How to Groom a Large Dog's Nose

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Hey, as a human you can blow your own nose, trim your own nose hairs, and if you are a guy, shave your face or trim your mustache! But your dog has one big reason why he can't do this for himself. He is missing one very valuable piece of anatomy. That's right, he doesn't have an opposable thumb. This means he can't hold a brush or work a pair of shears. Instead, he relies on you to take care of his snout for him. If you let him down, it could lead to a bacterial infection that requires medical intervention. 

Dog's Perspective

Picture this, if you will: Your hands are tied behind your back and you have a nose hair that keeps tickling and scratching at your nose. You can't cut it, you can't itch it, the only thing you can do is try to rub your face on the floor and get some relief. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it?  It shouldn't, but this is what your dog goes through when you don't take the time to trim and groom his nose.

The Gentle Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Warm bath
Prepare a plastic basin with warm water. Add a little vet-approved doggy shampoo to the water.
Step
2
Gently does it
Using a soft washcloth, gently wash all the dirt, nasal discharge, crust and anything else from your pup's nose. If the crusty buildup is thick, you may need to soak it with a warm wet washcloth to be able to gently remove it. DO NOT try to rip it off, you might tear the skin off at the same time, causing your pup a lot of pain. Rinse thoroughly.
Step
3
Trim it back
Using a pair of sharp safety shears, gently cut the hair around your pup's nose back out of the way. Be sure to keep it long enough for proper appearances, but short enough not to be a problem for your pup.
Step
4
On the inside
Chances are good that if your pup has a crusty buildup on the outside of his nostrils, he has one on the inside too. Use a warm wet washcloth to soak and soften the discharge, then use your fingers to gently remove it.
Step
5
Reward time
Once you are all finished and your dog's nose looks like new again, be sure to praise your pup and reward him with a couple of his favorite treats. Stay on top of this if you want your pup to feel happy and loved.
Recommend grooming method?

The Calm and Relaxed Dog Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Walkies time
Even big dogs tend to have a lot of pent-up energy. If you don't find a way to release this energy, grooming your dog's nose could prove challenging. To help, take your dog for a good 30 to 45-minute walk. This should tire him out and help to calm him down, so you can get to work.
Step
2
To restrain or not to restrain
If you use a grooming table with restraints and plan to groom the rest of your pup, this is the time to put him in the safety harness, otherwise, skip this step.
Step
3
A good brushing
Grab your slicker brush or a good doggy comb and go through the hair on your dog's face, paying particular attention to the area of his nose. This will help to remove any leftover food, dirt, debris, and, of course, tangles. Brush in the direction the hair grows first, then brush forward for trimming.
Step
4
Choose your length
You can either choose how long you want your pup's facial hair to be or look online for guidelines for proper grooming for your pup. You may want to cut it a little long the first time and then go back to trim it up when you are happy with the length. You can always cut shorter, but can never cut longer.
Step
5
Make the cut
Trim the hair around his nose, under his chin, and around the top of his muzzle to the desired length. Then go over the area with the slicker brush one more time to make sure your dog looks amazing and you are done!
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Do not scrub hard on the skin of your dog's nostrils, it is thin and extremely sensitive.
  • If the skin on his nose is damaged, cracked, or inflamed, take your dog to his vet.
  • Use safety shears whenever trimming your dog's hair, they have rounded tips to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Be sure any soap or shampoo you use on your dog is labeled as safe for use on dogs.
  • Never use products made for humans as many are toxic to dogs.
  • If the crusty buildup keeps coming back, you should take your pup to see his vet for a checkup.
  • Always use treats to reward your pup when you are done grooming. 

Conclusion

Keeping your dog's nose clean and well-groomed is an important part of his continued good health. His nose is his most important asset and he counts on you to take care of it. Be gentle, take your time, and your pup will soon learn to enjoy having his nose groomed on a regular basis. Most of all, be safe and let your pup know you love him. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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