Bloodhound Grooming and Care
Article By Maggie O'Brien (Certified Groomer)
A Bloodhound is a short haired breed although they are not maintenance free! When I first was looking into the Bloodhound Breed, everywhere I read about the dreaded "hound smell". Although Bloodhounds do possess a hound odor, a well groomed and maintained Bloodhound should not scare away guests with their odor! If the owner is unable to groom the dog themselves it is best to find a local groomer and schedule regular visits.
Eyes - should be cleaned once or twice a day with a a warm ( wet) Facecloth. A proper conformationally correct eye will cause little problems. You may be wiping out casual debris or wiping any tear stains possible caused by weather conditions or pollen. If there is a Medical condition to the eye for example ectropian you will have to make a care regime Plan with your veterinarian. Severe eye issues may need surgical correction
Wrinkles and dewlap- Because the bloodhound should have thin skin there is not as much maintenance required as other breeds such as Bull dogs or the sharpei. The bloodhound tends to only have an abundance or wrinkles on the top of the head when the head is carried low. Therefore the skin is loose not remaining in wrinkled form constantly. It is best to keep skin folds Clean & Dry( waterless shampoo/ or shampoo and water) then drying with a towel . The dewlap (throat/neck) can be prone to yeast due to moisture and lack of airflow. Once dry gold bond power may be applied. My first bloodhound is very prone to yeast I actually clip the hair in his dewlap with a short blade. A groomer can also provide this service.
ears- those long wonderful ears can get very dirty inside and out. because of their length they graze ; the water bowl, the food bowl, ground and floor. Have your vet prescribe an all round drying agent ear cleaner, Have your vet show you how to clean their ears. Depending on the dog and the diet of the dog,, some bloodhounds needs their inner ear canals cleaned every other day while other need only weekly or monthly maintenance. In my experience dirty or problematic ears cause a very bad smell ! the tips of their ears must be kept clean. Wet ears can freeze in winter months dragging along the snow. Dirty ear tips can cause skin irritation and cause the hair to fall in in gooey clumps along the bottom.
Teeth- Groomers dont often offer teeth cleaning services. My suggestion is to ask your vet for a good toothpaste and start regular brushing at a young age. It is not fun to introduce the toothbrush to a 110lbs bloodhounds ! Once your dog has reached the age or 3-4 it may be time for a proper teeth cleaning at the vet .... it is always wise to check teeth regularly before a minor issue becomes a BIG problem and expense. Just like humans plaque and bacteria can be very harmful and cause many other issues.
The coat although short can shed allot! Bloodhounds shed as much as a Labrador retriever. Particularly more so with the change of seasons. Although my dogs live inside with us I am sometimes amazed at the dirty water when I bath them at the shop. A shedding tool such as the furminator will help clear out any loose coat. A good bath with a powerful blow dry from a velocity dryer also clears out any loose hair or dandruff. It is important to dry bloodhound properly to avoid skin irritation.
The nails- nails should be clipped on a bloodhound regularly. Mine are done once a week. You should not hear their nails on the floor . As a breeder I trim toenails on puppies at a week old..... and I continue weekly toe nail trims until they are placed in their new homes. I charge five dollars for this service at my groomer salon . If you are not comfortable you can have this service done at a local groomer or at your Vet's. If the nails are neglected and left to get over grown, the vain or quick in the nail will continue to grow as well..... making it more difficult to cut short without bleeding.
As a groomer I like my dogs very clean, and for me it makes my live easier as there is less hair to pick up and less damage done to flooring from long nails. It is also wonderful to hug your hound and bury your face into soft clean fur that smells wonderful!