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How to Care for a Pregnant Bichon Frise: Step-by-Step

How to Care for a Bichon Frise Puppy: a Step-by-Step Guide Bitch From Conception to Birth

The term of pregnancy within the dog is around 60 days or nine weeks, during which your future puppies will develop from a couple of formative cells right up to perfectly formed little dogs able to come out. Having some guidelines to follow and know what to expect from successful conception up until the birth can be helpful, so inspect out week by week pregnancy guide to help you through the period of gestation.

Week One- Days 0- 7

Care for a Pregnant Bichon FriseCaring for your Bichon from Breeding until the Birth and she gives Puppies. Care and Vet Checks are important to s successful pregnancy. Proper feeding for best puppy development. Preparations for nesting and whelping box preparations will help with not having puppy loss.

Ovulation and subsequent mating and fertilization occur- although you need to mate female Bichon Frise more than once for successful fertilization. The countdown to birth begins from ovulation, although it is often difficult to follow ovulation independently and without testing your bitch’s body temperature daily.

Your female may begin to exhibit some signs of nausea. Be on the lookout for any potential signs of infection which could have been contracted during mating. A light pink discharge may or might not be present- this is often normal, and no cause for concern.

Keep up your usual feeding and exercise regime but consider adding a nutritional supplement in consultation with your vet to support the pregnancy and your females changing needs. Do not use any flea treatments or wormers during the period of gestation without first consulting your vet.


How to Care for a Pregnant Bichon Frise: Step-by-Step 1

Week Two- Days 7- 14

During the second week of pregnancy, the cells which will become your puppies begin to grow and separate, and therefore the tiny new embryos descend into the uterus for the remainder of the period of gestation. Your dog should still be fed and exercised normally during this point.

Week Three- Days 14- 21

During the third week of gestation, the embryos will begin to implant into the uterus, where they are going to receive the vital nutrients and life support that the females body provides during their time in the womb.

The fetuses are under a centimeter long at this stage. Continue to feed and exercise normally but begin to watch your female for increased appetite and supply for her developing needs accordingly. Do not make any sudden or unnecessary changes to the content of her diet.

Week Four- Days 21- 28

At the last of the fourth week of pregnancy, a vet or experienced breeder could also be ready to detect the presence of the developing puppies by gently palpating the abdomen.

The eyes and spine of the fetuses begin to develop, and their faces begin to take shape. The fetuses grow to around 1.5 centimeters long during week four. Your bitch’s teats may begin to swell at this stage, and she may have a thin, clear discharge from the vagina.

The fourth week of fetal development is considered to be one of the most formative stages of the pregnancy when the growing puppies are most vulnerable to damage and developing defects. At this stage of development, begin to limit rough play and particularly strenuous exercise in your dog. Consult with your vet about your bitch’s changing nutritional requirements and determine if you need to feed any supplements.

Week Five- Days 28- 35

The amniotic fluid within the uterus increases to guard the pups around day 32 of gestation, then you and your vet will not be able to detect the presence of puppies by palpating the abdomen.

From week five onwards, the puppies are much less vulnerable to developmental issues and defects. The individual toes begin to make, and claws and whiskers start to grow. The fetuses also develop their male or female sexes during this point. Your females weight will begin to noticeably increase at this stage, and you should increase her food rations now if you have not done so already.

How to Care for a Pregnant Bichon Frise: Step-by-Step 2

If you have decided to have an ultrasound scan done on your bitch during pregnancy to try and ascertain the number of puppies and identify any problems, this is often performed during the fifth week.

Week Six- Days 35- 42

Your female will have a noticeably larger tummy and her pregnancy is going to be obvious to most people. Her tummy will grow daily, and her teats will become noticeably darker. The puppies will begin to develop their markings and therefore the skin pigmentation which will eventually determine their color and appearance.

Increase the food which your female is given to as much as she wants to eat. Increase the ratio of puppy food in her diet. You may well be feeding a multivitamin supplement at this time too. Start to organize the bed or box which the female will use for whelping and make it comfortable and inviting for her and well padded. Decide where you would like to locate the box for the birth and first few weeks of the puppies’ lives and encourage your female to begin sleeping there.

Week Seven- Days 42- 49

Your female will begin shedding the hair on her belly in preparation for the birth- this is often totally normal and no cause for alarm! The puppies will continue to grow and develop, and now look almost completely fully formed.

Towards the end of the seventh week, stop feeding the puppy food you have been introducing and go back to feeding her regular nutritious food- as much as she will eat. This triggers the females body to begin to store calcium from the rich puppy food she has been fed until this point, an important mineral during the later stages of the pregnancy.

Week Eight- Days 49- 57

Your puppies might be born at any time from now onwards, so be prepared! Avoid any rough and tumble play or stimulation which might lead to the onset of early labor, as ideally, your pups should spend another week in the womb.

Your female will probably begin ‘nesting’ at this stage, and you may even be able to see and feel the puppies moving within her tummy when she’s lying down. Towards the end of week eight, your female will start producing colostrum, the forerunner to her nutrient-rich milk, and then the milk itself. Continue to feed as much as your female will eat and prepare for the birth!

Week Nine- Days 57- 65

Make sure you are ready! Your female should be well established in her whelping bed and nesting by now. She will likely become quiet and more introverted than normal, preparing for birth. Feed as much as your female will eat but be prepared that her appetite may drop off as the time of whelping comes closer.

Note Whelping Box needs Several things. We Found that a Plastic Whelping Box worked Best. These are some thing to make sure your whelping box has to prevent puppy loss. Metal Boxes or even cages with a metal bottom can cause puppy loss to heat loss.

Puppies Being Born
  • Needs to be moisture-proof – afterbirth and puppy peeing
  • 6 – 8 Inch sides, this prevents puppies from wiggling away from mother
  • If you are using a cage Put cardboard or sides to prevent puppies from wiggling through cage wire spaces and getting away from the mother
  • Guard against hypothermia ( this was our largest cause of puppy loss)
  • If Metal bottom line with some type of insulating material. If Puppies can get to the bottom metal of the cage, the metal will suck the heat out of the baby puppies. We lost most of one litter until we figured out why the puppies were getting cold and dying. We then switched to a plastic whelping box and maintaining an environment of 80 Degrees F, for two weeks after Birth.
  • This was uncomfortable for the female. But stopped all puppy loss from Puppies getting cold. If they wiggled away from mamma they were still warm.
  • Security – you want the female to feel safe – that way no puppies get hurt by her being afraid and trying to protect them – from other pets, strange adults, innocent children.

Begin taking your females temperature several times a day, and if the pregnancy progresses past the 60th day, every few hours day and night in order to identify the impending onset of labor.

8 Weeks Pregnant

How to tell if Bichon Frise is Pregnant?

If you think you are seeing dog pregnancy symptoms in your Bichon Frise, the first thing you need to do is to confirm it as early as possible. Dogs are different from people. Signs of pregnancy in dogs are not that easy to detect, so you will need to look closely.

Fortunately, there are procedures to help you find out if your dog is pregnant including a dog pregnancy test and ultrasound. Pregnant dogs need proper care and nutrition, just like humans do, so it is best that you give these to her, right from the start of the pregnancy.

Early Dog Pregnancy Symptoms

Behavioral Changes

Bichon Frises are normally fun and friendly dogs. If one day, you suddenly notice a certain aloofness and irritability in her mood, then it’s time to get her tested. Pregnant dogs experience mood swings just like any pregnant woman. You can handle this by adjusting to her moods and helping your dog adjust.

How to Care for a Pregnant Female Bitch

Decreased Appetite

At the early stage of the pregnancy, your dog will lose her appetite and may even refuse to eat. This is normal so don’t panic. She’ll eventually regain her appetite as the pregnancy progresses. This dog pregnancy symptom is quite similar to morning sickness with or without the vomiting part.

Engorged Nipples

Early signs of dog pregnancy include swollen teats. The swelling will continue all throughout the pregnancy in preparation for feeding the new pups when they finally arrive.

Sudden Decrease in Activity

Loss of energy to do things is one of the symptoms of dog pregnancy that you will probably observe if your dog is normally active. This sudden feeling of exhaustion is caused by certain hormonal changes in your dog’s body.

Weight gain and larger abdomen; If the activities of your dog have not changed, yet you notice that she is gaining weight, then there is a possibility that your dog is pregnant. Observing your Bichon Frise’s stomach will also help you determine if she is pregnant.

Signs of Early Dog Pregnancy

What to Do if Your Bitch is Expecting

The first thing you need to do is to visit your veterinarian . You’ll want to get your dog onto a good dog pregnancy supplement and make sure her diet is appropriate for a pregnant female. Your vet will probably perform some tests including a Canine Pregnancy Test Kit (which you can do at home), to determine if your dog is indeed pregnant.

How to Care for a Pregnant Bichon Frise: Step-by-Step 3

The vet’s test involves getting a blood sample from your dog to determine the presence of relaxin, a hormone that only a pregnant dog will be able to produce. Belly palpation will also be performed by your vet. During this procedure, your vet feels the stomach of your dog for significant changes and puppy movements.

You may also have your dog undergo an ultrasound. An ultrasound is one of the surest ways to find out if your dog is pregnant. If you are a Bichon Frise breeder, you may want to have your own portable ultrasound equipment. If you observe dog pregnancy symptoms in your Bichon and confirm that she is pregnant, you will need to make sure that she eats a healthy diet.

Top 10 Bichon Designer Breeds / Parents /Size / Video

Designer MixParentsSizeVideo
MaltichonBichon / MalteseHeight / 8-11 inches
Weight / 8 - 13 lbs
Bichpoo Bichon / PoodleHeight / 9 - 14 inches
Weight / 6 - 9 lbs
Shichon Bichon / Shih TzuHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 10 - 15lbs
Yorkie BichonBichon / YorkieHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 6 - 8 lbs
Bichon Yorkie
Chi Chon Bichon / ChihuahuaHeight / 8 - 10 Inches
Weight / 6 - 10 Lbs
Chi Chon
KashonBichon / Cairn TerrierHeight / 9 - 15 Inches
Weight / 10 -18 Lbs
Goldichon Bichon / Golden RetrieverHeight/15 - 20 inches
Weight /20-40 Lbs
ChonzerBichon / Miniature SchnauzerHeight /10-16 inches
Weight / 25-35 lbs
Glechon Bichon / Beagle Height /15-16 inches
Weight / 15-35 lbs
Corgi Bichon / CorgiHeight /11-13 inches
Weight / 31-37 lbs
List of the Designer Breeds from the Bichon Frise
Name - Link for Research
Parents - Breeds of Dogs
Size Height / Weight
Video - Video of the Bichon Designer Breed

Chart of Bichon Birthing Accessories

Breeder BoxDo Not used Wired Dog cage
HeaterWe use space heater for whole Room
scaleTo Weigh Puppies make sure they are Gaining Weight
Clean towelsChande during Birthing to clean up
Protected SpaceKeep Mother away from other Dogs to avoid Distress
Draft ProtectionDrafts can chill and kill a Puppy
Squash protectionMothers can accidently squash a puppy
clean bedding to replace after birth - will be wet
SeclusionNeeds her Privacy - she can get Hyper
Rubber GlovesKeep things Clean and from Blood
Scisorrs & ThreadFor Cutting Cord
List of Needed Items to Have Prepared For Puppy Birth

Puppy Birthing Complications

If UnsureTake to Vet If Time allows
Keep Mother IsolatedIf Other dogs around she could get defensive and accidently Hurt Puppies
Puppy Accidentally CrushedMake sure Not Giving Birth in Dog cage - puppies can work themselves through mesh and get Damaged
Not BreathingGently Give it Mouth to mouth
Not breathingMassage Puppy trying to gently force fluid from his lungs
Puppy StuckGently Pull
Puppy BreechHelp Guide legs out
Puppy ColdRaise Enviorment to 85 degrees
Puppy ColdChange Wet Bedding
Puppy ColdWarm Puppy up put on Your body till body heat warms him
Puppy ColdNo drafts - No metal Floor Pan on Cage
Puppy not going on NippleHelp Guide him to nipple till he gets hand of it
Puppy not feedingTry Small baby Bottle
let him suck - do not force him - can drown him with milk going in lungs
Puppy not feedingUse puppy Milk Supplement
Puppy Not feeding check for Cleft Palate
Puppy Not FeedingTake to Vet - he can show you Catheter Feeding
Puppy Not GrowingMake sure Mother has plenty Food Water
Puppy Not GrowingYou can check on scale
Labor stops or is prolonged over 24 hours Take to vet - C section can save litter and Mother if needed
Mother does not Remove MembraneYou will Need to Manually remove it
Mother does not chew through Umbilical CordYou will need to cut it 1/2 " away from puppies body tier with thread
Here is a List of Puppy Birth Complications you might Encounter
And Recommended Steps

Expense Table for Owning Bichons Frise

Average Cost of AKC PuppyPuppy ShotsFoodGrooming 4 / per yearCage / Accessories / Bowls / Brushes / Leash / CollarAKC - Registration
Within 6 Months of Purchase
Micro ChipYearly Meds
Heart Worm
Dog LicenseTotal InvestmentPuppies Possible / Year
$ 450 - No Breeding Rights$ 120$ 10 / Wk
High Quality Food
$ 45 ea / $180 YrCage - $50
Rest - 50
$ 35$ 45 - One Time Cost
By Vet
Heart Worm Meds - $60 / Yr
Worming - $ 30 / YR
$ 35 / Yr$ 1575 / Dog1-6 Puppies
Average 3
$ 750 - $ 950
Puppy with AKC Papers and No Restrictions
Total Investment
This Table just shows you the Expenses in Keeping a Bichon That we have found in Owning a Bichon

Breeds Descended from Water Dogs

Name of BreedCountry of Origin
American Water SpanielUnited States
Cantabrian Water DogSpain
English Water SpanielEngland
Irish water SpanielIreland
Lagotto RomagnoioItaly
Portuguese Water DogPortugal
Pudelpointer Germany
Spanish water DogSpain
Tweed water SpanielEngland
This a list of Breeds that have Descended from Medival times Water Dogs- used by Hunters

Bichon Frise Resource Links

Bichon Frise Club of AmericaUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise AKCUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise United Kennel ClubUKLink
Resources for Bichon Frise Owners and Breeders