Beagle Grooming Needs: A Simple Guide
It’s rather comical that a beagle can typically be so brave and adventurous, but when it comes to bath time, they can become a downright scaredy-cat. Beagle grooming needn’t be an exercise in futility.
As a matter of fact, my beagle Skyler when he was a puppy, used to urinate as soon as you got him over the bathwater. We dubbed it the “Piss De Résistance”. And boy, did he resist.
However, over time he got better and better, and the floodgates eventually closed to less than a trickle. I learned over time, that certain things can be done to provide a less stressful and more bonding experience for your beagle. They are:
When Should I Start Bathing My Beagle?
Start ’em off early. If you begin grooming a Beagle when he or she is a puppy, you will find that in as soon as a few short weeks, he will begin to enjoy this time. Many dogs find brushing to be soothing, in as much as humans enjoy a nice back massage. In addition, bath time can be a great way to bond with your Beagle.
How Often Should I Bathe My Beagle?
Fortunately: Their short and smooth coat repels a lot of dirt and debris.
Unfortunately: For this reason, you may not realize that a bath is needed when it in fact is.
Whether or not they appear dirty, routine baths are a necessary part of grooming.
Normal, healthy skin excretes a thin layer of body oils every day.
In about 3 weeks, it continues to accrue along with a small number of dead hairs that fall back into the coat and become trapped.
At around the 3-week mark, these components can start smelling stale.
Therefore to keep your beagle’s coat in its best condition, I personally keep him groomed at the 3 weeks to the 1-month mark. However, if your pup decides to mind something else’s business by rolling in it, clearly then it can be done at that time.
You’ll not want to bathe your pupster more frequently, as that will strip them of their natural protective oils.
Where Should I Bathe My Beagle?
Outdoors – For some beagles, it can be easiest to bathe them outside in the backyard. My beagle prefers his grooming outside. I swear its therapeutic for him. This can also be a good option for dogs who try to jump out of the tub.
Always test the temperature and pressure of the water that you’ll be using, before applying it to your pup.
Bathtub/dog tub/sink – For other dogs, a bathtub or a dog tub may be suitable. Observe your pet, if they seem upset you might like to try outdoor bathing instead.
If you’re using a tub, always directly supervise your dog and be present with them. Let the water run down the drain so the water doesn’t fill up the tub. This is important for safety reasons as dogs can drown. Again, always test the temperature and pressure of the water beforehand.
Apply a non-slip mat to the floor of the tub to prevent any slipping or injury. This will also help your dog to feel more comfortable as dogs like to be on secure surfaces. You can also place a few non-slip mats next to the tub and around the bathroom to make the general area less slippery.
Professional bathing services –
If you need help bathing your dog, contact your local vet clinic, they usually provide bathing services and professional groomers will often work in tandem with vet clinics.
How Can I Make My Beagle More Comfortable During Bath Time?
⦁ Teach your puppy or dog to be comfortable with handling in general, by patting and stroking different parts of their body. Praise and reward them for being calm and allowing you to handle them. This will make them less likely to react negatively when you put them in these various areas while bathing.
⦁ Before bath time, a good hearty walk and then, after having a rest when arriving back home, you can try bath time. This way your dog will probably be a bit tired having expended some excess energy and therefore will likely remain calm.
⦁ Start by introducing your dog to the bath equipment you’re going to use, one item at a time such as towels, buckets, shampoo containers, hoses, etc. Also, practice standing in the tub but without using any water, this way your dog can gradually get used to being in it.
What Tools Should I Use For Bathing?
⦁ Shampoo – For dogs with healthy skin and coat, choose a mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo.
⦁ Conditioner – can protect from the sun’s harsh rays, dry air, temperature extremes, and contact friction damage.
⦁ Bath brush – works well for the main coat to ensure that you are reaching down through the coat to the skin, and a soft washcloth is best for sensitive spots. Eyes should be wiped with a soft washcloth.
⦁ Grooming mitt or de-shedding tool – to pull out dead hairs from the coat. This is important since the majority of them will fall back into the dense coat. If they are not removed, this blocks healthy airflow and clogs skin pores.
⦁ Canine eye wipes – These are great for keeping stains off the eye area and for wiping away eye ‘boogers’.
⦁ Ear cleaning solution and gauze pads or cotton balls – Lack of air circulation makes their hanging ears susceptible to infections. The solutions break down and remove excess wax, while some contain mild antibacterial ingredients to soothe minor irritations and discourage infection.
⦁ Dental care items – An effective toothpaste and a quality 3-sided toothbrush.
Random tip: Beagles tend to have a problem with impacted anal sacs, which are located on either side of the anus, causing a very unpleasant odor. These anal sacs need to be drained every six to eight weeks. Your vet or your groomer can drain the anal sacs for you, or you can have them teach you how to do it yourself.
What Tools Should I Use For Grooming?
⦁ Dry dog shampoo – These are powdered products that are designed to be rubbed into your beagle’s coat, and can be used in between normal baths. Dry shampoo absorbs dirt, grease and other particles from the fur. They are easy to apply and remove. Simply rub the powder into your dog’s coat, wait for a specified duration of time, and brush the dry shampoo out of his hair.
⦁ Quality bristle brush – You should be grooming your beagle with a brush at least once per week, and twice per week is ideal.
⦁ Mitt (glove) or de-shedding tool – This is much different than a brush. Its main purpose is to remove dead hairs from deep within the coat. During heavy sheds, you may want to go over your Beagle’s body a few times a week. During minimal shedding times, use the glove or tool once per week.
⦁ Canine nail clipper or nail grinder – Personally, I opt for the nail grinder for grooming my beagle. I find that it yields more control by grinding the nail down slowly and consistently. The nails on a Beagle need to be cut about every 5- 6 weeks. Here’s an easy way to tell if they’ve grown too long. If you hear on a hard-surface floor: Clackety-clack — cut them back. Some beagle owners opt to have the nails addressed by their groomer, to avoid the worry of hitting the “quick” (a blood vessel and nerve). This is especially true when dealing with dogs that tend to be a little listless when being held, or have darker-colored nails. The other common reason why people opt to take them to the groomers is if you mistakenly injure him or her, they will take that much encouragement to persuade them to trust you with another nail.
For more in-depth information on cutting your dog’s nails, I wrote an article here: Beagle Nails: A Nail Trimming Guide
⦁ Paw wax – It helps keep their paws healthy and protect them from damage. Let’s be honest: Paws put up with a lot of abuse; extreme temperatures and walking over all types of terrain. Look for a paw wax that allows the paws to breathe, while offering proper protection from the elements and from drying.
⦁ Nose butter or balm – It is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable spots on a dog. And since Beagles love to use their nose, the skin on the nose also takes quite a beating. Nose butter conditions your dog’s nose. First, lighter weight oils bring fast relief, then medium weight oils are absorbed adding a layer of deepening moisture, and then heavy-duty butters melt into your dog’s nose, bringing extra relief and moisturizing oomph.
Bathing and grooming your beagle will not only keep them clean and healthy — but you and your home as well.
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