Having a little french bulldog to share your life with is by far the best decision ever! These dogs are so fun, sweet, clever, curious, and silly. HUGE CLOWNS! Who knew such sweetness can be packaged into a little dog? My days are always filled with endless laughter because of Anmitsu.
If you own a Frenchie, however, you are also aware that each year many Frenchies are surrendered when their owners can no longer afford to take care of their allergies and itchiness. In addition to their chronic or intermittent GI disturbances like vomiting and diarrhea. From vet visits, food trials, meds, and shots, the bills can quickly add up! And unfortunately, most pet insurance do NOT cover care related to allergies.
Almost every Frenchie -that I've met- show some signs and symptoms of allergies. In my blog, I have shared Anmitsu's allergies when she was on Victor (dry food-puppy kibble). I think by now everyone knows how I feel about kibble...
The vast majority of commercial pet foods contain fillers like potatoes, grains, and other starches and fibers to help reduce the volume of meat that's added to the food. This makes pet food more economical to produce. Hence, I am against kibble. Even the oven-baked ones. Yes, I went there. (But I like freeze-dried raw)
So while on kibble, Anmitsu developed red bumps under her tummy, redness under her chin, red eyes, and ears. The vet recommended that I switch her to a novel protein and to also wipe her down after she went outside. Her stomach looked similar to this dog's picture...bumpy and bright red:
So our routine quickly changed after the vet visit:
- Quality food. NO MORE KIBBLE! (no fillers, preservatives, hormone and antibiotic-free only, preferably fresh. Takes about 8-weeks to see results from food changes)
- Large bucket to soak her paws after she goes outside (water + vinegar // 3min soak)
-A towel to wipe her body
- Coconut oil to soother her skin (if they are NOT allergic to coconut oil)
- Hypoallergenic shampoo (Nothing fancy)
The vets are usually quick to recommend a hydrolyzed diets to allergic dogs. I personally DISLIKE the diet. Hydrolyzed diets break down the protein in the dog's food so your dog's body does NOT recognize the protein and it tricks the immune system. They are essentially MASKING the problem, not solving it! And I have seen dogs develop more health issues by being on hydrolyzed diets (like my second dog). I do NOT recommend this approach! The dog's body is not actually being returned to health.
What do I like?
My favorite food options are fresh food (which you may need to cook or from one of these brands, such as NomNomNow and Farmer's Dog) or raw diet (from your butcher or food brands, such as Darwin's Pet food)! Most allergies can be alleviated with fresh diet! It may cost a little more to prepare, but you're saving a lot in vet bills.
Anmitsu still has allergies, but it isn't nearly as bad as when she was a puppy. Currently, she is on a all raw diet, which has worked best for her.
I can't emphasize that every dog is DIFFERENT! And you may have to undergo a few trials to find what works the best. But the trouble will be worth it!! If your dog is suffering, I will stay away from kibble and canned food. GO FRESH!
Under her chin (slight redness)
Grass allergies (paw soak after coming inside the house!)