How to improve French Bulldog skin conditions naturally

How can you not love French Bulldogs? Their squishy face, larger-than-life personality, and constant farts make the perfect cuddly companion. But, as many Frenchie pawrents will know, they’re prone to skin conditions.

French Bulldog dermatitis isn’t too different to human dermatitis. In both cases, it’s the body’s way of dealing with something it doesn’t like and trying to get back to normal. And the symptoms are the same too: redness, itching, sores, dry and flaky skin, and hot spots on the skin.

If you’ve ever experienced something like that, you know how much of a pain it can be. So imagine what it’s like for your pup who doesn’t realise why it’s happening. But where do they come from? While there can be multiple causes, food allergies and environmental factors are a good place to start looking.

Before we get into it, if you think your Frenchie has allergies or a skin condition, it’s always worth talking to the vet about an allergy test. Most will be confident that the allergen is atopic (something that they’re coming into contact with on the outside), but it could very well be diet affecting them too. 

Is there anything else you can do to help? Any prescribed medicine will work wonders, but there are some natural changes you can make at home that could make all the difference.

French Bulldog skin conditions

The key symptoms to look out for if you think your Frenchie has an allergy to food are vomiting and diarrhoea. But topical reactions, such as itchy skin, are common too. Keep an eye out for behaviour changes like obsessive licking, bald patches, red skin, crusty sores, hives, changes in energy, and paw biting.

French Bulldog skin conditions

A Frenchie with symptoms of an allergy. Image courtesy of French Bulldog World @ Facebook.

But what could they be allergic to?

Like humans, doggos can be allergic to pretty much anything, including what they eat. It’s important to know exactly what’s in dog food so you can monitor how their body reacts and adjust their diet accordingly. 

But before you jump to the conclusion that X or Y ingredient is causing their allergies, let’s look at some of the most common allergens in French Bulldogs. 

French Bulldog allergens

There are some ingredients in particular that Frenchies are regularly allergic to. This includes chicken, beef, fish, lamb, dairy products, eggs, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, additives, and colourings.

Most of these allergens are sources of protein. So it’s simple enough to switch your pup to a different one; it could make a huge difference to their skin. Or you might decide to go down the route of hypoallergenic dog food.

George struggled with a similar problem. While not a Frenchie, he’s half Shar-Pei, a breed that’s prone to skin irritation. His main symptom was constant scratching. But when I stopped feeding him chicken, the scratching stopped. He didn’t even need to take the Apoquel that the vet recommended.

Changing their protein should be the first step when trying to determine their food allergy. But it’s important to make the transition slowly, so as to not disrupt their digestive system, which can just make symptoms worse.

Another route you might want to try is dog foods containing minimal ingredients. Dogs have sensitive systems and food with a list of ingredients a mile long can complicate digestion. And gut health is everything. It influences every part of them. So an irritated gut will only make their skin worse. Food with fewer ingredients is much easier for your pup to digest, which could help alleviate those skin problems.

Environmental allergies

Sadly, many dogs have environmental allergies like dust, grass, dust mites, mould, pollen, and cedar. And if your Frenchie has a food allergy, there’s a good chance they’ll have an environmental allergy too.

The key symptoms to look out for here include sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and discharge from their eyes or nose.

French Bulldog skin conditions

A Frenchie with dermatitis on their paws. Image courtesy of French Bulldog World @ Facebook.

Itchy feet are another common issue since they often come into contact with potential allergens. So how can we help this naturally? For itchy feet, it might be a good idea to try raw apple cider vinegar. Mix two parts apple cider vinegar with one part water and soak your Frenchie’s feet in the mixture for five minutes. When the five minutes are up, pat them dry and send them on their way. Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that could help soothe their itchy paws.

Or, if your pup is itchy all over, you can give them an apple cider vinegar rinse at bath time. After shampooing, pour a mixture of half a cup of apple cider vinegar, half a cup of cool green tea, and one cup of water over their body, then pat dry. Wiping them down with a damp cloth after walks can help reduce irritation too. Focus on their face, armpits, stomach, and paws.

Something fishy

Another option is to try them on some fish. Fish is packed with Omega-3, and research shows that this can help control allergy-related inflammation. Not only that, Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of your pup’s diet and play a key role in maintaining optimal health. It controls the immune system, helps maintain healthy skin and coat, and can even help with reducing anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity.

You also might want to look into quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory qualities that works as an antihistamine. It’s usually found in green leafy vegetables, apples, and bananas. These foods are considered generally safe for dogs and are easy to add to their diet.

Dealing with French Bulldog skin conditions can be frustrating. And while medicine will definitely help improve your Frenchie’s health, it doesn’t address the root of the problem. Making changes to your pup’s diet or directly dealing with any environmental allergies could help clear up any issues.

If you’re looking for a clean, natural hypoallergenic kibble to help ease your Frenchie’s symptoms, you’re in the right place. Swagwags kibble is free of any nasties and is designed for pups with allergies, intolerances, and sensitive skin and digestion. For a guaranteed wag of approval, buy our kibble today.

And if you’re ever concerned about potential allergies, take one of our sensitivity tests. It’s non-invasive and takes 5 minutes to do – a small price for perfect pup health!