Grooming is an essential process for your beagle’s health (it helps you keeping your dog healthy and preventing diseases and health issues as well as detecting signals of more serious problems early enough) as well as for your relationship with your dog and the well-being of your household. In Parts 1 and 2 of this series we went from the big picture to the details of the first three steps of an enjoyable yet well-organized, time-efficient beagle grooming routine. (If you missed Beagle Grooming Part 1, you can get it here. If you missed Beagle grooming Part 2, go here).
This last part is going to complete the beagle grooming checklist with Steps 4 to 9: inspection, pest control, the bath, ear and eye cleaning and nail trimming.
STEP FOUR – Inspecting your beagle’s eyes, ears, feet and muzzle
How often? We have been checking our beagle daily in steps 1 to 3. This is a more thorough check that you do on bathing day. Take your time to examine the ears inside and outside, pick up each foot and check the foot pads and each toe.
TIP – This facilitates vet visits and treatments if necessary.
STEP FIVE – Applying pest control products if needed
How often? Check for pets like fleas, ticks and worms daily but take more time the day you are giving your beagle a bath.
What do I need? A product recommended by your vet that covers ticks, fleas and worms.
TIP 1 – If you find fleas, use a shampoo against fleas and a flea comb to remove them.
TIP 2 – If you find a tick, put on your gloves, remove the tick with a set of tweezers, clean the wound and disinfect with rubbing alcohol.
STEP SIX– Bathing your beagle
How often? Only when your beagle is dirty and/or smells because if you bathe them too often their skin dries out and this can cause extreme itching.
What do I need? A mild shampoo and a conditioner FOR DOGS (or a hypo-allergenic shampoo and conditioner in case of skin allergies), a bristle brush, a sponge, a non-slip rubber mat, a nylon collar and a leash (if you know that your beagle won’t stay in the sink or tub), a spray hose, and towels.
Where? A large sink might be better than a tub for puppies. Remember to the rubber mat in the sink or tub before adding the water. If the noise of running water frightens or overexcites your dog, leave your beagle out of the room while preparing the bath.
Make sure you have everything you need before you start with the bath to avoid leaving your beagle alone during the bath.
TIP – Check the temperature of the water. It should be warm. If it feels hot to you it will definitely be too hot for your beagle.
Once you have brushed your beagle’s coat, you are ready to start.
First, using a spray hose, soak your beagle thoroughly all the way to the skin. Next, lather their body with the sponge. Use the brush for particularly dirty areas, ears, head and foot pads. Rinse (protect their eyes with your hands) and repeat. During the final rinse, remove all the shampoo thoroughly to get rid of any soap residues and finish up with a conditioning rinse.
TIP – If you have to use a medicated shampoo or a flea shampoo, read the instructions. In the case of flea shampoos, you typically need to let the lather stay on for 15 minutes).
Finally, remove any excess water and dry your beagle with a towel.
FINAL TIP – Your beagle should not be allowed to go out until their coat and skin are completely dry.
STEP SEVEN – Inspecting and cleaning your beagle’s ears
The floppy ears of a beagle can prevent the circulation of air and humidity can cause ear infection. Check out for any signs of infection, excessive wax or ear mites and other parasites because ears are a magnet for parasites.
WARNING: If the ear wax is excessive, brownish and smells, you need to consult with your vet.
How often? Check them daily and clean them with a cotton pad or tissue by holding the ear open and cleaning inside the flap. Clean them with some ear wash once a week.
WARNING: Do not go too far into the ear canal.
What do I need? A cotton pad or a tissue and over-the-counter ear wash products for dogs.
WARNING: Check that the ear wash does not contain alcohol peroxide.
STEP EIGHT – Cleaning your beagle’s eyes
How often? Check your beagle’s eyes every day when you clean their face and clean them if necessary with a soft wash cloth.
WARNING: If the discharge is excessive, consult with your vet.
What do I need? A soft wash cloth or dog eye wipes in case of discoloration under or around the eyes.
STEP NINE – Nail Trimming
How often? When the nails are too long. You will know that it is time if you can hear your beagle’s nails hitting the floor when they walk.
What do I need? A set of pliers-type nail clippers or a battery-powered rotary pet-nail trimmers designed for dogs and Styptic powder or gel (in case of bleeding).
WARNING – Identify the quick (the area with blood vessels inside the nail) and avoid cutting too far. If you are not sure how to do this, ask your vet or your dog groomer to teach you OR ask the staff at the pet store when you buy the clippers.