Food Allergy in Bulldog and French Bulldog

Bulldog Food Allergy

  Food Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DSCN1864and/or bulldog Skin allergy are not as common as you might think.

Bulldog food allergy leading to gastrointestinal problems is more likely to be due to intestinal parasites, viral or bacteria gastroenteritis, indiscretion eating, etc.

Bulldog food allergies leading to skin conditions are more likely due to bulldog atopic dermatitis (environmental allergens), fleas, and bacteria dermatitis.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS

Proper wellness and diagnostic rule-outs should be done before a hypoallergenic food trial begins. If your bulldog also has skin dermatitis consistent with food allergies (i.e. itching year around rather than a seasonal spike) then food allergies should be higher on your rule-out list.

Milder forms of food allergy could present with an only frequent belly rumbling and gas release (yes that kind of gas, the one everyone turns his nose away from), but your bully might also suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

 In some cases, a bulldog food allergy can progress to something like IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Food Allergy in Bulldogs Gastroentritis TESTING

Your compliance during the hypoallergenic diet trial duration is critical.

A minimum of 2-3 weeks trial with a hypoallergenic elimination diet.  

  1. I recommend a prescription hypoallergenic diet for the trial period
  2. It must be strict, notable scrap treats or chewable medicine and supplements are allowed during the trial period
  3. If the gastroenteritis improved during the 2-3 weeks trial then a challenge with the previous diet is recommended

Other Testing for Suspected Bulldog Allergic Gastroenteritis

  • FECAL TEST(Test for Intestinal Parasites): smear and PCR
  • BLOOD TEST: CBC & Chemstires, IBD screen, Other GI Panel
  • IMAGING: Radiographs & Ultrasound

Food Allergy in Bulldogs Skin Itch Dermatitis TESTING

A minimum of 8-10 weeks trial with a hypoallergenic elimination diet.

  1. I recommend a prescription hypoallergenic diet for the trial period
  2. It must be strict, notable scrap treats or chewable medicine and supplements are allowed during the trial period
  3. If the gastroenteritis improved during the 2-3 weeks trial then a challenge with the previous diet is recommended

Other Testing for Suspected Bulldog Allergic Itch Dermatitis

  • CYTOLOGY: Bacteria & Yeast
  • SKIN SCRAPE: Demodex & Sacropitic Mites
  • DTM: fungal culture for ringworm

Food Allergy in English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TREATMENT

In normal times, a high-quality balanced pet diet is ideal for your bully’s good health. The protein source should be predominantly from an animal meat source. Offering fresh, organic, unprocessed fruits and vegetables to your bully is great but remember to avoid potentially poisonous ones such as onions and grapes (raisins).

Bulldog Food Allergy Gastroenteritis and Dermatitis

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Itchy Bully Economic Bundle For Food Allergy Itch Dermatitis


When bulldog food allergy is suspected, a hypoallergenic elimination diet is usually required. 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 bully is greatly improved I recommend you reintroduce your previous diet as a diagnostic challenge. I would expect the GI problems (and itch if it’s also a skin allergy) to start again within days to 2 weeks from the challenge start date. If the previous clinical problems re-emerge then you could be highly confident your bully has a food allergy requiring long-term strict hypoallergenic diet feeding.

Food Allergy in English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs GRAIN FREE

Many bully owners associate food allergy with grain when in fact it is usually due to the protein source found in meat.

The most common pet food allergens are chicken (60%), then beef and fish.

Also on the frequent allergens list are corn, soy, wheat, and dairy. To read more about Grain-Free Diets and Bulldogs (“No Grain Diets”, “Low Grain Diets”)….CLICK HERE

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Food Allergy in Bulldog TIPS & WARNINGS

Food Allergy in English and French Bulldog TIPS

Food Allergy in bulldogs can cause Allergy Dermatitis in Bulldogs

Food Allergy Dermatitis in English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Food Allergy Tip #1 GI & SKIN: 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.

Food Allergy Tip #2 FOOD TRIAL:  The best way to diagnose a food allergy is food trial on a strict prescription hypoallergenic diet, either a novel protein diet or a hydrolyzed protein prescription diet.

Food Allergy in Bulldog Tip #3 NOVEL DIET:  If you chose a trial with a prescription novel protein I prefer either Alligator or Kangaroo  (i.e. avoid, relatives of chicken like duck and turkey as well as venison, salmon, etc.)

Food Allergy Tip #4 STRICT TRIAL: 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 essentials.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs Tip #5 OTC: If the prescription hypoallergenic diets are too expensive you can try though I don’t recommend one of the OTC diets that are not based on any of the common allergen (soy, corn, chicken, dairy, beef, wheat, fish).

Food Allergy Tip #6 DIET SELECTION: Remember not all bulldogs are the same, one might respond well to one type of hypoallergenic diet and poorly to a different one while the next bulldog puppy may have the opposite result.

Food Allergy Tip #7 HYPOALLERGENIC TREATS: 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.

Food Allergy Tip #8 GRAIN FREE: If you have a food allergy concern and you believe your bully allergies are due to grains, then your grain-free dietary trial should last at least ten weeks. Grain should count for less than once third (<1/3) of the whole diet, the other 2/3 should be in the form of meat-animal-protein, fruit, and vegetables.

Bulldog Food Allergy WARNINGS:

Food Allergy Warning #1 OTHER PETS: During the trial, the duration it is important that your pets don’t share any food items with you or your other pets. If you can’t be certain your dog will not eat your other pets’ diets I suggest you have all your pets on the hypoallergenic diet during the trial duration.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs Warning #2 BLOOD TEST: While blood testing for atopic dogs can be helpful, the same cannot be said for food allergies. The best and preferred diagnostic test for food allergy is a  strict trial on a hypoallergenic diet followed by a challenging food test.

Food AllergyWarning #3 FLAVOR: Remove everything with flavorings like treats and toys. Remove flavored medication, flavored supplements, flea tab, dental paste, supplements, chows, etc.

Food Allergy Warning #4 IBD: Untreated gastrointestinal disease due to food allergy could eventually lead to IBD (inflammatory bile disease)

Food Allergy in Bulldog Warning #5 TESTING: Don’t start the trial until you have completed a comprehensive workup and resolved other ongoing medical issues such as a thyroid problem or gastrointestinal issues (parasitic, etc).

Food Allergy Warning #6 LOW-GRADE DIETS: Lower-grade diets have a higher risk for unwanted adverse effects such as allergies and immune-mediated disease (like IBD) due to the higher possibility of unwholesome elements and contaminants.

Food Allergy in Bulldog Warning #7 SUPPLEMENTS: you should not choose your bully diet based on the advertised and often hyped extra supplements. They are not likely to harm your bully but it’s really more of a marketing ploy than 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.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs Warning #8 CONTAMINANTS: Sometimes food allergies are due to an undetected contaminant within that grain and meat.

“An Ounce Of PREVENTION Is Worth A Pound Of CURE”

Food Allergy in Bulldogs supplements recomended

*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must-read” manual for any current or future bully owners

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