If you’ve been endeavoring to breed your lovable English Bulldog or she has been in contact with a male, there’s a good chance that she might be pregnant. To determine if your English Bulldog is indeed expecting, there are several early pregnancy signs that you can look out for. Additionally, each stage of an English Bulldog’s pregnancy will be briefly explained further down in the article.
Recognizing the Initial Signs of Pregnancy in an English Bulldog
Here is a checklist to help you identify if your English Bulldog is pregnant:
- Has your English Bulldog’s appetite decreased?
- Does your English Bulldog seem more tired and less active?
- Are your English Bulldog’s nipples swollen?
- Does your English Bulldog have a swollen belly (which can happen as early as 14 days)?
Even during the first 20 to 30 days, a vet may be able to determine if your dog is pregnant by feeling her belly. However, it’s more common to feel the puppies moving in the dog’s belly around 5 to 6 weeks into the pregnancy.
Please note that the methods mentioned above are not entirely scientific; therefore, their accuracy may vary. To increase certainty, consider the following more reliable ways to determine if your English Bulldog is pregnant.
Accurate Methods to Confirm Pregnancy in an English Bulldog
Here are two foolproof tests that your vet can perform to definitively determine if your English Bulldog is pregnant:
1. English Bulldog Ultrasound 25 Days After Mating
The quickest way to determine if your planned mating or artificial insemination was successful is through an English Bulldog ultrasound scan. Veterinarians recommend conducting this pregnancy test as early as 21 days after mating, but waiting at least 25 days will yield more accurate results.
An ultrasound is a non-invasive and painless procedure, but it may be a bit intimidating for timid dogs. The vet will need to shave a small area on your English Bulldog’s belly, which might cause her some minor stress due to the noise.
The cost of an English Bulldog ultrasound procedure can reach up to $500. However, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective method, please read on.
2. Blood Test 5 Weeks After Mating
If it has been 5 weeks or more since you attempted to breed your English Bulldog, you can opt for a blood test. This test checks for pregnancy hormones in the blood sample and is generally less expensive than an ultrasound.
It’s important to wait at least 5 weeks after mating to ensure accurate results, as the test may yield false negatives even if the English Bulldog is in the early stages of pregnancy.
Choosing a Reliable English Bulldog Pregnancy Test
For the most reliable pregnancy test, it is recommended to opt for an ultrasound after at least 25 days since mating. Aside from providing a more accurate method of determining pregnancy, ultrasounds allow you to see the puppies on the screen, making it an exciting time! However, keep in mind that it may still be challenging to determine the exact number of puppies during the early stages due to overlapping body shapes. To obtain an accurate count of the litter size, an X-ray will be necessary further along in the pregnancy (around 45 days), as the vet can then count the puppies’ skulls.
Your English Bulldog’s Pregnancy Stages
Once you discover that your English Bulldog is pregnant, it’s important to prepare accordingly. Here’s what to expect during each stage of the pregnancy, along with tips to help your furry friend along the way.
Stage 1: The First Month
Visually, not much is happening during the first month of an English Bulldog’s pregnancy. In fact, you may not even realize she’s pregnant without an expensive ultrasound. However, internally, significant physical and mental changes are taking place:
- After 7 days: The embryos travel to the uterine horns.
- After 16 days: The embryos embed into the uterus lining.
- After 22 days: The fetuses begin to take shape.
- After 29 days: Vets can detect heartbeats using an ultrasound.
Toward the end of the first month, you may start noticing subtle changes in your pregnant English Bulldog, such as:
- Increased appetite, as she consumes more calories
- Enlarged nipples
- Increased affection toward the owner
- Clear vaginal discharge during the fourth week
- Reduced activity and increased sedentary behavior
- Possible signs of canine morning sickness
Please note that not all English Bulldogs will exhibit these pregnancy signs, and in some cases, they may even be displayed during a phantom pregnancy.
Stage 2: The Second Month
During the second month, your English Bulldog’s pregnancy progresses rapidly, and the growing fetuses begin to resemble actual puppies. Here’s what you can expect:
- After 35 days: The fetuses develop toes and eyelids.
- After 40 days: The fetuses develop claws.
- After 50 days: The fetuses develop a skeleton, and their coats start to form.
- After 50 days: Vets can perform an X-ray to determine the number of puppies.
- After 58 days: Your pregnant English Bulldog will begin nesting behavior.
As your English Bulldog’s appearance and behavior change, the signs of pregnancy will become more evident. Some noticeable symptoms include:
- Increased food consumption (which may decrease again around day 45)
- Noticeable weight gain, potentially up to 50%
- More frequent urination
- Clear vaginal discharge
- Firming of the stomach by day 50
- Visible movements of the puppies under her belly skin by day 50
Stage 3: The Third Month
In the third month, your English Bulldog will prepare for giving birth, with the puppies positioning themselves in the birth canal, typically occurring by the 63rd day. Here’s what to expect during the third month:
- After 58 days: The puppies are almost fully developed and will move into the birth canal.
- After 62 days: Your English Bulldog will experience a loss of appetite, become agitated, and may appear slimmer as the puppies settle into position.
- On average, after 63 days: Your pregnant English Bulldog will give birth.
Preparing for an English Bulldog Pregnancy
Your English Bulldog’s pregnancy will last between 58 and 68 days, with the average delivery occurring after 63 days. Most physical changes in her body will occur during the last 14 days before she gives birth. As an owner or breeder, there are several ways you can help ensure her comfort during pregnancy:
- Diet: After 30 days, provide a specific kibble for puppies. Consult your vet for a suitable diet plan.
- Exercise: Avoid excessive exercise, as she will have less energy and may risk harming her unborn puppies.
- Nesting: Help your English Bulldog create a safe and comfortable nest by finding an appropriate location in your home.
When it’s time for your English Bulldog to give birth, she may appear restless, paw at her nest, and pace before eventually settling down. It can take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours before you see the first puppy being born. After delivery, the mother will bite and lick the newborn puppy to stimulate breathing. If she is unable to do so, you may need to provide assistance. Additionally, if a puppy doesn’t latch onto the mother’s teat, you can gently place it there to facilitate immediate feeding.
Natural Birth vs. C-Section
Consult with your vet to determine the preferred method of delivery. Sometimes, the recommendation will depend on the number of puppies she is carrying. If she has only a few puppies, they may be larger and potentially difficult to deliver naturally, leading to a recommended C-section.
The cost of a planned C-section for an English Bulldog can range from $640 to $1,300. Keep in mind that any surgical procedure carries some level of risk.
Now that you know how to determine if your English Bulldog is pregnant, it’s time to prepare for the exciting journey ahead. If you confirm that your English Bulldog is indeed expecting, please share some photos with us. We’d love to see the adorable new puppies!
If you’d like to explore more English Bulldog-related content, check out some of my recent articles:
- [Link to article 1]
- [Link to article 2]
*Image in the header via [source].