An important part of being a dog owner is keeping your canine companion healthy and happy. This means providing them with enough exercise, feeding them quality food, spending time with them, keeping them stimulated and entertained, and taking care of their appearance. After all, a dog’s health can easily be seen just by looking at its coat – it should always be shiny and clean. So many dog breeds have health concerns, skin and coat issues being common especially among bulldogs. These docile, loyal companions are beloved for their adorable wrinkles and easy-going personalities. They’re an extremely popular breed. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), bulldogs – also called English bulldogs – are currently the fifth most popular breed in the U.S.
Many bulldog owners struggle with their beloved dog suffering from allergies, skin infections, inflammation, and irritation. Coats can often become dull and thin, and some bulldogs are constantly scratching or biting at their skin. Watching your best four-legged friend struggle is one of the most painful experiences a pet owner can go through.
Here are some tips for coping with your bulldog’s allergies and keeping their coat clean and healthy.
The Importance of Nutrition
Experts will tell you that poor nutrition is one of the most common reasons why some dogs have dull coats. Your furry friend needs regular, healthy, balanced meals, and as little as possible of processed foods, preservatives, or other substances that cause allergies. So, if you want your bulldog’s fur to be strong and healthy, providing a nutritious diet is key. When buying your dog’s food, do your research, pay attention to the ingredients, and consult your veterinarian when in doubt.
Groom Your Bulldog’s Coat Regularly
If you want your bulldog to have a shiny coat and healthy skin, grooming is a must. Many experts believe bulldogs should be thoroughly brushed at least three times a week. Plus, since bulldogs are so mellow, they generally enjoy being brushed. It's also a special time you get to spend together.
For best success, use a soft bristle or rubber brush on your bulldog. Start at the rear and brush against the hair. After you’ve brushed the entire dog against the grain, brush it again with the grain. Follow this with a good rub down. This will keep his hair shiny and his skin healthy. The idea is to remove the dead hair and distribute the natural oils. The bottom line: a good all-over brushing a few times a week should keep them looking nice and help keep shedding at bay.
If you notice your bulldog is developing bald spots, or patches of her skin feel hot to the touch, that could be a sign of something serious. If there is a change in your dog’s coat, it’s crucial that you consult your veterinarian right away.
Bathing is a MUST
Regular bathing is not only a matter of hygiene, but it is also necessary for a healthy coat. Bathing your bulldog once or twice a month should be enough, especially if your dog spends most time indoors. You may be tempted to bathe your pup more often, but frequent baths can dry out the skin and strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils.
When it’s time for a bath, lather up with a gentle, hypoallergenic Anti-Allergen Pet Shampoo. Our pet shampoo has a plant and mineral-based formula that cleans and conditions your dog’s coat and neutralizes allergens while being gentle on the skin. It helps pets as well as owners with allergies.
Another essential grooming tip? Don’t forget about those wrinkles! Yes, they are adorable, but they also can be super irritating for the dog when moisture, food, dirt, or other debris gets trapped in them. This in turn becomes an ideal breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria that can eventually lead to bacterial infections and yeast infections, which are uncomfortable for the dog and need to be treated by a veterinarian with medication. To prevent this from happening, thoroughly clean those wrinkles, inside and out, daily with a wet washcloth. After cleaning out your pup’s wrinkles, gently dry them with a blow dryer set to low or cool heat to ensure that there is no lingering moisture.
Coping with Allergies
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, but 10% of dogs suffer from allergies, too. Similar to humans, the symptoms can include things like a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Unlike humans, you may notice your dog rubbing their face on the floor, chewing their feet, or licking or scratching themselves excessively. Some dogs experience itchy, swollen skin, while others suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, a secondary infection may develop.
Dogs rely on their owners to help prevent and treat allergy symptoms. Besides harsh chemicals such as those found in conventional household cleaning products, smoke, and fragrance, dogs can also be allergic to natural, seasonal substances. This can include plant and tree pollens, mold spores, dust mites, and fleas.
Here are some things you can do to reduce common allergens in your home:
- Avoid the use of harsh cleaning products and fragranced air fresheners that can contribute to airborne irritants. Instead, consider the types of products you use around your loved ones. Our product, Vital Oxide, is an all-purpose cleaner, EPA-registered hospital disinfectant, food-contact surface sanitizer, mold killer, odor eliminator, and allergen neutralizer. It’s fragrance-free, dye-free, VOC-free, and free from noxious odors and harmful residues. You can find it here.
- Rather than “dry” cleaning (brooms and feather dusters) which can aerosolize allergens, clean with wet supplies such as damp cloths and mops which will trap and remove allergens.
- Combating fleas and dust mites? Use a product that lets you destroy dust mites and fleas with no fuss, and with no harm to your family or pets. Our product DustMitex is not a harsh chemical or dangerous poison, but a natural Boron Compound much like the Borax used in laundry cleaning.
- Vacuum regularly, at least once a week, with a vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a HEPA filter to prevent particles from leaking out while you vacuum.
- In addition to using a HEPA vacuum, adding a HEPA filter in household heating and cooling systems and the using an air purifier with a HEPA filter in the room where pets spend the most of their time will reduce the concentration of allergens floating in the air.
- Wash your bulldog’s bed and soft toys with an Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent once a week to provide relief for allergy sufferers. Our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent removes allergens such as dust mite waste, mold, mildew, smoke, pollen, and pet dander on all types of clothing and bedding. This 100% biodegradable plant and mineral-based formula naturally removes the allergen while leaving your washables fresh, clean, and soft. Our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent is effective in cold, warm, or hot water.
- Clear away clutter. Less stuff around the home makes it easier to clean and get rid of allergens like dust.
- Use an Anti-Allergen Solution to eliminate allergens from furniture, rugs, curtains, carpeting, upholstery, pet beds and more. Our Anti-Allergen Solution is 100% biodegradable, made with a plant and mineral-based solution. It’s free of fragrances and other ingredients that can make allergic reactions worse. The non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula is also safer for the planet, so you can feel good about using it in your home and around your beloved bulldogs.
When in Doubt, Consult Your ‘Dogtor’
If your dog won’t stop licking, scratching, and chewing, has red and irritated skin, or hair loss, make an appointment to see your vet right away. A certified veterinarian can help develop a unique treatment plan for pet allergies and skin infections that best suits their needs.
Thinking about adding a bulldog to your family? Be sure to check out the Ultimate Bulldog Guide.At The Ecology Works, all of our products are made with the well-being of people, pets, and the planet in mind. Learn more about the science behind our products and how to make more eco-friendly choices. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We’re here to help.