Caring for dogs with skin folds and wrinkles

dogs with skin folds

Dogs with skin folds (aka LOTS of wrinkles) need some extra TLC when it comes to keeping their skin clean and bacteria free.

If you are considering getting a new dog with skin folds, it’s important to know that the skin in between those wrinkles needs to be tended to daily to keep the skin bacteria, yeast and infection free.

If you already have a dog with skin folds then you would be well aware of this, but if not and your dog’s skin appears irritated, red or stinky; chances are their wrinkles are infected and dermatitis has set in.

The risk of dermatitis in dogs with skin folds

Dermatitis is a medical condition where the skin becomes red, swollen and sore and like an infection. It occurs due to the moisture and heat that builds up in the folds of skin. These infections can impact your dog’s wellbeing and happiness and, if they’re not cared for properly and an infection sets in, then it can take a long time to get your dog’s skin back to optimal health.

As cute as these skin folds are they do mean that as an owner you will have to take some extra time each day to help protect your dog’s skin from infection.

Simple tips to help

  • Clean the wrinkles every day
    Using a damp cloth, gently clean in between all the skin folds and remove any dirt. Try to do this after play time, visits to the park or after meals. Be sure to use a clean dry cloth to wipe them again afterwards
  • Keep the skin folds dry
    Bacteria and yeast grow in damp places so make sure to keep the folds as dry as possible. After visits to the beach and baths have a dry towel handy  to wipe in between the folds.
  • Keep an anti-fungal or anti-bacterial handy
    Keep a pet friendly anti-fungal or anti-bacterial cream handy to use on any skin folds that look red and on the edge of infection. Catching an infection early can prevent a lot of pain for your dog.  Talk to your Vet about the best products for your pooch.
  • Regular grooming
    Bathing a dog with skin folds regularly (but not too often) is a quick and easy way to make sure their skin stays clean and free of infection. Always ensure you use tailored, natural dog shampoos to prevent skin drying out or becoming irritated – talk to a groomer that specialises in dogs with skin folds if in doubt or to find out how often you should be washing your breed of dog.

How to spot an infection:

You’ll usually be able to physically see a change to the skin if your dog has an infection, but if you can’t see it in the dog skin folds then you might also be able to judge by the mood (and smell) of your dog.

Things to keep an eye out for include: discharge, an odour, redness, scabs, and dryness. If you have a dog-friendly anti-fungal cream then go ahead and treat the infection, but if symptoms don’t disappear within a few days, you’ll need to visit your vet.

Common breeds of dogs with skin folds that need careful attention include:

  • English Bulldog
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Pug
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Blood Hound
  • English Mastiff
  • Bullmastiff
  • French Bulldog
  • Pekingese

Importance of basic dog grooming

On top of cleaning the skin folds,  basic dog grooming is also necessary.  Keeping your dog well groomed is not just for cosmetic purposes, it’s also very important for their health. Whilst skin folds are a common place for infection to grow, a dog’s coat can also attract infection so regular general grooming is just as important.  If you don’t have a regular groomer of your own, then contact your local PETstock groomer to see how they can help.


About the Author: Peta O’Brien is a member of the Pooches at Play marketing team. Having just graduated in Marketing at RMIT, Peta is enjoying her work in an industry that she’s passionate about! She has two Jack Russells and loves taking them on adventures with her.

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