How to groom a short-haired dog

Whether or not you’re the owner of a prize-winning breed with a high-maintenance coat, grooming your dog is an essential regular activity. Beyond them looking their best and most beautiful selves, there’s a whole range of other benefits to grooming short-haired dogs.

Read on for more information and advice on how to groom a dog.

The benefits of grooming short-haired dogs

- Grooming your dog will help to keep their coat in the best possible condition. Grooming can remove dead hairs, help to distribute natural oils, and keep skin healthy.

- Brushing your dog’s hair has even been proven to reduce stress in your pet. Once used to the process, they’ll find it really relaxing!

- That doesn’t just go for your dog, it has also been scientifically shown that dog grooming can reduce stress and lower blood pressure in owners as well. Feeling anxious? Pick up a brush!

- It’s a great opportunity to increase the bond between owner and animal.

- Grooming can help with circulation.

- Regular grooming will give you the chance to health check your dog. Look out for any unusual lumps, bumps, scratches or sores on their skin. You can also check the condition of their coat and run your hands along their body to check for weight gain.

- Being familiar with your dog through regular grooming will really help you to identify when anything might be wrong. 

woman hugging dog 2

How to groom short-haired dogs

Grooming short-haired dogs isn’t a long and complex process. If you aren’t bathing them, there are only two simple stages. Butdon’t forget: if your dog isn’t familiar with being groomed, they may initially find the process stressful, confusing, or even frightening. If you’re starting to groom a puppy, new dog, or rescue dog, proceed gradually and gently. Don’t start with the ears, face or tail; begin by concentrating your grooming on the body. Reinforce the practice with plenty of praise, cuddles, and even dog treats.

- Gather the equipment you’re going to be using. For short-haired dogs, this is generally a brush or rubber grooming mitt, and a bristle brush.

- First, use the brush or grooming mitt to loosen any dirt or dead undercoat.

- Always brush in the direction that hairs lie to avoid causing your dog discomfort.

- Next, use the bristle brush to remove any dead hairs or dirt. 

woman grooming dog 2

Do short-haired dogs need baths?

Most short-haired dogs can go without being bathed for a long time, unless they get particularly dirty or smelly! For the majority of short-haired dog breeds, bathing once a month is often enough.

- If your dog has a naturally water-repellent coat, they should be bathed less frequently, to preserve the oils in their coat.

- You should always groom short-haired dogs before a bath.

- Remember to reward good behaviour during bathing with plenty of praise and treats… though maybe hold back on the cuddles until they are dry again!

dog in shower

Grooming short-haired dogs: top tips!

- Start early! Puppy grooming is essential to help your pet get used to the practice of being groomed. Begin gently and gradually, and always reinforce good behaviour with plenty of praise and cuddles.

- How often to groom your short-haired dog really depends on breed, coat condition, and your dog’s temperament.

- If you have a canine that’s keener to splash in puddles and roll in the grass—you’ve got more grooming to do!

- For more medium-haired dogs, grooming is suggested around once a week.

- For truly short-haired dogs, some can go up to a month with the need for grooming.

- Even dogs with non-shedding coats, such as poodles, need grooming to prevent matting and tangles.

- When you’re grooming short-haired dogs, consider adding extra elements into their hygiene routine to help with their general health. Don’t forget about your dog’s teeth: getting your pet used to regular tooth brushing can make all the different in their dental health.

- Use the opportunity to perform other simple health checks: look inside their mouth and ears; examine their paws, toes and nails; run your hands over their body to check their coat condition and general weight.

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