Let’s be completely honest; nobody wants to clean or wipe a dog’s bum but often the alternative to not cleaning your dog’s butt is actually far worse. For example, I own a French Bulldog and can’t actually reach his own rear end. This means after he’s pooped there will occasionally still be some left on his backside.
If he then comes in the house and does a shake, some of that poop will go on the floor. This means I need to wipe my dog’s bum from time to time. It’s not pleasant, but I have developed a good way of doing it without gagging.
Other reasons you might need to help them wipe could be because you have a long-haired dog and it’s caked on, an older dog who can’t clean themselves, or your dog has had a bout of diarrhea.
In this step by step guide, I will show you how to clean a dog’s butt so it’s as clean, hygienic, and mess-free as possible, for both you and your dog.
How to clean a dog’s bum
This guide is two-fold; it includes the full cleaning process where you have a heck of a mess to clean up, plus just a couple of steps on how to wipe. If it’s just a quick wipe required, you can just complete step 1 on how to wipe a dog’s bum properly in seconds.
What you will need:
- Dog friendly wet wipes (view on Amazon)
- Dog shampoo (view on Amazon)
- Scissors or hair clippers
- Rubber or latex gloves
1. The quick bum wipe method
This first step entirely depends on what mess you have to contend with. If you just need to do a quick bum wipe after a poop, and there’s no long-matted hair to contend with, then here’s what you need to do.
- Get a dog-friendly wet wipe that’s fragrance and chemical free.
- Lift your dog’s tail with one hand, possibly having another person distracting your dog at the front end.
- Using the wet wipe, clean with double fingers around the area, be careful to not press too hard on the anus.
The next step is how you clean a dog’s butt when there’s lot of hair and mess to contend with, and it will require a little preparation.
2. Get prepared for the clean up
If instead you’ve got an almighty poop mess to clean up, with matted and dirty hair, we’re in for a bit of preparation where you gather the tools needed for the job in hand – I’ve listed those above.
For dogs that are anxious, you might want to prepare everything in the bathroom first, and even relax them with a treat before you get started. This includes running some warm water into a sink, with some dog-friendly shampoo in it.
Then you can lead your dog into the bathroom, being calm and closing the door behind you to stop him bolting away.
I know of some owners who have to leash their dog. It’s not uncommon, as dogs don’t really want humans messing around with their bottom end… I suspect it makes them feel quite threatened!
Handy Hint: If you are faced with a very bad mess and tangled hair, you might actually want to cut a lot of the hair away first with scissors or human hair clippers.
3. Clean around the bum hair
Now the actual bum cleaning starts, and you might want to put some rubber gloves on for this part!
All you do is soak your cloth in the warm shampoo water and then work it around the affected butt hair, removing as much of the poop as possible. The warm water will help to break up anything that’s stuck on tough.
You might not get everything off, but the aim here is to clean as best as possible. You can also use your doggy wet wipes here too.
4. Possibly now bath your dog
Depending on the severity of the issue, you might now want to get your dog into the bath to get the bum even cleaner with lots of warm water and shampoo.
This will give you the opportunity to work more warm water and shampoo into the bum area, and then use the shower too, to remove more stubborn mess.
Hopefully you are still wearing those gloves because you can work your fingers through the hair, pulling any dried poop out and generally getting the butt a lot cleaner.
5. Dry and trim the bum hair
Once you’re happy that you have cleaned your dog’s bum properly you can get him out, get him dry, and then give that butt hair a trim with scissors.
Regularly keeping a clean bum area free of hair will make future butt wiping a lot easier to manage.
You can then also use the doggy wet wipes again for one final wipe through.
How to prevent poop from sticking to longer hair
Poop stuck on butt hair is a persistent problem for dog owners (the dog, not the owner) but there is a product a friend recommended me recently. It’s called The Stuff on Amazon and how it works is actually really impressive.
It’s basically a non-stick formula spray. You spray it on your dog’s butt hair, and it helps to prevent feces from sticking and tangling into a mess.
It works by creating a protective barrier on the bum hair, that then almost repels dirt and mess. My friend says that dog poop was no longer clinging to the butt hair, and she had to clean the dog’s bum less frequently.
Are you supposed to wipe a dog’s butt?
Now obviously there will be times when you absolutely have to clean your dog’s bum if there’s stuck on mess and hygiene issues.
But what about everyday wiping; should you wipe a dog’s bum?
The answer is; it depends.
Some dogs will need help with wiping from time to time, but in most cases, you don’t have to. When dog’s poop, it usually cleanly falls out and away from the anus, meaning no mess is left.
If there is mess left behind, most times it will quickly fall away again once your dog starts to walk and run.
But this won’t always be the case.
For example, you might have a dog who can’t clean themselves and occasionally get messy, just like my French Bulldog. Other times it will be required, but it’s rare to be honest unless your dog has unruly hair around the bottom that hasn’t been trimmed in some time.
The other times you should wipe your dog’s bum won’t be as obvious, and this is when fecal matter gathers under the tail.
And you won’t always notice it, so the occasional tail lift and check is essential if you want a hygienic and clean dog in your home, and possibly on your furniture and bed. Once a week for a butt check should be ample.
Why does my dog wipe his butt?
If you see your dog dragging his butt along the floor, it’s not always an indication that they are wiping their own butt. It could be for an entirely different reason.
It’s called scooting, and dogs will appear to wipe their own butt by dragging along the floor for reasons including:
- Anal gland or sac infections.
- Something stuck to their butt (could be feces).
- Allergic reactions to environmental factors.
- Parasites such as worms.
- Bladder or UTI infections.
- Wound or trauma.
- Rectal prolapse.
To find out more about how you can identify the cause, please check out this guide I wrote to dog bum scooting, plus when you might need to call a vet. It’s a guide for pugs but applies the same to all dog breeds.
The next time someone asks you how you can clean a dog’s bottom, now you know!
Let’s be honest though, it’s probably not a question you will be asked, but it is a skill that all dog owners will need to master at some point in their lives.
The trick is to not do this after you have eaten, as it can be quite a vomit inducing task, particularly for those with weak stomachs!
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