Grooming should be routine and common, and if you own a Bulldog, it’s required! Try to start when your puppy is young, it will make things so much easier for you both. If anything is not normal you will notice it right away. This may seem like a lot of work but it only takes minutes a day. Look over the wrinkles and tail area while examining and don’t forget to check between the toes for cysts or inflamed areas.
Give your Bulldog's ears a complete cleaning weekly or monthly, as needed. (Floppy ears usually need more attention than pricked ears.) Moisten a cotton ball or cloth with mineral oil, olive oil, or Witch Hazel, and gently wipe the inside of the ears. DO NOT use a cotton swab; it's easy to accidentally damage the the inner ear. Always be on the lookout for the early warning signs of an ear infection, which is a not-so-uncommon problem for Bulldogs. If your Bulldog constantly shakes its head, has sore or red ears, or if the ears smell bad or have a discharge, take your Bully to the veterinarian. Most infections of this type are caused by lack of air circulation and occur most commonly in breeds with floppy or furry ears. The moist, warm, dark environment is the perfect place for bacteria and yeast to flourish. By catching the early signs, you'll be getting your Bulldog's developing ear infection under control sooner, preventing more serious complications that can lead to hearing loss.
Steps to Clean the Ears
There are several different products that can be used to clean your Bulldog’s ears. A Bulldog’s ears are sensitive, but they tolerate the cleanings well, so there are no special steps needed to prepare your Bulldog for the cleaning process.
What you You Will Need:
- Witch Hazel
- Baby wipes, Unscented with Aloe
- Cotton balls
Gently wipe the inside of the ear with a few swipes around. Do not clean down inside of the ear as this can damage the eardrum and be quite painful. Stick to the outer edges and leave the inner ear for the veterinarian or groomer.
Additional Tips and Advice
Ears cannot tolerate scrubbing. If the build-up remains after several simple wipes, have the ears professionally cleaned. You can use Witch Hazel or apply alcohol or “Bully Wash” to the round cotton and wipe out the ears or pour a small amount directly into the ear canal. Mix the following ingredients together for use as an ear wash, wrinkle cleaner, and tail cleaner. Used several times per week, it keeps away unsightly tear stains too.
- 1 part peroxide
- 1 part white vinegar
- 2 parts warm water
Stored in a closed container, it will stay good for months. Bulldogs are prone to getting tear stains. This can be from many things like, hygiene, the food they’re eating (try not to feed foods that contain beet pulp) it could also be from the water they’re drinking (from additives). You may want to give your bully bottled water to see if that helps.
Good commonsense prevention is the most important thing you can do for your Bully’s good ear health. Keep the ears clean, dry, and free from foreign objects and substances. At bath time, put cotton balls in your Bulldog’s ears to keep water out of the ear canal, and dry the ears thoroughly when the bath is over. When it comes to ear care, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure!
Keep Your Bulldog Free From Ear Infections
Your minimum effort will surely avoid major ear problems in the future!
- Follow the instructions as recommended by your vets. If you get the slightest hint of bad odor then do ear cleaning with warm water, mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide, or a combination of equal parts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol but make sure that your Bulldog does not have open sores that will have a burning sensation.
- You are also recommended to apply pet ear care product that cleans and dry up excess moisture in the ear canal after bathing or swimming. Pet ear care product containing Tea Tree Oil will keep the ear canal of your Bulldog dry and problem free.
- There are also pet ear cares products available for routine ear cleaning that will dissolve wax, remove foreign debris and dry the ear canal. Even home Bulldog care treatments are also available that can kill ear mites and ear ticks.
- Even though your Bulldog's eardrum is better protected than a human beings, but the process of cleaning should be done with precise care especially when you are inserting cotton-tipped swabs into the ear canal. There is the possibility of the dirt and other foreign matter to get pushed deeper and even losing the cotton tip in the ear canal if not handled properly. Use a long cotton-tipped swab since a Bulldog's ear canal is much deeper than ours.
- Using the same cotton ball or unclean tip of ear cleaning solution in another Bulldog's ears in a Bulldog's other ear will surely spread disease. Therefore always remember to use a new cotton ball or wipe clean any applicator tips!
- Another method of cleaning involves filling the ear canal with a pet ear cleaning solution followed by gentle massage of the outer ear. After a few minutes the Bulldog is allowed to shake his head to help clear the ear canal.
- Removal of excess hair by trimming the hair.
Taking care of your Bulldog’s ears can be quite difficult but it is a rewarding experience. Owners who care for their Bulldogs properly tend to live happier and longer lives with less complications and difficulties. So the next time you groom your Bulldog, do not forget to pay attention to one of the senses he relies on the most – his sense of hearing.
A Bulldog’s face is covered with wrinkles and is his trademark which requires cleaning. You can use a mild soap and water solution to clean. If your Bulldog has a heavy nose wrinkle, lift it and clean, rinse and dry it well - the tail pocket should also be cleaned the same way. Many owners will also put some corn starch, medicated powder or baby powder in the fold when finished. You can use this to keep things looking good. If the fold is dry and flaky you may want to put a small amount of a diaper rash ointment in there like Desitin ointment instead of the powder or if the rash is severe. Remember to keep her vulva area cleaned (not inside, only the exterior part) with warm water as bulldogs need some help with that. Keep the male Bulldog clean as well. This is the last thing you should wipe and clean before you’re done. Then dry the area.
Don’t confuse tear stains with a yeast infection in the wrinkles. If your Bulldog has a yeast infection the wrinkle will have a foul smell to it. You can use the drying ear cleaner (that you purchase from the vet) to try to prevent this from happening. Put the cleaner on a Kleenex and carefully wipe out the wrinkles. Do not get this into the eyes - it will burn and possibly damage your dogs eyes.
How to Clean a Bulldog's Folds (just kidding)
How to Clean a Bulldog's Folds
All English Bulldogs have part of their tail still inside the body as an extension of the tail bone. There are several types, shapes and sizes of Bulldog tails. Only two tails are considered the "proper" tail. The "spike" tail is the one most preferred because it hangs straight down from the rear end of the dog and looks very much like an old railroad spike. The "screw" tail is just that - resembling sort of a cork screw shape. Both the spike tail and the screw tail are recognized by Bulldog Breed clubs as the standard tail for the breed. The most undesirable tails are the gay tail, the inverted tail and the tight screw tail. The gay tail stands straight out from the body and is carried high and "gayly" when the dog is running or playing.
#1 - The correct spike tail.
#2 - The correct screw tail.
#3 - The improper gay tail.
#4 - The improper inverted tail
#5 - The improper tight screw tail.
What is a “Tail Pocket”
Bulldogs have a small indented area underneath the tail, commonly referred to as the “Tail Pocket.” Some Bulldogs have their tail set in this pocket which is called the “Inverted Tail.” In these cases, special effort is needed to keep the pocket clean and dry (see below for more information on the Inverted Tail). If not properly cared for, your Bulldog may end up with an infection. They can be difficult but if you are diligent about taking care of it, you can prevent any problems. Sometimes constant maintenance of the tail pocket will keep your bulldog healthy. You need to clean out the tail pocket daily using warm water on a washcloth in a circular motion and get deep into the pocket. Then the area must be thoroughly dried and perhaps add some Gold Bond powder. Should your Bulldog be unfortunate enough to develop an infection, proper treatment will have him or her feeling better in no time. An infection can be quite painful and life threatening if it cannot be cleared up. He may have a severe yeast infection in the pocket – does it smell sour? The little sores could indicate a bacterial infection such as staph. A chronic infection can become systemic and spread through his body. This would be very dangerous. They can be a pain to keep clean but you gotta do it!!
The “Inverted” tail and the “Tight Screw” tail are the most difficult tails to keep clean and healthy. The inverted tail literally grows inward into the Bulldog’s body. It is extremely difficult to keep clean and nine out of ten times, the Bulldog will suffer from chronic infections, foul odors and pain from the inverted tail. The tight screw tail is not much better. Tight tails are usually cork screw in shape and are wound so tightly, it is almost impossible to get under or around the tail to keep it clean. Therefore, there will be possible infections, foul odors and some pain with a tight screw tail. This inverted tail is very tight and close to the body with a very tight tail pocket and part of the tail constantly rubbing and festering in the pocket. This is NOT a fault of breeding, it just happens sometimes.
Often these tails go unnoticed as a quick glance looks like there isn't a tail. The below photo is referred to as the "Thumb in a Belly Button" as often the tail bone is hidden inside a pocket. You need to ensure the pocket is kept clean and dry and if this proves to be difficult or painful amputation may need to be seriously considered.
And another inverted tail photo of a bully that resulted in a tail amputation.
Whatever you do, please seek second and even third opinions before having your Bulldog's inverted or tight tail amputated. Some Veterinarians will recommend this. However, there are horror stories of amputated tails causing more harm than good and generally, the amputation can cause nerve damage and loose stools in your Bulldog for the rest of his life.
What you need to keep the Tail Pocket clean:
- Witch Hazel
- Baby wipes (unscented with aloe work best)
- Diaper rash cream (such as Desitin)
- Medicated powder (such as Gold Bond)
What to do in case of redness/irritation
Use baby wipes to clean under the tail at least a couple of times per day. Your Bulldog will most likely be licking the air while you this (this is normal and funny to see). After that use unscented diaper rash creme and apply that to the raw areas, again getting under the tail as necessary. This will help to keep moisture out of the area. You may need to do this for a couple of days depending on how red/raw the area still is. Once you have the redness and irritation under control, continue with the baby wipes but switch to the medicated powder instead of diaper rash creme to help keep the area dry. This also helps with the itching your Bulldog is probably dealing with. You can just apply the powder from the container or if you'd like, you may use a small paintbrush to help you get it where it needs to be. Within about 4-5 days your Bulldog should be back to normal (maybe sooner). You should consider making the medicated powder a weekly treatment or even more often to prevent problems in the future.
Swollen Red Feet and Pads in a Dog / How to Clean your Bulldog Paw Pads
How to Prevent a Yeast Infection - A MUST VIEW!
Rectum, Vulva and Prepuce
These areas should be checked regularly to be sure the hair is not catching debris and discharges. In female dogs the vulva area should be gently cleaned and rinsed when the dog is bathed. If regular bathing is not performed, this area should be cleaned if needed. If the area has any reddish discoloration to the hairs or other obvious debris or change, the area should be cleaned. Wear a latex glove and use antibacterial hand soap, then rinse thoroughly. As dogs get older, particularly if they are fat and/or hairy, their needs in these areas increase.
Your Bulldog should look clean, smell good and feel good to the touch. Regular care for your Bulldog will help keep him or her healthy. Owners that take good care of their Bulldog also will detect when changes occur that indicate the Bulldog may need medical care. The sooner a problem is detected, the better for your Bulldog.
Believe it or not, washing a dog's vulva too much can actually do more harm then good. It is recommended that you only clean the vulva if you notice a crust of urine or during bath time.
Lots of water, good, appropriate healthy food (not high in grains, fat, sugar and waste products) and even cranberry supplements (they make cranberry dog biscuits now) help a lot. Soaking her dry food in water will help too. The more water, the better.
Again, Grooming should be routine and common, and if you own a Bulldog, it’s required! Your Bulldog will be happier and healthier!
References: My Pet Med, Healthy Pets, DrGregDVM