Even a healthy French bulldog may get diarrhea, but when it's a constant issue, there may be something else going on.
Knowing the most common causes and treating minor problems with diarrhea can help your bully in the short-term, but you may want to seek the help of a vet if you feel it's more persistent and debilitating.
Why Do French Bulldogs Get Diarrhea
Every dog has its issues, and french bulldogs have digestive problems. Basically, your bully may have IBS problems due to chronic food allergies.
They tend to have food allergies and sensitivities that lead to diarrhea episodes. In most cases, it's just gas. French bullies are known for their flatulence, in fact.
There are several reasons that your pup may have diarrhea, but in a French bulldog's case, it's typically due to food allergens. There are also parasites, gastrointestinal diseases, and other issues that could be triggering this response.
This is why it's important to monitor your bully and see if they are eating well, drinking water, and generally up to their old tricks and happiness levels.
Symptoms of French Bulldog Diarrhea
The symptoms will range depending on whether the problem is due to allergies or a medical condition. You may see a loose stool, watery discharge, constipation, or frequent need to defecate. You may also notice that your pup's stomach is groaning, and they'll typically be a bit gassy.
You should also look out for other changes in your bulldog's stool, such as different colors like light green or even near-white diarrhea. They may display a lack of appetite and show signs of a fever.
Here is a full list of symptoms to check for that require a more serious visit to the pet doctor:
- Bloody stool that appears black
- Very rotten smelling stool
- Bloated, full "pregnant" stomach
- No energy, laying around for multiple hours with no want to get up
- Worms in stool
- Persistent diarrhea over 2 days
- Pus from eyes, genitals, or nose
There are certain conditions in a frenchie's history that may also trigger diarrhea. You should look for the following conditions:
- Pancreatic disease
- Liver disease
- Addison's disease
- Ehrlichiosis (tick-borne illness)
If it's a more serious issue, you'll likely notice other symptoms about your pup, such as hanging, loos skin with a very tight, round stomach.
This is a sign of bloating in autoimmune liver diseases, and your pup may need to be drained before switching to another diet.
What Diet Should French Dogs Eat to Avoid Diarrhea
French bulldogs, unfortunately, have a predisposition for different allergens in food, which is why they aren't supposed to eat the following:
- Other dairy products
These are typical for any French bulldog, but it can go beyond that with chicken, eggs, wheat, and soy. You'll need to pay attention to your frenchie's diet to determine what the best dog food will be.
French Puppy with Loose Stool or Diarrhea?
French bulldog puppies often start out with loose stools and diarrhea because their digestive systems are sensitive to dairy products, peas, beef, wheat, corn, and other things that can be found in typical puppy kibble.
Most vets recommend a prescription diet, but if that's too expensive, there are some guidelines to go by with purchasing kibble for your Frenchie pup.
Frenchies need to eat kibble that is kind to their stomachs and typically doesn't contain any of the following.
One French bulldog owner suggests Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish because it doesn't have any beef, peas, cornmeal, or dairy products. It's also got 5 percent fiber, which helps your puppy's digestive system.
How to Treat French Bulldog Diarrhea (Preventive and Aftercare)
When your frenchie has symptoms of diarrhea, it's important to check the list above for other things besides loose or liquid stools. For instance, does your frenchie have a bloated stomach but also look skinny around the neck and hips?
This is an indication of a possible autoimmune disease such as liver disease. You'll need to consult with your vet immediately if you notice these other signs.
However, if your frenchie is eating and drinking normally without any other signs of weight loss or bloating, then a change in diet is likely in order. What was the last thing your French bulldog ate?
You can look in the ingredients for things that might disrupt your frenchie's tummy. One thing is for sure: wet food doesn't really agree with frenchies unless it's rich in fiber and doesn't have any dairy products.
Dehydration is the worst part about diarrhea after constipation and painful poops. You may notice that your Frenchie displays these symptoms:
- Panting heavily
- Dry snout and gums
- Sunken eyes
- Extremely weak
You can test dehydration by performing a skin tenting test. This test measures the bounce-back of your dog's skin after you pinch it. To perform the test, you'll pinch and pull up the skin that lies between your dog's shoulder blades.
When release, normal hydration levels will allow it to go back to the original shape of your shoulders. However, dogs with dehydration will have skin that remains pinched up instead of popping back into place.
If you notice diarrhea with your French bulldog, then you should provide unlimited water, and it's best to use a dog fountain if your pup is stubborn about drinking.
According to K9OfMine, you may want to give your frencie pup a small bowl of Pedialyte, as it helps your pup recover from dehydration.
However, your puppy doesn't need more than a couple gulps to recover, so don't feed them too much. The clear, flavorless pedialyte is best for frenchies since pups can be allergic to the flavor additives.
You can monitor your puppy by keeping a journal and seeing what ingredients cause loose stools, diarrhea, or constipation. You should also take note of when your puppy eats grass while outside, as this is an indication of an upset stomach.
Long-Term Causes of Diarrhea in French Bulldogs
Long-term or chronic diarrhea is different from French bulldogs. This condition indicates that there is more at stake than just simply a change in diet.
It could be a parasite in the intestines or it could be an autoimmune disease. It's best to consult a veterinarian if you notice your puppy has diarrhea for more than 48 hours.
According to PetMD, Symptoms of chronic diarrhea in dogs vary by the small intestine and large intestine problems. You can tell the difference by the symptoms.
Small intestine dog diarrhea symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Abnormally large amount of diarrhea
- Frequent need to defecate (over 2 times a day)
- Black, tar-like stool
- Frequently hungry yet can't absorb food
Large intestine dog diarrhea symptoms include:
- Small amount of feces with constipation
- Frequent need to defecate (over 4 times a day)
- Bright red blood and mucus in feces
- Straining and urgency to defecate without results
- Obvious pain
- Extremely gassy
Commonly enough, most frenchies suffer from small intestine inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). This is due to their allergy to dairy products.
If your kibble has any kind of caseine, milk, cheese, or other dairy product, you may simply need a change of diet.
However, there are other serious small intestine illnesses that can affect your pet:
- Lymphangiectasia (loss of protein)
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Giardia parasite
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers
- Pancreatic disease
- Liver or gallbladder disease
- Gluten sensitivity
- Underactive adrenal glands
Large intestine problems include:
- Giardia parasite
- Noninflammatory problems
- Low fiber
Your vet will be able to tell the difference with a fecal test and also look for common parasites, such as Giardia. A biopsy may also be taken to determine if there are other parasites, cancer, or infections.
Home Remedies for French Bulldog Diarrhea
There are some things that you can feed your dog immediately after they have diarrhea to help their tummies.
You may want to fast your dog for 24 to 48 hours after diarrhea by feeding him or her water or brother made from bone or vegetables. However, this doesn't apply to dogs who are underweight or puppies under the age of six months.
Yams and Rice
One of the best things to provide fiber and wellness for your pup after diarrhea is fiber-rich yams, potato, or pumpkin mixed with rice. You'll actually want to cook all of these until they are mushy.
Small Bit of Kefir
Some French bulldog owners report success with kefir. This plain, unsweetened kefir can help to resolve gut bacteria in your pup. You should also give them small bits to nibble at first.
This herb is very soothing for pups with digestive problems. That's because it soothes the mucous membranes in your puppy's digestive tract. It's perfect for treating diarrhea, but you'll want to follow these directions.
You should only give marshmallow root in liquid form in 0.5 ml increments per 20 lbs with dosing two to three times daily. Gut Soothe is a product that includes marshmallow root for dogs.
Boiled Chicken and Rice
This combination is a bland diet for adult Frenchies who who need to reset their diet after trying too much kibble with different ingredients. Bland chicken with boiled white rice is the best thing to restart a dog's diet.
Ask Your Vet About Medicine
If the diarrhea is chronic and constantly causing issues for your frenchie, then there may be some medications that will help your dog's gut bacteria. In some cases, it could be a Giardia infection which requires a regimen of antibiotics.
Found Blood in French Bulldog Stool
If you notice that your pup has dark, black diarrhea, then they may have melena, which is black blood. If there is red blood in the stool, then it's called hematochezia. Both indicate different problems with your frenchie.
Hematochezia results from bleeding in the lower digestive tract. Melena actually begins in the upper part of the digestive tract and turns black as it travels down.
Some causes for bloody diarrhea include:
- Giardian infection and other parasites
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Bowel inflammation
- Anal gland problems
- Side effect from a medication
- Kidney failure
- Liver disease or pancreatic disease
- Addison's disease
If you find there is blood in your frenchie's stool, then you need to get to the vet quick. Depending on the severity of the blood found in the stool, your frenchie could be suffering from cancer, parasites, or liver disease. These can kill your puppy quickly if you aren't observant.
When it comes to Frenchies, you'll need to monitor their diet and see what ingredients cause problems like loose stool and diarrhea.
If they are suffering from chronic diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, that's an indication there's something else going on, such as a major disease, parasite, or infection.
Most Frenchies have a sensitivity to dairy products, so it's best never to give them milk, cheese, or other milk proteins in their diet.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.