Why Does My French Bulldog Have a Rash? 11 Causes and Treatments

French Bulldogs are not known for being the healthiest dogs out there, which is one of the main reasons they are never recommended for first-time dog owners. Frenchies can be quite a lot to handle, and this shows when it comes to health issues.

Thankfully, rashes are one of the easier problems to handle in frenchies, and you don’t need to worry them as much as you probably think you do.

But why does my French Bulldog have a rash? Your French Bulldog could have rashes as an allergic reaction to foods, environmental allergens, medications, or chemicals they come in contact in. Frenchies can also develop rashes due heat, friction, insect bites, or a bacterial infection like lip-fold pyoderma. Most Rashes are mild short-lived.

So, while you don’t have to panic over the red areas you see in your dog, you still need to learn what causes them and how to treat them, as well to when you should indeed panic and act instantly. In this guide, I’ll explain all of that, so just keep reading…

Why Does My French Bulldog have a rash?

frenchie with a rash to answer why does my french bulldog have a rash

There are many causes why your dog may develop a rash, but you should only really pay attention to the most common ones as those are the ones you are most likely going to encounter. Your Frenchie may also develop rashes anywhere in their bodies.

It’s important to differentiate between rashes and hives, though. Most people think that rashes and hives are the same, but they are not. Hives is a particular form of rash that is accompanied by bumps on the dog’s skin and they are more serious than the common rashes.

Make sure to check out my guide to French Bulldog hives here to learn more about the difference between the two as well the causes and treatments of hives.

Now, let’s identify the most common causes of rashes in Bulldogs.

The 11 Most Common Causes of Rashes in Bulldogs

These are the 11 most common causes of Rashes in french Bulldogs, in no particular order.

  1. Heat, friction, or sunlight
  2. Skin infections
  3. Food Allergies
  4. Environmental Allergies
  5. Inflammatory conditions
  6. Hormonal Imblanaces and endocrine conditions
  7. Genetic abnormalities
  8. Stress or Intense exercise
  9. Allergic Reactions to medications and vaccines (rare)
  10. Toxic chemicals (such as those in cosmetic and cleaning products)
  11. Insect bites and stings

Some of those causes are more common than others, and French Bulldogs are more prone to specific causes of allergies than others, so these are the ones we are going to focus one.

Skin Infections

French Bulldogs are prone to a specific form of skin infection that’s called lip-fold pyoderma. This infection happens when the folds of the skin along the lower jaw are moist most of the time which leads to bacteria and yeast thriving there and causing a red, smelly area that can be uncomfortable or even painful for your dog.

Cuts and injuries can open the door to these infections, and many of your dog’s rashes will be the result of a bacterial, funcgal, or yeast infection. Your dog can also get pyoderma – which translates to pus and skin in greek by the way – as a result of trauma to the skin.

Another common type of skin infecxtions is fungal infections such as yeast or ringworm infections. Fungal infections look a bit different from normal rashes, and here are some of the common symptoms of fungal skin infections:

  • Thickened skin
  • Changes in skin pigmentation
  • Musty smell
  • Itchiness
  • Scaling
  • Crusty or flak skin
  • Chronic ear infections

9 Common Causes of Food Allergies in French Bulldogs

Food allergies are another common cause of rashes in Frenchies. Here are the most common causes of food allergies in French Bulldogs:

  1. Dairy produicts
  2. Beef
  3. Chicken
  4. Corn
  5. Lamb
  6. Soy
  7. Chicken eggs
  8. Certain fishes
  9. Wheat

These foods are the ones known to cause allergic reactions in French Bulldogs as it irritates their immune system and triggers their allergies, and as a result can cause rashes in french Bulldogs

4 Common Causes of Environmental Allergies in French Bulldogs

Along with food allergies and skin infections, environmental allergies is another common cause of rashes and allergic reactions in general in French Bulldogs.

Environmental allergies are very similar to food allergies. When the dog comes into contact with an allergent that doesn’t mix with their genetic makeup, the dog’s antibodies become hypersensitive and they can release an excessive amount of histamine which results in an allergic reaction.

Here are the 4 most common causes of environmental allergies in Frenchies:

  • Animal Dander
  • Mold Spores
  • Dust Mites
  • Airborne pollen

There are others, but these 4 are the usual suspect.

Diagnosing Rashes in French Bulldogs

The first step in diagnosing the rash is to go visit your vet. The vet will do a physical examination and then will ask you about any recent changes in the dog’s diet, environment, or any life changes in general that may have triggered the allergic reaction.

If they are not entirely sure about the cause of the reaction, they may ask for some diagnostic tests that can help them identify the root cause of the issue. However, it’s not always possible to identify the cause of the allergies, and in most cases your vet will actually not be able to pinpoint the allergen that has caused the rash or the reaction.

Rash Treatments in French Bulldogs

In most cases, your dog’s rash will be mild and it will go away on its own. In other cases, your vet will prescripe some medications to treat the root cause of the issue.

For example, if the rash was triggered by a bacterial skin infection, then your dog will be prescibed a course of antibiotics or medicated shampoos. Yeast and other fungal infections will be treated with medicated shampoos and antifungal medications as well.

In other cases, the vet may find your dog’s rash to be the cause of a resistant infection, so the medications course can be different depending on the specific case of your dog and it may take more time for them to heal so you need to be patient.

Depending on your dog’s cause of the rash, other steps may be needed. For example, if the rash has been triggered by a food allergy, you may need to go on an elimination diet to isolate the causative agent or food.

If the dog’s rash has been the result of an environmental allergic reaction, the vet may also ask you to keep your dog inside or away from certain areas or apply over-the-counter ointments to help the scabs or open wounds.

Allergy Immune Supplements worth consideration

Allergy supplements for dogs wil not prevent rashes or allergic reactions completely, but they can minimize their risks and impacts when your dog does get them, so they are still definitely worth consideration.

I’ve used a few of those over the years, but the last one recommended to me by the vet is easily the best one we have tried to dae. The Zesty Paws Allergy immune bites seems to be working great for my dogs and for the dogs of more than 18,000+ people who have given it stellar reviews on Amazon.

They combine both the health benefits of boosting their immune system and promoting a healthy response to allergies and the great taste that my dogs seem to love so much that these are actually some of their favorite treats.

How to prevent Rash in French Bulldogs

While you can’t completely prevent rashes in your french bulldog, or any dog for that matter, you can still take certain precautions that minimize the risk of your dog getting exposed to the things that may trigger their allergic reaction.

Here are some tips that help you with that:

  • A good and consistent grooming routine will keep them clean and bacteria-free
  • Regular check-ups can help your vet identify problems early
  • Avoid using chemicals in your house or garden (such as cleaning products)
  • Don’t let your Frenchie wander on walks as they may end up coming in contact with toxic plants or chemicals
  • Make sure they stay dry, moisture is an easy gateway for bacterial and fungal infections

You should also know that the rash and/or the hives can also cause hair loss. You can learn why your bulldog is losing hair in patches here.

Related Questions

Why Does My French Bulldog have a rash on his belly?

Your French Bulldog may have a rash on his belly as the result of flea, tick, mites, or insect bites or as the result of a fungal or a bacteria infection or as the symptoms of an allergic reaction to foods, environmental allergens, certain chemicals, medications, or – in some rare cases – vaccines. Frenchies can also develop rashes due to heat, friction, sunlight, or too much moisture.

What Can I put on my dog’s skin rash?

You can make a 50/50 mix of water with baking soda to make a blend that can dry out rashes and alleviate their itching. Simply apply this paste to your dog’s skin and then rinse it completely after 20 minutes. You can also add coconut oil to your dog’s skin to make the mix more moisturizing.

What can I put on my Frenchies dry skin?

You can use oatmeal medication shampoos to moisturize your bulldog’s dry skin or homemade mixes with coconut oil or simply coconut oil that’s made for dogs. You can also use Chapstic on your dog’s dry skin – especially over the nose – as it can provide relief but make sure they don’t lick it. You should not put Vaseline on your bulldog’s nose because it has a petroleum jelly ingredient that can upset their stomach.

Helpful Resources

Dog Rashes

Why Does your French Bulldog have hives?

Hives and Rashes in Dogs

Dry Flaky Skin in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Vet-Reviewed post.
This article was edited and reviewed by a vet for the accuracy of the information provided, but it doesn’t and wasn’t meant to replace your own vet.

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