French bulldogs are quite sensitive to a good number of things. Foods are no exception; this is due to their weak stomachs which lead to food intolerance and food allergies. Food allergies are very common in Frenchies, just like you know at least one person who is allergic to nuts or strawberries.
TheVCA Animal Hospital says food allergies are one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. The immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it should normally tolerate.
A French bulldog is already more sensitive than most dogs, experiencing a hypersensitivity to some foods might trigger severe reactions that need to be nipped in the bud immediately.
Food allergies can progress to more serious digestive medical conditions likeFrench bulldog IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Which is why you need to be armed with all the information you could possibly get on food allergies in your French bulldog. Scroll down for more.
How Do I Know If My Frenchie Dog Has Allergies?
There is a difference between food intolerance and food allergies. Food intolerance occurs when your French bulldog has difficulty in swallowing certain types of foods. Food allergies will most often take the form of skin allergies, gastrointestinal issues or in rare cases, respiratory issues.
It is almost a given that your French bulldog will have a food allergy or react to something they ate at some point. However, it can be a bit technical to pinpoint what exactly triggered the allergy.
Sometimes, it could be an ingredient rather than a particular food type. The more often your Frenchie has to ingest the food or ingredient, the more likely an allergy will form.
If your French bulldog seems to be itchy, losing hair and having hives, or swelling all of the time, it is possible that your French bulldog has food allergies. However, French bulldogs are prone to a lot of allergies and the symptoms are fairly the same. So, if you notice any of the symptoms below, you should first speak to your vet in order to find out if your dog is reacting, and how bad the food allergies are.
- Itching: If you have ever wondered why French bulldogs itch so much, food allergies are one of the reasons. But, if your Frenchie is suffering from a food allergy, the itching and scratching will probably be on the bum, ears, paws and stomach.
- Red Inflamed Spots: As your Frenchie itches and scratches, those areas may become inflamed, cause hives and trigger further itching. There may also be swelling around the ears, eyelids and lips.
- Hair loss: The constant itching leads to red inflamed spots, and continuous itching of said inflamed spots will lead to hair loss. These bald spots will appear where the itching is most intense.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea: This is the quickest and most obvious symptom of food allergies. The vomiting and diarrhea are often accompanied by abdominal pain. What you need to watch out for is if your Frenchie appears to be in discomfort before throwing out the food from his system. If this happens, it is very likely to be a food allergy.
Some other symptoms could include hyperactivity, weight loss, loss of energy, rumbling belly, flatulence, bloody stool, reduced appetite and aggression. However, as previously mentioned, these symptoms could very well be indicating another illness entirely. Which is why you need your vet for an accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment.
Foods French Bulldogs Are Allergic To
French bulldogs are different from each other. Some will react very badly to the same food others will gulp down. You just need to watch your Frenchie to determine what he is allergic to.
Although there are some foods that are poisonous and toxic to French bulldogs, they are not necessarily allergic. The most common food allergens according toWebMD include:
- Dairy Products
These foods are the allergens that have been commonly noticed but the simple truth is that any food can trigger an allergic reaction in your French bulldog. Some owners might think the source of their dog’s allergies are grains when it is in fact due to the protein source found in meat. Also it is important to mention that feeding your Frenchie a grain free diet can cause heart disease
Treating Food Allergies in French Bulldogs
The only way to effectively treat food allergies in your French bulldog would be to completely remove the food or ingredient that is causing the allergies. But to do this, you and your vet have to first figure out what the particular food or ingredient is.
The simplest way to do this is to have the allergy test panel done by your trusted and local vet. Your vet might also suggest the elimination diet. You remove any potential food allergens from your Frenchie’s diet for 7-10 days and see if the symptoms reduce. If they do, you then begin to slowly add items back to their diet until you find the one causing the allergies.
If the elimination diet doesn’t seem to be working and your Frenchie’s symptoms are escalating, your Frenchie might require physical examination. This will include blood and urine tests. If the cause is not present in the blood work, your vet will likely prescribe medication, probiotics, and a special diet they cannot deviate from for life.
Also read: Best Food for French Bulldog with Allergies
Once you notice any suspicious behavior in your French bulldog, you should contact your vet immediately. This is because all illnesses stand a chance of becoming better if they are recognized early and treated immediately.
Can Frenchies Have Benadryl?
Yes, Frenchies can have Benadryl. It is effective for dogs experiencing mild allergic symptoms. However, if your dog is experiencing an acute allergic reaction with facial swelling and breathing difficulty, do not give him anything, take him straight to the vet. Your vet might have to inject a steroid shot to ease the symptoms.
Many times, because it is difficult for us to see our Frenchies in pain, we try to look for ways to ease their symptoms. You should speak to your vet about your concerns and ask prescribed medication or a skin cream to help soothe your Frenchie while the cause is being treated.
If you’d like to soothe your Frenchie’s itchy skin with home remedies, there are some things you could try. Remember to speak to your vet before trying out any home remedies, this so that you avoid any situation that may put your French bulldog in danger.
- Chamomile and Herbal Tea Soaks: These teas have properties that can soothe and cool irritated skin. The soak works best if your Frenchie has hot, itchy patches of skin that are at risk of getting raw. Fill your tub or sink with warm water and let several herbal tea bag steeps for 3 minutes, remove the tea bags and let your dog soak for 5 minutes.
- Oatmeal Bath: Oatmeal is a good remedy for dry, itchy skin. Start by grinding plain oatmeal into a powder and sprinkle in your Frenchie ‘s warm bath. It will take about 10 – 15 minutes to cool down red, angry skin no matter the cause.
- Oatmeal Paste:If your Frenchie cannot be in a bath for this long, make an oatmeal paste. Take the grounded oatmeal and add a little bit of water at a time untill you have a spreadable paste. Target the problem areas and make sure the paste contacts the skin.
- 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar Water Spray: ACV is a natural and safe relief for dry, itchy skin. But not on raw or opened skin, if your Frenchie has scratched himself raw, the solution will sting the exposed wound. To avoid this, fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% ACV and spray on targeted areas.
Let Us Help You
We have all the information needed on your French bulldog journey, let us help you. Sign up to our Frenchie Blog and snag yourself a front row seat to all the information.
For more information please see the list of Best food for french bulldog with allergies