No matter how cute they look, a Frenchie is still a bulldog. Beneath the lovely eyes and loose-jointed gait, your Frenchie has pure muscle waiting to spring into action. Frenchies remind us of our history – plenty of muscle and strength that can give positive outcomes.
Although categorized as a non-sporting breed by the AKC, a fit Frenchie can impress, especially in agility and rallying activities.
Frenchies also have ravenous appetites. Thus, they can gain weight quickly and develop obesity in no time. Rather than let your Frenchie gain weight uncontrollably, you can help her safely gain muscle. Read on and learn how a diet change and exercise plan will build your Frenchie’s muscle.
First, change your Frenchie’s diet
Before you start a rigorous exercise and muscle-building campaign, have a look at what’s on your Frenchie’s plate. If you’ve been feeding her standard kibble, it could be why your Frenchie struggles with excess weight.
How is that?
Most average kibbles have a high carbohydrate content. Manufacturers often use grain-based carbs, starchy fillers, taste enhancers, and other calorie-rich components. These ingredients could trigger rapid weight gain. When you feed your Frenchie on standard kibble, there is a higher risk of becoming obese.
To build your Frenchie’s muscle, ditch the kibble and invest in high-quality, protein-rich dog food like Timberwolf Organics. Consider switching to animal-based feeds, especially lamb dog food options.
Why lamb dog food options for your Frenchie?
Animal-sourced proteins provide superior amino acid balances. They contain all the essential amino acids unlike plant-based protein that might miss some. Dogs are omnivores – they can survive on plant-based diets. However, they thrive on animal-sourced protein. In fact, studies show that high-protein diets can help dogs shed excess weight.
Lamb dog food options are especially helpful in muscle building. Lamb is rich in protein, easy to digest, and has low-fat content – the perfect recipe for muscle growth.
How much should you feed your Frenchie?
There is no simple answer to this. All Frenchies are unique and deserve special attention. The amount of lamb to feed your Frenchie will depend on various factors and differ from other dogs.
For maintenance, dogs need sufficient protein in their diets to compensate for bodily losses like the synthesis of enzymes and growth. In your case, your Frenchie will require extra protein to sustain the expected muscle gain.
A protein-packed diet may trigger concerns about kidney health. But, research shows you shouldn’t be worried, especially if your pooch is still growing. On the contrary, restricting protein could be detrimental. Reach out to a vet and talk about how much protein to give your Frenchie.
Start building muscle with progressive exercise
Now that your Frenchie is on a muscle-building diet, the next thing to do is exert those muscles. Exertion and stretching expands muscles. It is a gradual process. As the body gets accustomed to handling the extra strain the muscle grows.
Exercise provides the strain needed to expand and strengthen muscles. However, it must be moderate and measured. Start them young by teaching your puppy their name with an easy name game. Say your puppy’s name and make them come to you with a quick reward.
As they grow, craft an exercise plan that combines endurance, resistance, and balance-building moves. Begin with low-intensity moves, and progressively increase.
Frenchies are a flat-faced breed and would experience breathing problems if exerted too much. If you see the dog sweating and panting excessively, stop immediately and let her cool down.
Besides bulk, strength, and endurance, building your Frenchie’s balance is crucial. Creatively think of ways you can help your dog work to stay steady.
For example, every time you want to give a treat, hold it up and let the Frenchie reach out for it. Move the treat in one direction and cause her to move in one direction. After a few seconds of balancing, give the dog the much-deserved treat.
Alternatively, place your Frenchie on a surface (like the floor), add props, like shopping bags, wooden crates, or large pillows and guide your dog to weave through the props. Make back and forth trips for about 20 minutes.
Our kids like to play a hide and seek game with our Frenchie (one he is surprisingly good at!) and he gets rewarded with a treat after his exhaustive search of the house to find the hidden child.
Remember not to expose your Frenchie to jumping exercises as this can put them at risk to knee and back injuries. Also, be sure to tailor the exercise to the level of your French Bulldog and be sure to take it easy for the seniors.
Finally, don’t get carried away, and remember to warm up and cool down at each session
As you participate in the above exercises, you’ll have lots of fun. There is a chance you could get carried away and over-exert your Frenchie. Use electronic monitors and timers to help you stay in control and remind you to keep to the breed’s form.
Remember to plan for a few warm-up exercises before the exercise session begins, and a few cool-down stretches when the session is over. It will help avoid muscle injuries, and your dog will feel better.
You could also consider giving your Frenchie massage on the main muscles. It is great for your Frenchie’s muscles and it will make your bond stronger.
For more information about French Bulldog health check out some of these resources:
Why is My French Bulldog Throwing Up?
French Bulldog Anal Glands – What You Should Know