If your dog's skin is itchy and red after you groom and bathe them, they likely have sensitive skin. Dogs are prone to having sensitive skin because their skin is thinner than a human's and their fur traps irritants like pollen and dead skin cells. Grooming your dog will help remove these irritants, but you'll need to take extra care when you're grooming a dog with sensitive skin. Below, you'll find four tips that will help you groom your dog without irritating their skin.
1. Make Sure Your Electric Clippers Are Sharp
One of the most important tips for grooming a dog with sensitive skin is to make sure you're using sharp electric clippers. Using electric clippers on your dog's fur is the quickest and easiest way to cut it. However, the clippers can yank out your dog's fur instead of cutting it if the head is dull. If you haven't changed the head on your electric clippers recently, make sure you change it before you groom your dog.
2. Brush Your Dog's Fur Carefully
Brushing your dog will remove dead hair from their coat and encourage shedding. Matted fur can worsen skin sensitivity, so it's important to brush your dog frequently if they have sensitive skin.
When you're brushing your dog, it's important to keep the brush away from their skin in order to avoid scratching it. This is especially important if you're using a wire brush since wire brushes can easily irritate sensitive skin. You should also brush your dog gently and avoid pulling on any tangled clumps of fur — if your dog has a tangled clump of fur that can't be removed with a brush, you'll need to cut it out using your electric clippers instead.
3. Don't Dry Your Dog Using a Hair Dryer
Using a hair dryer on your dog after a bath is a quick way to quickly dry them, and it also makes their fur look fluffier. Unfortunately, it's not a good idea to use a hair dryer on dogs with sensitive skin. Dogs have thinner skin than humans, so the heat from a hair dryer is more likely to irritate their skin. After giving your dog a bath, gently dry their fur with a towel instead.
4. Ask Your Vet About Medicated Shampoo
If you're following the tips above and your dog still scratches their skin after they've been groomed, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and ask about medicated shampoo. Medicated shampoo for dogs contains antibacterial and antifungal ingredients that help prevent skin irritation after your dog has been bathed.
Regularly grooming your dog can help prevent skin sensitivity by removing irritants like dead hair and skin cells. Using medicated shampoo also helps reduce itching and redness by removing bacteria and fungus on their skin. If you don't have time to groom your dog yourself, find a dog grooming service in your area.