If your hound is anything like ours, the best times of day for a basset are meal times. Luckily ours is well behaved and knows to hang on until dinner is fully prepared. Once the bowl is down, it’s time to get those ears messy! So what is the best dog food for basset hounds?
There are a number of different solutions. Although your basset will be absolutely fine with dry kibble, there are certain nutritional requirements that need to be met. We’ll go into this in more detail in this article.
What to look for in basset hound foods
Basset Hounds – although short – have dense bones and lots of mass on their stocky frames. As such, they require a good, balanced diet to stay in full health. Their appearance can often be deceiving, bassets are energetic dogs and require a lot of fuel to keep up with their high activity levels.
The National Research Council of the National Academies recommends an average daily caloric intake of 1740 calories for an active adult Basset Hound weighing 70 pounds. (source)
This is a good starting point as a guideline for general intake, but consider that this is spread across a day. There’s also the factor of activity (or inactivity) level to that is involved too.
As with all dogs, your basset will need a good intake of protein to support this stocky stature. For this reason we recommend going for a dog food that contains a high quality of protein.
Protein is essential for building on muscle integrity – a larger percentage of this may be preferential for a growing dog. Most commercial dog foods will go for a standardised amount that will be fine in most cases.
Consider also the quality of the protein too – especially if your hound is particularly active. Protein can come in different forms, which can differ in it’s composition.
As a general rule of thumb, the main meat ingredient should be one of the first on the list of ingredients. It’s not worth skimping on quality in favour of quantity. Opting for quality proteins ensures a long and healthy lifespan.
Keep an eye on the amount of fat that is included within the food as well. Good quality named fats help the foods taste better for your hound as well as assisting with any required weight gain.
What kind of food should I feed my basset hound?
There’s a few options here. It’s generally agreed that the best dog food for basset hounds is dry food or kibble. Personally we like to take of quality dry kibble and mix it in with a little high quality wet food before serving. The combination adds texture and allows us to have some degree of control on the amount of fats and other nutrients that are consumed.
We tend to use wet food sparingly. It functions more as to make it easier to go down, which makes for a better dining experience for the basset and lets you experiment with flavors a little more to help establish what is enjoyed best. Mix it in well with a fork and you’re ready to go.
Adding wet food adds variation and brings in nutrients from different sources of food. Bassets will be okay to eat just kibble, but be sure to check that it contains a lot of protein, carbs, fat and other nutrients that dogs need.
As stated above, it’s more about the quality of the food that you introduce to your basset hound and making sure that all bases are covered in the nutritional requirements.
Natural or cooked diets for basset hounds
Some owners opt for a natural diet, which we don’t really go into here. This one is a bit trickier and costly to get right. It consists mostly of an animal based diet. This is usually cooked by the owner.
We don’t have much information on this but do a search around if this interests you. As with researching any alternative diet for your dog, make sure you consult with your vet. This is especially the case if you are moving to something drastically different such as a home-cooked diet.
Another excellent resource that we became aware of recently was this excellent piece from Your Dog Advisor. If you’re considering a raw meat or natural diet for your basset, there’s a wide array of information available from here.
Personally, we don’t see the need to move on to such a regiment, as there are a wide variety of high quality dog foods available that will meet the needs of your basset hound sufficiently.
There’s a plethora of information available on the web about this subject, so use your best judgement as to whether this is the best solution for your basset.
How much should I feed my basset hound?
The amount you feed your basset hound very depends on the weight, activity level and age. For our basset, we go for the one cup of dried food mixed in with a little bit of wet food. This doesn’t need to be more than quarter to half a can.
Go with however much is needed to maintain a healthy weight. If you see signs of weight gain after switching your basset’s diet, monitor the ingredients contained in the food and make adjustments as appropriate.
Consistency is key, once you’ve come to a diet that works for both yourself and your basset, try and keep it regulated and don’t change it up too often if you can avoid it.
How often should I feed my basset hound?
Bassets require feeding more than once a day. Spreading out over two meals helps to spread out the caloric intake and maintains a good level of energy throughout the day.
Never feed your basset only once per day. If your hound is getting a little on the heavy side, make adjustments according to the caloric content of the food.
Make sure to go for regular meal times and don’t deviate too far from this. Your basset will be sure to let you know when it’s dinner time anyway. A consistent meal plan and schedule will keep your basset in excellent running order.
What should I feed my basset hound puppy?
Basset hound puppies can eat mostly the same as adult hounds. The key here is to scale it down as appropriate depending on the size.
Figure out the basset puppy’s weight and compare this to the portion size suggested above for an idea on how much a pup should be eating.
Regularity should be similar in most cases but your breeder should give you some idea of meal frequency. In the puppy’s younger days, three to four meals in smaller portions are sometimes given.
My basset is eating too fast
When a hound is hungry, they’ll chow down on their food at a fast pace. This often isn’t a sign of anything particularly wrong – they’re enthusiastic dogs and meal times is one of their favorite things.
What you should be aware of is the tendency for bassets to develop bloat. Bloat is a condition that results in a twist in the stomach. There’s not a lot of conclusive research on the causes, but it can occur in dogs with wide chests.
One of the causes supposedly is from eating too fast. If you find your basset is eating at a frantic pace on a regular basis, you may wish to look into a slow feed bowl to solve this.
Other tips and care information
- Be sure that your basset hound has access to clean water all the time.
- Keep food bowls clean, wash after every meal
- Do not feed your basset table scraps or human food
- Allow your basset to feed away from pets/children
The best dog food for basset hounds
We’ve experimented with quite a few different foods for our basset over time and found that there are a few types that stand out to us. Here’s a selection and comments on a few basset hound foods that we’ve tried.
Of course, the flavor will depend on what your basset has a tendency to enjoy, so experiment with a few and see how it gets on. We don’t hear much about fussy bassets, but they definitely appreciate getting their favorites at mealtimes.
Here’s some ideas to get you started – we like these brands in particular. They all offer plenty of options that you can tailor to your basset in the best possible way.
Wellness Core Natural Grain Food
Wellness Core Natural Grain is a solid selection for your hound if you’re looking for something that is wheat free.
The advantage of wheat free is that it can help improve some dietary conditions with your basset, so if you find that your dog has been having some problems, it ‘s well worth looking into a food such as this.
In addition, the high protein content promotes growth. We like this as it’s packed with nutrients and there’s a lot of options available when buying online.
Purina One Smartblend
We go for the chicken based one, our basset reports that it is delicious. Well, she doesn’t report, but she gets through enough of it to suggest it.
We like the quality that is on offer from the Purina SmartBlend from the consistency to the nutrients that are on offer here.
It goes nicely with a wet food and has a good balance of the required proteins for a growing hound.
Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dog Food
This is a good blend of food that features bits that contain a prescribed blend of vitamins that an adult dog will need to stay in full working order.
Blue Wilderness is another grain free brand with high quality ingredients and no by-products, meaning there’s some high quality proteins involved.
Take into consideration the weight of your basset when measuring out this dry food.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slow Feed Interactive Bloat Stop Dog Bowl
If you find that your basset is wolfing down his or her food all the time, a bowl such as this one is highly recommended.
Eating food too fast can lead to some health issues along the line such as bloat.
These bowls make your hound take their time while eating and ensure that meals are both fulfilling and fun at the same time.