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Essential Basset Hound Care

Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy

Proper care by you will most likely lead to a long and healthy life for your dog.

By learning how to care for your Basset Hound, you can usually prevent many health problems and therefore, avoid costly veterinarian bills.

This article provides indispensable information about Basset Hound care enabling you to take steps to keep your dog happy and healthy.

You and Your Veterinarian

It is important to develop a good relationship with a veterinarian. A veterinarian is the best resource for advice about the health and welfare of your Basset Hound and routine Basset Hound care. A good vet will:

  • provide regular health checkups at a recommended interval
  • provide vaccinations to prevent major canine diseases
  • recommend routine Basset Hound care and preventative measures to keep your Basset Hound healthy
  • recommend options and provide treatment when a problem or illness occurs.

Be sure to visit your vet for regular health checkups. And, notify your vet as soon as possible if you notice something that may be a potential health problem.

Vaccinations

Basset Hound care includes vaccinating your Basset to prevent serious infectious diseases. Puppies are usually vaccinated against major canine diseases between six and eight weeks of age and additional vaccinations are usually necessary.

Ask your breeder for a health record that includes a vaccination history. Consult with your veterinarian about additional shots that may be necessary.

Ear Care

A Basset's long, droopy ears can trap dirt and tend to retain moisture. To prevent ear infections, my vet recommended that I check and clean Hunter's ears with a special solution designed for dogs. This is part of my Basset Hound care routine.

If your dog shakes his head a lot, scratches his ears a lot, keeps his head cocked to one side, or has redness, or discharge, he may have ear problems. Promptly, consult with your vet.

Read Basset Hound Ear Care for more information about preventative ear care.

Teeth and Gums

Basset Hound care includes cleaning your dog's teeth to prevent oral disease. Ideally, veterinarians recommend daily brushing with a toothpaste specifically designed for dogs to remove plaque. If plaque is not removed, it eventually becomes tartar. Tartar can not be removed by brushing. It requires a dental cleaning by your vet and your dog will be anesthetized during the procedure. If tarter is not removed, it can lead to periodontal disease, a serious condition causing irreversible damage.

Read Dog Dental Care to learn how to keep your dog's teeth healthy.


Hunter's Bad Experience

Believe me, you need to keep on top of this! My husband and I periodically brushed Hunter's teeth. But, we were not doing it enough. Eventually, we noticed that his back teeth were turning black. We started brushing his teeth more but it did not help. Our vet informed us that Hunter required a dental cleaning at which time she would determine if any teeth needed to be pulled. He came through the procedure fine with all of his teeth. But, it was a costly procedure and Hunter did not enjoy it. Our vet has since recommended brushings at least two times per week. And we won't slack off again! This is now part of our Basset Hound care routine.


Fleas and Ticks

Years ago, a roommate of mine had a cat that spent most of its time indoors. It got out once and we ended up with fleas in our townhouse. We of course had to treat the cat and also treat our townhouse to eliminate the fleas. What a nuisance!

Protect your Basset from fleas and ticks, which feed on the blood of the host and can cause serious health problems. There a number of effective products for control and prevention which are easy to apply. Consult with your vet to choose the best option and make it part of your Basset Hound care routine. I use a monthly topical insecticide recommended by our vet for protection against both fleas and ticks.

In some areas of the country, deer ticks are common and they spread Lyme disease which again can cause serious health problems. There is a lyme disease vaccine which your vet may recommend for protection.

Worms

Hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms are intestinal parasites that can be contracted in various ways including from contaminated soil. Heartworms infect a dog's heart and are transmitted by mosquitoes.

If your Basset is a young puppy, it may need to be dewormed. Ask your breeder for a health record that includes a deworming history and consult with your vet to determine if additional deworming is necessary. To prevent worms in older puppies and adults, your vet may prescribe a pill that you administer once a month as part of your Basset Hound care routine.

Nutrition

Basset Hound care includes providing proper nutrition to enable your Basset live a long and healthy life. Basically, a Basset Hound needs water, which should be available throughout the day, and a high quality dog food that is appropriate for the dog's age.

The following articles provide more information about feeding Basset Hounds.

Tips About Care and Feeding Basset Hound
What, when, and how to feed your basset hound for a long, active, and healthy life.

Tips for Feeding Basset Hound Puppies
Basset Hound Puppies need a nutritionally balanced diet. These guidelines will help you get your Basset Hound puppy off to a healthy start.

Daily Exercise and Attention

Compared to other dogs, Basset Hounds require a moderate amount of exercise. Usually, a daily walk at a moderate pace is sufficient. Exercise helps your Basset to maintain good health and to keep him at his ideal weight.

Being a pack dog, Bassets also like the company of other dogs and/or pets and they make a great family dog. They can be quite playful and at times will seek attention from their owner(s). At other times, you will find that all they want to do is sleep.


Hunter Loves Walks and Attention

Most days, Hunter goes for at least one walk and sometimes in good weather he may get two walks per day. But, we do have those days when we are really busy and he may not get a walk. He really enjoys his walks and usually wants attention and playtime after he eats dinner and before he plops down for the night. He also likes playtime outside and likes to bury dog bones in the back yard.


Grooming

Groom your Basset as needed to keep him clean, happy, and healthy. This includes brushing, bathing, and nail trimming. Also, remember to routinely clean ears and teeth.

To learn more about grooming read Routine Basset Hound Grooming and FAQ: Do Basset Hounds Shed A Lot?

Routine Basset Hound Care

If you own a Basset Hound or are considering one, routine Basset Hound care is essential for keeping your dog happy and healthy. As of the writing of this article, Hunter is a healthy four year old and my Basset Hound care routine includes:

  • Yearly veterinarian checkups
  • Weekly ear care
  • As needed grooming: brushing, bathing, and nail trimming
  • A monthly pill to prevent worms as recommended by our vet
  • A monthly topical insecticide for protection against both fleas and ticks as recommended by our vet
  • Care of teeth and gums twice per week
  • Lots of attention and daily walks, weather permitting
  • Twice per day feedings
  • Periodic inspection of the skin for lumps as recommended by our vet

Of course, your routine may differ from mine depending on the age and health of your dog and the recommendations of your vet. But, the point is to develop a Basset Hound care routine for preventative health care, follow the advice of your vet, and enjoy your Basset Hound.

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My Basset Hound, Hunter

My dog, Hunter!
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