Owning a dachshund, or any other breed for that matter, means a huge amount of responsibilities for the owner – from keeping the dog well fed to providing ample physical activities to ensuring specific grooming regime. The first step toward maintaining your dachshund’s overall health is to groom them on a regular basis. Apart from a few particular instructions that needs to be taken into consideration depending on the type of dachshund – wirehaired, longhaired, and smooth haired – you can follow these tips and ideas for grooming your dachshund.
1. Brushing the Teeth
Chew toys and rawhide bones work wonders as these help keep their teeth strong, prevent cavities, and minimize tartar build up. However, just like us, even dachshunds require regular teeth cleaning. You will require a toothbrush and toothpaste that are specially made for dogs. Although it is advised that you brush their teeth every night, you can do so every two days. For about 20 to 30 seconds, brush your dachshund’s teeth in an up and own movement. Also, ensure that you massage their gums while brushing their teeth. [Also read: how to brush dogs teeth]
2. Cleaning the Ears
Dachshunds have long, floppy ears. Hence it is essential to be attentive towards keeping the area clean and free of bacteria and/or infection. When you give them a bath, make sure to keep water out and wipe the area thoroughly. Every few days, gently wipe their ears with cotton ball with a little bit of olive oil or mineral oil. Don’t go near the ear canal and never make the error of using a Q-tip/earbud. As far as the overgrowth of hair inside the ears are concerned, use a pair of blunt scissors to trim it.
3. Cleaning Around the Eyes
For longhaired and wirehaired dachshunds, you will need to trip excess hair around the eyes. Every other day, dip a soft cloth in warm water, ring out excess water, and wipe their faces in a downward movement. Also, clean the corners of their eyes to remove dirt build up.
4. Clipping the Nails
If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s nails before, ask a professional groomer to show you how to safely carryout the process. Firstly, grab a sharp nail clipper in one hand and hold the paw in the other hand. Using a soothing voice, reassure your dog that he/she is in a safe place. Secondly, start to clip a thin layer of nail. Stop for a few seconds, offer your dog a treat, and instil positive reinforcement so that he/she will cooperate with you. Move on to the other nails and follow the same pattern. Avoid over-clipping of nails in one sitting as you make reach the quick by mistake. Instead, take a slow and gradual pace and clip on a thin layer each time.
5. Brushing the Coat
Regardless of their type of coat, dachshunds need to be regularly brushed. Either daily or every other day, brush in the direction of hair growth and not against it. After brushing their coat, the next step is to comb the hair as well. This will help detangle the hair, remove knots, and keep the coat smooth and shiny. Never brush or comb their hair when wet; which is right after a bath.
Apart from these simple, yet vital instructions, there are some specific brushing techniques and tools that need to be taken into consideration depending on the basis of their coats.
- Wirehaired Dachshunds – Using a brush that has a short wire bristle, you need to detangle the coat and get rid of loose or dead hair. You can also run your fingers down the coat to ensure no knots were overlooked. Apart from this regular brushing at home, it is a good practice to visit a professional groomer to learn the proper technique.
- Longhaired Dachshunds – If you’ve never groomed a longhaired dachshund before, ask a professional groomer to show you the right technique. Use a pin brush to remove knots off the coat, a slicker or bristle brush to remove dead hair and dirt off the coat, and an undercoat brush to remove tangles and undercoat from the roots. As their hair is long and sometimes dense, you can apply a spray-on detangler before brushing the coat.
- Smooth Haired Dachshunds – Although they don’t require special attention while brushing their coats, it is recommended that you don’t overlook the process. Firstly, use a soft brush, and not a comb, to brush their coats. Secondly, end with a rubber curry brush that will help remove any loose hair left behind.
Giving a bath is one of the important part of dachshund grooming tips. Bathing a dog may seem like a walk in the park, but it is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. First of all, you need to select a place to give them a bath – bathtub or backyard. Either way, be careful that both you and your dog are safe (no slipping or falling). Secondly, only use shampoo that is recommended for dogs, or specifically by the veterinarian; substituting shampoos for humans, soap, or liquid detergent is a strict no-no.
- Draw a warm bath and slowly place the dog inside. They may get frightened or try to jump out of the bathtub; so be careful.
- Wet them properly, avoiding the eyes and inside the ears.
- Work up a good lather and massage the shampoo, starting from the neck and working your way down. Wash their underside, legs, paws, and underneath the chin area. Once these areas are washed thoroughly, massage the head as well.
- Rinse the entire body first with clean, warm water thoroughly and then wash the head and face area. Again, make sure that their eyes and ears are safe, and don’t get any water or shampoo stuck in.
- Pat them dry and use a blow dryer to remove excess water off their coat.
As we mentioned earlier, the entire grooming process is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. If you ever feel that either of these processes aren’t being done correctly, do not hesitate to speak to a veterinarian or a professional groomer for help. At the end of the day, it’s your furry friend that will benefit from this process. Keep them healthy and happy, always.