One of the best things about Basset hounds is that you don’t have to spend a fortune at professional dog groomers to get your hound looking his or her best. You can do the grooming yourself. Grooming is a great way to spend quality time with your Basset hound, check his or her health and incorporate training. But you do need to pay attention to some aspects of Basset hound grooming in order to do the best job you can for your dog.
Floppy Basset hound ears are glorious, but they don’t get the circulation that dog ears need in order to stay healthy. The ears need to air out every now and then. If your Bassett hound sleeps so that the ear canals are exposed to the air, then you don’t have to worry so much. If not, you need to gently flip the ear back so the ear canal gets some air.
Since Basset hounds can be prone to ear infections, be sure to check the ears every day. Healthy ears should smell sweet. You also want to check for any heavy discharge. You can clean out any extra wax or grunge on the outer ears with an ear wipe made for dogs. Never poke anything inside the ear canal.
The slight wrinkling of a Basset makes their expression priceless. But dirt and grime can get caught in those characteristic wrinkles. The face is a hard place for a dog to groom. You should check the wrinkles and wipe them out every day, perhaps after your Basset’s walk. This is also can help any extra dirt from getting into your carpet or fabrics from your dog’s face.
Make sure the wrinkles are not only clean, but dry. Old towels or washcloths are good for this chore. Bacteria can quickly grow in moist folds of skin. Use a little baby powder to keep those adorable wrinkles dry and bacteria-free.
Not So White
Ever wonder how the Basset hounds in magazines and dog shows manage to have the white parts of their coats stay so white? Their groomers use a whitener. But it is normal for a Bassett hound’s white parts to look a bit stained or dingy. Unless your hound is scratching, chewing and has inflamed skin, there’s no need to worry about not so white whites.
Short haired dogs like Basset hounds shed a lot, but especially around spring. Living in air conditioning and central heating can confuse the dog’s body, making it confused as to when to be growing a winter coat and when to be shedding. If you want to live with a Bassett, get used to shedding. What are a few million hairs between friends?
To help the shedding on a little, you can get what’s called a shedding blade from your pet store or your veterinarian. When you use a shedding blade, you want to use long motions as if you are peeling the skin off of a carrot. It will make a soft noise. Your dog might make a bigger noise, but used properly, a shedding blade can’t hurt your dog.