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Tips For Feeding Basset Hound Puppies

What, when, how often, and how much should I feed my new Basset Hound puppy?

These are excellent questions to ask because puppies require a nutritionally balanced diet and younger puppies should be fed more often per day than older puppies.

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Your breeder is the best person to provide answers to these questions. He should already have your puppy on an appropriate diet and should provide this information before you take your new puppy home. Follow the recommended diet and any additional advice from your breeder to get your new puppy off to a healthy start. A veterinarian is also a good source for advice about feeding puppies and adult dogs.

If for some reason you decide to switch to a different type of dog food after bringing you Basset Hound puppy home, do it gradually because abrupt diet changes most likely will result in digestive problems and diarrhea.

I know this from experience. When I brought my puppy home, I abruptly switched to a different brand of dog food, despite the advice not to, and guess what? My puppy's stomach was upset and he got diarrhea. Don't do what I did! Instead, mix a small amount of the new food in with his old food and gradually increase the new food and decrease the old food over a number of days.

Another point to note is that puppies need fresh water. Make sure that your puppy gets as much water as needed. If you're in the process of house training, then providing water on a scheduled basis is fine as long as your puppy is offered water multiple times per day and is receiving the amount of water that he needs.


Guidelines for Feeding Basset Hound Puppies

Feeding Schedules
Set a schedule that is convenient for you, reasonable for your puppy and appropriate for his age, and feed him at approximately the same time every day. Young puppies need to be fed more often then older puppies. Below is a sample feeding schedule for puppies.

  • 6 to 12 weeks: 4 times per day
  • 12 weeks to 6 months: 3 times per day
  • 6 months and up: 2 times per day

Please note, that this is just an example. When my Basset Hound was around 4 months old, I was feeding him 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner) and a treat at lunch time. Therefore, don't take this schedule as advice that is set in stone. Follow the advice of your breeder and use your best judgment to do what's right for your individual puppy.


Amount to Feed
As mentioned above, a reputable breeder will make recommendations for the daily amount of food that is appropriate for your puppy. A good veterinarian can also provide guidance.

Another approach for determining the amount to feed is to look on the bag of dog food for a recommended starting point and then use your best judgment to vary the amount to your particular puppy's needs. The amount on the bag of dog food is the total amount to give your puppy in a 24 hour period. Therefore if you're feeding 4 meals per day, then only give one quarter of the recommended amount at each feeding.


Table Scraps and Treats
Avoid table scraps so as not to upset your puppy's digestive system and if you choose to provide treats, do so in moderation.


Should I Leave Food Out All the Time?

There are some who recommend that food should always be left out for puppies younger than six months. This is called free feeding. Food is available to the puppy at all times and he can eat whenever he wants. Some also recommend this approach for dogs of all ages.

I've always preferred a schedule for my Basset Hound instead of free feeding. My reasons for this are:

  • Basset Hounds are prone to obesity as they grow older and free feeding may encourage them to eat more than needed.
  • Basset Hounds are prone to bloat, a life threatening condition, and one of the preventative measures for this condition is to feed smaller meals throughout the day.
  • House training is easier and faster with feeding schedules because bowel movements are more regular.
  • Sometimes when a dog has a health problem, his feeding habits or appetite may change. With free feeding, one will be less likely to notice a change and a potential health problem may go unnoticed for a while.

Please note, this is just my opinion about free feeding.


Final Tip for Feeding Basset Hound Puppies

Get your Basset Hound puppy off to a healthy start! Follow the advice of your breeder and / or veterinarian and use your best judgment to ensure that your individual puppy's nutritional needs are met.

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