Should You Wipe a Dog’s Bottom? (Facts That You Must Know Today)

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Every responsible dog owner has been in this situation before.

Their furry little family member has bouncing back inside after going out to use the bathroom when we notice things smell a little funny.

Maybe they have something on their feet, maybe they have just (very) recently gone to the bathroom – or maybe they have stuff stuck to their fur in the butt area that needs to be wiped away ASAP.

Now, not every responsible dog owner has been fully prepared for this kind of eventuality and some of them aren’t going to be eager or excited to “jump right in” and knock this out of the park.

Some people are even operating under the impression that making the decision to wipe a dog’s bum is a horrific idea, and that if you were supposed to wipe your dog‘s butt you’d have to do it all the time!

Below we clear up some common myths and misconceptions regarding whether or not it’s a good idea to wipe the butt of your dog, when you want to do a deeper cleaning, and what you can and cannot safely use to handle this little bit of cleanup and maintenance on your furry little family member when necessary.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Should You Wipe Down a Dog’s Bottom?

You don’t have to be a professional dog groomer to know that it’s a good idea to wipe the bum of your dog every now and again, especially if they have a little bit of matter stuck in the hair or dog’s fur on their rear.

For one thing, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to want to get rid of anything stuck to the bum of your dog as a general rule – if only to make sure that it doesn’t go flying off somewhere in your home in the first place!

Secondly, skid marks that are left unattended to can start to build up nasty little knots of filth in the butt hair of your dog pretty quickly. That’s going to start to build up more and more problems, compounding pretty quickly until your dog isn’t just dealing with a hygiene issue but is actually dealing with serious health problems, too.

Just think of your dog as a furry little baby that may need a bit of help cleaning up every now and again.

Different dog breeds may need a little more attention than others (dogs with cropped tails usually suffer from this problem more than any other), but it’s a thing you’ll want to lean into as a responsible dog owner for sure.

English bulldogs

How to Quickly Clean Your Dog’s Bottom

Truth be told, there’s really not a whole lot that goes into figuring out how to clean or groom your dogs bum.

This definitely isn’t rocket science.

Anyone (and we mean anyone) can figure out how to wipe your dog’s butt even if they’ve never owned a dog before!

At the same time, there are certainly things you can do to make this process go a little smoother and to be a little more comfortable (and safer) for your animal as well.

Remember, the first time that you go to wipe the butt of your dog they are going to be pretty surprised about what’s going on. They aren’t expecting this to happen at all!

The good news is, though, that you won’t have to run your dog to the groomer every time they have a little bit of matter tucked away on their backside.

Just use the tips below to knock this process out and you won’t have anything to worry about moving forward.

Prepping

The first big piece of the puzzle when getting ready to wipe and clean a dog bum is to get everything you need to give a good scrub together before you jump right in.

You won’t need whole lot, but you are going to want to get your hands on:

  • A clean washcloth
  • Lukewarm water
  • A halfway decent dog shampoo
  • Rubber gloves if you aren’t feeling adventurous and
  • Round nose scissors (which may or may not be necessary)

Gather all of that stuff together and you’ll be ready to rock and roll.

Calm Your Dog Down

The next thing you are going to want to do before you start poking around your dog’s butt is to make sure they are nice and calm, cool, and collected.

You don’t want your dog stressing out when they find their dog owners starting to reach around their backside, rubbing and scrubbing an area that they never could have expected would be rubbed or scrubbed in the first place.

Not only is it a whole lot easier to knock out a bum cleaning project to get rid of some dog poop when your animal is comfortable and calm, but it also guarantees that they aren’t going to express their anal gland “anal gland secretion” in a moment of fear or anxiety – making everything all a lot messier and pretty smelly, too.

No, responsible dog owners are going to want to hold their dogs gently, talk to them, pet them and get them to relax, and just sort of get them used to the idea of your hands working around on the backside of their body.

This is doubly true if your dog needs to be cleaned because they have had diarrhea or are feeling sick. Those reasons are always going to be attached to your dog or french bulldog feeling stressed out and anxious as it is.

Do what you can to minimize those feelings and cleaning up the mess will go a whole lot easier.

Warm Washcloths Work Best

Warm washcloths (cotton or microfiber really seem to work best) are the way to go when you need to wipe the butts of your pup.

A lot of people operate under the impression that they can use baby wipes to give a quick clean in this area, but that’s not a thing you’ll want to do all that often – if at all.

You see, baby wipes usually have a chemical called propylene glycol in them. And while that chemical isn’t going to wreak havoc on a baby’s body (because these wipes have been formulated for them) it doesn’t take a lot of propylene glycol from baby wipes to make your dog very sick – maybe even requiring a visit to the veterinarian.

Steer clear of baby wipes for sure, maybe only using “tushee wipes” in real emergency situations where you don’t have a washcloth handy.

There are dog wipes on the market today that you can use in place of those kinds of baby products, though.

Some of them are halfway decent and worth purchasing, but the overwhelming majority of dog wipes are really just kind of unnecessarily expensive – especially when stacked up against infinitely reusable warm washcloths.

Quick Scrub First

The first thing you want to do when it’s time to baby wipe my dog’s rear is to gently scrub the area a little bit, making sure that you get rid of any “chunkier” bits of debris and poop.

A quick, not super vigorous but somewhat forceful scrubbing of this area is going to dislodge any of the poop that was stuck in the hair of your animals bottom. It’s going to loosen it up at the very least, which makes the follow-on passes (of dog wipes or warm washcloths that have been rinsed out) a whole lot more effective.

The idea here is to really sort of soften things up with warm water so that the rest of the cleaning process unfolds pretty quickly from there.

Rinse and Repeat

When using a warm washcloth on a dogs rear end you’re going to want to make sure that you are rinsing and repeating pretty regularly, continuing to add a little bit of extra dog shampoo each run to make sure that you’re cleaning effectively with every wipe.

It’s also not a bad idea to have a close look at the water that you are using to rinse and repeat with, too.

It’s going to get dirty (no surprise there) but you want to make sure that you’re still picking up relatively clean water with dog shampoo on every pass or it needs to be replaced.

Those having a tough time getting rid of some of the harder or stiffer dog poop, dirt, or debris in this area might want to warm the water up a little more. That can help to relax the hair and let all of that gunk slide right off.

Dry, Soft Paper Towels to Finish

The next piece of the puzzle is to use dry, soft paper towels to finish things off.

This is where you’re going to want to assess the mess a little closer now that most of the poo and dirt or grime has been removed, giving you a good look at much cleaner areas on your animal.

Step back, maybe use a flashlight to double check that areas are as clean as you hoped they would be, and then use those dry, soft paper towels to get rid of any extra water and to make sure that bigger chunks of debris are completely free and clear.

Now you should be good to go!

Not Quite Clean Yet?

Wait a minute, though!

What if one of this animal’s pet dog parents noticed there’s a little bit more of a mess back there than expected, especially tucked up underneath their tail or in other areas that were overlooked?

What if you started to notice that this mess has turned into a rash or an infection and is even starting to cause health problems that might require a visit to the vet?

Well, in those circumstances you’re going to want to first give your puppy a nice warm bath – and then you might actually need to trim some of the hair and fur back there to make sure that these kinds of problems no longer happen anymore moving forward.

Bath Time

Bath time (especially when you are dealing with a puppy) for getting rid of poop is a thing you’re going to want to do only in more extreme circumstances, and definitely not a thing you want to be doing on a weekly basis or even a monthly basis.

You see, while humans can take a bath pretty much every day without any ill effects whatsoever puppies and dogs aren’t wired that way.

You end up stripping their body of essential oils and protectants that keep their fur and their skin soft and protected from the elements.

All of a sudden that bath you were giving a puppy every few weeks to help keep them clean of poop and dirt has turned into a thing that’s actually causing a skin condition or a rash that can be incredibly painful.

No, think of bath time for puppies and adult dogs as a bit of a “nuclear weapon” against poop, dirt, mud, and debris that builds upon their body.

It’s a wonderfully effective solution when you absolutely have to go down that road, but you want to look for a different way whenever possible before you start to scrubbing in the tub.

Woman wipes jack russell terrier with a towel after washing on a white background. The groomer dries the dogs hair with a terry towel

A Quick Trim of Their Fur Might Be Necessary

If the reason that you’re starting to see a lot of extra poop building up under the tail of your dog or in the hair near their rear end is because that hair has gotten so long and it’s acting as a bit of a “trap” for that kind of debris and waste, a quick trim may be necessary.

Nobody wants to wield scissors near the back of their animal, especially a sensitive space like this, but sometimes it’s the only way to make sure that everything is good to go from here on out.

Get your hands on some latex gloves and round nosed scissors, be very careful and deliberate with how you approach cutting this hair, and make sure that your dog is as calm, cool, and collected as possible.

Follow this step every few months, getting out in front of the issue before it becomes a bigger problem, and you won’t have a whole lot to worry about.

Just be careful you don’t spook your dogs when you’re working around back there.

You definitely – DEFINITELY – don’t want them to trigger their dog‘s anal glands when you are so up close and personal to this space!


FAQ

dog wipes

Can You Wipe a Dog‘s Bum with Baby Wipes?

Like we made mention of a little bit earlier in this post, it’s really not a good idea to be scrubbing dogs rears with pet wipes made for babies. The chemicals in them are designed for their skin and can actually end up causing more damage than good.

Can I Use Disinfecting Wipes on My Dogs?

This is a question that goes hand-in-hand with the one above, but it should be a question with an even more obvious answer than the one that was just provided – absolutely not!

Disinfecting wipes are a world different than even wipes designed for babies (and especially wipes designed for dogs). Those kinds of wipes are intended to be used on stuff like furniture, not skin, and should be avoided 100% of the time.

Should You Wash Your Dogs Privates?

Every now and again your animal is going to need a bit of a good scrubbing, and it’s not such a bad idea to hit some of their more private parts as well as their dog‘s paws and up under their tail.

Like we highlighted earlier in the bath section of this guide, though, you don’t want to go crazy with baths or scrubbing. This is something that should be done every couple of months (maybe after a walk where they get particularly dirty or when they are expressing their glands) but no more often than that.

What Causes a Sore Bottom in Dogs?

A lot of different things can lead to dogs suffering from sore rears, including (but definitely not limited to):

Poop or poo that gets stuck in their fur and hair

• Rashes or skin conditions caused by irritation back there

• Fleas and mites that crawl around this part of their body

• Injuries or allergies

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!