If you own a bulldog, it’s important to know the most common allergies they suffer from. This is especially true during autumn when a new batch of irritants appears.
Bulldogs are known for their loyal companionship. But these pups have unstable health and can quickly get allergic reactions. So, what you feed your dog and how you care for them matters.
Identifying allergies in the fall can help you rush your furry pal to the vet when needed. Getting them the appropriate treatment will also prevent their allergies and skin conditions from affecting their long-term health.
If you’d like to know more about the most common allergies for Bulldogs in the fall, keep reading.
What are Fall Allergies?
Fall allergies usually occur when plants release allergens or pollens into the air.
There are other factors that bulldogs - English bulldogs and French bulldogs included - are prone to, such as food and environmental allergies. However, it's the fall season when they are exposed to inhalant allergies that can cause years of suffering.
Aside from breathing it in, these inhalant allergies also settle within the dog's fur and skin which can cause an allergic reaction. These can build up and make your dog suffer all year long.
Common Symptoms of Fall Allergies in Bulldogs
Here are the most common symptoms of bulldog allergies in the fall season:
- Itchy and irritated skin
- Inflamed skin
- Diarrhea or sensitive stomachs
- Bacterial infections, i.e., ears, eye
- Skin conditions, i.e., bumps
- Hair loss
- Chewing or scratching their skin or feet
- Sneezing or reverse sneezing
- Watery eyes
Types of Fall Season Allergies in Bulldogs
One of the most common bulldog allergies during fall is dust mites. According to Dr. Ashley Rossman, DVM, CVA, "Dust mites are more common than you think. In fact, pets are susceptible to three major airborne allergens: dust mites, molds, and pollen."
A single mite can produce up to 200 times its body weight in waste throughout its lifetime. If left unaddressed, it can quickly accumulate, which triggers those who are sensitive or allergic to mites.
Some common symptoms include excessive licking and scratching, sneezing, coughing, and vomiting, to name a few.
To minimize these allergens in your home, we suggest you upgrade your cleaning game, control indoor temperature and bathe your dog regularly.
Another type of fall allergy in bulldogs is flea bites, tiny parasites that feed off blood and leave little, red raised dots on their skin. These could also hop onto your carpets, furniture, and beds.
Fleas can cause severe itching or scratching. Other allergy symptoms include scabs, hair loss, and biting and chewing at the skin.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the best way to treat flea bites is to call your vet to devise the best flea removal plan. It could take time to kill all the fleas, so prevent your dog from sitting on your furniture in the meantime.
Check out the best dog apparel to protect them from fall season allergies.
Similar to pollen and dust mites, certain types of mold can cause your bulldog to suffer from skin allergies like atopy or atopic dermatitis.
Symptoms include rubbing their face along your carpet, frequently licking paws, excessive scratching all over their body, scratching behind ears, and head shaking.
Contact Allergies to Plants
During the fall season, the wind spreads pollen over long distances. Therefore, bulldogs can have a severe allergic reaction to offending plants like pigweed, sagebrush, lamb's quarters, goldenrod, and curly dock. Some widespread triggers include mold and ragweed.
Other Types of Bulldog Allergies
Apart from fall and other seasonal allergies, here are different types of bulldog allergies that you should know about:
Food Allergies or Food Intolerance
French Bulldogs suffer from food allergies, especially fish, pork, beef, and chicken. Other types of food allergens include soy, dairy, eggs, and in rare cases, wheat.
Another type of food allergy for French bulldogs is food intolerance, where their body does not react well to the food they are eating.
Some signs that your French bulldog has food sensitivity or intolerance are diarrhea or vomiting, chronic upset stomach, paw licking, and itchiness with hair loss around the neck, face, and tail area.
To prevent food allergies, avoid giving them table food and low-quality dog food products. You can also put your bulldog on a hypoallergenic diet trial or a clean plant-based protein source diet to eliminate food allergies.
Due to their overlapping skin folds, bulldogs will often develop skin allergies. This results in skin conditions like allergic dermatitis, bacterial infections, muzzle acne, and folliculitis, leaving their wrinkles itchy and irritated.
Bulldogs experience environmental allergies when they rub against irritants like grass. With their short coats, there is little to protect their skin from irritation. They are also prone to seasonal allergies like pollen.
Another allergy that can live on a dog's skin and direct to skin inflammations is parasitic infections like Demodex or microscopic mites.
Diagnosing Bulldog Allergies in the Fall
If your dog shows unusual symptoms, it's best to schedule an appointment with your trusted vet to evaluate clinical signs. Your vet might begin by doing a complete physical exam on your dog.
Aside from your dog's specific symptoms, other information that your vet will ask for is your dog's behavior, when the allergy symptoms began, and how severe to get a proper diagnosis.
If your bulldog is allergic to a specific food, an elimination diet is the quickest way to find out. The vet will limit animal protein, vegetable protein, or artificial ingredients.
As for environmental allergies, your vet will do a diagnostic test on your beloved bulldog to determine the cause. They may also prescribe antibiotics or probiotics to soothe the symptoms. In addition, they can check for any pests or fleas on your dog's skin.
How to Treat Bulldog Allergies
Here are some key lifestyle changes that can help prevent your dog from getting allergies:
Use a Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
If your bulldog pup suffers from itchy skin, you could try giving them a regular bath using a hypoallergenic shampoo. Regularly bathing them with the special shampoo will calm your dog's skin down and be less irritated.
Try Probiotic and Aller-immune Supplements
Fortunately, probiotic supplements can cure a bulldog's skin issues like itchiness, atopic dermatitis, and hair loss. This supplement can also cure their flatulence and skin conditions. Meanwhile, an Aller-immune supplement can soothe your dog's seasonal allergies.
Add Omega-3 to their Meals
Since dogs can't produce fatty acids on their own, we recommend you add omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil - except during a food trial. Adding this ingredient to your dog's diet improves his immune system and reduces inflammation.
Analyze your Environment
Bulldog parents should check indoor and outdoor spaces for any potential causes. If you're wondering why your French or English Bulldog has allergies, it might be because of environmental allergens in your area.
Wipe your pooch with hypoallergenic wipes after a walk to remove any irritants from their fur and skin.
Use Veterinary Prescriptions
Since your fur baby is dealing with seasonal allergies (which are only temporary), your vet may recommend allergy medications for specific symptoms. These will help your dog get through the fall season. Some remedies you can find are specially formulated to control itching, like mild steroids or antihistamines.
Therapies are available for bulldogs and other dog breeds with more severe allergies. Some examples are desensitization therapy with injections or immunosuppressants, which build up immunity in the dog's system against the fall allergens.
The fall season can be challenging for a beloved dog who suffers from allergies. And finding out your dog's specific allergies can help you find the best medication or treatment that works. After all, a happy pup makes for a very happy owner!