Congratulations! Your family is about to expand with some cute little Frenchies, commonly known as French Bulldogs. Caring for a pet is tough, and caring for newborn puppies is even more so.
The first few weeks of a French Bulldog puppy's life are vital to their health and development, so it's essential to be prepared for their arrival. This guide will show you how to care for your newborn Frenchie puppies to ensure that they have a happy and healthy start to life.
This guide will consist of 4 central guides.
- Newborn puppy care guide
- Puppy Grooming
- Socialization and Handling
How To Care For Newborn French Bulldog Puppies
No matter how you delivered your Frenchie puppy – whether whelped at home or delivered by C-section – both mom and her new babies will need your help. Newborn french bulldog puppies are fragile and require a lot of care in the early weeks of their life to grow up healthy and strong.
Mother's Milk Is Best
The first few days after birth are vital for puppies. They are born blind and deaf, relying on their mother's milk for nutrition and immunity. If the mother cannot breastfeed for any reason, the puppies must be bottle-fed.
As stated in a ScienceDirect research paper, newborn puppies should be fed every two to three hours and consume about 10% of their body weight daily. If bottle feeding, use a commercial puppy formula for small breeds. Warm the formula to body temperature before feeding. However, as stated in the above-mentioned research paper, you can not expect a growth rate parallel to puppies who have been breastfed.
These are The Best Rated Puppy formulas you can buy from pet shops.
Puppy Formula For Newborn Frenchie Puppies
Although commercial puppy formula is the best alternative to mother's milk, you can also use goat's milk or a mixture of evaporated milk, Karo syrup, and water. Do not use cow's milk, as it can cause diarrhea, as stated in "Can Dogs Drink Milk?" published at AKC.
Prepare the formula by mixing 250ml of cow's milk with 3 egg yolks. Add one drop of multivitamin solution, one tablespoon of corn oil, and a small pinch of salt to the mixture. Blend the solution well, warm to body temperature, and feed puppies with a small syringe or eyedropper. This is the emergency formula recommended by "Neonatal and pediatric care of the puppy and kitten" research published in Science Direct.
Bowel Movement Stimulation
In addition to feeding, you will also need to stimulate puppies to urinate and defecate. Newborn puppies cannot control their elimination functions and will need help from you (or their mother). You should step up if the mother dog is unwilling to clean her puppies. After each feeding, take a warm, damp washcloth and gently rub their anal and genital area. This will help stimulate bowel movements.
Keep Your Puppies Warm But Not Too Warm!
Puppies lose heat quickly and need to be kept warm. As stated in "Neonatal and pediatric care of the puppy and kitten" research published at Science Direct, you should keep the whelping box at 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week, then reduce the temperature by 5 degrees each week until it reaches 70 degrees. Warmth can be provided by placing a heating pad under half the whelping box.
Just like humans, puppies are susceptible to heatstroke, so make sure the whelping box is not too warm. The best way to check is to place your hand in the box – it should feel warm but not hot.
Keep the whelping box clean and dry. Line it with newspapers, then add several layers of towels or blankets. Check the bedding daily and replace it as needed.
French Bulldog Puppies Grooming
Newborn french bulldog puppies should not bathe until they are at least three weeks old. You can use a warm, damp cloth to wipe them down.
Use a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaner to clean your Frenchie puppy's ears. Apply the cleaner to the inside of the ear flap and then massage it for 30 seconds. Wipe away any excess cleaner, and then give the ear a final wipe with a dry cotton ball. However, if she is too small, avoid cleaning for now.
As suggested in 5 Pet Grooming Tips For Veterinary Assistants in PennFoster college, puppies' nails grow quickly and must be trimmed every 2-3 weeks. If you hear your puppy's nails clicking on the floor, they are too long. Use dog nail trimmers (never human nail clippers) to trim the nails. Cut them straight across, not cutting too close to the quick (the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves). If you accidentally cut your puppy quickly, it will bleed. Simply apply pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops.
To get your puppy used to have her nails trimmed, start by handling her feet and toes. Once she is comfortable with that, you can proceed to trim the nails.
According to the AKC article "A Timeline of Puppy Teething," French Bulldog puppies have 28 baby teeth that will start to come in at around three weeks old. 42 adult teeth will eventually replace these teeth. Now, you do not need to brush your puppy's teeth, but you can begin to get her acclimated to having her mouth handled. Lift her lips and gently rub her gums with your finger.
Brushing your puppy's teeth will become necessary as she grows older. Brush your Frenchie puppy's teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and doggie toothpaste. You should brush her teeth at least three times every week.
French Bulldog puppies are born with short, fine coats that will gradually start to grow in and get coarser over time. According to this scientific article (page 83), puppies will undergo a "coat change" during the teething stage (about 3-6 months), where they shed their newborn fur and grow into their adult coat.
This is a good time to start brushing your puppy's coat. Use a soft brush and be gentle. Check out The Best Reviewed Pet Grooming Brushes for the best brushes for your puppy. Brush in the direction of hair growth. Puppies need not be bathed frequently, but you can use a mild dog shampoo when needed.
Tip: Pet Grooming Vacuum Kits can help clean your dog and home while brushing your puppy's coat. For this, we recommend reading The Best Reviewed Pet Grooming Vacuum Kits.
Socialization and Handling
It is critical to handle your french bulldog puppies as much as possible from the time they are born. This will help them become used to being handled by humans and make them less afraid of people.
Start by gently touching and handling each puppy for a few minutes daily. As they age, you can increase the time you spend handling them. Be sure to handle them, including their paws, tails, and ears.
It is also essential to introduce them to different people, such as men, women, children, and people with different hats and glasses. The more exposure they have to different types of people, the less fearful they will be as adults.
You should also give potty training a start. You can begin to teach the concept of going potty outside when they are three weeks old. Bring them outside frequently and praise them when they do their business in the right spot.
It is also critical to socialize your puppy with other dogs. Start by letting them meet and play with other puppies their age. You can introduce them to adult dogs as they grow older.
French Bulldog Puppy Feeding Guide
According to this PubMed Neonatal and Pediatric Care Guide, you should feed newborn pups milk every 2-3 hours.
At three weeks old, they can start to be fed every 4 hours. At four weeks old, they can start to be fed every 6 hours. At this time, you should start weaning your puppies.
Puppies should be fed high-quality puppy food that is formulated for small breeds. You can wean them onto solid food by mixing them with formula or breastmilk, as suggested in the above-mentioned guide. We recommend buying either The Best Rated Wet Puppy Food or The Top Puppy Food.
Gradually increase the amount of solid food you give them until they are eating all solid food. According to ASPCA Guidelines, puppies should be fed 3 to 4 times a day until they are six months old. After that, you can feed them 2-3 times a day.
As your puppy grows, she will need more food. Be sure to increase her food intake as she grows.
Tips and Warnings
Newborn French Bulldog Health Issues
Due to the selective breeding of this dog breed, French bulldogs have higher odds of several health issues. A study about french bulldogs and their disorders confirms several health issues endemic to Frenchies, including stenotic nares (narrow nostrils), Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (a respiratory condition caused by shortened, large head), aural discharge (ear discharge), skin fold dermatitis and dystocia (slow or difficult labor or birth).
Due to these endemic health conditions, there is a higher chance of birth complications during Frenchie births. To minimize complications, experts recommend a C-section rather than natural birth.
We recommend reading Dog Pregnancy and Whelping Guide for complications during dog pregnancy and whelping.
Further, you must keep your pups from respiratory infections such as Kennel cough, as it can be difficult for your newborn pups. Since they have underdeveloped immune systems, they may not be able to survive if exposed to these infections at an early age. Your vet may suggest a Bordetella vaccine for this.
Veterinarians also suggest that you take extra care of your Frenchie's diet as they are more prone to obesity, according to a VetCompass study published at PubMed Central.
Knowing these health issues is essential as a pet parent because you can take action if something is off. If you suspect your Frenchie is unwell, take her to the vet for a check-up.
Based on the AKC recommendations of First-Year Puppy Vaccinations, If your pups are doing well, they may not need any vet visits until they are about six weeks old. At six weeks old, they should have their first set of vaccinations.
After that, your Frenchie puppies will need to see the vet for booster shots every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. The American Kennel Club states that they must also be neutered or spayed at six months.
Be sure to take your puppy to the vet for regular checkups. Your vet can help you keep your puppy healthy and catch any problems early.
Newborn French Bulldog puppies are a lot of work, but they are also a lot of fun. By following this guide, you can be sure your puppies will get off to a great start in life.
Remember to take things slowly and be patient. Your puppies will grow up before you know it!
How Big Is A Newborn French Bulldog?
A newborn Frenchie will usually weigh between 8 and 10 ounces. They will be about 9 inches long from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail.
How Many Puppies Can A French Bulldog Have?
French Bulldogs typically have litters of 2 to 4 puppies. However, some litters might have up to five puppies.
When Do French Bulldog Puppies Open Their Eyes?
French Bulldog puppies typically open their eyes between 10 and 14 days old.