Image Credits: Pixabay
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
dog’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
dog’s oil glands, which releases oil. The oil travels through the dog’s body,
causing dirt and debris to slide off of the skin in the process. Oil also
imparts a shine to your dog’s fur.
Licking is one of the most obvious ways of your canine’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
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.
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
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 you’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 dog’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.