French Bulldog Skin Allergies
Are you dealing with French Bulldog Skin Allergies? Can Changing Diets Help your Allergic Frenchie?
Oh, allergies. They’re an eternal source of woe for so many Frenchie owners! The constant itchy, scratchy mess that it turns our furry friends into is far from fun for anyone; we can’t help but feel sorry for our pups when they’re constantly chewing their skin, licking their paws, or rubbing their faces along the carpet to get some relief. Vomiting and diarrhea can sometimes come into play, too! It’s no surprise, then, that many of us get frustrated when treatment after treatment just doesn’t seem to work with our dogs, forcing us to turn to yet more drastic solutions. The food that we feed our dogs plays a large role in their overall health, and many owners believe that switching their dog’s diet may be the ultimate solution. Can changing your Frenchie’s food fix their allergy issues? The simple answer is: it depends.
First, it’s important to realize that dogs can have an allergic reaction to, well, just about anything. Some of the common canine allergens include grass, dust, pollen, mold, trees, flea saliva, and proteins such as beef, chicken, or soy. Allergens can enter the body through being ingested (eaten), contacting the skin, or by being inhaled, and your dog may react only seasonally (to grass in the spring and summer, for instance), or all the time (such as in the case of dust mite or food allergy). To complicate the situation even more, it’s quite common for pets to have reactions to more than one allergen, causing a compound effect on your poor pup.
So how does food come into play here? Well, if your dog is simply allergic to a certain protein in their dog food, then eliminating it from their diet may certainly help decrease their discomfort. It can take up to 3 months for food allergens to stop affecting your Frenchie’s system, however, so that means that your pup will have to follow an extremely strict elimination diet for this entire time in order to diagnose a food allergy, often involving a diet that contains a protein type that your dog has never eaten before –and absolutely nothing else on the side. Most over-the-counter foods won’t be sufficient for a true food trial, as they can still contain minute amounts of a reaction-causing protein still; there’s usually no quality control testing that screens out additional protein types from pet-store diets – even the so-called ‘top grade’ ones.
On the other paw, if your pup reacts to more than one allergen (it can be fairly common for dogs to have both food related and environmental allergies, for instance), than a food switch may not be the ultimate fix, though there are certainly benefits to feeding a diet that supports your dog’s skin health and immune system. There are commercial and prescription kibble diets out there that do a great job of reducing the effects of long-lasting skin problems for some Frenchies. For other cases, some dog owners find that switching to a homemade diet helps with chronic allergy issues – as long as the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced with the supervision of a veterinarian, this can sometimes be a great option. Important nutrients (including skin-supporting antioxidants, vitamins, and fats) in human-grade, whole food diets can often be more biologically available to your dog’s body, helping to boost your dog’s gut health and immune system, which in turn strengthen their natural intestinal and skin barriers against all allergens that cause those nasty reactions.
What Frenchie owners need to realize is that for the majority of our furry friends, there’s no actual ‘cure’ for chronic allergies – only management. Helping your Frenchie to stay comfortable might involve a different plan of action for each individual dog, including food changes, different bathing routines, medication, and/or reducing exposure to substances or proteins that we know can cause our pets grief. So with dedication, you can solve French Bulldog Skin Allergies. Here’s hoping for good days with no itchy-scratchies in sight, Frenchie friends!