From conception to birth: The fascinating journey of French Bulldog pregnancy

french bulldog puppy in a pink box
Are you a proud owner of a French Bulldog who is expecting puppies? Congratulations! French Bulldog pregnancy is a fascinating journey that lasts for several weeks. 

In this article, we will take you through the various stages of French Bulldog pregnancy, signs of pregnancy, prenatal care, nutrition, common health issues, preparing for the birth of puppies, labour and delivery process, and caring for the puppies after birth.

How long are French Bulldogs pregnant for?

One of the most common questions that pet owners have is, "how many days are French Bulldogs pregnant for?" According to the AKC, the answer is approximately 63 days or 9 weeks. 

However, the duration of the pregnancy may vary depending on the individual dog. It is important to keep track of the due date and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

French Bulldog pregnancy test: what are the options? 

French Bulldog pregnancy test is an important aspect of breeding these adorable little pooches. There are different methods available to determine whether your French Bulldog is pregnant or not. Some of these options include:


Ultrasound technology uses sound waves to create images of the developing puppies inside the mother's womb. This non-invasive procedure can be done as early as 28 days after mating and provides accurate results.

During the ultrasound, the veterinarian will examine the uterus for the presence of gestational sacs, which indicates the pregnancy. They will also be able to count the number of puppies and assess their overall health.

Relaxin Hormone Test

A relaxin hormone test is designed to detect the presence of the hormone relaxin, which is only produced in pregnant female dogs.

By analysing a blood or urine sample, a veterinarian can determine if your French Bulldog is indeed pregnant. The relaxin hormone test is highly accurate and can provide reliable results as early as three weeks after conception.

X-Ray Scan

An X-ray scan can detect any foetal skeletons in the mother's uterus, providing a clear indication of pregnancy. The radiography method is the most renowned choice. It's a reliable and straightforward way to find out the good news and even provides an accurate count of how many little ones your pet is carrying.


Palpation is a process in which a veterinarian uses their hands to feel for the presence of developing puppies in the mother's uterus. This method is usually done around day 28-35 after mating, and it is important to have it done by a professional to avoid causing harm to the mother or her puppies.

During the procedure, the vet will gently press on the mother's abdomen and feel for the presence of small lumps or bumps, which are the developing puppies.

Signs of pregnancy in French Bulldogs

It can be challenging to detect pregnancy in French Bulldogs during the early stages. However, some pregnancy symptoms to look out for include:

Decreased activity level

If your French bulldog seems lethargic and spends most of the day sleeping, it's likely that there's an underlying health problem. It's crucial to take your furry friend to the vet for a check-up.

It's not uncommon for X-rays to reveal that your French bulldog is pregnant, so brace yourself for that possibility. Remember, taking care of your pet's health is of utmost importance!

An increase in appetite

A clear indication of a pregnant dog is a noticeable shift in eating habits. A pregnant French Bulldog will consume two to three times more food than she typically would, guaranteeing that her body has the necessary fuel to sustain itself and nurture the pups until they are born healthy and strong.

Nipple enlargement and darkening

When it comes to identifying whether a Frenchie is pregnant, keep an eye out for some tell-tale signs such as enlarged nipples and heightened abdominal sensitivity.

Seeking the advice of a veterinarian is highly recommended if you suspect pregnancy in your furry friend. An experienced vet can determine whether your Frenchie is indeed pregnant and help you plan for the arrival of the puppies.

Vomiting or morning sickness

Did you know that French bulldogs also experience morning sickness during pregnancy, just like us humans? It generally starts around three weeks after conception and can cause them to feel nauseous or even vomit.

However, don't worry, as this usually only lasts for a brief period of time, usually just a few days.

Coloured discharge

It's worth noting that if your bulldog is experiencing a light pink discharge, it could be a sign of pregnancy! This discharge tends to occur during the second or third week of pregnancy.

Stages of French Bulldog pregnancy

French Bulldog pregnancy can be divided into three stages:

Stage 1: Early Pregnancy

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, there may not be any visible signs. However, the body starts to prepare for the growth and development of the puppies. The mother's uterus expands, and the puppies' organs begin to form.

Stage 2: Mid-Pregnancy

Around week 4 or 5, the puppies' skeletons start to form, and they become more active. The mother's appetite may increase, and her nipples may become more prominent. It is crucial to provide her with a balanced diet during this stage.

Stage 3: Late Pregnancy

During the final weeks of pregnancy, the puppies' fur grows, and they gain weight. The mother may start to show signs of nesting behaviour, such as seeking out a comfortable spot to give birth. It is essential to monitor her closely during this stage and prepare for the delivery.

French Bulldog prenatal care

Prenatal care is essential to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help detect any potential health issues early on. The vet may recommend vaccinations, deworming, and flea treatments to prevent any infections or parasites.

French Bulldog nutrition during pregnancy

white french bulldog pups sleeping

A balanced diet is crucial during French Bulldog pregnancy. The mother's nutritional needs change as the puppies grow and develop. 

It is recommended to feed her a high-quality, protein-rich diet that is formulated for pregnant and nursing dogs. Always provide her with access to clean drinking water.

Common health issues during French Bulldog pregnancy

French Bulldogs may be prone to certain health issues during pregnancy, such as:

  • Complications during delivery
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pyometra
  • Nutritional deficiencies

However, aside from pregnancy, French Bulldog are predisposed to several common health issues and we have talked about this elsewhere on our blog. 

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help detect and treat these health issues early on.

Preparing for the birth of French Bulldog puppies

Preparing for the birth of French Bulldog puppies involves creating a comfortable and safe environment for the mother and puppies. A quiet and secluded area should be provided, away from any disturbances or noise. 

It is important to have all the necessary supplies, such as clean towels, heating pads, and sterile equipment for cutting the umbilical cord.

How do I know when my French Bulldog is ready to give birth? 

While every dog is different, there are a few tell-tale signs that can indicate that they are going into labour. These signs may include:

  • Decrease in appetite: As the delivery date approaches, your dog may lose interest in food and become more lethargic.
  • Nesting behaviour: This can include digging, pacing, and seeking out a quiet, secluded spot to give birth.
  • Her vulva has become swollen and red and has begun producing a clear discharge.

It's important to create a comfortable and safe space for your dog to deliver her puppies, with plenty of soft bedding and access to water. You should also be prepared with a whelping kit, which includes items like scissors, clean towels, and disinfectant.

If you're still unsure whether your French bulldog is ready to give birth, it's always best to consult with a veterinarian. Your vet can perform an ultrasound to check on the health of the puppies and determine the best course of action.

The labour and delivery process for French Bulldogs

The labour and delivery process for French Bulldogs can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two. The mother may show signs of restlessness, panting, and pacing during the early stages of labour.

As the contractions become stronger, she may start to push. The puppies are born in individual sacs, which the mother breaks open to clean the puppies and stimulate their breathing.

Can French Bulldogs give birth naturally?

One of the most common questions asked by French Bulldog owners is whether their furry friends can give birth naturally or not. The answer is not straightforward and depends on various factors.

While French Bulldogs are capable of a natural birth, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. The breed is known for its small size and narrow hips, which can make the birthing process difficult.

Additionally, French Bulldogs have large heads, which can lead to complications during delivery. In some cases, a C-section may be necessary to ensure the safety of both the mother and the puppies.

It's important to note that not all French Bulldogs will require a C-section. With proper care and monitoring, some dogs may be able to deliver naturally.

It's crucial to work closely with a veterinarian during the pregnancy and birthing process to ensure that any potential complications are detected and addressed promptly.

How many puppies are in a French Bulldog litter?

On average, French bulldogs give birth to litters of 3 to 4 puppies, but it's not unusual for them to have litters of 2 or 3 puppies, or even as many as 6 or 7 in some cases.

There are several factors that can influence the size of a French bulldog litter. One of the most important factors is the age of the mother. Older mothers tend to have smaller litters, while younger mothers may have larger litters.

The health and nutrition of the mother can also play a role in the size of the litter, as can the genetics of both the mother and the father.

Caring for French Bulldog puppies after birth

After the delivery, the mother and puppies need to be monitored closely. The mother should be provided with a nutritious diet to support her milk production, and the puppies should be weighed regularly to ensure that they are gaining weight.

The area should also be kept clean and free of any potential hazards that may harm the puppies.


owner hugging frenchie

French Bulldog pregnancy is a fascinating journey that requires careful attention and care. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, a balanced diet, and a comfortable environment are essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure that your French Bulldog and her puppies receive the best possible care during this crucial time.

To get a quote for French Bulldog insurance you can do this through our website by clicking here. If you would like to talk to one of our pet insurance specialists, you can get in touch with us on 0330 102 5748.

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