Dealing with your French bulldog reproduction can be stressful. Most Frenchies can’t reproduce naturally since they’re crossbred. Frenchies can get pregnant via artificial insemination and can reproduce through natural breeding in some cases. But how long are French bulldogs pregnant? And what are the signs?
French bulldogs are generally pregnant for a period of 56-64 days on average, or around nine weeks. Sixty-three days is the average French bulldog gestation period.
It certainly is a fantastic experience for pet owners to find out that their Frenchie is pregnant and will be the mother of a litter of beautiful Frenchies! Pet owners should know the symptoms of pregnancy in French Bulldogs and how to care for a pregnant French bulldog.
The stages of the French bulldog heat cycle
Female Frenchies go into their reproductive cycle every six months, with their heat cycle lasting anywhere between 18-21 days. The reproductive cycle is broken down into four stages: Proestrus, Estrus, Diestrus, and Anestrus.
Breeders use these different stages to determine the best time for dog breeding.
Proestrus is the earliest stage of the reproductive cycle, lasting around nine days. Females begin to attract males at this stage, albeit they will reject their approaches until stage two. Swelling of the vulva and bloody vaginal discharge are symptoms of proestrus.
Estrus can persist anywhere from three to eleven days. During this period, the bitch is receptive to the male. During proestrus and estrus, many breeders have a veterinarian conduct vaginal smears and blood tests to ensure they breed their dogs at the best moment. Proestrus symptoms include discharge which lightens in color and lessens as the vulva softens and enlarges.
Diestrus is the cycle’s last stage, and it usually happens on the 14th day. The female’s discharge gets redder and lessens, the vulva returns to normal, and she doesn’t positively respond to the male’s mating advances.
This period is referred to as the time when the female isn’t in heat and is normal.
The reproductive cycle is complete when there are no swelling or discharge symptoms.
The stages of French bulldog pregnancy
Once they are inseminated, how long are French bulldogs pregnant?
The pregnant Frenchie undergoes the four different stages of pregnancy once successfully inseminated. The complete pregnancy lasts for around two months, and the other details of how long are French bulldogs pregnant are mentioned below.
The First Month
The embryos travel to the uterus during the first month, generally around day 7, and are lodged in the lining around day 16. By the 22nd day, the baby is starting to take shape, and a veterinarian should be able to identify fetal heartbeats on ultrasound by day 28 or 30.
You may see a tiny pink discharge coming out of your Frenchie and she might be suffering from a little morning sickness. Her nipples will also swell. Don’t be alarmed; everything is normal.
The offspring begins as a fetus (only 1.5cm long!) and slowly forms its vital organs and body structure. The heartbeats of the embryos may now be recognized, especially after day 22.
Although they are just 1.5 cm in length, their spine and facial characteristics, such as eyes, begin to grow, eventually resembling a dog.
Other symptoms of your Frenchie might include increased appetite since they need more nutrients for the developing babies. Decreased physical activity is another symptom.
The second month
During the second month, fetal development accelerates. By day 32, eyelids have formed and toes are visible. By day 40, the claws have formed, and the coat and skeleton have formed a few days later (day 45).
The fetuses begin to develop whiskers, feet, and claws in this period. Their genitalia begins to develop as well. Your French bulldog’s weight will begin to rise, and you should increase their food consumption to help the pups develop.
The puppies are less susceptible because the amniotic fluid has increased, providing additional protection. The uterus will become mushy and floppy as well.
Palpating the mother is no longer possible at this point; therefore, your vet will start using the ultrasound more regularly. An x-ray will disclose the number of pups in the litter by day 50. In the last week, the female will start looking for a suitable place to have her babies.
At this point, a pregnant French Bulldog cannot eat tiny meals and will need larger meals for the growing babies. With her faster growth than ever, your Frenchie will appear bigger and more pregnant. The nipples are also darker and more noticeable.
As the second month progresses, your dog will begin to shed fur, particularly from her tummy, in preparation for delivery. The puppies are virtually completely grown at this point.
The final week
You’ll notice a shift in your appetite and eating patterns. Your Frenchie will become more reclusive as she prepares to give birth.
Throughout week nine, keep a close eye on your dog’s temperature to see when she will go into labor. You’ll be able to identify a dip because you’ll know her typical temperature.
The waist will trim in dogs during the final days of pregnancy as the puppies slide into the delivery canal. The Frenchie mother will seem to lose appetite, with a drop in body temperature before birth. They may also get restless and pace around or dig in the garden.
The birth of the baby Frenchies!
While the birth of the offspring is certainly the most amazing thing for your Frenchie, the procedure can be quite daunting. While there is a certain belief that French bulldogs can only give birth via a C-Section, the truth is different.
The birthing period of the Frenchie babies is broken down into 3 different stages.
The first stage involves the internals of the Frenchie mother, and she experiences contractions in her uterus, and you can see the following symptoms in your dog:
- Nesting behavior
- Discharge from the vagina
The fact of the matter is that some Frenchies can give birth naturally, but most have to deliver via C-section. This is because the breed has small hips (because of crossbreeding) and their heads are generally larger, making natural birth almost impossible for them.
The birth of the puppies occurs in stage 2. The mother delivers one pup at a time, and it takes approximately an hour to deliver one pup.
The placenta is delivered once the pups are out of the mother. Ensure that the mother delivers her offspring on time; otherwise, both the mother and her pups can be at serious risk. Make sure that a veterinarian is present during all three stages of birth.
Post-birth Frenchie care
The Frenchie mother and her newly born offspring will require good conditions. Ensure her room is warm and that any exterior things that might harm the mum and kids are removed.
Avoid by-products and focus on a balanced diet for both the mother and her offspring. To recover after the pregnancy, the female Frenchie should get enough rest and no disturbance throughout the day.
Determining whether your Frenchie is pregnant or not
Detecting pregnancy in humans is much easier since we’ve developed different methods of detecting pregnancy much more quickly. When it comes to Frenchies, pregnancy is virtually indetectable in the first few weeks.
You might be able to detect pregnancy in the 3rd of pregnancy, and there are several ways you can utilize to determine whether your Frenchie is pregnant or not properly. These are:
- Hormone Test
Palpation is only possible during weeks 3-5 of the pregnancy since they involve a feeling of the fetus’s vessel. Hormone tests require that your Frenchie be at least 30 days pregnant to give the best results.
Feeding and caring for a pregnant Frenchie
Once you’re sure that your Frenchie is successfully pregnant, you need to make sure that their pregnancy undergoes a smooth period and that they don’t suffer.
Proper veterinary care is the first and foremost step in ensuring a successful pregnancy. You need to ensure that your pet is fully vaccinated once confirmed that your Frenchie is successfully pregnant. This is to increase the survival chances of the pups.
Once the pregnancy is successful, switch to high-quality dog food, and avoid any low-cost filler food you might have been giving them. Avoid any foods with grains or any dog foods with by-products.
Hopefully, your vet might have recommended a certain diet for pregnant Frenchies, and it’s best to follow that diet plan to the letter. You might need to reduce the size of the meals and increase the number of times you give your dog a meal. This is because the babies growing inside your Frenchie will start compressing her stomach.
It is best to keep the environment safe and reliable for your Frenchie while she is pregnant. Don’t introduce any new animals into the household since this may make your Frenchie uncomfortable.
Don’t leave your Frenchie alone for long periods of time. Any new people in the house or new routines might make her scared or become protective of her unborn. We recommend this because your Frenchie is prone to anxiety attacks, and any of these things can trigger them.
The exact behavior of a pregnant Frenchie varies from dog to dog. While some stay docile and neutral during their pregnancy, others might become aggressive and protective. It is best to keep the dog in your vicinity, albeit at a distance.
Don’t let your children or others too close to the pregnant Frenchie, since it may be aggressive towards them, and not during the post-birth phase.
The mother’s dietary needs throughout the first two trimesters of her pregnancy are approximately the same as those of a young adult dog. She mustn’t lose weight or lose condition at this period, so keep an eye on her weight and body condition and eat more if necessary.
It’s also crucial that a dog doesn’t grow overweight or obese due to overfeeding throughout the first and second trimesters. Eating regulated meals is the greatest strategy to improve body condition and weight growth during pregnancy.
The pups’ growth is at its fastest during the third trimester, around day 40 of pregnancy, which is also the most taxing on the expectant mother. Between weeks 6 and 8, the mother’s energy requirements are at their maximum.
Depending on the size of the litter, her energy needs maybe 30-60% more than usual adult maintenance diets. The belly also becomes packed with the babies. This presents an issue because there is little place for food in the gastrointestinal tract.
Vets recommend dog food that is heavy in high-quality ingredients and encourages growth and development. Many short meals should accompany that may allow the mother to maintain enough nutrient and calorie intake.
Feeding a puppy chow formulated for large breed puppies will not provide the proper calcium phosphorous balance to support the fetuses’ developing bones or the mother’s healthy milk supply. Supplementing with folic acid and necessary fatty acids may help develop fetuses. If you want to utilize them in your dog, talk to your vet first.
The mother will require larger caloric intakes during this period since she is feeding her pups as well.
She may require 2-4 times the calories of an average healthy adult during her peak energy requirement, which occurs 3-5 weeks after whelping. The mother’s energy needs will decrease and return to normal once the puppies are totally weaned. This is around 8 weeks after delivery.
The mother can increase her food intake after the pups are born, but the energy density of the food must be sufficient. Otherwise, she will not be physiologically able to maintain milk production, weight, and body condition.
Assessments of her body state should be regular, and the feedings should be adjusted accordingly. Feeding during breastfeeding is best performed with a highly digestible, high-quality puppy chow.
Unless she only produces one or two puppies, free-feeding during the first 3-4 weeks of breastfeeding offers several advantages.
The mother may eat decreasing portions of food each time she eats, and the puppies can start tasting solid food as soon as they are able (at about three weeks of age). Free feeding is not recommended if the litter only has 2 pups. Free feeding lets the mother produce far more milk than she requires. This is because it is predisposing her to mastitis (inflammation of the milk glands).
Hopefully, this article contains all the information about how long French bulldogs are pregnant and all the related information. Before deciding on your Frenchie’s diet, exercise routines, or breeding, remember to consult a vet. Your vet can provide the professional advice needed to ensure that your Frenchie undergoes a smooth pregnancy and successfully delivers a litter of healthy babies!
It is always important to know how long are French bulldogs pregnant so that you can take the necessary precautions during the different stages of the pregnancy.
We hope your Frenchie successfully conceives, and you can become the happy grandparent to a litter of bouncing young Frenchies!