Newborn French bulldogs exhibit a number of signs when they are healthy. They nurse with great energy, and after feeding their bellies feel full, but not bloated. Their tongues are pink and warm, and the puppies twitch when sleeping. In general, they appear active, engaged and strong. Conversely, unhealthy newborn French bulldogs lack pinkness and warmth in their tongues, do not twitch in their sleep and look limp.
French bulldogs require their mother's milk for nourishment before teething. Nursing is different from feeding, because it relies on the newborn French bulldog's mother to provide the food. Those caring for the newborn dogs should ensure that each is receiving adequate milk. The puppies do not always latch onto the teat by themselves, or with ease, but once they learn the skill, they do not forget it. Simple indications of successful feeding are an enlarged belly and the visibility of milk at the sides of their mouths. If the mother is out of milk, bottles may be used with goat's milk cut with water as a substitute.
Don't assume your newborn French bulldog is well hydrated. It's best to physically check its skin to test hydration. Pinch the skin at the back of the neck and note its response. The skin of a hydrated newborn French bulldog will maintain its elasticity, while the skin of a dehydrated newborn will not, leaving a crease in the skin. Dehydration also makes the coat of a newborn appear ragged and its urine infrequent and dark.
The newborns will teethe at around four or five weeks old, making nursing difficult for the mother. Placing some kibble in the newborns' pen will allow them to discover it on their own. Usually the newborns will naturally become interested in the food due to its smell and the fact that their mother eats it. However, some do not and may be attracted by other first-time solid foods, such as meat-based baby items. Separating the mother and puppies will also support the weaning process.
Newborn French bulldogs may encounter some health issues. Coccidia are protozoa that is grow in the intestinal tract of newborn puppies with weak immune systems. Coccidia are transmitted easily across entire litters from the faeces of the infected mother, resulting in bloody diarrhoea and possibly death due to dehydration. Newborn French bulldogs also require several vaccinations, including rabies, parainfluenza, hepatitis, leptospirosis, distemper, bordatell and paravirus. Other requirements include deworming, fecal examinations and heartworm tests.