To wipe or not wipe your dog’s bottom.
Who thought you’d be asking this question?
But that’s the reality, right?
And regardless, it’s a question that needs answering.
So today, I’d like to walk through whether it is a good idea to do so, when it may be, when it may not be, and if you are going to, how to properly (and safely) do so!
Can You Wipe a Dog’s Bottom?
You can wipe a dog’s bottom, so long as you do so with appropriate wipes and the situation calls for it. Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
It ultimately comes down to context.
There are certain situations where it might be necessary to do so. On the other hand, there are also contexts where it is not advised.
We will now turn to each one in the following few sections.
When Is It a Good Idea to Wipe a Dog’s Bottom?
There are several scenarios where wiping your dog’s bottom might be a good idea. Let’s take a closer look at some of these situations:
On Long-haired Dogs
Dogs with long fur around their bottom, like my beloved Bailey, are more prone to collecting feces and debris.
Regularly wiping their bottoms can help keep them clean and prevent matting or other hygiene issues.
On Dogs With Digestive Issues
If your dog has diarrhea or other digestive problems, wiping their bottom can help keep them comfortable and clean.
It can also prevent the spread of bacteria and infections to other areas of their body or your home.
For Senior or Disabled Dogs
Older or disabled dogs may struggle to groom themselves effectively.
Helping them by wiping their bottom can help maintain their hygiene and overall well-being.
Some grooming procedures, such as anal gland expression, may leave your dog’s bottom a bit messy.
Wiping the area afterward can help ensure they stay clean and comfortable.
When You Shouldn’t Wipe Your Dog’s Bottom
While there are situations where wiping your dog’s bottom is a good idea, there are also times when it’s best to avoid doing so.
Here are a few examples:
On Healthy, Short-haired Dogs
Dogs with short fur and no history of hygiene issues generally do not need their bottoms wiped.
They are typically capable of grooming themselves effectively.
If There Are Signs Of Irritation or Infection
If your dog’s bottom appears red, swollen, or irritated, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before attempting to wipe the area.
Wiping could potentially exacerbate the issue or cause your dog pain.
Immediately After Surgery
If your dog has recently had surgery near their bottom, following your veterinarian’s post-operative care instructions is crucial.
Wiping the area might not be recommended, as it could disturb the healing process or introduce bacteria.
Just For The Sake Of It
If you have no legitimate reason to do so, or just want to ‘treat your dog’, then it is generally not advised.
What Should You Use to Wipe a Dog’s Bottom?
Before diving into the specifics of when to wipe your dog’s bottom, let’s first discuss what materials are suitable for the task.
Using the wrong products can cause discomfort or even harm your dog, so choosing wisely is crucial.
Purposeful Dog Bottom Wipes
These moist towelettes are designed to clean your dog’s bottom and other sensitive areas.
They are gentle, hypoallergenic, and free from harsh chemicals, making them an excellent choice for the task at hand.
A Soft Clean Cloth
Alternatively, you can use a clean, soft cloth dampened with warm water.
Be gentle when wiping to avoid causing abrasions or discomfort.
I would recommend using a fresh, new cloth. One that has not been used (or washed) before.
How To Properly Wipe Your Dog’s Bottom
Now that we’ve discussed the various situations in which you should or shouldn’t wipe your dog’s bottom let’s go over the proper technique for doing so.
Keep in mind that it’s essential to be gentle and patient throughout the process, as this can be a sensitive and potentially uncomfortable experience for your dog.
- Gather your materials: Have your chosen wipes or cloth and any necessary items ready before you begin.
- Calm your dog: Make sure your dog is in a relaxed and comfortable position, either standing or lying down. Speak to them in a soothing voice and offer praise or treats as needed to keep them calm throughout the process.
- Lift their tail: Gently lift your dog’s tail, being mindful not to pull too hard or cause them discomfort. This will expose their bottom and allow you to easily access the area.
- Clean the area: Using your chosen wipe or cloth, gently clean the area around your dog’s bottom. Be sure to avoid rubbing too hard or causing irritation. If necessary, use a dog-safe cleansing solution to remove any stubborn debris.
- Dry the area: After wiping, use a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to gently pat the area dry. This will help prevent moisture-related issues, such as chafing or the growth of bacteria.
- Reward your dog: Once you’ve completed the process, offer your dog praise and a treat to reinforce the positive experience.
Whether or not you should wipe your dog’s bottom should come down to context.
It’s not always required or even advisable.
If you decide to do so, make sure you use dog-safe products specifically designed for this purpose.
And you will need to exercise caution and care.
If you are in doubt, or suspect your dog is or has developed an infection, then consult with a veterinarian
Related guides you may want to read:
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.