Does a Basset Hound need special dog food?

Did you know that the droopy-eyed Basset Hound actually has one of the best senses of smell in the doggie world? Second only to the Bloodhound, these long-eared, short-legged canines can smell scents deeply embedded in the ground and follow a trail for miles!

But guess what? Having super sniffing power comes with a downside. The Basset Hound’s extraordinary sense of smell also means they are drawn to foods and inclined to pack on weight. So now comes the question, “Does a Basset Hound need special dog food?” The answer is not entirely “special”, but careful diet monitoring, portion control, and specific nutritional needs are indeed necessary.

Basset Hounds are generally known as robust and healthy dogs, but they are also prone to health issues associated with being overweight, like joint problems, heart diseases, and even bloat. For that reason, their diet needs to be handled with special care.

Avoiding Overfeeding

Basset hounds may have short legs, but they have enormous appetites! Given a chance, they would eat all day. These dogs don’t know when to stop eating, which makes them prone to obesity.

Portion control is essential to prevent overfeeding. Feed your hound measured meals instead of leaving food out all day. Many dog food brands provide feeding guides in according to dog weight right on the package. Stick to these guidelines, and remember – “less is more.”

Nutrition Needs

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the Basset Hound is, by nature, a slower metabolism breed. Therefore, they need a diet high in quality proteins and low in fats. Feeding them high protein food helps maintain their muscle mass, whereas a low fat diet helps prevent weight gain.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for keeping their immune system healthy. Plus, Basset Hounds are prone to skin conditions, so look for foods with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to nourish their skin and coat.

Grain-Free or Not?

There’s been a lot of talk about whether grain-free food is better for dogs. The truth is, it varies from dog to dog.

Some Basset Hounds have been shown to be intolerant or allergic to certain grains. In such cases, grain-free food is the way to go. However, not all grains are bad. Barley, rice, and oats, for example, are easily digestible grains that can provide your dog with necessary fiber and energy.

Treats and Snacks

Who doesn’t love spoiling their pup? But when it comes to the Basset Hound, it’s wise to limit the number of treats. They can rapidly add excess calories to your dog’s diet, leading to weight gain. When you do give treats, opt for healthier options like carrots or green beans. Even apple slices (without seeds) can be a tasty and healthy treat.

Should I Get Special Dog Food?

While it’s not necessary to buy a ‘special’ Basset Hound specific dog food, it’s essential to buy dog food that caters to their nutritional needs. Weight management, mature, or low-fat dog food varieties might be a better option for Basset Hounds, depending on their weight, age, and activity levels.

Feeding your Basset Hound right isn’t complicated. By monitoring the types and amounts of food they consume, you can ensure a happy, healthy, and full-of-life Basset Hound. Because, in the end, there’s nothing our sweet, loyal, and sometimes stubborn hounds wouldn’t do for us. So, the least we can do is help keep them at their best!

It’s clear that whether it’s a Basset or a Dachshund, every breed has unique characteristics and needs that deserve to be celebrated and cared for. And that applies right down to what’s in their dinner bowl. So feed them with love, care, and respect for their breed’s unique needs, and you’ll have a happy and healthy best friend for life.

In the grand scheme of things, does a Basset Hound need special food? No. What Basset Hounds require is a carefully monitored, nutritional diet that prevents obesity and related health problems. So, here’s to those begging eyes! With the right food and lots of love, your Basset will thrive beautifully for years to come.