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French Bulldog Heat – How Often, Signs, Duration & How to Manage?

French Bulldogs are popular and adorable companion dogs known for their affectionate nature and unique appearance. If you’re considering adding a French Bulldog to your family, it’s important to understand their reproductive cycle and how it may affect their care and management.

What Does Heat Mean?

Heat, also known as the estrous cycle, is the reproductive cycle in female dogs. It consists of four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus. During this cycle, hormonal changes occur, preparing the female for potential mating and reproduction.

How Often Do French Bulldogs Go on Heat?

French Bulldogs typically experience heat cycles every six to eight months. However, this can vary between individual dogs and may be influenced by factors such as genetics, age, health, and environmental factors. It’s important to note that the frequency and regularity of heat cycles can differ among dogs, so closely observing your French Bulldog’s behaviour and consulting with a veterinarian can provide valuable guidance.

How Long is a French Bulldog on Heat?

The duration of the heat cycle in French Bulldogs typically lasts about three weeks, but it can vary. The cycle can be divided into three stages: proestrus, estrus, and diestrus.

  • Proestrus: This initial stage lasts approximately 7 to 10 days. During proestrus, the female’s reproductive organs prepare for potential fertilization. The vulva may become swollen, and the female may exhibit behaviour changes and attract male attention.
  • Estrus: Estrus follows proestrus and usually lasts around 5 to 10 days. This is the period when the female is receptive to mating. The vulva may appear less swollen, and a clear discharge may be present. Female French Bulldogs may exhibit heightened friendliness, frequent urination, and actively seek out males.
  • Diestrus: Diestrus occurs if mating and fertilization do not take place. It typically lasts for about 60 to 90 days. During diestrus, hormone levels stabilize, and the female’s reproductive system returns to a non-receptive state.

What Age Do French Bulldogs Go on Heat?

French Bulldogs typically undergo their initial heat cycle when they are between six and twelve months old, though this can differ from one dog to another. It’s possible for smaller females to enter heat sooner, whereas larger females might experience it a bit later. Being ready for your French Bulldog’s first heat cycle is crucial, and seeking advice from a vet is recommended.

Signs a Female French Bulldog is in Heat

When a female French Bulldog is in heat, she may exhibit several physical and behavioural signs. These signs include:

  • Swollen vulva: The vulva may appear enlarged and slightly swollen during proestrus.
  • Discharge: A clear or slightly bloody discharge may be present.
  • Frequent urination: Females in heat tend to urinate more frequently to mark their territory.
  • Increased friendliness: French Bulldogs may display heightened friendliness and seek more attention from their owners.
  • Behaviour changes: Restlessness, increased activity, and potential escape attempts are common during estrus.
  • Attraction to males: Females in heat may actively seek out males and display receptive behavior.

How Long do French Bulldog Periods Last?


The heat cycle in French Bulldogs can extend over three weeks, with the initial phase, proestrus, lasting 7 to 10 days, during which bleeding is observed. This is followed by the estrus phase, which also lasts between 5 to 10 days and is the period when they are receptive to mating. If mating doesn’t occur, the diestrus phase then lasts 60 to 90 days. Keeping track of your French Bulldog’s heat cycle, especially noting the bleeding phase, is crucial for effective care and management.

How to Manage a French Bulldog in Heat

Preventing unwanted mating

  • Keep her away from intact males: Avoid any contact between your female and intact males during her entire heat cycle.
  • Secure fencing: Ensure your yard is securely fenced to prevent males from entering and potential breeding.
  • Supervision and confinement: If taking your dog outside, keep her on a leash and closely supervise her to prevent any unplanned mating.

Hygiene and comfort

  • Regular bathing: Frequent bathing during the heat cycle can help maintain cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Sanitary care: Consider using specially designed doggy diapers or sanitary pads to manage any discharge.

Behavioral considerations

  • Increased exercise and mental stimulation: Engaging your French Bulldog in physical activities and mental stimulation can help reduce restlessness and channel her energy.
  • Training and socialization: Continue training and socialization during the heat cycle to ensure your dog’s behaviour remains consistent.

Breeding Considerations for French Bulldogs

Breeding French Bulldogs necessitates a unique approach due to their specific needs and characteristics. Engaging with breed experts and veterinary professionals is critical to safeguard the health of the mother and her future puppies. Key considerations for French Bulldogs include:

  • Tailored health assessments: Implement comprehensive health checks tailored to French Bulldogs, focusing on genetic screenings to reduce the transmission of breed-specific hereditary issues.
  • Ethical & tailored breeding: Commit to French Bulldog-specific breeding ethics, which involve careful mate selection to ensure compatibility and health, attentive support throughout the pregnancy, and ensuring the puppies are placed in loving, suitable homes.

Spaying Considerations for French Bulldogs

Spaying, the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries, is a common choice for French Bulldog owners who do not intend to breed their dogs. Spaying offers several benefits, including:

  • Prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
  • Reduced risk of certain reproductive disorders and cancers.
  • Elimination of heat cycles and associated behaviours.

Consult with a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate time for spaying based on your French Bulldog’s age and overall health.

How Often Do French Bulldogs Go on Heat? Signs, Duration & How to Manage?