DescriptionFrench Bulldogs or 'Frenchies' are a short-coated, medium sized dog breed. They are moderately active, but highly social which makes them well suited to life as a family pet or companion. This is a guide to taking care of them through their early months, from birth to puppyhood.
NeonatalDuring the first 4 weeks of your French Bulldog's life, they should spend most of their time with their mother and litter-mates. It is highly unusual for the puppy's owner to care for them during this time and is best left to a responsible, reputable breeder. Your puppy's body will double in weight as their muscles, organs and bones develop.
|Nutrition||During the neonatal stage, your French Bulldog puppy will get most of their nutrition from their mother's milk. At around 4 weeks you may wish to introduce a mush of minced protein such as beef, but always consult your vet first before changing your puppy's diet at this stage.|
|Health||It's important to monitor your 'Frenchie' for any infections, diseases or birth defects. Puppies are unable to urinate or defecate by themselves initially, so their mother helps them but may additionally require your assistance.
Keep your vet's contact details close by and educate yourself thoroughly on this stage of puppy development. By the end of this period, your puppy will be mobile and will explore the world mouth first — be sure to keep choking hazards and toxic foods out of their reach.
|Behaviour||During most of this time your Frenchie will be asleep or inactive, but they will soon be playing with their brothers and sisters. After 3-4 weeks they will go through as much sensory development as a human baby does in a few months. It is important to avoid disturbing the puppies' mother as she will be likely be protective, but some interaction with the young pups is normal so they become used to human touch.
When you take your French Bulldog home (usually at around 8 weeks) you should shower them with love and attention. This is a formative time for your puppy and will be when they learn to walk, play, bite, hold their bladder, and interact with others. Make the most of this time and treat every interaction with your Frenchie as a learning opportunity to develop their fun, playful personality.
|Nutrition||During the weaning stage, you should slowly introduce into their diet a nutritionally complete dog food which is appropriate to your Frenchie's small size and young age. French Bulldogs are notoriously food-driven, but if they develop a taste for human food, they will likely become fussy eaters and cause headaches later in life by refusing dog food. Be sure to familiarise yourself with lists of toxic foods and plants to avoid.|
|Health||During this time you should provide your puppy with a small, shallow bowl of clean water and refresh the contents frequently. Your puppy will also need to be toilet trained during this time so that they don't make a mess of your home. Your Frenchie will soon be a fun and loyal friend, but for now you will have to clean up if they have particularly unpleasant bowel movements. You can combat this by not changing their diet suddenly as this will stress their digestive system.|
|Behaviour||Due to changes in diet and environment, your Frenchie will likely be under a significant amount of stress. As a social breed, it is important that you are affectionate and supportive during this time so they feel at home in their new surroundings. Yelling at your puppy during this will only alienate your Frenchie as they are particularly sensitive to human voice — being too aggressive with them may cause fear and distrust.|
By the time your French Bulldog reaches puppyhood their personality will be well developed. Show them love by appealing to their intelligent and often funny personality by playing with them regularly, exercising daily and introducing them to new friends from an early age.
|Nutrition||Your French Bulldog puppy's diet should be based around a high quality, nutritionally complete puppy food. You may also wish to introduce them to fresh, lean raw meat — however, don't feed your puppy any meat you would not feed to a fellow human being. Keep snacks such as dog treats and table scraps to a minimum during puppyhood and familiarise yourself with lists of toxic foods and plants to avoid.|
|Health||French Bulldogs have a fair amount of energy and should be walked regularly to avoid excessive weight gain. Be aware that later in life, many French Bulldogs develop breathing difficulties due to their unusually flat face. While mostly up to genetics, you can reduce the symptoms of problems by keeping your puppy fit and not allowing them to exert themselves on hot or humid days. After around 8 weeks your puppy will be due for some vaccinations, so they will need a checkup at the vet and to arrange for boosters.|
|Behaviour||French Bulldog puppies are generally very friendly and well-suited to spending time around other animals and children. However, it's very important to proactively introduce them to the outside world (including other people, dogs, places and children) to avoid development of aggressive behaviours based on fear later in life. It is highly recommended that you take your French Bulldog to puppy training classes.|