When we first picked up our French Bulldog, Toby, we had no idea how much time we needed to spend exercising him each day. We had heard a lot of people say that we needed to be extra careful not to overexercise Toby, as Frenchies were prone to a heap of health issues stemming from their flat face, short nose, and body shape, but were told that we needed to exercise him regularly to keep him fit and healthy (A very important side note, because of the health issues surround French Bulldogs, we decided to buy Toby an Adjustable Ergonomic French Bulldog Harness rather than a collar to prevent choking him).
From the get-go, Toby was filled with bursts of energy. He would be extremely active from the moment he woke up and would often get the “zooms” (sudden bursts of energy expended by random jolts of running around the house). As a puppy, we would take him for short 10-15 minute walks around the block and as he grew, we gradually increased this each month to 30-45 minute each day. Sometimes going for walks over an hour. We would make sure to bring our Portable Water Bottle Dispenser to ensure he could drink whenever he got thirsty and not to overheat as French Bulldogs do not handle heat very well due to their shortened muzzle which impedes airflow.
But did our Frenchie, Toby NEED to go on a 30-45 minute walk each day?
The simple answer is no.
To keep our French Bulldog fit and healthy, Toby only needed to go on a 15-20 minute walk each day. This was just enough as even though he usually was very active during the day and evening. He was so full of energy that would be running around the house and playing in the backyard during the daytime (with power naps in between).
Remember as a general rule, every French Bulldog needs a physical outlet to spend their extra energy. Not only is taking your Frenchie out for walks on a regular basis good for his physical health but it also improves their mental health and can reduce unwanted behaviors caused because of boredom or anxiety.
There are a number of different ways to wear out your over-energized French bulldog. Fetch is a great way to exhaust your Frenchie with minimal effort needed from you (Pro tip: bring along a tennis racquet as it will save you a sore arm from the repetitive throwing of the tennis ball)
Naturally, as your French Bulldog ages, they will have less energy than they were a pup, so you must make adjustments for their age and any injuries that they must have, for example, a flight of stairs is always a no-no for French Bulldogs, but even more so for older Frenchies as over-exercise can exaggerate the symptoms of some very nasty conditions such as IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease and hip dysplasia.
Exercising your French Bulldog is vital to controlling their weight. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and food proportions, you are guaranteed to keep your French bulldog healthy and fit and you will find that you are sharing your home with an engaged and fulfilled best friend for life.