With a thin fur, it seems that Basset Hounds are one of the easiest breeds to groom. Their laidback personality also cuts the fuss during bath time. However, they have a bigger body and their ears require more attention than other breeds. Also, their short gait makes their tummy brush on the ground, thus more dirt. Since Bassets are unique just like any breed, you should have a grooming process that suits them. With that, we came up with some Basset Hound grooming tips here to help you out including some ear care products.
Basset Hounds first enjoyed the limelight in 1928 when TIME magazine produced an issue with the breed on their cover. But it’s only in the ‘60s when they boomed as a domesticated dog for being the model for the Hush Puppies footwear brand.
An Overview On Basset Hounds Grooming
Basset Hounds require a special grooming process compared to other dogs. Still, it doesn’t mean you have to overcomplicate things. As long as you comb regularly and keep up with their cleanliness, brushing shouldn’t be problematic. Bassets are short-haired so they can be bathed sparingly. Their coat is also water-resistant which makes it less soiled and matted than what other breeds have. Since no hair clipping is needed, you can easily get your Basset groomed at home. But before you start with the shampoo and all, remember that Basset Hounds have large ears. This part will require a special technique which will be clear in a few moments. You should also get a Basset Hound ear care product for this. Bassets are also master sniffers. Their strong sense of smell can lead them to the dirtiest and muddiest spot in your yard. Aside from their large ears, Bassets also have skin flaps all over their bodies that groomers/owners have to pay attention to. Cleaning these parts is crucial to prevent skin issues.
Common Problems Associated With Grooming
Take note that Basset Hounds are little less healthy than other breeds. Due to his gait and body structure, this breed is prone to some health issues.
First, it’s susceptible to contact allergies. Since their chest area rubs on the ground, bedding, and floor, they are likely to pick up allergens. Also, inhalant allergens are their enemies due to their inclination to sniff. If this allergy isn’t addressed while cleaning, it can lead to ear infection and skin irritations.
Let’s say you’re doing well with bathing your Basset. But remember that there’s one mortal sin here: missing their ears. This part of their body is covered with a large and thick swath of skin. It can harbor all forms of dirt and parasites. Most of the time, Bassets’ ears may start to smell if not cleaned well.
🐶Discomfort toward restraint
Dogs are typically uneasy when someone is touching their paws or trying to pry their mouths open. The same goes for Basset Hounds. Make them accustomed to this stimulation as early as you can.
🐶Ticks and flies
Since Basset Hounds have droopy skin, the onset of tick infestation goes unnoticed. This is the reason why you have to pay attention to these areas.
🐶Inability to swim
If you’re thinking of letting your Basset swim for bathing, you should think twice. This breed has very short legs and a stocky body. It makes them unable to swim properly which can lead to drowning. If you’re bathing a Basset pup on a tub, make sure that the water level won’t go beyond their height.
Take note that each pup would require unique cleaning tips. If yours have skin issues, it’s best to see the vet before using any shampoo or cleaning products.
Bathing Your Basset
With a short coat, Basset Hounds don’t need frequent bathing. Once a month would be enough while other dog owners prefer a longer gap between each gap. However, bathing is just one of the steps of grooming. Even if you’re not giving the hound a splash, you have to perform other steps here like combing, trimming, and so on. Never miss the Basset Hound ear care as well. It’s fairly easy to bathe a Basset Hound. Since they are well-natured and even-tempered, it’s unlikely that they will stir a bathroom fight. There’s no specific frequency suggested about bathing. But if you keep bringing your pup to the countryside, you’ll have to give the pooch a wash every now and then. But the rule of thumb here is to bathe them once they start to stink. If they came in contact with other dogs you suspect to have fleas, it’s best to wash your Basset with a special dog shampoo.
Regardless of how thin their fur is, you have to brush and comb your doggo. Bassets shed a lot and if you don’t want to fur to stick on your furniture, you have to catch it before it falls. Brushing them at least once a week is important so you also get to check if they have skin or coat issues. Before combing, give your Basset’s coat a quick glance. Are there cuts or wounds? You shouldn’t brush or comb these areas. Make sure that you treat it right away to prevent complications.
Ear cleaning is probably one of the most important parts of cleaning a Basset Hound. Make it a habit to lift those saggy ears and wipe the skin underneath. Since there’s not enough air circulation on this part of their body, it can easily stink and become inflamed with various infections. Below, we reviewed some of the Basset Hound ear care products you can use. Some Basset owners recommend that you wipe the ears once a week with an astringent to keep the smell and infection at bay. Still, I suggest that you do this more often if your Basset stays outdoors for long periods. Use cotton balls and swabs to get the dirt out of the pup’s ears. It’s like cleaning a human ear but much bigger. It’s advisable to start cleaning your Basset’s ears as long as he is a puppy. This way, he can get used to the restraint.
This breed has a droopy face, thus the sullen looking eyes. The wrinkles on this area are prone to eye dirt which can accumulate and cause infections. Always wipe the dirt as you see it, but be gentle enough not to poke their bulging eyes. Your vet or groomer will recommend a special cleaner to prevent infections. They will also give you additional tips for cleaning your Basset Hound pet.
You should give attention to your Basset Hound’s toenails. Overgrowth of this part can cause foot problems which are common among this breed. It’s one thing you’d want to avoid as soreness of the foot can cause a host of health problems.
Trim your pup’s toenails when it starts to rattle on the floor which is usually about every 10-15 days. Take note that even though Bassets are good-natured, they might resist toenail trimming. It’s best to make them get used to it while they are young.
The noses of Bassets are always pinned on the ground searching for a smell they will follow. It may catch dirt along the way a good wipe will get this fixed. However, avoid any scented products as Bassets have very sensitive olfactory organs. The same goes for shampoos and other products you’re going to use. It’s best to stick on fragrance-free options.
One of the common dental issues among these hush puppies is their halitosis. Although we loathe it as the owner, you should know that the smell of your pup’s breath says a lot about his health. A dental plaque will start to build up if you don’t check their dental health. Brushing their teeth at least twice a week with a dog toothbrush and toothpaste is important. If you want to ensure that your Basset would have fresh breath, daily brushing would be excellent. You only have to brush the exterior of the teeth while letting your pup lick the toothpaste. Your pooch’s tongue will do the internal cleaning. It’s also important to check the mouth of your dog to spot signs of periodontal disease and impacted teeth. Tooth loss can also be the culprit to the foul odor.
Cleaning the anal sacs
This may not be every Basset owner’s dream, but you have to clean their anal sacs if you don’t want them to stink. By holding the doggo’s tail up, you just have to squeeze the anal sac gently and the gross excretion will ooze out. I suggest that you wear a face mask and a pair of gloves when doing it. If you think you can handle the process, let the groomer or vet to do the job.
Miscellaneous cleaning tips
Aside from the scheduled grooming at home, you have to watch out for the drooling. Bassets are known for this which can be a bit gross when you let the saliva smear on your furniture. You can either let him wear a bandana on the neck or wipe it as often as you could. Another thing is that Basset Hounds are fart machines. Their stocky torso is a reason for this, and if you want to ease the smell, I suggest that you endure cleaning the anal sacs.
If you’re a busy owner, make sure that you at least get to wipe the ears and the folds of the skin. These are the most important grooming tips for your Basset Hound dog.
When To See A Groomer/Veterinarian
No matter how diligent you are in home grooming, it’s best to consult a groomer or vet from time to time. There’s a chance that you’re missing out on some signs of infection present on your Basset. A groomer can take a look and let you know the parts where you have to focus on. Also, professional groomers have the right tools.
If you see signs of ticks like wounds and cuts, it’s best to go to the vet right away. Avoid using home remedy without the clearance of the dog doctor.
Basset Hound Ear Care Products
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner
The Virbac ear cleaner is excellent in maintaining healthy ear canals for dogs. It’s alcohol-free and very mild even for Bassets with skin issues. This contains 0.2% salicylic acid that helps kill infections. I suggest that you ask the help of your vet in administering this type of cleanser. The dog should be seated and someone else should be holding the pup’s head.
Veterinarians recommend this as a safe and efficient ear cleaner for Basset Hounds. So aside from consulting the doggo doctor regularly, you can also opt for a proactive approach to dodge the infections.
This ear cleaner is also great for Bassets who have a yeast infection on their ears. It won’t just prevent any bacterial infection; it will also save your pocket from hefty vet bills.
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Pet King Brands Zymox Ear Cleanser
If you’re worried about toxic chemicals, the Pet King Brands Zymox cleanser will give you peace of mind. It has Lactoperoxidase and Lactoferrin as main cleaning ingredients to keep your hound’s ears clean and smelling fresh. Make sure that you don’t squeeze the bottle or half of the solution will shoot to your dog’s ears. Just let it trickle a little on the side of the ear and then wipe it with a clean cotton ball to remove the dirt. If the ears of your Basset start looking dirtier after several applications, it means that the inner dirt is starting to come out. The good thing about this Basset Hound ear care cleanser is that it’s almost fragrance-free – something that suits Basset Hounds. It’s watery in consistency and it doesn’t leave any oily feeling to your pup’s ears. If your doggy seems to suffer from periodic ear infections, you can ask your vet about this product.
Bassets are calm and easy-going dogs. They are far from aggressive which makes these Basset Hound grooming tips easy to apply. But as much as you can do everything at home, never discount the advice of professional groomers and the veterinarian.
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