Your dog's wrinkles give him a handsome, distinctive look, but they can be breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi if you don't take care of them right. Daily grooming and regular bathing will keep Fido's wrinkles clean and fresh while preventing irritating skin issues from developing.
To thoroughly clean your wrinkly dog's folds, give him a bath. Use a gentle, soap-free, dog-specific shampoo that won't strip the natural oils from his skin and coat. When lathering up your pup, use your fingers to get the soap inside all of your dog's folds on his body. Wash his facial folds with a soft washcloth moistened with warm water so you won't get any soap in his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Rinse the coat thoroughly, using a hand-held shower attachment to rinse each fold of skin. Residual soap caught within the folds will irritate the skin and cause dermatitis. With dogs who have folds in their faces or bodies, extra care in rinsing is crucial. Once rinsed, use a dry towel to wipe all moisture out of the wrinkles.
Between baths, clean out your pup's skin folds to keep them free of dirt and odors. Use hypoallergenic, scent-free baby wipes or pet wipes to clean your pup's wrinkles daily, recommends "Oh My Dog: How to Choose, Train, Groom, Nurture, Feed, and Care for Your New Best Friend." These pre-moistened wipes are gentle, and they contain moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and lanolin to clean the skin between the folds without drying it. You can also use a wash cloth dampened with warm water. After cleaning out the skin folds, use a soft, absorbent cloth or tissue to dry the folds thoroughly.
Dampness between your dog's skin folds can lead to the growth of bacteria and fungi, which you want to discourage. After cleaning and drying your pup's skin folds, sprinkle unscented talcum powder or cornstarch inside each fold to keep them dry. Create a water barrier inside the wrinkles by rubbing a bit of petroleum jelly with your finger or a cotton swab, Phil Maggitti recommends in the book "Bulldogs." This will moisturize the skin and soothe irritations. If you notice redness, or odors coming from the folds, take your pup to the vet for an exam; a skin infection may have developed.
Praise your pup and give him treats after you clean and dry his skin so that he begins to look forward to your daily grooming sessions. If you notice staining, especially in the folds near the eyes or mouth, use a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide, to help remove them and sanitize the area. Persistent stains may indicate an infection or possibly problems with Fido’s tear ducts, so bring your pup to the vet so she can determine what the cause could be.
- Southern California Bulldog Rescue: Helpful Bulldog Care
- Champ Bulldogs: English Bulldog Care
- English Bulldog News Forums: The Proper Way to Clean Ears, Nose Ropes, Folds, Paws, Tail Pockets and Vulva
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Groom Your Dog
- Oh My Dog: How to Choose, Train, Groom, Nurture, Feed, and Care for Your New Best Friend; Beth Ostrosky Stern and Kristina Grish
- Bulldogs; Phil Maggitti
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Bathing Your Dog
- Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images