Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs leading to gastrointestinal problems are not as common as you might think,  the digestive gastrointestinal problems are often due to other problems such as parasites, viral, bacteria, bulldog indiscretion eating.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs


Remember, food allergy can present as a GI problem but more commonly as SKIN & EAR itch problem (Bulldog Atopic Itch Dermatitis)

Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PRESENTATION:


Milder forms of your bulldog food allergy could present with just frequent rumbling and gas release (yes that kind of gas, the one everyone turns his/her nose away from).


Moderate cases might suffer from



In some cases, food allergies could progress to more serious digestive medical conditions such as Bulldog and French Bulldog IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TREATMENT: 


Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French bulldogs that lead to digestive problems can be treated with a hypoallergenic elimination prescription diet. It can be either a novel protein diet of a single source such as Kangaroo, or a hydrolyzed protein diet with a single low allergen carbohydrate source. The protein source should be predominantly from an animal meat source but there are also vegetarian options.

A minimum of 2-3 weeks trial with a hypoallergenic prescirption diet is advised. 


Food Allergy in Bulldogs NOVEL PROTEIN:

A protein source that is not commonly found in bully diets, one that your bulldog and French bulldog have never been exposed to before.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs HYDROLYZED PROTEIN DIET:

A prescription hydrolyzed protein diet is made on an assembly line that was cleaned/sterilized from other proteins (diets).

Hydrolization of the proteins changes them in such ways that they are less likely to be detected by your bully immune system and thus less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

Food Allergy in Bulldogs PURIFIED AMINO ACID DIET

Purina EL is a prescription amino acid-based enteral diet, built with purified amino acids and is ideal for use in elimination diet trials.


A hypoallergenic homemade diet should be supervised by a veterinary certified nutritionist


If by the end of the trial period your bulldog or French bulldog’s digestive problems are greatly improved I recommend that you reintroduce your previous diet as a diagnostic challenge (i.e. “challenge test”). If your bulldog’s previous indigestion clinical problems re-emerge with the older diet then you could be highly confident your bulldog has a food allergy.

Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MYTH vs. FACT


Bulldog Grain-Free MYTH:

Many bulldogs and French bulldog owners associate food allergy with grain.

Bulldog Grain-Free FACT:

In fact, bulldog food allergy is usually not due to dietary grains but rather due to the protein source found in meat.

The most common allergens are:

  • CHICKEN (60%)
  • BEEF
  • FISH

Also, on the frequent food allergens shortlist are

  • CORN
  • SOY
  • WHET

To read more about The Myth of Grain-Free Diets and Bulldogs and French Bulldog(“Non-Grain Diets”, “Low-Grain Diets”)



Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Skin dermatitis

 Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS


Bulldog food allergy tip #1 “ITCH ATOPIC DERMATITIS”: food allergy should be on top of your rule-out list if your bulldog is suffering from year-round itching and/or otitis (i.e. ear infections) in addition to a GI problem.

Bulldog food allergy tip #2 FOOD TRIAL: The best way to diagnose bulldog and French bulldog food allergy is a minimum 2-3 week food trial on a strict prescription hypoallergenic diet of either a novel protein diet or a hydrolyzed protein or purified amino acid prescription diet.

Bulldog food allergy tip #3 “NOVEL”: If you chose a trial with a prescription novel protein diet instead of a hydrolyzed one then I prefer either rabbit or kangaroo.

Avoid, relatives of chicken like duck and turkey as well as venison, bison, fish, and salmon they all have been mixed into common commercial diets and will cross-react, thus not suitable for the trial.

Bulldog food allergy tip #4 “OBJECTIVE”: 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).

Bulldog food allergy tip#5 “$$$”:  if the RX hypoallergenic diets are too expensive, you can try one of the OTC diets that are not based on any of the common allergens (soy, corn, chicken, dairy, beef, wheat, fish).

Bulldog food allergy tip #6 “DURATION”: If your bulldog is showing no improvement after 2-3 weeks on a 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.

Bulldog food allergy tip #7 “TREATS”: For those of you who can’t survive the trial duration without giving your bully treats, don’t despair. Those diets are also available in cans which could be used to give Rx “meatball-pill-pocket” treats.

Most prescription hypoallergenic diets offer hypoallergenic treats

Bulldog food allergy tip #8 “GRAIN-FREE”: 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 2-3 weeks (8-10 weeks for bully skin allergic dermatitis due to food allergy).

Bulldog food allergy tip #9 SUPPLEMENTS: As a rule, there are not enough supplements in pure bioavailable dosage to therapeutically impact a medical condition in those diets’ daily feeding recommendations.Food Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Suppluments

I recommend that supplements are to be given separately as a standalone treatment.

To learn more “CLICK HERE”


Bulldog food allergy warning #1 “GRAIN”: 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.

Bulldog food allergy warning#2″BLOOD TEST”: While blood testing for bulldogs and French bulldog 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 NOT a blood test but a 2-3  weeks hypoallergenic prescription diet trial

Bulldog food allergy warning #3 (in contrast, food allergy trials for bulldog Skin allergy should last 8-10 weeks).

Bulldog food allergy warning #4 “DIETS MIXED w/ SUPPLEMENTS”: Don’t select your bulldog and French bulldog diet based on the advertised and often hyped label ” extra supplements ” boosting.

Supplements that are mixed into formulated diets are not likely to harm your bully but it’s really more of a marketing and pricing ploy than real value. The most popular supplements advertised on bully diets are fish oil (omega 3 and 6), glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and probiotics (the exception  would  be  RX-diets)

Bulldog food allergy warning #5 “FOOD 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/and other common gastrointestinal diseases (i.e. parasitic, viral, bacteria, etc).

Bulldog food allergy warning #6 “LOW-GRADE DIETS”: 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.

Bulldog food allergy warning#7 “OTHER PET”: 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.

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

bulldog food allergy

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


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