How Long Should Newborn English Bulldogs Nurse?

Written by rena sherwood
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How Long Should Newborn English Bulldogs Nurse?
(Picture of Clyde from Wikimedia Commons)

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Congratulations; It's a Puppy

English bulldogs (sometimes called British bulldogs) are pregnant for about 63 days. Some bitches can have normal births, but many need to have Cesarean sections. The puppy's heads are very large and the mother's pelvis very narrow. If the puppies are born by Cesarean section, the mother needs to be milked of her colostrum, which carries important antibodies for the pups. There is some colostrum made commercially (see Resources below). After the first 24 hours, regular commercial puppy milk formula can be used if the mother is unable to nurse her puppies. The puppies that nurse within twelve hours of being whelped have the best chance to survive.

It's Dinnertime Already?

Newborn English bulldog puppies need to feed every two hours for the first four or five days. It may seem like the puppies are feeding all of the time, as not all of the mother's nipples have milk in them simultaneously. If you have to bottle feed, then it's every two hours until the puppies are about six days old. Then, it's six to eight feedings for week two, and four feedings at three weeks on. The puppies should have 1cc of formula per ounce that they weigh, although they may not be hungry enough to finish their bottles.

Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Puppies start eating soft food at about one month of age, but they still need to nurse. You need to check the face wrinkles to clean them, as neither the puppies nor their mother may be able to clean them properly. Leaving food in the wrinkles can lead to sores and infection. The mother bulldog will start to wean the pups gradually between five and seven weeks of age. This is a good time to introduce hard foods, such as kibble. All nursing from the mother bulldog stops by eight weeks of age, unless your veterinarian insists otherwise for special cases.

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