The endearing snoring and snorting that bulldogs are known for is caused by the unique shape of their skull, which is brachycephalic, or short-headed from front to back. This short-nosed face coupled with loose, wrinkled skin that creates deep jowls is also the cause of another trait that is not quite so endearing -- a steady stream of drool.
It is normal for most breeds of bulldogs to drool at least a little bit. Some may only drool now and then, while others seem to drool buckets of saliva every day. This depends in large part on the features of a particular dog's muzzle. Bulldogs with large, loose jowls or flaps of skin around the jaw, tend to drool more profusely than those with tight jowls. This is because with the skin hanging down, the dog has no way of keeping the saliva in his mouth and it leaks out the sides.
While there is no way to stop a bulldog from drooling, especially if he has floppy jowls, there are a few things you can do to keep it from being such a problem. Most bulldogs drool most heavily when they are eating, drinking, excited or nervous. Place his food and water in areas that are easy to clean, such as a laundry or mud room, and keep a towel handy to wipe his face after he eats and drinks. Play outside or in rooms items where drool can easily be wiped away, and give your bulldog a safe place to retreat when he feels upset or stressed, such as a crate or indoor dog house. Bulldogs who produce extra drool when stressed, quickly return to normal when they feel safe and secure again.
It can be hard to differentiate between a bulldog's normal dribble of saliva and drooling caused by a health condition. If the amount of drool suddenly changes, is accompanied by an unusual foul smell or your dog starts to drool excessively at unusual times, such as while resting, have him examined by your veterinarian. Dental problems, foreign objects, injuries, infections and tumors can all cause excessive drooling.
The more your bulldog drools, the higher the chance that the constant moisture from the saliva will cause skin problems on his jowls. It is next to impossible to keep the area dry, but gently wiping your dogs jowls several times a day will help remove pooling drool as well as any food particles that feed bacteria. Your dog may lose fur on his jowls, develop red, bumpy, irritated skin and even a skin infection as a result of constant moisture. Check with your veterinarian if drooling causes skin problems for your bulldog.
- George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images