Last Updated on: 22nd October 2023, 09:50 pm
Whelping is the process where a mother dog gives birth and nurtures her new litter. French Bulldogs are a unique breed requiring special attention due to their distinct physique and potential for certain health issues. For example, their flat faces and stout bodies make natural births more challenging, often requiring veterinary intervention. Because of this, the whelping process for French Bulldogs often demands more planning, observation, and in some cases, professional help.
A pregnant French Bulldog will go a long way in ensuring a successful and less stressful whelping process for both the mother and her puppies.
So, how can you successfully whelp French Bulldog puppies? I will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to whelp French Bulldog puppies. From setting up the whelping box to caring for the dam and puppies after delivery.
Preparation Before Pregnancy
Before you even think about breeding your French Bulldogs, preparation is crucial. This isn’t just about setting up a cozy space for the puppies.
Vet Checks for Both Dogs
Take your dogs to the vet. They need to get a full check-up. Blood tests, looking for bugs, the whole deal. Vets will check parts that might have issues like hips and eyes. French Bulldogs have some health stuff that’s common for them, so make sure they’re okay.
If there’s a health issue with either dog, that could mess up the whole puppy situation.
Good Food and Taking Care
You gotta feed your dogs the good stuff. Go for top-tier dog food that’s got what French Bulldogs need. Bad food can cause all kinds of trouble like a weak immune system and a bad coat. Sometimes the vet might tell you to add some vitamins or other stuff to their food.
Setting Up a Whelping Box
Why You Need a Whelping Box
It’s a safe space for your dog and her new family. Your dog needs her privacy, especially during labor. Plus, the walls stop the pups from wandering off.
If you don’t have a proper whelping box, you’re asking for trouble. The mom can get stressed, and stressed moms don’t take good care of their babies.
What Goes Inside the Box
Don’t just throw in some old blankets and call it a day. The box needs the right stuff. Start with a good floor. It should be easy to clean because, let’s be real, things are gonna get messy. Use absorbent pads or newspaper. Then add soft blankets or towels on top.
You’ll also need a heat source. Puppies can’t keep warm by themselves. Use a heat lamp or a heating pad but make it safe. Don’t let it get too hot.
Best Spot for the Box
Where you put this box matters. Keep it away from heavy foot traffic in your house. Too much noise and movement will stress out the mom. The room should be warm but not hot. Make sure it’s easy for you to get to the box because you’ll need to check on them.
It should be a low-drama zone. Also, make sure it’s a space where the mom dog can easily get in and out but the pups can’t escape.
The First Stage of Labor
Your French Bulldog’s gonna act differently when the first stage of labor starts. She’ll be restless, maybe even dig in her whelping box. That’s her nesting instinct kicking in. She might also pant a lot and refuse to eat. Don’t stress, this is natural. Your job? Make sure she’s comfy. If she wants to walk around, let her. Keep water near her; she’ll need it. This stage can last 6 to 12 hours. Stay chill and keep a close eye.
The Second Stage of Labor
Here comes the real work. Your dog will start having contractions. You’ll see her belly tighten up. She’ll start pushing, and that’s when you know the first puppy is on its way. Each puppy will come in its own fluid-filled sac. Your dog should break the sac and clean the pup right away. If she doesn’t, you’ll need to do it. Use a clean towel to wipe the pup’s face and clear its mouth.
After a Puppy is Born
Once a pup comes into the world, make sure it starts breathing and crying. The mom will clean it and bite off the umbilical cord. Your job is to make sure each pup finds its way to a nipple to start feeding. Keep a count of the puppies and make sure none are left behind in the birth canal.
Monitor the Dam and Puppies Closely
The hard part’s over, but you’re not done. You need to keep an eye on the mom and her new pups. Look for any signs that something’s off. If the mom’s not feeding the pups or if a pup’s not eating, that’s a red flag. Temperature’s also a thing; keep them warm but not too hot.
Keep the Whelping Box Clean and Dry
With new pups, things will get messy. Swap out the bedding in the whelping box daily. Use warm water and mild soap to clean the box. This helps keep the puppies safe from infection. A dirty box is a quick way to get sick pups, and you don’t want that.
French Bulldogs are a popular breed of dog, but they can be difficult to whelp due to their short noses and narrow pelvises. As a result, French Bulldog owners are more likely to need to assist their dogs during the whelping process.
Provide the dam and puppies with a quiet and comfortable environment. After whelping, the dam and puppies will need a quiet place to rest and recover.
How Long Will the Entire Whelping Process Take?
It varies. Some dams deliver all their pups in a few hours, while others can take up to 24 hours. The time between individual puppy births might also range from minutes to hours.
How Do I Know if All Puppies Have Been Born?
Usually, the dam will become visibly relaxed and less anxious when all puppies are out. You can also often tell by a decrease in her pushing efforts.
Is it Normal for the Dam to Act Restless Before Labor?
Absolutely, it’s a common sign that the dam is getting ready to go into labor. She might pace, dig, and even shiver.