My French Bulldog Is So Skinny! What To Do?

Even though most Frenchies are prone to obesity, it’s nothing strange to see a skinny Frenchie too. If your French bulldog looks so skinny, then you surely need to take certain measures and check if there’s an underlying condition.

why is my french bulldog so skinny

Why does my French Bulldog look so skinny?

Frenchies might be small in size, but it doesn’t mean they should be skinny. These little batpigs should have stout and muscle-built bodies. Seeing ribs ‘through’ your dog’s skin doesn’t represent a healthy version of your pet. Although most Frenchies are known as greedy eaters, some dogs can deal with leanness.

The French bulldog weight of a healthy male should be between 20-28 pounds, while healthy females should weigh between 18-26 pounds. Many dog owners get confused with these recommendations, so we can often hear them saying their Frenchies are too skinny. However, a healthy-looking Frenchie is one with a well-defined chest, front and hind legs. The weight and height of your French bulldog will much depend on his/her genes. If you own a mini French bulldog, then you can’t expect he/she will reach the recommended size. The size of parents will also affect the weight of your pup.

why is my french bulldog so skinny

How to know if my French bulldog is skinny?

The best way to determine if your dog is skinny is to look at his/her body from above. If you see ribs protruding, then your Frenchie’s is underweight. You should be able to feel the ribs under your arms but not to see them. When you can’t feel the ribs, your Frenchie quickly gets tired during walks and looks too round, then he’s probably overweight.

The reasons why is your French bulldog skinny:

Inappropriate diet

One of the reasons for your French bulldog’s slim figure could be a low-calorie diet. To help your dog have more energy and gain weight, we recommend you include healthy oils and proteins. When picking a diet for your French bulldog, it’s important to take into account your lifestyle. We say that because BARF diet and homemade meals require a certain amount of time.  Anyway, you can find great dry kibble dog food brands that include real meat and healthy oils. Don’t buy dry kibble with additional flavors, color, and other fillers because they can trigger an allergy in your Frenchie.

why is my frenchie so skinny

Worms in the gastrointestinal tract

Worms literally ‘eat and steal’ the food from your dog’s belly. That’s why it’s important to daily check your French bulldog’s stool if it looks normal. Some parasites can be seen with the naked eye, while others require stool testing.


There are two types of diabetes in dogs. Depending on the type of diabetes your dog has, he may gain or lose weight. Sometimes, a dog can constantly feel hungry and ‘beg’ for food and it’s often the symptom of accelerated thyroid function. The thyroid gland is closely related to diabetes and sugar control in the body, so that’s why it’s important to do a blood test to determine the exact cause. Dogs who eat well and still lose weight usually suffer from diabetes.


Underlying causes such as tumors could be one of the reasons for your dog’s weight loss. If your Frenchie continues to lose weight even if you’ve changed his diet and have increased fats and proteins, the next step is to perform a health check. Blood and urine samples, as well as X-ray and ultrasound, will reveal if there’s an underlying cause for your Frenchie’s weight loss.

Old age

Senior dogs can start losing weight due to decreased activity. Since older dogs are prone to mobility issues, they’ll naturally start to eat less. Their demand for calories decreases, eating less shouldn’t be the reason to worry. However, if your dog loses his appetite totally and looks too skinny, then you should definitely ask your vet for advice.

Stress or separation anxiety in French bulldogs

One of the reasons why your Frenchie is so skinny is because he/she probably suffers from separation anxiety or feels stressed about something. Your dog can be over-attached to you, so the time he spends alone transforms into never-ending stress. That’s why it’s highly important to gradually teach your pet to become independent and focus the attention on something else (such as toys). Other reasons for your dog’s stress can be fireworks, thunderstorms, and other types of loud and sudden noise.

How to help my Frenchie to gain weight?

Before you switch your dog to a different diet, it’s important to determine whether he/she is allergic or intolerant to certain food ingredients. Food intolerance or allergy is often followed by diarrhea which can be one of the reasons why your Frenchie is so skinny.

Include fats and proteins

To help your French bulldog gain weight, you should include more fats and proteins in his/her diet. Anyone who has ever raised a puppy will tell you that the best food for them is high protein and fat. It’s not just about growing larger, but also developing healthy bones as an adult! Dogs need these things too- without sufficient amounts of meat or oils in their diet, they can become sickly thin with little muscle mass.

You can find dog food with a higher protein percentage if you want to help your pup gain weight. You should notice an increase in just two weeks! If not, try adding more meat proteins into the mix- it’s always good advice for pet parents to look out after their animals healthfully and responsibly by feeding them quality foods that are formulated especially for gaining weight.

Start by feeding 90% old food and 10 percent new, then increase the amount of fresh foods each day until you reach 100%. It may take 10-14 days for your dog’s stomach to adjust but if they are still not fine after 2 weeks check with their vet!

Set a new feeding schedule for your French bulldog

Some people believe that eating right before bed encourages your body to store the nutrients as fat. With this theory, you can assist a dog in gaining some needed pounds if he has two meals per day like most dogs do. To help your Frenchie gain weight, you can feed him with a smaller amount of food in the morning and a bigger amount of food in the evening. This will help his body to store fat when sleeping rather than burning it off.

Exercise is also important

It’s not just about weight loss! Exercise helps your dog maintain healthy muscle mass. Regular workouts will make it grow stronger, leaner, and faster than ever before – so find some time for your furry friend in their daily schedule!

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