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July 10, 2012
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Although short in stature, the Basset Hound is a medium-sized, stocky dog with an excellent nose for tracking scents. Part of this tracking ability is derived from the breed's loose skin around the face, which helps trap the scents for the dog to follow more easily. Furthermore, dogs don't have lips, they have flews, which don't seal like human lips, so saliva is released onto the face. These facial flaps then harbor an abundance of drool, which can wind up all over your home as well as the dog. For the health of your dog and the cleanliness of your home, these flaps require frequent cleaning.
While Basset Hounds tend to drool at all times, drooling is at its worst after eating meals and drinking water. As the Basset Hound eats, the dog produces saliva to help soften and digest the food, which builds up in the jowls and flaps of skin around the mouth; water collects in these areas as well. When Basset Hounds shake their heads to rid themselves of this drool, it goes flying all around the surrounding area and your dog. Although this breed can be stubborn, train your dog to come to you after eating or drinking for a wipe down using positive reinforcement such as treats and verbal praise. Get them in the habit of coming to you for their special treat after every meal or drink.
Basset hound faces become dirty because the jowls and ears drag along the ground as they follow a scent trail. If these areas are wet with saliva, it can make for a sloppy situation perfect for collecting dirt and germs. Keep a clean, damp washcloth or paper towel ready to wipe down your basset hound's face after they finish eating and drinking to prevent their drool from winding up on your walls and carpeting. At least once a day, wipe your dog's face, including the flews, jowls and wrinkles, with a pre-moistened pet grooming wipe to remove dried drool and other debris from the fur.
Basset Hounds are considered a wash-and-wear breed. Regular bathing keeps your dog free of excess drool, and it reduces the breed's musky odor, emitting from the skin oils that waterproof the fur and moisten loose skin. Use a gentle pet-specific shampoo to wash the dog's body. Wipe the area around the dog's face, wrinkles, and skin flaps with a bit of the soapy water on a washcloth. Rub away any caked-on drool and rinse your dog well. After bathing, wipe down the dog's body and dry the fur between the facial wrinkles and flaps to prevent residual moisture from causing a skin infection.
If your Basset Hound's drool and slobber has wound up on your upholstery, walls, carpeting or windows, wash these areas with an antibacterial pet cleaner to remove the saliva and the germs it contains. Enzymatic cleaners have ingredients to digest organic matter, such as dog saliva, and can be used on carpeting and upholstery. Equal parts of vinegar and water make an effective cleaning solution for windows, countertops, and walls. Vinegar has antibacterial properties to remove the germs and is safe to use around pets. Another alternative is an oxygen-bleach pet cleaner that removes germs and odors from both solid and fabric surfaces without leaving a harmful residue. Wash removable fabric items and pet bedding after soaking dried drool stains in water and oxygen bleach.
Basset Hounds are an easy-going breed with a gentle, affectionate nature. The one drawback of this breed is they slobber more than other dog breeds and require fastidious wiping of their faces and your home to remove saliva before it dries into a caked-on mess. If you notice your basset hound drooling more than usual, bring the dog to a veterinarian for a checkup, as it can be a sign of dental disease or digestion issues.
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American Kennel Club: AKC Meet the Breeds: Basset Hound"Basset Hound: Your Happy Healthy Pet"; Terry AlbertAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Questions About DogsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention: Diseases from DogsBasset Hound Club of Southern California: Basset Hound Information
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.
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