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Cleaning Bulldog Folds: The Good, The Bad And The Smelly

Updated on July 30, 2012

English Bulldogs have a variety of skin folds. Some dogs have deep, heavily folded flaps of skin. Other bullies have shallow skin folds. They may form part of their loveable mug or sit hidden behind the tail. Yet, it does not matter how deep they are, all these crevasses require cleaning.

The Good, the Bad and the Smelly

The folds of a bulldog are deepest around the face. They hide soft skin. If you do not clean them regularly, the skin can become moist. This attracts bacteria and/or yeast. The skin beneath the fold becomes red and hair decreases. If you do not address the issue, infection is a possibility.

When cleaning, do not ignore behind the nose. A bully can quickly build up dirt here. No matter how clean he or she may appear everywhere else, there is almost always an amount of dirt behind the nose.

Yet, bullies may also have skin hidden beneath that small stump of a tail. This is an area often forgotten since not all bullies have this cavity or tail pocket. Beneath and around the anal glands, and above the anus, is a section where bacteria and/or yeast can run wild. The result is a smelly, infected region.


The best approach is preventive. Always thoroughly clean the folds of your bulldog every other day or daily. This will ensure they remain dry. If they are dry, bacteria and yeast do not have a chance to gain a fold hold. If the weather is conducive to the build-up of moisture in the folds, clean twice daily. This may be applicable particularly to the tail region.

What to Use

Before you clean the folds of your English bully, gather together several of the following items. You may choose to use some but not all of the products:

· Wipes – baby wipes or medicated wipes

· Cotton balls

· Cotton swabs including Q-tips – use very gently as the stick may scratch or irritate the skin

· Kleenex

· Soft cloth

· Corn starch – an excellent drying agent

· A veterinarian antibacterial, antifungal or both cream or ointment – human equivalents may also be employed but check first to see whether it is compatible

The most common tool for cleaning folds seems to be baby wipes. This is a viable and even a good solution providing you follow the cleansing with a dry wipe. You can use cotton swabs, or soft cloth to dry off the area. Remember, it is essential and I do mean ESSENTIAL, that you keep the folds dry.

Often, you can simply employ tissue papers (Kleenex) without relying on a damp cloth. However, damp cloths are often essential if your bully is a messy eater. A wet cloth will swiftly loosen dried on food from the folds near the mouth. As noted above, dry off the damp areas to prevent the ideal environment for the growth of yeast.

What to Avoid

When cleaning a Bullies’ folds there are several materials you should not use. The following is a partial list:

  • Anything abrasive – this includes both materials and your technique. Always be gentle. Think how you would feel if someone scrubbed behind your nose with a sandpaper-like substance
  • Anything with alcohol – alcohol may be an excellent cleanser but it may also be an irritant to the skin creating other problems on sensitive skin
  • Possible allergenic substances
  • Any form of baby powder containing talc and other questionable if not actually carcinogenic substances – this may dry up the area but also irritate the skin and/or cause sores to develop
  • Wet cloths – avoid unless you follow up with a thorough drying. Baby wipes may appear not particularly wet, but they can leave harmful moisture behind


Bullies are wonderful companions. They are gentle and loving. Yet, like all animals, they require attention and mindful care. If you want to make sure your Bullie leads a happy, healthy life, be sure you keep all those adorable wrinkles clean and dry.


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    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 10 months ago

      Any thoughts on Witch Hazel for the folds underneath the eyes of the Bully?

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      Diane Ward 5 years ago

      Very useful information