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How to Groom a St. Bernard: 6 Tips & Tricks

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

How to Groom a St. Bernard: 6 Tips & Tricks

St. Bernards are quite hairy, so they need a decent amount of grooming. While they aren’t as high-maintenance as some other breeds, they are very large. Therefore, even a basic brushing session will take quite a while!

Besides their coat, you also need to pay attention to your dog’s feet and around their face. These areas may even need to be trimmed. Plus, you also have to worry about your dog’s teeth.

That may seem like a lot, but we’re here to lay it all out clearly. Here’s how to groom a St. Bernard.

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The 6 Tips on How to Groom a St. Bernard

1. Brush, Brush, Brush

The longest part of your grooming routine will be brushing your dog’s coat. You’ll need to use a slicker brush to remove dead hairs and prevent matting. Choosing a large brush is important here, as a St. Bernard is on the larger size.

Brushing also helps keep your dog clean. It can remove dirt and dust, elongating the time between baths.

You’ll want to brush at least every other day. Sometimes, you may need to brush even more, depending on how much your dog is currently shedding. During shedding season, your dog may shed twice as much as usual, so you’ll need to adjust as necessary.

Close up pet hair brush with pet fur clump
Image By: RJ22, Shutterstock

2. Use a Comb

Even if you brush your dog regularly, their coat may still get tangled. These tangles should be removed with a comb—choose a stainless-steel option for durability.

There isn’t a particular amount you should comb your dog as it depends on how often you find tangles. It’s best to have the comb on hand when brushing your dog. That way, if you find a tangle, you can brush through it right away.


3. Bathe Occasionally

Dogs need baths just like people. However, dogs do not need nearly as many baths. Too much bathing can dry out your dog’s skin and remove their natural oils. In time, this can cause dryness and eventually cause your dog’s coat to shed even more.

Therefore, you should only bathe your dog when you absolutely need to. If your St. Bernard rolls in mud, you should probably give them a bath. However, there is no need to implement a weekly bathing schedule.

We highly recommend picking up a high-quality shampoo formulated for dogs, too. This will help limit these more negative side effects.

saint bernard dog taking a bath
Image By: Marco 1978 Pereira, Shutterstock

4. Trim Their Toe Fur

While St. Bernards don’t need their whole coat to be trimmed, they do need the fur between their toes trimmed. This hair can get matted easily and cause pain. Plus, it can “snowball” in snowy weather, making it hard for your dog to walk properly.

This fur doesn’t have many benefits when long, so there isn’t much of a need for it. It’s often best to give it a quick trim. You can do this yourself or go to a groomer. You don’t have to trim the fur super close, just enough to prevent it from sticking out from between their toes.


5. Check Their Ears

St. Bernards have longer fur in their ears. This fur needs to be trimmed, as well. It can hold onto dirt and moisture, leading to ear infections. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for dirt and debris inside your dog’s ears. If necessary, you can use a damp cotton ball to clean around your dog’s ears. (Never stick anything down into your dog’s ears; just clean the outside.)

If your dog has particular trouble with their ears, you can speak to your vet about ear-cleaning drops. These have a bit of extra oomph that can help keep your dog’s ears cleaner. Using a cleanser may be necessary for some dogs.

Saint Bernard puppy with owner
Image By: Raymond Gregory, Shutterstock

6. Dental Care

Your St. Bernard also needs their teeth taken care of—dental health is extremely important for dogs. Poor dental care can be deadly in some cases as abscesses can form, opening up the body for infection.

Luckily, preventing these issues is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is brush your dog’s teeth a few times a week with canine-safe toothpaste. This helps prevent dental problems before they occur.

Furthermore, you may need to pay for professional cleanings from your vet. However, these will be fewer and farther between if you brush your dog’s teeth regularly.

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Conclusion

St. Bernards are usually considered to need moderate maintenance. While they only need to be brushed and have some other basic hygiene tasks done, their larger size makes these grooming sessions take longer. Their longer fur can also get matted, so grooming isn’t optional.

You should set aside 30 minutes to groom your St. Bernard every other day. However, you may need to groom them every day during the heavy-shedding season.


Featured Image Credit: audreyelizabeth, Shutterstock

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