Tips for Cleaning Your Dog’s Wrinkles

What’s hiding in your dog’s wrinkles?

It’s hard not to fall in love with a dog sporting a face full of wrinkles. These folds give a dog a distinctive look…kind of like an old man. But to keep that face (and anywhere else that features folds) looking and smelling good, you’ll have to take special care of these wrinkles. Your dog could be carrying around dirt and grime in there, and after a while, it gets damp and moldy in between the folds of skin. Gross! Here’s how you can keep your wrinkled dog looking his best.

Examples of Wrinkled Dog Breeds

Wrinkled dog breeds make an impression. Here are a few that you know about, and maybe a few others that are new to you.
  • French Bulldog
  • English Bulldog
  • American Bulldog
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pug
  • English Mastiff
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Bloodhound
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • Pekingese
Most dog breeds that have wrinkles on their face or body also have short coats. Shorter coats are often thought of as lower-maintenance, but caring for your dog’s wrinkles is just as important as brushing his coat every day. Depending how deep your dog’s wrinkles are, they can hide moisture which can lead to bacterial or fungal infections.
neopolitan mastiff ©istockphoto/Salima Senyavskaya

Getting Into Those Nooks and Crannies

Whether he’s out for a walk in the rain or rolled around in wet grass, moisture soaks into your dog’s fur and skin. For most pooches, this isn’t a problem, but with wrinkled dogs, that moisture gets trapped in the folds of his skin, becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to infection, as well as a condition known as “fold dermatitis”. Make cleaning your dog’s wrinkles a part of your daily or weekly routine. Follow these tips to keep wrinkles bacteria-free:
  • Clean the skin in and around your dog’s wrinkles with a warm, damp washcloth or baby wipe.
  • Deep wrinkles around your dog’s nose and the sides of his face need special attention.
  • After cleaning your dog’s wrinkles with a cloth or wipes, go over them again with a soft, dry cloth to remove all traces of moisture.
  • Dust your dog’s skin with a thin layer of baby powder or grooming powder to help keep it dry—but ask your vet before using it to make sure it’s right for your dog.
Depending on your dog or breed, attention to his wrinkles will vary. Every time you clean them, keep an eye out for symptoms of an infection. Foul odors coming from your dog’s skin or excessive moisture in the wrinkles could be an indication of fold dermatitis, and redness or discharge could mean an infection. Wrinkles can be cute, but being this beautiful takes work. With a little extra maintenance, your wrinkled dog will always be a stunner.

Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.
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