As a short-haired canine, Frenchies are prone to skin problems. They can develop skin allergies that will cause itchy and unbearable discomfort. Also, deep-chested dogs like French Bulldogs often have stomach sensitivity, so you have to be careful with their food. In this post, I reviewed the best dog food for French Bulldog with skin allergies to restore your pet’s coat health.
The French Bulldog diet
French Bulldogs have specific dietary needs that you need to suffice. Such diet requirements vary per life stage, which is true across breeds. Puppies around 8 to 12 weeks need to consume high levels of calories to support their growing bodies. A puppy Frenchie needs to eat 1.5 cups of food a day, but it must be spread in 3 to 4 servings to prevent the dreaded gastric torsion.
As your Frenchie grows, you can reduce the servings and the amount of food. You will also need an adult formula with higher protein and fewer calories than those made for pups.
To give you a better understanding of the Frenchie diet, here’s a feeding guide based on the doggos life stages:
8 weeks. Frenchie puppies at this age have just been weaned from its mother. You have to transition the puppy to dry food slowly. That means mixing wet food with dry food to let the dog adjust to the new diet. The pup should eat 1.5 cups spread in half-a-cup servings.
12 weeks. By this time, your Frenchie should be fully transitioned to dry food. The food should have high calories and nutrients suitable for a medium-sized canine. Again, the dog should be eating 1.5 cups a day that’s spread in multiple servings.
3 months. At this age, you have to feed your Frenchie based on its weight. For every pound of body weight, your dog must eat 25 calories a day. This will vary if your dog is more active than usual and if it has a medical condition.
1 year. Once your Frenchie turns one, it would be considered an adult doggo. If it’s eating well, it should weigh about 20 to 25 pounds. Frenchies that are within the ideal weight – not obese or underweight – must consume around 2 cups of food a day.
Remember that this feeding guide will vary based on the health condition of your pet. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist.
Why do French Bulldogs get skin allergies?
There are two reasons behind skin allergies among Frenchies. The first one is environmental factors like pollens, chemicals, and other similar irritants. Some pet owners will notice that their Frenchies will experience skin allergies during summer or spring as the airborne pollen increases.
The second possible reason for skin allergies is food allergies.
If your dog ingests an allergen, it will suffer from hives and intense itching.
The difference between environmental allergens and food-triggered allergies is that the latter will cause more discomfort. Aside from the itchy skin, dogs with food allergies will also experience diarrhea. This will also expose the doggo to the risk of dehydration.
Remember that allergies don’t go away on its own. Also, it’s not true that your dog will outgrow its allergy if you exposed it to the allergen long enough. The truth is the total opposite. Prolonged exposure to the allergen will make your pet’s condition worse. Your dog may also suffer fatal consequences if you keep on feeding the allergen.
When it comes to food, the leading cause of allergy is the protein source. You have to mind the ingredients of your dog’s food. The tricky part is that a Frenchie can be allergic to anything. A dog can be allergic to beef while the other will have a sensitivity to chicken. Below, I discussed the best alternatives to reduce the allergic reaction of your dog.
Symptoms of skin allergies in dogs
If you suspect that your Frenchie has skin allergies, you must look for the following symptoms:
- Intense itching and scratching
- Excessive paw licking
- Inflamed skin
- Rashes on the face, chest, and neck
- Coughing and shortness of breath
- Nose swelling
- Poor appetite
If you observe several of these symptoms on your dog, you must consult a veterinarian right away. Also, if your Frenchie’s diarrhea doesn’t abate within 24 hours, you must bring your pet to the vet’s clinic. Diarrhea can become lethal as it can lead to dehydration.
Other dietary problems among French Bulldogs
Aside from skin problems, French Bulldogs may also suffer from other dietary problems like the following:
Obesity. One thing you should know about Frenchies is that they have a rather large appetite. You should always practice portion control, or you’ll have a morbidly obese pet at home. The excessive weight will also put more pressure on your dog’s joints, easily causing orthopedic problems on a deep-chested canine like a Frenchie.
Flatulence. Flat-nosed and deep-chested canines like French Bulldogs, Pitbulls, Basset Hounds, and Beagles are prone to gas. While farting may seem like a funny thing, it can actually become deadly for a canine. Gas paired with excessive food can lead to gastric torsion. Take note that this condition can be fatal within 24 hours as your dog’s tummy will become extremely distended. You must bring your Frenchie to the vet if you notice signs of gastric torsion.
Intolerances. Food intolerance is when your dog can’t digest a specific substance. This is different from allergies in the sense that intolerances are a digestive response, while allergies are an immune system reaction. Usually, food intolerances cause diarrhea and vomiting among canines.
Your Frenchie’s risk of developing any of these conditions can be reduced if you’ll get the best dog food for French Bulldog with skin allergies. Below, I reviewed 7 of the best options, so you no longer have to second-guess what’s best for your pooch.
What to do if your Frenchie has skin allergies
So your dog has allergies, what now? If your dog exhibits allergy symptoms, the first thing you should do is stop feeding it with its dog food. In the meantime, switch the pooch to steamed fish/chicken and rice. This bland food is less likely to cause allergic reactions to a dog. It will also help abate diarrhea. The main logic here is removing the potential allergen to stop the irritation.
If your dog’s condition improved within 48 hours, its dog food has ingredients triggering the allergies. You will need to purchase dog food that will help sensitive skin. Your dog’s vet can advise you about the best option after the proper diagnosis of the allergen.
Moreover, you must bring your Frenchie to the vet as soon as the allergy symptoms surfaced. You should also note the food and treats your dog ate before it experienced the symptoms.
The veterinarian will conduct skin tests to identify the allergen. In some cases, the vet will also conduct blood tests to rule out any potential health problems that could be causing the irritation.
Aside from getting new dog food, the vet may also prescribe an allergy relief drug to manage your pooch’s itching.
How to choose dog food for allergic Frenchies
When it comes to the best dog food for a French Bulldog, I recommend checking the following:
🐾Dry vs. wet food
The first decision you have to make is whether you’ll buy dry food or wet food for your dog. Both are ideal for specific cases. Below are the pros and cons of these food types:
Dry food. Dry food or kibble is the most popular type of dog food. It’s packed with nourishment, and the crunchy nature helps reduce tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth. Dry food has a longer shelf life, and it’s easier to serve. This is also the ideal choice for canines with allergies. However, the downside with dry food is that it contains less moisture.
Wet food. This is the most common option when transitioning a pup to solid food. Wet food is moisture-rich, so it’s easier to chew and swallow. It’s also ideal for old doggos that have missing teeth and experiencing kidney problems. However, wet food is prone to spoilage, and it tends to have very low protein levels.
🐾Life stage and breed size
Aside from the type, one of the most important considerations is if the dog food suits a medium-sized breed. Dog food made based on breed size has varying protein and nutrient levels. For example, dog food made for large breeds has higher protein and calcium content that might be too much for smaller breeds.
Also, you must check the life stage to which the dog food is intended. Dog food for puppies and adults have different formulas. For the most part, puppy food has higher calorie content but lower protein.
Next, you should consider how active your Frenchie is. Usually, French Bulldogs may range from relaxed to extremely energetic. They are also playful dogs whose intensity can be excessive.
A very active dog will need extra calories and protein to keep up with its physical needs. The vet can advise about this part to ensure that your canine is receiving the best nourishment.
When it comes to the dog food ingredients, the first thing you should check is the protein source. Usually, the protein source will be the first or second ingredient on the list.
You should look for a wholesome and complete protein source. Avoid too many by-products since it has an inferior nutrient profile.
The following are some of the common protein sources for dog foods.
Fish. The best choice is fish since it’s also packed with Omega fatty acids that promote health and shiny coat. It’s also tasty and irresistible for most dogs.
Real meat. Real meat like beef, chicken, duck, turkey, and venison are popular options. These are rich in protein, but real meat is also notorious for allergies, especially beef. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that your dog will have allergies to real meat right away.
Egg. While this isn’t a common option, eggs are rich in protein and less likely to cause skin allergies.
Meat meal. Meat meal is real meat that’s been dehydrated and pulverized until it becomes powder. The process of drying the meat will reduce the amount of protein on meat meals.
Plant protein. The likes of wheat, corn, brown rice, and more are added to dog food products to boost its protein content and serves as a carb source. Nowadays, you can find a vegetarian dog food that offers decent protein levels.
Aside from the protein source, you should also consider the amount. For less active dogs, opt for an average protein level. This is to prevent kidney damage as excessive protein is released through urine.
Next, you must consider the carbohydrate source of dog food. Carbs are very important because it’s the main energy source of your pet. Some of the best options are brown rice, barley, and potato. Corn will also work, but some Frenchies find it hard to digest this ingredient. Some canines could also be allergic to corn, so try to get dog food with limited corn ingredients.
Extra nutrients like Omega fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, DHA, vitamins, and minerals are also crucial. This additional nourishment will boost the skin and coat health of your dog. You should also check the calcium level of the dog food product. Avoid very high levels as it would be dangerous for canines.
Above all, you must get a dog food with irresistible flavors. This is crucial if you have a picky eater at home. Dog food with fish ingredients is often tasty and smelly, which appeals to almost all dogs. The good thing with the dog food market is that you can find various flavors to suit your pet’s preference.
🐾Limited ingredient diet
For Frenchies with extremely sensitive skin and stomach, a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) is the best option. This food contains very minimal ingredients, so it’s less likely to trigger allergies. And if ever your Frenchie experienced skin allergies, it would be easy to pinpoint what’s causing it.
Best Dog Food for French Bulldog with Skin Allergies – 7 Editor’s Picks!
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: ZIWI Peak Lamb Recipe Dog Food
Product Name: ZIWI Peak Lamb Recipe Dog Food
Product Description: If you're looking for the best dog food for French Bulldog with skin allergies, you'll never go wrong with the ZIWI Peak Lamb Recipe dog food. This one is made for all breed sizes, including Frenchies. It's an air-dried formula made through a traditional gentle air-drying process that also preserves the food without the use of artificial preservatives. This is a limited ingredient diet made of 96% meat, innards, and NZ green mussels. It also contains organic kelp and green tripe. This doesn't have legumes or peas, so it's unlikely to trigger allergies on your dog. The best part about ZIWI Peak is it helps promote better coat and allergy relief. Your dog will also benefit from the joint-friendly formula with added Omega fatty acid, taurine, folic acid, and Vitamin D3.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Moreover, this no-thaw dog food topper is made of free-range animals with no antibiotics or hormones. It’s made ethically and in a sustainable manner.
Simply mix this with a kibble meal, and it will give your dog additional coat-boosting nutrients. It can also serve as a standalone meal with proper serving portions.
This dog food contains 35% protein, 33% fat, and 2% fiber. It also has 1,300 mg/kg of chondroitin to strengthen the joints of an energetic Frenchie.
100% single-sourced lamb
No legumes, soy, corn or fillers
Limited ingredient diet
Goes stale quickly if not stored properly
The Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Another limited ingredient dog food that I recommend is the one from Honest Kitchen. This fish recipe only has six ingredients: white fish, coconut, pumpkin, celery, spinach, and lots of chicken. Overall, this is suitable for young to adult dogs across breeds.
This is a grain-free formula that’s dehydrated to retain its nutrition without any artificial ingredients. You simply add warm water on this dog food, stir, and your Frenchie can enjoy a hearty meal. It’s all-natural, and it doesn’t have any preservatives, GMO, or fillers. Every bite nourishes your dog.
Moreover, this Honest Kitchen Fish Recipe contains 34% protein, 14% fat, and 0.15% taurine. All of the ingredients in this dog food are human-grade and easily digestible.
Remember that this is a concentrated food, so a 10-pound box is meant to make 40 pounds of food once mixed with water. This way, Honest Kitchen can offer maximum nutrition with added phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
This dog food also meets the AAFCO standards for complete and balanced meals. It’s a healthy and natural option for Frenchies with sensitive tummies and skin.
If your Frenchie finds it hard to chew or swallow, this dog food will be a good choice. It’s also a smart choice if your dog isn’t getting enough hydration.
ORIJEN Six Fish High-Protein Dog Food
If you have a picky eater who happens to be suffering from skin allergies at the same time, the Orijen Six Fish might be the right pick. It’s made of six different fishes, namely Atlantic herring, mackerel, sliver hake, flounder, monkfish, and Acadian redfish. All of these fishes make the dog food very flavorful and aromatic.
Moreover, it’s made of fresh and raw animal ingredients with a grain-free formula. This prevents any possibility of skin or food allergies.
Aside from fish ingredients, this dog food also contains whole chickpeas, carrots, dried kelp, apples, rosehips, juniper berries, and more natural bits. Overall, this is the perfect balance of fresh veggies, fruits, WholePrey ratios, and meat protein.
This is also rich in lactobacillus that promotes a balanced intestinal flora to combat diarrhea and digestive problems.
Each serving of this dog food contains 38% protein, 18% fat, and 4% fiber. Also, it contains DHA, EPA, Omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine. All of these extra nutrients keep your Frenchie’s coat and joints healthy.
All the Orijen Six Fish Dog Food is prepared right on the Orijen kitchen. Moreover, this ensures freshness and excellent nourishment on every bite. It’s made for all life stages and dog breeds.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Dog Food
For Frenchies with sensitive skin and stomach, the Purina Pro Plan Focus might solve the problem. Its main ingredient is salmon, which is rich in Omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat. It’s a salmon and rice formula packed with vitamins and minerals for optimal nutrition.
Moreover, the Purina Pro Plan Focus has no corn, soy, wheat, or artificial add-ons. Instead, it’s infused with fish oil, sunflower oil, oatmeal, and natural prebiotic to nourish your pet. All of it is highly digestible, so you don’t have to worry about intolerances.
Each serving of this dog food contains 26% protein, 16% fat, and 4% fiber. It also has Vitamins A, C, & E as well as Omega fatty acids and glucosamine. There’s also added zinc to improve the skin condition of your doggo.
Unlike other dog food filled with by-products and artificial flavors, the Purina Pro Plan is made of real fish meat. What your dog gets is guilt-free nutrition on every bite.
Even veterinarians recommend this dog food for canines with skin problems. It helps reduce skin itching as well as ear infections and digestive problems. This formula is very gentle on the tummy, which suits very sensitive dogs.
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food
For Frenchies who love chicken, the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food might be a great choice. It’s a chicken and barley formula with egg, brown rice, chicken liver, apples, broccoli, carrots, and green peas. It also has a small kibble that’s easy for French Bulldogs to pick up and chew.
It’s a great source of prebiotic fiber that balances the microbiome on your dog’s gut. This is also easily digestible and provides optimal nutrition on each bite. Aside from that, this dog food makes your pet’s stool firmer for easier pick-up.
Aside from that, this dog food is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, and E that boosts your dog’s wellness. It also contains Omega-6 fatty acids, folic acid, taurine, and biotin that make your doggo better.
Hill’s Science has a good reputation as a vet-backed brand. They make all-natural and proven formulas that aim to nourish your dog from within. Their adult sensitive stomach and skin formula help reduce itching and gassiness of dogs.
Aside from chicken and barley blend, you can also get this dog food in chicken or grain-free versions.
Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe
If your doggo is on a non-meat diet, you should try the Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe. It’s a plant-based dog food that helps combat extreme allergies of adult dogs across breeds.
This nutritious vegetarian formula is made of brewers rice, soybean meal, barley, carrots, onion extract, rosemary extract, and more. It’s also rich in Vitamin A, B, and C, as well as L-carnitine, choline, taurine, zinc, iron, and Omega fatty acids.
Each serving of this wholesome dog food contains 22% protein, 8% fat, 4% fiber, and 10% moisture. The linoleic acid, zinc, and copper content of this dog food make your pet’s coat shiny and healthy. Also, it doesn’t have corn or artificial colors, so rest assured that each serving is very nourishing.
Despite being plant-based, this dog food has a very nice and appealing flavor. It also meets the AAFCO standard for nutrient profiles for maintenance.
The best part here is that this dog food helps solve skin issues. It also helps stop diarrhea and vomiting of dogs who have serious sensitivities and intolerances. Overall, it gives the best bang for your buck if you’re looking for excellent nutrition.
Dr. Harvey's Canine Health Dog Food
Last but not the least, I highly recommend Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Dog Food. This one is made of rolled oats, organic barley, triticale, spelt, brown rice, kamut, and sweet potatoes. It’s also blended with zucchini, peas, green beans, beets, broccoli, parsley, and tons of green veggies.
This contains 12% protein, 3% fat, 5% fiber, and 12% moisture as a vegetarian formula. It’s also rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E that supports your Frenchie’s health. Aside from that, it also contains iron, zinc, manganese, folic acid, and other nutrients that promote good skin and coat health.
This dog food is made for dogs with very sensitive stomachs and skins. It doesn’t have corn, soy, or wheat, so it will not irritate your pet’s tummy. It’s made for all dog sizes, too, and picky eaters will love it.
Overall, this dog food is made of 6 organic grains and 9 dehydrated veggies. It doesn’t have artificial chemicals or preservatives – rest assured that your dog will get optimal nutrition.
You can also add your choice of meat on this veggie blend. It’s also a top choice for dogs with kidney issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What food is not ideal for French Bulldogs?
A: The bulldog breed is prone to flatulence, so you should avoid food that causes this condition. The likes of soybean, milk, beans, spicy food, fatty food, and more will trigger gas production in the stomach. You should also mind the food bowl that your Frenchie uses so they will not gobble too much air while eating.
Q: Why is my Frenchie itching?
A: French Bulldogs that scratch too often and sneezes could be experiencing skin allergies. You will also notice that their skin folds, paws, and belly have hives. Excessive paw licking may ensue, which will aggravate the discomfort of your pet. You must identify what’s causing the allergic reaction to help your dog.
Q: Why are bulldogs prone to allergies?
A: Genetics is one reason why many bulldog breeds are prone to various allergies, specifically skin allergies. Their skin structure and thin coat expose them more to environmental irritants. Aside from that, the skin folds of a Frenchie can get irritated. And since it’s folded, it won’t get noticed right away.
Q: How can I stop my Frenchie from itching?
A: If the cause of the skin irritation is an external substance, you should bathe your dog to remove it from their skin. However, if the skin allergy is due to food, you must switch your pooch to a new diet. You can also seek the guidance of the veterinarian to determine which ingredient is causing the reaction.
Q: Can I give my Frenchie Benadryl to stop the skin itching?
A: Benadryl dosages for dogs is around 1 mg per body weight pound. However, I don’t recommend giving anything to your dog that hasn’t received the green light of a veterinarian. If in doubt, it’s best to consult the dog doctor for the safest solution.
The best dog food for French Bulldog with skin allergies will help your pet recover from the sensitivity. It also ensures that your pooch gets optimal nutrition to support its growing body. Since Frenchies are prone to allergies, you have to be meticulous on the dog food you’re serving.