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Care and Feeding Basset Hound

Answers to your care and feeding Basset Hound questions.

What, when, and how to feed your Basset Hound for a long, active, and healthy life.

Care and Feeding Basset Hound Question #1:
What Should I Feed My Basset Hound?

Your Basset Hound needs water and a high quality dog food appropriate for your dog's age (puppy, adult, or senior). Breeders and veterinarians usually recommend dry dog foods.

Selecting a Dog Food
There are many brands to choose from. A high quality brand contains all of the nutrients that your Basset needs. The cheapest dog foods may not contain high quality ingredients and are not always economical. Your Basset will need to be fed more of a low quality food as opposed to feeding him less of a dog food with high quality ingredients. So choose a high quality brand. If you have questions about what brand to select, talk to your veterinarian or breeder.

Dog Treats
If you choose to give your Basset Hound dog treats, do it in moderation. As with humans, too many treats can lead to weight gain.

Table Scraps
Table scraps are not good for your Basset. They do not contain appropriate nutrients and the empty calories can lead to weight gain, obesity, and digestive problems if given too often. Feeding table scraps may also lead to bad Basset Hound eating habits.

A Personal Note

Of course, I'm not going to say that I've never given my Basset Hound, Hunter, human food. He's really cute and sometimes it's hard to resist those eyes. And when my family comes to visit he gets a lot more, despite my requests to refrain, usually resulting in diarrhea. But, my general rule is to resist those cute Basset eyes and refrain from feeding human food.

Care and Feeding Basset Hound Question #2:
Should I Consider an Alternative Diet?

There are alternatives to commercial dog food:

  • Bones and Raw Food (BARF) Diet also known as the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet. This is a diet consisting of raw meaty bones and other raw, natural foods.
  • Home Cooked Diet including cooked meat and vegetables. Note: This is not the same as feeding your dog table scraps.

You may be asking yourself, should I consider an alternative diet for my dog or should I go with commercial dog food?

I have to say that I've always fed my Basset Hound commercial dog food and he has been very healthy. I do not have any experience with the alternative diets and therefore, do not cover them in any detail on this site. But, there are many strong proponents (and some opponents) of both of these types of diets. I have a friend that cooks for her dog with the approval of her veterinarian and her dog is also very healthy.

If you're interested in alternative diets, then my only recommendation is to do your homework to make sure that you make the right choice for you and your dog.

Care and Feeding Basset Hound Question #3:
How Much Should I Feed My Basset Hound?

It depends on his activity level. Use the recommendation on the bag of dog food as a starting point and then make adjustments based upon your individual dog's needs and activity level. For example, I feed my Basset more in the spring, summer, and fall because he tends to spend more time outside and goes for more walks. In the winter, he's less active so I feed him less.

Feed your adult, full grown dog so that he maintains his ideal weight. Your vet will weigh your Basset during his routine visit and can determine his ideal weight. Monitor your dog's weight periodically because Basset Hounds are prone to becoming overweight or obese as they get older. Prevention of obesity and excessive weight gain is important because these conditions can lead to many different types of health problems.

Hunter's Chubby

Right after Hunter turned four years old, we took him to the vet for his routine health checkup and the vet informed us that he was chubby, 5 pounds over weight! My husband and I had no idea. Our immediate reaction was - No, your kidding me - He looks great! But, we promptly reduced the amount that we were feeding him to get him back to his ideal weight, as our vet recommended. We also became more aware of how he looks at his ideal weight and will be able to recognize if he starts to gain weight again.

Care and Feeding Basset Hound Question #4:
When and How Often Should I Feed My Basset Hound?

For an older puppy or adult Basset Hound, determine his daily requirement of dog food and then break that amount into two or three small meals per day.

A young puppy may require three or four meals per day. Ask your breeder about your new puppy's current feeding schedule to get an idea of where to start.

Feed your Basset at around the same time everyday. For example, I feed my Basset two times per day usually between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM and also at around 5:30 PM.

Clean drinking water should be available at all times. But, limit it during and after meal time. And don't forget to clean your dog bowls daily. I do this every time I feed my Basset.

Care and Feeding Basset Hound Tip:
Be Aware of Bloat

Bloat is a serious condition that may occur in large dogs and dogs with deep chests such as the Basset Hound. If it occurs, it can result in death within several hours.

Preventative measures:

  • Feed your Basset two or three small meals per day instead of one large meal.
  • If your dog gulps his food down, consider using a slow feed dog bowl to prevent him from taking in large amounts of air along with his food.
  • Remove drinking water during meals and wait a while after meal time before offering water again.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and excitement before and after meals.
  • Ask your vet if you should consider using an elevated feeder.
  • Let your Basset eat in a calm environment, i.e. not in the presence of other pets and / or children.

Care and Feeding Basset Hound: Final Tips

Proper nutrition, care, and feeding will help to enable your Basset Hound to live a long, active, and healthy life. Here's a summary of the care and feeding Basset Hound tips:

  • Clean water should be available throughout the day. But, limit it during and after meal time.
  • Feed your Basset a high quality dog food.
  • Feed dog treats in moderation and refrain from feeding human food.
  • Feed your Basset an amount that's appropriate for his activity level and individual needs.
  • Monitor and maintain your adult Basset's ideal weight.
  • Feed your older puppy or adult two or three small meals per day.
  • Clean dog bowls daily.
  • Be aware of bloat and the preventative measures mentioned above.

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My Basset Hound, Hunter

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