Why Is My French Bulldog Not Putting on Weight?

How to Make French Bulldog Gain Weight

Is your adorable French Bulldog not packing on the pounds like you expected? Don’t worry; you’re not alone in this puzzling predicament. French Bulldogs, with their irresistibly cute faces and charming personalities, are beloved companions for many. However, their small stature and unique characteristics can sometimes challenge weight management.

As a responsible and loving Frenchie owner, it’s natural to be concerned about your furry friend’s well-being. Whether your pooch seems to be a bit too picky with their food or simply struggles to maintain a healthy weight, various factors can contribute to their weight-related issues.

Why Is My French Bulldog Not Putting on Weight?

Don’t worry; it’s a common concern among dog parents, and we’re here to shed some light on the matter. So, let’s dive into this weighty topic and find out why your furry friend might be a bit on the slim side.

1. The Picky Eaters

French Bulldogs can be quite discerning when it comes to their food choices. Just like humans, they have their preferences, and some can be picky eaters. If you notice your Frenchie turning their snoot up at certain dog foods or homemade meals, don’t worry; you’re not alone! Many French Bulldog owners have experienced this charming stubbornness.

To encourage your Frenchie to eat, consider introducing a variety of dog food flavors and textures. Rotation of different protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, or fish, can keep mealtime exciting for your pup. Additionally, you can add healthy and tasty toppings to their meals, like a dollop of plain yogurt or a sprinkle of grated cheese (in moderation).

2. High Metabolism

Another reason your French Bulldog may struggle to gain weight is their high metabolism rate. Frenchies are small-sized dogs with a faster metabolism compared to larger breeds. This means they burn calories quickly, making it challenging for them to put on weight.

To address their high metabolism, you can consider feeding your Frenchie small, frequent meals throughout the day instead of two large meals. This can help provide steady nutrients and energy to support their daily activities. Additionally, ensure your dog food is nutritionally dense and tailored to their needs.

3. Age and Growth Stage

French Bulldogs, like all dogs, go through different growth stages. Puppies, especially during their rapid growth phase, require more calories and nutrients to support their development. On the other hand, adult Frenchies have lower calorie needs to maintain their weight.

If your French Bulldog is a puppy, consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding plan based on age and current weight. Feed adult Frenchies according to age and activity level to prevent overfeeding or underfeeding.

4. Underlying Health Issues

A lack of weight gain in French Bulldogs can sometimes be attributed to underlying health issues. Certain medical conditions, such as parasites, gastrointestinal problems, or thyroid imbalances, can affect their appetite and nutrient absorption.

If you notice significant changes in your Frenchie’s eating habits or suspect any health issues, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian. A thorough examination and diagnostic tests can help identify and address underlying health problems.

5. Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also impact your French Bulldog’s eating habits and weight. Changes in their environment, such as moving to a new home or the presence of new pets, can cause stress in dogs. Additionally, loud noises, separation anxiety, or other emotional factors can affect their appetite.

Creating a calm and comfortable environment for your Frenchie can help reduce stress. Stick to a consistent feeding schedule, provide them a quiet and safe space, and engage in regular playtime and exercise to alleviate anxiety.

What Is The Ideal French Bulldog Weight?

The ideal weight for a French Bulldog can vary depending on age, gender, and genetics. Adult male Frenchies usually weigh between 20 to 28 pounds (9 to 13 kilograms), while adult females weigh around 16 to 24 pounds (7 to 11 kilograms). Remember that these are just general guidelines, and it’s essential to consider your dog’s unique characteristics.

Activity level, diet, and overall health can influence your French Bulldog’s weight. It’s crucial to monitor your Frenchie’s weight regularly and consult with your veterinarian to ensure they’re on track for a healthy life.

How Do I Know If My French Bulldog Is Overweight?

Like in humans, excess weight in dogs can lead to various health issues, affecting their overall quality of life and even shortening their lifespan. Here are some reasons why a healthy weight is vital for your furry friend:

  • Visible Body Condition: A quick visual assessment can provide insights into your Frenchie’s weight. From a top-down view, your dog should have a visible waistline between their ribs and hips. Their abdomen should be tucked up, not sagging when viewed from the side.
  • Difficulty in Movement: If your Frenchie seems to be having difficulty moving around or appears lethargic, it might be a sign of excess weight. Overweight dogs often have reduced energy levels and may avoid physical activities they used to enjoy.
  • Difficulty Breathing: French Bulldogs are already prone to respiratory issues due to their brachycephalic features. Extra weight can further impede their breathing, leading to wheezing, snoring, or excessive panting.
  • Inability to Feel Ribs: When you gently run your hands along your Frenchie’s ribcage, you should be able to feel their ribs with a slight layer of fat covering them. If you cannot feel the ribs, it may indicate your dog carries too much weight.
  • Unwillingness to Exercise: If your Frenchie is reluctant to go for walks or participate in playtime, it could be a sign of discomfort or fatigue due to excess weight.
  • Weight Gain Over Time: Regularly monitoring your Frenchie’s weight is essential to catch any weight gain early. If you notice a steady increase in their weight over time, it’s time to take action.

How to Confirm if Your Frenchie Is Overweight

While the signs mentioned above can provide initial clues, the most accurate way to confirm if your French Bulldog is overweight is through a physical examination by a veterinarian. They will consider your Frenchie’s breed, age, and overall health while assessing their weight. Your vet may also use a Body Condition Score (BCS) system to determine your dog’s weight status.

The BCS system is typically a scale of 1 to 9, with one being extremely underweight, nine being severely overweight, and 5 being the ideal weight. Your vet will use palpation and visual observation to determine where your Frenchie falls on this scale. Maintaining a BCS of 4 to 5 is generally considered ideal for most dogs, including French Bulldogs.

Health Implications of My Frenchie Is Underweight?

  • Weak Immune System: An underweight Frenchie may have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Proper nutrition is essential for a strong immune system, as it helps the body build defenses against harmful pathogens.
  • Lack of Energy: Underweight dogs often lack the energy needed for daily activities and playtime. If your Frenchie is not getting enough calories and nutrients, they may become lethargic and less interested in exercise.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Being underweight may indicate that your Frenchie is not getting all the essential nutrients they need. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to various health issues, including poor coat condition, dental problems, and reduced muscle mass.
  • Reproductive Problems: Female underweight French Bulldogs may experience reproductive issues, including irregular heat cycles and difficulty conceiving. Adequate nutrition is crucial for maintaining reproductive health in breeding dogs.

What Human Food Can I Feed My Dog to Gain Weight?

  • Cooked Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins. They can be fed cooked to your dog and offer a tasty way to supplement their diet. Make sure the eggs are thoroughly cooked to avoid the risk of salmonella.
  • Cooked Meat: Lean, cooked meats such as chicken, turkey, and beef can be a great addition to your dog’s meals. Avoid seasoning the meat with spices or additives that may harm dogs, such as onions or garlic. The protein in meat will help promote muscle growth and weight gain.
  • Salmon and Sardines: Fish like salmon and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, aiding in weight gain and contributing to a glossy coat. Ensure the fish is fully cooked, and be cautious of any bones that may pose a choking hazard.
  • Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a calorie-dense treat that dogs generally love. It’s rich in healthy fats and protein. When choosing peanut butter, choose unsalted varieties free of xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be toxic to dogs.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Cooked sweet potatoes are an excellent complex carbohydrate source that provides energy and essential nutrients. They are easy to digest and can be mixed with your dog’s food.
  • Greek Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt is a protein-rich food that can also help with digestion due to its probiotic content. It’s a great option for adding extra calories to your dog’s diet.
  • Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is another protein-packed food that can help weight gain. It’s best to choose low-fat or reduced-fat options to avoid excessive fat intake.
  • Oats: Oats are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and essential nutrients. They can be served cooked or soaked in water or broth to create a soft, calorie-rich meal.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can aid in weight gain and improve a dog’s coat and skin. Start with small amounts and gradually increase to avoid digestive upset.
  • Pumpkin: Canned pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is fiber-rich and can help regulate digestion. It can be mixed with your dog’s food to increase caloric intake.

Can I Give My French Bulldog Treats for Gaining Weight?

Yes, you can give your French Bulldog treats to help them gain weight, but it’s essential to do so in a healthy and controlled manner. Weight gain in dogs should always be approached cautiously to avoid potential health risks.

Here are some tips to follow:

  • High-quality treats: Choose nutritious treats specially formulated for weight gain, containing adequate protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients.
  • Portion control: Moderation is key. Don’t overindulge your dog with treats, as excessive weight gain can lead to health issues.
  • Supplement their diet: Add small portions of high-calorie foods like boiled chicken, plain yogurt, or pumpkin to their regular meals.
  • Frequent feeding: Instead of significantly increasing the portion size of regular meals, feed your Frenchie smaller meals throughout the day to avoid digestive issues.
  • Consult a veterinarian: Consult your vet before making any dietary changes or introducing new treats. They can assess your dog’s current health, and weight, and recommend a suitable weight gain plan.

How Often Should I Weigh My French Bulldog?

Weighing your French Bulldog regularly is essential to monitor their overall health and ensure they maintain an appropriate weight. However, the frequency of weigh-ins may vary based on your dog’s age, activity level, and health concerns. As a general guideline, weighing your French Bulldog once a month is advisable.

Puppies may require more frequent weigh-ins, ideally every week, to track their growth and development. As they mature, monthly weigh-ins are typically sufficient. Remember that French Bulldogs are prone to weight gain, and obesity can lead to various health issues, so consistent monitoring is crucial.

Aside from weighing, pay attention to other signs of their well-being, such as energy levels, coat condition, and appetite. If you notice any significant changes in weight or behavior, consult your veterinarian promptly. They can offer personalized advice on your French Bulldog’s weight management and overall health, ensuring your beloved pet’s happy and healthy life.

Is Feed My French Bulldog Raw Eggs Safe to Help Them Gain Weight?

Feeding raw eggs to a French Bulldog may not be the safest or most effective way to help them gain weight. While raw eggs contain protein, vitamins, and minerals that can be beneficial, they also pose certain risks. Raw eggs may carry bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, leading to food poisoning and other health issues in dogs.

If you want to help your French Bulldog gain weight, it is best to consult with a veterinarian to develop a safe and appropriate plan. They can recommend a balanced diet tailored to your dog’s needs, including high-quality commercial dog food, cooked lean meats, and other nutritious supplements.

Ensure the weight gain plan is gradual and healthy, as rapid weight gain can harm your dog’s well-being. Regular exercise should also be included to build muscle mass and overall fitness. A veterinary professional can provide personalized advice and monitor your French Bulldog’s progress to ensure they reach their ideal weight safely and without compromising their health.


If you find that your beloved French Bulldog is not putting on weight as expected, several factors could be at play. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to address this issue promptly to ensure the well-being and happiness of your furry companion.

Firstly, consulting with a veterinarian should be your top priority. They will be able to conduct a thorough examination and potentially identify any underlying health concerns hindering your French Bulldog’s weight gain. Whether it’s a medical condition, parasites, or nutritional deficiencies, a professional assessment will guide you in the right direction to take appropriate action.

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in your dog’s weight management. Ensuring your French Bulldog is on a balanced and suitable diet designed to meet its specific needs is crucial for healthy weight gain. This might involve adjusting their portion sizes, incorporating high-quality proteins, and considering supplements if necessary.

Written by Justin Michaels