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Bathing Question

3362 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Valerie and George
I have had my 7 year old Tri-color Trixie for a month now. She was absolutely filthy when I got her from the pound. I have found it necessary to give her a bath almost every week, she has had 3 so far and needs another. Now, I have read that bassets only need a bath 4-6 times a year, what gives.

Background: Trixie stops, drops, and rolls for anyone willing to pet her and anytime she wants to be petted. She is an indoor dog, who goes out for potty breaks, some fresh air, and for walks. I base her needing a bath on two things 1) her smell and 2) when my fingers are black like I have been working under the hood of my car, after only 3-5 minutes of rubbing her. Also, the dirt mostly comes from her underbelly but it also comes from rubbing her back.

I just don't want to be over bathing her but it seems as if she needs a bath once a week.

P.S. I have tried the groomer and home bathing.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Cooper is 7 also and a indoor dog, I have found that smell can have alot to do with what Cooper eats. Seemed odd to me but changing his dog food helped loads. For dirt on the underside and just cleanup I use uncented baby wipes for sensative skin. It's been about 4 months since his last bath however it's time. For a while he got them once a month now with the diffrent food it's about ever 4 months or so, or when I just can't get him to get out of the tub. He has a habbit of jumping in if you let him in the bathroom and just standing there looking at you with that wash me look.
I have one dirty Basset and one clean one. My girl goes outside to potty ...she might survey the grounds for a few minutes but she's back inside pretty quickly. She doesn't like wet grass or weeds touching her on our walks.

Belvedere is my true hound dog. He stops, drops and rolls on anything good and smelly. It could be a rotting leaf, a dead bug, poo from another animal, a good patch of cool dirt ...whatever. I'm sure this happends numerous times a day so within three or four days of his Sunday bath, he's smelly again. He does't always tragically need a bath but even after a normal week, he's "oily" ...and my other one is not.

I think some dogs are just different and need more baths than others. I'd recommend you do it as needed. I can get by for quite a while without bathing Dixie but Belvedere ...he needs a bath if he's going to be in my house. He usually smells like a barn animal! I think if I didn't bathe him as needed, he'd have some kind of skin ooogies.
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We adopted Moe from an animal rescue during the summer months of 1999. He smelled absolutely terrible from a combination of illness, former neglect, shelter living, and what I later learned was a normal "hound dog" smell. :p Washing him more frequently seemed to make the hound smell return more quickly so we were stuck in stinky cycle. :( When I read here that most people don't bathe thier hounds often, if at all, I was very surprised and doubtful. But to my surprise, the less I bathed him the less he smelled. :shock: We bathe him once every one to three months now, unless he rolls in something or gets especially dirty (from woods or beach walks).

It's my understanding that frequent bathing stips the natural oils from thier coat and skin. The oil production increases to make up for that, resulting in a strong odor much faster. It's also unhealthy for thier skin to be so dry. Dry skin can get very itchy. Some Bassets develope allergies that affect thier skin (I have no idea if frequent bathing CAUSES this but it may irritate the skin of a dog already prone to allergies, making him very uncomfortable).

Many people metnion using pet-wipes or baby wipes when thier dog gets dirty in-between baths. I believe some have mentioned wiping down with Listerine? to help with the hound smell. Anyone who does this could let you know what they do and if it works.

We use a gentle puppy deodorizing shampoo. It works on his smell and dosn't irritate his eyes when I wash his head (his ears and jowls get especially dirty - the ears from dragging and his jowls from drooling and eating :roll: ). It works for us. I think there may be many ways to handle the problem. Someone here may have a solution that works for you and your dog. Good luck!

Terry :D
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I've given Molly a bath every friday, since she was a puppy, and she loves it! She actually jumps in the tub. I haven't noticed any dry skin or rash as a result of this either.
We are on our second Basset. We bathe only once every two or three months with a very mild dog shampoo we purchase from the vets. Its non allergentic, can't give you the name because we are out right now. Lots of brushing with the "Zoom Groom" (rubber fingerlike bristles) and shedding blade (saw like blade doubled over with leather handles) about three times a week. If Bogie gets dirty from being outside we just rub him down with a damp towel, then towel dry. He gets wet from dew in the early morning, so we just towel dry his tummy and paws when he comes in.
He has no houndy smell, and we do feed him "Nutro Natural Choice Lamb Meal and Rice" kibble which we believe helps his skin, plus he has a beautiful shiny coat.

Aroooos from Bogie!
You don't own a Basset, a Basset owns you!
I think another factor in the bathing schedule would be where the dog lives. We're in Florida. Nothing ever gets really dry with this humidity so skin dryness has never been a factor.

The oily coat ...dirt stuck to it ...with a fresh coat of Basset stink ...he gets a bath with gentle cleanser. However, when the cooler dryer weather comes, I might try letting him go longer if he's not filthy. Just to see if the theory works on him. I trust what I read on this forum so I'll definitely try it.
Diet can make a big difference. It's hard to predict which food will work the best for your dog - just try the highest quality diets you can find. We also found that a fatty acids supplement helped a lot. We use Vitacoat Plus from Foster Smith. You will see results in about a month.
Faysie and Marcia make good points... climate and diet can sometimes be large factors in odor and skin/coat conditions. I have to admit that Moe does get bathed more frequently in the summer (monthly) because humidity makes the hound smell MUCH stronger.

George almost never gets a bath, maybe twice a year at most. I brush him a lot because he likes it and that may be why he doesn't seem to get very dirty. I like the hound smell (I know, I'm weird) so that doesn't bother me. I have some doggie baby wipe thingies that I've used a few times for surface dirt and I wash his face with a wet washcloth or paper towel (no soap, just water) every now and again because he gets ick under his eyes and when he's especially drooly (he does NOT like having his face washed!).
I bathe Daisy whenever she needs it; with baby-wipe wipe-downs in between. It just kinda depends, I don't bathe her at regular intervals, really. I notice that more frequent bathing makes her more itchy, I presume it's dry skin, then she gets a squirt of hydrocortisone spray.
I also have to keep a close watch on her after a bath, because inevitably she will find poo to roll in after a bath. :roll: I'm pretty sure she actually goes out of her way to find poo to roll in!

I use Sauve Kids Strawberry Smoothie shampoo on her. :) A vet tech told me that baby shampoo works very well on dogs, because it is 'no-tears' and good for their skin, and it costs a LOT less. I really wanted dog shampoo for dry/sensitive skin, but couldn't find it when I needed it, so we're trying this stuff.

I really like the strawberry smoothie shampoo, it makes Daisy's coat really soft--the strawberry smell I'm not so wild about--strawberry and hound are not complimentary fragrances. :lol: But it wears off quickly.
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The body odor might come from dog food. Try to avoid any dog food with Corn Meal based then it shoudl get rid of that hound smells.

I bathed my hounds once a month. At my own backyard (with warm water) in summer and we take them to do-it-yourself bath in a petshop nearby in winter.
Every weekend, I cleaned their ears and clean their whole body (mostly under chin/lips area) with wet towel. I also brush some mouth wash on their teeth (mix. 3 tbsp mouth wash + 3 tbsp water) (Thank you to the posting by one of the members).

I hope that helps.
I agree, if the dog is sound - (ears, anal glands, fungus) - then it's probably the food which is the cause for the smell.
If they smell like pommes frites, the kibble is sprayed with used oil from McDonald - and that's not a joke :(
Interesting.....Ruby did stink more when we lived in FL than she does here in CA. Never thought about the humidity angle. Breath is the same tho, but that's our fault; she won't let us brush her teeth.
Francis only gets bathed if he's rolled in something or he gets into something really vile (about once a year). Otherwise, about once a month I wipe him head to toe with a damp-to-wettish towel rinsed out a few times with warm water and a tiny bit of dog shampoo (a dime sized amount in two gallons water). He smells great and has never, ever had a problem. I touch him up as needed with unscented baby wipes. I've noticed that after his rare bath he seems itchy and scratches a lot.
His ears get cleaned every week with a washcloth and warm water, no soap. He's never had one ear infection.
My vet always remarks how clean he is and how healthy his coat is. Hope this helps
Beverly, that's a good idea. It's time for George to have a bath and we BOTH hate the tub thing. Of course as soon as I haul him out he runs around drying himself on the rugs and furniture, but a damp towel wouldn't be nearly as messy and difficult. I'm going to try that!
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