How to Groom a Small Dog's Belly

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
3 Week

Introduction

The thing about small dogs is, well...they are small!  Which means their belly hair is close to the ground and can get dirt and debris in it and easily be soiled or tangled. This means that cleaning, trimming and/or brushing your small dog's belly may be a frequent necessity. Also, because small dogs are close to the ground they are liable to pick up parasites like ticks and fleas that live in underbrush and dirt or sandy area and that especially like to reside on the underbelly and under limbs of your dog.  

Regular grooming of your small dog's belly will bring pesky parasites to light that can be treated quickly, and regular cleaning and brushing to prevent mats from forming will prevent moisture being trapped on your dog's belly that can cause a host of unpleasant skin conditions.

Dog's Perspective

Most dogs like having their belly rubbed, but not always having it groomed!  The belly is a sensitive area, and your small dog may not like having hair brushed in this area if it gets pulled or appreciate having a clipper or scissors used to trim belly hair. To make belly grooming more comfortable for your small dog, you can incorporate grooming with petting and belly rubs. Start with your dog on your lap, pet and rub his belly, use a rubber mitt to get him used to a different sensation, and then move to brushes, combs, clippers etc. Keeping belly grooming sessions short and combining grooming with petting and belly rubs will usually get your small dog acclimated to having his belly groomed.  He will soon be happily displaying his underside for regular grooming.

Caution & Considerations

  • Make sure your dog is secure while lying on his back or side exposing his belly, and that he cannot roll off an elevated surface.
  • Work gently so as not to pull hair on the sensitive belly. Support hair and skin with your fingers.
  • Mats and parasites often occur under limbs, be sure to check carefully and address these while grooming your small dog's belly.
  • Be careful working with scissors and other cutting implements so as not to injure your dog. Hold parallel to skin with the pointy end away from your dog.

Conclusion

The advantage of having a small dog is that you can put him on your lap or easily elevate your dog to groom his belly. Small dogs are also often more used to being handled than big dogs and may be more amenable to having their belly groomed. Work gently as the belly is a delicate area. Work mats out, especially under the limbs with your fingers and brush belly hair thoroughly. Trim excess hair so it does not constantly become soiled from being too close to the ground. Your small dog will appreciate having a clean and tangle-free tummy!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Bubbles
Yorkie
9 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bubbles
Yorkie
9 Years

Bubbles has black on her belly looks like dirt when she goes to the groomer her belly is clean but bathing her at home I can’t seem to get it clean and I’ve tried baby wipes I just wondered what groomers use

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would brush Bubbles' stomach first (and a few times a week if it tends to get dirty). Ask your groomer if they sell the brand of shampoo that they use so that you can keep Bubbles clean in between visits. This will make your groomer's job easier and Bubbles will have less to wait for while being groomed! We use salon-specific shampoo that has been properly diluted. (Never use flea and tick shampoo - let your vet take care of that.) Make sure you rinse your dog well and then brush her again after toweling her dry. The best I can say is call the groomer to see what brand they use. All the best and enjoy Bubbles!

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