The English bulldog, also known as the British bulldog, is a short, muscular dog with furrowed brows and loose forehead skin. Despite their gloomy mug, the English bulldog is one of the most amiable breeds. They are calm, good-natured, and usually peaceful with other pets, making them great family companions. However, the thought of hairs everywhere can be a turnoff, and before you go ahead and adopt one of these lovely pups, you might want to know more about their shedding tendencies. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at the English Bulldog to answer any questions you might have when it comes to shedding, grooming, and whether they are considered hypoallergenic.
So, do English Bulldogs shed? Yes, they do. The English bulldog is a moderate shedder compared to other breeds, though. And when they do shed, the fur is much less conspicuous on the floor, furniture, and other parts of your home. These dogs generally shed lightly throughout the year but go through a heavy shedding season in early spring and late fall.
The English Bulldog has a short coat. And contrary to popular belief, dogs with short coats do shed. The short fur means a shorter hair growth cycle hence more shedding. What does this mean for you? The good news is that the British Bulldog is a moderate shedder, and you can manage his shedding quite easily. In the following sections, I’ll discuss some of the steps you can take to curb excessive shedding and reduce the amount of dog fur in your house. By now, I assume that you can tolerate some shedding from your new canine companion. If you can’t stand any hair at all, you might be better off with one of those hairless breeds.
How Much Do English Bulldogs Shed?
At this point, you already know that the English Bulldog sheds despite their short coats. The question is, exactly how much do they shed? This bulldog doesn’t shed much compared to other canine breeds. As I have stated in the article, the bulldog’s shedding is far less noticeable, mostly due to their short coats. The hairs are smaller and harder to spot on the floor, couch, or other surfaces in your home, not to mention the English Bulldog is a relatively small dog. A small stature means less surface area for hair to grow and, as a result, less shedding.
Why Do English Bulldogs Shed?
Shedding is a natural process, and all dogs go through it. The English Bulldog is no exception. All dogs shed for the same reason, to make room for new fur. Old, loose fur falls and is replaced by new hair. The English bulldog sheds moderately all year round. However, they blow their coats twice a year, usually in spring and fall. These periods of excessive shedding are triggered by changing seasons. The bulldog has to shed its fur to make room for a new fur that’s more adapted to the new season, i.e., a lighter coat for summer and a thicker one for winter.
Aside from the natural shedding, your Bulldog could also be shedding due to an underlying problem. Excessive hair loss is often a sign of many illnesses. Keep reading to find out what could be causing your pup’s abnormal shedding.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do English bulldogs shed? As I said previously in the article, the English bulldog generally sheds lightly all year round. However, the shedding intensifies twice a year as the bulldog blows its coat. Like many other breeds, English Bulldogs typically shed their winter coats in early spring, when it’s replaced by shorter, lighter fur in the summer. The cycle is reversed in late fall when bulldogs lose their summer coats to make room for thicker, more protective winter fur. Since this dog sheds relatively lightly for the rest of the year, the sudden change can seem drastic, but this is perfectly normal, and there’s no need to be alarmed.
Light year-round shedding and heavy seasonal molting are standard for the English Bulldog and other members of the canine world, both domestic and wild. Also, some Bulldogs will shed more than others due to specific environmental and genetic factors, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Your bulldog may be more prone to shedding than your neighbor’s dog due to its genetic makeup. However, some heavy shedding could indicate illness.
Usually, unhealthy shedding due to illness is accompanied by other physical symptoms. For instance, if you notice excessive fur loss or areas of complete hair loss in some parts of the body, along with symptoms such as brittle fur, excessive scratching, as well as dry and flaky skin, there may be an underlying issue. Here are some of the most common causes of excessive shedding in English Bulldogs:
Bad diet or malnutrition
Parasites (mites, lice, flees, etc.)
Fungal or bacterial infections
Pregnancy or lactation
Liver, kidney, or thyroid disease
Stress and anxiety
If you notice some heavy shedding that seems unusual, especially if your Bulldog is losing fur to the point of balding, take them to the vet as soon as possible. A vet can help you determine if their shedding is expected or there is an underlying health issue. But before that, you have to be able to identify unhealthy shedding, which is not easy for many pet owners. The key is to familiarize yourself with your pup’s usual shedding pattern. That way, you will be able to spot unusual heavy shedding and take appropriate steps to address potential health problems early on.
What Type of Coat Does the English Bulldog Have?
This dog spots a short, straight, and fine-textured coat. Unlike some other short-haired breeds, English Bulldogs are also double-coated. Double-coated means having two layers of fur, including a soft, short undercoat underneath a harsh layer of longer guard hairs, or the topcoat. Although it’s shorter, the undercoat grows faster than the topcoat and is responsible for most of the breed’s shedding. When it comes to appearance and color markings, a Bulldog’s fur comes in various combinations such as tri-color and Piebald. Standard colors include brindle, fawn, white, lilac, black, blue, seal, and chocolate.
How to Manage and Reduce English Bulldog Shedding
Many short-haired dogs, including some Bulldogs, may actually shed more than some long-haired breeds. But because their shedding is much harder to spot on the floor, furniture, and all around the house, it may seem like they are shedding less. The good news is that most English Bulldogs are light shedders and aren’t that bad compared to other breeds that seem to drop hair in blizzard-level amounts. Below, we look at the various methods to manage and reduce your Bulldog’s shedding.
English Bulldog Grooming
Although they are generally considered average shedders, English Bulldogs tend to shed more than you’d expect from a short-coated pup. Your bulldog will shed even more without regular care, which is where grooming comes in. Keeping up with grooming habits such as regular brushing is key to keeping your Bulldog’s shedding under control. A good brushing all over the body a few times a week should keep their shedding at bay and their fur looking nice and clean. The FURminator curry comb or any fine brush with compact bristles should work well with this Bulldog’s short fur, catching the tiny, loose hairs before being deposited everywhere in the home.
English Bulldog Diet
As I highlighted earlier in the article, poor nutrition can cause excessive shedding in your Bulldog. So, if you are concerned that your pup is shedding too much, try improving its diet before you start to freak out. A poor diet can affect your Bulldog’s coat health in various ways. For starters, these dogs are prone to allergies and other sensitivities that can lead to excessive shedding, skin infections, and itching. High-quality food rich in protein and preferably with no sweeteners, artificial colors, by-products, grains, and other ingredients that are likely to trigger your pup’s allergies is recommended.
Your bulldog must eat a healthy, balanced diet. Just like humans, dogs are what they eat. A poor diet will reflect on your pup’s fur and skin. Please pay attention to your Bulldog’s diet and ensure that he’s getting all the vital nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats. In particular, foods rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are essential for developing healthy, flowing fur.
Bathing your dog once in a while can help improve the health of their coat and fur. While baths are essential, they shouldn’t be too frequent. Bulldogs generally have sensitive skin, and too much bathing can lead to other skin and fur problems. Bathing your English Bulldog once every few weeks should be more than enough. Whenever you bathe your English bulldog, make sure you are using mild and dog-friendly shampoo so as not to irritate their skin.
I cannot overstate the importance of a balanced diet when it comes to helping your dog maintain healthy skin and fur. Your bulldog requires a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids to maintain a healthy coat. Consider incorporating fish and flaxseeds into your pup’s diet for less shedding and healthier fur. You can also add this essential nutrient to your pup’s diet in the form of supplements. As a consistent part of their diets, Omega 3 supplements are beneficial for dogs’ skin and fur and support their hearts, joints, and immune systems.
Are English Bulldogs Hypoallergenic?
The answer to do English Bulldogs shed goes hand in hand with whether or not they are hypoallergenic. But before we find out where this breed falls, let’s talk briefly about pet allergies in general.
The allergens that trigger allergic reactions among people with canine allergies are usually present in the dog’s urine, saliva, dander (flakes of dead skin cells), and hair. These irritants are more likely to attach to fur and get released into the environment during shedding. This is why small, low-shedding breeds are often considered more allergy-friendly because they release fewer allergens into the environment. But keep in mind that this doesn’t cut across the board.
Back to the English Bulldog, this breed is not considered to be hypoallergenic. While they may have short coats, they shed a considerable amount of fur and dander, especially during the seasonal shedding. This makes them more likely to cause an allergic reaction, though not as much as heavy shedders like the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd.
For those with severe allergies, I would recommend hypoallergenic breeds like the Poodle. But if you have mild allergies, you can manage to live with this adorable doggy. All you have to do is reduce the allergens they produce through regular grooming, bathing, and providing a proper diet. Regular vacuuming and using a HEPA air filter can also remove the allergens floating around your home.