Bulldogs often have a bothersome smell but there are ways to eliminate many odors by finding the cause of the problem and using the tips below.
When you can’t get too close to your best friend, there are solutions. This is how to get rid of an English bulldog’s smell:
- Use proper bathing techniques
- Care for the wrinkles and folds
- Clean the tail pocket
- Use the right shampoo
- Drain the anal sacs
- Brush the teeth regularly
- Care for the paws
- Change the diet
- Clean the ears
How to Get Rid of an English Bulldog’s Smell
Here are the 9 most common causes of a smelly bulldog including proven ways to eliminate the bad odors.
Use Proper Bathing Techniques
How often should you give your bulldog a bath? Although you may be inclined to bathe your bulldog quite often since the smell can be quite strong, a bulldog should only be bathed once a month. English bulldogs have delicate skin and over-bathing can lead to excessively dry skin along with other skin conditions.
Bulldogs emit protective oils that protect the skin and giving a bath too often will deplete these oils while at the same time destroying the skin’s natural pH balance. As a result, the skin becomes itchy, flaky, and dry, which in turn leads to excessive licking. This licking can leave a bad odor on the skin and encourage a buildup of bacteria.
While many English bulldog owners think that they are doing something positive by bathing their dogs weekly, this can actually make things worse. Once a month is enough.
When it is time to bathe your bulldog, make sure that you use the proper bathing techniques, which include:
- Start by blow-drying the dog to loosen up any dander or dirt on the skin or trapped in the fur.
- Clean your bulldog’s body with a shampoo that has been made specifically for dogs and never uses shampoo meant for humans.
- Work the shampoo into the coat and then give it a rinse. Avoid washing the face with the shampoo and instead use a facial cleanser. Make sure that you wash in between all of the wrinkles and folds carefully on both the body and the face.
- Rinse thoroughly
There are special wipes available on the market that you can use between baths to clean out the folds and wrinkles. Brushing your bulldog daily will also remove dead skin and hair that can contribute to a bulldog’s bad smell.
Care for the Wrinkles and Folds
It’s the wonderful wrinkles and folds in a bulldog that give this breed its special look and character and it’s important to take special care of these areas. These folds and wrinkles can trap in food, sweat, moisture, and dirt. This leads to bad odors and skin infections while also making your bulldog feel uncomfortable.
Yeast growth and bacteria are a concern as well. Yeast often develops in moist, warm environments away from direct airflow. It can have a very bad smell and can promote bacterial infections. One of the skin infections that can develop is called “Pyoderma” and it is quite commonly seen in English bulldogs.
The folds should be examined and cleaned regularly. You can use a damp cloth or cotton balls soaked with peroxide to keep them clean. Baby wipes containing aloe and lanolin can also be used. Wipe along the folds gently from head to tail. This will help keep bad odors at bay on your furry best friend.
Make sure that you dry the areas contained within the folds completely after wiping them down. Moisture is an enemy when it comes to yeast and bacteria build-up within these wrinkles.
- Clean the folds regularly
- Wash using cotton balls soaked in peroxide, baby wipes, or a damp cloth
- Dry thoroughly
Clean the Tail Pocket
English bulldogs have a tail pocket, which is located between the skin and the tail. It can be quite hidden in some dogs and you may have to look carefully for it. The tail pocket area can be a haven for dirt and debris, which can smell very foul if not cleaned regularly.
Every English bulldog is different, however, and while one dog may need a tail pocket cleaning once a month, another dog may need it wiped twice a day. You’ll need to find and inspect this pocket to determine how often it should be cleaned on your dog.
Start by running a baby wipe along with the pocket and then take a look at the wipe. See how much dirt appears on it. A small amount of dirt and hair is acceptable.
If the wipe has become slightly yellow, this is an indication that you will need to give the pocket a wipe more often. As with the folds, make sure that you also dry the pocket after wiping it clean. You can use a towel to dry it up or use a blow dryer on low heat.
Some bullies also have an ingrown tail that seems to act like a corkscrew and punctures the skin, causing a wound that can lead to an infection and a bad odor. Examine your bulldog’s tail to make sure that this isn’t an issue.
The smell coming from this pocket can be very overwhelming and disgusting. If your English bulldog is smelling bad, this may be the cause of the problem.
Use the Right Shampoo
The pH balance of the skin on your bulldog is a lot different than the pH balance of the human skin. The human skin has a pH level ranging anywhere from 5.2 to 6.2, which is slightly acidic.
On the other hand, a dog’s skin usually has a pH level of approximately 7, which is more alkaline. It’s important to purchase a shampoo that is specifically made for dogs and look for one that says it will maintain the pH level of the skin.
You should never use a shampoo that has been designed for humans. If you run out of dog shampoo, don’t reach for the container of shampoo that you usually use on your own hair. It’s better to wait until you can get your hands on doggy shampoo. Even using human shampoo once can irritate your dog’s skin, which leads to flaking, irritation, and a bad smell.
Dry Bulldog Shampoo
If you’re concerned about moisture buildup in your English bulldog’s wrinkles, you can also purchase dry shampoo. Most of the dry dog shampoos on the market contain aloe, which is very soothing for the skin.
If you want to try dry shampoo, it’s a good idea to use a small amount at first to make sure that your dog doesn’t have an adverse reaction to it. If everything is fine, you can use the dry shampoo method between baths to freshen up your dog when you notice a bad skin odor.
Drain the Anal Sacs
This is a very common cause of a bad smell coming from an English bulldog. The anal glands can get blocked and secrete a stinky liquid. These glands are used to help English bullies mark their territories. If they become plugged or impacted, they emit a smelly secretion and this sticks to the fur.
It’s important to get these anal sacs drained regularly by a vet or a pet groomer. If your bulldog is dragging his rear on the floor or carpet, this is an indication that there is a problem. As well, if your bulldog is smelling kind of fishy, there is a good chance that this is the cause.
Draining the anal sacs is something that you can do at home but most people would prefer to have it done by a dog groomer or a veterinarian. When this training is done regularly it can prevent a blockage so that you won’t have to deal with a bad smell coming from the glands. Every dog is different and your dog may require frequent visits to get his anal sacs drained.
It all depends on your English bulldog and how prone he is to a buildup of fluid. Obese bulldogs have a higher risk of developing a variety of different medical issues and this includes blocked anal glands. Make sure that you are taking your faithful bully out for regular exercise every day.
Brush the Teeth Regularly
It is not normal for an English bulldog to have offensive breath. When your dog’s breath smells bad it’s usually due to the following:
- An overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth
- Dental cavities
- A buildup of plaque on the teeth close to the gum line
- A foreign object stuck between the teeth
- Hard to digest food particles remaining in the mouth
- Fungal, bacterial, or viral infections
A buildup of bacteria inside the mouth can quickly lead to periodontal disease. This disease can cause bloody or inflamed gums, loose teeth, excess drooling, and receding gums. It is a painful condition and can be the cause of bad breath in a bulldog.
If you see your English bulldog pawing at or rubbing his face, it’s time for a checkup with your vet. Treatment options include medication, cleaning, or extraction of the bad teeth.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing should be done a minimum of 3x a week. Daily brushing is encouraged but not always possible by all dog owners. You should use a toothbrush and toothpaste that has been created specifically for dogs. You can buy a variety of different toothpaste flavors including chicken, beef, fish, and more.
Here’s how to brush you English bulldog’s teeth:
- Before getting started, quickly inspect your dog’s teeth and mouth to make sure that everything looks okay.
- Let the dog taste the toothpaste before starting to brush and then use gentle motions on the gums and teeth just as you would clean your own.
- Try to brush the inside and the outside teeth surfaces and be sure to reach far in the back to clean the upper canines and molars.
Most bulldogs will enjoy the tooth-brushing routine and it can become a special bonding moment between both of you.
Care for the Paws
If your bulldog has smelly paws, it’s often due to excessive licking. If there is a puncture or a cut in the paw, your English bulldog will instinctively lick it to lessen the pain. This can cause further irritation to the wound, which leaves it more susceptible to infection.
Some canines will also lick their paws when they are stressed or bored. Excessive licking leads to hot spots on the paws, which can start to smell bad.
It’s important to determine why your bulldog is licking his paws excessively. Examine them to find out if there is any type of wound. If you don’t see anything, try to determine why your dog may be unhappy.
How to Treat a Wound on the Paws
Here are some guidelines you can follow if you have noticed a wound:
- Clean the area with water
- Control any bleeding with a towel
- Examine the wound and call the vet if you have any concerns or it looks serious
- Bandage the paw with an elastic bandage
- Monitor the healing
The bandage should not be too tight and should be changed every day. Keep an eye on your English bully and if you see anything concerning in his behavior or if he continues to have a lot of attention on his paws, it’s time to give the vet a call.
Change the Diet
When you’re dealing with a smelly English bulldog, sometimes just a simple change of diet is all that is needed. Make sure that you are feeding your dog a high-quality dog food that is specific to the breed. Take a look at the ingredients in the food and avoid feeding your dog any grains.
Some foods that are highly processed or contain a lot of starches such as wheat, corn, and potatoes can lead to the development of yeast on the skin. Sugar is also a culprit and believes it or not, some dog food manufacturers actually add sugar to the food. You should also take a look at the ingredients in the dog treats you are purchasing.
Low-quality food containing questionable ingredients can also cause hair loss, itchy skin, and a number of different general symptoms that may be both physical and emotional. Your dog is what he eats so pay close attention to the food you choose.
Allergies can also trigger an excess release of oils. If your dog is smelling musty this may be due to a food allergy. Try changing the diet gradually to one that contains different ingredients.
If your English bulldog has more flatulence than what would usually be considered to be normal, this can also be due to a bad diet. Too much gas in the bowels can often be traced back to foods that are hard to digest and that are starchy and high in carbs. This flatulence can linger in the air for quite a while and be the cause of the bad bulldog odor.
Clean the Ears
Sometimes the bad smell from your dog can be coming from the ears. You may detect a yeasty smell and this may be due to a buildup of dirt, excessive moisture that has led to yeast growth or an ear infection. An infection, however, often produces a vile, overpowering smell. If you suspect there may be an infection, you should seek professional help.
Infections are usually caused by the following:
- Wax build-up
- Foreign objects
- Wax build-up
- Excessive moisture
One of the things that make bulldogs so cute is their floppy ears. These ears tend to hold more moisture than ears that stand straight, which are commonly found on other breeds.
Clean your English bulldog’s ears by first pulling them back gently. Use a special dog ear-cleaning solution and use the tips of your fingers to clean only the area that is visible. Dry thoroughly with a cotton ball or a paper towel. Never use a cotton tip swab to clean the ears since this can push the earwax deeper, which can cause an infection.
By using these tips you should notice that your dog is smelling a lot better. This is how to get rid of an English bulldog’s smell using proven methods that provide results.
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