Taking care of and loving your litter of English Bulldog Puppies is such a rich and rewarding time! These tiny babies are completely in your hands, literally and in your hearts forever!
~These experiences and tips are being shared from raising our first litter.~
To get mushy for a moment before we share some products and helpful ideas that worked for us, these puppies are a HUGE part of our family! Even after they left the farm, we receive photos and videos from their new families and are planning a One Year Reunion!!!
We used a hand warmer under a towel in a corner of a plastic tote. This tote fit in my lap when we traveled from the veterinarian office to home their first day. This tote was just for the trip home. Do NOT leave the puppies where they can crawl away or crawl off and fall from any area.
We kept the puppies feeding schedule in a binder in the nursery. We kept track of who was eating good and who was not and who was going to the bathroom and who was struggling. We also weighed each puppy in the morning and night to make sure they were growing every day. I believe they were gaining a good ounce+ a day.
The first few weeks we barely slept, running on a couple hours of sleep, trying to help each other. The puppies nurse every 2 hours. They are encouraged to eat for 45 minutes. Don’t panic if they fall asleep before this time is over. Just move them to another nipple and begin cleaning up the puppy that ate the entire time. After the 45 minutes are over and each little cutie is back in bed, set your alarm for 2 hours from that time.
Personally for our well being, we tried different schedules, letting one another sleep all night, while the other stayed up. Plus work, cooking, shopping, and chores, we worked together well. I do not sleep good knowing a baby is in the house. We had 4 children and after the last one was over a year old, I relaxed enough to get a full nights sleep! 🙂 The puppies were the same! I made a bed on the couch, the next room over from the nursery and had a baby monitor in my ear LOL
We have a large white board in my office. We set aside the binder and began documenting and making reminder notes to each other. We listed the schedule, what puppy we had concerns about, and any other thought on the board. My mom, children and grandchildren came over to help after the first couple of weeks. All of us were a wonderful support to one another and the puppies had a lot of lovin’ from different age groups ranging from 4 to adult. These puppies never heard yelling, loud sounds, except the vacuum, and only heard laughter and sweet words.
When placing the puppies on the nipples we took care to not let Daisy get up or place a leg on one of the puppies. We used rolled up wash clothes to help keep the puppies from falling off the nipple or to keep them from wandering. They can not walk or see yet, but do crawl around and over each other.
There are two rows of nipples and the more aggressive puppies will grow stronger and tire of a nipple and wander around pushing their siblings off. Not all the nipples produced the same amount of milk and are not easiest to reach. Staggering the puppies in stacks is a full time job, and until you do this, you might not understand. Make sure the puppies on the bottom are latched on, awake and eating the entire time. The last four nipples down on mommy’s belly had the most milk. We placed the biggest puppies here then moved them to the front nipples to let them start the milk flow everywhere for our tinier puppies.
In their bedding area at home we have a whole room we call the Puppy Nursery. We kept a heating pad (Keep cords away from puppies to keep them from getting tangled in them and when they are older that they do not chew on them)in a corner for them to scoot on to and off when they were getting too warm. Heating pads shut off, then we connected a heat lamp from a shelf close to, but not right over the bed. Heat lamps are a fire hazard. They get HOT! We also kept a small thermometer in the bed to insure this area stayed between 85-90 degrees the first week! This is extremely important the puppies do not get cold. NO DRAFTS! We have a wall vent that we partially blocked with a crate and blankets over this to let in enough air to have a flow. Weeks 1-4 has to stay at 80 degrees.
*Take a clean warm soapy wash cloth or clean baby wipes to clean the momma’s stomach all over the stitches and in any sweaty creases. Wipe each nipple and her back legs to help keep her fresh and healthy.
*Before bringing the puppies to the nipple, wipe their bottoms cleaning them of any dried feces and helping them to want to have a bowel movement.
1.~White Queen Top Sheets~White Towels & White Wash Clothes~Easier to keep looking presentable and free of stains. Rolled up towels and wash clothes helped support a puppy from rolling over at the end of the row 🙂 We used a toddler pillow under the momma’s head and in between her front legs to provide her comfort.
2. ~Arm & Hammer Odor Blaster Detergent and ~Clorox Bleach. We stopped counting loads after 65 🙂 Be prepared to do laundry several several several times day and night. Do NOT let the puppies lay in any amount of feces.
3.~Medpride Disposable Underpads 23″ x 36″ We bought this size to lay under Daisy’s bottom while she nursed. Then later to use to potty train the puppies until they were old enough to put on their harnesses to go outside to potty.
4.~Dog Pee Pad Washable Extra Large-We bought 4 in a dark fabric gray color at $38.00 each 72 X 72 / 65 x 48 We love these and use them on the couches when Daisy is in heat and in the truck when we travel with the pups.
5.~Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (We love the smell of a puppy freshly wiped down with Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and it is gentle around their eyes, nose, and mouth)+ a plastic durable bath filled with warm soapy Johnson’s Baby Shampoo to clean the puppies bottoms and their faces and paws as they get older. They will not be partially emerged in water for a complete bath till they are around 8-10 weeks old. Dry each puppy completely with a soft warm towel. English Bulldogs need to stay warm because they get cold and it is not easy to regulate their body temperature if you put them to bed without properly drying them.
6.~Unscented Baby Wipes in a Baby Wipe Warmer~After the wipes come out of the warmer they are warm for a few seconds. A nicety when encouraging the puppies to go to the bathroom. Gently wipe their bottom area with the baby wipe or a warm wrung out washcloth with a small drop of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo in a circular motion with your fingertips or inside crease of your thumb. Be patient.
7.~A Syringe! Very Important* For throats and noses. Helps remove milk from their noses and keeps them from developing pneumonia. Needed for their noses when they are nursing. A few of our puppies were more aggressive and sucked the milk out quickly causing bubbles to come out of their noses. Press the top of the syringe, pushing out the air, put the tip of the syringe in each nostril and release the top of the syringe to pull out the milk. Wash in soapy water and lay out to dry.
8.~We purchased Powdered Goat’s Milk and the different size syringes and bottles. There are helpful youtube videos and articles about each step to take to feed your puppy if he is not nursing, not getting enough milk. Please stay in close contact with your veterinarian.
9.~We set aside a whole room for the puppies with the pens that are shown in the photos below. They are very easy to set up and move around. We bought extra sets to be able to have one in the family room and two outside. We placed the gray waterproof fabric pads under the pens inside.
In the nursery, one side was their bedding area and one side was their potty area once they could walk, run and play. We used a queen size memory foam mattress and covered it with zipper waterproof mattress covers in their sleeping area. The mattress cover washes and dries in the dryer great! Their potty area had two potty pads and their water bowl when they got older. We work hard to potty train our puppies before they leave our home.
WE GAVE THE PRODUCTS SHOWN HERE
Our mommy bulldog is Daisy Gentle Lee. She is 3 three years old and this was her first litter of pups. She had 7 puppies. 5 male and 2 female.
One female was very tiny and even though she was eating and gaining weight, she passed away one day at a few weeks old.
Daisy is a beautiful girl inside and out! She is all white with black polka dots and spots. One of my favorite spots is the one on her bottom. She is extremely gentle and loves children. Her stubby tail wags and her bottom with it when she is getting some lovin’ and she gives the lovin’ right back.
Her ideal weight is 55 pounds, but after her C-Section and while nursing the puppies Daisy dropped weight. She was thinner all over but came gradually back to her normal weight. Daisy’s puppies all have sweet gentle temperaments.
Being our first litter, we hope we presented this well and you find helpful tips. Paws & Kisses from all of us here in Watertown, Tennessee on New O’Hana Farm, TN