You've got to like wrinkles if you love English bulldogs. Taking care of those wrinkles is a basic part of skin care for your bulldog. Prevention is worth a pound of the dermatological medications you'll need and vet bills you'll pay to cure a skin condition.
When you bring your bulldog puppy home, give him a head start in heading off skin issues by cleaning his facial wrinkles daily. You can use baby wipes to clean those puppy wrinkles, and continue using them on the full-grown dog. Mild soap with a washcloth also does the trick. If you don't clean the wrinkles regularly, bacteria and sweat build up inside them, causing irritations. If your puppy's wrinkly skin does become irritated, a small amount of petroleum jelly gently rubbed around the wrinkles should alleviate the problem.
Even though he's a short-haired canine, bulldogs need a good brushing a few times a week. Use a soft brush or rubber curry comb to get the dead hair off and make his coat shiny. In spring and fall, he'll shed more hair, so you may need to groom him daily or every other day. While brushing your dog, inspect his skin for any problems, such as scaling, excessive dandruff or anything falling under the catch-all term "crud." If he's developing a skin issue, you can nip it in the bud.
Well-groomed bulldogs don't need frequent bathing, unless they get into something and are dirty. Bathing your dog too often can cause dry, itchy skin, as it removes the natural oils. However, if your bulldog develops skin problems you may need to frequently bathe him with special medications prescribed by your vet.
Skin Fold Dermatitis
If you don't clean your bulldog's wrinkles consistently, he could develop skin fold dermatitis. This skin disease develops not only on the face, but also in the tail wrinkles and those in the genital area. If you notice signs of infection or any dermatological condition in your dog's skin, take him to the vet. She might suggest medicated baths several times a week to kill any bacteria and yeast in the wrinkles. She may also suggest supplements for skin health, such as fish oil or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.