Regular grooming is important for a happy and healthy Beagle, because it keeps them clean, their skin moisturized and bug free, plus grooming time can alert you to any problems before they become more serious.
Unless you are paying someone else to professionally groom your dog, there will be a basic arsenal of equipment and products you will need to purchase so that you can keep your happy Beagle looking his or her best.
Also, you will want to get your dog used to their grooming routine early on, because otherwise, every time your dog needs to be groomed will end up being a traumatic experience for both dog and human that can last for many years. Start them off right so you can both enjoy grooming time.
Grooming Equipment You Will Need
A standard arsenal of equipment that will help you keep your Beagle looking their best will include a brush to remove all that shedding dead hair and help distribute natural oils, a pair of nail clippers, and a flea comb and tick twister (just in case).
A bristle brush – is the ideal tool for removing debris and dead hair from the Beagle’s coat, while at the same time distributing natural oils to keep the coat looking healthy and shiny.
Nail clippers or scissors (and/or a slow speed pet Dremel™) – will be tools you need to use every couple of weeks or more, depending on how quickly your Beagle’s nails grow and what kinds of surfaces they may be walking on.
Flea comb – hopefully you won’t ever need one, however, as the name suggests, these combs are designed for the specific purpose of removing fleas from a dog’s coat. Usually small in size for maneuvering in tight spaces, they may be made of plastic or metal with the teeth of the comb placed very close together to trap hiding fleas.
Tick Twister – hopefully your dog won’t ever get a tick, but if they do, this is a simple device for painlessly, easily and quickly removing ticks that have imbedded themselves in your dog’s skin.
Grooming Products You Will Need
Products you will need to invest in when grooming your dog yourself will include shampoos, conditioners, creams, lotions, sprays and powders.
Shampoos: NEVER make the mistake of using human shampoo or conditioner that has a pH balance of 5.5, for bathing your dog. Our canine companions have an almost neutral pH balance of 7.5, and any shampoo with a lower pH will be harmful to your dog, because it will strip the natural oils and be too harshly acidic for their coat and skin, which can create itchy skin problems and allow for a very unhappy dog.
Conditioners: taking the extra time to condition your Beagle’s coat will not only make it look and feel better, it also has additional benefits, including:
- Preventing the escape of moisture and natural oils
- Restoring a silky and soft feel
- Restoring a coat that has become dull, dry, or damaged
- Helping the coat dry quicker
- Keeping the coat cleaner for a long time
- Protecting from the breakage of hair and heat of the dryer
The benefits of spending the extra two minutes to condition your dog’s coat will be appreciated by both yourself and your dog that will have overall healthy, moisturized skin and a coat with a natural shine.
Just like people, dogs need a good bathing schedule. Most dogs only need a bath once a month. However, if your Beagle enjoys rolling around in mud and getting especially dirty, you may have to bathe it more often. It is not recommended to bathe your dog more than once a week as it will lose the essential oils present on its skin. It is important to use a dog friendly shampoo and conditioner when bathing your Beagle as they are designed to not irritate your dog’s skin.
If your dog has especially sensitive skin it is possible to purchase medicated shampoo to decrease the chance of irritating your dog. I recommend washing your dog in either your bath tub or shower, as it is the least likely to create a watery mess! It is considered best practice to provide your pet with a non-slip mat to keep them secure in the shower or bath tub. Before bathing your Beagle, make sure to have your shampoo and a towel ready to hand.
While bathing your pet you should keep one hand on your dog at all times to make sure it does not leave the bath / shower. If your dog is worried about the bathing process reward them with treats to encourage them to relax. You should aim to massage your dog during the shampooing and toweling process to make the bathing experience more pleasurable and fun for them.
Another greatly overlooked area in your happy Beagle’s health is ensuring that their teeth are clean and properly looked after, so that they don’t suffer from loose or broken teeth, and plaque build-up that leads to painful gum disease. You know how miserable a toothache can be – imagine your poor dog that cannot tell you how unhappy they are.
Many guardians use the excuse that “my dog doesn’t like it” when they try to brush their dog’s teeth, and overlook the fact that in order to keep their entire dog healthy, they must have healthy teeth and the only way to ensure this, is to commit to making the time to brush your dog’s teeth every day.
Canine Toothpastes: are flavored with beef or chicken in an attempt to appeal to the dog’s taste buds, while some contain baking soda, which is the same mild abrasive found in many human pastes, and are designed to gently scrub the teeth.
Other types of canine toothpastes are formulated with enzymes that are designed to work chemically by breaking down tartar or plaque in the dog’s mouth. While these pastes don’t need to be washed off your dog’s teeth and are safe for them to swallow, whether or not they remain on the dog’s teeth long enough to do any good might be debatable.
Just as effective for killing germs, whitening and cleaning your dog’s teeth, and much less expensive than fancy pastes, is old-fashioned hydrogen peroxide; you can combine hydrogen peroxide (3% food grade), Aloe Vera juice (1:1) with a little bit of baking soda.
Many canine guardians neglect taking proper care of their dog’s toenails, which can lead to many problems later in life, such as painful joints and difficulty walking, which will make for a very unhappy Beagle.
Purchase a good pair of clippers and learn how to properly use them every two to three weeks.
Styptic Powder: you will always want to avoid causing any pain when trimming your Beagle’s toenails, because you don’t want to destroy their trust in you regularly performing this necessary task.
However, accidents do happen, therefore if you clip too short, and accidentally cut into the vein in the toenail, know that you will cause your dog pain, and that the toenail will bleed. Therefore, it is always a good idea to keep some styptic powder (often called “Kwik Stop”) in your grooming kit.
Dip a moistened finger into the powder and apply it with pressure to the end of the bleeding nail, because this is the quickest way to stop a nail from bleeding in just a few seconds.
Some dogs prefer having their nails trimmed with a rotary “Dremel” type of device that grinds down the excess nail and with this tool, it is easier to avoid cutting into the vein. Keep in mind that if you decide to trim your dog’s nails this way, you will have to purchase a “doggy Dremel” made especially for this purpose, because using your shop Dremel will harm your dog’s nails as it is too high speed and will burn the nails.
Dogs can often suffer from painful ear infections, especially those with long, hanging ears (like the Beagle), because these ears can easily retain moisture.
Paying attention and keeping your dog’s ears clean and dry will prevent this type of unhappy pain and suffering. Make sure that you keep ear powders and cleaning solutions in your grooming kit, because with proper preventative care, your dog need never suffer from an ear infection.
Ear Powders: which can be purchased at any pet store, are designed to help keep your dog’s ears dry while at the same time inhibiting the growth of bacteria that can lead to infections. It’s used to get rid of excess hair growth from inside a dog’s ear canal, as the powder makes it easier to grip the hair.
Ear Cleaning Solutions: your local pet store will offer a wide variety of ear cleaning creams, drops, oils, rinses or wipes specially formulated for cleaning your Beagle’s ears.
In addition, there are many home remedies that will just as efficiently clean your dog’s ears without the high price tag, including Witch Hazel (a 50:50 solution of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and Purified Water) or a 50:50 solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and Purified Water.
If your dog runs over sharp barnacles on the beach, jogs with you on hard road surfaces, or over other rough surfaces, this can cause cuts and scrapes and very rough surfaces on the paws. If you live in a hot climate, be aware that sidewalks, road surfaces and sandy beaches can get extremely hot for your Beagle’s feet.
Paw Creams: depending upon activity levels and the types of surfaces our canine counterparts usually walk on, they may suffer from cracked or rough pads. You can restore resiliency and keep your dog’s paws in healthy condition by regularly applying a cream or lotion to protect their paw pads. A good time to do this is just after you’ve clipped their nails.
Learning about simple steps that will keep your Beagle safe, and what’s involved in keeping him or her properly groomed will go a long way toward helping them to live a long, happy and healthy life.
Regularly grooming your dog will help you detect any underlying diseases or conditions early and will allow your beloved fur friend to feel better and live longer and happier.