Short Coat Science

The Truth About Bathing Short-Coated Dogs


The Misconception

Short-coated breeds like Boxers, Great Danes, and Basset Hounds are often perceived as low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Without the worry of tangles and matting, one would think that a simple bath and towel dry would seem like sufficient care. However, this perception couldn’t be farther from the truth. By bathing your short coated pets incorrectly, you are actually contributing to bad smell, excess shedding and flaking issues in your home

” How could a bath possibly make me smell worse? “

A Lesson in Coat Chemistry

Well… to explain this, we’ve got to take a closer look at how your dogs skin and hair works.

Underneath the surface of their skin, each dog possesses sebaceous glands that produce a natural oil called “sebum”. This oil plays an essential role in moisturizing their skin and keeping their coat soft and shiny, all while acting as a protective barrier.

Now, approximately every 28 days each dog goes through a skin cycle (keratinization cycle) where they end up shedding their dead skin cells, which requires producing more sebum .

The Short-Coat Sebum Situation

Short-coated dogs often have sleeker fur that lies close to the skin, because of which, you’re more likely to feel the oiliness of the sebum on their skin when compared to dogs with longer coats where the sebum may be more distributed throughout the hair.

Some owners (and uneducated) groomers may try to strip that oil using harsh shampoos thinking that it will reduce oil and smell, which in turn can lead to a hormonal imbalance that can throw their little sebum factories into overdrive, effectively making them MORE smelly after a bath than when they went in.

Our 3-Step Approach

We start all short coat grooms with first applying a conditioner. We do this due to the simple fact that “oil attracts oil” and we must get oil down in the coat to break up the old sebum which also loosens up dirt at the skin level.

Then we shampoo the dog in a moisturizing shampoo (not a drying shampoo) to wash away the old dirt, sebum, and added oils.

Finally, we recondition and rinse. This 3 step process will help your dog with their natural cycle and keep your dog smelling fresh and clean for longer.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article shows how short-coated dogs require more than just a quick bath to maintain a healthy coat and odor-free skin. By understanding their unique grooming needs and following a proper routine, you can ensure your furry friend remains clean, comfortable, and smelling fresh for extended periods. If you’d like to find out what sort of hair products we use suggest for your pet’s home grooming, feel free to ask one of our groomers or give us a call! 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *