Bathing Your Shar Pei

Clean, shiny, and smelling like a little flower. Wouldn’t we all want that running around the house? Surely, it’s achievable? 

But we have shar pei. And like with all dogs, breed appropriate care is important. Even if it means sacrificing the smell of flowers on their fur. 

But first things first, how do you keep your pei clean? A quick Google search gives us scary recommendations of: “once every 4 weeks!”, “Regularly!”, “and don’t forget to lift layers and wash between the wrinkles too!”

Sounds quite daunting, doesn’t it? Let’s take a closer look. 

Shar pei are naturally clean dogs. They like to groom themselves and each other (and sometimes their humans too!). Their skin has a protective barrier, which helps them against allergens and other outside influences. Washing them too often, removes this barrier, making your dog more prone to various reactions. They do not shed year-round, only seasonally. Which means, giving them a good brush during shedding season is essential. And bathing them is required only when they are actually dirty (from play in the mud, laying on dirty surfaces, or from playing with other dogs… ) Most shar pei owners prefer to simply wipe them down with a wet towel occasionally. 

But when we do give our pei a bath, what is that like? 

Well, as we all know, most shar pei do not like water, in its many forms (puddles, rain, lakes, seas, and bathtubs…), and although there are some interesting shifts in the breed’s behavior in this regard (certainly a topic for another post), most pei will not appreciate a bath. Take it slow, use positive reinforcement, distract with treats, and generally give lots of praise. At the very least, your furry friend might appreciate your efforts. 

Try choosing hypoallergenic shampoos for sensitive skin. They can still have a nice flowery smell but try to minimize the added chemicals that could irritate the skin. Prevention is always the best medicine, so anti-bacterial and anti-fungal shampoos can be your friends. Shampoos such as Nizoral, can be quite effective in preventing fungal infection!

It is safe to say, we all want what is best for our furry companions, so choose wisely, and possibly ask your breeder what they use. 

Armed with shampoos, conditioners, or other products you would like to use, just wet the fur, lather up, and rinse. Repeat until fresh and clean (or until your pei’s patience runs out!). Fear not, as you will quickly learn, that there are no folds to “lift up” or “wipe under”. But remember to keep the water out of their sensitive little ears! 

Tip: to help battle the spreading of pesky yeasts on the skin, do a final rinse off with a vinegar and water solution, by mixing one-part white vinegar and nine-parts water! This solution will also help disinfect any small cuts on the skin.   

And what a about a shiny coat? 

I hate to disappoint, but don’t waste your money trying to achieve shine. Shar pei fur is rough, sharp and non-shiny because of its structure! 

Good luck and happy bath time!

#bath #bathtime #grooming #care

Bathing Your Shar Pei
Author picture


Author picture


Join our Newsletter!