Do Dogs Groom Themselves?

Do Dogs Groom Themselves?

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Yes, dogs are capable of grooming themselves. Dogs groom themselves to keep their fur and skin clean.

Dogs are highly creative beings. They invented several ways to keep themselves clean and hygienic. Unless you know your pet well, you will not be able to realize that your dog is grooming itself.

If you see your dog doing any of these, then she is probably deeply involved in a grooming session:


A simple nibbling action does multiple things to your dogโ€™s skin. When your dog nibbles, she uses her tiny incisor teeth, which act like comb teeth to capture and remove dirt on the skin.

The gentle nibbling biting action also stimulates your dogโ€™s oil glands, which releases oil. The oil travels through the dogโ€™s body, causing dirt and debris to slide off of the skin in the process. Oil also imparts a shine to your dogโ€™s fur.


Licking is one of the most obvious ways of your canineโ€™s self-grooming. Dogs generally lick their whole body. But it is their paws they lick the most. Sometimes, dogs lick their private areas too to keep the area hygienic.

Dogs may sometimes lick their paws and then rub the paws on their face, around the eyes or over the snouts. They are wetting their paws by licking and then using them to clean hard-to-clean areas of the body.


Dogs may roll in dust, sand, and grass, to shed their excess fur. Debris and dust sticking to their coats are also removed in the process. Your dog may rub its face on the carpet or furniture after a meal. This is to remove any leftovers of food on her mouth and face.

Body Shake

Did you know that a dog can shake off nearly 70% of water from her skin with a single full-body shake?

A full-body shake is your dog's survival technique against excess cold. You may notice her shaking herself off after a bath, or after being outside in the rain.

This is a powerful action as the shake produces a strong force capable of getting rid of a huge volume of water. As the force produced due to the shake is enormous, a dog closes her eyes during the action.

While doing a body shake, a dog starts from her head and progresses steadily to the tail, dislodging most of the water effectively on the body.

Dogs also indulge in a full-body shake to get themselves rid of foreign bodies on their coat. If you notice your dog shaking her body after rolling on the ground, or after youโ€™ve been petting her for a while, or after a nap, then she is probably doing it to be free of foreign materials.

Dogs are aware of these foreign bodies because of the nerve receptors present on their hair follicles. These receptors increase pressure on your dogโ€™s bodies, which enables them to detect foreign matter and get rid of them. Though your dog is capable of self-grooming, these actions alone are not enough. You must include a regular grooming session in your pet care routine to keep her completely clean and hygienic. You may groom your canine yourself or hire a professional groomer for the purpose.

What Is The Right Age For Your Puppy To Be Groomed?

Bringing a new puppy home is a momentous occasion. Apart from making sure that your little fluff ball got its shots and is comfortable in its new home, you will also have to think about puppy grooming at the earliest.Similar to babies, puppies tend to fear or love their grooming routines based on their first grooming experience. So, itโ€™s extremely important to prepare them for their first appointment. Puppies usually learn best when they are 7 to 16 weeks old. Use this time to teach them that grooming is a positive, enjoyable process.

Things To Do Before Grooming Your Pup

  • Speak to your pupper in a soothing voice. The world can be a scary place for a new puppy. Speaking in a calm, soothing voice can help your puppy get comfortable with you as you prepare it for itโ€™s first grooming experience. Remember, patience is vital during this process.
  • Try to associate โ€œhandsโ€ with nice things. This includes letting them sniff your hands, stroking them gently, and giving them treats to reward good behavior.
  • Tickle your puppy regularly. Puppies need to get used to you touching their paws, ears, and backside in order for them to be comfortable during their first grooming session.
  • Practice holding and restraining. Gently hold the puppy for a few minutes and release them and build up the holding time as the puppyโ€™s comfort level increases. Same is the case with restraining. If your puppy struggles or becomes upset, it is best to slow down or ask for professional advice.
  • Introduce grooming equipment to your puppy. Before the puppyโ€™s first appointment, it is best to introduce it to common grooming equipment such as combs, brushes, and nail clippers. It is important to associate the equipment to a positive experience so your puppy does not get overwhelmed during his or her first trip to the groomers.

Puppyโ€™s First Grooming Session

The puppyโ€™s first session should concentrate on making the experience enjoyable. For the first few times, it is recommended to just stick to a routine that includes a bath, a light brush out and light trimming of hair, if necessary, trimming of the nails, and cleaning the ears. More services can be added as the pupper grows older and gets comfortable with the routine.Leash training the pup also helps the grooming process move smoothly. It is best to stay with the puppy during the first few appointments to make sure that he or she is comfortable with the process.The groomer also has a responsibility to make the puppy comfortable during his or her appointment. In a nutshell, the puppyโ€™s comfort level during the session will make or break its relationship with the groomer.

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