How to Groom a Dog's Nose

A dog's nose typically requires little grooming.
german shepherd dog image by Lisa Batty from

Keeping your dog's nose clean is an important aspect of its grooming requirements. If the dog has a lot of hair around the nose, it can irritate the nostrils if it gets inside, which could cause possible chronic issues. Furthermore, if the dog has recently experienced an onset of nasal discharge or the nose often gets dirty, cleaning it will prevent bacteria from entering its sinus cavity.

Step 1

Wipe the dog's nose with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge or dirt. Be careful and gentle when cleaning this area, as the nose is a bit sensitive. If the nose is particularly dirty, use a small amount of mild soap to remove the dirt or discharge, but be sure to rinse the soap off of the nose completely.

Step 2

Use scissors to trim the hair underneath the nose, especially if there is a lot of hair and it is long enough to reach inside the dog's nostrils. In addition, you can use hair clippers to completely remove the hair around the nose, if desired. Use a number 5/8-blade and shave the hair in a downward motion.

Step 3

Switch to stainless-steel food bowls if your dog's nose changes color. If the color of your canine's nose changes, it could be due to a reaction from a substance that is found in plastic bowls. In addition, cold weather and loss of pigment can also cause nose color to change, as well.


  • Dogs generally keep their noses clean by licking them. However, you should intervene and clean the nose if dirt or other debris is caked on it. If left on the nose, the material could cause irritation.

  • Clear, thin nasal discharge is normal. However, if the discharge is thick or colored, the dog may have an infection and should receive an examination by a veterinarian.

Items You Will Need

  • Soft, damp cloth
  • Mild soap
  • Scissors
  • Hair clippers