Nothing is more disheartening than watching your furry best friend struggle with health issues, like chronic food or environmental allergies. It can feel overwhelming and bewildering trying to narrow down the cause of your English Bulldog’s allergies. In addition, you then must find food that is fully balanced and nutritional food to support your pup and their allergies.
What are the best food options for English Bulldogs with allergies? While food allergies vary dog to dog, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to the 10 best food options for English Bulldogs with allergies. These foods typically fall into one of these categories: grain-free, poultry free, or scientifically backed.
If you happen to have a bulldog that doesn’t have any allergies, then check out our top picks for bulldog wet food. The pet industry is certainly inundated with various pet food diets, and we hope that our top picks will help narrow down your options and give you a starting point that you feel confident and hopeful about!
Most Common Allergies for English Bulldogs
Getting allergy tests for your dog can be insanely expensive. At the same time, having to switch foods every month is not cheap either. Fortunately, there are some common food allergies that English Bulldogs encounter within the breed that you can start to eliminate with the intention to find the source of your pet’s personal food allergies. Here are some of the most common food allergies for English Bulldogs:
- Poultry (chicken, duck, sometimes turkey)
- Feed Grade Grains (wheat or rice that is not human grade)
- Artificial preservatives
- Artificial seasonings
Look at your pet’s food bags and read the ingredients carefully. As you change their food, you’ll want to try to stay away from similar grains and proteins as listed in their current food. If they currently enjoy a turkey and carrot recipe, steer clear of poultry or carrots by switching to a fish-based diet.
What is the Difference Between Feed Grade and Human Grade?
Feed grade pet food is food that is essentially sourced from scraps and meat/veggie/grain products that have been deemed not fit for human consumption. So, when your pet’s food does not state “human-grade food,” that means your pet’s food is feed-grade.
Human grade food is USDA approved for human consumption. There are pet foods that use human-grade foods. We suggest trying to stick to this type of pet foods for optimal health for your pups.
The Best Wet Food for English Bulldogs with Allergies
1. JustFoodForDogs – Beef & Russet Potato Diet
If there’s one thing JustFoodForDogs does above all other dog food companies, it is that they ensure your dog’s food is all human-grade food. They even have local kitchens around the U.S that you can attend to see them making the food in person. If you ever get to see one… you’ll see real meat and real vegetables. (And if you can’t see their kitchen in action, check out this video.)
When they cook their Turkey & Macaroni diet, it smells like pasta. Not only that, but all JFFD’s foods have been passed by 10 different vets on staff, and their diets underwent third-party testing, which proved their food improved K9 health after just six months of a dog switching to their food.
Their Beef & Russet Potato diet is a good choice for English bulldogs to try since chicken and grain are such common allergies amongst bulldogs.
- Human Grade Food – as we mentioned, their food is 100% human-grade, meaning you can chow down on it alongside your dog. Their venison and lamb are shipped in from New Zealand. Their vegetables are sourced from a company called Shamrock, which provides vegetables to restaurants in multiple states.
- Good for Big Breeds – this particular diet made of beef and potatoes is excellent for medium-large size breeds because you don’t have to feed as much as its high in protein, carbs, and fat for your pup to have the ideal amount of nutrients and energy.
- No Preservatives – the JFFD Beef & Russet Potato diet is made through TetraPack technology, which means the food inside is fresh. The technology of TetraPacks ensures that food can be preserved without the use of preservatives. It is what most Trader Joes perishables are in, if you ever get curious, look on the bottom of their soup boxes.
- No Grain or Poultry – this diet might be right for your English Bulldog because it is grain-free and chicken free. It is also real food, with no added ingredients or preservatives aside from what’s on the label (which is literally all of six ingredients.)
- Cost – with quality ingredients come higher prices. JFFD food can veer on expensive, especially for pet owners with medium-large size breeds.
Weruva is a great family-owned company operated by David and Stacie Forman (proud pet parents to both dogs and cats.) They stress the importance of hydration in their food; therefore, all their foods are wet foods. The products are also all grain, gluten, and carrageenan free. The meat products are also all ethically sourced (grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken, dolphin-safe and wild-caught tuna.)
Their Lamburgini pouch comes with lamb and pumpkin au jus. Their Double Dip pouch contains beef and wild-caught salmon au jus. The prices range from under $20 to almost $40, depending on whether you and your pup prefer the pouches or the cans.
- Palatability – most k9 customers were pleased with the taste, aroma, and flavor-options of the Weruva brand
- Non-BPA Pouches – these multi-flavor pouches come with the promise that they are 100% BPA free! No weird hormones or plastic chemicals will leech into your pup’s food.
- Made in Human Food Facilities – Weruva food is made in human facilities and abides by the strictest B.R.C standards for foods.
- Added Vitamins and Minerals – these Weruva diets come fully-balanced with a vitamin/mineral mix that is combined in with the food at the end of the cooking process.
- Minimally Processed – Weruva food is free of grain, gluten, MSG, carrageenan, corn, soy, wheat, and artificial colors and preservatives.
- Ethically Sourced Ingredients – Weruva does not purchase their meats from farm-raised companies. They only purchase raw ingredients that are ethically raised: cage-free chickens, grass-fed beef & lamb, and wild-caught fish.
- Not Made in the U.S – While Weruva’s meats may be eco-friendly, they are made in a human-grade meat factory in Thailand. This is a strike for some customers who prefer the ingredients in their dog’s foods to be sourced closer to home.
- Inconsistency – Many customers reported that while their pets normally gobble the food right up, that some batches of food have been inconsistent in taste and texture, causing the dogs to then turn their noses up at food they normally enjoy.
This is another U.S based company, whose food is made in the USA. AvoDerm specializes in food for the skin and other sensitive issues, touting their special ingredient of avocado oil and avocado meal. They are widely found in retailers, so if they run out online, it is likely you could run down to the nearest pet food store and be able to find some AvoDerm.
- Skin Benefits – one of the perks of AvoDerm is the presence of avocado oil. Avocado oil contains vitamin E and naturally occurring Omega 3 fatty acids, which aid in decreasing inflammation. This is especially beneficial for dogs with joint issues and dogs with skin issues (such as allergies).
- Minimally Processed – AvoDerm products do not contain wheat, corn, or say. They also do not contain by-products or artificial flavors.
- Cost-Effective – as compared to the other fresh food options, AvoDerm packs come with twelve 13-ounce cans for under $25.
- Lamb as Protein Choice: Lamb is a good protein option for English Bulldogs with allergies because it can fall into the category of ‘novel’ protein. This means not all dogs have eaten lamb. Therefore, they are less likely to have an allergic reaction to it.
- Benefits for Senior Dogs – the AvoDerm lamb diet helps joint health with the presence of the Omega 3 fatty acids, and is also lower in protein, which is good for senior dogs, as their kidneys are less able to process high-protein as they get older.
- Customers Wary of Avocado Ingredients: the presence of avocado meal and avocado oils has some customers on edge because the flesh of an avocado is poisonous to dogs. However, the avocado oils and meal (which is the flesh that has been dehydrated and ground up) have been proven to be safe for dogs. Some customers were rather wary of feeding it to their allergic pups.
- Preservatives Present: AvoDerm does use a few preservatives to keep the food ‘ready-to-eat.’ This is a knock for customers whose dogs have very sensitive digestive tracts and a plethora of allergies. Preservatives can act as another reactant for allergies.
Honest Kitchen is a highly rated and respected dog food brand that promises human-grade ingredients. Unlike JFFD, whose food is fresh inside the tetra pack, Honest Kitchen is freeze-dried human-grade food. That means moisture must be added to the meal before consumption. Despite this, Honest Kitchen diets are a supremely healthy option for dogs as their diets are limited in ingredients (meaning no weird additives or preservatives), and they are also easy to travel with (since they are not a liquid-based food).
- Grain-Free: this is important, especially for allergy-prone English Bulldogs, as grain (especially feed-grade grain is a large source of allergies.
- Made in the U.S.A – Honest Kitchen makes all their diets in a human-grade food processing facility in the U.S.
- Human Grade Ingredients – Honest Kitchen only uses human-grade ingredients, no feed-grade ingredients in their food. This alone will help ease allergies, as you’re eliminating the possibility of food contaminants that can be present in feed-grade foods.
- Easy to Travel With – the freeze-dried aspect of these dehydrated diets means you can easily travel with this type of food, ensuring your dog doesn’t have to endure a food they might be allergic to when not at home.
- Fish and Coconut good for Allergies – this diet of fish and coconut is excellent for English Bulldogs with allergies. The high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids will aid skin health, and often fish is a good protein option when a dog is allergic to poultry or other proteins. Fish and coconut are also very gentle on tummies and G.I tracts.
- The Process of Adding Moisture – some customers found the process of having to add moisture (i.e., water or broth) to the food rather tiresome.
- Pricey – buying human-grade, dehydrated food for your dog is not cheap. These Honest Kitchen meals can cost anywhere between $30 for a pack of 12 1.75 ounce packs to over $100 for 10-pound packs (which they claim is equivalent to 40 pounds of food).
The Best Grain-Free Kibble for English Bulldogs with Allergies
Natural Balance has been around for a while and is a reputable, solid company. They have created grain-free kibble options that are high in protein and tasty. These kibbles come in different protein and carb options that might be preferable to a dog with allergies or tummy sensitivities.
- Cost-Effective – Natural Balance kibble may be one of the most cost-effective ways to feed your pup, especially for medium-large breeds. Price ranges from under $20 for a 4.5 pound bag all the way up to $50 for a 26 pound bag
- Two Allergy-Friendly Diets – The Sweet Potato & Fish diet, as well as the Venison & Potato diets, are both allergy-friendly diets. They do not contain poultry or grain, which are two of the most common allergies found in English Bulldogs.
- Limited Ingredients – Natural balance uses a smaller list of ingredients than most competing kibbles.
- No Artificial Flavors or Coloring – These diets also promise no use of artificial flavors or coloring.
- Feed-Grade Ingredients – one of the biggest knocks on Natural Balance is that they do not use human-grade ingredients. Therefore, your dog’s food comes from feed-grade foods, which could contain contaminants, mites, or mold (not so good for allergies.)
- Lacks Moisture – another thing that helps dogs to recover from allergies is having high levels of moisture in their food. Unfortunately, Kibble is as low moisture as it can get.
Nulo is a hot new brand with both kibble and wet food options. Their adult salmon kibble is an excellent option for English Bulldogs suffering from food or environmental allergies. Nulo promises no sneaky egg or poultry in their kibble (you’d be surprised how many companies sneak in chicken or egg meal into a diet that is supposed to be non-poultry.)
- Grain-Free – As we well know, feed grade grain is a common allergy for pups. Nulo’s diets are all 100% grain-free for this reason.
- No Sneaky Ingredients – As we mentioned, Nulo does not add in egg or poultry to their non-poultry diets, aware that even the slightest presence of poultry could set of reactions to a pup who is allergic. Therefore, the salmon recipe guarantees there won’t be other proteins present aside from the salmon, to help eliminate the likelihood of allergic outbreaks.
- Palatability – customers reported high palatability levels, saying that their dogs love the taste, over other leading brand kibbles.
- Salmon Recipe Good for Allergies – many customers who have pups with allergies reported their dog’s allergies began to clear once on this diet. The salmon is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and is also high in protein (a good match for English Bulldogs.)
- Made in the U.S.A – All of the ingredients, salmon, turkey, lamb, etc. are all made in the United States.
- Pricier Kibble Option – Unlike Natural Balance, this Nulo kibble will be a little on the pricey side for a kibble. It’s about $20 more expensive than other brands. A 24-pound bag is around $70.
- Feed Grade Ingredients – Nulo does not promise human-grade ingredients in their foods, which is, of course, a knock for doggies with allergies, as it can’t control for unwanted contaminants or molds if the food is not human grade.
The Best Supplements for English Bulldogs with Allergies
This is a human-grade supplement that contains pure Olive Leaf Extract. The olive leaf is a naturally occurring anti-viral and anti-fungal, meaning this natural supplement can help to zap your pup’s allergies from the inside out, using zero artificial ingredients or strong medications. They are vet-approved and have a high success rating.
- Human Grade, All Natural – olive leaf is a natural product, and this kind of olive leaf is 100% fit for human consumption. In fact, some customers reported taking it when they felt a cold coming on!
- Naturally Boosts Immune System – Oleuropein is found inside the olive leaf and is the property inside the leaf that has strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal agents to protect your pups!
- Vet Developed & Approved – this is a custom formula designed by veterinarians and toxicologists.
- Expensive – while one bottle comes with 60 pills (which can last anywhere between one to two months depending on the weight of your pup), the Skin & Allergy supplement from JFFD is on the expensive side. Especially if your dog ends up needing to take the supplement on a regular basis. It runs between $30-40 per bottle.
This is another company whose product is made in the USA. They are very sensitive to the fact that dogs have allergies and no way to treat those allergies themselves. Therefore, they have a great supplement selection for allergic pups! These supplements help heal your pup from the inside out, using ingredients like Turmeric and Colostrum. These are good for dogs with standard allergies as well as pups who are suffering from ear infections.
- Rave Customer Reviews: This all-natural allergy supplement for pups has amassed thousands of rave reviews from customers who saw their dog’s allergies absolutely disappear after taking these. People who were previously giving their dogs allergy shots were able to stop the shots altogether and just simply use these supplements to curb the allergic flare-ups! Pretty incredible.
- Helps Improve GI Tract – something other allergy supplements don’t do is aid in the digestive tract. The addition of probiotics in this allergy blend help to not only alleviate allergy symptoms in dogs but also to aid proper digestive functioning as well. This helps to improve allergies and overall health as it ensures nutrients are being absorbed into the body.
- Relief from Itchy Skin – the presence of salmon oils (omega 3 fatty acids) aids in itch relief for pups who can’t stop itching from their allergies. Whether food or environmental.
- Limited Ingredients – these supplements are free from wheat, corn, preservatives, and GMOs. There are no synthetic ingredients.
- Smelly – Luckily, you won’t be eating these pills yourself because they smell very strongly of fish.
The Best Treats for English Bulldogs with Allergies
Started by fellow pet parents who wanted to ensure their furry besties stayed “zesty,” this dog food company has found new and innovative ways to bring nutrients and supplements to your pups. Their products are made with high-quality ingredients and only pair with top-rated pet food brands to source their ingredients. These aller-immune chews are a great solution for an English Bulldog pup with allergies since bulldogs can be picky about pills.
- Boosts the Immune System – These are grain-free chewables that help support the immunities, fight histamines, and help with digestive health.
- Contains Important Vitamins – these chewables contain probiotics, prebiotics, wild Alaskan salmon oil, EpiCor (protein, fiber, antioxidants).
- Strands in Chews – some customers reported finding “hair-like” fibers in the chews. Fortunately, the fibers are just part of the lamb meal since meat contains fibers. However, it is nonetheless a little gross looking.
- Chew Size – some customers complained that their dogs took issue with the size of the chewable tablet. This isn’t as much an issue with larger dogs.
These freeze-dried salmon treats are incredibly popular and offer great benefits to pups who suffer from allergies. Salmon treats are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, and these freeze-dried treats are great because they are not oily. Fish is also a great alternative for English Bulldogs since so many treats are traditionally chicken, turkey, or duck based (and many dogs have poultry allergies.)
- Human Grade – we love that these treats are 100% human-grade salmon! Which means bulldog and owner can chow down on these!
- Packed Full of Vitamins to Benefit Skin – These snacks are packed with Omega 3, Omega 6, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B12, and vitamin D.
- Money-Back Guarantee – if you and your pup aren’t happy with the quality of these treats, IM K9 brand offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Made in the U.S.A – the salmon used for these treats are wild-caught and ethically sourced, and the treats are made in a human-grade facility in the United States.
- Dusty & Crumbly – It could be due to packaging and delivery; however, some customers reported the snacks were rather crunched up, and some of them had obviously been ground to dust through friction, laying in crumbles at the bottom of the bag.
- Few Treats in Bag – another problem customers reported was that it felt like there were not nearly enough treats per bag, considering the cost of the treats.
Food Transitions for Allergic Pups
Unlike cats who require no food transitioning (you can place new food in front of them, no need to wean them off the other food), dogs do need food transitioning, especially when transitioning from only dry food to wet or raw foods. The general rule is a seven-day transition.
Days 1-2 you combine 75% old food with 25% new food
Days 2-4 you combine 50% old food with 50% new food
Days 4-7 you combine 25% old food with 75% new food
Day 7 cut out old food entirely and feed 100% of the new food.
The Key Take Away?
No two dogs and their allergies are the same, even if they are the same breed. It is important to pay close attention to your pups while you transition them from their old food to their new food. If you can’t afford proper allergy testing, keep a journal to log allergic symptoms (tear stains, licking or chewing paws, red or balding spots in fur).
Any of the mentioned diets, supplements, and treats are a great place to start when trying to switch your English Bulldog over to a diet that will eliminate allergic reactions. Remember to be patient! Often you won’t see a real change until 2 weeks after the switch occurs.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.