A Comprehensive Guide to Basset Hound Grooming

by Lisa

Basset Hounds are renowned for their short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors, including tri-color and lemon. While their coat is low-maintenance compared to longer-haired breeds, shedding is still a consideration. Regular brushing is essential to manage shedding and keep their coat healthy. A slicker brush or a hound mitt is effective in removing loose hair and preventing matting. Brushing not only reduces shedding but also stimulates the skin, promoting natural oil distribution and a shiny coat. Engage in this bonding activity at least once a week to keep shedding in check.

Basset Hound Grooming

While the Basset Hound‘s coat is a focal point of grooming, there are other aspects that deserve attention. Regular ear cleaning is vital due to their long, droopy ears that can trap moisture and debris, leading to ear infections. Use a gentle ear cleaning solution and a soft cloth to wipe the ears, being careful not to insert anything into the ear canal. Dental care is equally important; brush your Basset Hound’s teeth regularly to prevent plaque buildup and maintain good oral health. Grooming extends beyond aesthetics, contributing to the overall well-being of your Basset Hound.


Watch the Paws

Basset Hounds have distinctive, large paws that support their robust and muscular bodies. Regular paw care is essential to ensure their comfort and prevent issues such as overgrown nails and dry, cracked paw pads. Use a dog-specific nail trimmer to keep their nails at an appropriate length, being cautious not to cut into the quick. Inspect the paw pads for any signs of dryness or cracking, and apply a dog-friendly paw balm to keep them supple. Paw care not only contributes to their physical comfort but also promotes healthy movement and prevents potential paw-related issues.


Should You Give Basset Hounds a Haircut? 

One of the frequently debated topics in Basset Hound grooming is whether or not to give them a haircut. Unlike some breeds with continuously growing hair, Basset Hounds have a double coat with hair that grows to a certain length and sheds naturally. The outer coat provides protection from the sun, while the soft undercoat offers insulation. Trimming the hair excessively can interfere with the natural shedding process and compromise the coat’s protective functions. In general, Basset Hounds do not require haircuts; however, regular brushing and occasional baths can help maintain a healthy coat and minimize shedding.



While Basset Hounds are not known for having a strong odor, occasional baths are still part of a comprehensive grooming routine. Use a dog-friendly shampoo and ensure thorough rinsing to avoid skin irritation. The frequency of baths depends on factors such as their activity level and how much time they spend outdoors. Over-bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils, so it’s essential to strike a balance. After bathing, thoroughly dry the Basset Hound, paying attention to the folds of skin to prevent moisture-related issues. A clean and well-groomed Basset Hound is a happy and comfortable one.


Eye Care

Basset Hounds are known for their soulful, droopy eyes that contribute to their endearing expression. Regular eye care is crucial to prevent issues such as tear staining and irritation. Use a damp, soft cloth to gently wipe away any discharge, being cautious not to touch the eyeball. If tear staining persists, consider consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues. Ensuring their eyes are clean and free from debris contributes to their comfort and maintains the distinctive allure of the Basset Hound’s gaze.

Maintaining the Scent Glands

Basset Hounds are equipped with scent glands, and regular maintenance is necessary to prevent discomfort and odor. The anal glands, located on either side of the anus, can become impacted, leading to discomfort and potential infection. While some dogs naturally express their anal glands during bowel movements, Basset Hounds may require manual expression. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, consult with your veterinarian or a professional groomer for guidance. Regular expression of the anal glands contributes to your Basset Hound’s comfort and overall health.

Brushing the Teeth

Dental care is a crucial aspect of Basset Hound grooming that often goes overlooked. Regular brushing with a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste helps prevent plaque buildup, tartar, and potential dental issues. Incorporating dental chews or toys designed to promote oral health can be additional tools in your grooming arsenal. Maintaining good dental hygiene not only contributes to your Basset Hound’s overall health but also prevents bad breath and ensures they can enjoy their meals without discomfort.

Grooming Frequency

The frequency of grooming sessions for your Basset Hound depends on various factors, including their activity level, coat type, and overall health. While a weekly brushing session is generally sufficient to manage shedding, other aspects of grooming, such as ear cleaning and dental care, may be performed more frequently. Pay attention to your Basset Hound’s individual needs, adjusting the grooming routine as necessary. Older Basset Hounds or those with specific health concerns may benefit from more frequent, gentler grooming sessions. A tailored approach ensures that grooming enhances your Basset Hound’s well-being without causing stress or discomfort.

Professional Grooming

While regular at-home grooming is essential, some aspects of Basset Hound care may require professional expertise. Professional groomers are experienced in handling different breeds and can provide services such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, and expressing anal glands. Additionally, professional groomers are equipped to handle specific grooming challenges, ensuring your Basset Hound receives the care they need. If you’re uncertain about specific grooming tasks or encounter challenges, seeking the assistance of a professional groomer is a wise decision.


Grooming a Basset Hound is a holistic endeavor that goes beyond aesthetics, encompassing their health, comfort, and overall well-being. From managing shedding to addressing the distinctive aspects of their ears, eyes, and paws, each grooming task contributes to the care and maintenance of these charming companions. Whether you’re navigating the shedding season or contemplating the necessity of a haircut, a thoughtful and tailored grooming routine ensures that your Basset Hound thrives in an environment that nurtures both their elegance and individual needs.


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