Despite their long, low appearance, Basset Hounds are actually rather large dogs. They can weigh up to 65 pounds. They aren’t the most active dogs but they do need regular exercise. Learn what foods to feed a Basset Hound below.

The Basset Hound is often a favorite because of his mournful expression and long ears. Don’t let his sad face fool you. Bassets are friendly, playful, outgoing dogs. They like children and other pets. They also have one of the best noses in the dog world. Basset Hounds are scent hounds and they were bred to hunt rabbits. Today they make great family pets. You do need to feed the best Basset Hound food possible to provide the nutrition your dog needs.

Basset Hound Diet & Nutrition

Protein, fat, carbohydrates: all dogs need these basic nutrients in their diet, and that includes the Basset Hound. Look for foods that have ingredients from better quality sources since these ingredients typically provide better nutrition for your dog than ingredients from poor sources.

Since the Basset Hound is a medium-large breed you have many dog food options. Basset Hounds can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation – joint problems. For this reason, it’s important to watch your Basset’s weight throughout his life. Being overweight or obese can worsen any tendency toward these problems.

Bloat can occur in Basset Hounds. This is a life-threatening condition when it occurs. We recommend that you feed your Basset Hound several small meals per day instead of one large meal. You may also want to consider using a slow feed bowl to encourage your Basset to eat more slowly. You can find out more about bloat here.

Some Basset Hounds can have skin problems and allergies. If you notice that your Basset has some of these problems, it’s a good idea to see your veterinarian to get a diagnosis. If your dog has a food allergy, your vet may recommend an elimination diet and food trial to try to precisely identify your dog’s triggers. If you think you know foods that trigger your dog’s allergic reactions or sensitivities, you can try to avoid foods with those ingredients. There are some limited ingredient diets and hypoallergenic foods that might help your dog. If your dog has a severe allergy or food sensitivity, talk to your vet about a prescription diet.

Growing Basset Hound puppies can eat many good quality puppy foods. We would suggest a large breed puppy food for some Basset Hound puppies, considering the potential for bone and joint problems later in life. These foods encourage slow growth and help puppies keep extra weight off while their bones and joints are developing. Calories and nutrients are specially formulated for larger breeds like Basset Hounds. Not all Basset Hound puppies will grow to the maximum size for the breed so some smaller puppies will do well on regular puppy foods.

How Much Should You Feed Your Basset Hound?

How much you feed your Basset Hound depends on several factors:

  • How active is your dog?
  • How much does your dog weigh?
  • How old is your dog?
  • Is your dog spayed/neutered?
  • What food are you feeding
  • What is your dog’s overall health like?

Different dogs have different metabolic rates. Large dogs like Basset Hounds usually need between 20 and 30 calories per pound of bodyweight per day. This is true even if your dog is just doing doggy things around the house. If you hunt with your Basset Hound or if you’re doing power walks together for exercise, he would need more calories.

After considering your dog’s specific requirements (age, weight, health, whether he’s intact or neutered, activity level), you still need to consider the food you are feeding him. With most premium dog foods, you can feed less food than if you were feeding a lower quality food. That’s because better quality foods, using better ingredients, usually have nutrients that are more bioavailable to your dog. Bioavailable simply means that the nutrient can easily make its way from the food to the body. Ingredients that are poor in quality have fewer nutrients or nutrients that your dog can’t use very easily. For examle, a rawhide has some protein, fat, and fiber, along with calories, but it’s not a nutritious way to feed your dog. Dog foods with better quality ingredients will have nutrients that are easily available to your dog. This means he doesn’t have to eat a lot of food to get the nutrition he needs.

You should pay attention to the calories in the food you feed. This can be especially important if you change dog foods because different foods will contain different calorie amounts per cup, even if you are changing from one premium dog food to another. You may be feeding your Basset Hound three cups of your old food. You switch foods and keep feeding him three cups of the new food. But the new food has more calories per cup. This means that your dog is getting too many calories now. It won’t be long before your Basset is overweight if you continue to feed him without checking the calories in the food.

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How Many Calories Does My Basset Hound Need?

Adult Basset Hounds, male and female, can weigh up to about 65 pounds. Based on recommendations from the National Research Council of the National Academies, the group that researches and make nutritional recommendations for dogs and cats, if your Basset Hound weighs 60 pounds, for example, you would need to feed him about 1504 calories per day. If your Basset Hound is getting more exercise – say you are doing tracking work with your dog and his excellent nose — you would need to increase his calories. If he’s neutered or very inactive, you would need to decrease his calories so he wouldn’t put on extra weight.

These are only basic guidelines. You should always watch your dog to see if he’s gaining or losing weight eating the amount of food you’re feeding. Then adjust the amount as necessary. Dog food companies today are supposed to provide calorie content statements on their food labels but it’s not always easy to find this information. If you don’t find calories listed on the label, check the company’s web site. Calorie information is usually provided with the suggested feeding information.

What To Look For In A Good Basset Hound Food

Look for the following specifics in a good food for your Basset Hound:

Good Sources of Protein – Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are all good sources of animal protein for your Basset Hound. Protein helps build muscle, repair cells, and keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy. We suggest that you look for several good sources of protein in the first several ingredients of a dog food. It’s even better if the first ingredient is a meat protein.

Lots of dog foods today, even good quality foods, use a lot of plant protein in the form of peas and lentils. While some plant protein is okay, it’s better if most of the protein in your dog’s diet comes from animal sources. Dogs can absorb nutrients from animal protein easier than from plant protein.

Some people like whole meats better than meat meals – whole chicken compared to chicken meal, for example. However, whole meats are mostly water. These ingredients would appear lower in the ingredient list if the water were removed. Named meat meals have already had most of their moisture removed so they are mostly protein. Many good dog foods combine these two ingredients. They may have whole chicken as the first ingredients, followed by chicken meal.

Good Sources of Fat – Your dog also needs good sources of fat. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids (EFA). It’s also necessary to distribute fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Your dog is able to absorb fat from animal sources such as chicken fat and fish oil more easily than from plant oils.

Named Ingredients – With all ingredients you should look for named ingredients. In most cases, the more specific the ingredient is, the better. For example, chicken meal is better than meat meal. Generic ingredients could come from sources that you would consider undesirable. This is also true for “natural flavor” – what is it? Animal fat – what kind of animal? You need to ask these questions when you look at the ingredient list.

Low to Moderate Carbohydrates – Most dog foods today have more carbohydrates than you would expect. This is true even for grain free foods since many of them use ingredients that are high in carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and tapioca to replace grains.

You don’t have to avoid all carbs but you should look for dog foods that are low to moderate in carbs.

Avoid Lower Quality Ingredients – Lower quality ingredients can include things such as meat or animal digest; unnamed meat by-products; and corn and wheat gluten.

Avoid Artificial Preservatives, Colors, and Sweeteners – Artificial preservatives and colors/dyes have been linked to various health problems in humans and animals. You should avoid these ingredients in dog foods. Your dog doesn’t need any kind of artificial sweetener. Other sweeteners are sometimes added to dog foods to make the food more palatable to dogs.

AAFCO – AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials. AAFCO sets voluntary standards for pet food labeling. Look for foods that have met the minimum standards set by AAFCO. These are nutritional adequacy statements and you probably recognize them as statements such as “X Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.” Foods can also meet AAFCO standards by food trials. Other statements may say that the food is for All Life Stages; or for Growth and Reproduction.

Most dog food experts today suggest that dogs need a diet that is relatively high in protein and moderate in fat. Healthy adult Basset Hounds should be able to eat this kind of diet but remember that every dog is an individual.

Top 3 Best Foods To Feed An Adult Basset Hound

Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : De-Boned Turkey, Whole Dried Egg, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Flour

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Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe

If your Basset Hound is very large, you may want to consider feeding a dog food made for large breed dogs. This large breed formula from Now Fresh uses 100 percent fresh turkey, salmon, and duck. It has no grains, wheat, beef, corn, or soy,  so it can also be a good choice for dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. It also has supplements for good hip and joint health. With 27 percent crude protein, 13 percent crude fat, and 363 kcal/cup, we think it’s a good choice for large Bassets that need to be careful about their joints and weight.

Wellness CORE Grain Free Original Formula

First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes

Wellness CORE Grain Free Original Formula

Wellness CORE Grain Free Original Formula would be a good food for an active Basset Hound. It’s grain free with plenty of protein and it has moderate fat, with 421 kcal/cup. The first five ingredients in the food are deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, and potatoes. This formula has no artificial flavors, preservatives, meat by-products, or fillers. Wellness CORE also has formulas for large breeds if you prefer to feed your Basset Hound a food with slightly fewer calories and supplements for bone and joint support.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Lamb & Oatmeal Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Ground Rice

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Lamb & Oatmeal Recipe

This limited ingredient formula has a single source of protein (lamb) and easily digestible carbohydrates. It’s a good choice for Basset Hounds that might have food allergies or sensitivities. No gluten, meat by-products, corn, wheat, dairy, eggs, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Wellness Simple also makes a Duck & Oatmeal formula, as well as several grain free limited ingredient foods.

Top 3 Best Foods To Feed A Basset Hound Puppy

Canidae Grain Free PURE Foundations Puppy Formula

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Peas, Potatoes

Canidae Grain Free PURE Foundations Puppy Formula

Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations Puppy Formula is a limited ingredient formula that has nine ingredients plus vitamins, minerals. This puppy food is high in protein and low in fat but it does have a lot of calories per cup. You don’t have to feed a lot. The first five ingredients are chicken, menhaden fish meal, lentils, peas, and potatoes. This is a limited ingredient formula with probiotics so it’s especially recommended for any puppies that have sensitive digestion. Canidae also makes a good large breed puppy food.

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health

First 5 Ingredients : Lamb Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Chicken Meal, Dried Beet Pulp

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health

Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health has DHA to support good brain and eye development. The first five ingredients in the food are: lamb meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, chicken meal, and dried beet pulp. This formula has 23 percent crude protein and 12 percent crude fat with 375 kcal/cup – these lower percentages and calories encourage slow growth in very large puppies. Holistic Select has lots of kibble and canned foods including a grain free puppy food with higher protein and fat percentages, if you prefer it for your Basset Hound puppy.

Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice

Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage

If you prefer to feed your Basset puppy a regular puppy food, Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage is good for all breeds. It has 28 percent crude protein and 20 percent crude fat, with only 32 percent carbohydrates. It has 445 kcal/cup. It contains DHA for good brain and eye development. This food does have oatmeal, barley, and rice if your Basset Hound puppy can eat these grains. And it has the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus for a puppy’s bone development. The first five ingredients in this puppy food are: chicken meal, whitefish meal, oatmeal, ground barley, and ground brown rice.

We hope this information helps you choose the best food for your Basset Hound. Remember that the foods recommended here are only suggestions. Every dog is an individual. There are many good foods that your dog might be able to eat. You can use these recommendations as a starting point. Check our dog food reviews here on Pawster for more ideas

Carlotta Cooper

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