The overall pushed-in look of your bulldog's face makes the pooch look like he's permanently peering out a glass door. Those facial wrinkles give him his very distinctive appearance, but neglecting them could lead to painful skin conditions. Cleaning his face requires no special tricks, just dedication.
Fairly Frequent Facial
How often you should give your bulldog a facial is a matter of differing opinions among those in the know, specifically breeders and vets. Some recommend you wash them every single day, while others say a few times a week is fine. The reality is that every bully is different, with different skin types and needs. Some pups may need a daily wipe-down, while others may be fine with just two or three times a week. Dirty wrinkles can smell or look grungy, which can give you an indication of how often he'll typically need cleaning. Adjust the frequency as necessary.
Keeping your bulldog's wrinkles clean makes for a happy and healthy pooch. Washing these folds doesn't require any special cleansers or soaps, you just need something to remove the dirt and oils that may be hiding in there. "Gentle" is the key term, as you don't want to dry out and irritate his skin as you clean it. A half-water, half-shampoo solution works well, as do baby wipes with aloe. If he's not that dirty, you can use just warm water on a cotton ball or soft cloth to wipe the wrinkles clean. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap or cleaning agent, as these can cause irritation if left to dry.
Moisture is a fickle mistress to your bully's wrinkles, as too little causes dry skin and irritation, and too much can promote the growth of bacteria and yeast, causing infections. The trick is to keep his wrinkles dry enough to prevent infections, yet moisturized to keep his skin healthy. After washing, dry his wrinkles thoroughly with a soft cloth. Depending on your particular pooch's skin type, you can stop here, or sprinkle some cornstarch into each nook and cranny to absorb future moisture. Some pros advise against this powdering, as clumps can sometimes form and cause irritation. Other experts recommend spreading some petroleum jelly into each wrinkle instead of powder to offer a layer of moisture protection. This could turn into a smeary mess if your bully likes to rub his face against things, however. Use whatever works best for your pooch and situation; the most important thing is to keep moisture from collecting and causing skin problems.
Anywhere skin touches or rubs together, you're going to have irritation. Most bulldog owners will deal with some form of wrinkle irritation at some point, and addressing the issue quickly keeps it from getting worse. In most cases the red, raw-looking skin is due to the skin rubbing together, and a simple application of diaper cream should help it clear up. If you notice an odor, open wounds or skin that looks a lot more than just irritated, see your vet. Your pooch could have an infection, which may require medicated ointments and antibiotics to clear up.
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