How to Groom a Dog's Stomach

Easy
15 - 25 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

Your dog's stomach might be his most favorite place for you to pet and rub. But that doesn't necessarily make it his favorite place to be groomed. Knowing how to properly care for the sensitive soft skin on your dog's stomach will help to make the grooming process easier. The area along your dog's stomach also includes your dog's groin area, which is extremely sensitive. Taking your dog's stomach from fuzzy, furry, tangled, and even knotty to slick and smooth is easy to do with a pair of scissors and a set of clippers.

Dog's Perspective

Your dog may be a little apprehensive if you start rubbing his stomach for joy and pleasure and then begin tickling with the vibration of clippers. Get your dog down on the floor and rub his tummy and his face behind his ears to let him know that this is an interaction of love and affection before you start grooming his tummy. After you've done this process a few times, he will get used to it, know what to expect, and lie down ready for you to begin grooming. 

The Lift and Clip Method

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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Brush
Brush your dog out all over. Have your dog lie down, exposing his belly for a good brushing. Try to rid this area of any knots or tangles. It may be easier to have your dog roll to one side and then the other to access all the dog’s belly fur. Do not brush the fur around the groin area. This is a sensitive area and will need to be clipped, but a brush may pull tiny hairs or scrape across sensitive skin.
Step
2
Harness
Clip your dog into a harness or leash him with a harness to a stronghold so he is unable to move away from the area where you are grooming. For smaller dogs, this may be a table or counter surface while larger dogs may be on the floor.
Step
3
Stand
For small dogs, lift the front legs, bringing the dog to a full standing position and exposing his belly and groin area.
Step
4
Clip
Using almost no pressure against the dog’s skin, gently clip the groin area first. Start from the bottom and work the clippers in an upward motion. A 7F blade might work well to start. Once the fur is clipped, you can switch to a 10 blade and do some touch-up clipping.
Step
5
Lift legs
With a gentle motion, lift the dog’s legs one at a time and clip under the legs near the dog’s stomach. Be careful not to lift any higher than the dog is comfortable. The older the dog and the larger the dog, the more uncomfortable this leg lift might be.
Step
6
Gentle brush
With a soft brush, gently move the fur around in a brushing motion to see if there are any missed areas. You can touch up with a pair of shears or go over with the blade 10 for touch up again.
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The Lie Down Method

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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Blanket
Put a blanket or towel on the floor so your dog can lie down comfortably. You’ll want this blanket to be one you can get dirty and furry with the excess fur from clipping.
Step
2
Leash and harness
With a harness and leash, attach your dog to something sturdy to keep him in place. You can also have a partner lie down with your dog to help keep him in place. If you trust he won’t run off, you can also attempt to control him on your own if you can.
Step
3
Brush
Get your dog to expose his stomach and brush as much as he’ll let you. Starting from the side, brush each side down to the center of his stomach, focusing on knots and tangles. Once this is done, brush down the center of your dog’s stomach. Do not brush the genital area as it may be too sensitive.
Step
4
Trim
With scissors, trim around the dog’s genitals. Be gentle and careful to avoid any injuries. You can go over this area gently with clippers as well, but trimming tangled fur with scissors will alleviate any pan caused by pulled on these tiny knots in such a sensitive area.
Step
5
Clippers
Using clippers, start with a trimming blade and clip from the chest down toward the genitals. Do not place clippers directly on the skin. You can change blades and go over the area again with a short bade, but start by getting any long fur off with a trimming blade. You may need to go over each area a couple of times. Just be careful not to irritate the skin with the clippers.
Step
6
Brush
With a soft bristle brush, brush over your dog’s stomach and clip or trim with scissors any remaining areas needed touch-up.
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Caution & Considerations

  • Try to control any knee-jerk reactions your dog may have by introducing the clippers to him before you actually put them on his stomach to clip his fur.
  • Anytime you are cutting the fur along a dog's genitals, use scissors so he does not get hurt.
  • When you lift your dog's legs to get the underside of his legs and the edge of his stomach, be sure to lift only as high as is comfortable for your dog.
  • Large breed dogs will be more comfortable on a towel or blanket on the floor.
  • Small breed dogs could potentially lay on a table or a counter. You may still want a towel or blanket underneath your dog to keep him from sliding.
  • Your dog's stomach maybe ticklish, so be sure you are aware of his quick movements and motions so you can react quickly as well pulling scissors and clippers away from his skin.
  • Never put a clipper's blade directly on your dog's skin as this may cause rash and irritation.
  • When you are using scissors for your dog's stomach, be sure to keep them parallel with your dog's skin and not to point them directly at his stomach or genitals. 

Conclusion

Grooming your dog's stomach is a hairy issue. But make things easy by keeping your dog calm and comfortable and the clippers pointed in the direction of your dog’s fur growth. Trimming his stomach fur will turn your furry friend’s tummy into a place you would like to pet again.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions