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How To Clean Bulldog Faces or Any Flat-Faced Dog Face

by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 3 min read

How To Clean Bulldog Faces or Any Flat-Faced Dog Face

Keeping Your Flat-Faced Dog's Face Kissably Fresh and Clean

Your flat-faced dog is undoubtably adorable. That squishy face with the endearing wrinkles and that short, snuffly nose is too cute for words. You have to give them a quick snuggle and kiss on the nose and then...What is that smell? Kinda funky, with a whiff of a sweetish smell. Ugh, what IS that?

Yep, your flat-faced sweet heavenly angel might just be the cutest dog EVER, but those facial folds and the nose area are cauldrons for cooking up some smelly, potentially ugly messes. How to clean Bulldog faces is a hot topic at the dog park, that's for sure!

When our flat faced dogs eat or drink they cannot help but get it all over their faces. Water splashes up and catches on their face with every slurp. Plus, flat faced dogs have a tendency to have larger and often slightly protruding eyes. Bigger eyes = more tears. More tears = damper faces.

Hmmm, and what happens when you get damp, moist skin warm? Yep, those facial crevices can  develop fungal and bacterial problems. The next thing you know your dog's face has red, raw, irritated skin along the folds.

While many use the term "nose wrinkle" or "wrinkles" for a furrowed brow on dogs, it is not technically a wrinkle. The skin on our dog's faces is technically facial folds. We use the term "nose wrinkle" due to its common usage and to make it easier for our customers to find via search.

Our dear friends at Merriam-Webster define a wrinkle as; 

wrin·​kle - a small ridge or furrow especially when formed on a surface by the shrinking or contraction of a smooth substance. When in the skin especially when due to age, worry, or fatigue

clean bulldog wrinkles

Cleaning Your Dog's Facial Folds, Nose Wrinkles and Tear Stained Faces

Enough semantics, onto cleaning your dog's adorable face properly! Smoosh, flat faces can become raw, irritated and red down in the facial folds and the area from their eyes down to their mouth where tears can irritate the skin.

Lighter colored dogs are also often plagued with reddish, rusty looking tear stained areas. This is a multi-pronged issue and cannot be remedied by wiping their face off.

Of course, there are products that can freshen and brighten the discolored hair, but it won't be 100% white, white. Tear-stain removing products cannot bleach the hair back on their own, unless they contain bleaching agents. And who wants to bleach our dog's faces? That is just science and we're all about the science around here.

Flat-Face Disclaimer

Is it quick, easy and immediate to get a dog with a red, irritated, raw face back to perfect? Well, nope, it is not. As we mentioned, the hair has been dyed and while it can be brightened up, it cannot be brought back to original color unless you bleach the hair/coat.

What you CAN do is clean the face often and use the Boo Boo Butter to protect the face and divert additional liquid accumulation. Be tenacious as a Bulldog and you will be rewarded with a fresh, clean bully face. Your hard work will pay off!

The bottom line is the hair/coat must GROW out or be CUT OFF to be completely clean again. What you CAN do is care for the existing coat and support the skin properly and allow the new growth to come in. 

Flat Face Face Cleaning & Protecting Steps

  • Wipe face clean with warm washcloth to remove built-up debris and dirt
  • Use NO H20 Spray Shampoo to clean your dog's face in-between baths
  •  Or use Gentle Touch Soap or Shampoo or Razzle Dazzle for white faces
  • Allow face to dry completely - pat dry, and completely dry inside the facial folds
  • Gently apply Boo Boo Butter to irritated area to protect again tears, avoiding eyes**
  • Consider a grain-free diet with NO dyes or color enhancers
  • Or consider fish-based food. Eliminate chicken, which can be problematic for many dogs. In over 30 years of having Frenchies, mine have done best on fish-based kibble.

** Boo Boo Butter won't harm eyes, but it may sting (as anything does when it gets in our eyes).

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