Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs leading to gastrointestinal problems are not as common as you might think, often the digestive gastrointestinal problem is more likely to be due to parasites, viral, bacteria, bulldog indiscretion eating. Milder forms of your bulldog food allergy could present with only frequent rumbling and gas release (yes that kind of gas, the one everyone turns his nose away from), but your bulldog might also suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In some cases, food allergies could progress to more serious digestive medical conditions such as bulldog and French bulldog IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
Food Allergy in bulldogs and French bulldogs leading to the digestive problem can be treated with a novel protein source or hydrolyzed protein with a single low allergen carbohydrate source. The protein source should be predominantly from an animal meat source but offering your bulldog a fresh, organic, unprocessed fruits and vegetables is beneficial but remember to avoid onions and grapes (raisins). When a food allergy is suspected, a minimum of eight weeks of hypoallergenic food trial is advised. Your compliance and strict dietary maintenance during the trial duration are critical. The hypoallergenic diet could be either a prescription novel protein, a prescription hydrolyzed protein diet or a home-cooked novel protein diet. If by the end of the trial duration your bulldog or French bulldog digestive problems are greatly improved I recommend you reintroduce your previous diet as a diagnostic challenge (i.e. “challenge test”). The challenge test should trigger a reoccurrence of your bulldog and French bulldog GI problems (and itch if it is combined with a skin allergy) to start again within days from the challenge start date. If your bulldog previous indigestion clinical problems re-emerge then you could be highly confident your bulldog has a food allergy.
Many bulldogs and French bulldogs owners associate food allergy with grain when in fact it is usually due to the protein source found in meat. The most common allergens are chicken (60%), then beef and fish. Also on the frequent food allergens, shortlist are corn, soy, wheat, and dairy. To read more about Grain Free Diets and Bulldogs and French Bulldog (“No Grain Diets”, “Low Grain Diets”)….Click Here
Dont choose your bulldog and French bulldog diet based on the advertised and often hyped package label boosting ” extra supplements “. Suppluments mixed in to the diets are not likely to harm your bully but it’s really more of a marketing ploy then real value. The most popular and “sexy” supplements are fish oil (omega 3 and 6), glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and probiotics. As a rule, there are not enough in pure bioavailable dosage to therapeutically impact a medical condition in those diets’ daily feeding recommendations. When medically indicated I recommend supplements to be given separately as a standalone treatment. to learn more “click here”
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #1: When your bulldog is enduring year round itching and/or otitis (i.e. ear infections) in addition to the GI problems, then food allergy should be on top of your rule out list.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #2: The best way to diagnose bulldog and French bulldog food allergy is an 8-12 week food trial on a strict prescription hypoallergenic diet, either a novel protein diet or a hydrolyzed protein prescription diet.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #3: If you chose a trial with a prescription novel protein I prefer either rabbit or kangaroo (i.e. avoid, relatives of chicken like duck and turkey as well as venison, bison, fish, salmon they all have been mixed into common commercial diets thus not suitable for the trial etc.)
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #4: Remember, the objective of the hypoallergenic diet trial is to avoid the offensive allergen while providing the necessary dietary essentials (i.e. calories and nutrients). For instance, if your child is highly allergic to peanuts his diet should be 100% peanut free, while still providing all the other nutrients essentials.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP#5: though I prefer the prescription hydrolized hypoallergenic diets, you can try one of the OTC diets that are not based on any of the common allergen (soy, corn, chicken, dairy, beef, wheat, fish) if the RX hypoallergenic diets are too expensive.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #6: If there your bulldogs is showing no improvement after 8 weeks on strict RX hypoallergenic food trial, you can extend the trial a few extra weeks or try a different one. Remember not all bulldogs are the same, one might respond well to one type and poorly to the other one while the next bulldog puppy may have the opposite result.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #7: For those of you who can’t survive the trial duration without giving your bully treats, don’t despair. Most of the prescription hypoallergenic diets offer hypoallergenic treats. Those diets are also available in cans which could be used to give Rx “meatball-pill-pocket” treats.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #8: If you have a food allergy concern and you believe your bulldog or French bulldog puppies allergies are due to grains, then your grain free dietary trial should last at least ten weeks.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIP #9: Grain should count for less than one third (<1/3) of your bulldog diet, the other 2/3 should be in the form of meat-animal-protein, fruit, and vegetables.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #1: During the duration of your hypoallergenic trial, make sure that your bulldog is not sharing any food items with you or your other pets. If you can’t be certain that your bulldog will not eat your other pets’ diets I suggest you have all your pets on the hypoallergenic diet during the trial duration.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #2: While blood testing for bulldogs and French bulldogs itch atopic allergic dermatitis can be a helpful diagnostic tool, the same cannot be said for food allergies. The best and preferred diagnostic test for food allergy is a minimum 8 week strict trial on an RX hypoallergenic diet followed by a challenge food test.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #3: Remove everything with flavorings like treats and toys. Remove flavored medication, flavored supplements, flea tab, dental paste, supplements, chows, etc.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #4: an untreated gastrointestinal disease due to bulldog and French bulldog food allergy could eventually lead to IBD (inflammatory bile disease).
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #5: Don’t start the trial until you have completed a comprehensive workup and resolved other ongoing medical issues such as a thyroid problem or/and other common gastrointestinal diseases (i.e. parasitic, viral, bacteria etc).
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #6: Lower grade pet diets have a higher risk for unwanted adverse effects such as immune-mediated disease (like IBD)due to the higher possibility of unwholesome elements and contaminants.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #7: Sometimes bulldogs and French bulldogs food allergies are due to an undetected contaminant within that grain and meat.
Dr. Kraemer’s Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING #8: Most commercial pet diets offer lower quality grade feed then the well regulated (USDA) grade pet diets.
*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must read” manual for any current or future bully owner