Owning a French Bulldog is a true delight, but it’s important to be aware that this breed can be prone to various allergies. One common concern is chicken; while some French Bulldogs can eat chicken without any issues, others might have allergic reactions. In this article, we’ll dive into why this happens and how to determine if your Frenchie has a chicken allergy.
Are Frenchies Allergic to Chicken?
Yes and no. Some French Bulldogs can safely consume chicken without experiencing any allergic reactions. For instance, our very own Frenchie, Claude, loves chicken and we treat him to it once a week. We usually boil the chicken and mix it in with his regular kibble, as you can see in the photo below.
Some Frenchies can eat chicken – we boil it and add it to our dog’s kibble.
However, it’s worth noting that chicken allergies are quite common among French Bulldogs. If your Frenchie exhibits allergic symptoms after consuming chicken, there’s a good chance that it’s the poultry causing the issue. Additionally, keep in mind that chicken is a common ingredient in many dog foods, including kibble, wet food, and treats. So, your Frenchie may be inadvertently consuming chicken without your knowledge.
Why are Some Frenchies Allergic to Chicken?
Food allergies in French Bulldogs typically develop when their immune system becomes sensitive to specific types of food. Poultry, including chicken, has a higher likelihood of triggering allergic reactions in some Frenchies. However, it’s important to understand that not all French Bulldogs will have this sensitivity.
If your Frenchie’s immune system does react negatively to chicken, they may experience a range of allergy symptoms, which we’ll discuss further below. It’s worth noting that the more chicken your Frenchie consumes, the more severe their allergic reactions may become over time.
Are All French Bulldogs Allergic to Chicken?
No, not all French Bulldogs will be allergic to chicken. Our Frenchie Claude, for instance, has no problem with chicken and absolutely adores it. However, some French Bulldogs may be allergic due to genetic factors. It’s possible for the allergy to be inherited from their parents. Additionally, Frenchies can develop an allergy to chicken at any point in their life, even if they’ve been consuming it for years without issues.
Our Frenchie is currently fine with chicken, but allergies can develop as he gets older.
How to Identify a Chicken Allergy in Your Frenchie
If you suspect that chicken might be causing an allergy in your French Bulldog, there are certain symptoms to look out for. These include:
- Bald patches of skin
- Dry and itchy skin
- Ear infections and inflammation
- Excessive licking or scratching, especially near the ears, face, and paws
- Hot spots
- Skin infections
If your Frenchie experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult a vet for a proper diagnosis and guidance.
Handy Hint: Not all ear scratching indicates an allergy. Check out our list of 9 other reasons why French Bulldogs might scratch their ears.
How Veterinarians Treat Chicken Allergies
According to the experts at Willows Vets in the UK, the most reliable way to diagnose a chicken allergy in a French Bulldog is through a dietary trial lasting six to eight weeks. During this trial, all food items containing chicken are eliminated from your Frenchie’s diet, and a completely new and novel diet is introduced. If there’s a noticeable improvement in your Frenchie’s symptoms by the end of the trial, it’s likely that they have a chicken allergy.
At this point, reintroducing chicken back into your Frenchie’s diet can help confirm the allergy if an allergic reaction occurs.
Insights from Social Media
To gather more insights on French Bulldogs and their relationship with chicken, I scoured various social media forums. Here are some relevant comments from other Frenchie owners:
- “Our French Bulldog developed itching and licking his paws after being on a raw chicken diet for a week. We suspect he’s allergic to chicken, so we’re considering switching to a different raw diet.”
- “We had a similar issue with our girl. Beef, chicken, and pork triggered severe allergies. Switching her to raw duck resolved the problem.”
- “In my experience, I don’t recommend feeding French Bulldogs chicken as it often causes allergies. My two Frenchies used to experience intense itching after consuming feathered meats.”
- “To avoid allergies, stick to game meats. Chicken and turkey can sometimes trigger allergies due to the grain in their feed, not the meat itself.”
- “Our Frenchie, Boris, immediately starts chewing and licking his paws whenever he has poultry-based food. Surprisingly, many beef, lamb, and fish dog food varieties also contain poultry, so your Frenchie might be unknowingly consuming chicken!”
Can French Bulldogs Safely Eat Chicken?
If your Frenchie isn’t among the unlucky ones with a chicken allergy, chicken can actually be a healthy and nutritious addition to their diet. Our Claude, for example, loves his weekly boiled chicken treat.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Avoid feeding chicken on the bone, as bones can splinter and pose a choking hazard or cause internal injuries.
- Be cautious with raw chicken, as it carries a risk of salmonella or bacterial infections. While many Frenchie owners are comfortable feeding their dogs a raw diet, proper knowledge and precautions are essential.
- Some veterinarians recommend boiled chicken and rice as an excellent meal option for dogs with upset stomachs. We personally opt for this when Claude isn’t feeling well.
The key takeaway here is that, apart from potential allergies affecting a small percentage of French Bulldogs, chicken can be a beneficial part of their diet. It provides protein, Omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, and amino acids for bone development. However, if your Frenchie does have a chicken allergy, it’s best to avoid it.
Can French Bulldogs Eat Chicken Leg Bones?
Cooked chicken bones are more hazardous than raw ones. When cooked, chicken leg bones become brittle and can splinter when chewed by your Frenchie. These broken bones can injure your dog’s gums, get stuck in their teeth, or even lead to choking, internal punctures, and fatal situations.
If your Frenchie ingests a chicken bone, follow these guidelines from PetMd.com:
- Call a vet immediately if the bone is stuck in your Frenchie’s airway or upper intestinal tract.
- If the bone is visible in your Frenchie’s mouth or throat, try to remove it carefully without further stressing your dog or risking injury to yourself.
- If your Frenchie shows any symptoms after consuming a chicken bone, seek veterinary attention promptly.
Raw bones, on the other hand, are generally safer for Frenchies to enjoy. When raw, bones are softer and more flexible, making them easier to chew and digest. Nevertheless, I personally advise against giving your Frenchie any chicken bones to mitigate potential risks.
Every French Bulldog is unique, and their reactions to chicken can vary. While chicken is known to be a common allergen, not all Frenchies are affected. If you want to learn more about food allergies in French Bulldogs, including comprehensive symptoms, I recommend reading our post on the subject.
If you want to play it safe and avoid any potential chicken allergies altogether, refrain from feeding chicken to your Frenchie. To ensure their diet remains healthy and balanced, consider incorporating alternative, safe options. Check out our lists of healthy and safe vegetables and fruits for French Bulldogs.
Lastly, I’d like to draw your attention to an article I recently published, which highlights the most dangerous foods for French Bulldogs. It would be wise to print it out and keep it on display in your kitchen, as you never know when it might come in handy.
Remember, the happiness and well-being of your Frenchie should always be your top priority!