How To Properly Bathe A Bulldog

VET’s Edition for Non-VETs!

Did you know your dog’s coat is full of natural oils? These provide both protective and waterproof functions, so while you might want to bathe your Bulldog every week to help him smell fresh, bathing too frequently might be detrimental.

Edited by Dr. Jo

Bulldog Bathing – Why properly?

So, it is important to learn how often and with what you should bathe him, to keep his coat in tip-top condition.

Learn how to bathe your Bulldog correctly, while applying the perfect technique and using the most suitable products for a healthier coat and a happier Bulldog!

Did you know your dog’s coat is full of natural oils? These provide both protective and waterproof functions, so while you might want to bathe your Bulldog every week to help him smell fresh, bathing too frequently might be detrimental.

So, it is important to learn how often and with what you should bathe him with, to keep his coat in tip-top condition.

Learn how to bathe your Bulldog correctly, while applying the perfect technique and using the most suitable products for a healthier coat and a happier Bulldog!

Why should you bathe your Bulldog?

Reason #1 – Bulldogs are prone to skin infections

This can make them smelly when normally they’re not at all.

Reason #2 – They are a low to moderate shedding breed

Are you occasionally finding hair around the house? Bathing can help minimize this.

Reason #3 – Reducing Bulldogs’ shedding may help your allergies as well!

Reason #4 – Occasional baths will help

It will help keep the skin in good condition, smelling great and soothing.

Reason #5 – It helps to keep him in good health

Keeping Bulldogs clean is vital because is the easiest way of avoiding skin diseases, yeast infections, fungus, and other skin issues.

Follow our Practical (and Easy) Steps and you will minimize skin diseases, allergies, and minimize shedding.

Say goodbye to itchy, smelly, allergic, super-shedding Bulldogs, and hairy furniture just by giving your pup a proper bath by using the proper technique!

How Often Should I Bathe My Bulldog?

First of all, you need to know that Bulldogs shouldn’t actually bathe so often. Unless your Bulldog has an underlying skin condition that requires more frequent bathing, once every month is enough.

If he gets dirty within that time, you can rinse him off with warm water alone.

Bulldog’s coats and skin have natural oils in them which helps to keep it at the most ideal moist levels, as well as providing protection and waterproofing.

Bathing more frequently than once per week strips all the oils from the coat, which can lead to poor quality, dry skin, and hair.

Of course, there’s no rule if your Bulldog ended up playing in the mud, or stained his coat with some food.

You can bathe him on a need-to basis in that case, with or without shampoo, but after that, you should wait a month to do it again.

Also, if the puppy or dog has developed a skin disease and needs the use of a special shampoo to bathe him, you have to follow the vet’s advice.

Bathing your Bulldog is a technique that you should learn to do effectively.

It can be very beneficial to your Bulldog’s skin and coat if not done too often, and when combined with frequent grooming, your Bulldog will have a smooth, shiny coat with minimal loose hairs.

“Too-frequent washing removes natural oils and causes the coat to become dry and harsh.”

AKC – American Kennel Club.

How to Bathe My Bulldog: Practical And Easy STEPS!

Bulldogs are tend to dislike water. That’s why you should introduce them to baths in a safe and fun environment, from a young age.

Don’t bathe them in tall tables as they can get scared and try to jump off.

Ideal places to try to bathe them include kitchen sinks, bathtubs, laundry tubs, and even outside with a hose in summer.

Step #1 – Prepare the bathing area (with all the stuff you will need)

Dog shampoo, conditioner (optional), a dog scrubbing brush, a grooming-mitt, dog earplugs or cotton balls to keep the water outside the ears while bathing, a couple of towels and washcloths, wrinkle cleaning wipes, and an anti-slip mat. 

Remove everything else as it will get in the way if your Bulldog decides to struggle.

Step #2 – Do some brushing

This is done to remove all the loose and dead hairs off before the bath. They’re going to fall anyway, but they might get in the way while applying the shampoo for Bulldogs.

You’ll also save some shampoo, instead of wasting it cleaning dead hairs. Once you’re done, you can place in the dog earplugs or the cotton wool inside the ears.

Do not put it in too deeply. This will help to reduce the water from entering the ears, which can lead to a moist environment that is perfect for bacterial growth.

Step #3 – Let the water flow

Start filling the sink, bathtub, laundry tub, or turn on the hose. Make sure water is a little bit warm by testing it with your elbow or inner wrist.

Water too cold or too hot not only may cause skin issues, but will also cause your Bulldog discomfort. Now get your Bulldog thoroughly wet all the way down to the skin.

Step #4 – Apply the dog shampoo

Add a fair amount of shampoo to every part of your Bulldog’s body. Massage it in deeply with your hands and fingers.

If your Bulldog is an adult, then you should get some help with the scrubbing brush, which will help you get deep inside the thick coat.

Soak the washcloths; use one to clean inside the wrinkles (softly but deeply) and the other one to clean up the dog’s belly and genitals. When you’re done, wash off the shampoo entirely.

Step #5 – Apply the dog conditioner

Pour enough conditioner throughout its body, and massage following the instructions in the label. 

Wash off the air conditioner entirely as well. If you have moisturizing dog shampoo, conditioner is not always necessary.

Step #6 – Clean other areas

This is a great opportunity to thoroughly clean other areas such as the eyes, nose, and ears. You can find practical (and easy) tips for these techniques in our guides section.

Step #7 – Do the drying part

Use the towel to dry off the excess water. Remember to remove the cotton ball from their ears if you haven’t cleaned their ears already.

You don’t have to dry him completely since dogs don’t mind being a little wet. Bulldogs have short hair so they won’t stay wet for long.

If you need him to be dry, then you can use a hairdryer to do it faster but ensure it is at a low-level temperature.

“A pet’s skin has a different pH balance than humans. Your shampoo will be drying to them.”

Jocelyn Robles – Professional Groomer

Extra tip: Watch out for wrinkles and paws. Bulldogs’ Wrinkles can be a prime area for infections when they are moist, so you should dry them off with wipes or tissue.

Make sure you don’t leave any moisture behind in these areas! Also, make sure to dry the gaps between their toes.

How to Keep My Bulldog Clean Between Baths: Helpful Tips

Bulldogs have a low to moderate shedding coats, but that won’t stop your couches from becoming covered in hair. Avoid that with these tips:

Tip #1 – Brush, brush, brush

If you make grooming a habit every day of the week, then you’ll keep your Bulldog clean in between baths. The best way of doing this is by brushing your Bulldog’s coat with our grooming tips. If you’re tired of brushing, then you should get a grooming mitt. Check out some tips on brushing your Bulldog’s coat!

Tip #2 – Pet-wipes

Pet wipes are a good touch-up cleaning option for Bulldogs. These are excellent for keeping your Bulldog’s body and wrinkles clean and smelling good. Purchase ones with natural ingredients to avoid any allergy or rash on your Bulldog’s skin.

Tip #3 – Natural spray perfume for dogs

These are like human perfumes but specially crafted for dog’s hair. They are useful for keeping your Bulldog smelling wonderful. Just occasionally spritz it on. But make sure to keep it natural!

Tip #4 – Clean your dog’s bed

If your Bulldog’s bed isn’t clean, as well as everything he touches, he won’t be clean either. Make sure to clean everything in contact with him, all of his favorite places in your house, and the floor in general. This will help you keep him clean longer. Check-out our Ultimate Guide to Bulldog-Proof your Home!

Tip #5 – Limit his contact with dirty water, mud, and others

Keep your Bulldog away from dirty water, mud, and dirt. If you play with him outside and he gets dirty, rinse him off with warm water.

Tip #6 – Keep his water sources clean

The water he drinks cannot have food traces from his last meal. Make sure to clean his water bowl every time. Check-out our Best Bowls for Bulldogs!

Tip #7 – Feed him with dry food

Dried food is better for your Bulldog generally; it keeps his teeth healthy, his poop dry, and himself cleaner. He also won’t make a mess while eating it! Another important thing is choosing the right food for Bulldogs. That will keep him flatulence-free so the smell won’t stick to his bed or toys.

Tip #8 – Keep your Bulldog’s anal glands clean

Anal glands are fetid smell sources for dogs, Bulldogs included. Most grooming services and veterinarians include this practice, but you can learn to do it safely by yourself at home with these Grooming wipes for Bulldogs.

Tip #9 – Keep his mouth clean

If your dog has bad breath, the smell will stick to everything he licks and drools on. Brush your dog’s teeth with dog toothpaste, and never human toothpaste, since it’s toxic for dogs. Dental chews for Bulldogs are also a nice option. Learn more about Bulldog’s tooth care!

Tip #10 – Keep his ears clean

Dog’s ears are a common place for yeast infections. Keep your Bulldog’s ears clean by wiping them regularly and cleaning them deeper occasionally. Check-out our Special Selection of ear wipes for Bulldogs or cotton balls along with an ear cleaner solution for Bulldogs (without alcohol to avoid itchiness).

All of these tips can help you keep your Bulldog clean between baths easily!

Useful Products to keep My Bulldog clean!

Check-out Our Detailed Reviews for Bulldogs to pick the best product for your Bulldog. We have invested time and effort to ease your buying decision!

Product #1 – Shampoo for Bulldogs

How to pick the right one? Bulldogs coat is really thick, and with the accumulated dirt and oil, it can become a rather difficult coat to wash with the wrong shampoo. Plant-based shampoo with aloe vera, natural oils, and natural perfumes is always the best pick. Aloe vera is extremely beneficial for your Bulldog’s skin and coat, and the natural oils will enhance their coat’s protection. Also, look for a pH between 6.5 and 7, because other pHs can be harmful to your Bulldog’s skin by causing imbalances.

Product #2 – Hair Conditioner for Bulldogs

look for one that does not contain any harmful chemicals which prevent skin irritation, suitable for dogs with normal, dry, or sensitive skin.

Product #3 – Grooming Gloves for Bulldogs

Thanks to some designs with individual fingers, some of them offer you a comfy tool to eliminate the excess of hair on your Bulldog’s coat. Easy to use, great for bathing Bulldogs!

Product #4 – Grooming Wipes for Bulldogs

There are some top-notch options out there! They come in several variants, including Allergen Blocker wipes. They are superb for keeping your Bulldog smelling nice between baths! We always like them smelling nice for hugs and kisses!

Product #5 – Deshedding Tools for Bulldogs

Product #6 – Dental Chews for Bulldogs

This will keep your Bulldog’s teeth and breath on point, with an easily digestible natural recipe and great flavor. Also, it will keep him entertained for a while.

Product #7 – Toothpaste for Bulldogs There are many flavorings, some of them come filled with enzymes to offer an extra-deep clean and anti-bacterial effect.

Product #8 – Treats for Bulldogs

They are always good resources for training!

Product #9 – Anti-slip mat for Bulldogs (Amazon)

How to take care of Bulldog

Frequently Asked Questions: Bulldog Bathing Schedule

How long should I leave the shampoo on my Bulldog’s coat?

You’ll want to leave it on for about four to five minutes, while gently massaging your Bulldog’s whole body. Make sure to hit every spot before rinsing with water.

Which is the optimal water temperature to bathe my Bulldog?

For Bulldogs, water temperature should be between 34°C to 37°C (93°F to 98.6°F). Anything above 37°C is too warm for them and will harm them.

How should I dry my Bulldog?

To dry a Bulldog properly you’ll need some patience. Keep a ton of towels around to dry him out the good old fashioned way; some squeeze the water out of his coat. Do it gently and maybe even play a little so your friend enjoys the experience!


Bathing your Bulldog can be a highly entertaining experience for both of you. However, it’s important to plan baths, use the proper place, and the right products for your Bulldog.

There are many generic soaps or shampoos for dogs that can harm your Bulldog’s skin. Moreover, your Bulldog doesn’t need to be allergic to this to happen.

Also, even though this is a great bonding and fun experience, it can turn into a scary experience for your Bulldog if an accident happens. That’s why we recommend planning ahead.

Editor’s Choice – Bathing A Bulldog

So, are you taking the right safety measures before a bath?

Dr. Joanna De Klerk

Dr. Jo is a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. She was one of BBC's Young Vets and experienced in telemedicine services, interviews, and public speaking about dogs and cats. Author of Harper Collins' Tales from a Young Vet and Tales from a Wild Vet, and a series of books on different dog breeds. She currently has 2 dogs at home. This article is the result of her experience not only as a Vet but also as a dog Parent.

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