French Bulldog labor and delivery

French Bulldog labor and delivery

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
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A dog’s pregnancy can last between 56 and 70 days, with a French Bulldog usually carrying for roughly 63 days. The narrow hips of Frenchies prevent most of them from giving birth naturally. In this case, the cesarean section will be performed, which is how the majority of French Bulldogs are delivered (around 80%).

In this article you will know the answer to the query “French Bulldog labor and delivery“.

Breeders puppy owners or anyone who has found themselves dealing with the situation of a French Bulldog getting pregnant can feel a bit nervous about the pregnancy and the delivery process. No matter what if your dog is pregnant shes about to go through a traumatic experience and shes going to need a lot of love and support from you. The following are the basics you should know so that you do not get caught off guard. 

French Bulldog labor and delivery

How to tell if your French Bulldog is pregnant 

You can keep an eye out for certain signs that might help you identify if your Frenchie is pregnant although it may be tricky since shifting hormones can cause behavioral changes that range from one extreme to the other. 

If your pooch is pregnant he or she might have a loss of appetite and begin to vomit. As an alternative she might start eating more than usual and she might become pickier about what she eats. 

Your Frenchie will likely have less energy and you’ll probably find that she sleeps more than usual. 

You may have a harder time detecting this if shes a dog who lazes around a lot. If so you might want to watch how quickly she gets tired when walking as an indication that she might be pregnant. 

You might notice a change in her behavior and a break from her usual routine. Its possible that she’ll try to get more attention than usual. 

In contrast to what you would expect she may follow you around or sit by your side more than usual. 

As she changes hormones she may spend more time by herself and become agitated if too much attention is paid to her. You also need to be aware of other physical symptoms. During pregnancy a dogs nipples will grow larger than usual. Nipples (areolas) should swell a bit and may also become darker red than normal.

Also your Frenchie is likely to gain some weight particularly around the stomach area but this usually occurs once she is well into her pregnancy already. Your dog may begin to exhibit nesting behavior toward the end of her pregnancy.

When the pups arrive she might move her bed around to create a better nesting environment and become very grumpy and isolate herself. If you have noticed the odd behavior at this stage you should have visited your veterinarian.

Even though these signs can be helpful in identifying if your dog is pregnant the closest thing to knowing for sure is an ultrasound.

How long is the French Bulldog’s pregnancy and how many puppies can you expect? 

A dogs pregnancy can last between 56 and 70 days with a French Bulldog usually carrying for roughly 63 days. The narrow hips of Frenchies prevent most of them from giving birth naturally.

In this case the cesarean section will be performed which is how the majority of French Bulldogs are delivered (around 80%). Your Frenchie pups will probably number between 3 and 5. Its extremely rare to have more than 5 or 6 puppies in a single French Bulldog litter.

Delivery and potential problems to look out for 

When the puppies are delivered be sure to have a clean box ready. Prepare clean towels for cleaning up when you need to use the box. Fill it with newspapers.

Sterilize some scissors so you can cut the umbilical cord some unwaxed dental floss so you can tie up the cord afterward iodine to clean off the pups’ tummies once the cord is cut and heated water bottles or something similar wrapped in clean towels to keep the new-borns warm.

As the labor stage approaches your Frenchie might become very irritable. During this stage its not uncommon for dogs to repetitively lick their genital area as well as lose their appetite. As soon as the contractions begin her water will break shortly thereafter.

If your Frenchie has been having contractions for nearly 2 hours and her water hasnot broken you will need to contact your veterinarian for advice on what to do next. If you need help from your veterinarian keep his or her number handy.

It is common for dogs to struggle when they are giving birth (whelping). A dog who has difficulties giving birth is said to have dystocia. It is unfortunate that brachycephalic breeds are more susceptible to dystocia and French Bulldogs in particular are at the top of the list being almost 16 times more likely to experience complications than regular breeds.

You should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible if the duration of labor is over 24 hours or if pups have been born more than 2 hours apart. There are several issues that your dog could face during pregnancy such as the size of the unborn pup and its location in the birth canal.

Among many other potential problems the mother could suffer from weak contractions an infected uterus or pelvic anomalies. You should also make sure the pups are delivered in the right position. As a rule puppies arrive head first but if the pup arrives tail first it could cause problems.

Although you may be able to deliver the baby without any assistance complications in this situation are not uncommon so you should contact a vet just to be safe. While giving birth you may find yourself in need of vet assistance.

Bring any pups that have been born with you in a clean box separate from the mother and bring your heated water bottles with you too so the pups will stay warm. If a puppy is on its way out but is not being delivered properly despite the mothers efforts you can very carefully grab hold of the puppy and gently pull slowly at a 45-degree angle to the ground in order to help it. Stop and speak to your vet immediately if the pup isnot coming out or if the mother seems to be injured! 

Feeding your pregnant Frenchie 

You should make sure that your expecting dog gets the right amount of food. It should be fine to feed her an all-life stage dog food but you might want to adjust the amount. Be careful with how much you give the mother-to-be if she easily puts on more weight than she should in general otherwise she should be able to eat as much as she likes.

Additionally she might become fussy about her food in which case you can try adding a bit of moisture to her meals to encourage her to eat. Additionally make sure she has access to fresh water at all times.

In the first six weeks of pregnancy your dogs feeding schedule should not change very much but in the seventh week you should add 25% more food to her regular diet to make sure she has enough energy. Provide the mother with sufficient food after the pups are born around week 9 so she can replace the energy she lost during the birthing process.

In the following month the mom will have to deal with nursing puppies so she will probably need to eat up to four times as much as she did before she became pregnant. As soon as the pups start eating from the mothers bowl you can start trying to wean them off the mothers milk and introduce solid food into their diet.

By 8 weeks of age puppies should be moving on to puppy food instead of their mothers milk. Cut back on the food you’re giving mom to stop her from producing milk.

The first day you should only give her water the next day you can give her a quarter of what she ate before the pregnancy the next day you can move up to half then three quarters and then she should return to her regular feeding schedule. 


You should seek the assistance of a veterinarian or at least a professional breeder when dealing with your dogs pregnancy but if you insist on handling it yourself make sure to do as much research as you can beforehand to make sure you are prepared. You and your dog will be much more comfortable if you consult a vet and gain as much knowledge as you can about the pregnancy so that it will be a relatively painless experience for both of you.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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