Basset Hounds are charm-your-socks-off kind of pups, with their large, floppy ears, short legs, and long bodies. These dogs are scent hounds, with a nose superior to most dogs, let alone humans.
Basset Hounds are currently ranked as number 40 on the AKC’s popularity list. They might not look it, but they can get up to speeds of 10 mph. Even this speed can be surprising with their little legs.
To maintain all that speed and stature, a Basset Hound needs the right nutrition. These dogs struggle quite a bit with obesity, and over-feeding them or under-exercising them is detrimental to their overall health.
Since they are such a low-key pup, they might need extra motivation to get off the couch. It is easier to control your dog’s diet, though. Check out our list of the top 11 dog foods for Basset Hounds. Also, learn more about their nutritional needs in the buyer’s guide.
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The 11 Best Dog Foods for Basset Hounds
1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food — Best Overall
If you’re looking for the best possible food for your dog, there’s no reason to look any further than Ollie. It only uses the highest quality dog food in its recipes, and the meals are pre-portioned specifically for your dog.
It’s more expensive compared to traditional kibble, but the health benefits for your dog more than make up for it. Ollie also takes any potential allergies into consideration when coming up with your dog’s meal plan, which is a huge perk for many pet owners.
If you are trying to keep the cost down, Ollie also offers a baked or mixed meal plan so you can still feed your dog the best of the best. You can get a significant discount on your first order, so try it out and see why it’s the best dog food for basset hounds.
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food — Best Value
Blue Buffalo is well-known for being a leading health brand. The formula for this dog food starts with real meat sources, along with whole grains and fresh garden vegetables and fruits. The first ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice.
Flaxseed is a source of both omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Each formula in the Blue Buffalo catalog includes LifeSource Bits. These are precise blends of nutrients that are essential to every dog’s health. They are then enhanced with a Super 7 set of antioxidants that work to support a healthy immune system.
Your Basset Hound can find a well-rounded diet and a satisfying taste all in one bowl. Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula has a crude protein level of 20% and a crude fat rate of 9%. The fiber is up to 10% to make digestion smoother. To top it all off, this is the best dog food for Basset Hounds for the money.
3. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Dry Dog Food — Best for Puppies
Even in a breed like a Basset Hound that tends to have more dietary requirements, puppies have even more. They are in an essential growing stage of life and need increased amounts of protein and fat to grow strong.
CANIDAE makes the best dry dog food for puppies with their simple, wholesome recipe. It is formulated with only nine main ingredients that include proteins, vegetables, and plenty of nutrients. It does not have any corn, soy, wheat, or artificial ingredients.
After cooking, the recipe is fortified with its HealthPLUS blend. This mix includes probiotics, antioxidants, and plenty of omega-3s and -6s. The food has a standard of at least 30% crude protein, 12% crude fat, and a maximum of 4% crude fiber.
4. Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance L.I.D. brings a bowl full of natural, nutritious ingredients to the table. This dog food is grain-free, perfect for the many Basset Hounds that struggle with digestive issues.
It has a formula with a limited ingredients list, including only a select few proteins and carbohydrate sources. Doing so keeps it simple for dogs that suffer from food allergies. The food also contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids derived from flaxseed to nourish the skin and maintain a shiny coat.
Sweet potatoes and venison are the first ingredients on the list. The crude protein is high enough at 20% for those strong pups with plenty of muscle mass, like the Basset Hound. The crude fat level is 10%, which is perhaps a little high for a Basset Hound, and fiber is 5%.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild crafts its dog food with a recipe that is as nature intended it, full of natural ingredients that dog’s ancestors would eat in the wild. This is why all its formulas exclude grains. Instead, there are peas and sweet potatoes that pack the carbohydrate punch.
Buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal serve as the first three ingredients on the list. These are all protein sources, so the crude protein level is quite high at 32%.
The crude fat content is also relatively high, at 18%. This might be too much for dog breeds like the Basset Hound, which struggle with obesity if they are not active enough.
Otherwise, the recipe includes everything that a dog could need for a balanced diet that is easily digestible. It means plenty of omega-3s and -6s and nutrient-dense kibble bits.
6. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
American Journey has a goal of fueling your dog wherever their next adventure takes them. This chicken and sweet potato recipe is another grain-free option for pups with sensitive stomachs.
The first ingredient on the list is deboned chicken, followed by chicken meal and turkey meal. Altogether, the food has a high level of protein at 34%. It makes it an appropriate choice for active pups with plenty of muscle mass to feed.
The crude fat content is a bit high if your Basset Hound doesn’t get enough exercise. However, an active life is the goal when feeding them this food. They will receive their vitamins and nutrients with wholesome fruits and veggies.
7. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Merrick offers a grain-free formula made with whole foods that the company directly sources from trusted farmers. It is the cause behind the name of the formula, Beef & Sweet Potato. The first ingredients are deboned beef, lamb meal, and salmon meal.
Instead of using grains like wheat, corn, or soy, Merrick uses sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas for its carbohydrate mix. Glucosamine and chondroitin are added into the mix through healthy sources to promote the function of healthy hips and joints, which is valuable for a Basset Hound.
This kibble is entirely poultry-free and grain-free, a positive for pups with difficult-to-manage food sensitivities. The adult blend has a high crude protein level of 34% and a crude fat level of 15%.
8. American Natural Premium Original Recipe Dry Dog Food
American Natural Premium Dog Food offers a diet that targets healthy nutrition and maximum digestibility. It has a specialized ingredients list, featuring a mixture of chicken meal, pork meal, fish meal, and whole eggs. However, for premium food, you do pay a premium price.
Each piece of kibble has high palatability that makes it easier to chew and digest. The formula adds probiotics after cooking to promote this even further and give strength to the immune system.
Each bag is cooked in small batches and at low temperatures for more extended periods to maintain the nutrients’ chemical viability in the mix. Brown rice, oat, and barley flour give your pup a slow release of consistent energy throughout their day.
9. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Instinct crafts its formula with a limited amount of ingredients. It makes it easier for a dog with allergies or sensitivities to digest. You can have a better idea about what the food has in it and how it could affect your pup.
The single animal protein included in this food is real lamb that is freeze-dried and then raw coated onto the kibble pieces of the dog food. There is also only one vegetable, peas. The whole thing is made entirely in the U.S.A. using products exclusively sourced from the best.
Instinct’s formula includes 24% crude protein and a whopping 21.5% crude fat. These levels make it a good food for developing puppies or highly active dogs, but not lazy Basset Hounds. They guarantee at least a 0.8% level of omega-3 fatty acids and a 2.1% minimum of omega-6 fatty acids.
10. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
Wellness crafts its formula with purpose and a goal to satisfy the needs of sensitive dogs with food allergies. Its diet dog food uses limited ingredients to keep it simple for these pups. This is why the brand does not use any wheat, soy, corn, gluten, or any kind of artificial ingredients.
The mix’s key ingredients include high-quality lamb, then lamb meal, oatmeal, peas, and ground rice. The sans-gluten carbohydrate sources are meant to be easier to digest, allowing more comfort for your dog after each meal.
Crude protein levels in this food sit at a satisfying high at 21%. The fat content is about average, at 12% minimum. Crude fiber levels are 4.75%, making it digestible for your hungry pups. All products are sourced from the U.S.A., except for the green tea extract/mixed tocopherols. These are sourced from China but only make up a small portion of the recipe.
11. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food
Nulo crafts its Freestyle recipe with turkey and sweet potatoes. It includes about 85% animal-based proteins with a crude protein level of a 33% minimum. The first three ingredients testify to this, including turkey, turkey meal, and salmon meal.
This recipe is entirely grain-free, getting its carbohydrates from sources like chickpeas and sweet potatoes. It makes it a diet with a low glycemic index for pups that need to focus on their blood sugar. These premium ingredients and purpose do add up to a premium price in the end.
Digestibility is still a focus for this company. Therefore, the formula is enhanced with probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids are at a guaranteed 0.5% minimum and omega-6s at a 2.75% minimum.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds
Basset Hounds should typically weigh between 45 to 75 pounds. Males are often heavier than females, but not by much. They stand anywhere from 11 to 15 inches tall from the shoulder. For their relative height, they manage to pack on quite a bit of weight.
Basset Hounds are considered a dwarf breed because they have such low body frames. This doesn’t mean that they are a proportionally small dog, just shorter.
Nutrition and Diet
If you can find a food with increased glucosamine and chondroitin levels, it helps fortify their bones and joints. Make sure the producer has paid attention to the balance of calcium and phosphorus. It should be around a 1.2 to 1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
These pups need a daily caloric count averaging at 1,740 calories. It is the recommended level by the Nation Research Council of the National Academies. Make adjustments for your pup, such as lower amounts for dogs that have been spayed and neutered and higher levels for those that are very active or younger than a year old.
We focused on protein and fat levels because they are important for Basset Hounds, as for many dog breeds. It is recommended to give your pups between 18% and 22% protein if they have average activity levels.
Basset hounds need around 8% fat in their daily diets. Most foods include slightly more than this, but if there’s too much more, you could see unhealthy weight gain in your dog.
Common Health Issues
Their short height and leg formation gives them a tendency toward dysplasia and arthritis, especially at their elbow joints.
Getting food that helps not only satisfy their nutritional needs but fortifies their bodies is essential for these dogs. They also have genetic predispositions for food sensitivities. For this reason, many of the foods on our list have limited-ingredient recipes for dogs with allergies.
This breed is also prone to bloat, which can cause painful stomach twists and life-threatening symptoms. It is more common in breeds like the Basset Hound with deep chests. It is important to feed them several small meals to avoid this and not push them into heavy exercise immediately following a meal. Avoid foods with citric acid as well.
If your pup continues to struggle with bloating, try cutting out ingredients such as brewer’s yeast, soybeans, and lentils. These have been correlated to the symptoms of bloat in highly sensitive dogs.
- Related Read: Best Dog Joint and Hip Supplement
When you are shopping around for new dog food to begin feeding your dog, look for a brand that includes healthy protein sources in the first three ingredients. It is better if there is not a grain or carbohydrate listed in the first three because this means it is included in heavy, somewhat unhealthy amounts.
Don’t only check out the proposed percentage of crude fat in the diet. Check the ingredient list to ensure that it comes from good sources. An example of this would be a named fat, such as chicken fat or beef fat. Ingredients like fish oil also supply fat, as well as omega-3s.
Try to avoid ingredients that are not natural, especially artificial preservatives. These could include BHA, ethoxyquin, and BHT. Sweeteners are unnecessary in a dog’s diet.
If you want to feed a Basset Hound puppy, keep an eye out for DHA. It is a vital supplement to encourage proper brain and vision development.
By feeding your pup the number-one Ollie Fresh Dog Food, you give them a well-rounded diet that meets and exceeds many of the criteria listed above. If you need an option that satisfies both them and your pocketbook, look into Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food.
Basset Hounds can be fussy eaters with a long list of sensitivities and “extra” dietary requirements compared to other breeds. However, it doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there. It might just take time trying to find them.
We hope that with our list of the top 10 foods for Basset Hounds, you can take a massive step toward nailing their diet and satisfying their taste buds.
Featured Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock