Allergies in French bulldogs are one of the biggest concerns of their owners. The allergic reactions occur when the dog’s immune system reacts hypersensitively to a foreign trigger. The most common allergens are seasonal pollen, environmental allergens, and proteins from foods. To help your French bulldog, it’s important to discover and eliminate the trigger. Sometimes, it can take more than a few months to determine the type of allergy in your dog.
How common are allergies in French bulldogs?
Unfortunately, French bulldog allergies are very common and they usually occur after the 5th month of life. A tendency to allergies can be inherited, and also caused by a dog’s poor nutrition. Since French bulldogs have flat skulls, they are prone to inhaling allergens. Speaking generally, brachycephalic dog breeds are on a higher tendency to suffer from allergies. Their short airways make them prone to react sensitively to inhaled elements that often cause sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses.
What are the most common allergy triggers?
Food allergies in French bulldogs are followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive flatulence. Other symptoms can also occur, including skin itchiness, loss of energy, and lack of appetite. When choosing a diet for a French bulldog, our advice is to avoid food rich in corn, soy, and wheat. A grain-free diet doesn’t mean that your Frenchie should eat a plant-free diet. Grain-free diets can include other plants such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, spinach greens, and other veggies that won’t cause excessive gasses and flatulence.
Just like humans, our Frenchies can also be allergic to environmental allergens such as seasonal pollen, dust, mold, flea, and mites. Besides, different house cleaning chemicals and even laundry detergent can cause your dog to be itchy and nervous. The most common symptoms of environmental allergies in French bulldogs are itchy ears and paws, inability to settle down, sneezing, runny nose, lesions on the paws, and hair loss.
How to determine allergies in French bulldogs?
Environmental allergies are easier to spot in dogs because the reaction occurs immediately after contact with a trigger. On the other hand, detecting food allergies can take more time because the vet will recommend you try the elimination diet. This type of diet consists of feeding a Frenchie with one source of protein and carbohydrates for approximately 12 weeks.
Besides observing the previously mentioned symptoms, you should also pay attention to your dog’s daily routine. For example, you can write on paper how does your dog’s daily routine look like because it will help you determine the trigger. Write up when he went for a walk, and pay attention to where and what he sniffed. Read the label on your dog’s dry kibble or canned food and gradually switch him to another diet to see the reaction.
It might sound silly, but some dogs can be allergic even to their feeding or drinking bowls that are made of plastic. That’s why I use only ceramic or stainless steel bowls for my Frenchie. They are not only dishwasher safe, but they’re also less prone to collecting bacteria.
Treatment options for French bulldog allergies
Use natural cleaning products
Environmental allergies can be kept under control by taking care of your pet’s hygiene. In other words, regular coat brushing can decrease allergic reactions to seasonal pollen. In case your dog is allergic to house cleaning products or laundry detergent, you can try using ecological products and laundry detergent for sensitive skin.
Regular brushing is ‘a must’
By regularly brushing your French bulldog’s coat, you’ll not only remove dead hair but also dander, dirt, and many other allergens. Brushing is also important because it improves the dog’s skin and transfers natural oils through the fur.
Allergies in French bulldogs can also be triggered by inappropriate dog shampoo. Using human and baby shampoos is strictly forbidden because dogs have different pH skin levels. My advice is to search for a shampoo that is free of parabens and excessive perfumes. For example, olive oil, aloe vera, oatmeal, and coconut oil are some of the best ingredients to search on the label.
If you’ve already tried more than 3 or 4 dog food brands, then your dog’s digestive system might require eating a raw diet. A raw diet for French bulldogs includes feeding your pooch with raw meat, fresh or boiled veggies, and fresh fruits. The good side of this diet is the ability to tailor the ingredients according to your pet’s needs. If your dog isn’t allergic to eggs, you can add a raw egg to his meal because it promotes a healthy coat and skin.
Another ingredient I love to add to my Frenchie’s meal is yogurt. A few spoons of yogurt on top of the bowl will add healthy probiotics to his digestive system. Of course, this is desirable only in case your pet doesn’t show intolerance to dairy products. Be careful when buying meat for your Frenchie because it needs to be fresh and bought only at trusted butchers.
Wear protective clothes
If you’ve determined that your pet suffers from seasonal allergies, then wearing jumpsuits will be the best option to protect his skin during walks. My advice is to choose a French bulldog jumpsuit made of breathable cotton so your pet can freely perform all types of activities. Cleaning your Frenchie’s paws from pollen is also important after each stroll. Wash your dog’s paws or use wet baby wipes for cleaning the space between the toes.
Sometimes, French bulldog owners can try everything in this world and nothing can help their dog except antihistamines therapy. However, you shouldn’t give your pet these medicines on your own and read the tips about which one to choose on the internet. Your vet should be the only one who should tell you what type of medicine to include.
Corticosteroids in severe cases
Unfortunately, some dogs can have extremely itchy skin and cause wounds that can end up with infections. Well, in case your pet suffers from severe allergies, your vet will probably prescribe you antibiotics and corticosteroidal creams. Corticosteroids shouldn’t be used for a long time because they can weaken the skin.
Boost your dog’s immunity
The dog’s immune system plays the most important role in defending against allergies. Therefore, my advice is to boost your Frenchie’s immunity by using formulas with antioxidants, probiotics, and omega oils. Besides, you can also occasionally reward your pet with fresh blueberries, blackberries, and other forest fruits because they possess a rich source of antioxidants.