Why Do Bulldogs Stink? (Use These 3 Tips to Reduce the Pong)

We love them, but let's be fair, they can smell

Why Do Bulldogs Stink? (Use These 3 Tips to Reduce the Pong)

Has someone ever asked why your bulldog stinks? Or perhaps you’ve got too close to one and wondered for yourself.

The Bulldog is a much-loved breed, but it, unfortunately, carries an unfortunate and smelly reputation. In this article, I’ll explain why I think Bulldogs get this pongy smell.

Speaking from experience, as a Bulldog owner myself, I’ll share my top 3 tips that help me minimise odours.

So grab a peg for your nose and let's jump right in.

Why Do Bulldogs Stink?

Like other brachycephalic breeds, such as Pugs, French Bulldogs and Boxers, Bulldogs are flat-faced, which gives them their distinctive wrinkles and skin folds.

While these look adorable, they’re really unhygienic. The skin folds act as a magnet, trapping loose food, eye boogers, sweat and excess moisture.

Left unchecked they’ll encourage bacteria growth and that’s where the stench comes from.

Luna loves to run through puddles and roll around in the dirt every chance she can get. Being short and low to the ground means she often brushes the floor collecting tons of debris along the way.

Plus it’s no surprise that Bulldogs are chunky monkeys, the excess weight they carry combined with the short snouts means it’s really tough to cool down. This means they can sweat a lot, and just like humans, sweat can pong.

1. Clean the wrinkles daily

Foul odours are most common from the skin folds and wrinkles on a bulldog’s face and tail pocket. These areas are hotspots for bacteria growth and yeast infections, so my top tip is to clean the wrinkles daily.

That’s right, daily.

At least until the odour subdues. I clean Luna’s wrinkles daily using a damp cloth, then I ensure the areas are thoroughly dried and if the wrinkles are particularly stinky or looking sore, I’ll follow up with a specially formulated wrinkle cream.

For me, it just makes sense to do it daily, as soon as Luna and I wake up she gets a quick once over. Then she gets the same treatment before bedtime too.

Infections can be really serious if wrinkles are left untreated, so I prevent this at all costs by having a routine — dogs like routines too, so it just works.

I posted an article which goes into depth around this topic, so you can learn how to clean bulldog wrinkles.

How to Clean Bulldog Wrinkles
Discover how to clean Bulldog wrinkles and the three simple steps I use with my English Bulldog.

2. Bathe monthly

Thankfully, Bulldogs have short-furred coats, which means I don’t need to wash Luna daily or even weekly.

A monthly wash should do the trick to keep the smells at bay.

Although if you’re letting your bulldog out regularly to play outside, run through puddles or roll around in dirt then I’d always recommend washing shortly afterwards. Especially since rain water and puddles can encourage a bit of a pong.

To be clear, you should still wash your bulldog’s face daily as per tip number one.

3. Feed a raw diet

I’ve found the type of food Luna eats has a direct relationship with the smells she can give off.

Bulldogs are particularly prone to skin complications such as developing rashes, having itchy or dry skin, as well as ear infections. Not forgetting the smell of the farts that bulldogs can let out too.

Bulldog owners often overlook the quality of food they choose to buy, opting for the most economical. Which totally makes sense, but a word of caution, cheaper food doesn’t always mean quality food.

Most kibble foods which can be bought in bulk are usually stuffed with excess ingredients like starch and fats which your bulldog won’t even need or be able to digest.

On occasions Luna was regurgitating food, having softer bowel movements and had wetter-looking wrinkles when eating kibble.

That’s the reason why I decided to feed Luna a raw diet, and I’ve not looked back since. Raw food is essentially how it sounds, food in the form it came in, no added anything.

My current favourite is Rocketo Dehydrated Beef, visit my resources page to find a link to their website to order some of your own.

Since eating a raw diet Luna’s stools have been much firmer, and less smelly, she goes to the toilet less often (she was going to poop up to 10 times a day at one stage), and she rarely vomits now.

I’ll be honest though feeding a raw diet does cost a bit more, but my dog’s health is really important so I’m happy to pay that bit extra.

Resources: My favourite dog products, tech, and apps
If you’re curious about what dog products, tech, apps, and books I’m currently using check out my resources!


Too long, didn't read.

Why Do Bulldogs Stink? Bulldogs are family favourites, but while that scrunched-up face might look adorable, it’s really unhygienic.

Bulldogs love to get dirty by rolling around in the dirt and running through puddles which are normal behaviour for dogs, but it does encourage bad smells.

The good news is these 3 tips help me reduce the smells that comes from Luna, my English Bulldog:

  • Clean the wrinkles daily
  • Bathe monthly
  • Feed a raw diet
Furrimals is not a medical resource. Do not disregard advice from a professional veterinarian because of something you read here.

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