How To Bathe Your Basset Hound – The Proper Way


Basset hounds fall into the category of ”quite smelly” dogs. Their scent is often compared to the smell of corn chips. If you are a fan of corn chips, then you are good. But, if you can’t stand the stench, then here is how to bathe your basset hound.

Key Takeaway

How To Bathe Your Basset Hound – The Proper Way

  1. Choose the right shampoo
  2. Start from the neck and work your way down
  3. Gently massage your basset hound
  4. Clean the skin folds
  5. Rinse well
  6. Dry your basset hound
  7. Clean the ears

How To Bathe Your Basset Hound – The Proper Way

How To Bathe Your Basset Hound - The Proper Way

Basset hounds have extra-oily coats which did a great job protecting them from the environment back in their hunting days. This is why it is important to bathe your Basset Hound properly.

1. Choose the right shampoo

There are a lot of shampoos for dogs, but not all of them will be suitable for your basset hound. The basset hounds have extra-oily coats. You have to choose a shampoo that will not strip the protective oils from his coat.

The shampoo for your basset hound should not contain dyes, fragrances, or unwanted chemicals. The shampoo should be dog-friendly, hypoallergenic, and conditioned. If your basset hound starts scratching his body after a bath, that is a clear indication that this shampoo isn’t working out for him. It is okay to switch shampoos until you find one that your basset hound will enjoy, and never change that one.

2. Start from the neck and work your way down

How To Bathe Your Basset Hound - The Proper Way

Washing your basset hound should be done the same way you wash your car, from the top to the bottom. Since the ears are a ”no” zone, you should start from the neck and work your way down. See how your basset hound reacts to water and plays by his rules. If he loves the water, give him a long shower. If he is eager to leave the tub, make this experience a short one.

Wet your basset hound’s body with a cup or a light spray from the showerhead. The water temperature should be as if you were taking a shower, not too cold and not too hot. Again, avoid the face and ears. You can tend those areas after the shower.

Basset hounds are very protective of their ears. You might notice this if you try to play with them. They are long and funny, but the basset hound doesn’t like it when you touch them. They are especially concerned when they are around water.

If you get water in your basset hound’s ears, dry them out immediately. Wet ears can quickly become infected. This ear infection is called otitis externa and it is pretty common. Be very careful when you are giving your basset hound a bath. There will be time for his ears after the bath.

3. Gently massage your basset hound

If you want your basset hound to enjoy his shower, a massage is a great way to start. Apart from being therapeutic, massaging his fur is needed in order to clean it properly. I used to sing to my puppy when I first gave him a bath. I like to think that singing made my basset hound love water and baths.

If you have big nails and you are afraid that you might scratch your basset hound, you can get him a bath sponge. Make sure the sponge is very soft. Clean all parts of his body, without the face and ears.

4. Clean the skin folds

Basset hounds have a lot of folds. I think the folds are their unique signature. The two things people recognize about basset hounds are their long ears and many skin folds. Although those folds look cute, they tend to collect a lot of dust, water, and debris.

Cleaning in between the folds is mandatory. If you don’t scrub the folds during a bath, it’s like you didn’t bathe your basset hound at all. A puppy won’t have folds, but an adult basset hound will most definitely have.

5. Rinse well

Rinsing well is very important because if don’t rise the shampoo, the skin can get irritated. Set the water temperature to lukewarm and with a light spray rinse your basset hound. Start from the neck and work your way down toward the paws.

If your shampoo makes a lot of bubbles, you can rinse your basset hound with a large cup because a spray could only create more bubbles. Go over the soapy skin folds, twice if needed. Those areas are where the skin irritation occurs the most.

6. Dry your basset hound

Once you completely rinse your basset hound, dry him with a clean towel. I personally use towels to dry my puppy and not a hairdryer. Drying with a hairdryer will not only scare your basset hound, but it will completely strip the oily protective cover from his coat.

So, grab a clean towel and get to business. I have a towel just for my puppy. I never use my own towel because there might be some of my shampoo left on it which is not good for my basset hound. Since he is a member of my family, he gets to have his own clean towel.

7. Clean the ears

Now it’s time to clean the ears. I use the same towel for drying to clean my basset hounds’ ears. All you have to do is get one-half of the towel wet and clean the inside of the ears. Do not use soap, only water is fine. Once you clean the ears with the wet part, dry them with the other part of the towel.

While you are cleaning the ears, inspect the inside of the ears. Look for any redness, irritation, or inflammation. Even if you are careful not to get his ears wet, your basset hound can still get an ear infection. If you notice any of the above, contact his vet.

How Can I Make My Basset Hound Smell Better?

Regular brushing with a bristle brush can help reduce the amount of oils, dirt, and debris and can make your Basset Hound smell better. Proper nutrition, including comprehensive quality food and essential fatty acids, can improve their coat health and decrease bad smells. Regular baths with a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs will keep them clean and smelling fresh while avoiding potential skin irritation from strong cleaners. Treats like dental chews or rawhide bones are also helpful in reducing bad breath.

What Do You Wash a Basset Hound With?

When considering what type of shampoo to use on your basset hound, it is important to consider the unique needs of this breed. Unlike other short-haired dogs, a basset hound’s thick and dense coat is prone to knots, mats, and dirt buildup.

To keep your basset hound looking and feeling its best, you should select a shampoo specifically designed for longer-haired dogs. Look for shampoo formulas that are formulated with natural ingredients and contain proper pH balance for a dog’s skin. Additionally, make sure the shampoo has moisture-rich ingredients to leave your pet’s fur silky and nourished.

Washing a Basset Hound can be an enjoyable experience; however, there are some important elements to keep in mind for ensuring it goes off without a hitch. Begin by gathering all the necessary supplies: gentle shampoo, rubber brush and scrubber, towels, and water warm enough to bathe your pup comfortably.

Start with a thorough brushing to remove dirt clumps and matted fur before beginning the actual bath. Be sure the shampoo you choose is formulated specifically for dogs as human shampoos are actually quite damaging to their skin and fur.

Once you’ve lathered up your pup with shampoo, rinse them thoroughly until all bits of suds have been removed from their coat and skin. Finish with a good drying session using several towels, giving them an extra good brushing session for extra fluffiness afterward! With the right supplies and these tips in mind, bathing your Basset Hound can be a breeze.

Basset Hound Enthusiast

Hi there, I am a Basset Hound lover! Being around Basset Hounds for the past decade has made me a sort of an expert on the breed. Stay tuned for lots of tips, diet plans, and more.

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