How to Clean a Dog's Facial Wrinkles

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Dogs with facial wrinkles or skin folds (like sharpeis and pugs) can quickly smell very unpleasant if those skin folds aren't cleaned regularly. This is especially true on dogs with very short noses. The wrinkles hold an accumulation of food, mucus, dry tears and debris that nt only harbor bad odors, but can lead to skin infections. Cleaning your dog's face takes only a few minutes a day, and a fresh, clean mug ready for planting kisses on will reward you for your efforts!


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Items You Will Need
• Baby or dog wipes
• Washcloth
• Petroleum jelly
• Cotton swabs
• Low-calorie Dog treats

Step 1 - Place your cleaning supplies nearby within easy reach. Open the container of baby wipes and petroleum jelly. Remove several cotton swabs have and a dry washcloth ready.

Step 2 - Call your pooch over to you and have him sit directly in front of you, face to face.

Step 3 - Place your thumb and forefinger on each side of a facial fold and gently open it. Wipe the interior of the fold from one side to the other with a baby wipe. Clean each wrinkle in the same manner on your dog's face. Wipe gently and give your pet dog treats throughout the process so he associates cleaning his face with tasty rewards.


Step 4 - Place a dry washcloth over a forefinger. Wipe each facial wrinkle from one side to the other with the washcloth. Reposition the washcloth over your forefinger in a dry area as needed to dry his folds. Leaving moisture inside facial folds can lead to skin infections and skin fold pyoderma.

Step 5 - Dip a cotton swab into the petroleum jelly container and scoop a tiny amount onto the swab. Open each fold and apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the skin. Use a separate cotton swab for each wrinkle. Petroleum jelly repels moisture and conditions dry skin to keep it healthy.


Step 6 - Give your four-legged friend several treats after he is clean and play a game he enjoys, such as fetch or tug-o-war. He will decide that patience during face cleaning secures him some one-on-one playtime with you and be patient.

By Mary Lougee


ASPCA: Groom Your Dog
American Kennel Club: Ask AKC
WebMD: Skin Infections in Dogs
University of North Texas: The World of Pugs

Ruff Ideas: Caring for Wrinkly Dogs
The Dog Guide: Dog Breeds with Wrinkles


About the Author
Mary Lougee has been writing since 2004 and specializes in pets with publications in "Modern Dog" and "Pet Planet." Lougee gained extensive pet knowledge and expertise in care and rehabilitation, built a farm, and cares for rescue animals from small to large. She holds a bachelor's degree in management.