What’s not to love about those droopy eyes and long, floppy ears? Basset hounds have a way of digging themselves into your heart, and even though they can weigh up to 65 pounds, they make excellent cuddle buddies.
Basset Hounds were bred to hunt and stay active. With a nose that picks up scents second only to the bloodhound, this breed is big on food. Unfortunately, too much food and too little exercise will leave your Basset obese and at risk of serious health issues. You can keep them healthy and in shape by feeding them nutritious, high-quality dog food.
We’ve made things a bit easier for you and listed some of the best dog foods for your Basset according to their age and size—all you’ve got to do is stay strong and don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes when it comes to mealtime!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Foood||
||Click to save 50%|
|Best Value||American Journey Active Dog Food||
|Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Food||
|Purina ONE SmartBlend Dog Food||
The 11 Best Dog Foods for Basset Hounds
1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Turkey Recipe Subscription – Best Overall
Our top overall choice of dog foods for Basset Hounds is the turkey recipe from The Farmer’s Dog. This fresh, human-grade dog food features high-quality ingredients like turkey, chickpeas, and spinach and is backed by both veterinarians and the AAFCO.
We especially like the ability to customize recipes to your dog’s specific dietary needs, and the turkey recipe is both appealing to dogs and easy on their stomachs. In addition, fresh dog food will never be too hard for your dog to chew, unlike many types of kibble so you know this is a food choice that you can feel good about for years to come!
The only downside is that this is a subscription service that may not suit everyone’s lifestyle. But we think it actually. makes the food better to have the added convenience of being shipped right to your door! That’s why we think this is the best dog food for Basset Hound on the market this year!
2. American Journey Active Life Dry Dog Food – Best Value
|Caloric Content:||3,496 kcal/kg or 344 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||No corn, wheat, or soy, high in protein, contains grain|
The American Journey Active Life Dry Dog Food may be more affordable than most other dog foods, but it doesn’t lack in quality. The first ingredient in this product is beef, ensuring that your Basset receives the protein and minerals they need for an active lifestyle and strong muscles.
The brand is fairly new on the market but has already created a positive and trustworthy name for itself. American Journey produces kibble full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without the use of by-products, and aids in the nutritional and balanced diet necessary for your Basset’s development.
You can expect to find excellent ingredients in this product, including fish oil, sweet potato, fiber, and brown rice—great for energy and healthy digestion. Your Basset will eat this delicious blend enthusiastically; however, they may prefer a bigger kibble size as this kibble is around the size of a green pea. It is also important to monitor your pooch with this food as it may affect sensitive tummies.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
|Caloric Content:||394 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||Suitable for dogs with sensitive digestion, high in fiber, contains grain|
A premium dog food that is recommended by vets, well-known, and has been the solution for many Basset owners, is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food. Although this dry dog food is expensive, it could be the difference between a frustrated and itchy basset and a happy, carefree one.
In comparison, the Science Diet is much cheaper than many other available premium dog foods and yet offers the same excellent ingredients needed for a well-balanced diet, and aids in digestion. Hill’s also genuinely cares for dogs and supports many shelters, proving to be a brand worth supporting.
Many bassets struggle with itchy and sensitive skin, and if this is true for your sniffer dog, try them on this proven dog food. Many customers claim that their dog’s sensitivities cleared up within two weeks of trying out Hill’s Science Diet. The same can be said about dogs with sensitive stomachs that are prone to vomiting.
You can choose a grain-inclusive or grain-free option when purchasing this dog food. However, some fillers and artificial flavors have been used in the kibble.
4. Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Recipe – Best for Puppies
|Caloric Content:||3,764 kcal/kg, or 414 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||Free from gluten, corn, wheat, chicken, and soy|
If you’re looking for the best puppy food for basset hounds, the Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Recipe is an incredible kibble to start your pup on for healthy growth and development. This product contains turkey, salmon, and duck, and is loaded with over 20 superfoods, making it full of nutrients and everything your basset pup needs.
Not only is it full of the best ingredients, but it is free from grain, wheat, soy, chicken, gluten, corn, and by-products. Only natural plant and animal products and minimal processing are used to make this puppy food. Because it’s packed full of goodness and lacks anything that your puppy doesn’t need, your puppy will be both satisfied and healthy with solid poop and great digestive health. It is an expensive puppy food option, but we think it’s the best puppy food for basset hounds, and we know your pup will agree!
5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice
|Caloric Content:||3,993 kcal/kg, 383 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||Natural ingredients, high in protein, grains|
If you’re looking for affordable dog food that offers all the quality of a premium brand, Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Dog Food is the product for you!
This yummy kibble is packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Many vets recommend it due to the extensive testing this brand has done to achieve the healthiest and tastiest results for your Basset.
With your Basset lapping up this kibble, you can expect to see a healthier coat and skin. Your Basset’s immune system, heart, and muscles will greatly benefit from this product, as well as their metabolism.
Due to the tasty, real chicken chunks in this product, mealtime will feel like treat time for your Basset Hound and will even appeal to your picky eater. You won’t even have to add wet food for the added taste—as most dogs will dig right in. Although Purina ONE SmartBlend is suitable for all breed sizes, some kibbles may be a bit big and difficult for your Basset to woof down.
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Evolution Diet Duck Dog Food
|Caloric Content:||3,596 kcal/kg, or 416 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||High in protein and free from wheat, corn, and soy.|
With ingredients consisting of deboned duck, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates from cranberries, blueberries, and carrots, we can assure you that Blue Buffalo Wilderness Evolution Diet Duck Dog Food is a good choice for your Basset.
The specific ingredients in this delicious dog food were used to build your Basset’s muscles while keeping them lean and at low risk for obesity.
Only natural ingredients are used in this dog food, and it contains no added preservatives. However, it has a strong smell that might be a bit overwhelming for some people—dogs love it, though! Within two weeks of switching to this food, most dogs develop a softer and shinier coat and experience more energy and less gas.
Unfortunately, the dog food packaging isn’t resealable, and you may need to use a clip or pour it out into a resealable container to maintain its freshness—and trap in that potent smell!
7. ACANA Free-Run Poultry Recipe Raw Dog Food
|Caloric Content:||3,475 kcal/kg, or 396 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||Natural and raw|
ACANA is another premium dog food that is hands-on with its products. Something we love about the ACANA Free-Run Poultry Recipe Raw Dog Food is that they use the same group of trusted farmers and fishers for all their products, which means you know exactly where the protein chunks and ingredients in your Basset’s food come from. Another unique feature in the making of this food is that ACANA cooks all its dog food in its Kentucky kitchen—the company is physically a part of every step of the process.
ACANA’s products contain high-quality proteins without any unnecessary additives. It freezes fresh ingredients to lock in all the goodness, and your dog will lap up the flavor. The company also blends in nutritious raw fruit and vegetables that are full of fiber, and you’ll see an improvement in your dog’s poop.
To keep things interesting, ACANA has a variety of recipes for your Basset to try out, which are made up of poultry, meats, or fish. Once again, you’ll need to watch those portion sizes with your Basset as the food has got a high crude fat content, at 17%. With this being a premium option, you’re going to pay a high price.
8. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Caloric Content:||3,750 kcal/kg, or 425 kcal/cup|
Taste of the Wild has looked at nature and created recipes accordingly, giving you the reassurance that what your Basset Hound is eating is natural and made up of the same ingredients their ancestors would’ve gained their nutrients and energy from.
Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food’s first ingredient is real duck, aiding in strong, lean muscles. There are no fillers added, and it contains active probiotics for a healthy gut.
The crude protein is quite high at 32.0% due to the first three ingredients all being protein sources. Although this product has everything your Basset needs, you will need to watch their portion sizes as they’ll gain weight quickly if you’re not careful, with the crude fat content at 18%.
Regardless, Taste of the Wild Wetlands is an affordable option and a great nutrient-dense meal for your Basset Hound to enjoy.
9. Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food
|Caloric Content:||3,579 kcal/kg, or 379 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||Free from corn, wheat, soy, and gluten|
Another great dog food for Basset Hounds is the Merrick Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food. 65% of the food is made up of protein and fats, and the other 35% consists of vitamins and minerals. This balanced diet provides your dog with healthy muscles, joints, weight, skin and coat, and digestion. You’ll notice the spring in your dog’s step after only a few bowls of this product.
The first ingredient in this food is real beef, and with sweet potato as the carbohydrate instead of grains, this dog food will aid in digestion. Bassets can suffer from joint and hip problems and require glucosamine and chondroitin, which is what the Merrick Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato Recipe contains. The kibble is a bit small, though, and the new formula doesn’t appeal to some dogs.
10. Pedigree High Protein Beef & Lamb Flavor Dog Food
|Caloric Content:||3,417 kcal/kg, or 315 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||High in protein and contains grains|
This Pedigree High Protein Beef & Lamb Flavor Dog Food is on the lower-priced side of dog food. Its kibble is the right size for any breed, whether it’s small, medium, or large. It offers high protein and has no added sugars.
Although it’s low priced, it comes packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omegas to provide your Basset with a good dose of nutrients at every meal. Pedigree offers various kibble flavors, wet food, and dental care. Start your Basset on a bag of Pedigree and watch them gobble it up, increase in energy, boast a shiny coat, and build strong, lean muscles that will support their short structure.
With this cheaper range, you’re not going to experience the same high-quality ingredients found in premium products, but it’s full of nutrition and an excellent option for non-sensitive Bassets.
11. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Dog Food
|Caloric Content:||3,742 kcal/kg, or 441 kcal/cup|
|Special Diet:||Free from grain and gluten, and high in protein|
The Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Dog Food is good dog food; however, there are many other high-quality dog foods on this list for a more affordable price.
This product contains around 85% animal-based proteins and has a high crude protein content of 33.0%. It has turkey as its first ingredient, along with a few other protein-rich ingredients. It doesn’t contain any egg, chicken, or grain, and it’s also gluten-free.
Instead of grain being used as an energy source, chickpeas and sweet potatoes are used and this dog food is easy on your Basset’s stomach, resulting in firm stools. No vitamins or oils need to be added to your Basset’s diet as this dog food has it all. However, it does produce quite a strong, unpleasant smell.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds
Although Bassets are short dogs, if you’ve ever tried to pick one up, you’ll know that they hold quite a weight! In fact, regardless of their short stature, these dogs are considered a large breed—and require the correct food for their size.
However, feeding your Basset too much food will lead to obesity, which will lower their lifespan and put them at risk for many health issues. To feed your Basset the right number of calories per day, you need to take their weight, age, and lifestyle into consideration. There are many dog calorie calculators available that will give you an estimation of how much food is right for your dog, but we recommend talking to your vet to help you properly care for your dog’s needs.
Look out for these points when choosing food for Basset Hounds:
Nutrition and Diet
Basset Hounds have small structures that can often take strain from their weight, especially if they’re leaning more on the heavy side. It’s vital to feed your Basset a diet with high protein, fats, and calcium to protect their sensitive bones and joints. High protein is necessary to build strong muscles, a healthier coat, skin, nails, and immune system, and provide your Basset with the energy they need.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a crude protein content of 18% for adult Bassets and 22.5% for Basset puppies. They also highlight that the crude fat content should only be around 5.5% for adults and 8.5% for pups. When buying dog food, it’s important to look at the crude fat and protein content, as many products have higher percentages than the recommended number.
Your Basset also needs a few carbs in their diet. Bassets without sensitive stomachs can have food products containing fiber and grains. But if they struggle with sensitivities, foods containing brown rice or sweet potato will be just as good.
Make sure that the dog food you buy contains beneficial supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics.
As cute as a Basset’s short legs are, it’s actually caused by a genetic condition called achondroplasia, which is a type of dwarfism. Due to this condition, your Basset may experience arthritic problems, dysplasia, and is more prone to obesity. If you maintain your Basset’s healthy weight, they are less likely to experience these health problems and can go on to live long and happy lives.
Basset Hounds also commonly have food sensitivities, so it’s important to get the correct food that agrees with their bodies. Stay away from grains as they may make your basset bloat and have gas which is uncomfortable and painful. However, sensitive digestive food is a lot more expensive and is only necessary if your Basset needs it. Otherwise, regular and cheaper well-balanced dog food will be just fine.
Making an informed decision will benefit your dog. When buying your Basset Hound their food, make sure to look at the ingredients, as well as the crude fat and protein percentages. Depending on your dog’s sensitivity, also make sure your dog’s food is free from too many grains.
Also, take note of the first three ingredients. They should be made up of healthy, high-quality, digestible, real protein. The first ingredients are your Basset’s top priority.
In summary, we suggest getting The Farmer’s Dog if you’re looking for the overall best food for your Basset. It has all the important ingredients for a healthy and well-balanced diet. If you’re looking for the most affordable Basset Hound dog food that still has enough nutrients, American Journey Active Life is the answer.
Lastly, we suggest Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Recipe as the best puppy food for Basset Hounds. The kibble is small and easily digestible and also packed with all the nutrients your growing puppy needs.
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Featured Image Credit: Dr. Alan Lipkin, Shutterstock