The English bulldog is arguably one of the world’s most instantly recognizable breeds.
With those square faces, wide shoulders, and all their weight carried on the front end, these guys are the adorable bulldozers of the canine world.
Another distinctive feature is those fabulous wrinkles, which give the bulldog a permanently worried expression.
However that short coat and wrinkled skin requires sensitive care and it’s important to select the best shampoo for English bulldogs in order to keep both skins and coat healthy.
In addition, fur rubbing against skin causes micro-trauma and abrasions that give bacteria an entry point to start infections. For example, those deep skin folds provide a warm, moist environment in which bacteria like to breed.
Some of the problems most commonly associated with bulldog skin include:
- Skinfold dermatitis: This is the condition described above.
Bulldogs are prone to bacterial or yeast infections in those tight airless folds.
Typically the tightest folds are around the base of the tail and on the head, and these need special attention.
- Hot spots: These are small patches of infection that seem to pop up almost overnight.
Typically they are moist, sticky, and intensely itchy.
- Skin allergies: Many bulldogs suffer from allergic reactions to pollens and contaminants in the environment.
Clues that your bulldog may have a skin allergy include obsessive licking of the paws, tummy, and inner thighs.
- Seborrhea: This is the dog that has a greasy feeling coat.
Seborrhea is an overproduction of natural oils from the skin, which results in dull, tacky feeling fur.
Using the best dog shampoo for an English bulldog can help settle many of these problems, and make the difference between needing vet treatment or not.
However, before looking in detail at the best English bulldog shampoos in detail, know that you should always use products designed for dogs.
Human shampoo is designed for skin with a different makeup and chemistry.
Using a human product will damage the natural balance of your dog’s skin and make things considerably worse, rather than better.
1. DermaPet” Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Shampoo
The best shampoo for English bulldogs with seborrhea (greasy skin) is DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide.
The shampoo is head and shoulders above the competition and made by the well-respected supplier of veterinary products, Dechra.
Benzoyl Peroxide may be familiar to you as an ingredient in many human anti-acne products.
It has a powerful ‘follicle flushing’ effect, which is another way of saying it deep cleans the skin, penetrating down the hair shafts into the follicles to cleanse them of excess oil and grease.
Indeed, benzoyl peroxide shampoos are used as a treatment for demodectic mange, because the shampoo gets deep down into the hair follicle where the Demodex mites like to hide.
For years, benzoyl peroxide shampoos were prescription-only products, but happily, this professional grade product is an exception and available without a script.
The beauty of this Dermapet product is that it also contains salicylic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory and so helpful at settling red and inflamed skin.
Use DermaPet Benzoyl Peroxide regularly, to control your bulldog’s greasy skin.
But remember this is the equivalent of treatment and isn’t suitable for all skin types.
Avoid using it on dry scurfy coats or indeed those that are overly sensitive.
However, the upside is that this shampoo will help settle conditions triggered by bacterial infections, such as hot spots.
It’s also great to treat acne, skin infections, lick granulomas, and skin fold infections.
For skin fold infections you can use the shampoo almost like a facial wash, to cleanse localized areas of the skin.
Apply using a clean facecloth or cotton balls to damp skin, and be sure to rinse thoroughly and then dry the skin fold so that it isn’t left damp.
2. Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine Shampoo
All dogs have a natural population of bacteria and yeasts living on the skin’s surface. Under some circumstances these populations can breed out of control, for example:
- Poor skin immunity: A dog that is unwell or fighting an infection, is more prone to skin infections
- Damaged skin: Such as the rubbing and chafing that occurs when furred skin rubs against itself in a skin fold
- Greasy skin: When the skin produces too much natural grease, this provides a favorable environment for bacteria or yeasts to breed
- Underactive thyroid glands: Hypothyroidism is common in bulldogs, and weakens the skin’s ability to fight infection.
Using a medicated shampoo is an important way to care for the dog’s skin and nip infections in the bud.
This Curaseb shampoo is ideal to keep problem skins under control because it contains a number of great ingredients such as:
- Chlorhexidine: Chlorhexidine is so good at killing bacteria that it’s used as a surgical scrub.
- Ketoconazole: This is an anti-fungal agent that is great at keeping yeast in check and is also effective against ringworm.
- Aloe vera: For gentle, oil-free miniaturization which helps keeps skin supple and soft.
So when would your bulldog benefit from using Curaseb?
This is a must-have product for the dog that has a musty, yeasty smelling coat.
Or the dog with a greasy coat or one that is prone to skin infections.
Indeed, if your dog’s coat looks dull and doesn’t smell great, then give Curaseb ago.
3. Rocco & Roxie – Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
Your bulldog may look all roughy-toughy but he has the delicate skin of a newborn baby.
Dog skin can be surprisingly sensitive, and certain shampoos bring them out in a rash or cause intense itching.
If your bulldog is a sensitive flower and topical treatments leave his skin irritated and inflamed, then this Rocco & Roxie shampoo could be just the ticket.
Oh yes, and its gentle nature also means it ranks as the best shampoo for English bulldog puppy.
So what’s the magic that’s inside a bottle of Rocco & Roxie Calm shampoo for sensitive skin?
Actually, it also about what’s NOT in there, as it doesn’t contain artificial colors and preservatives or unsavory things like sulfates or parabens.
However, what it does do big time is natural ingredients such as aloe vera (for miniaturization), Rosemary extract (for natural cleansing and disinfection) and chamomile (to improve the skin’s texture and elasticity.)
All of this adds up to a gentle but effective, hypoallergenic shampoo.
And remember, dogs that with skin allergies benefit from regular bathing.
When allergens contact the skin this triggers a release of chemicals that end up with an itchy dog.
When those allergens are regularly cleansed from the skin then there’s less chance of triggering an allergic reaction.
However, normal shampoos can be overly harsh for regular use and strip the coat of its natural oils.
But this isn’t something you need to worry about with Rocco & Roxie because it’s so gentle.
4. Purest Pets Allergy Relief
Once again we find our bulldozers dog is softer than he looks. The bulldog is a breed that’s sensitive…especially when it comes to their skin.
They are prone to atopy (an allergic condition and have generally sensitive, reactive skins.
This means that bathing your bulldog with a perfumed shampoo or one that contains harsh chemicals, could lead to sore skin that is inflamed and reddened because of irritation.
To ensure this doesn’t happen we recommend Purest Pets Allergy Relief shampoo as the best shampoo for English bulldogs with skin allergies.
What makes it so good?
For starters, it’s a case of what’s not in the shampoo.
It is free chemical fragrances, color, and preservatives, which means less to irritate the skin.
Neither does it contain detergents, parabens, or DEA.
So what does it contain?
This detergent-free shampoo is made up of aloe vera, collagen, and almond oil, along with coconut, apple and herbs.
It cleanses effectively in a way that is pH balanced for a dog’s delicate skin.
Use this shampoo regularly to remove allergens from the environment such as pollen, pesticides, and grass spores.
By physically washing them off the surface of the skin this removes the trigger for the allergic reaction and helps promote a comfortable, itch-free skin.
For many pet parents, this means giving their dog the gift of relief from constant itching and scratching.
Of course, allergies are a complex topic and bathing alone with this shampoo is not enough to control the problem for some dogs, but it certainly goes some way to helping.
5. Nourish Fresh Deodorizing Dog Shampoo
Last but certainly not least, if you are fortunate enough to have a bulldog that is free from skin problems, then you’ll still need a great all-purpose shampoo.
This deals with those unpleasant odors arising from your best buddy getting up to the sort of hi-jinx that an active dog is prone to, such as wading through mud or rolling in something unmentionable.
As the best dog shampoo for bulldogs as an all-round product we love this Nourish product that is a combined shampoo and conditioner in one. (We also love how for every bottle purchased, Nourish donate another bottle to a rescue.)
We especially love this Nourish shampoo because it’s a tear-free formulation and safe to use to keep those adorable wrinkles and facial folds clean.
Again, it is an endearing bulldog characteristic that they are prone to tear staining down the face.
This Nourish shampoo is from a range of targeted products, of which this one is for breeds with lots of skin folds such as the bulldog, pug, and Shah Pei, or indeed those dogs with light coats that are prone to tear staining, such as the Maltese, Bichon Frise, poodle, and Shih Tzu.
Again, this is one of those products that sounds as much like a delicious cocktail as a shampoo.
It has a light blueberry scent and contains a combination of essential oils and fruit extracts that weave their magic to create a clean and bright coat (without stinging the eyes.)
But what do the real experts (Bulldog owners) have to say?
Many are hooked on this shampoo, and find it strong enough to clean the stains that other products leave behind, but do it in a gentle way. It suds up well, smells delicious and rinses out easily.
What’s not to love?
So there we have it, our guide to the best dog shampoos for bulldogs.
It is heartening to know that many of the coat issues a bulldog pet parent is likely to encounter can be helped with the aid of the right product.
This doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will never have skin issues, but it does mean you might be able to decrease the frequency of vet trips or reduce the dose of medications.
And if you’re scratching your head thinking your dog doesn’t have skin problems, and then know that not all shampoos are the same.
For the general health and well-being of your dog (not to mention the planet) look for products with natural ingredients that are free from chemicals such as parabens or sulfates.
But this doesn’t mean your dog is consigned to an ineffective product because the shampoos we’ve listed will leave your dog’s coat soft and glossy.
That’s got to be worth doing, especially when you own one of the world’s most instantly recognizable breeds!
You are, after all, an ambassador for bulldogs so you want your dog to look his adorable wrinkly best at all times!