How to Care for a Pregnant Bulldog
There’s a lot that goes into breeding a dog of any breed, but because bulldogs must be bred through artificial insemination, breeding a bulldog can be particularly complicated. Careful planning and education, as well as the time available to devote to caring for your bulldog before and during the pregnancy is vital.
While the best person to go for advice is always your veterinarian, here are a few tips to get you started:
Caring for a Pregnant Bulldog: 4 Tips for First-Time Bulldog Breeders
1. Take her to the vet before you begin the breeding process
You can mix up her diet a bit and feed her hamburger, eggs, or skinless white chicken meat. Just be sure that they are cooked thoroughly. Adding garlic to her food may be a good idea as well, as garlic is high in amnio acids, zinc and potassium. It also assists the liver and is a good detoxifier.
2. Thoroughly research the stud beforehand
Before breeding your bulldog, you want to research what kind of male dog to match her with. Take the time to get pedigree information on the dog and review his health records as well as the health records of his parents. Ideally, it’s best to find one that has sired healthy pups in the past.
You can find bulldog owners online or at dog shows. Once you have found a good match, you can start planning the breeding process with the dog’s owner. There are several breeding options to consider: trans-cervical implants, artificial insemination, or surgical implants.
3. Think strategically about what to feed her during pregnancy
When you’re preparing your dog for pregnancy, it’s important to keep her diet consistent so she remains at a healthy weight. Feed her only high quality premium dog food with an added daily supplement that includes folic acid. If you already use a high quality brand, stick to feeding her what she is used to.
After you confirm her pregnancy, begin to steadily increase her food portions. It may be necessary to split her meals up into 3 or 4 small meals per day so that she doesn’t get too full after one big meal. If she ends up carrying a huge litter, this will become important as she will need extra nourishment throughout the day.
You can mix up her diet a bit and feed her hamburger, eggs, or skinless white chicken meat. Just be sure that they are cooked thoroughly. Meat-flavored baby foods also make a good substitute. Mixing garlic in her food may be a good idea as well, as garlic is a detoxifier and assists the liver with waste processing. Garlic is also high in amino acids, potassium and zinc. You can read more about the health benefits of garlic here, though as always, make sure to consult with your veterinarian before devising a diet plan.
If at any point she stops eating, take her to the vet right away.
4. Keep her healthy
Be sure to stay on top of her vaccinations and preventative heart worm medication throughout her pregnancy. If she lives in an area where ticks or fleas may be present, administer the proper medication monthly. There are specific medications that are best for pregnant dogs. You should talk about these with your DVM before you begin the breeding process.
When she first begins to bleed, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. They will examine her and give her a progesterone test to make sure that the pregnancy is going smoothly. The DVM will also likely measure her hormones during this visit. You should request a luteinizing hormone test to make sure she is ovulating normally. Most clinics will be able to do these tests the day of your visit.
About Cascade Bulldogs: Cascade Bulldogs is a website that provides info on caring for, training, breeding and showing bulldogs. It stars three celebrity bulldogs: Wildflower, Snow White and Declan.