How to Trim a Dog's Nose

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Keeping your pup's nose trimmed and clean is a very important part of his regular grooming. If you have a dog with too much hair around his nose, the hairs can get inside his nostrils causing itching and irritation.

If your pup has a cold or another condition that causes nasal discharge, or if he gets his nose dirty a lot digging around in the yard, keeping it clean will reduce the chance of him developing a bacterial infection. Your pup may shy away from having his nose trimmed and cleaned at first, but as long as you don’t get excited, in time he will relax and let you do the job. 

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your pup wants is to have long hairs tickling his nose and driving him crazy. While he may not like having his nose trimmed, you can bet he likes having his nose being constantly tickled far less. He may even be letting you know he has a problem by rubbing his face all over the carpet and furniture. 

The Bathe First Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Towel
Step
1
A good soaking
If your pup's nose is dirty or covered with nasal discharge, use a washcloth and a bowl of warm water to gently soak it for a few minutes. If you are going to use soap to help get it clean, be sure it is safe for use on dogs. Be extremely gentle so as not to injure pup's sensitive nose.
Step
2
A good wash
Once the crud on and in his nose has had a chance to loosen up a bit, use a warm wet washcloth to gently wipe away the mess. If you had to use soap to get his nose clean, be sure to thoroughly rinse it off his nose to avoid irritation.
Step
3
Break out the shears
Pick up a pair of sharp safety shears and trim the long hairs beneath his nose.
Step
4
Inside out
Now that you have a clear view of the inside of his nostrils, if there is any buildup inside, it needs to be cleaned out. Use the warm wet washcloth and gently soften and sweep the crud out. Do not apply pressure or try to rip the crud out. You could hurt your pup. Just get as much as you can and repeat every day until his nostrils are clean. If the discharge continues for more than a couple of weeks, be sure you take him to the vet for an examination.
Step
5
Trim his snout and out
Trim up the rest of the hair around the sides and top of his nose. This is also a good time to trim his muzzle and around his eyes.
Recommend grooming method?

The Relaxed Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
It all starts with a tired pup
Since having his nose trimmed is likely to be a little unnerving at first for your pup, it's up to you to calm him down. The best way to do this is to take him for a nice long walk (30 minutes or more). Give him time to go potty, even let him run around, anything to tire him out and calm him down.
Step
2
The grooming table
If your dog has learned the 'stay' command and will stay put for extended times, you may not need to use a restraint. Otherwise, use the restraint included with your grooming table or another member of your family to help keep your pup in place while you groom him.
Step
3
Brush before clip
Start by using a slicker brush to brush out the hair on your pup's nose and face. Brush it forward from his eyes to the tip of his nose.
Step
4
Set the cut
Choose the appropriate guide for your clippers to match the length of hair you desire. Longer teeth on the guide means longer hair. If you are not one hundred percent sure how short or long you want his hair to be when done, it's always better to start longer and cut until you are happy.
Step
5
Complete the cut
With the right guide on the clippers, start at the center line of his muzzle and work your way down to his jowls. Lift his chin and clip the hair short.
Step
6
Finish up
Take a pair of sharp shears and trim around your pup's nostrils. Be sure to trim this area back as short as you can to reduce the risk of irritation. Finish up by using a warm wet washcloth to clean his nostrils and nose.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure the blades of your clippers and shears are sharp to reduce the risk of snagging your pup's facial hair, causing pain and injury.
  • NEVER scrub the surface of your pup's nose, it is very sensitive and very easily injured.
  • NEVER use cleaning products made for humans as they can be toxic to your dog.
  • ALWAYS use rounded-tip safety shears to avoid injuring your pup if he should suddenly move.
  • If your pup's nose is raw, cracked, or injured, take him to see the vet.
  • If your pup has nasal discharge that lasts more than 2 weeks, take him to see his vet.
  • You can use treats to help train your dog to remain calm and as rewards for behaving. 

Conclusion

It is very important to your dog's health and sanity to keep his nose well-groomed and clean. You should check his nose frequently for any signs of dirt and nasal discharge buildup. Be gentle any time you clean his nose and you may find he actually comes to enjoy the whole process. The important thing: being gentle will ensure you don't hurt his nose or he may come to hate the idea of having his nose cleaned and trimmed. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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