🦴 Updated on January 8th, 2023
A French bulldog pregnancy is a whole lot of fun, but it also carries a lot of responsibility. When you’re adequately prepared for the birth of your French bulldog puppy, it can turn into one of the most rewarding times in your life. But if you’re not ready, you could end up with more than you bargained for.
Unlike all other dogs, the French bulldog is an aristocrat who demands the highest level of care during pregnancy. I had a tough time with my pregnant French bulldog. But when it dropped a litter of 5, I was utterly lost and worried I wouldn’t be able to care for them all properly. Luckily, I was able to get a lot of good advice from online experts.
How Long are French Bulldogs Pregnant?
Under normal circumstances, a female French bulldog matures at five months of age.
In six months, the heat cycle begins. The female dog is ready for mating, and conception can occur during what is also known as the oestrus cycle.
But you will rarely find French Bulldogs mating naturally. Their anatomy makes it unlikely that a male will successfully mount the female. Artificial insemination—that’s how it goes with this breed.
So how long are Frenchies pregnant? After fertilization, the gestation period for this breed of dogs takes about 63 days. Conception mostly happens when the female dog is in heat, which is when she is sexually receptive.
Signs of a Pregnant French Bulldog
It is okay to feel anxious if you notice your Frenchie has a lower than average appetite or that it’s restless and can’t get comfortable no matter what position it tries to sleep in.
There are at least five Frenchie pregnancy signs you should be looking out for when assessing if your Frenchie is getting ready to pop out some French bulldog babies!
1. Reduced Activity
I’ve learned that when a French bulldog has no energy to do anything and sleeps all day long, there is probably an issue with their health. A visit to the vet is imperative. Don’t be surprised if French bulldog X-ray pictures show she is pregnant.
2. Enlarge Nipples
Some of the physical signs of a pregnant Frenchie include enlarged nipples and increased sensitivity in the abdomen. If you think your dog might be pregnant, you should consult with your vet. An experienced vet will be able to confirm your dog’s pregnancy and set up a plan for when the puppies are due.
3. Colored Discharge
If your bulldog’s discharge is light pink, it may be pregnant! The discharge usually happens in the second or third week.
4. A Big Appetite
Another tell-tale sign of a pregnant dog is a significant change in appetite. A pregnant Frenchie will eat double or triple the amount of food she usually does, ensuring that her body has enough energy to maintain itself and carry the puppies to full term.
5. Vomiting or Morning Sickness
Like humans, French bulldogs get morning sickness when pregnant! Three weeks after conception, she will start to throw up or be nauseous. That usually only lasts for a few days.
French Bulldog Pregnancy Test: What are the Options?
When breeding a dog, monitoring the progress after insemination is vital. Close monitoring is especially critical during the pregnancy and ensures proper mother care during this delicate time.
The vet uses a machine that detects heartbeats, which informs the number of pups the mother is likely to have.
Relaxin Hormone Test
To know if your bulldog is pregnant or not, the veterinarian will probably do a blood test to determine the dog’s relaxin hormone levels. Relaxin is the hormone that helps relax and enlarge the cervix during pregnancy.
X-rays, specifically abdominal x-rays, can be used to help vets determine whether a dog is pregnant or not. The radiography approach is considered the best way to determine if a dog is pregnant as it will provide a simple and accurate result even down to the number of pups your pet is carrying.
A veterinarian will palpate the dog’s abdomen at two different periods. These days are the 28th and 30th. If your dog is pregnant, you will feel enlarged uterine horns and a fetal heartbeat.
Did she turn out pregnant? Welcome aboard!
When talking of the French bulldog gestation period, we have to note that a few extra weeks of preparation and commitment can make the difference between a healthy and happy mother and a sickly and uncomfortable dog.
The Physical and Nutritional Needs of a Pregnant French Bulldog
Pregnancy can be a trying time for a Frenchie. That’s why it’s so important to get the right help for your darling pet so she can remain healthy and in good spirits. I was able to put together a successful diet and care plan for my pregnant Frenchie by working with my vet to ensure my dog’s health.
1st Trimester: She Needs Folic Acid
When the vet says that your Frenchie is pregnant, plan to regularly monitor her to ensure that she is healthy and that the pregnancy is going well. The vet will tell you what to do for her and how to take care of her.
In the 1st trimester, we are still in the early stages of development. The Frenchie is not eating much because her body is changing. She is not losing weight, though.
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It’s normal for dogs to vomit and not eat during this stage. You won’t need to change your pet’s diet at this stage. You can give the Frenchie folic acid supplements to help her body grow the baby.
2nd Trimester: She Needs Magnesium and Phosphorous
Your French bulldog’s appetite is back in the second trimester, but she has less energy because she’s pregnant.
You should increase her food to 25% more than her average amount. French Bulldogs can get fat easily, so don’t overfeed her.
I gave my Frenchie lots of calcium and magnesium, and phosphorus supplements. My vet said that the supplements help with the puppies’ bone development.
3rd Trimester: She Needs a Bigger Ration
In the last trimester of pregnancy, the Frenchie will gain weight gradually. Give her small, frequent meals instead of large ones to avoid adding to her discomfort.
Take her on regular walks. It will help exercise her body, but they should not strain her. She needs all the energy and strength here to carry her puppies to full term.
Counting the Days: How Long are French Bulldogs Pregnant For?
When you find out your dog is pregnant, you will want to know how long it will be until your dog has her puppies. It is essential to know because you will want to be there when she has them. Typically, the due date French bulldog falls anywhere between 58 and 63 days after conception.
The first trimester is weeks one, two, and three. At week one, the sperm meets the egg, forming the embryo. At week two, the embryo attaches to the uterus. At week three, the mommy dog loses her appetite, her breast nipples get bigger, and you can feel the baby’s faint heartbeat.
I would recommend taking many French bulldog pregnancy week by week pictures from the first week. The wait is much more fun this way.
The second trimester in a French bulldog’s pregnancy comprises weeks four, five, and six. The fetus takes on visual qualities for the first time during this period; facial structures become defined, and muscular movement is observed.
The spinal cord is almost fully formed at this stage, a significant milestone for any pregnancy. The mother-to-be’s appetite tends to decline by this point as she becomes more aware of her body’s dietary needs.
During week six, the possibility that one of the puppies might become defective exists because only noticeable features like pigmentation and eyelids will form by then.
At this time, hopeful dog owners start getting excited about meeting their cute new additions.
The third trimester is the last part of pregnancy. It starts at the end of week seven and goes until week nine.
At this time, the French bulldog is getting ready to have puppies. Her waist enlarges, and her puppies sit in the proper position.
At the end of week eight, the puppies are fully developed and are ready to be born. Please start preparing for the newborns at the start of week nine.
Just know that when the mother dog stops eating and her body temperature drops, the due date is nigh.
Your Frenchie will need a very calm and safe environment to birth her puppies safely. Please ensure that everything stands by ready to make the already exciting event as comfortable as possible. If any of the pups arrive early, you also need to be ready with appropriate items like heating pads or incubators, etc.
Due Date French Bulldog: The Signs of Labor
Throughout the gestation period, you have been keeping track of the weeks. You have probably been taking your French bulldog pregnancy week by week pictures, so when the end of the period gets near, you are not caught by surprise.
The onset of labor lasts between two hours to 24 hours. So how do you know if the labor signs are here? Below are a few signs to look out for:
- Nesting Behavior: The pregnant dog starts to dig into her beddings as she prepares to rest.
- Restlessness: She moves up and down and pants a lot.
- Cooler Than Average: Towards the end of week eight, her body temperature drops.
- Heaving: Frequent vomiting happens because of drastic hormonal changes in her body.
Do French Bulldogs Give Birth Naturally?
When labor comes, you should be sure to notify your veterinarian that it has begun.
Most French bulldogs do not give birth naturally. Although it could happen, their tiny bodies and narrow hips reduce the odds.
I also must mention that French bulldogs have big heads. If the mother births the puppies naturally, that could destroy her birth canal. Always prepare to have your Frenchie give birth by a caesarian section.
The Birth and Delivery of a French Bulldog Pup
Ensure all necessary arrangements have been made before delivery, especially when the mother is going through labor. Ensure that your veterinarian agrees beforehand and plans on performing a C-section.
After a sudden and significant temperature change, you can expect the mother to go into pup any time. Your Frenchie’s hips will begin a series of contractions that will intensify as labor comes along.
Depending on the mode of delivery, medicinal preparations should start right away. Preparation must occur at your vet clinic, where increases in observation on the mother are essential because she could faint during delivery or go into a coma afterward.
Prepare a safe and cozy place for the mother dog to give birth and raise her puppies. A separate puppy kennel is advised. Bring the puppies over to the mother during feeding times only.
If you still have unanswered concerns about your dog’s pregnancy, check out the frequently asked questions below.
How long are bulldogs pregnant?
French bulldog pregnancy lasts nine weeks (63 days). After 63 days, you should take your dog to the vet to check if she needs a C-section.
How many puppies can a French bulldog have?
French bulldogs usually have 2-3 puppies. On rare occasions, they can have more than five puppies. But we advise not to risk more than three puppies because the birth and raising of too many puppies can be challenging for the mother.
Is it okay to feed my puppy human food?
While it may be tempting to share your favorite foods with your furry friend, some are not safe for them to eat. Avoid feeding your pooch:
– Alcoholic beverages
– Coffee and tea (caffeine)
When can I start introducing my puppy to other dogs?
The best time to start socializing your puppy is when they’re between six and 16 weeks old. It is the best time for him to learn about the world around him and interact with people and other animals.
If you wonder “how long is a French bulldog pregnant for,” then in most cases, you can expect her to be pregnant for 63 days. However, it is always wise to make an appointment with a veterinarian and confirm the whelping date as this can differ from dog to dog.