A formidable scenting and hunting dog, the Coonhound is a high-energy pooch that needs the best diet possible to stay in tip-top shape and match their fast metabolism and high-energy output.
There are six distinct breeds of Coonhound, the most popular being the Treeing Walker Coonhound. No matter what breed you own, Coonhounds are highly sociable, friendly, and eager-to-please dogs that need a great deal of exercise to stay happy and healthy. This makes protein the most important part of their diet, as it will give them sufficient energy and help them build and maintain muscle mass.
We put together this list of the seven best dog foods we could find that match the specific requirements that your Coonhound needs to thrive.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 8 Best Dog Foods for Coonhounds
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
With a crude protein content of 32%, the High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food from Taste of the Wild will give your dog the high-quality animal-sourced protein that they need and is our top choice overall of food for Coonhounds. A taste of the wild is really what your pooch will get with this food, as it contains novel proteins sourced from bison and buffalo, and it’s a grain-free recipe crammed with highly digestible vegetables, including peas and sweet potatoes. The food is also packed with natural sources of antioxidants and dried chicory root for prebiotic support and optimum digestive function. Essential minerals are chelated with amino acids to improve and optimize their absorption, and the included omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids will provide your pooch with healthy skin and a shiny, silky coat.
Several customers’ dogs had issues with gas and bloating, and some dogs even vomited after switching to this food. This food may not go down well with picky eaters.
2. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Value
The best dog food for Coonhounds for the money is the grain-free dry dog food from American Journey. It contains real deboned salmon as the first ingredient, which is loaded with essential omega fatty acids to give your dog a luxurious coat and healthy skin, as well as quality protein to build and maintain lean muscle mass. With 32% protein content sourced mostly from animal sources, you can be sure your dog is getting the protein they need. The food also contains sweet potato and chickpeas for added energy from highly digestible carbohydrates, and the included carrots, dried kelp, and blueberries will provide essential fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The food is free from grains, wheat, corn, and soy.
This food has given some customers’ dogs loose stool and gas, and the strong salmon smell may put off picky eaters. This keeps American Journey Grain-Free Food from the top spot.
3. Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Beef Mash Recipe – Premium Choice
Nom Nom Beef Mash Dog Food is a premium quality, all-natural food that provides your Coon Hound with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active. This food is made with real beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, and other whole foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nom Nom Beef Mash is also grain-free and free from artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors.
It can be a little pricey and it’s not widely available, so you probably can’t just run out and pick some up after work, but their delivery and subscription service means you’ll never have to worry about that. You can choose how often you want it delivered, and they’ll send you the amount you need based on the number of dogs you have.
4. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
This Purina Pro Plan dry food is our top pick for puppies, and it’s great for adult dogs too! The food contains chicken as the first ingredient as a great source of quality protein and has a 28% crude protein content overall. The addition of DHA from the omega-rich fish oils will give your puppy a lasting shiny and luxurious coat and help aid in their brain development. It also contains live probiotics for a healthy digestive function and to help support their immune health.
Bear in mind that this food contains whole grains, corn gluten, and soybean oil, which some dogs may have adverse reactions to. Several users report that the food gave their puppies soft and loose stools and that the recent recipe change stopped picky eaters from eating it.
5. Purina Pro Plan Adult Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Adult Dry Dog food is made with real chicken as the first ingredient and contains 26% crude protein content. The kibble has a unique twist in that it combines hard, dry kibble blended with tender shredded pieces for a complex texture that will keep your Coonhound coming back for more. The food is infused with live probiotics for optimum gut function and immune health and natural prebiotic fiber to further aid digestion. It is also fortified with vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids for a smooth, shiny coat.
This food contains whole grains, soy, and corn products, which can cause stomach issues in sensitive dogs. The food also breaks up easily, leaving crumbs in the bag that are spread throughout the food, not just at the bottom. Several customers report that the food gave their dogs gas and bloating too.
6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
The Life Protection Formula dry dog food from Blue Buffalo contains deboned lamb and fish meal as the first two ingredients, giving your Coonhound the essential protein and omega fatty acids that they need to thrive. The kibble contains unique LifeSource Bits, a blend of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and chelated minerals to help build a thriving immune system. The food also features added calcium and phosphorus for optimum teeth and bone health, as well as glucosamine to support joint health. It is also free from wheat, corn, soy, and poultry by-products.
Several users report their dogs having digestive issues with this food, including diarrhea and vomiting. Picky eaters and non-picky eaters alike have been reported to turn their nose up to this food too, likely due to the included fish meal.
7. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
The All Stages Dry Dog Food from Diamond Naturals contains cage-free chicken as the first ingredient for a healthy, high-quality protein source and contains 26% crude protein. It is enhanced with “superfoods” like blueberries, kale, and coconut and contains guaranteed live probiotics for optimum digestive support. The included flaxseeds and fish oil will provide your pooch with essential omega fatty acids, and the abundant antioxidants will aid in their overall health and well-being. The food is free from corn and wheat and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Several customers reported that this food gave their dogs diarrhea and gas, as well as bad breath. Picky eaters are not interested in eating it, and some customers even reported increased shedding and hair loss after switching to this food.
8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
You can be sure of high-quality protein for your Coonhound with the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, as it has real chicken as the first ingredient. With natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and cartilage, as well as added vitamins and minerals, the food is perfectly formulated for adult dogs in their prime. The added omega-6 fatty acids will aid in healthy skin and coat, and the antioxidant blend, including vitamins C and E, will build a strong immune system and aid in overall health and wellbeing. The food is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
For dogs with sensitive digestion, bear in mind that this food contains barley, wheat, and corn as the second, third, and fourth ingredients. Several users report that the kibble has a hard texture and that even large powerful breeds had a difficult time eating it. This food is fairly low in protein, with only a 20% crude protein content.
Buyers Guide – Choosing the Best Dog Food for Coonhounds
Coonhounds are active, agile, and high-energy pooches and need a diet that can help them operate at their optimum. While Coonhounds do not have any specific dietary requirements, they are large animals that can weigh 75-100 pounds, depending on the breed. This is why they need a diet rich in high-quality protein, preferably obtained from animal sources.
What to look for
Lean, animal-based protein should always be the first listed ingredient and never be listed as meat by-products. This typically comes from chicken, beef, fish, or more rarely bison.
Next, there should be some form of healthy carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. This is typically in the form of rice, potatoes, carrots, legumes, and sometimes whole grains. Dogs are omnivores that have evolved alongside humans for thousands of years, and these carbohydrates are essential to aid in energy levels, digestive health, and the nervous system. Fruits typically include blueberries that are rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals and aid in overall health.
Another essential ingredient is essential fatty acids omega-3 and 6. These healthy fats will aid in brain function and development and support healthy skin and coat in your Coonhound. Prebiotics and probiotics will aid in digestive health and are often added to the food after cooking to improve their effectiveness. Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential to promote joint and cartilage health, and these are usually found in abundance in healthy lean meats. Calcium is essential for teeth and bone health, and digestible fiber will aid in digestive health and help control your dog’s weight.
What to avoid
The main ingredients to avoid are “filler” ingredients. These are usually included to bulk up the food and don’t offer much in the way of nutrition. They are typically empty calories that will require your dog to eat more food to get adequate nutrition and therefore, will cause unnecessary weight gain. These fillers are usually made from corn, wheat, and soy.
Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives need to be strictly avoided. Artificial flavors serve to make bad food taste palatable and will likely make your Coonhound eat more and eat faster. Meat by-products should also be avoided, as you never really know the source of the meat, which could be from several different animals. These by-products also contain less protein than lean meats, and the protein is of inferior quality. Of course, any kind of refined sugar is a big red flag. These are often found in the form of corn syrup and usually included in dog “treats.”
Coonhounds are known for their sensitive digestion and are fairly susceptible to stomach issues, so grain-free foods are often recommended for this breed. However, all dogs are unique, and there are some concerns around the included potatoes and legumes in grain-free food and their connection to heart disease.
The High Prairie Grain-free Dry Dog Food from Taste of the Wild is our top choice overall of food for your Coonhound. This food contains novel proteins sourced from bison and buffalo, is grain-free and packed with highly digestible vegetables, including peas and sweet potatoes, and has natural sources of antioxidants for prebiotic support and optimum digestive function.
The best dog food for Coonhounds for the money is the grain-free dry dog food from American Journey. It contains real deboned salmon as the first ingredient, sweet potato and chickpeas for added energy, and carrots, dried kelp, and blueberries for essential fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The food is also free from grains, wheat, corn, and soy.
If you have the money and the time, our premium pick goes to Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food Beef Mash recipe. It is made with all natural and real ingredients and is free of grains and artificial preservatives. It is conveniently shipped to your door so you never have to stress about running out of food!
Coonhounds are a big responsibility, and finding the right food for these massive working dogs can be a challenge. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have made it easier for you to find the perfect food for your canine companion.
Featured Image Credit: Heather Barrett, Shutterstock