How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog (VIDEO)

How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog (VIDEO)

French Bulldogs make devoted friends and have surged in popularity as pets recently. Whether you want to breed her or she is currently pregnant. There are several precautions you can take to keep your French Bulldog healthy.

The anticipation of the birth of a French Bulldog is one of the most beautiful moments in a dog owner’s life. These little creatures will win your heart as soon as you hold them in your arms.

Before you start taking care of puppies you should know all about French Bulldog pregnancy. Ways to care for a pregnant French Bulldog, This stage of the animal’s life requires special care and feeding to keep the puppy healthy.

Puppies are excited. If you’re a new breeder or waiting for a puppy from a reserved litter, the wait can seem like an eternity. Luckily for us (and your dog), the gestation period in dogs is much shorter than in humans. But how long does French Bulldog pregnancy really last?

How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog (VIDEO) 1
Credit: Amanda N Kenneth Sheffield on Facebook

The French Bulldog Breeding Cycle

To answer the question “How long is a dog pregnant?” you first need to understand the dog’s reproductive cycle. Intact dogs mate approximately every six months, but this can vary from dog to dog and breed to breed.

The mating cycle lasts from 18 to 21 days and is divided into four distinct phases. Breeders use these phases to decide when it is best to breed a dog.

The reproductive cycle of the female dog is made up of four phases:

  • Proestrus
  • Estrus
  • Diestrus
  • Anestrus

Proestrus lasts about 9 days and is the first phase of the reproductive cycle. During this phase, females begin to attract males but do reject them until the second phase. The symptoms of proestrus are as follows:

  • Swelling of the vulva
  • Excretion of blood
  • Estrus lasts from 3 to 4 days to 7 to 11 days. During this period, the female is open to the male. Many breeders ask their veterinarian to take vaginal and blood samples between the proestrus and estrus phases to make sure they are mating their dog at the ideal time. The proestrus signs are
  • Soft and enlarged vulva
  • Lightens discharge in color and decreases

Diestrus is the last phase of the cycle. During the heat period which happens around 14 days, the dog’s secretions become red and less abundant, her vulva normalizes and she does not mate. The rash disappears when all signs of swelling and discharge have disappeared. The period between pregnancy and the next gestation is called anestrus and usually lasts about six months.

It is important to know the gestation cycle determines the length of the pregnancy. Breeders can calculate the date of conception by recording the gestation cycle and the duration of gestation in the mother, which makes it easier for veterinarians to perform accurate gestation tests.

How Do you know if a French Bulldog is in heat?

Humans have developed rapid pregnancy tests that make it easy to know if you are pregnant or not. With our dogs, it’s not so easy. You will probably have to consult a veterinarian to find out if your dog is pregnant. If possible, tell the vet the exact date the uterus fused or how best to estimate menstruation, as all pregnancy tests in dogs are time-dependent.

There are four ways in which vets can tell if a dog is pregnant:
1. Hormone testing.
2. Palpation
3. X-ray
4. Ultrasound

Hormone testing
To determine if a dog is pregnant, vets can test for the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is only released from the placenta during pregnancy. It is therefore a fairly accurate diagnostic test. However, the dog must be at least thirty days into her pregnancy for the test to be accurate.

Tests carried out before this period may give false-negative results.


Palpation is the cheapest and easiest way to determine pregnancy. As each fetus grows, the membranes around it expand and form sacs filled with fluid. These sacs are been felt between days 21 and 35 of pregnancy (about three to four weeks) and become the size of a ping-pong ball in a 45-pound dog. After a month, the sacs lose their usual shape and the uterus appears loose, which can be mistaken for fat or pyometra.

X-rays are a good way for breeders to determine how many puppies they want from a female dog. X-rays are most effective in later pregnancies, as the skull and spine of the fetus do not show up on x-rays until the 42-45th day of the week. By waiting until the last 55 days, vets can accurately calculate the expected number of litters and determine the best time for a planned cesarean section.

Ultrasound is the best way to determine early pregnancy. Veterinarians recommend an ultrasound examination between the 25th and 35th day of pregnancy. Ultrasound not only reveals a pregnancy but also determines if the fetus is alive by detecting its heartbeat. The ultrasound can also rule out other causes of uterine swelling, such as pyometra, and help calculate the gestational age of the fetus.

Dog Gestation Period: How Long Does A Dog Be Pregnant?

The normal gestation period for a dog is approximately 63 days from conception but can vary by a few days. Although this seems like a simple answer, the concept is often difficult to define. Sperm can remain in the female for several days and eggs can remain fertile for up to 48 hours, meaning that mating alone is not an accurate indicator of pregnancy. It is therefore difficult to predict pregnancy without the help of a veterinarian.

Hormonal measurements give a much more accurate time of pregnancy. Many breeders use vaginal and blood tests to monitor reproductive hormones during the breeding process. This will help them determine the best time to conceive a kitten, the length of the pregnancy, and the possible delivery date.

The gestation period depends on the exact doses of hormones:

  • 56-58 days from the first day of the diestrus
  • 64-66 days from the first peak of progesterone
  • 58-72 days from the first acceptance of the dog into the breeding

The gestation period in the dog is relatively short compared to humans, only about nine weeks in total, and every day counts. Knowledge of the gestation period is important for the pregnant mother and puppies and serves to control nutrition and veterinary care during pregnancy.

How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog (VIDEO)
A Pregnant French Bulldog

Stages Of Pregnancy In Dog

Dogs move quickly through the stages of pregnancy. Dogs have a relatively short gestation period, which means that puppies develop rapidly in the womb within two to three months.

During the first month, embryos move into the uterine horns, usually around day 7, and into the endometrium around day 16. The fetus begins to form on day 22, and on day 28 or 30 the vet should be examined so that the heartbeat of the fetus can be determined by ultrasound.

Many dogs have no symptoms during the first three weeks of pregnancy. Some of the symptoms to look out for in the first month are:

French Bulldog Pregnancy Symptoms

  • Sickness in the morning
  • Slightly enlarged nipples
  • Increased appetite
  • Serious affectionate behavior
  • Vaginal discharge (around the fourth week)
  • Decreased physical activity

Fetal development is rapid in the second month. Eyelids appear on day 32 and toes appear on day 35. Claws appear on day 40 and fur and skeleton appear a few days later (day 45). On day 50, the number of litter can be seen on the X-ray, and on day 58, the female begins to search for a nest.

The signs of pregnancy in the female are much more evident in the second month:

French Bulldog Pregnancy Signs

  • Behavioral changes
  • Significant increase in appetite
  • Increased urination
  • 20-50% weight gain
  • Clear, odourless discharge
  • Swollen and enlarged abdomen (45-50 days)
  • Decreased appetite (day 45)
  • Visible movement of the puppy on the abdomen (day 50)

The French Bulldog or other dog is ready to give birth at the beginning of the third month. The puppies are almost ready on day 58, which means that in the last days of pregnancy the bitch will enter the birth canal in the birthing position.

Signs of the last days of pregnancy in a female French Bulldog:

French Bulldog last days of pregnancy signs

  • When the puppies enter the birth canal, the waist trims
  • Loss of appetite for approximately 61 or 62 days
  • Decrease in body temperature in the 12 to 24 hours before delivery
  • Restless behavior
  • Walking, panting, shaking, kicking or even digging 

How Long Do Dogs Stay In Labour?

At the end of pregnancy, parturition begins. There are three stages of birth.

The first lasts 12 to 24 hours and is often not noticeable from the outside. In the first stage, the contractions of the uterine muscle wall intensify, but there are no visible contractions. Instead, look for the following signs of labor in dogs:

  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Changes in temperament, (Restlessness in mood)
  • Changes in alertness (Reclusive behaviour)
  • Intermittent nesting
  • Vomiting
  • Refuse Food
  • Shortness of breath, Panting
  • Clear vaginal discharge

In the second stage, the puppies are born. This stage can last from 1 to 24 hours, and bitches have one litter at a time. Each delivery takes no more than 1-2 hours and usually occurs every 30-60 minutes.

It is, therefore, useful to know the total number of pups expected. This way, the owner knows when the dog has passed the second stage and can call the vet if he suspects the dog is in trouble.

The third stage is when the placenta is born. The second and third stages occur at about the same time, and the third stage ends when all the placentas have been born. This usually happens immediately after the end of the second stage.

Contact your veterinarian if labour lasts more than 24 hours or if the time between labour and delivery is more than 2 hours. This can be a sign of serious complications which can be fatal for both the bitch and the unborn puppy.

To the next stage
How long are bitches pregnant? Long enough to produce happy and healthy puppies. As long as you train, feed, and care for pregnant and newborn puppies, you will give them the healthiest possible start.

How do you prepare for pregnancy with a French Bulldog?

There are a few things you should do to prepare for the birth of your puppies.

  • Adjust her diet to kibble for puppies from the first month of pregnancy. This food is smaller, so it takes up less room in your stomach and is more nutritious.
  • Her breathing and stamina will be strained and she will have less energy. Don’t overload her and make life easier for her.
  • Place the cage close by where she can move around safely and undisturbed and fulfill her maternal duties. Don’t wait until the last minute, but find a cage that the kitten can get used to and feel at home in before the kittens arrive. It can be difficult for dogs to get used to a new bed, so give them time to get used to it before the puppies arrive.

How Do French Bulldog Give Birth?

The most common way for a French Bulldog to give birth is by cesarean section. It is rare for them to give birth naturally, but here is a look at both ways.

cesarean Section Way
This technique is mainly used in French bulldogs. The size of a puppy’s skull can make natural birth difficult or threatening.

Talk to your vet during your pregnancy check-up to find the best option in addition to x-rays. At this time, the puppy’s bones will be examined and a decision will be made on whether to perform a cesarean section or natural birth.

If a cesarean section is planned, it can cost between $640 and $1,300 (£500 and £1,000) and is done under general anesthetic, so there may be risks involved.

Natural Childbirth Way
If you choose natural childbirth way, be prepared for warning signs that your Frenchie is ready to give birth.
When it’s time for the puppy to give birth, prepare the puppy “nest” for a few hours before time.

You’ll see signs that he’s ready to give birth, like taking a few steps, walking, scratching his towel a few times, and then sitting up and panting like he’s run a marathon.

Her condition doesn’t improve, and her breathing and heart rate continues to accelerate. It can take 2-12 hours for the first chick to arrive.

If the kitten is not born after 10 hours, the birth canal may be blocked. This can be very dangerous and lead to an emergency cesarean section.

When the first litter arrives, the dog tears open the bag containing the litter and licks it to calm its breathing. If she doesn’t, it’s up to you to help her.

Don’t be surprised if the Frenchie eats both the bag and the umbilical cord. They contain nutrients because they are natural and because instinct is built in.

If your baby is out and active, you can put her on mum’s mat they should start eating as soon as possible.

Pregnant French Bulldog delivers 8 Puppies
BBC: A Pregnant French Bulldog Delivers 8 Puppies

As mentioned above, remember that choosing a natural birth method can lead to a crisis situation. Be prepared for this as soon as you find out that your French Bulldog is pregnant.

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French Bulldog Pregnancy Symptoms

We all know that most French Bulldogs cannot mate traditionally. Therefore, please note the following pregnancy symptoms if you have artificially inseminated your dog.

  • Morning sickness for several days, approximately 20 days after insemination
  • Reduced activity
  • Enlarged nipples
  • Increased appetite
  • Pink discharge

French Bulldog Labour and Delivery 

The birth of an entire litter can take three to two hours.
Generally, most Frenchies have two to four puppies per litter.
The veterinarian will recommend a cesarean section.
Natural birth can be dangerous for both the mother and the Frenchie puppy.
Make sure the dog can see you before and after the birth.
This will help calm her and reduce her fears.

How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog
Credit: Amanda N Kenneth Sheffield on Facebook

How Do You Care For A Pregnant French Bulldog?

Veterinary care
Although it is best to have your French Bulldog examined by a vet before breeding, it is advisable to make an appointment as soon as you suspect your French Bulldog may be pregnant. The vet can confirm pregnancy with an ultrasound or stomach examination. If your puppy needs vaccinations, the vet can vaccinate it to ensure that the puppies are protected after birth.

A pregnant French Bulldog visits the Veterinary
A Pregnant French Bulldog Visits The Veterinary

A female dog’s pregnancy consists of three trimesters, each about 21 days long. In the first trimester, once pregnancy is confirmed, most breeders switch to high-quality puppy food. The first ingredient should be meat from an animal you know.

It may sound strange, but you should substitute puppy food for your furry friend. It contains more vitamins, protein, and minerals and gives more energy.

Avoid foods containing animal by-products as much as possible. Don’t skip daily meals, offer several small meals a day: the growing litter puts a strain on the dog’s stomach.

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High-quality, easy-to-digest food is important for pregnant French Bulldogs. High nutrient content ensures that the female has all the vitamins and minerals she needs to stay healthy during labour.
The general rule of thumb is to give 10% more energy per week until birth.

Water is also very important, especially if your Frenchie is pregnant in the summer. If you feed your dog dry food, you will increase her water intake. Always provide your Frenchie with a bowl of fresh water.

Ideally, the environment should be as stable as possible when your French Bulldog is pregnant or giving birth. As far as possible, avoid changing the routine by adding new animals and rearranging the furniture. Find a corner in a quiet room for the litter box, so she can retire there when she feels like it.

A serious French Bulldog can transform from a gentle pet into a loving mother overnight. While some pregnant bulldogs show no signs of irritation or aggression, others are willing to attack their owners when they need space. It is best to discourage children from reaching into the litter box and only allow them to play with the pregnant dog under supervision.

How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog (VIDEO) 11
Credit: Charlotte Henriksen on Facebook

A Pregnant French Bulldog Frequently Ask Questions

French Bulldog Pregnancy Time

A French bulldog pregnancy last for 9 weeks (63 days). Before giving birth, you should take your Frenchie to a Vet for scan to know if she is safe to give birth naturally or through cesarean Section

How long is a French bulldog pregnant for?

French bulldog pregnant last 63 days approximately

Dogs typically gestate for around 63 days after conception, however this might vary by few days. Although it would seem like a simple response, it can be challenging to pinpoint conception, that why is need to visit a Vet for ultrasound when you suspect that your Frenchie might be pregnant

How many puppies will my French bulldog have?

French Bulldog Litter Size

Typically, French Bulldog litters range from 2 to 4 puppies. The majority of litters are delivered through section, and any litter larger than five is quite uncommon, but according to BBC, a French Bulldog have delivered 8.

What happens when a Frenchie is pregnant?

She will be eating more than normal, physical and behavioral changes,  her nipples could have become a little larger, She could begin to show her owner more affection.

How do I know if my Frenchie is in Labour?

To know your Frenchie is in Labour,  You could see her panting, pacing, food refusal, and possibly vomiting. when behaviour of nesting starts. She should now be placed in the whelping box (hopefully she is already accustomed to the box)


It is important to know when your French Bulldog is pregnant, as it is necessary to prepare for the birth.

Unfortunately, Frenchies are susceptible to various health problems.

That is why it is even more important to take care of your pregnant French Bulldog and focus on the big day.

Apply the above tips on How To Care for A Pregnant French Bulldog and with Frenchie will deliver safely either through cesarean Section or natural birth

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Can my French Bulldog give birth naturally?

Yes, a French Bulldog can give birth naturally, watch the below video on how a French Bulldog is giving birth naturally

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