Do Dogs Groom Themselves?

Do Dogs Groom Themselves?

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 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.

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