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The Basset Hound is an easily identifiable breed because it has a long, thick body and short stubby legs. This dog is also known for its hunting ability and its long, floppy ears. The Basset Hound is one of six Basset breeds that come from France and it was originally bred to hunt small prey by following its scent. The scenting ability of the Basset Hound is second only to the Bloodhound, another scent hound breed.
Basset Hounds are not just excellent hunters – they also make great family pets because they are friendly and low-maintenance. The Basset Hound doesn’t require a great deal of exercise and its short coat is easy to keep up. These dogs were bred to be pack animals so they get along well with other dogs as well as humans and other pets. If you have a Basset Hound, make sure to feed him a high-quality diet to keep him in good health. Below you will learn the basics about the nutritional needs for Basset Hounds – you will also learn about some special considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog. You will also receive recommendations for three top-quality commercial dog food products that would be ideal for your Basset Hound.
Nutritional Needs for Basset Hounds
The Basset Hound is technically a large-breed dog since it weighs more than 50 pounds at maturity, but it only measures about 14 inches tall. The short stature of this breed is due to a genetic form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. Although the Basset Hound is a heavy breed, it sees itself as a lap dog and it loves to lay around on the couch with its human companions. Because this breed has a fairly low activity level you need to be careful about what you feed it – too many calories can easily lead to obesity in this breed. The best way to make sure your dog gets the nutrients he needs without going overboard on calories is to feed him a commercial dog food diet formulated for large-breed dogs.
When it comes to the nutritional needs of your Basset Hound you have three main things to consider – protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Protein is the most important consideration in a dog’s diet because it supports lean muscle mass as well as the growth and development of healthy tissue. Protein for dogs should come from animal-based sources like fresh meat, fish, and eggs. Plant-based proteins like pea protein and alfalfa are less biologically valuable than animal-based proteins so they should only be supplemental protein sources in your choice of dog food. Meat meals are a valuable addition to dog food because they have already been cooked down to a low moisture level which means that they are a highly concentrated source of protein.
In addition to protein, your Basset Hound needs a moderate amount of healthy fats in his diet. Fats are the most highly concentrated form of energy available to dogs and they also help to support your dog’s immune system as well as his skin and coat. Fats should come from animal-based sources like chicken fat and fish oil rather than plant-based sources like flaxseed and canola oil. Look for a dog food that provides a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The third nutritional consideration for dogs is carbohydrate. Dogs do not have specific needs for carbohydrates but they do provide dietary fiber to support healthy digestion as well as various vitamins and minerals. Look for digestible carbohydrates like whole oats and brown rice as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Special Considerations for Feeding Basset Hounds
The Basset Hound may be a large-breed dog, but its short stature and low energy level puts it at risk for obesity – for this reason, you need to be very careful about what and how much you feed your dog. Feeding your dog a large-breed formula is a good idea because these diets are formulated with moderate amounts of protein and fat to support lean muscle mass without providing too many extra calories. Be sure to follow the feeding recommendations on the dog food package, keeping in mind that Basset Hounds are at the low end of the spectrum for large-breed dogs. If your Basset Hound starts to gain weight you may need to cut back on his portions a little bit. If he loses weight, you can feed him a little bit more.
Although the Basset Hound isn’t one of the largest breeds out there, it does have a very deep chest and this puts it at risk for gastric dilation volvulus. This condition occurs when the dog’s belly becomes filled with air and the stomach actually twists on its axis, cutting of blood flow to the stomach and other vital organs. This condition is very dangerous and can actually be fatal if you do not seek treatment right away. To protect your Basset Hound from this condition, make sure he doesn’t eat too much at once and avoid vigorous exercise and large volumes of water after eating. Basset Hounds are also prone to food allergies, so you may want to feed your dog a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) made with a novel source of protein and a limited number of ingredients. To identify which ingredient your dog is allergic to, feed him an LID for 12 weeks or until all signs of the allergy disappear. Then reintroduce potential allergens one at a time until you identify the culprit. Then just make sure your dog’s diet is free from this ingredient for the long-term.
Top-Recommended Foods for Basset Hounds
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Basset Hound, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Addiction Le Lamb Grain-Free Dog Food
The Addiction pet food company was founded in 2002 by a holistic veterinary surgeon so you can rest assured that all of the products offered by this company are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your Basset Hound. This company follows a new approach to pet nutrition, providing natural diets that are formulated around premium proteins and high-quality game meats. The Addiction Le Lamb Grain-Free Dog Food formula is an example of this philosophy, made with lamb meal and fish meal for protein and supplemented with chicken fat and fish oil. This formula also contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and tapioca to make sure your dog gets the dietary fiber he needs as well as essential vitamins and minerals. The Addiction Le Lamb Grain-Free Dog Food is also supplemented with antioxidants, probiotics, and a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
2. Artemis Fresh Mix Adult Dog Formula
The Artemis pet food company is devoted to providing holistic nutrition for dogs and cats in all life stages. This company offers a variety of products made with high-quality and natural ingredients to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met. What makes the Artemis pet food company unique is the fact that it offers dog foods formulated for medium-sized dogs as well as small- and large-breed dogs. The Basset Hound is technically a large-breed dog by weight, but it is at the low end of the spectrum so a medium breed formula is perfect. The Artemis Fresh Mix Adult Dog Formula is made with chicken, chicken meal, and turkey as the top three ingredients so you can rest assured that it will provide for your dog’s protein needs – it is also supplemented with chicken fat, flaxseed, and salmon oil to provide a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The Artemis Fresh Mix Adult Dog Formula also contains probiotics for healthy digestion and chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.
3. Blue Buffalo Basics Large-Breed Adult Turkey & Potato Recipe
The Blue Buffalo pet food company is becoming increasingly well-known for producing high-quality natural foods for dogs and cats. All of Blue Buffola’s products are made with the finest quality ingredients without the use of artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes. Blue Buffalo offers four different product lines of dry dog foods – the Life Protection line of natural foods, the Freedom line of grain-free foods, the Basics line of limited ingredient diets, and the Wilderness line of high-protein foods. The Blue Buffalo Basics Large-Breed Adult Turkey & Potato Recipe is a great choice for your Basset Hound for a number of reasons. Not only is it formulated for large-breed dogs, but it is made with a novel source of protein and a limited number of ingredients so it won’t aggravate your dog’s food allergies. This formula is made with deboned turkey, oatmeal, and brown rice as well as turkey meal, fish oil, and canola oil.
Feeding your Basset Hound a healthy diet is the key to keeping him in good health. If you need help choosing a commercial dog food diet for your Basset Hound, consider one of the top-rated brands reviewed above.