The basset hound, as we all know is a noble breed with a keen sense of smell. As we know, many bassets love to dip their ears in their bowl and to roll in unmentionable places when out in walks. This inevitably leads bassets to the bathtub at some point or other. We’ve tried to find the best shampoo for basset hounds that will help keep their distinctive fur and ears clean, and nourish and protect it at the same time.
How often do basset hounds need to bathe?
Depending on factors such as your basset’s fur oiliness, activity level and the season, most basset hounds will need to take an infrequent bath. Most owners will wash on around a monthly basis, or when their basset starts to smell.
Basset hounds fortunately have an oily coat that protects them from outside dirt and moisture, making them one of the lower maintenance breeds from a bathing perspective.
In fact, you’re more likely going to spend more time cleaning your basset’s long ears or wiping away drool from their chops (and sometimes anything in the near vicinity).
In warmer seasons, your basset will start to shed a lot of fur, so it may be advisable to ramp up the frequency of baths a little bit. Basset fur sheds at a surprisingly high rate and we’ve found it winds up everywhere in the house.
If your basset is shedding quite heavily, try brushing regularly to accompany bathing. Brushing reduces excess fur and keeps the coat looking neat.
Try to allow plenty of time between washing when you possibly can. Your basset’s coat is naturally oily and serves to keep it full, healthy and protected. There’s no need to overdo it.
Of course, the unexpected can happen, such as a muddy day or something catches your basset’s eye and they can’t help but make a break for it and roll in something unsavoury.
How to bathe a basset hound
When bath time comes, we recommend filling a bath with lukewarm water to no more than halfway up your basset’s legs. If it’s their first time, introduce them slowly and run the water while they are standing in the tub.
Be sure to remove collars and harnesses and any other accessories for the duration of the wash. You don’t want your basset’s clothes getting too wet!
We find that a shower head is a useful tool to give basset a hose down. Be sure that the water isn’t too hot and shield your basset’s eyes when moving over the facial area.
Apply some of the best shampoo for basset hounds to one hand and rub it in. Lather up the fur gently with your hands and make sure to get under any skin folds and under the armpits.
If a bath is not a suitable option due to your basset not cooperating or simply being a little too mucky, a lukewarm bucket of water in the garden could work too if the weather’s not too cold.
Once you are done bathing, gently dry your basset off with a dry towel. Be ready for a big shake to send water everywhere! Once the majority of the water has been towelled down, it’s fine to leave the coat to dry naturally and return to it’s natural state.
Basset hound wipes
An indispensable item for us has been to keep some deodorising wipes on hand.
You can use these to give your hound a quick cleanup when there isn’t a bath available and they help keep your basset fresh while on the go.
Considerations for your basset hound’s shampoo
There are several different types of dog shampoo that are available on the market. Dog shampoo is specifically formulated to protect fur and it’s not advised to use human shampoo as this could end up causing skin dryness and other issues.
Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when picking out the best basset hound shampoo possible for your hound:
- Coat oiliness / length. Basset hounds have short, oily fur that is designed to deflect dirt and moisture so you will be wanting to find the best shampoo for basset hounds that promotes keeping the skin oily. The average basset hound does not have significant length in terms of fur, so a conditioner is not highly necessary. If your basset experiences excess shedding, there are particular shampoo formulas that can help aid this.
- Basset odor / smell. We have a whole article on dealing with basset hound smell and we recommended using a deodorising shampoo if this is a major issue. Be mindful of the formula and chemical ingredients, which I’ll touch upon in the next section.
- Shampoo for basset hound puppies. Age is another factor to take into consideration. As with humans, there are certain types of no more tears shampoos that are formulated for puppies. You may wish to consider this when choosing a shampoo.
- Fleas. Fleas and ticks are a common problem among dogs and shared pet households. A specially formulated anti-fleas shampoo can help out a lot with this, but please consult your vet. Shampoo won’t be enough to tackle the issue by itself.
What to look for in a basset hound shampoo
Dog shampoos come in different types of formula and there’s a few different sorts available. You may find one is more appropriate for your basset in particular after reading the below points.
- Neutral pH level. The pH level in shampoo gives you a good at-a-glance guide to whether it’s right for your dog. Healthy bassets have a delicate skin that usually ranges around 5.0 to 7.5. For a comparison, humans are around 5.5. Seek out shampoos that advertise a balanced pH or 7 for a safe bet.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a popular ingredient and selling point in many dog shampoos. It essentially is based on a type of oatmeal that in a certain form benefits the skin. It’s a good choice for moisturising and softening your basset’s coat. We find this ingredient often makes for some of the best shampoo for basset hounds.
- Aloe Vera. Aloe vera is another excellent natural ingredient that serves to keep a neutral pH level. Similar to oatmeal, it helps to reduce irritation on the skin and keep the coat soft.
- Deodorizing. If your hound is prone to giving off an odor fairly quickly, you may want to look for a deodorizing shampoo. Be sure to look at the ingredients, particularly at the level of artificial chemicals involved.
What is the best shampoo for basset hounds?
So onto the subject of the best shampoo for basset hounds. There are many different types of shampoo on the market for basset hounds and it can get overwhelming to decide on each one. There are several varieties of dog and basset hound shampoo, so we condensed down a few of our favorites from an owner’s perspective.
In our list of recommendations, we’ve tried to avoid any that are strongly perfumed as they can have a lot of extra chemicals. We’ve heard a good few reports from basset owners that mention how they found much better results after switching to a natural formula.
Luckily with basset hounds, their coats are relatively low maintenance. There’s no excess conditioning or grooming really required aside from a frequent brush and the occasional bathing session. A few of our recommendations include a light conditioner.
Remember, if you’re in any doubt, consult your vet for the best advice on what to use. If you notice any skin irritation at any point before, during or after washing, it’s best to check with an expert.
Here are our top suggestions for the best shampoo for basset hounds available on the market along with some details and extra information.
Healthy Breeds Smelly Dog Deodorizing Shampoo and Conditioner
For a decent shampoo for your Basset, try a specialised type such as this one. It contains baking soda and is formulated with a conditioner which is designed for the basset hound coat.
We use products such as this to bathe our basset as they serve to preserve the coat and isn’t too abrasive.
This product in particular contains several key ingredients such as aloe and oat. It’s also pH adjusted so you can rely on it being a safe option for a healthy coat.
Honeydew Oatmeal Pet Shampoo for Dogs & Puppies
This is an all-natural oatmeal shampoo that is safe for puppies. This honeydew oatmeal shampoo is a great choice if your basset is a puppy or has otherwise sensitive skin.
Definitely a consideration if your basset experiences issues with itchiness or dryness.
Pet Oatmeal Anti-Itch Shampoo & Conditioner In One
This is a fantastic shampoo and conditioner in one that also contains natural ingredients.
A great organic and natural option as it’s 100% natural and plant-based.
It also has a nice, not overpowering cookie scent.
I Love My Dog Premium Natural Dog Shampoo 3-in-1 Formula
Contains natural ingredients such as oatmeal, neem oil that help with nourising your coat.
It’s especially good for itchiness, dry skin and other similar issues.
Healthy Breeds Dog Multipurpose Grooming Wipes with Aloe & Oatmeal
There are some situations where you don’t have time to run a bath and hoist your basset into the tub.
Keeping wipes like this on hand is a perfect solution for quickly cleaning out ears on the go and giving your hound a quick freshen.