Because of their history of breeding, certain Bulldogs struggle to give birth naturally, with French Bulldogs often needing caesarean sections because of their narrow hips.
English Bulldogs are much the same, with 95% of bulldogs needing C-sections in order to give birth safely. This is because the birth canal of the dog is often not big enough to properly, safely allow the puppies to pass through and can prove fatal for both the puppies and the mother.
However, some English Bulldogs can give birth naturally, although repeated litters by breeders are usually done through C-sections as a safety precaution. I
f you are concerned about whether or not your dog will need to have a C-section once labor commences, speak to your vet who will be able to recommend whether an unassisted birth or a medical procedure is needed for your particular dog.
If your dog is currently in the middle of labor and you are worried they are struggling, please phone your vet immediately for medical aid.
English bulldog labor signs
At around week 8 of the pregnancy, your dog will begin to show signs of preparing for labor, often called ‘nesting behaviour’. This is often shown through restlessness, making and remaking their bed and losing their appetite.
Once labor properly begins, your dog will begin to start to pant, as well as begin to pace and move around. Keep an eye on her and regularly check her temperature with a rectal thermometer.
Once the temperature drops from 100°F to around 98°F, this is a sign that the delivery is due within the next 12 to 24 hours. If you are going to the vet for delivery, this is when you should set off.
How to deliver English bulldog puppies naturally
Once your dog has begun her labor, she may become increasingly agitated and digging her bed, as well as vomiting. This is when you need to be by your dog, monitoring her progress.
Labor can last between 4 and 24 hours. If you are noticing her is straining too much or passing greenish discharge, call your vet immediately.
Once puppies start coming out, they will be covered in fluid which the dog will break and lick the puppy to stimulate them to start moving. However, if your dog is exhausted, they may not have the energy, meaning you will have to do this for them, using a hand towel to break the sack and wipe their nose.
If the puppy is not breathing, wipe them more vigorously to help stimulate their breathing response (don’t worry about them being fragile, the rubbing needs to be forceful.)
In emergencies, you may need to perform CPR (see how) or rescue breaths. If it has a heartbeat, place your lips over the puppy’s mouth and blow gently. If there is no heartbeat, place the puppy on a solid surface, wrap your hand just below their front legs and press your thumb down on the front of their chest several times in a row.
Also, call your vet for help as they will be able to provide you with instructions on performing CPR as well as helping with other areas of the labor.
My pregnant English Bulldog’s temperature dropped
Is this normal?
However, this is the most important symptom in a labor as it indicates that your dog will begin to give birth within the next 12 to 24 hours.
Once this has happened, you need to start preparing for imminent birth, preparing a whelping box and taking your dog to the vet if you are having an assisted birth at the animal hospital.