Bloodhound Maintenance

Grooming advice

Bloodhounds require relatively little grooming, bathing maybe 3 to 4 times a year, bathing outside is preferable as they may slip and hurt themselves in a bath.. Hold on a lead or tie them up for bath time but ensure that they do not panic. You can brush them as often as you want, some do not like the metal paddle brushes, they instead like a rubber curry comb type brush used for horses, a wipe over with a damp cloth will remove any dirt, whilst grooming keep an eye out for any lumps and bumps or skin redness or dryness..


Daily if needed wipe eyes with some cotton wool moistened with warm water and squeezed out, using a separate piece for each eye. Keep your hounds eyes clean to prevent any unwanted infections, eye infections can be difficult to treat, prevention is a lot easier.

Check for excess moisture around they eye, any redness in the eyeball, any cloudiness, whitening of the cornea, any eyelash interference with the eye ball; if so contact your vet and breeder.

If your hound rubs his eyes, paws at them, there is excessive tearing, any swelling there may be an irritation so please speak to your vet.

Important – some vets do not like the look of the Bloodhound eye or the relatively loose skin around the head, some will try and advise a “facelift” or an eye operation, even if no problems are present, this is incorrect and you will need to contact your breeder to discuss the vets concerns, a facelift is an extremely traumatic experience for the dog and owner. As a puppy the head will continue to grow and mature for a long time, before anything is done unless there is an actual problem this should be allowed to happen before any decision is made. The parents of your puppy should not have experienced any eye problems or excessive skin problems.


Wipe ears after feeding and drinking, dedicated tea towels are good for this.

A couple of  times a week, use a pint jug kept for this purpose, fill with warm mild soapy water or dilute hibiscrub and wash the ends of their ears, their ears drag on the floor picking up anything available. Rinse and dry the ears afterwards.

Once a week, clean ears with some cotton wool moistened with warm water and squeezed out, use a separate piece for each ear, place a few drops of ear cleaner on the cotton wool and wipe out the ears, do not squirt the cleaner down the ears, Clean Aural is a good ear cleaner. Do not probe down the ear canal as this can damage the ear drum.  After this get a pinch of Thornit and sprinkle around the ear canal (again not down it), close the ear and massage.

Your puppy’s ears may have some brown wax in them this is normal, however it should not be excessive and they should not smell, the ears should not be red or itchy on the inside, if so  please contact your vet. Keep your puppies ears clean to prevent infection, ear infections can be difficult to get rid of so prevention is better than cure.


Check for any cuts, sores bites and skin redness, aloe vera gel or wound powder are both good for minor skin irritations. If they get a bit of a sore patch or graze, cut etc bloodhounds are quite bad for nibbling the area until they have made it completely sore, so any signs of anything put some gel or powder on straight away, if you are worried about it contact your breeder or your vet.

Check under the chin, if it has a rough texture wash with mild antibacterial wash and apply gel until it clears.

It is widely reported that Bloodhounds get skin infections in folds of skin, Bloodhounds have relatively loose skin, not folds of skin, there should be no skin infections other than that caused by an irritation, cut, bite or graze. It has been noted though that some Bloodhounds can get skin allergies, if this is the case veterinary treatment will be needed.

Check for any lumps and bumps, in some young dogs they can get a small red round lump in their ears, on their legs or on their body, these are a small round tumour, these tumours can appear generally up until the age of two years old, they are small, flattish, hard, nearly perfectly round and localised and will go of their own accord.

Check around the neck area for swellings, these could be an indication of lymphoma - refer to cancer section.Please contact your breeder and seek veterinary advice if your dog has any lumps or bumps.


Monthly, your hounds claws will probably need clipping as they grow quite fast, some do not like this but it is important to keep them relatively short, if you are worried just trim the very ends so as not to catch the kwik, if this happens it is painful and bleeds a lot. Keep in a styptic pencil just in case, to stop any bleeding. The kwik is visible on white claws but not the darker ones. Do not force your hound into keeping still, they are better off complying of their own accord, this may take some training with treats, at times you may only be able to do one or two claws, be patient with them.



External Parasites

Fleas and ticks can be a problem, not just in summer but all year round.

Fleas are very small, brownish black, extremely agile creatures. Excessive scratching and self-biting can be symptoms of flea infestation. Even if no fleas are to be seen the presence of shiny black specks like coal dust (flea excreta) is a sure indication of the presence of fleas (dab the specks with a damp piece of cotton wool and if it goes pink it confirms the presence of fleas; these are the remains of a digested blood meal from the host).


Ticks are largish grey pea shaped parasites that can be 3 to 4mm in length. They attach themselves to other animals in order to have a blood meal. There is evidence that ticks are also a threat to human health as they can spread Lyme disease.

Using a drop on treatment will keep fleas and ticks at bay...Advocat (this worms the dog as well) or Advantage (uses the same ingredient for fleas as the Advocat). Tablets are not advisable for use.

Frontline and other products using fiprinol seem to have lost their effectiveness.

Monthly application is advised by the products although we tend to treat as and when is necessary, we do not like over using chemicals on our dogs, if you do this you need to keep a close eye on them for fleas and ticks. Some areas are worse than others for parasites then it would be required throughout summer and autumn to treat monthly, always read the packaging before use and do not bath your dog or let it get wet for 48 hours afterwards.

If you do get a lot of fleas then your dogs bed, soft furnishings and carpets may also need treating, do not use any powders or sprays intended for environmental use on your dog, this can severely damage the skin. Using advantage or advocate also kills fleas where the dog lies so if you catch it quickly this is not necessary. The only problem we have ever had is when we were using a fiprinol based product and it stopped working, we could not retreat as the time span was not long enough between treatments. Do not use dog products on cats.

Ticks can be removed, you can buy special tick removers for this , I use tissue paper and make sure that I get hold of the tick as closely as possible to the skin so that the head comes out and give a hard sharp pull, do not squash the tick or else harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream, do not touch the tick with your fingers as they can carry diseases, kill it once it is removed.