Healthy Eating for a Basset Hound

Healthy Eating for a Basset Hound

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Feed your Basset Hound properly and make sure you give them small meals throughout the day in order to avoid health problems. Learn more about how to feed your hound here.

Basset hounds are short, heavy-bodied dogs with large, floppy ears that almost reach the ground. These dogs have many health concerns, such as weight gain and bloat, but you can help them by feeding them properly and dividing their food into several small meals instead of giving them a single large feeding each day. They will also benefit from avoiding exercise for about an hour after eating, as this may be linked to bloat, which is often fatal. Monitor your dogโ€™s weight on a regular basis, and adjust the amount you are feeding if your dog appears to be getting too heavy.

Dry Kibble

Basset hounds will thrive on a diet of quality dry kibble, as long as it contains all the protein, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients dogs require. Bassets have a tendency to put on weight fairly easily. Check food labels to look for a kibble that is rich in protein and includes nutrients like fiber, but does not contain a lot of grains or fillers, such as corn or wheat. These products add calories and bulk to the food, but provide minimal nutritional benefits for dogs. Feed your basset according to the instructions on the dog food bag, using the lowest recommended amount for your dogโ€™s weight, since most bassets are relatively sedentary.

Natural Diets

Owners who wish to feed their dogs an all-natural diet often choose the BARF diet. The acronym stands for biologically appropriate raw food, sometimes also called the bones and raw food diet. Some dog owners use this diet as a way of coming as close as possible to the dogโ€™s natural diet in the wild. The diet consists of about 80 percent raw bones and meat, with the rest made up of ground fruits and vegetables. This type of diet can be hard to get just right, so to make sure your basset hound stays healthy, add a balanced canine vitamin supplement every day. Since the diet requires the handling of raw meat, always use the same level of hygiene that you would use for your own food, keeping meats refrigerated until they are used, and washing hands, utensils and counters with hot, soapy water after you prepare your dogโ€™s meals.


Treats can be a part of healthy eating for your basset hound, but you must pay attention to the type and quantity of the treats you provide to your dogs. Avoid snacks that have a lot of empty calories and very little nutrition, since these wonโ€™t contribute anything to your dogโ€™s health. Instead, feed boiled liver or chicken cut into cubes, or low-calorie commercial treats. Some bassets will eat carrots, cut-up apples (no seeds) or ice cubes as a treat. Experiment with your basset to see what they will eat. Never give your dog foods such as chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, raisins or avocados as treats, because these are toxic to dogs and can cause your basset hound to become ill. Too much of these foods can even kill a dog.


Weight gain in basset hounds can be a serious problem, even if the dogs are not technically obese. Even a small amount of extra weight can cause stress on the your dog's back, legs and hips because of the basset hound's bone structure. Big bellies can also be a serious problem for these low-slung dogs, since they may end up dragging on the ground. This can be a major issue especially for males, because it can lead to open sores and infections. It is essential that owners control how much their dogs eat to protect them from the difficulties associated with being overweight. Donโ€™t give bassets a lot of treats or table scraps, as these can lead to obesity or digestive problems for these dogs.

Hereโ€™s How to Care for Your Basset Hound

A Basset Hound may look like this tiny, sad dog that is perennially depressed but its real nature is just the opposite of that. Basset Hounds are known to be very even-tempered and affectionate. They usually like being around people and bond very easily with kids and also with other pets. Despite that sad-looking face, it is a very friendly and happy-go-lucky breed.

The average life span of a healthy Basset Hound is about 12 years. As with most breeds of dogs, the Basset Hound too needs some special care and attention for a healthy and active life. Since you, as a pet parent, are responsible for your dogโ€™s overall well-being, here are a few tips that will help you care for your Basset Hound better.

Keep in check

Basset Hounds were originally bred as hunting dogs and have a powerful sense of smell. They can catch any scent and start following it out of instinct. But leaving your dog to follow every scent it wants to may be risky as it might get lost and Basset Hounds are not very good at finding their way back home. So, keep your dog on a leash or let it play around in an enclosed area so that it cannot escape into the streets, for its safety.

Keep it away from pools

Due to its short legs, the Basset Hound is not a very good swimmer. So, donโ€™t let your dog near a swimming pool or any other water body, unattended.

Engage in activity

Although Basset Hounds require lesser exercise than most other breeds of dogs, yet their chances of getting obese are quite high. To avoid this, engage your dog in moderate activity daily. You can take it for a walk and keep plenty of toys in the room to play with at other times. You can also let it use its sense of smell to keep it active by hiding some treats in the yard or in the room for your dog to sniff and find.

Maintain a healthy diet

Since a Basset Houndโ€™s level of activity is low, it should be given a limited and well-balanced diet to avoid obesity. Do not give your dog too many treats or table scraps, as these extra treats may make it gain pounds gradually.

Visit the vet and the groomer

 Basset Hounds are prone to certain breed-specific illnesses like glaucoma, disc problems, and elbow dysplasia. It is important to schedule regular appointments with the vet to ensure that your dog is healthy and take care of any illness at an early stage. Also, grooming is very important for this breed of dog. They have an oily coat which requires them to be bathed frequently. Also cleaning its ears, teeth and trimming its nails is important for overall health.

More on Dog Nutrition

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Your Dog Food Questions Answered

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