Dachshunds are beautiful, bouncy little bundles. But constantly running so close to the ground does come with its disadvantages. Namely, dirt. If you’ve had your doxie a few months and you’re likely wondering if you need to be bathing them. Likewise, if their coats are starting to look grubby or oily, or if they’re starting to pong a bit, you probably want to freshen them up.
Which begs the question, how often you should bathe your Dachshund?
It’s a common question among Dachshund owners, particularly those with short-haired pups. You don’t want to over-bathe them and diminish their natural oils or cause irritation to the skin, but at the same time, you want them fresh and clean.
If you have a short-haired Dachshund the short answer is that you should bathe them every three months or so. The longer answer is that if you find your pooch is filthy or starting to smell more frequently than that, bathe them as needed!
But before you pop your beloved pooch into the tub, read on for all the info you need to decide how often to bathe them, and how to do it safely…
How Often Should You Bathe Short-Haired Dachshunds?
Long-haired Dachshunds – particularly those entering shows – tend to get groomed more frequently to ensure they are tangle-free. But all forms of Dachshund – be they long-haired or short – should ideally be bathed once every three months.
Washing your pooch more frequently than this can cause damage to their coat, as it washes away their natural oils. More regular washing can also cause the skin beneath their coat to become dry, which can lead to painful infections.
Do Dachshunds Smell?
While a lot of dog breeds suffer from a very distinct, and frequently unpleasant ‘doggy’ smell, Dachshunds don’t tend to suffer from it. This is because their coats aren’t as prone to greasy buildups.
If your pooch is carrying a bit of a smell around with them, it’s likely from something they picked up on the ground outside. If they’ve been rolling in the park or your garden, whatever lingering smell you’re detecting it’s probably from something unmentionable that they’ve been playing in.
So, your doxie won’t need bathing all the time to get rid of the ‘dog’ smell, but they may well need extra baths to get rid of extra scents they pick up while playing out.
How Do I Bathe A Dachshund?
Bathing your Dachshund is simple, just remember that your pooch is very small in stature, and as a breed, they are prone to back problems, so you need to take a few precautions.
Before you start, make sure you have everything ready. Your bathtub is the perfect place to bathe your Dachshund. You may think a sink would be better as they’re so small, but the bath is at floor level and has high sides. While you can use a sink, you will need to be very careful your pup doesn’t jump out of the sink and down to the floor – this would damage their back very badly.
It’s a good idea to put an anti-slip mat on the bottom of the bath to prevent him from flailing around if he fidgets or panics.
Put everything you will need within easy arm’s reach of the tub. That will include:
- Conditioner (if you’re using it)
- Tangle brush
- A dog cleaning mitt
- A jug
Run a warm, shallow bath. The water temperature shouldn’t be hot, and the level shouldn’t come higher than his belly.
Grab A Chair…
You might want to grab a cushion or a chair to kneel or sit on – Dachshunds aren’t the only ones who can get bad backs! Wear clothes you don’t mind getting soggy, as it’s likely you’re also going to end up having a bit of soak.
Keep Calm And Bathe On…
For some dogs, bathtime is a treat, but for most, you’d think you were subjecting them to some form of torture. Your pooch may find baths stressful the first few times you do it, so you need to be a calming influence on the situation.
This can be easier said than done when your pup doesn’t want a bath and you feel you’re having to force him. So, get everything prepped, take a deep breath and make sure you’re calm. Try to make this as fun and relaxing for both of you as possible.
Put Your Pooch In The Bath…
Pick you your Dachshund carefully. Make sure you support his back properly. Try to move in as fluid and stable a manner as possible so as not to startle him. Then, gently lower him into the water, putting his paws on the anti-slip mat.
Have a nice chat with your pup while you’re doing this, keeping your voice calm and gentle so he knows there’s nothing to worry about. The trick is to act like everything is normal. The more you normalize the situation the less stressful he will find it.
Pour Warm Water Over Your Pup…
Once you’ve got your pup settled in the water, fill up your jug with the warm bath water and pour it gently over your Dachshund until he’s wet all over his body – leave his head and ears dry. It’s a good idea to give him a little support while you do this, by placing a hand around his chest. This will keep him stable if he wriggles.
Grab The Shampoo…
Next, you’ll need your shampoo. Make sure it’s dog shampoo and not human shampoo. Wait until he is nice and calm and used to the water before applying a small about to his fur. Begin on his legs, then his body, and get plenty of suds going.
Stay away from his face and ears with both the shampoo and water, you’ll wash these separately.
Rinse The Off!
Once you’ve given him a good shampoo, refill your jug with clean water. Start at his neck and rinse him down. Keep going until the water coming off him runs clear and all the shampoo is gone.
Condition (If You Want To)…
This step isn’t strictly necessary, but if you want to use (dog!) conditioner go ahead and squeeze a little bit out into your hand. Don’t go overboard, you won’t need a lot. Gently massage it through your doggo’s fur. Grab your detangler brush and gently tease out any snarls or knots.
One More Rinse…
Grab your trusty jug and give his body a final rinse until all the conditioner is gone, and get your pooch out of the bath.
Towel ‘em Dry…
Wrap your pooch on the floor and towel him dry. If your house is chilly or you notice your hound shaking, make extra sure they are fully dry so they don’t catch a chill.
You can try using a hairdryer at low speed, but be warned, a lot of pups don’t like them!
Don’t Forget His Face And Ears…
Once you’re done with his bath, grab a cloth or mit and dampen it with warm water and a spot of shampoo. Wipe it gently over his face and carefully rinse. You can also wipe the inside of his ears very lightly with cotton wool, being sure never to push it (or anything else) into his ears.
Finally, Lots Of Love!
The most crucial step in this entire process is lavishing your doggo with praise when you’re done. A lot of pups don’t like bath time, and praising them for enduring the process will reassure them.
While this may seem like an ordeal for both you and your dog, ensuring they are properly bathed and don’t get stressed during the process is crucial for their long-term health and happiness. Just remember, stay calm, reassure them, and pretty soon they’ll get used to the fact there’s no need for drama and just enjoy the attention!