It’s easy to recognize the English Bulldog. With its stocky build, adorable skin folds, and comical gait, it’s one of the most recognizable dog breeds out there. It’s also one of the most popular, according to the American Kennel Club. Bulldogs, including the English, American, and French Bulldog, consistently rank near the top of the most popular breeds.
If you’re considering adopting an English Bulldog or you’re already a proud bulldog owner, you may have found yourself wondering: Do English Bulldogs shed?
The answer is yes, English Bulldogs do shed. However, these dogs are considered light to average shedders, so you aren’t likely to be overwhelmed by the amount of hair they leave around your home. It’s just one more reason this beloved breed makes a great family pet.
How much do English Bulldogs shed, exactly, and how often? What could cause them to shed more than usual? And what can you as a pet owner do to make sure your dog’s shedding stays under control? Read on to learn more about your English Bulldog’s shedding and coat-care needs.
How Much Do English Bulldogs Shed?
Your English Bulldog will shed relatively lightly — but consistently — for most of the year. And keep in mind that different dogs shed different amounts. Thanks to genetics, some English Bulldogs simply shed more than others.
What does this mean for you at home? You might notice some dog hair on your furniture or carpets now and then, or on your clothes after a fun play session with your pooch. This is especially likely if you’re wearing dark clothes, as most English Bulldogs are white or tan with brindle patterns.
It’s important to note that there are two times per year when your English Bulldog’s shedding will probably increase. In the late winter or early spring months, your dog is shedding their winter coat. In autumn, they’re shedding their summer coat. These seasonal changes are perfectly normal, but expect more loose hair around the home at these times.
Possible Causes of Excessive Shedding
Do English Bulldogs shed? Yes, but not excessively. That is, if everything is normal. Certain health issues could cause your lovable pet to shed more than usual. Some conditions can even result in full-fledged hair loss.
A few of the most common causes of increased shedding are nutritional deficiencies, parasites, skin infections, and allergies.
When a dog doesn’t receive proper nutrition, one of the first things to suffer is the coat. Shedding tends to increase when a dog isn’t getting the nutrients they need for healthy skin and fur. That’s why it’s so important for dog owners to feed their English Bulldog a high-quality food.
What makes dog food high-quality? According to the American Kennel Club, a good dog food will contain meat, veggies, grains, and fruits. Because dogs aren’t strict carnivores, they derive nutrition from grains, fruits, and vegetables in addition to meat. So, a food containing all of these ingredients will provide your dog with valuable vitamins, minerals, and more.
Here’s a trick to help: Look for the words “complete and balanced” on the label of your dog’s food bag. It’s more than a marketing slogan. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) adds this label to foods that contain at least the minimum amount of essential nutrition for the pet the food is intended for.
Intestinal worms and heartworms won’t cause shedding, but other kinds of parasites like fleas, mites, lice, and ticks can definitely lead to increased shedding and hair loss. Other symptoms of parasitic infestation include skin irritation, excessive scratching, chewing, biting, licking, and bald patches.
Have your dog examined by your veterinarian at the first sign of parasites. And prevent the issue entirely by keeping your dog on high-quality pest preventatives, like a flea-and-tick preventative and a heartworm preventative.
Fungal or Bacterial Infection
Another health problem that can affect an English Bulldog’s shedding is an infection from fungus or bacteria. Your dog could come across these agents in their environment or through contact with another infected animal. Ringworm is one relatively common example. The ringworm fungus is contracted when your dog encounters another animal with ringworm, and the fungus causes dry skin, skin inflammation, and circular areas of hair loss.
Luckily, most skin infections can be cleared up easily with the help of your veterinarian. Antibiotics or anti-fungal medications will be prescribed and your dog should be rid of the infection in a few weeks.
Various allergens like pollen, dust, dirt, and mold could cause your dog to have allergic reactions. And because your English Bulldog’s thick skin folds can trap allergens on the skin, causing atopic dermatitis, your pet is more prone to allergies than other dog breeds.
If you know your dog has allergies or sensitivities to certain substances, ask your vet about preventative measures. Allergy medication, regular bathing with medicated shampoo, and lifestyle management practices (keeping your dog away from offending allergens, for example) can help. You can also give your dog Native Pet’s Allergy Chicken Chews, which provide an all-natural antihistamine to help build your dog’s defense against allergens.
How to Keep Your Bulldog’s Coat in Good Shape
We’ve learned that English Bulldogs are light to moderate shedders with the exception of seasonal shedding periods that occur in early spring and autumn. And certain health concerns could cause additional or excessive shedding. But most of our wrinkly friends only need a simple grooming routine and a good diet to keep shedding under control.
Here are four tips for keeping your English Bulldog’s hair and coat in good shape:
- Brush your dog: Do English Bulldogs shed so much that you need to brush them every day? Not necessarily, but a quick daily brush certainly won’t hurt. This helps to remove loose hair from your dog’s coat, and it helps spread the natural oils from your dog’s skin throughout the coat to keep it properly moisturized. Use a fine brush with compact bristles, and make sure the bristles are soft so that you don’t irritate your dog’s sensitive skin.
- Bathe your dog: Regular bathing is another part of proper grooming for English Bulldogs. This ensures no dirt, grime, or allergens get lodged in your pet’s skin folds. Use a mild shampoo made specifically for dogs, and ask your vet for an exact bathing schedule. Some bulldogs need weekly baths, while others do just fine getting a bath once a month.
- Feed them a great diet: What your dog eats has a lot to do with their coat health. As mentioned above, improper nutrition can lead to poor skin and fur health, not to mention other problems around the body. Do your research to find a nutritionally balanced kibble made without unnecessary preservatives, filler ingredients, or artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Ask your vet to recommend their best choice if you’re unsure what to feed Fido.
- Try dietary supplements: Supplementing your dog’s diet with a fish oil supplement containing plenty of omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to give your pet’s coat an extra boost. Fatty acids help support cell growth in the skin and hair follicles and make for a moisturized, smooth, and shiny coat of fur. Native Pet’s Omega Oil is a great choice — it’s made with pollock and salmon oil and can help reduce itching and scratching. Bonus: It can help reduce joint pain at the same time.
Do English Bulldogs Shed? Keeping Your Dog’s Shedding Under Control
Do English Bulldogs shed? Yes. Do English Bulldogs shed a lot? No, not normally. While your dog may shed more than usual during early spring and autumn when they’re shedding their seasonal coats, English Bulldogs are light to moderate shedders for most of the year.
Like any dog breed, the English Bulldog is susceptible to a few health issues that could lead to increased shedding and hair loss. These include poor nutrition, infestation by parasites like fleas, mites, lice or ticks, bacterial or fungal infections, and allergies. Get your dog to the vet’s office if you think any of these issues are impacting your pet — quick treatment is the best way to keep your dog healthy and get their coat back to normal.
Maintain your English Bulldog’s healthy coat by brushing them regularly with a soft-bristled brush, bathing regularly with a mild shampoo made for your dog’s sensitive skin, and feeding your pet a healthy diet. You can also offer your dog dietary supplements to aid in skin and fur health. These efforts should keep your bulldog’s shedding under control and save you from having to clean up a lot of extra dog fur around your home.
Want more advice on your dog’s health and wellness needs? Visit the Native Pet blog.