How Often Should You Bathe a Dachshund?

dachshund in a bath covered in shampoo

Is your dachshund’s coat starting to look oily or grubby? Have you noticed a doggy smell lingering in your house? Or maybe you’ve had your pup a while and are wondering if you need to bathe him? If it’s been a few months, your dachshund might be due a bath. We’ll answer your questions about dachshunds and bathing.

How often should you bathe a dachshund? Once every three months is usually enough, unless your dachshund is dirty or smelly. Lower him into the bathtub carefully (supporting his back), wash his body with a pH-balanced dog shampoo and warm water (avoiding his head and ears), and dry him thoroughly.

Read on to find out what you need to know before you pop your dachshund in the tub, whether you need special shampoo, how to bathe him safely, and what to do if your dachshund is scared of the water.

Do I need to bathe my dachshund regularly?

Dachshunds only need a bath every three months or so. This is the same whether smooth-haired, long-haired or wire-haired. If you bathe your dog too often, it washes away the natural oils that make their coat nice and shiny, leaving them with dry fur and skin.

How often should you bathe a dachshund? Close up of wire-haired dachshund's face
Wire-haired dachshund laying on the sofa before a bath

You can get shampoos that are super gentle for a dachshund’s skin and can be used more regularly, but it’s not normally necessary. Of course, if your dachshund has been romping around in the mud or has rolled in something they shouldn’t have, you’ll need to stick them straight in the tub. For anything else, you can just wipe them over with a damp cloth.

What shampoo should I use for my dachshund?

Use a special doggy shampoo for your dachshund – ideally a natural, fragrance-free one. You need to find the gentlest option for your dachshund’s sensitive skin. Dachshunds are prone to skin issues, so you should never use harsh soaps to wash your dachshund.

Only use doggy shampoo

Never ever use normal shampoo on your dachshund, as it’s way too strong and the pH balance is all wrong for dogs. You’ll need to find a special doggy shampoo that’s pH-balanced. Dog shampoos are really easy to get hold of – just pop into your local pet shop or order online. Look for one for sensitive skin, or get the gentlest, most natural option you can find.

Rinse thoroughly

Dog shampoos are specially designed to clean a dog’s coat and freshen him up so he smells good. Just make sure you rinse off any shampoo thoroughly so your dachshund’s skin isn’t irritated by soapy residue.

Use natural doggy shampoo

Dachshund in the bath covered in shampoo
Dachshund in the bath covered in shampoo

Natural shampoos are best because the ingredients are nice and gentle on delicate dachshund skin. Things like oatmeal and aloe vera are particularly good for dachshunds because they have calming qualities that moisturise and soothe skin irritations.

Use doggy conditioner

If you have a long-haired or wire-haired dachshund, you may also want to use conditioner to work out any tangles or matted sections of fur and make his coat beautifully soft and lustrous. Look out for the same sorts of things as you did with shampoo – natural ingredients, pH-balanced, fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.

Do dachshunds smell?

Dachshunds don’t tend to get that horrible doggy smell as their coats don’t get overly greasy like other breeds’ do. Any smell they do pick up generally comes from something they’ve rolled in outside in the garden.

Do dachshunds smell? Dachshund digging in dirt by pond
Dachshund digging in the dirt near a pond

How do I bathe a dachshund?

To bathe your dachshund, run a warm, shallow bath. Lower him into it carefully, and wash his body (from feet to neck) with doggy shampoo. Make sure you comb through his fur and smooth out any tangles. Rinse him thoroughly and make sure he’s properly dried.

The best place to bathe your dachshund is in your bathtub as it has high walls for a dachshund and is at floor level. You could use a sink or a sink bowl (depending on his size) but you’ll have to be super careful he doesn’t jump out, as he could really hurt his back. As long as he’s supervised and settled, he should be fine.

Prepare

Before you begin bathing your dachshund, make sure everything’s ready for him. Run a shallow bath, no deeper than his belly. Make sure the water is warm but not too hot – think about it like running a bath for a baby. And be sure to put a non-slip mat or a wet towel in the bottom of the tub to protect him in case he fidgets or flails around (in time, you should be able to train him to stand still).

Put all his bath-time bits within arm’s reach of the bath. You’ll need:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner (if using)
  • Tangle brush (if using)
  • Towels
  • A dog cleaning mitt
  • A jug
  • Treats
  • Gloves (if you want to wear them)

Get a chair

You may want to get a chair to sit on or a cushion for your knees if you’re going to be kneeling. And make sure you’re wearing suitable clothes you don’t mind getting wet – you’re probably going to get a bit soggy!

Stay calm

Some dachshunds’ love baths but, like a lot of dogs, most really doesn’t. This means bath time can be a bit stressful at first, especially if he doesn’t like it and you feel like you’re forcing it on him. So, once you have everything prepared, take a deep breath and make sure you’re calm. If you feel stressed, your dachshund is definitely going to pick up on this and feel anxious too. You want to make the whole thing as relaxing and fun for him (and you!) as possible.

Put your dachshund in the bath

How do i bathe a dachshund? Dachshund soaking wet in the bath
Soaking wet dachshund sat in the bath tub

Carefully pick your dachshund up, making sure his back is properly supported. Actually, if you haven’t done this before, you might want to practice the movement without your daxie first, as you won’t be able to shift around once you’re holding him. Gently lower him into the bathtub and place him on the non-slip mat or towel. Speak to him nice and softly, making the whole thing seem perfectly normal.

Pour warm water over your dachshund

Once he’s settled in the water, fill the jug with some bathwater and gently pour it over your dachshund until he’s wet. Leave his head and ears dry though. You might want to keep one hand around his chest while you do this, just for a bit of support and to stop him wriggling.

Shampoo your dachshund

Next you’ll need the doggy shampoo. Again, make sure he’s calm, and begin rubbing a small amount of shampoo into his fur, starting with his legs and moving up until his body is covered in suds. Don’t go near his face or ears with the water or shampoo. You’ll wash those separately afterwards.

Rinse your dachshund

Once he’s had a good shampoo, fill up the jug and start rinsing from his neck down. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear and you’re sure all the shampoo is out.

Dachshund being bathed and shampoo rinsed with shower head
Dachshund being thoroughly rinsed in the shower

Add conditioner

Then, if you’re using conditioner, squeeze a small amount into your hands and massage it into your dachshund’s fur. Grab your tangle brush and gently brush the conditioner through his hair, teasing out any knots carefully.

Final rinse

Give him a final rub and rinse the conditioner off using the jug.

Get your dachshund out of the bath

When you’re ready to get him out, drain the bath and put a towel over him.

Dachshund under a towel drying off after a bath
Dachshund under a towel drying off after a bath

Towel dry

Carefully pick your dachshund up and pop him on the floor. Rub him with the towel until he’s dry. If it’s chilly in the house or he’s shaking, you’ll need to make doubly sure he’s completely dry, as you don’t want him to get cold. If he’ll let you, you could use a hair-dryer on a low heat to speed up the process.

Wash his face and ears

You should wash his face and ears once he’s had his bath (or you could do this last, just before you get him out of the bath). Dampen the cloth or mitt with warm water, add a little shampoo (don’t use soap) and gently wipe it over his face. Rinse carefully and try not to get any shampoo or water in his eyes. Lightly dab the insides of his ears using cotton wool but never push the cotton wool or cloth (or anything else) right inside his ears.

Dachshund having his ears cleaned with cotton wool pads
Dachshund having his ears cleaned

Give him a big treat!

The most important part of bath-time is to give him a nice treat afterwards! Not all dogs like being bathed so, if he’s been a good boy, you should definitely reward him.

How do you bathe a dachshund if he’s scared of the water?

If your dachshund is scared of water, you need to take bath time slowly and build up his confidence. Speak in soothing tones and don’t stress about it. Once he’s had his bath, give him a treat so he associates bath-time with something good.

Dachshund placing his paw in a woman's hand
Woman helping to reassure her dachshund before a bath

This is what to do if your dachshund hates bath-time:

Take it slow

If your dachshund shows signs of anxiety, slow down even more. Baby steps.

Speak reassuringly

Don’t bring stress into the bathroom. Make it really relaxing and soothing.

Use a lick pad

Your dachshund may be less anxious if he’s distracted. Try sticking a lick pad to the bathtub wall and spreading a bit of peanut butter on it (just make sure the peanut butter is xylitol-free as this is toxic to dogs).

A big dollop of peanut butter
A big dollop of peanut butter for a lick pad

Get your dachshund into a routine

Dachshunds can sometimes feel more secure when they know what to expect and when. Follow the same routine with his bath-times and you might find his anxiety goes away.

Make it fun

Brings lots of treats into the bathroom and turn it into a positive experience for your dachshund.


So, now you know how to bathe your dachshund and how often you should be doing it, you’ll know exactly what to do next time your dachshund gets a bit stinky!

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