The English bulldog is famous for its abundant jowls, stocky body, and low-slung stance. Despite its unfortunate history as a bull-baiting dog, this breed exhibits a docile, friendly temperament. In fact, it exists today as one of the world’s best-loved pets. But its unique physique and appealing disposition aren’t its only assets. Bulldogs also don’t require a lot of grooming. With such a short coat, you may be wondering: do bulldogs shed at all? Are they hypoallergenic? Read on to find out!
Do Bulldogs Shed?
Bulldogs are light to moderate shedders throughout the year. The fact that they shed may be surprising due to their short, smooth coat. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, this breed is not hypoallergenic.
Why aren’t bulldogs hypoallergenic? The answer has less to do with their hair or fur and more to do with factors like dander (flakes of dead skin), saliva, and urine. All three of these contain a glycoprotein that triggers an allergic reaction in some people, but dander is the worst offender. Though all dogs carry this glycoprotein, some have it in higher concentrations than others. Dogs that shed more tend to release more dander into the air and thus are likelier to cause an allergic reaction.
How Much Do Bulldogs Shed?
Bulldogs shed throughout the year, but not excessively. They may have periods of heavier seasonal shedding during the spring and fall. This is typically when dogs “blow their coats,” which means their coat density changes in response to alterations in temperature. Though bulldogs don’t blow their coats, they may still be responsive to changing weather.
Bulldog owners report that the needle-like quality of their dogs’ hair makes it more difficult to remove from furniture and clothing. A high-quality pet vacuum may make the clean-up process easier.
Do Bulldogs Have Hair or Fur?
Bulldogs have hair, not fur. Though dog hair and fur are very similar and both contain keratin, there are a number of differences between them that affect your dog’s coat.
The growth cycle of the hair follicles affects how much a dog sheds. Fur typically has a shorter growth cycle than hair, meaning it goes from the anagen (growth) stage to the exogen (shedding) stage more quickly. Hair tends to grow longer and fall out less frequently. However, there are some breeds like the English bulldog whose hair has a shorter growth cycle.
Bulldogs have only a single layer of hair as opposed to a double coat. Most dogs with hair only have a single coat. Dogs with fur are typically double-coated with a soft, insulating undercoat (ground hair) and a coarse, stiff outer coat (guard hair). Ground hair insulates the dog against both cold and heat while guard hair protects the underlayer from damage and moisture.
When dogs shed, it’s mostly the undercoat they lose. This soft layer often traps additional dander, dirt, and dust, contributing to the release of more allergens into the air. If bulldogs had an undercoat, they would shed a lot more than they do.
The texture of dog hair is usually softer and finer than that of dog fur. As a result, bulldogs are soft to the touch despite their short hair follicles. However, they lack the “poofy” quality of a dog with a fluffy undercoat.
Grooming a Bulldog
In addition to their other admirable qualities, bulldogs are easy to maintain. Their short coats prevent them from developing mats or tangles. Experts recommend you brush your bulldog at least once a week to keep its coat clean and reduce shedding. The best type of brush for a bulldog is a soft pin and bristle brush combo. This removes dirt and gives the coat a nice sheen as well as prevents skin irritation from stiffer pin brushes.
The ideal bathing frequency for a bulldog is every two to six weeks. That said, if you notice your dog is dirty or smelly before its regular bath, it’s time to give your friend a wash. Because of the many deep folds in their short faces, bulldogs are prone to bacterial and yeast infections. Make sure you clean your bulldog’s folds thoroughly every time you give it a bath. However, you need to clean its face at least twice a week with a soft, damp cloth or a gentle pet wipe. Ask your veterinarian or groomer about the best shampoo for bulldogs. They may recommend an antifungal formula.
You do not need to shave or trim your bulldog. Doing so can cause health issues related to body temperature regulation. This breed’s low-maintenance coat should cut down on the number of visits to the groomer. However, you will need to clip your bulldog’s nails every three to four weeks to keep its feet comfortable and injury-free.
How to Reduce Shedding
Bulldogs may not be the worst shedders out there, but they still leave behind their fair share of hair. Take a look at the following recommendations for reducing your bulldog’s shedding. Click on the article links to see our pet product reviews.
- Brushing: Brushing is absolutely essential for your dog’s health, no matter the breed. It can also remove dead hairs before they wind up somewhere in your house. Bulldogs are generally placid dogs when it comes to grooming.
- De-shedding brush: The experts have designed brushes specifically to help reduce shedding. Check out this article for the best de-shedding brushes for dogs or this article featuring the best brushes for short-haired dogs. Because the bulldog’s coat is so short, a de-shedding tool (different than a de-shedding brush) is likely unnecessary and may even harm your dog’s hair or skin.
- De-shedding shampoo: Your bulldog (and you) may benefit from one of the best de-shedding shampoos on the market. If your bulldog needs another kind of shampoo, the act of bathing in itself is still an effective way to get rid of dead hair.
- High-quality dog food: Nutrition is everything, so check out the best dog foods for shedding in this article.
Despite their appearance, bulldogs do shed somewhat. If you suffer from allergies, you’re better off finding a different breed to incorporate into your home life. The good news is, if you own a bulldog, grooming costs will likely be minimal.
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