Food Suggestions for Your Basset Hound
Like other breeds, some bassets do best with a grain-free diet. We find this to be the case more often with hounds who suffer from allergies – a grain-free diet is believed to help cut down on the itching that can plague these dogs during allergy season.
When changing your hound’s diet, we recommend a gradual transition. Take 10-14 days and start with more of the old food (e.g., start with a ratio of ¼ of the new food to ¾ of the old food, and replace more of the old with new every few days). If your basset experiences any soft stool, add a tablespoon of mashed sweet potato or unsweetened pumpkin puree. This aids digestion and helps firm the stool. Sometimes you won’t know or have access to what kind of food your new basset was previously eating – when this is the case, we recommend adding some sweet potato or pumpkin puree to their food for a few days to aid with digestion.
When it comes to dog food, we do not recommend specific brands. Different brands are more prevalent in different areas or grocery/pet stores, and price points are different and more or less practical for some families than others. Instead, when selecting a food for your hound, we think it’s better that pet parents focus on ingredients. Do your best to avoid feeding your dog foods that contain wheat, corn, or “by-products” (remember the “pink slime” meat by-product? It’s just as icky for dogs as it is for us!). Of course, avoid feeding your dog foods that contain anything on the “Toxic to Dogs” list below. We recommend examining the labels of foods you are considering for your dog. Ensure that meat (protein, not necessarily beef specifically) is one of the first three ingredients. Try to avoid the things mentioned above. Additionally, some of the things that it’s best for humans to avoid are also wise for dogs to avoid – polyhydrogenated oils, dyes, excessive sugar or carbohydrates, etc. These guidelines hold for wet or raw foods as well as dry foods.
If you want, or if it becomes necessary, to provide your hound with a home-cooked diet, we have found Balance It to be a useful source for ensuring that all nutrients, vitimins, and supplements are accounted for.