Treating Frenchie Skin Care Issues
Treating Frenchie Skin Care Issues
One of the most appealing features of French Bulldogs is their smooth, soft coats, making them perfect canine foot warmers and superheroes of snuggle. Unfortunately, treating frenchie skin care issues can be a chore. The Frenchie’s coat can also be a source of major trouble for them. Many of us are all too familiar with the symptoms of chronic skin issues: the scratching, chewing, hair loss, hives, and rashes that frequently go hand in hand with Frenchie ownership. Dry, flaky or greasy skin is a common symptom for our funny faces, too. Sometimes, our pet’s miseries are even bad enough to keep us up at night – literally! Unfortunately, the epidemic of chronic skin problems among French Bulldogs and other breeds only seems to be getting worse, and many of our pooch pals need ongoing treatment, which in veterinary medicine, often involves the use of medication that can have some pretty questionable side effects on your pup’s long term health.
Chronic skin problems in any dog breed can be frustrating to manage; no one treatment is bullet-proof, and most of the time, they can only be managed, not entirely eliminated. Sadly, in some of the worst cases, some owners may even feel like they can’t keep up with the ongoing costs of treatment and choose to give up their pup or even have them euthanized. Even when things aren’t that bad for our pups, we’re often concerned about the hidden health hazards of prescribed pharmaceuticals, too. So what to do?
The good news is that there are some alternative, more holistic options that you can try with your Frenchie first. It’s important to remember that identifying the cause of your furry friend’s dermal troubles early, and treating them quickly can make a big difference in reducing the effect of those issues on your pup!
Banish the Bugs
The first step for any itchy or rash affected pup should be a visit with your veterinarian to rule out bacterial, yeast and fungal infection, and also to make sure that your pup is parasite free – a no brainer, right? Fleas in particular are one of the biggest causes of ongoing itching, scratching, and downright canine discomfort. Even just one or two fleas can cause a major reaction, causing rashes or hives in dogs that have an allergy to flea bites. Natural ways to help control those pesky pests include cautious use of diatomaceous earth in the house, weekly bathing with a mild, non-scented shampoo, and daily vacuuming, which triggers flea pupae to hatch and promptly be sucked up and away!
Help the Immune System
Recent research in both the human and veterinary field has been focusing on the role that the gastrointestinal system plays in immune health. Did you know that your pup’s gut wall is like an enormous entry gate for allergens? What this means for your Frenchie is that they’re more likely to experience skin problems if their gastrointestinal system isn’t healthy. Helping to improve your pup’s bowel well-being actually increases the efficiency of their gut wall barrier, which in turn means that fewer allergens are allowed to enter their bloodstream.
So how can you help to boost your pup’s gut health? Apple cider vinegar is a holistic supplement that, anecdotally, can help improve digestion for your pet. Many holistic veterinarians also advise dog owners to supplement with a high potency probiotic that contains helpful bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus. Probiotic supplementation is an especially good idea for young pups that still have developing immune systems themselves – they can help to build a better lifelong immune system! Adding certain types of dietary fiber like chicory root (called prebiotics) also nurtures the ‘good’ bacteria in your pup’s gut- it’s best to find a supplement that will provide both prebiotic and probiotic together, though. Too much fiber or the wrong type can cause diarrhea or gas – something that Frenchie lovers already have in excess. If you need to dive deeper into the root of your Frenchie’s skin care issues, Skin Solutions will give you additional resources.
Improve the Diet
It’s reasonable to point out that just about every dog benefits from excellent nutrition. Some dogs, Frenchies included, can be quite sensitive to processed ingredients, preservatives and artificial flavoring or color in some dog foods, so eliminating these in your dog’s diet is a great first step. Providing your pup with top-quality nourishment that contains genuinely digestible ingredients is also vital for the support of their immune system– in fact, many Frenchie owners find that a complete and balanced home-cooked diet often helps to reduce the effects of those itchy scratchy issues.
Omega essential fatty acids (EFAs) are another huge part of the puzzle when it comes to your Frenchie’s skin health. EFA’s are essential components of your pup’s skin cells – they help skin to retain moisture and elasticity, which leads to a softer and glossier coat, and they also help to quell nasty skin inflammation. The most useful EFA’s for your Frenchie are the ones that are found in flax oil, borage oil, evening primrose and deep sea fish oil.
Support the Skin
Finally, there are ways that you can support your Frenchie’s epidermal health from the outside, too! Use plain water for baths if possible, or a moisturizing shampoo with conditioning ingredients. For rashes or moist yeasty areas, spraying on steeped calendula or chamomile infusion can help make your pup more comfortable and tends to soothe the itch away – check with your vet first about any possible toxicity before using herbal treatments at home, though.
If you find that your Frenchie tends to break out in hives or rashes in certain situations (like after lying down outside on grass), try to limit their exposure and eliminate causes of allergy in your home. If you can’t entirely avoid something that causes a breakout, put a light shirt on your pup to prevent direct contact, or rinse their skin in cool water afterwards to rinse away irritating allergens like pollen.
Interestingly, acupuncture and chiropractic care have also been known to make a difference as well – perhaps because they both contribute to your dog’s overall immune function. It’s important to keep in mind that some Frenchies may still need the assistance of immune suppressing medications in some severe situations, however.
The seemingly endless presence of skin problems can definitely be a source of frustration for many Frenchie owners – understandably so! By using a balanced approach to treating frenchie skin care issues, your pup’s health and increasing overall support for their immune system, you can banish those ‘itchy scratchy’ woes. And that’s great news!
Here are our Facebook group’s favorite ways to handle fleas and other itchies:
Can your Frenchie’s allergy treatment be as simple as simple as a foot bath?