What, when, and how to feed your Basset Hound for a long, active, and healthy life.
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.
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 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.
There are alternatives to commercial dog food:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
My dog, Hunter!
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