French Bulldog Hives-The guide to hives

French bulldog hives

French Bulldogs are a wonderful, fun, and loving dog breed but they are also a breed that has one of the highest predispositions to developing genetic or environmental allergies. French bulldog hives.

These allergies tend to create a range of uncomfortable symptoms for Frenchies including respiratory issues, sneezing, rashes, and lethary. But the most common symptom of allergies ranging from mild to severe will be easily seen as hives.

In this article, we will discuss the effect of hives on French Bulldogs, go over the causes and treatments and share some valuable knowledge on how to prevent your Frenchie from developing hives so you can ensure your pooch stays happy and healthy!

What Are Hives?

Hives, scientifically known as urticaria, are the most common sign of allergies, both in humans and dogs.

Vets and reputable pet health websites describe hives simply as red bumps that appear raised on a dog’s skin. Hives resemble welts on the skin and can range from 5mm to a few cm in size.

Hives will generally appear quickly after a dog has been exposed to an irritating allergin. Sometimes high amounts of hives densely packed can join together on the skin and resemble a rash.

Hives around the face and throat can also cause swelling around the eyes, nose, and airways and in severe cases restrict breathing. Frenchies are more prone to being affected by facial hives severely due to their short snouts already creating restricted breathing space.

Causes Of Hives In French Bulldogs

Hives can be caused by a wide range of irritants and it can sometimes be hard to figure out the exact cause. Pay close attention to your pup’s skins to see when hives arise to help you solve the mystery.

Let’s go over the most common causes of Hives with French Bulldogs.

Food Allergy

This is the most common cause of random and reoccurring hives. Many traditional dog foods contain an array of ingredients that are common allergins. This may include different meats, corn, grains, dairy and eggs.

These ingredients can all be allergins depending on your Frenchies genetics.

Reaction To An Outdoor Allergin

The great outdoors is full of things that can potentially be harmful while out walking your French Bulldog, Some environmental allergies include:

  • plants e.g poison ivy
  • dust
  • pollen
  • grass
  • mould spores

If hives come on after an outdoor adventure then it may have been an environmental irritant that caused them,

Insect Bite/Sting

Frenchies can be quite prone to be attacked by insects due to their skin being more accessible with short fur and open ears. Insects bites and stings can bring on an allergic reaction that causes an outbreak of hives.

Regularly treat your backyard areas for pests to ensure no nests or hives are nearby that may be a risk to both you and your dog.


Chemicals are in everything these days and for more sensitive skin they can be extremely irritating. Certain chemicals in your dog’s shampoo, your household cleaning products, or even your laundry powder may be irritating to your French Bulldogs’ skin.

Treating Hives 

If hives do appear on your Frenchie, don’t panic, they can be easily treated at home.

It’s vital to note that hives on the face or throat can be life-threatening due to restricted airways and in this case, you should take your Bulldog to the vet immediately.

Hive treatments:

  • Bathing – hypoallergenic shampoos with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe or lavender can soothe itchiness. Avoid sulphates as they tend to dry skin out which will make the hives worse. Organic is best!
  • Probiotics – these can help reduce the inflammation caused by allergic reactions and help support your dog’s immune system in dealing with irritation.
  • Cold compress – cool pressure on hives can ease the itchiness and discomfort.
  • Vet treatment – seeing a vet will provide you with antihistamines that will directly target the inflammation from allergies. Your pup may need a longer dose until the cause of the hives is discovered. Vets can also administer steroids for severe cases.
  • Topical creams – anti-itch and anti-inflammatory creams can be put on the hives to help ease them, just ensure your dog doesn’t lick it off!

In many cases, mild hives will go away on their own once the allergin passes through the body. Reoccuring hives will need some investigation to find the cause and set prevention measures

Preventing Hives In French Bulldogs

  • Diet Change – switching your Frenchies diet up will likely be the first suggestion from your vet. Trying different foods may reduce the allergen and stop the appearance of hives. Try a raw or grain-free diet.
  • Product change – change the shampoos and cleaning products used around the house to organic to reduce the chemicals in the household.
  • Regular skin checks – check your Frenchies skin regularly to spot irritation and emerging hives immediately. The earlier they are spotted the easier you may find the cause and get rid of the hives
  • Process of elimination – causes of hives is so incredibly varied to takes some time to discover the issue. Remove foods or chemicals slowly to pinpoint what exactly was the hive causing culprit.
  • Supervise – supervise your pups outdoor time. If they are getting themselves in particular plants or grasses they may be causing the reaction.
  • Allergy test – some vets can undertake an allergy test to test for the most common allergens, this may be helpful for you and your French Bulldog to pinpoint the problem.


The skin on a French bulldog is very thin, which means it’s more likely to get irritated by the things that other dogs can tolerate. Your Frenchie might be allergic to something in its environment or food and this could show up as hives.

If you notice your dog scratching itself excessively, has red spots on its fur, or appears uncomfortable when touched around these areas then it may have hives. Itching usually occurs at about two weeks after being exposed to an allergen so if your pup suddenly starts itching themselves you should take them in to see their vet right away for treatment before it gets any worse!

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Dan James

Dan James is the founder and editor of FrenchBulldogio, a canine enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a French Bulldog owner and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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