How Many Days Do French Bulldogs Stay Pregnant?
French Bulldogs typically have a gestation period of around 63 days or 9 weeks on average, although this can vary slightly depending on certain factors. To get a more accurate estimate of how far along the pregnancy is and when your dog will give birth, consult with a veterinarian who can conduct tests.
French Bulldog Pregnancy Stages
Dogs, including French Bulldogs, go through three stages of pregnancy, each lasting approximately 3 weeks.
During the second and third week after breeding, the fertilized eggs will implant themselves into the uterine wall. This is when you may start noticing the initial signs of pregnancy, such as changes in your dog’s mood and behavior.
Around week 3, the embryos begin to develop, and your dog may experience more notable mood changes, along with shifts in appetite and the development of breast tissue.
At week 4, you can physically feel the developing fetuses in the uterus. They begin to develop their spinal cord and facial features, while the uterus fills with liquid to protect them.
By the fifth week, the puppies start resembling French Bulldog pups, with developing legs and toes. Your dog’s belly will become visibly larger, and her appetite will decrease. Pigmentation and eyelid development occur in week 6.
Week 7 marks the point when the puppies reach their birth size, and you can physically feel them inside your dog. This indicates that the pregnancy is nearing its end, and you should start preparing for the arrival of the litter.
As your dog enters week 8, she will exhibit nesting behavior, getting ready for labor. The puppies will be born around week 9, with labor typically lasting between 3 and 12 hours for the entire litter.
Most French Bulldogs deliver via cesarean section, as natural birth can be risky due to their narrow hips. When in doubt, consult with your vet to determine whether a C-section or unassisted birth is suitable for your dog.
How Many Puppies Do French Bulldogs Have?
French Bulldogs usually have smaller litters compared to other breeds, with an average of three to four puppies. However, the exact number can vary, and ultrasounds or X-rays taken around the eighth week can provide a more accurate estimate.
If you suspect there are still puppies inside your dog after she has finished giving birth, and she hasn’t delivered another one within four hours, contact your vet for assistance.
How to Determine if Your French Bulldog is Pregnant
If you’re intentionally breeding your French Bulldog or suspect an accidental pregnancy, there are several signs and symptoms to watch out for as early as the first and second week after breeding:
Signs of French Bulldog Pregnancy
- Change in mood: Your dog may become more affectionate or irritable than usual, seeking company or isolating themselves.
- Appetite change: Expect a decreased appetite early on, followed by an increased need for food as the pregnancy progresses.
- Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting may occur around week 3 but typically fades quickly. However, persistent vomiting could indicate other health issues.
- Lack of activity: Your dog may show less interest in physical activities and play, particularly around week two. Over time, she will likely adjust and become more active.
- Breast growth: Pregnancy triggers the growth of nipples and breasts, accompanied by changes in color due to increased blood flow.
Can French Bulldogs Give Birth Naturally?
Due to their breeding history, many French Bulldogs struggle to give birth naturally. Around 95% of them require cesarean sections to ensure the safety of both the puppies and the mother.
Although some French Bulldogs can give birth naturally, breeders often opt for cesarean sections as a precaution. Discuss your specific dog’s needs with your vet, and seek professional help immediately if your dog is having difficulties during labor.
Signs of French Bulldog Labor
Around week 8, your dog will exhibit nesting behavior, indicating that labor is approaching. She may become restless, constantly rearranging her bedding and losing her appetite. Other signs of impending labor include panting, pacing, and a drop in body temperature.
Once your dog’s temperature drops from 100°F to around 98°F, labor will likely commence within the next 12 to 24 hours. If you’re planning an assisted birth at a veterinary hospital, it’s time to head there.
How to Deliver French Bulldog Puppies Naturally
During your dog’s labor, stay by her side and monitor her progress. Labor can last between 4 and 24 hours. If you notice excessive straining or greenish discharge, contact your vet immediately.
When the puppies start coming out, the mother will usually break the fluid sack and lick the puppies to stimulate their movement. However, if your dog is exhausted, you might need to step in and use a hand towel to break the sack and wipe their nose.
If a puppy isn’t breathing, you may need to stimulate their breathing response by wiping them more vigorously. In emergencies, perform CPR or rescue breaths. Contact your vet for guidance on CPR procedures and to seek assistance throughout the labor process.
If you find yourself in the exciting position of having a pregnant French Bulldog, congratulations! French Bulldog puppies are adorable and require no more care than puppies of other breeds. However, pregnancy and birth can be challenging, so it’s essential to be prepared and provide the necessary care for your dog.
Remember, breeding should only be pursued by experienced individuals. If you have any concerns or questions about your dog’s pregnancy or need assistance, reach out to your vet for professional advice.
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(Image in header via Pixabay)