Did you ever wonder about the life cycle of a puppy?

I chose the hardest of all breeds to raise……the English Bulldog.

They take the most care by humans as they are a man made breed, and bred to fail, as most wouldn’t make it without human help.

A female Bulldog will normally come into heat every 6 months. We get our females checked by a vet before we breed her, to make sure they are physically fit to have a litter and to test them for Brucellosis and when the best time would be to breed her.

We then breed her every other day for 6 days. We do A.I. breeding as a well built English bulldog is too short and stocky to breed naturally.

For the first 30 days after insemination we don’t change her diet or anything else. By 30 days if she is pregnant her nipples will be swollen and she may have gained some weight. We choose to do an ultra sound around 30 days to see how many puppies we can expect.

Sometimes she will have morning sickness and not touch her food or even throw up during the first 30 of pregnancy.

If she is pregnant we now start her on puppy food. Puppy food has more protein & fat and will help mama grow strong, healthy puppies.

During the next 30 days she will get hungry and eat a lot at times and other times she won’t be hungry. It is important to keep food available for her most of the time. But if she is getting fat besides her belly we need to moderate her food.

Day 62-66 are her approximate due dates. And I make sure she is Cheap french bulldog with me at all times a week before these dates as bulldogs can go into labor early. The first signs are milk in her nipples, restlessness, making a nest with her blankets, and no appetite. We check her temperature 3 times a day and when it drops below 100 degrees and has most of the other signs of labor as well, we know it’s time to go to the vet!

We arrive at the vet and it will take only one hour after they start the C-section until they call me and say they are ready to be picked up!

A Bulldog litter may be as small as 1 pup to as large as 12! My favorite number is 7, there are enough nipples and you don’t have to do double shifts.

We bring the puppies and mom home and put the puppies up to mom to nurse. It takes ½ hr. the first feeding, but they soon learn how to latch on. After they are done nursing we put them in a box lined with a towel. I put a heating pad under the box and a towel over the box. It is very important to keep newborn puppies warm.

Every 2 hours around the clock we put them to mom to nurse. This will get mother’s milk to come in good.

When the puppies are 48 hours old I shift them to the 3 hr. schedule. This schedule doesn’t change until they are 4 wk. old and eating puppy chow.

When the puppies are 2 weeks old I worm them and mom with a liquid wormer called Nemex. The puppy’s eyes and ears open around this age and they start to get more active. At 3-4 weeks of age we start them on Esbilac puppy formula mixed with Gerber baby rice cereal.

4-7 days later I start them on softened puppy chow. I mix dry kibble with water and leave it set for a couple hours and then mix the softened food with cottage cheese or yogurt and feed them in a puppy bowl. I also worm the puppies again at 4weeks of age with Nemex.

I feed the puppies once a day with the softened kibble mix for 3 days then twice a day for 2 days and then 3 times a day until they are weaned, then it is 4 times a day until they are 7 ½ wk. old. Then I keep it at 3 times a day, don’t overfeed them as they may get diarrhea from it.

From 4 weeks on it is important to begin socializing the puppies. Children must be watched when handling them, but it is good when children play with them.

Another very important part of raising puppies from 4 wk. on is making sure the puppies have a place to go potty away from their bed where they sleep. Our puppies actually learn early that they can go through the dog door and outside to do their business and come back in to sleep. This gives the puppies a head start to housebreaking.

Another reason we use the dog door is that we don’t have to leave them out every 2 hours and the puppies don’t have to hold back the urge to go. (This can cause urinary track infection)

At 7 weeks of age we take our puppies to the vet for their first vaccination (this may vary for different breeds). The vet then gives us a health certificate of health for each puppy and lists all the problems if any.

Making sure someone is watching the puppies at all times when outside is important. A poisonous plant, a perfect sized ball, could be fatal. You must also watch when the puppies are around other animals to keep them safe.

At 8 weeks of age our bulldogs are ready for their new homes. We have socialized them every day of their lives by holding them, caring for them and loving them. We have them started on house breaking by teaching them not to go where they sleep and praised them when they went on the grass. We have placed them in noisy situations so they do not get so afraid of noise.

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