Everything you need to know to take care of your English bulldog buddy
Planning to adopt an English bulldog? If yes, congratulations! You’ll soon find out why so many people around the world love this cute, cuddly, and courageous breed of dog. As with any canine, you’ll need to know how to groom, clean, and take care of your new fur buddy, and that’s what this guide is all about. From reducing their tear stains to cleaning their tail pocket and everything in between, this guide will tell you how. When you’re done, you’ll know how to keep your English bulldog happy, healthy, and clean as a bean. Enjoy!
If you’re wondering what products to use for cleaning your bulldog, we got you covered. We created a recommended product page which links to every product we personally use for our English bulldog, Ollie.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Fur
Like any good dog, your English bulldog will need a thorough cleaning once in a while. We’ll talk about the smaller bits a little further down but, for now, let’s take a look at how to clean the biggest part of heir body, their fur.
As adorable as they are, all the folds in your bullie buddy’s fur are a breeding ground for germs, bacteria and other nasty stuff that can make them unhealthy. Washing their fur with a gentle and natural shampoo is best. Keep in mind that you don’t need a tub filled with water to wash your English bulldog, They won’t like that and it’s not necessary. Also, we recommend using a shampoo made for dogs, not humans, and one that’s fragrance-free when possible.
- In your bathtub use a thick towel or an anti-slip mat and place your fur buddy on top. You can also use a dog wash tub.
- Using cotton balls, gently place one in each of their ears. This will keep water out if they splash around.
- Using warm water from a hose or a pitcher, thoroughly wet their entire body except for their face.
- Take some dog shampoo and, starting from the front legs, massage it into their fur gently but thoroughly up to their neck, over the back, under their belly, and down their back legs.
- Make sure you gently wash their toes and paws too!
- Using warm water, rinse the shampoo off completely.
- Using a dry, absorbent towel, dry them thoroughly, especially in between their skin folds. Make sure those are as dry as possible.
- Gently remove the cotton balls from their ears.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Wrinkles
One of the most adorable things about English bulldogs has to be their funny face wrinkles! On the other hand, as cute as they are, those wrinkles can lead to some uncomfortable (and even painful) situations if they aren’t cleaned and cared for the correct way. This is even more true as your bullie buddy gets older because they get more sensitive.
English bulldogs are also messy eaters (even on a good day) and food debris gets stuck in their wrinkles all the time, causing irritation and, if not cleaned regularly, infections too. The same can be said for any mud, dirt, and gunk that gets there when they play outside. In other words, those cute wrinkles need to be cleaned often. Some English bullie experts even recommend cleaning them twice a week, but that depends on your pup and their habits.
- Use a baby or doggie wipe, or a soft cloth that’s been dipped in warm water. If their wrinkles aren’t very dirty this alone should be just fine.
- For wrinkles that are grimier or dirtier, the same cloth with a little bit of doggie shampoo should do the trick.
- Be sure to wipe gently, especially if their wrinkles are red and/or inflamed.
- Take care not to get any shampoo in your bullie buddy’s eyes, for obvious reasons.
- Make sure you rinse their wrinkles thoroughly so that no shampoo is left behind, which can cause irritation.
- Any product you use should have aloe in the ingredients. It helps clean and is very gentle and nourishing for their skin.
- Dry their wrinkles gently but thoroughly after each cleaning.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Nose
Even more than their eyes, your English bulldog “sees” the world through their cute, moist little nose. Keeping their nose clean and healthy is thus extremely important. English Bulldogs also have a problem with dry, cracked noses, so keeping them moist is also important too.
- Using a soft, damp cloth or doggy wipes, wash off any dust, dirt for mucus. Remember, their nose is extremely sensitive so be as gentle as possible.
- Remove any excess soap completely.
- If the hair under their nose is getting too long, carefully use scissors to trim it. You can also use clippers.
- Lastly, apply a light coat of doggie nose gel to keep it nice and moist.
One important thing to keep in mind is that any cream you use to keep your prayer buddies nose moist should not be derived from petroleum products. Dogs lick their noses a lot and petroleum products have toxins that can harm them.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Teeth, Tongue & Mouth
Besides having stinky breathe your Bullie buddy’s teeth, mouth, and tongue need to stay clean and healthy so that the rest of their body stays healthy too. Infected teeth can cause more than just bad breath but also dangerous health problems. An infected mouth can be very painful and scraping their tongue gets rid of germs that can cause illnesses. There are many ways to do this, to be sure. Below we’ll give tips using several different tools and products.
- Give your dog plenty of healthy dog chew treats that produce saliva kill bacteria while keeping their teeth clean and healthy.
- Make sure your buddy drinks lots of water to rinse away any debris in their mouth. (A stainless steel water bowl is best.)
- Use doggie mouthwash to kill germs and bacteria.
- Brush their teeth at least 3 times a week (or more) with dog-approved toothpaste.
- Use the same brush to gently brush the inside of their mouth
- Use a tongue cleaner to help clean their tongue.
- After cleaning, always make sure that you thoroughly dry their face.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Nails
Your English bulldog’s nails don’t exactly have to be cleaned but they do have to be trimmed regularly. This isn’t difficult in most cases but some English bulldogs will not like it very much. You have to be careful not to cut too much also, or you could cut into the “quick” of the nail which is very painful and can lead to bleeding. You’ll need a good pair of dog nail clippers before you get started.
- The most important thing to start is to make sure your fur baby is comfortable.
- Clip a very thin slice of the nail to start. This will show them that it’s OK and won’t hurt. (Praise them too.)
- Keep cutting small slices at a 45 degree angle, which is safer than making one large cut.
- Have a on hand in case you cut too much, and the nail starts to bleed. Use it and then put light but firm pressure with a soft cloth on the nail to ease the pain.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Ears
Of all of the wonderful little body parts your English bullie needs to keep clean, their ears might be the most ignored. Typically, their ears are folded but they also might have ‘button’ ears or ‘drop’ ears. Whatever type they have, they can all sometimes trap moisture, and this can cause painful infections, so regular ear cleaning is important. We recommend that you check their ears once a week or so to make sure that they look healthy.
- Gently lift the ear flap and pull it forward so that you can see their ear canal.
- Please a few drops of doggy ear cleaner into their ear canal or use ear wipes.
- Rub the cleanser around gently, being careful not to go too deeply which could injure their eardrum.
- Use a very soft cloth or cotton ball to wipe away any dirt, grime, or gunk.
- Use a 2nd cotton ball to dry everything well.
- If your furry buddy happens to have hairy ears, trimming some and carefully plucking the hairs inside their ears is a good idea.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Paws & Toes
Unless your English bulldog is showing signs that they have an infection or other problems with their paws and toes, cleaning them with the rest of their body using a good doggy shampoo should be just fine. One thing you should do, however, is to check their paws and toes regularly to make sure that they don’t have any cuts or other injuries that could get infected or irritated.
Also, never forget that the pads on your fur buddy’s paws are extremely sensitive and can easily be burned, cut, or even get freezer burn if the surface they are walking on is extremely hot, cold, or rough. In winter watch out for rock salt also. It melts the ice but can cause blistering and infection of their pads. It can also get your puppy sick if they lick it off their feet.
- When you’re giving your English bulldog a bath you can use the same shampoo to clean their paws and toes.
- Be sure to thoroughly dry their paws and toes after their bath.
How to Clean Around your English Bulldog’s Eyes
A healthy English bulldog will have bright, clear, and shiny eyes. You should never touch their eyes with anything, but cleaning around their eyes is very important, including their tear stains. These can lead to infections and should be cleaned at least once a week (or more if necessary).
- Using a sterile eyewash clean gently around their eyes.
- Use the same wash to also clean their tear stains thoroughly.
- Dry the area around their eyes gently but thoroughly.
Keep in mind that if your English bulldog has “cherry eye” or they are tearing a lot, you should consider bringing them to your veterinarian to make sure that their eyes are OK.
How To Clean your English Bulldog’s Tail & Tail Pocket
One part of an English bulldog that many owners either forget or avoid is their tail and tail pocket. Many owners don’t even know that their English bullie has a tail pocket or what it is, so forgetting to care for it and keep it clean is understandable.
A tail pocket is a small indentation or “pocket” where your Bullie buddy’s tail is nestled into (sometimes). Not all English bulldogs have them. The best way to tell is to lift their tiny little tail and take a peek underneath. If there’s a small indentation then yes, they have a tail pocket and it will need to be cleaned occasionally. Indeed, it should be a part of your regular cleaning routine.
Usually, it isn’t a problem or painful to clean a bullie’s tail pocket but occasionally it might be, especially if it’s infected. The first time you clean it might be a little odd for both you and your bulldog so keep an eye on their reaction. (Keeping it clean will prevent infections.)
- Take a doggie cleaning wipe and gently wipe away any dirt, gunk or debris around their tail. (You can use a soft cloth with mild soap also.)
- Gently lift their tail and clean in and around the tail pocket.
- Using a soft, dry cloth, thoroughly dry the inside and underside of their tail pocket and all around the outside too. This is very important because if their tail pocket isn’t dried fully, it could trap moisture and that moisture can cause fungus and bacteria to grow, which can lead to a painful infection.
- If you noticed that your pup’s tail pocket is always damp, you could use a little baby powder to keep it dry. Also, if their tail pocket is irritated, you can apply a doggie skin cream to help it heal.
If cleaning your bullie buddy’s tail pocket makes you uncomfortable, you can always ask your dog groomer to make it part of their regular care. Keep in mind however that it should be cleaned regularly. If you do it yourself you will get used to it (we promise) and it won’t seem so awkward.