How to Groom a Beagle
Grooming is an important task for dog owners. Regular grooming helps keep a dog healthy and provides great bonding time between the dog and its owner. Fortunately, Beagles are pretty easy to groom. Properly grooming your Beagle will involve bathing it, brushing it, cleaning its long and floppy ears, and brushing its teeth. If this sounds like a lot, don't worry! Every grooming task doesn't have to be done all it once, and they can even be fun! Have a good time with your Beagle as you make it look its best.
Bathing Your Beagle
1. Bathe your Beagle once a month.
Beagles have short, thick coats that usually don’t get very dirty. Because your Beagle’s coat will probably look clean, you may not think your Beagle needs a bath. However, after a few weeks, body oils and hair can pile up on your Beagle’s skin, causing a bad smell.
- If your Beagle likes playing in the mud or dirt, you’ll probably need to bathe it more often than once a month.
2. Gather the bathing supplies.
To give your Beagle a good bath, you’ll need a few bathing supplies. You can find these supplies at your local pet store and around your home:
- Dog-safe shampoo
- Cotton balls for the ears
- Soft washcloth
- Soft-bristled bathing brush (optional)
3. Use lukewarm water for the bath.
Lukewarm water will be just the right temperature for your Beagle’s bath. If you have an adult Beagle, bathe it in a bathtub. If your Beagle is a puppy, bathe it in a sink because it's so small. Put three to four inches of water in the tub or sink.
4. Protect your Beagle’s ears.
Beagles have long floppy ears that can trap moisture and become infected. Before the bath, put a few pieces of cotton balls in your Beagle’s ears to keep them from getting wet during the bath.
- You don’t need to push the cotton balls far down into the ear canals. Place them down just far enough so they don’t fall out.
- Remember to remove the cotton balls after the bath to avoid ear infections.
5. Bathe your Beagle.
Working from front to back, gently bathe your Beagle with the shampoo. Work your fingers or bathing brush through the coat so you get down to the skin. If your Beagle’s coat has a lot of mud or dirt, you may need to shampoo your Beagle several times to get everything out.
- Dampen a soft wash cloth with the lukewarm water to clean your Beagle’s face and around its eyes.
- Rinse the shampoo completely out of your Beagle’s skin and coat. If you’re in the tub, you can use the shower head if your Beagle isn’t afraid of it.
- Dry off your Beagle with several towels. Don’t be surprised if your Beagle starts rolling around as soon as you dry it off. It will do this to try to get rid of the shampoo’s scent.
Cleaning Your Beagle’s Ears
1. Clean your Beagle’s ears once a week.
A Beagle’s long, floppy ears make Beagles look so cute. However, without proper care, those ears can become infected. Clean your Beagle’s ears once a week to keep them from getting infected.
2. Use a dog-specific ear cleaner.
Ear cleaners are available at your local pet store or through your vet. Ask your vet to recommend which ear cleaner would be best for your Beagle.
3. Clean the ears properly.
Place a few drops of the ear cleaner on a cotton ball and gently swab the cotton ball from the inside to the outside of your Beagle’s ears. If your Beagle’s ears have a lot of wax or debris, you may need to use a few cotton balls in each ear to get them clean.
- Use separate cotton balls for each ear so you don’t transfer wax or debris from one ear to the other.
- Do not clean your Beagle’s ears with Q-tips. Q-tips push wax down into your Beagle’s ears. They can also damage your Beagle’s ear drums.
- Ear hair can trap moisture and debris, increasing the chance of ear infections. If your Beagle has a lot of hair in its ears, gently pluck the hairs with your fingers or a small pair of tweezers.
4. Check your Beagle’s ears regularly.
Keeping your Beagle’s ears healthy will require regular monitoring. Healthy Beagle ears will not smell or have any cuts or scrapes. Unhealthy ears may be infected. If you notice any of the following signs of ear problems, take your Beagle to your vet:
- Ear scratching
- Colored discharge (brown, yellow, red)
- Bad smell
Performing Other Grooming Duties
1. Brush your Beagle every few days.
Despite having a short hair coat, Beagles tend to shed a lot. Brushing your Beagle a few times a week will help reduce the shedding. Regular brushing will also spread healthy oils through your Beagle’s fur, making it look shiny.
- Beagles shed heavily for a few weeks in the spring and fall. During these times of year, you may need to brush your Beagle every day to control the shedding.
- Each brushing session should last about 5 to 10 minutes.
- A rubber brush will help remove dirt from the coat and distribute the healthy oils through the coat. A hard-bristle brush is also a good choice.
- Brushing will be most effective if you move the brush in the same direction of your Beagle’s hair growth.
- Do not use the brush on your Beagle’s face.
2. Keep your Beagle’s nose moist.
A dry nose is a common problem in Beagles. It can be caused by sun exposure, dry air, and dehydration. If your Beagle has a dry nose, you may notice the nose’s skin cracking or peeling. To keep your Beagle’s nose moist:
- Use humidifiers to add moisture to your home during the winter. Humidifiers are available at pharmacies and home improvement stores.
- Give your Beagle constant access to fresh, clean water.
- Apply a dog-specific nose balm to your Beagle’s nose, especially when it’s really hot or cold outside. You can find the balm at your local pet store.
3. Trim your Beagle’s nails.
Keeping your Beagle’s nails trimmed is another important part of the grooming process. You will know it’s time for a trimming when the nails make a clicking sound as your Beagle walks on hard surfaces. Below are some tips for trimming your Beagle's nails:
- Use dog-specific guillotine nail trimmers, which are easier to use than scissor trimmers.
- Position the trimmers just above the nail's quick (thin pink vein running though the nail) with the cutting blade facing you. If you can't see the quick because your Beagle's nails are dark, trim just a little off the nail until you see the quick.
- Do not trim the quick. Trimming the quick is painful and can cause bleeding.
- If the nail bleeds, place some styptic powder (available at your local pet store) on the nail until it stops bleeding.
4. Brush your Beagle’s teeth.
Just like you, your Beagle’s teeth need to be cleaned regularly. Try to brush your Beagle’s teeth about daily. Use a dog-safe toothpaste and toothbrush, which you can purchase at a pet store or through your vet. Here are some teeth brushing tips:
- Choose a quiet time and location to brush the teeth.
- Get your Beagle used to the process by first touching its teeth with your fingers, then placing a toothbrush (without toothpaste) on its teeth. Next, let your Beagle lick the toothpaste off your finger so it knows what it tastes like.
- On the top and bottom, brush the front teeth first, then work your way to the back teeth.
- Give your Beagle lots of verbal praise as you brush its teeth.
- Grooming your Beagle is the perfect time to check for anything abnormal, such as lumps or bumps on its skin. If you see something unusual, take your Beagle to your vet.
- If you do not have time to groom your Beagle each week, consider taking your Beagle to a groomer. Be aware, though, that professional grooming services can be expensive.