Puppy

Underweight French Bulldog puppies look very vulnerable. There are some general guidelines for how much your Frenchie should weigh as it grows up and here are a few key markers.

4 weeks2- 4 lbs
8 weeks5- 7 lbs
12 weeks6- 9 lbs
16 weeks9- 12 lbs

This chart shows typical weight ranges for French Bulldog puppies

It is the same reasons that an adult French Bulldog might be underweight that apply to a puppy.

In summary there were two main reasons:

  • A health condition that exists under the surface
  • of poor food quality

The first will probably require a veterinarians visit and the second will probably require a change in diet

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

A dog that is overweight or obese is actually more likely to develop serious health issues like liver and heart disease. French bulldogs who are underweight or skinny are also susceptible to diseases like diabetes kidney disease and gastrointestinal disease. In addition to lacking essential nutrients underweight dogs have a very low immune system making them susceptible to different diseases parasites and worms. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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