How to Shave a Dog's Coat

15 - 30 Minutes
12 Months


Although you might think shaving your dog's coat is great for the summer, this might not actually be your best option. In fact, you may be setting him up for a bad case of sunburn, if not other skin conditions. However, there are times when you may need to shave him down to skin level. These can include a flea infestation, tick infestation, and a number of skin conditions where his coat might get in the way of the required treatment. 

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your dog probably wants is for you to break out the clippers and shave him bald. Hey, even dogs have feelings! The big thing here is to try to keep your pooch nice and calm throughout the process using calm, reassuring voice and some of his favorite treats.

Caution & Considerations

  • You can prevent cuts and nicks by using one hand to pull the skin tight while you are shaving.
  • Keep in mind that the less restraint you need to use to hold your pup in place, the better. If you find your helper is holding on for dear life, stop and use a leash instead. This will keep your dog from feeling like he is being suffocated.
  • Instead of using shears to remove tough mats (you could cut your pup) try using a little baby oil to work them loose enough for you to be able to get the clippers under the mats to remove them.
  • Avoid using a hair drier to dry your pup's coat. The air produced is too hot and can burn your pup's skin. Dry the worst off with a soft towel and let your dog air dry before you go to shave him. If you can, bathe your pup the night before you plan to shave him.
  • Avoid buying a noisy set of clippers as they can turn a slightly nervous dog into a nightmare of scared, nervous energy, making it impossible to shave him. 


Be sure you have a good reason to shave your dog. Keep in mind that by removing his coat, you are removing the only protection his skin has from the sun. Once you shave your pup, you need to use plenty of sun block every time you take him outside. 

Take your time working with your pup to will help make shaving a less frightening experience for your dog. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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