How to Properly Bathe Your Short-Haired Dog

Short-haired dog breeds are commonly thought of as not needing baths very often, but this is definitely not the case. Our short-haired pups not only still shed their skin and fur, but they are more exposed to the elements in their surrounding world because of their shorter and thinner coats. 

It’s important to know how often to bathe and what to use for proper care and maintenance of their short coats. Here are my three steps to properly de-shedding and caring for your short-haired dog’s coat.

Step 1: Understanding how often short-haired dogs should be bathed

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Have you ever seen your dog rolling around in a certain area of the yard, like in the mud or an old puddle? Especially when the seasons are changing, dogs typically scratch around in the yard like this because their skin is dry, clogged, or stings.

This happens because short-coated dogs have less hair than other dog breeds, so their skin is much more susceptible to a variety of different things. This includes exposure to dirt, allergens, smoke, air-conditioning, sun, and grooming products.

Their skin is great at replacing itself daily and the fur renews itself by shedding, but dogs need help getting all of it off. Otherwise, dandruff and loose fur accumulates on their skin, leading to further irritation. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) adds that regular brushing not only distributes your dog’s natural oils to all of their skin, but it is also a great time for you to check out your dog’s skin for fleas, flea dirt, or any other skin irritants.

As a professional groomer, I recommend helping both processes by bathing your short-haired dog at least once a month (every 4 weeks). Do a more thorough de-shedding groom at least once per season (every 12 weeks). If you aren’t able to do it yourself, find a reputable local groomer to do a thorough groom for you. Just be sure to ask what products and tools they use to make sure they are best for short-haired dogs. 

I go over the best de-shedding process in my free ebook HERE which explains my method to get rid of six times more fur per groom.

Step 2: Use the right products for short-haired dogs

Short-haired dogs have a reputation for being greasy and needing to have that grease stripped away from them frequently, but this could not be further from the truth! They are actually more likely to have chronically dry or clogged skin due to their increased vulnerability to the elements. 

According to Dr. Cliff Faver DVM, owner of Iv San Bernard USA products as well as its Certified Pet Aesthetician Program, using conditioner when bathing our pets is just as important as it is for when we wash our own hair. It is important to add back oils that are washed away in the bath, so that both the hair and skin stay protected until the next shower. Not only do you NOT want to degrease your short-haired friend, but you actually want to use products that add grease back into the coat. 

Look for products that have some natural restorative oils in the ingredients to help replace the natural grease that is stripped from shampooing. You will also want to be sure to use a de-shedding conditioner to further pull out fur and add oils back into the coat to help strengthen its defense. 

Learn more about products for each length of coat, as well as what I use and recommend, HERE.

Step 3: Choose tools specifically made for short-haired dogs

Once you have the right products, it’s time to pair them with the proper grooming techniques and tools. 

A rubber scrubber-type brush is an essential tool for de-shedding your short-haired dog. Use this in the tub and scrub back and forth to get rid of fur that is ready to come out. Just be sure to scrub lightly as you do not want to upset the skin. 

You can also use a de-shed glove (pictured above) for pets who want to feel like they are getting petted while they are getting de-shedded. The gloves are similar to the rubber scrubber brushes, but easier to hold since they just go over your hand.

A high velocity-type dryer can help with remaining fur after rinsing and towel drying, but you will want to be sure to give your dog breaks

When your dog is dry, use a soft natural bristle brush to gently brush out the remainder of the hair ready to come out that was left behind. You can also use a brush with some sort of metal piece to drag fur out, like a Furminator, but use it sparingly and very carefully. Drag the tool lightly on the surface of the coat in long strokes. This will remove efficient hair without injury. 

Remember, the shorter and thinner the coat, the more fragile the skin is. Always use light pressure with your short-haired canine friends!

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stresses how important it is to follow all of these steps on a regular basis when grooming your dog at home. It will make it that much more fun for you and your furry companion to establish a routine grooming schedule so everyone knows what to expect. 

Now that you know how often short haired dogs need to be groomed, get the right products and tools to get going today! 

Using your newfound knowledge, be sure to discuss products and tools with a groomer before paying them money to groom your short-haired dog. 

To learn more about the K9 Kids de-shed process and what products I recommend, download my FREE e-book guide HERE.

Happy bathing!

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