Newborn French Bulldogs, like most puppies, need to eat frequently. They typically nurse from their mother every 2 to 3 hours, around the clock. This frequent feeding ensures they receive nutrients and antibodies from their mother’s milk, promoting healthy growth and a strong immune system. As they grow, the time between feedings will gradually extend.
New Born French Bulldog Eating Schedule
Birth to 2 Weeks: Neonatal Phase
During the first two weeks, newborn French Bulldogs rely entirely on their mother’s milk. They’ll nurse roughly every 2 to 3 hours, including overnight. This constant feeding ensures they get vital nutrients and antibodies for early development and immunity.
2 to 4 Weeks: Transitional Phase
At this stage, puppies still primarily depend on their mother’s milk but might start showing interest in foods. Some breeders introduce a mushy mix of high-quality puppy food and milk replacer towards the end of this period. Puppies will still nurse frequently, but the intervals may extend slightly.
4 to 7 Weeks: Weaning Phase
This phase marks the gradual transition from mother’s milk to solid food. While puppies will nurse less frequently, they’ll start eating puppy gruel, a mix of wet puppy food and milk replacer – multiple times daily. By the end of this period, their diet will mostly consist of solid food.
7 to 12 Weeks: Early Puppyhood
By now, puppies should be fully weaned off mother’s milk and eating solid puppy food. Feedings should be divided into 3 to 4 times a day. This regular feeding schedule supports their rapid growth and provides consistent daily energy.
3 to 6 Months: Puppy Growth
During these months, puppies continue to grow rapidly and require substantial nutrition. While they no longer need frequent feedings, they must provide 3 meals a day of high-quality puppy food to support their growth and energy needs.
6 Months to 1 Year: Late Puppyhood
As they approach their first year, French Bulldogs will see a decrease in their growth rate. Their diet can be transitioned to twice-a-day feedings. Some owners introduce adult dog food mixed with puppy food, preparing them to switch to a complete adult diet post-puppyhood.
How Much to Feed a Newborn French Bulldog?
A commercial puppy milk replacer is the next best option for newborn French Bulldogs that cannot nurse from their mother. Usually, a newborn puppy will require about 1 ml of milk replacer per ounce of body weight every 3 hours. For example, a puppy weighing 8 ounces will need 8 ml every 3 hours. Keeping feedings consistent is essential, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients for growth. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the milk replacer and consult a veterinarian if you need clarification on feeding amounts or schedules.
Best Diet for Newborn French Bulldog
This is the optimal food source for newborn French Bulldogs during their first weeks. It contains all the essential nutrients and antibodies they need. Colostrum, the first milk produced after birth, is particularly rich in antibodies and helps boost the puppy’s immune system.
Puppy Milk Replacer
If the mother cannot nurse or has insufficient milk, a high-quality puppy milk replacer is the next best option. These are specially formulated to mimic the mother’s milk and provide essential nutrients. Always ensure it is specifically designed for puppies, as products for other animals or human infants might lack necessary nutrients or have inappropriate formulations.
Transition to Gruel
Around the age of 3 to 4 weeks, puppies can start the transition to solid foods. Begin by offering a gruel from high-quality wet puppy food and a milk replacer. The consistency can gradually thicken as the puppies get used to eating solids.
High-Quality Puppy Food
By the time they’re 7-8 weeks old, puppies should be eating wet or moistened dry puppy food. Ensure that the food is specifically formulated for puppies, as it will have the right balance of nutrients for their rapid growth.
Food to Avoid for Newborn Frenchie
- Cow’s Milk: Regular cow’s milk can cause digestive issues in puppies and lacks the essential nutrients in the mother’s milk or specially formulated puppy milk replacers.
- Human Baby Formula: It’s not formulated for puppies and can lack essential nutrients or have components that might be harmful.
- Raw Eggs: Raw eggs can carry bacteria like Salmonella and contain an enzyme called avidin that can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients.
- Raw Meat and Fish: These can contain harmful bacteria or parasites. If you feed a raw diet later on, consult a veterinarian first.
- Bones: Small, brittle bones can be a choking hazard and might splinter, causing internal injuries.
- Sweets and Sugary Foods: These can lead to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes.
- Onions and Garlic: Both can be toxic to dogs and lead to gastrointestinal issues and red blood cell damage.
- Caffeine and Chocolate: These contain toxic substances to dogs and can cause various symptoms, from vomiting to irregular heartbeats.
- Grapes and Raisins: Both are known to be toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.
- Nuts: Certain nuts, like macadamia, are toxic to dogs and can cause neurological symptoms.
What is an ideal weight for a newborn French Bulldog?
A newborn French Bulldog typically weighs between 250 to 450 grams. Regularly monitoring their weight gain ensures they receive adequate nutrition and are developing healthily.
How many ml should I feed my newborn Frenchie?
For a newborn Frenchie, you should typically feed about 1 ml of milk for every 30 grams of body weight, spread across multiple feedings throughout the day. So, a 300-gram puppy would need around 10 ml per feeding session.
How long should French Bulldog puppies nurse?
French Bulldog puppies should nurse from their mother for at least the first 4-5 weeks. After this period, they can begin transitioning to solid foods while occasionally nursing for comfort and supplemental nutrition.
What to feed French Bulldog puppies without their mother’s support?
If a Frenchie puppy lacks its mother’s support, it should be fed a high-quality commercial puppy milk replacer. Cow or goat’s milk isn’t suitable, as it doesn’t provide the essential nutrients and can cause digestive issues.
How much milk does a newborn Frenchie need?
A newborn French Bulldog requires milk every 2-3 hours, roughly 1 ml for every 30 grams of their body weight daily. Their total daily intake will increase as they grow and develop.