How to Groom a Dog's Nose

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Grooming and cleaning your dog's nose is a very important part of taking care of your dog. If you allow a lot of hair to grow around his nose, it could find its way into the inside of his nostrils. This can lead to irritation and a wide range of medical issues that have a chance to become chronic.

On top of this, if your dog has allergies or a cold (yes, your dog can catch a cold) or anything else that can lead to nasal discharge, you need to keep his nose clean and well-groomed to prevent bacteria from being able to enter his body via his nose. 

Dog's Perspective

From your dog's perspective, the constant tickling or itching resulting from long nose hair can be enough to drive him crazy. You may see him constantly rubbing his face on the furniture or carpet, or endlessly licking his nose. Your dog does not want to have to go through like this, it is your job to make sure he doesn't have to. 

The Gentle Wash Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Prepare to cleanse
Start by soaking a soft washcloth in warm water and wringing most of the water back out. If you use any type of soap, be sure to use one approved for use on dogs as this can cause serious irritation if there are any cracks in the skin of his nose. Think about how sore your nose gets when you have a bad cold. You need to be very gentle, as your dog's nose is very sensitive.
Step
2
Wash his nose
Gently wash the discharge and any dirt from his nose. If it is very dirty, you can try using a small amount of dog-safe soap to help. Of course, if you have to use soap, be sure to rinse it off thoroughly, as prolonged exposure could cause damage to his nose and skin.
Step
3
Time to trim
Using a pair of blunt-nosed shears, start by trimming the hairs under his nose. This is especially important if your dog has long hair here. Be careful, as there is serious potential for injury here.
Step
4
Inside the nostrils
Chances are good that if your pup is dealing with nasal discharge, he has some form of buildup just inside his nostrils too. Using the same warm wet cloth, gently work to remove as much of this buildup as you can. If the discharge doesn't clear up in a week or two, be sure to take your dog to see his vet..0
Step
5
Finish the job
If your pup has long hair on the rest of his snout, you may want to use clippers with a 5/8 guide to trim the hair keeping them from causing any type of irritation. Your dog is sure to get used to having his nose groomed and may even come to you for grooming when he "thinks" he needs it.
Recommend grooming method?

The Walking Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
The long walk
Before attempting to groom your dog's nose, consider taking him for a nice long walk, say 30 to 45 minutes. This will give him time to go the bathroom, burn off some excess energy, and to calm down. In turn, this will make the whole process go smoother.
Step
2
Restraint is good
If your dog has already learned to stay put during grooming, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you may want to pick up a grooming table with restraints, or better yet, recruit a family member or friend to help hold your dog still while you work.
Step
3
Brush his nose first
Using a slicker brush that is designed to separate and smooth out individual hairs, brush the hair on your dog's nose in the direction of growth. Then brush it forward, pulling the hair away from his eyes. This will make trimming the hair easier.
Step
4
Choose your cut
Attach the comb, matching the desired hair length to your clippers. Bear in mind, the longer the teeth on the comb are, the longer the hair will be when you are done. If you are not sure, you can always start with a longer cut and work your way down until you reach the one that suits your pup's face the best.
Step
5
Make the cut
Using the clippers, work from the bridge of your dog's nose to its tip. Start in the middle of the muzzle and gently work the clippers down towards your pup's mouth or the floor. Next, lift his chin up so that you can trim this area while you are at it.
Step
6
Around the nostrils
Using a pair of shears, trim back any long hairs around your pup's nostrils. They can cause irritation that can lead to infection and the risk of serious medical problems. Finally, use a warm wet washcloth to clean his nose and remove any dirt or nasal discharge.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never scrub hard on your dog's nose; the skin is very sensitive and can be easily damaged.
  • If the skin is cracked or raw, take your pup to see his vet.
  • Never use any type of soap intended for humans as they contain chemicals that may be toxic to your dog.
  • Never use any type of sharp pointed shears or instruments around your pup's nose as there is a high risk of injury.
  • If a crusty buildup has heavily accumulated, you may want to let your vet remove it. He can put your dog under anesthesia for enough for him to get the job done without causing your dog any undue stress.
  • If your dog has nasal discharge that continues to get worse or doesn't clear up in a couple of weeks, be sure to take your pup to the vet for a thorough checkup.
  • Use treats to help keep your pup calm and to reward him for being good.
  • Take your time and be careful, and your pup is sure to appreciate your efforts. 

Conclusion

Your dog needs his nose to always be in tip-top operating condition. It is his guide to virtually anything he wants or anywhere he wants to go. It is up to you to keep hair trimmed back and any discharge cleaned up. If you are gentle enough, your pup will actually look forward to this when he has a cold. Take your time, be gentle, and stick to it, a clean nose is an essential part of your dog's overall health. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!