12 Tips to Give Your Dachshund a Bath

March 4, 2014

Dachshund

If you own a dachshund, here are 12 tips to make the experience as quick and painless as possible:

1. Choose the bathing location wisely.

Small dogs are much easier to bathe given that they require less space when compared to large dogs. For instance, you can choose to bathe your dachshund in the bathroom or kitchen sink.

However, if your dog is nervous and likely to jump from the sink, you may want to stick with using a bathtub instead. To make the bathtub safer for your pet, you may want to use a rubber mat to avoid any accidents caused by slippery surfaces.

2. Have the grooming supplies ready.

To make bathing your pet less chaotic, having the grooming supplies handy at the chosen location is a big plus.

Such supplies may include dog shampoo, nail clippers, nail files, dog brushes, dog toothbrushes and toothpastes, towels, containers and/or nozzles. Many people also choose to have treats handy to help distract and calm their dogs during baths.

Since many dogs love treats, feeding them during baths can help promote a positive experience and encourage good behavior.

3. Know how to lift and handle your dog.

Dachshunds are famous because of their very long bodies and short legs. Unfortunately, because of their long bodies, dachshunds are at high risk of experiencing back problems.

To help prevent potentially life-threatening injuries, it’s an absolute must that you learn how to properly handle your dachshund at all times, including during baths.

To hold a dachshund, you need to support its end with one hand while using the other to support the back. If you are worried about how to hold a dachshund, you may want to practice holding similarly shaped items beforehand to get used to the sensation.

To further protect a dachshund’s back, it’s important to discourage it from climbing up and down stairs or jumping up and down from places that are a little too high for the dog to safely manage. Even something as simple as sitting can cause a dachshund health problems as well.

4. Get your dog used to the idea of a bath.

Since many dogs seem to hate baths, it’s important that you associate bath time with nothing but positive experiences. For example, as previously mentioned, feeding your pet treats while talking soothingly to it can help make the experience more relaxing.

You may even want to try putting the pet into the bathtub or sink beforehand while it is dry just to get it used to the area. To avoid stressing your dog out too much and potentially cause skin irritation or other problems, you should only bathe your dog when needed.

Some people choose to bathe their dogs only once a month unless they become dirty. However, you will need to maintain other basic grooming activities to ensure good health, such as brushing and nail trimming.

5. Brush your pet’s fur before bathing.

To make the bath go much more smoothly, brushing your dog beforehand can help. By brushing your dog, you will work out any mats and loose dirt from the coat and make it much easier to clean. Brushing your dog beforehand will also make the water less dirty to begin with.

6. Make sure that the water is lukewarm.

To make your dog comfortable, be sure to use lukewarm water. Anything cooler or hotter will cause additional stress that both the owner and animal can stand to live without. It’s also important to only have the water level as high as your dachshund’s chest as well.

7. Gently pour water over your dachshund.

To begin bathing, use a container to gently pour water over your dachshund’s body while avoiding its face and ears. You’ll need to put in a lot of effort to keep your dog calm and obedient during bathing, although you should be prepared for some wiggling.

In some cases, you may want to leave your dog’s collar on so that you will have a little more control over its movements.

8. Carefully shampoo your dog.

While your dog is wet, pour some shampoo into your hand and rub both of your hands together. Once there is a bit of lather, bring your hands to the dog and work the shampoo through its coat while avoiding the face and ears.

After the shampoo has been worked through the fur, repeatedly pour water over your dachshund’s body until the water runs clear without any bubbles. You will also need to run your hand over your dog’s neck to its tail to help remove the shampoo and water from the coat.

It’s important that you only ever use shampoos specifically designed for dogs. If you want to do your part and help the environment, you can find many eco-friendly brands to work with as well. Yet, even with dog-specific shampoo brands, you need to always ensure that every bit of shampoo is rinsed from your dog’s body.

9. Dry your dog’s fur.

Once the bath is done, gently lift your dog from the bath and move it into a draft-free area for drying. It’s crucial that you completely dry your dog using a towel and/or the lowest setting on a hairdryer.

If you don’t completely dry your dog, it could become cold and sick. If you don’t want to bathe your dog all over again, be sure to keep it inside after bathing. If your dog gets outside while it is still wet, it will likely roll around in the dirt as an attempt to dry itself off.

Not only will rolling in the dirt mean that another bath will be needed, but exposure to the outside air can potentially cause your pet to become cold and sick as well.

10. Wash around your dog’s ears and eyes.

When your dog is calm again after the bath, you can take the time to wash around its eyes and ears. To wash your dog’s face, take a soft cloth and wet it with warm water, then gently rub the face and outside of the ears while following the direction of the dog’s fur growth.

While cleaning your dog’s face, be sure to check its ears for dirt or ticks. If you must clean the inside of the ears, you can gently use cotton balls or ear cleaning clothes that are approved by a vet.

11. Brush your dog’s fur.

To avoid painful knots, you should always wait until your dog’s fur is completely dried before attempting to brush its coat. Some dogs are more open to the idea of being brushed than others.

Depending on whether you have a long-haired, short-haired, or wire-haired dachshund, you will need to choose your brush wisely. For example, since short-haired dachshunds require less grooming in general, occasionally using soft bristle brushes works well.

Meanwhile, long-haired dachshunds may require more frequent brushing and combing to prevent mats.

12. Take the time to do other grooming activities.

After your dog is dry and calm, you can take the time to take care of other chores as well. For example, you can take the time to trim your dog’s nails. Regularly clipping a dog’s nails is important to ensure its safety. If the nails grow too long, it can cause your dog a lot of pain.

To make the experience of trimming a dog’s nails less unpleasant, you may want to stick with using the guillotine type of nail trimmer since it’s the easiest to handle. If your dog is wiggly, you may also need to enlist the help of a friend to potentially restrain your dog to ensure its safety.

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Georgia B
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I like your tip on washing around the dog’s eyes and ears after they’re calm after the bath is over! My family is going to be adopting a doxie soon, and we want to make sure we’re ready to care for him properly. This post was very helpful in knowing how to bathe him properly and safely, as I know a lot of pets do not like bath time!