Waiting for a litter of Frenchies is one of the most special moments in every dog owner’s life. Those tiny little creatures will steal your heart from the moment you hold them in your hands. However, before taking care of puppies, you have to know everything about French bulldog pregnancy. This stage of your pet’s life requires special care and diet to get a healthy litter of puppies.
What are the first signs of a French bulldog pregnancy?
We all know that most Frenchies can’t mate in a traditional way. So, after artificial insemination of your bitch, you should search for the following signs of pregnancy.
- Morning sickness that lasts for a few days about 20 days after insemination
- Reduced activity
- Enlarged nipples
- Increased appetite
- Pink discharge
What do you need to know about French bulldog pregnancy?
Taking care of a pregnant Frenchie isn’t easy. Your four-legged lady will have less energy as her belly grows, so it might be challenging to help her maintain a normal weight. Even though your French bulldog will gain weight during pregnancy, she shouldn’t become overweight.
That’s why it’s important to provide your Frenchie with a balanced diet. While many factors can affect the success of a French bulldog pregnancy, one thing you need to know is how important it will be for her body condition to stay healthy. You’ll want to make sure she maintains an ideal weight and doesn’t put too much fat onto muscles or get too skinny.
Early gaining weight during French bulldog pregnancy can cause problems during giving birth (risk of dystocia). Therefore, you have to follow your furry friend’s weight and not let her gain more than 10% of her weight. Also, the ideal body condition score should be 4–5.
French bulldog pregnancy from 1-6th week
During the early pregnancy stage, your Frenchie won’t need more calories to boost her energy. The pregnant dog needs to eat a well-balanced diet that is complete and high quality during this period. Stick with the normal feeding guide for your pup! While it’s normal for your dog to experience fluctuations in appetite due to the hormonal changes she is going through, if they persist or seem like their starting to become more frequent then you have to consult your vet.
French bulldog pregnancy from 6-9th week
The pregnant Frenchie needs more energy and nutrients as her puppies start to grow. The space she has to accommodate the food in the stomach starts decreasing, which means that you should provide your dog with lots of proteins. Proteins will give her energy and she will be less prone to gaining weight quickly.
This is also the time when you can perform an ultrasound of your dog’s belly. The radiologist will tell you how many puppies you can expect. Depending on the number of puppies, your dog will have to boost her energy by eating more proteins.
It might sound weird, but you should switch your four-legged lady on a puppy food formula. It features more vitamins, proteins, minerals, and will give her more energy. Good quality, highly digestible food is a must for a French bulldog pregnancy. The increased nutrients will help ensure that she receives all the vitamins and minerals necessary to stay healthy while giving birth!
Since Frenchies belong to small dog breeds, you have to choose puppy food for small dog breeds. Once your dog gets used to a new diet, you can gradually feed her more. The general rule is feeding an extra 10% energy per week until birth.
The daily food intake for your pet is important since she’ll have a smaller stomach space. You can help her eat by offering the meal in small amounts throughout the day, rather than giving her two large meals per day.
Water is also important, especially if your dog is pregnant during the summer. If you’re feeding your pooch with dry kibble formula, then you have to increase her water intake. Make sure you always leave a water bowl for your Frenchie full of fresh water.
How long does French bulldog pregnancy last?
The average French bulldog pregnancy lasts 63 days from the time of conception to birth. The labor can also happen a few days earlier but it should not happen before the 58th day. During the pregnancy, your dog’s body will go through different stages. Most pregnant dogs will search for a safe and calm place to nest. Therefore, you have to place your French bulldog’s bed in a quiet place in the house. Besides, your furry friend will start losing hair from her belly because it’s one of the ways to get ready for labor.
How to take care of your dog during pregnancy?
Besides regular grooming, you have to make sure whether your Frenchie is not feeling too hot or too cold during pregnancy. Since French bulldogs are prone to hyperthermia and hypothermia, it’s of vital importance to pay attention to your dog’s body temperature.
The temperature in the room should not exceed 23 C. When you’re taking her outside, make sure she’s dressed appropriately for outside weather conditions. Taking care of your pregnant French bulldog might be challenging especially during summer. That’s why we recommend you take her outside only early in the morning and late in the evening. In the meantime, you can take her to short potty breaks that will last only a couple of minutes.
Wearing a self-cooling vest and collars can be of great help when taking our Frenchie on strolls. They should be worn wet and they help maintain the optimal body temperature in hot weather.
Some French bulldogs might need to take different supplements during pregnancy, however, it’s not advisable to include them on your own. Your vet is the only person who should tell you what type of supplements your dog needs and in what amounts.