How to clean a dog’s dirt belly?

Dogs love to roll themselves in dirt and mud. They adore the idea of playing in messy water and having a battle with food while eating. In doing so, sometimes they come home with dirt bellies that need to be cleaned thoroughly. However, most often dog wipes or wet towels do this cleaning job perfectly. As a general rule of thumb, an outdoor dog needs more frequent baths to clean his dirty belly, while indoor dogs need a bath only every few months. Let’s dive into a cleaning tutorial about a dog’s dirty belly and learn how to clean it. But first, learn why you need to clean your dog’s belly regularly.

Clean a dog’s belly to avoid:

Skin infections:

Bacterial and fungal infections can have your dog’s belly skin itchy or flaky which leads to redness, inflammation, and foul odor. The majority of skin infections require veterinary treatment that mostly includes an oral antibiotic.


Dirt, grime and poops contain certain types of allergens. When these allergens come in contact with your dog’s belly and stay there for longer, it can cause a complex series of infections and allergies. That in turn, leads to itching, inflammation and itching scars that further aggravate the skin infections. So keeping a dog’s dirty belly clean is a must. 


Various worms, fleas, ticks, and mites are the main parasites that can infest a dog, if proper hygienic conditions are not maintained or if your dog come in long contact with the stool or soil that has larvae in it. The larvae of parasites can burrow through the dog’s belly skin and infect the dog. These parasite causes serious health problems including weight loss, anemia and even leads to sight loss if left untreated. So it’s most important to clean the dog’s dirty belly as soon as possible to avoid parasitic infestation.

Hair loss:

Skin infections, allergies and parasites infestation on a dog’s belly lead to severe itchiness that causes scars and subsequently permanent hair loss there. To avoid these consequences one should clean his dog’s dirty belly thoroughly without delay.

Method 1. Use wet towels to clean a dog’s belly

This method works best for dogs with a small size or thin coats. Grab a soft towel, saturate it under running water, then wring it to remove any dripping water. Put your dog on an elevated surface like a table or counter. Make sure to place a towel down for your dog to lie on. Then gently wipe the belly with a wet towel to remove any debris, especially around the back end of your dog’s dirty belly. Then use a dry towel to absorb the moisture along with the debris that stays in the belly. It’s best to apply coconut oil to a dog’s belly after cleaning to avoid any infection and make their fur shiny. 

Note: Make sure your dog is secure while lying on his back and that he cannot roll off an elevated surface.

Method 2. Dog’s cleaning and grooming wipes 

Wipe the belly using wipes to remove debris buildup. Make sure to work gently so as not to pull the hair on the sensitive belly. Discard the wipe when it’s messy and use a new one to thoroughly clean the dog’s belly.

Dog wipes are smart because they’ll remove outdoor allergens from your dog’s dirty belly, which usually causes skin allergies in most dogs. They also help keep your pup smelling fresh and wipe out dirt efficiently. However, wipes work best for small-sized dogs or dogs with thin coats and less dirty bellies.

Note: Make sure to use wipes made from natural materials that are non-toxic, non-irritating, and alcohol-free.

Method 3. Spritz a dog’s belly with a water sprayer

Fill a spray bottle with warm water and target your dog’s dirty belly. Depending on the extent of dirtiness, you can also make a water plus dog shampoo solution to spray on belly grime and wipe it out using a wet towel. At last use a dry towel to remove any moisture. As a moist belly is the root cause of smell in most dogs. So, make sure it’s dry after cleaning to avoid unwanted smells.

Method 4. Use combing technique 

Some dog owners don’t believe in dog wipes and wet towels to clean a dog’s dirty belly. Instead, they allow their pets to dry out in the sun after a dirty water bath. Upon drying, they simply brush a dog’s healthy, thick fur with the help of pet grooming brushes. However, in doing so, they give their dogs pain and it subsequently leads to permanent hair loss.

The belly is a sensitive area and your dogs may not like having hair brushed in that area. However, most dogs like having their belly rubbed. Follow these simple steps to clean, dry debris off your dog’s belly.

  • Always start by petting and rubbing his belly.
  • Then use a rubber mitt to get him used to a different sensation.
  • Apply conditioning oil to your dog’s belly to lubricate hair follicles.
  • Remove debris and tangles with your fingers.
  • Then use a soft brush to gently brush the hair from the chest towards the belly in short strokes. And always be more gentle on the lower belly where hair growth is sparse. 

Method 5. Use a garden hose to clean a dog’s dirty belly 

Cleaning with a garden hose is the quickest and smarter way that benefits both you and your dog. Plus, it also saves your time. However, for dogs with thicker coats, it is less effective. As big fur may take a very long drying time. And in colder weather, this is not a good choice at all. Wet fur causes a dog’s belly to smell bad due to germ buildup. Hence leads to skin infections, skin allergies, and hair loss. So use a garden hose to clean a dog’s belly if dog’s fur is thin and the weather is hot.

Method 6. Give your dog a bathe

Dog wipes and wet towels are an excellent choices for cleaning a dog’s dirty belly. However, if your dog comes home with some poopy materials on his belly or is dirty from top to toe, then bathing with a gentle shampoo is a must. Let’s learn how to do this with extra care.

Choose a location.

  • If you have a very small dog, you can clean him in a laundry or kitchen sink. 
  • You can clean larger dogs in showers bathtubs. 
  • If it’s not too cold outside, you can even clean your dirty dog outside.

Get the temperature right.

Dogs are sensitive to hot water just like you are. Check the water temperature, it should be warm, but not hot. 

Gather all the supplies you’ll need. 

You will need towels, cotton balls, dog shampoo, treats, and a washcloth or sponge. If you don’t have a hose or detachable showerhead, use a bucket to clean a dog’s dirty belly and body.

How to thoroughly clean a dog’s dirty belly?

  • First, put cotton balls in your dog’s ears to help keep the ear canals dry and avoid ear infections.
  • Remove your dog’s collar to get his neck area clean.
  • Use a hose or bucket to pour water on your dog’s body, especially targeting its dirty belly. Make sure to avoid pouring water over his head.

clean a dog's dirty belly

  • After wetting, use your hands to lather up the shampoo and also check his body for any unusual signs, such as bumps or inflammation.
  • Keep the shampoo on your dog for as long as the bottle calls for. Then rinse your dog until the water from his fur runs clear.

clean a dog's dirty belly

  • Remove the ear cotton buds and dry your dog’s belly and body with a highly absorbent microfiber towel to dry quickly. Regular bath towels also work well to make them dry.
  • At last, give your dog a treat and praise him for being a good dog.

Note: Experts recommend bathing your dog once a month otherwise you can cause skin irritation and he may scratch a lot.


Clean your dog’s belly as soon as possible if it is dirty. Your dog will be more comfortable and remain protected against infection, parasites, and other skin conditions. For small-sized dog breeds or dogs with thin coats use wet towels or wipes to clean their dirty bellies. While the dog’s larger breeds with thick coats prefer bathing them with mild dog shampoos. This is also true for the outdoor dog that is extremely dirty and produces poopy smells. However, make sure to take into consideration the weather conditions before bathing your lovely friend.

Look into “” detailed pages about care for dogs, cats, fish, and birds to get more information.

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