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Why Your English Bulldog Smells So Bad? 7 Reasons

english bulldog smells bad

If you’re a proud owner of an English Bulldog, you know they come with a unique charm—and sometimes, an equally unique odor. Bulldogs, both English and French, are prone to developing unpleasant smells due to their distinct body structure and skin folds.. If you’re wondering ‘’Why your English bulldog smells so bad?’’, then this blog post will help you learn about it. We’ll explore the common causes of these odors and provide practical solutions, including natural remedies to keep your furry friend smelling fresh.

english bulldog smells bad

Common Causes of Bad Odor in English Bulldogs

English Bulldog Smells Due To Folds and Wrinkles

English Bulldogs are cute with their wrinkles but those wrinkles can also be stinky. The folds trap moisture, dirt and bacteria and your English Bulldog will smell bad. The warm moist environment in the folds is a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast and will make your Bulldog smell like cheese or popcorn.


Daily Cleaning: Clean your Bulldog’s folds daily with a damp cloth or specialized wipes. This will remove trapped dirt and bacteria and prevent infection.

Dry Thoroughly: After cleaning, make sure the folds are completely dry. Moisture buildup encourages bacterial growth and will make your English Bulldog smell bad. You can use a soft, absorbent towel or a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry the area.

English Bulldog Smells Due To Tail Pocket Infection

Bulldogs have tail pockets which are small indentations beneath the tail. These pockets can collect dirt, debris and even feces and will create a perfect environment for bacterial growth. This will make your English Bulldog smell bad.


Regular Inspection: During grooming sessions, check the tail pocket for any debris buildup. Regular inspections will help you catch any issues early.

Clean with Care: Use a damp cloth or baby wipes to clean the tail pocket. Make sure to dry the area thoroughly. If there’s still an odor, apply a gentle antiseptic solution to eliminate bacteria and reduce the smell.

English Bulldog Smells Due To Ear Infections

English Bulldogs have floppy ears which trap moisture and can lead to ear infections. Ear infections are a common reason why your English Bulldog will smell bad. The buildup of wax, debris and bacteria will emit a foul odor often described as yeasty or musty.


Weekly Cleaning: Clean your Bulldog’s ears weekly with a vet approved ear cleaner. This will remove excess wax and debris and prevent infections that will make your English Bulldog smell bad.

Watch for Symptoms: Be on the lookout for ear infection symptoms such as redness, swelling or discharge. If you see any of these symptoms, consult your vet immediately to prevent further complications and odor issues.

english bulldog smells bad

English Bulldog Smells Due To Dental Issues

Bad breath can be a major contributor to why your English Bulldog smells bad. Plaque and tartar buildup will lead to gum disease and will cause a persistent and unpleasant odor that will affect your Bulldog’s overall smell.


Brush Their Teeth: Brush your Bulldog’s teeth regularly with a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. This will prevent plaque buildup and keep their breath fresh.

Dental Chews: Give dental treats that are designed to reduce plaque and tartar. These chews are not only good for oral health but also keep your Bulldog busy.

Regular Vet Visits: Schedule dental cleanings with your vet as needed. Professional cleanings are important to prevent dental issues that will make your English Bulldog smell bad.

English Bulldog Smells Due To Skin Infections

English Bulldogs are prone to skin infections due to their sensitive skin and deep folds which can cause a musty smell. Infections occur when bacteria and yeast multiply in the warm moist areas of the skin and your English Bulldog smells bad.


  • See Your Vet: If you see redness, itching or sores on your Bulldog’s skin see your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Early intervention can prevent infections from getting worse.
  • Use Antifungal Shampoos: Regular baths with antifungal dog shampoos can help prevent skin infections. These shampoos clean the skin and reduce the buildup of bacteria and yeast which is key when your English Bulldog smells bad.

english bulldog smells bad

English Bulldog Smells Due To Anal Gland Issues 

Bulldogs can suffer from anal gland problems which can cause a strong fishy smell. This is a common issue that makes your English Bulldog smell bad and is usually due to full or impacted anal glands.


  • Regular Vet Checkups: Make sure your vet checks your Bulldog’s anal glands regularly. This routine care will prevent gland issues that cause bad odors.
  • Dietary Fiber: Add fiber to your bulldog’s diet to aid in natural gland expression. Foods high in fiber will help firm up stools and promote healthy gland function and reduce the chances of your English Bulldog smelling bad.

English Bulldog Smells Bad Due Poor Diet 

A poor diet can affect your Bulldog’s overall smell both in their coat and breath. Low-quality ingredients can cause digestive issues and poor coat health and make your English Bulldog smell bad.


  • High Quality Food: Feed your Bulldog a balanced diet with high quality ingredients. A good diet supports healthy digestion and skin and reduces odor issues.
  • Omega-3 Supplements: Add fish oil or other omega-3 supplements to your Bulldog’s diet. These supplements will improve skin health and coat condition and reduce the reasons why your English Bulldog smells bad.

Natural Remedies to Get Rid of English Bulldog’s Bad Smell

While regular grooming and vet checkups are important, there are several natural remedies you can try at home to address bad odors:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar is a natural deodorizer that can neutralize odors and promote skin health.


  • Ingredients: 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water.
  • Instructions: After shampooing, rinse your Bulldog with the vinegar solution. Avoid eyes and ears. Rinse with water. Apple cider solution not only helps your pet to get rid of bad odor, but also leaves their coat glossy and smooth.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is great for moisturizing the skin and has antibacterial properties.


  • Topical Application: Apply a small amount to your dog’s skin folds and tail pocket to prevent infections and odors.
  • Dietary Supplement: Add a teaspoon to your Bulldog’s food for skin health.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer and can be used as a dry shampoo.


  • Dry Shampoo: Sprinkle baking soda on your dog’s coat, avoid face. Let it sit for a few minutes then brush it out.

4. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal bath can help soothe skin and reduce odors.


  • Ingredients: 1 cup of plain, uncooked oatmeal.
  • Instructions: Blend oatmeal into a fine powder and mix with warm water. Bathe your Bulldog in the mixture for 10-15 minutes, then rinse well.

How’s Your English Bulldog Smell?

1. Cheese Smell

  • Cause: Trapped moisture and bacteria in skin folds.
  • Indication: Mild bacterial infection in skin folds or ears.

2. Popcorn Smell

  • Cause: Yeasty smell like popcorn is often yeast infection.
  • Indication: Between toes or ears, yeast overgrowth.

3. Yeasty Smell

  • Cause: Same as popcorn smell, yeast on skin or in ears.
  • Indication: Moisture and lack of airflow, yeast infection in skin folds or ear canals.

4. Fishy Smell

  • Cause: Often anal gland issues.
  • Indication: Anal glands full or impacted, needs to be expressed or seen by vet.

5. Musty Smell

  • Cause: Moisture in skin folds, bacterial or fungal growth.
  • Indication: Poor hygiene in folds, needs to be cleaned and dried regularly.

6. Rotten Odor

  • Cause: Severe skin infections or dental issues.
  • Indication: Deep bacterial infections, needs immediate vet attention.

How to Keep Your Bulldog Smelling Fresh

1. Regular Bathing

While over bathing can strip natural oils, regular baths with a mild dog shampoo can help. We recommend you to check our English Bulldog Shampoo as one of the best picks to keep your dog smell fresh. It features only natural ingredients and it’s free from phthalates and other harmful ingredients.

english bulldog shampoo

2. Grooming Wipe

Keep grooming wipes handy for quick cleanups, after meals or outdoor play. Since English bulldogs have sensitive skin, we recommend you to use wipes that are specially designed for dogs. Luckily, we have them too! Our English Bulldog Wrinkle Cleaning Wipes can be used both for cleaning your dog’s wrinkles, paws, and tail pocket.

wipes for english bulldog tail

3. Clean Living Space

Wash your Bulldog’s bedding regularly and keep their living area clean to prevent odor buildup. In case you’re not sure how to pick the right bed for your English bulldog, then check our dog bed collection here.

4. Hydration

Make sure your Bulldog drinks plenty of water, helps to keep skin healthy and reduce infection. Your English bulldog should always have an access to fresh and clean water especially during warmer months.

Did You Know That Both French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs Smell Bad?

Like English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs can also smell bad for the same reasons. Follow the above tips to minimize the smell and keep your French Bulldog fresh. Since bulldog breeds have a higher tendency to become smelly, their owners need to pay more attention to their hygiene. This can be quite challenging during warmer months.

English bulldogs will produce more natural oils and tend to get rid of dead hair during the summer months. Therefore, make sure you groom your furry gremlin twice a week during the shedding season. 

Why Does My Bulldog Smell Bad? Conclusion

English Bulldogs may smell bad but with proper care and maintenance, you can manage it. From cleaning wrinkles to natural remedies, these tips will keep your Bulldog healthy and smell good. Love your Bulldog and with these solutions, you both will enjoy a fresher and more fragrant company.


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