Grooming Basset Hound

The unique structure and size of the Basset Hound mean a little extra care on the part of its owner.

Cleaning ears

The long ears of a Basset Hound do not allow good circulation of air and are therefore prone to infection. Owners need to clean the inside of their Bassetís ears once a week with a mild astringent or one of the many ear cleaners available from your local pet store or veterinarian. After the cleaning solution is applied to the inside of the ear, use tissue, cotton balls, or baby wipes to clean away the dirt. Start cleaning a puppyís ears as soon as you bring him home and be diligent about frequently checking them for parasites such as mites and ticks

Cleaning eyes

With its droopy haw, the Bassetís eyes are prone to irritation. Eyes should be checked and gently cleaned whenever necessary. Ask your veterinarian what he/she recommends for a cleaning solution.

Cleaning teeth

A Bassetís teeth and gums should be kept clean and healthy. Teeth should be brushed and checked for tartar on a regular basis. For those knowledgeable with the use of a scaler, small tartar deposits can be carefully removed at home. Heavy tartar build-up should be removed by a veterinarian.

Cleaning the anal sacs

A Bassetís anal sacs, which are located on either side of the anus, should to be checked and emptied regularly to avoid impaction and infection. Bassets with impacted anal sacs often drag their rear ends on the floor. Sacs are cleaned by holding the dogís tail up and gently squeezing each sac. The smelly contents of impacted sacs will then squirt out. Owners who need assistance with this procedure should ask their veterinarians.

Trimming your Bassetís toenails

A Bassetís nails need to be kept short to prevent soreness and stress on the feet. Nails should be trimmed every 10 to 14 days. Various types of nail clippers are available for this purpose. Your veterinarian will be happy to teach you how to trim your Bassetís nails. Some puppies may resist nail trimming but with patience and a gentle approach by their owners they soon learn not to resist this important part of grooming.

Grooming the Basset coat

Brush the Basset coat weekly with a grooming mitt. Shedding coats are best handled with a shedding rake or slicker brush. Gently clean the head and ears with a damp cloth.

Bathing the Basset Hound

Bassets can be bathed as often as necessary with a dog shampoo. Many owners regularly use a flea and tick shampoo. Thorough rinsing is necessary. To avoid getting shampoo and soapy water inside the ears, cotton balls may be placed inside the ear canals. Also avoid getting soap in the eyes. Terry cloth towels or an electric hair dryer may be used to dry the Basset.