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8 Shar Pei Grooming Tips: Easy Options to Make Them Look Great

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

shar pei dog lying on the tiled floor outdoor

The Shar Pei has short hair that doesn’t require any special haircuts or grooming tactics to stay looking good, but there are a few important grooming steps that should be taken to make sure they are always looking their best and living their happiest, healthiest life.

You don’t have to worry about matting and tangles, but you do need to keep those cute wrinkles in mind. Here are several important Shar Pei grooming tips that can be used to keep your pup looking great and feeling good.


The 8 Shar Pei Grooming Tips

1. Always Brush Lightly

The Shar Pei tends to have sensitive skin, so it is important to brush their coat lightly so as not to irritate it. It’s best to use a soft bristle brush and to brush your Shar Pei no more than a couple of times a week. The soft bristles should be enough to get rid of dead hair, dander, and debris. The bristles will also help keep the coat looking shiny and healthy.

2. Go Easy on the Bathing

The average Shar Pei naturally has dry skin, and bathing will just dry out their skin even more. Therefore, if you want to keep your pup looking bright and healthy, it’s a good idea to keep bathing to a minimum. Only bathe your Shar Pei when their coat gets dirty, and only use a shampoo designed for dogs with sensitive skin. You can always give them a sponge bath if they get smelly or seem to need extra grooming help.

shar pei dog sitting on grass with fallen leaves
Photo Credit: David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock

3. Make Daily Wrinkle Cleaning a Priority

While full-on bathing is not recommended for the Shar Pei, it is essential to clean their wrinkles every day to avoid the buildup of bacteria and the development of skin issues. Your veterinarian can recommend a specific cleaning plan, but good practice is to clean each wrinkle with a damp washcloth, cotton ball, or hypoallergenic baby wipe that is free of alcohol. Just gently rub the skin between each wrinkle clean!

4. Make Time for Regular Skin Checks

It’s a good idea to check the skin between your Shar Pei’s wrinkles whenever you clean them to make sure no infections or other problems are developing. Look for redness, bumps, inflammation, puss, and any other signs of irregularities. A good way to go about it is to check the wrinkles in good lighting before and after cleaning each one.

shar pei dog lying on bed
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

5. Take Care of the Ears

Unfortunately, Shar Pei is prone to ear infections because they have narrow ear canals that are easy for debris and bacteria to grow in. Therefore, it is important to check the ears for redness and irritation a couple of times a week and clean them with a veterinarian-approved cleaning solution whenever necessary. This is a good time to clean the exterior of the ear canals to keep them looking nice and shiny.

6. Time the Nails Occasionally

The Shar Pei’s nails should be trimmed about once a month to ensure that they don’t get too sharp and end up injuring or irritating the skin during a scratching session. We recommend utilizing a nail grinder because this has a reduced risk of splintering the nails and can make the process more comfortable for dogs overall.

close up of shar pei dog at the park
Photo Credit: Iuliia Mikh, Shutterstock

7. Manage Dental Health

Dental care is important for the health of all dogs, and the Shar Pei is no exception. You can help keep your Shar Pei’s teeth and gums in good health by brushing their teeth a few times a week with a soft-bristled toothbrush made specifically for dogs. If brushing is too stressful for your pup, consider providing them with daily dental chews instead or have your veterinarian do the work.

8. Schedule Regular Vet Checkups

Due to the Shar Pei’s tendency to develop skin problems and ear infections, schedule regular skin checkups with your veterinarian throughout the year. With a veterinarian’s close eye, skin conditions can be caught before they become too serious and need extensive treatments. The sooner a problem is found, the easier it will be to address overall.

close up of shar pei dog looking up
Photo Credit: Karl Weller, Shutterstock


Common Wrinkle Problems to Be Aware Of

While various issues can result from dirt, moisture, and debris buildup within the skin of a Shar Pei’s wrinkles, there are three common problems to watch out for, as these could result in more serious problems if not promptly addressed.

Excessive Itching

Dirty skin under the wrinkles can cause itchiness that is irritating and uncomfortable for your Shar Pei. When they try to scratch, it can cause redness and swelling or even the skin to break open.

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation can develop due to something as simple as a piece of food being stuck in a wrinkle to a skin infection. When irritation happens, the skin is likely to look bumpy, swollen/inflamed, and bright red. It’s always a good idea to have irritated skin checked out by a veterinarian to ensure that no infection is present.

Unpleasant Odor

A Shar Pei with dirty skin can get stinky, which may not bother them much, but it is sure to bother all the humans who live in the same household. The worst stench tends to develop when a bacterial or yeast infection is brewing. Keeping the skin under the wrinkles clean and dry can help avoid this problem altogether.

shar pei dog scratching its body
Image Credit: Snap Happy, Shutterstock



The Shar Pei is a cute dog with trademark wrinkles that require special attention. Otherwise, these dogs don’t require much grooming. With the help of these tips and tricks, you can keep your pup looking healthy and feeling happy throughout their life.

Featured Image Credit: Alika Obraz, Shutterstock

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