Does a Basset Hound shed a lot?

Did you know that Basset Hounds were originally bred in France to track and hunt small game like rabbits? These short-legged, droopy-eared canines are known for their sharp sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound. But there’s another side to these cute, lovable dogs that prospective Basset Hound owners often overlook: their tendency to shed, and shed a lot. Whether you’re a potential Basset Hound owner or someone who already shares their home with one (or a few!), this article will surely shed new light on the topic.

Basset Hounds are, without a doubt, prolific shedders. It might come as a bit of a surprise for some because, after all, these dogs don’t have a long or fluffy coat like some breeds renowned for shedding, like the Saint Bernard or the Golden Retriever. However, despite their smooth, short coat, Basset Hounds actively shed throughout the year. Their coat, composed of a dense layer of skin cells, hair, and natural oils, tends to fall out and regenerate continuously.

It’s interesting to note that Basset Hounds have a double coat. The outer layer, or guard hairs, is coarser and protects the dog from dirt, thereby shielding their skin. The inner layer, known as the undercoat, is soft and dense, providing insulation during tough weather conditions. Twice a year, Basset Hounds experience what’s known as a blow coat where the undercoat falls out in clumps, making for a more intense shedding season. This usually occurs in the spring, preparing the dog for warmer weather, and in the fall, to gear up for the colder seasons.

Now that you’re aware of the extent to which a Basset Hound may shed, the next question is, can you do anything about it? The short answer is, you can’t stop a Basset Hound from shedding – it’s a natural and healthy part of their life. However, you can manage it effectively to maintain a cleaner home and a healthier dog. Here’s how:

1. Regular Grooming: Brushing your Basset Hound regularly is the key to managing shedding. It helps remove loose hairs before they end up on your furniture or clothes. Brushing also stimulates the natural oils on your dog’s skin, keeping their coat shiny and healthy. Invest in a high-quality brush designed for dogs with short, dense coats. A grooming glove could also be a great choice.

2. Healthy Diet: Did you know that what your dog eats can affect its shedding? A high-quality diet can improve your dog’s overall health and, in turn, reduce excessive shedding. Omega fatty acids found in fish oil, for instance, can improve your dog’s skin and coat health.

3. Regular Baths: Bathing your Basset Hound regularly can help manage shedding. It’s recommended to bathe them at least once a month with a canine-specific shampoo. Remember, during a blow coat, you might want to bathe them more frequently to get rid of excess hair.

4. Veterinary Check-ups: Sometimes, excessive shedding can be an indication of health issues. Regular vet visits will ensure that your dog’s shedding is normal and not a symptom of underlying issues such as allergies, skin infections, or hormonal imbalances.

Shedding is a part of owning a Basset Hound, or any dog for that matter. Although it may seem a challenge initially, by integrating regular grooming and good nutrition into your dog’s routine, shedding can become considerably less daunting. In the end, it’s all worth it when you’re greeted by those loving, droopy eyes and the warm company of your furry friend. Remember, a bit of fur around the house is a small price to pay for a life-enriching relationship with a Basset Hound. After all, love is a four-legged word.