If you’re considering getting a French Bulldog or already have one, you might be wondering how much exercise they need to stay healthy and happy. French Bulldogs are a small dog breed with a unique body structure, and their exercise needs can vary depending on various factors. In this article, we’ll explore the recommended exercise guidelines for French Bulldogs, the best types of exercise, and how to create a healthy exercise routine for your furry friend.
Exercise Guidelines for French Bulldogs
If you’re the lucky owner of a French Bulldog, it’s important to know that these pooches have a much lower activity level than other breeds and they’re definitely not built for intense exercise. With their stocky build, short legs, and adorable smushed faces, it’s harder for them to breathe, especially in hot and humid weather.
As a result, they tire more easily, so it’s crucial not to push them too hard. We like to say that lazy owners are perfect for Frenchies, but don’t let that fool you! They still have plenty of energy to burn off so regular exercise must be part of their everyday life to maintain physical and mental health.
But how much exercise does a French Bulldog really need? As a general guideline, adult Frenchies should have around 60 minutes of physical activity every day. That should include a short walk in the morning and a longer walk or playtime in the evening, with each session lasting about 30 minutes. However, this can vary based on your puppy’s individual needs as well as your schedule.
Factors Affecting a French Bulldog’s Exercise Needs
Age: Young puppies require less exercise compared to adult Frenchies, around 15-30 minutes a day, including multiple short walks or playtimes. As they grow, their exercise needs increase gradually. Senior French Bulldogs will again require less physical activity depending on their health.
Weight: Overweight French Bulldogs may require more exercise to shed the extra pounds, along with a lowered food intake.
Health: French Bulldogs with health issues may require less exercise or special exercise routines. Always consult your veterinarian before beginning a new exercise routine for your French Bulldog. For example, Frenchies with respiratory issues may not be able to tolerate strenuous exercise and may require a more gentle exercise routine.
Energy Level: French Bulldogs that are highly energetic and fit require more exercise than those that are not as active. Some French Bulldogs may have a higher energy level than others and require more exercise to burn off excess energy to prevent destructive behaviors.
Best Types of Exercise for French Bulldogs
So, what are the best ways to keep your Frenchie active and fit? Considering their low energy and compact body structure, low-impact exercises are the way to go for French Bulldogs. These will not only keep their joints healthy and free of strain but will also not tire your furry friend extensively. Let’s see what are some of the best exercises for French Bulldogs!
1. Walking and Light Jogging
Walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your French Bulldog active. A leisurely stroll around the block can be enough to keep them healthy and happy. If your Frenchie is up for it, you can even add a bit of light jogging to your walks to increase their heart rate and help them burn more calories.
2. Playing With or Without a Toy
Walking is definitely great but it will not tire your puppy sufficiently: it is also essential to challenge their mind and wear them out mentally as well. Interactive games like fetch, hide and seek, and tug of war are great ways to keep your French Bulldog engaged and active. These games provide both physical and mental stimulation, which is important for keeping your Frenchie healthy and happy. Read our article on how and why you should play with your Frenchie.
This might sound funny but it’s well worth a try. When you’re at a dog park, observe how your puppy interacts and plays with other dogs, and try to imitate that at home. Run away from your pup and let them catch and wrestle you. You could also try the opposite, run after them playfully and try to catch them, they will love it! The more body contact you have the better, as it will make your bond stronger while you’re both having a great time! Not to mention it’s an excellent way to get your Frenchie tired.
4. Indoor Exercises
Indoor exercises are perfect for those rainy or snowy days when you can’t get outside. You can play games like hide and seek, tug of war, or even set up an indoor obstacle course for your Frenchie to navigate. These exercises can be a great way to burn off some energy and keep your French Bulldog entertained.
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We’ve already mentioned that you need to tire your Frenchie mentally as well to make sure they release all their energy. In addition to games, regular training sessions are perfect for this. That can include teaching tasks and command words such as sitting, lying down, staying in place, giving a paw, the key is that your Frenchie pays attention to you. It’s very important to only practice these while your puppy enjoys it, and not to force it when they get bored. Always motivate and praise your baby with treats. Introducing basic rules into everyday life can also be helpful, and should be practiced on a daily basis.
+1 Dog schools
Taking your Frenchie to a dog school has multiple benefits, and one of them is definitely getting them tired. Regular encounters with foreign dogs and dog owners are also important for your Frenchie’s socialization.
Creating an Exercise Routine for your Frenchie
Now that you know how much exercise your French Bulldog needs and the best types of exercise for them, it’s important to create a regular exercise routine. As a Frenchie owner, it’s essential to find some time in your schedule that you devote to your Frenchie only and make that consistent so that your puppy can look forward to it. As one of the best apartment dogs, French Bulldogs can adjust to their parents’ daily rhythm extremely well, no matter if it’s an active or a more passive one.
When creating an exercise routine for your French Bulldog, always make sure to consider their age, weight, overall health and activity level. Aim to set up a regular schedule and stick to it as closely as possible! You should also experiment with various types of exercise until you find the ones that both of you enjoy. That’s very important as having fun together can make sure that your relationship with your Frenchie doesn’t become monotonous and boring.
Here’s a recommended daily exercise routine for a healthy adult Frenchie from TomKings Sandra:
- A shorter walk in the morning and a longer one in the evening of at least 30 minutes. Depending on your schedule, the longer walk can also be in the morning before work, but in that case another longer walk is necessary after work as your Frenchie is alone all day without getting any exercise. Half an hour in a dog park is also great!
- 10-15 minutes of training, playtime, wrestling to tire your Frenchie mentally as well. The more you time you dedicate to these the better!
Signs of Lack of Exercise
At this point you might be wondering: How can I tell if I’m giving my French Bulldog enough exercise? Let’s see what are some of the most common signs that your Frenchie might need more exercise.
Just like with humans, if your Frenchie is not getting enough exercise, they may gain weight. Obesity makes French Bulldogs more prone to health issues such as joint issues, heart disease and breathing problems as well. Regular exercise along with a healthy diet are essential for your French Bulldog to maintain a healthy weight and prevent these health problems.
If your French Bulldog is not getting enough exercise, they may become bored. Boredom can lead to depression and separation anxiety, so providing regular exercise will keep your French Bulldog mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.
Excessive chewing or destructive behavior
If your French Bulldog is bored, they may also resort to destructive behavior such as chewing furniture or shoes. Regular exercise can help alleviate boredom and prevent destructive behavior.
Agitation or restlessness
If your French Bulldog is not getting enough exercise, they may become agitated or restless. They may pace, whine, or bark excessively.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
As a responsible owner, you will also want avoid some common mistakes that Frenchie parents might make when it comes to exercise.
Providing too little exercise
It can happen that you don’t have enough time to provide enough exercise for your Frenchie, in which cases it’s very important to find some kind of solution. Ask someone from your friends or family members to help out, or consider hiring a dog sitter or dog walker.
It’s important to avoid over-exercising your French Bulldog. This can lead to injuries, exhaustion, and other health problems. Make sure to follow the recommended exercise guidelines for your Frenchie’s age, weight, and overall health.
Exercising in high temperatures
French Bulldogs are sensitive to heat, and exercising in high temperatures can be dangerous for them. Avoid walking during the hottest parts of the day, and make sure to provide plenty of water and shade if you do exercise outside.
Neglecting mental stimulation
In addition to physical exercise, French Bulldogs also need mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Make sure to provide plenty of toys, games, and other activities like training that engage your Frenchie’s mind.
Ignoring signs of pain or discomfort
If your French Bulldog is showing signs of pain or discomfort during exercise, it’s important to stop the activity and take a break. Ignoring these signs can lead to further injury or health problems. Always pay extra attention to senior Frenchies!
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Regular exercise is important for the health and happiness of your French Bulldog. By following the recommended exercise guidelines and choosing the best types of exercise for your Frenchie, you can help them maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of health problems, and ultimately give them a happy and enriched life. By providing proper care for your furry friend, you can enjoy many joyful years together!
An adult French Bulldogs needs about 60 minutes of exercise per day. Younger puppies and senior dogs require much less.
Low-impact exercises, such as walks and playtime are best for French Bulldogs.
Signs of a well-exercised French Bulldog include a healthy weight and well-behaved behavior.
If you’d like to learn more about French Bulldogs, join our Facebook group called TomKings Frenchie Family to read our Frenchie parents’ experiences!
The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. All the pictures in the post belong to them and their customers, and show puppies from their breed. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.