English bulldogs don’t require a lot of grooming. However, they also don’t do well with the “set it and forget it” type of cleaning either. They require regular cleaning of their skin — particularly the wrinkly parts. But those cute folds come with some extra requirements as well.
So, how do you care for an English Bulldog’s skin? To make sure your English Bulldog’s skin is healthy, you will need to do the following:
- Bath him every 2 weeks
- Wipe and clean his folds every day with a wet cloth
- Brush him regularly
- Ensure his diet will promote skin health
In this article, we discuss every detail on how you can take care of an English bulldog’s skin to avoid infections plus how to make their coat shiny. We’ll also dive into how you can clean other parts of their body so that you may live with an infection-free, stink-free, and glowing bully friend.
Related: How to Get Rid of an English Bulldog’s Bad Smell
How To Take Care Of An English Bulldog’s Skin
Many bully owners ask, “How many times should I bathe my English bulldog per week? And how many times should I simply wipe their wrinkles?” Well, let’s discuss it then:
Bathing Your English Bulldog
Many English Bulldogs don’t mind bathing — as long as you don’t irritate them by spraying water on their faces. It not only irritates them but is also dangerous since they inhale water, and some of it can get into the ears and cause infections.
You need to wash your English bulldog every two weeks. However, if your bully gets too dirty from dust, mud, or any other way you deem as significant, go wash them as soon as possible. Also, sometimes their skin might start smelling before the two weeks end, and you’ll have to bathe them before the routine day.
You can wash your bulldog outdoors when it’s cool, but it’s always best to do it indoors where the temperature is controllable.
You can use a bathtub, shower, low-pressure spray hose, or a basin to do the washing. Again, keep the things you’ll use with you so that you don’t start leaving your dog to go to fetch them. You need to have:
- A brush.
- A soft cloth.
- Dog shampoo.
- Handheld showerhead or spray hose.
- Cotton balls.
- A non-slip mat.
- A towel.
- Shea butter/coconut oil/ olive oil/ castor oil/ almond oil.
Before you start the cleaning, put a mat or towel on the surface, your bulldog will step on to avoid any tripping due to the slipperiness. Also, if they have a collar on, you can choose to use it to maintain a grip while bathing them, but if you can handle them collarless, take it off.
The best temperature for the water you’ll be bathing your bulldog with should be the same as their body temperature. However, you can simply ensure that it’s not too hot or too cold when you touch it — just sweet lukewarm.
How to Bathe an English Bulldog
When it comes to bath time, you’ll need to ensure that you thoroughly clean your English Bulldog, so that dirty and other nasty buildup doesn’t accumulate in his or her skin folds.
- Brush the bulldog’s coat when dry to get rid of the loose hair.
- Insert the cotton balls gently and shallowly in your dog’s ears to prevent stray water from seeping in.
- Put the bulldog on the mat and pour some soap from behind the ears to the legs and on the surface under their belly.
- Now start massaging the soap so that you can clean the coat thoroughly.
- After a full skin rub, rinse the soap with water until their coat is sparkling clean.
- Take the soft cloth and wet it with some water and soap.
- Squeeze the dripping water out so the cloth can remain just wet.
- Now rub the face, ears, and chin of your English bulldog with the cloth, ensuring that you get every inch of the folded skin covered.
- Rinse the cloth with water and squeeze the extra water out.
- Now go through the face again so you can remove dirt all over their face not forgetting their chin.
- You can do it again with a slightly wetter cloth since, by the second rub, you’ll probably have removed all the dirt.
- Now wrap a towel around your English bulldog and wipe all the wetness from the bath.
That’s it! Your bully is now clean. You can put some natural oil on your bulldog’s nose to keep it moist and relaxed. If you’d like to watch a video tutorial, you should check out this one on YouTube.
Although the English bulldog is short-haired, they need a brushing every once in a while. Brushing your bulldog’s skin helps remove dead hairs that keep dulling their coat. Also, it distributes the natural oils that they produce and hence leads to a smooth, healthy, and shiny coat.
You can brush your English bulldog at least once every week. You can use this KONG ZoomGroom or go for this best selling Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush.
Before brushing your bully straightaway, brush your skin with it to check how rough it is. If it feels rough on your skin, your bully will probably feel uncomfortable.
Oiling for an English Bulldog’s Skin
To go further with bulldog’s skincare, you can incorporate oil too. Natural oils like coconut oil help clear issues like skin dryness, eczema, and itchiness. It helps relax the dog’s skin while nourishing it, resulting in a glossy coat.
Coconut oil is also great for disinfecting wounds and sores that your bully might have. It helps with the soothing and fast recovery while keeping fleas from attacking your bulldog.
However, you shouldn’t get just any coconut oil for your English bulldog. You should use unrefined 100 percent coconut oil so you can be confident about the result.
You should always talk to your vet before changing up a skincare regimen.
Cleaning the folds of your bully is one of the most important tasks as their fur-parent. The bulldog’s wrinkles hold on to dirt and moisture, which can lead to the development of fatal infections. Therefore, it’s crucial to clean them daily.
You can clean your bulldog daily by wiping their wrinkles with a wet cloth. You could think of this practice as washing their face daily. This will remove any food, tears, or sweat embedded in the folds.
Another way to do it is by simply wiping those wrinkles with bulldogs’ wrinkle wipes. Keeping some in hand will help you keep your bully clean and dry anywhere, anytime.
After washing the folds with a wet cloth, you should pass a dry cloth since they can be slow to dry most of the time. To avoid leaving anything to chance, dab the wrinkle area with a dry cloth to eliminate any moisture.
Ensuring A Diet That Promotes Skincare
Not all skincare is caused by external issues. Just like humans, English bulldogs require food to nourish their looks. Whenever you note a difference in your bully’s coat, consider the diet changes you’ve made, and you might find a culprit.
Here are some ways you can care for your bulldog’s skin through food:
- Supply them with sufficient protein. If your bulldog is lacking enough protein, you might notice excessive shedding of their hair since it becomes too brittle. Since protein is one of the building blocks of hair, lack of it causes disintegration.
- Incorporate fatty acids in their diet. Fatty acids are crucial facilitators of the efficient circulation of blood and maintenance of the immune system. If your bulldog lacks omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, chances are, their skin will be dry and vulnerable to attack by pests and diseases. You can give your bully some fish oil which is rich in fatty acids.
- Provide a riboflavin rich diet. Also called vitamin B2, riboflavin promotes healthy skin through fast healing and efficient uptake of nutrients. If you notice dandruff on your bulldog’s skin, they could be lacking riboflavin. You can add it to their diet through raw meat, green vegetables, and eggs.
Water is also important for the health of your bully’s skin. Ensure that your bulldog is taking a lot of water, and if they don’t like it, feed them chicken soup or any of their favorite soup to keep them hydrated.
You might be wondering: is bulldog skincare really that important? Apart from alleviating odors and irritation from your bully, the following are skin problems you can avoid by proper cleaning of their skin.
6 Common English Bulldog Skin Problems
Although all dog breeds experience skin problems, bulldogs are more susceptible. Some of the skin problems are genetic and environmental, but others are mostly related to skincare.
1. Skin Fold Dermatitis
This problem affects any bulldog’s fold like the facial and body wrinkles, the paw skin, ears, tail pocket, and even in the vagina of female bullies.
Skinfold dermatitis in English bulldogs shows up as red, moist, inflamed and mostly painful folds. Usually, the deeper the fold, the worse the infection and pain.
This infection is caused by bacteria that thrive well in moist, dirty and hidden areas. Therefore, you need to keep your bulldog healthy and dry in all the nooks and crevices of their body. This will keep them healthy and happy which will influence the overall quality of their life and yours.
Also, you can use baby rash powder or ointments recommended by your vet to keep deep folds dry at all times. Moreover, giving your bulldog fish oil will help them combat the development of this condition since it possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Allergic Atopic Dermatitis
This problem arises as a result of an allergic reaction your bulldog has. This could be anything from outdoor variables like plants and pollen to indoor causes such as dust mites, mold, and dandruff.
If your English bulldog experiences an intense itch anywhere on their body, chances are, it’s atopic dermatitis. This is extremely traumatic to the bully and possibly you as a parent, so it’s important to visit the vet as soon as possible.The vet will perform blood tests to determine the particular allergen that’s causing the issue and advise you the way forward.
However, you can also use anti-itch creams and ointments on the affected area while changing the diet to monitor any response. Furthermore, a simple bath can get rid of the allergen and restore the health of your bulldog.
To avoid the possibility of atopic dermatitis attacking your bully, ensure that your home is mold-free, and your lawn is trimmed as well.
Eczema is another skin problem that English bulldogs are prone to suffering from. It can occur in two forms: dry and wet.
Dry eczema causes a dry, flaky, and itchy skin that makes the bully keep chewing scratching and rubbing the affected part against surfaces. The same occurs with wet eczema except that this one induces production of liquid discharge hence the name wet.
Eczema might be caused by:
- Food sensitivities
- Contact dermatitis
- Anal sac infection
- Vitamin deficiency
- Environmental allergies
- Infection by a virus, bacteria or fungi
As you can see, it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the cause of eczema without professional assistance. As always, ensure proper skincare of your bulldog and consult with a vet in case you notice symptoms of eczema. This will help you avoid wasting your bully’s happiness with countless unprescribed, over the counter meds.
If your bulldog is all of a sudden too oily or too dry and everyone keeps complaining of how stinky their skin is, then they could be suffering from seborrhea. This condition causes the sebaceous glands to produce excessive sebum, which exudes a bad odor and makes the coat appear greasy or scaly.
Seborrhea is mostly a secondary condition caused by parasites and allergens. If you suspect that your dog has seborrhea, visit the vet, and determine the cause. Once you know the cause, you can take appropriate action to resolve the issue.
Like in humans, dogs also experience acne. And the English bulldog is no exception — especially since they are short-haired.
Acne can occur mostly on their faces on their chin, nose, lips, and muzzle. Acne in English Bulldogs is caused by the inflammation of skin glands due to dirt accumulation. Since our bully friend is wrinkly, you can see why they are prone to the condition.
Acne in bulldogs can also occur due to allergic reactions. Your dog might try scratching their face with the paws in an effort to ease the agony. This can worsen the condition since they’ll be opening up the skin to invite more infections.
If your English bulldog experiences mild occurrences of acne, simply use antibacterial wipes to eliminate dirt at least once per day. However, if the condition persists and your bully seems to be in too much pain, take them to the vet for check-up and treatment.
You can avoid or control acne by keeping your bulldog clean. Also, avoid any possible cause of an allergic reaction like a change of diet, feeding them in a plastic bowl and new cleaning agents among others.
6. Seasonal Flank Alopecia
This condition mostly occurs during months of reduced sunshine. Your bulldog might have patches of baldness with no symptoms of skin disease.
In most cases, the reduced exposure to sunshine affects the hair follicles of your English bulldog, therefore stopping or slowing down their hair growth. Experts believe that this effect is led by melatonin and prolactin hormone production, which might also be involved with the hormone receptors around the flank area.
Since this is dismissed as a non-medical condition, you can ignore it. However, if you are interested in growing back your bulldog’s hair due to cosmetic reasons, you can ask your vet regarding what options you have.
You can also wait for your bulldog’s hair to grow as the seasons change. But, since for some, the hair doesn’t regrow, ensure that you visit the vet when you notice no changes after your bulldog’s exposure to sunlight.
Other Grooming Practices For English Bulldogs You Can’t Ignore
Although you clean your English bulldog’s skin every day, it won’t make much of a difference if you ignore other parts. Parts like the paws or your bully’s tail may seem unimportant, but they can be breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and fungi. To avoid dirt and moisture-induced infections, you can start cleaning these areas.
Cleaning The Tail Area
The tail area is one of the places your bulldog can’t reach by themselves. Therefore they depend on you — their parents to handle the cleaning for them. If you ignore it, they may end up smelling and falling sick because of infections.
The tail area has nooks and crannies that embed dirt and accumulate moisture. In fact, the Bulldogs have a deep “tail pocket” that needs to be checked upon regularly and even be cleaned by a professional every once in a while.
Also, as your bulldog matures, their “corkscrew” tail may become larger and grow too close to the skin. This causes folds that go too deep, and professionals sometimes recommend amputation when it becomes too problematic.
However, regular cleaning and drying of the tail area will help you keep them clean and healthy. You can use DermaPet MalAcetic Pet Wipes to keep your bulldog’s tail area clean. Remember to always keep a dry soft cloth so that you can use it after the wet wipes.
Eyecare in English bulldogs is something that you shouldn’t ignore if you care about their quality of life and long term health. Although those cute eyes seem robust and authoritative, they can be fragile in many ways. Therefore, you shouldn’t delay checkups once you notice something wrong with their eyes.
So what does a healthy pair of eyes in a bulldog look like? Your bulldog’s eyes should look bright and glossy. They shouldn’t be bloodshot or hazy or in any manner showing an unfamiliar change. Their eyelids shouldn’t be puffy or appear inflamed in any way.
Also, the white part of the eye should always maintain its color. But if it becomes yellow, it could be a liver dysfunction. Also, if your bulldog is constantly rubbing their eyes, experiencing excessive tearing or squinting, something could have gone wrong.
They might be experiencing:
- An allergic reaction.
- Dry eyes.
- Corneal ulcers/Ulcerative Keratitis: a malfunctioning cornea.
- Conjunctivitis/Pink eye: the pink layer in the eyelid becomes inflamed.
- Glaucoma: pressure in the eye with a common symptom being excessive tearing.
- Cherry eye: a round bulge in the eye.
Eye care for an English bulldog is mostly an ongoing process. You can’t eliminate dry eyes forever. Instead of stressing about these possible problems, always check your bulldog’s eyes for any abnormality. And once you spot any, don’t delay taking your dog to the vet for a professional check-up.
These issues can escalate to long term problems like blindness really quickly. Save yourself some time and money and check on your dog regularly.
Tear stains are extremely annoying, especially if your bulldog’s face is white. They can appear in a reddish-brown, grey, or black color depending on the contents.
So what causes tear stains?
It could be inadequate cleaning of the folds or proactive tearing. Either way, you need to clean tear stains every day before they become stubborn stains. You can use TrueBlue Safe Wipes to easily clean your bulldog’s face naturally.
However, if the stains are too stubborn for the wipes, you can use hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls to erase them. You, however, have to be careful not to let the eyes come in contact with the chemical. But before you do this, you can ask your vet which is the best way to go for your bully.
Keeping Ears Clean
The ear is mostly the last place many English bulldog owners think to clean. That is until they are informed that their bully acquired an ear infection. However, you can skip the headache of seeing your bulldog in pain by cleaning their ears regularly.
But what makes the ears dirty anyway, you might wonder. You know about wax, right? So just like humans, bulldogs have wax that continues to build up excessively if not reduced.
Moreover, this wax makes it easy for sweat and dirt to stick around, making the bulldog vulnerable to infections.
When your bulldog has ear infections, they may reduce their activity, constantly rub their ears, and become restless. You might also notice redness, swelling, and nasty smells coming from the ears.
So how can you clean your bulldog’s ears? Here’s how:
- Lift the ear to expose the inner red part without twisting the parts too hard.
- Use these Vet’s Best Ear Cleaning Pads or any soft pads recommended by your vet. Don’t use tissues to remove ear dirt since they are abrasive on the soft surface.
- Work on the dirt and excess wax you can see from the inside out. Don’t go further than where you can see.
When bathing the dog, we recommend that you put cotton balls in the ears to prevent any water from getting in. In case you are doing any water play, wipe the bulldog’s ears after to ensure dry, dirt-free ears. That’s why doing this regularly — preferably at least once a week, is crucial.
You might think that paw care is unnecessary but you’ll need to think again. See, your bulldog’s paws need to be healthy so as to support all that weight without straining. But sometimes, they get bitten by insects, they happen to get cut or even get attacked by allergens.
Normal cleaning during bathing is necessary to keep the paws healthy but you might need to wash the paws with warm water in case of contact with allergens. If you feel like your dog’s paws have a problem you can’t fix like a deep cut, take the bully to the vet immediately to eliminate the pain.
Trimming your bulldog’s nails is important for their comfort and your own since they won’t walk around scratching the floors. However, it is a major challenge with the bulldogs since they can adamantly refuse to cooperate.
When you trim your bulldog’s nails, secure them with your feet from behind so that you can experience less resistance — or at least you can handle it. It will take a few nail trimming sessions for your bulldog to get used to it so be patient.
Otherwise, get sharp nail trimmers like this Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for an efficient trim. You can also make it easy for your bulldog and yourself by doing this after they bathe since their nails become softer. Also, don’t cut too deep.
Apart from the yearly dental checkups with your vet, you need to do some oral cleaning for the health of your bulldog. Since bulldogs are prone to dental problems, you should do weekly dental care routines to keep away cases like plaque development.
But how do you do oral cleaning on your bulldog? You can:
- Do teeth brushing once or twice a week. If your bulldog is new to this procedure, they might resist a bit. Use a Dog Toothpaste and Toothbrush, which are sensitive to oral dog needs and safety.
- Use dental chews. They fight plaque and tartar while strengthening your bulldog’s teeth and providing fresh breath.
- Utilize dental wipes for a fast and easy clean.
Rounding Up English Bulldog’s Care
English bulldogs are sensitive emotionally and physically as well. This cute vulnerability helps bulldog parents experience numerous companion bonding moments together. But that isn’t the case when they ignore their cleaning.
A dirty English bulldog is commonly an unhealthy one. This negligence leads to a gloomy life that’s filled with their pain and your worries. However, if you ensure that all the sanitation bases are covered, you can enjoy a long and quality life with your gentle furry friend.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.