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Best Dog Foods For Basset Hounds: Puppies, Adults & Seniors

Looking for the optimal dog food for your Basset Hound? Based on this breed's unique dietary needs, we analyze our favorite brands and formulas for every life stage, including puppies, adults, and seniors.

Emma Braby Picture

Last Updated: January 12, 2023 | 13 min read

Young Basset Hound puppy tucking into a large bowl of dry food

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The Basset Hound is an iconic, long and low dog known for its patient and low-key personality. He is an affectionate family doggo, and sometimes is still used in the field for hunting game and rabbit. But to perform as the Hush Puppy we all know and love, it’s important to fuel his mind and body with the right nutrition.

Here in this nutritional breed guide, we take you through everything you need to know about what to put in his bowl, from what he needs as a puppy all the way through his senior years.

We share what ingredients to look for and what distinguishes a good dog food from a poor one. We have found the best brands and formulas on the market for each life stage. With all the hard analysis complete, all you need to do is pick from our recommendations below.

At A Glance: Our Favorite Foods For The Basset Hound

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food featured
Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Nutro Puppy

The Farmer's Dog Food Products (3 flavors)
Our Rating

Best For Adults

The Farmer’s Dog

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Senior Food
Our Rating

Best For Seniors

Blue Buffalo Senior

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Basset Hound Puppy Nutrient Needs

Basset Hound puppy eats vegetables
Basset puppies are cute little things. But they don’t stay small for long, at least not in length.

Your Hush Puppy eventually grows into a 40 to 65-pound typical adult, but some males have been known to weigh up to 80 pounds. Overall, he is a medium to large breed dog. Because the Basset Hound is prone to skeletal problems and obesity, it is advised to feed him a large breed puppy food. These are designed to control bone growth thanks to optimized calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and fat ratios. This breed has more bone per pound than any other breed, so he benefits from the extra glucosamine and minerals.

Feed your puppy the best quality nutrition you can afford. Higher quality dog foods provide a well-balanced diet, which sets the foundations for a healthy body and lifestyle. The Basset Hound is not the healthiest of breeds, so he needs all the help he can get. An important part of his diet is meat protein. It fuels his growth and should be the first ingredient on any list. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that all puppies get a minimum protein content of 22%.

Another much-needed aspect of puppy food is omega fatty acids. These also provide puppy growing power and also support the development of vital organs. It also supports cardiac function, vitamin and mineral absorption, coat health, and overall wellness. Mothers’ milk contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), particularly for puppy development. Fish, meat meals, eggs, and fish oils are rich in these nutrients.

Adult Basset Hound Nutrient Needs

Adult Basset Hound eating kibble out of pink bowl in front of white background
Adult dog food contains less protein and fat because he doesn’t need as much growing power as puppies.

Your Basset Hound puppy is not fully mature until he is around two years of age. But he should be switched to adult food between the period of 12 and 15 months. According to AAFCO, his protein content should now be at least 18%. Like before, stick to large breed adult formulas.

Adulthood is all about a well-balanced diet. Again, high-quality brands provide this, whereas poor quality brands are usually full of cheap fillers and cereal, which are not nutritionally beneficial. A well-balanced diet includes protein, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, omega fats, vitamins, and minerals. Probiotics are an added bonus as they promote healthy bacteria in his gut. And higher levels of glucosamine are beneficial for his joints.

This is a low and long pooch who is prone to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Suffering from IVDD is increased with extra weight. It is a painful disease and can result in paralysis. For this reason, it is important to keep a close eye on his weight. Follow the feeding instructions so you do not overfeed him. If you notice he is putting on too much weight, either reduce the amount you feed him or switch him to a weight management product.

Senior Basset Hound Nutrient Needs

Senior Basset Hound eating a bone
Senior recipes are a must for older canines who use far fewer calories.

Around the age of seven or eight, you’ll need to think about switching him to a senior formula. This breed is especially long and low and needs to avoid weight gain at all costs. Here are our favorite options for the golden oldies out there.

Best Food For Basset Hound Puppies

At approximately six weeks old, breeders should wean puppies off their mother’s milk. He should be on dog food by the time you take him home. If you decide to switch him to different food, transition him slowly. Here are the best kibbles for Basset Hound puppies in no particular order.

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Real, high-quality chicken is the ingredient.
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients.
  • No chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA.
  • Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Formulated to support healthy joints.
  • Supports healthy immunity.

This recipe is our top pick for puppies and is made with sensitive large breed puppies in mind. Deboned lamb and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, offering various amino acids for his growing needs. Lamb meal is also added to the recipe, offering a blend of yummy tastes. The meat meals and fish oil nourish his skin and coat from the inside out and support his growing joints.

This is another grain-inclusive recipe that relies on rice and other wholesome grains. It also has the lowest fiber content, which some dogs do much better on. There are a number of antioxidants listed in this recipe, including chia seed, coconut, pumpkin, kale, and spinach. And with a boost of added vitamin and mineral supplements, his developing immunity is supported. It is naturally preserved with citric acid and mixed with tocopherols.

We love that this recipe is made with lamb, which is easy-to-digest meat for those Basset puppies with sensitive stomachs.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy

Wellness Large Breed Puppy Food
  • Taurine for heart support.
  • Grain-inclusive formula.
  • DHA for healthy brain development.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin and coat.
  • Calcium and phosphorus for bone development.
  • 366 Calories per cup.
  • 29% Protein, 13% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This kibble is from Wellness’s Complete Health range. Which looks after, you guessed it, his complete health. Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, making it meaty and nutritious. The protein content is 29%, which is the second-highest on this list. Salmon meal, flaxseed, salmon oil, and vitamin E supplement take care of his skin and coat, as well as his other developmental needs.

This is a grain-inclusive diet that uses brown rice and gentle oatmeal, soothing for his gut health. These and other prebiotic fibers provide digestive nutrients, such as chicory root extract and sweet potatoes. And probiotic ingredients promote friendly bacteria in his gut too. This recipe is developed without any GMOs or other nasty preservatives.

We love that this recipe has a high fiber content of 5%. It supports regular digestion and keeps your greedy pup feeling fuller in between mealtimes.

American Journey Large Breed Puppy

American Journey Large Breed Puppy Food
  • Grain-free puppy formula.
  • Budget-friendly dog food.
  • Real salmon is first ingredient.
  • No corn, soy, wheat, or by-products.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • 352 calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 14% Fat, 4.5% Fiber.

American Journey has created this salmon-based recipe, which offers a main alternative flavor to poultry-based recipes. Deboned salmon is the first ingredient, and along with other meat and fish meals, plus salmon oil, his ARA and DHA needs are met. Plus, protein content of 32% makes this recipe great for the growing needs of low and long Bassets.

This is one of our grain-free picks, which some sensitive dogs do much better on. Grain is substituted with sweet potatoes and chickpeas, which are nutritionally beneficial and full of slow-release energy. Nutrient-dense ingredients such as dried kelp and blueberries supply his immune system with the nutrients to stay fighting fit. This kibble is also fortified with probiotic ingredients for his gastrointestinal tract.

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content on our list, making it is a great option for those who love a big meaty taste. It’s also good for larger, more active Hounds who need extra muscle support.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy
  • No by-product or meat meals.
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.
  • Fresh de-boned meats and fish for protein.
  • Balanced protein, fat, and minerals.
  • Prebiotics and fiber-rich.
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Made with 20+ natural superfoods.
  • Crafted by pet nutritionists.

This is our favorite pick for the Basset puppy for those who can stretch their budget a little bit more. Deboned turkey is the first ingredient, and deboned salmon and duck are also listed further on. These tasty and nutritious ingredients offer a balance of lean and rich meats for his overall growing needs. Eggs are the second ingredient, so his DHA and ARA requirements are fulfilled.

It has the highest omega fatty acid content, which makes his skin and coat will be supple and shiny. Plus, his organ development and brain function will be the top of his game. New Zealand green-lipped mussels are listed, which are a great source of glucosamine for his large, growing joints. Pumpkin, squash, bananas, pomegranate, and papayas strengthen his immunity, as do the listed probiotic cultures.

We love that this recipe is our premium pick for Hounds. It’s made with the finest quality meat and other ingredients, including green-lipped mussels for an extra glucosamine boost.

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Food Life Source
  • DHA for brain and eye development.
  • Calcium boost for strong bones.
  • Antioxidants for immune health.
  • L-Carnitine for muscle growth.
  • No corn, wheat, soy or chicken.
  • 386 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber.

Blue Buffalo offers several product lines, but this one is one of our favorites. The Life Protection range provides a well-balanced diet for his overall protection and health. Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, which offer a high protein content. Fish meal, eggs, and fish oil are also listed to support cognitive and eye development.

This is also a grain-inclusive recipe that lists brown rice and gentle oatmeal for his energy needs. Blueberries, cranberries, and dried kelp are listed for his immunity development. This kibble is fortified in probiotic ingredients with every bite. And yucca schidigera is listed, which is known to reduce stool and gas odor, which is much needed for the gassy Basset breed.

We love that this recipe includes a mixture of pieces and LifeSource Bits. These are exclusive to Blue Buffalo, and they contain the optimized nutrients needed for large breed puppies.

Best Food For Adult Basset Hounds

When the time comes to transition your dog from puppy to adult food, be sure to follow the transitional guidelines on the food packaging. You can either choose to continue feeding him the same food as a pup (but, of course, the adult version) or switch him to a new brand altogether. Many owners do this because of a change in circumstance or dietary need. Here are our favorite options for the Basset adult.

The Farmer's Dog

The Farmer's Dog Food Products (3 flavors)
  • Cooked fresh, flash-frozen, and shipped to you.
  • Personalized meal plans.
  • 4 healthy, vet-designed options: beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.
  • Made with human-grade ingredients (no fillers or preservatives).
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • Calories and nutritional values vary based on recipe.

Unlike the kibbles in this review, Farmer’s Dog provides fresh dog food delivered to your door on a regular basis. Each shipment is customized based on your dog’s weight and breed profile. Simply answer a few questions, and they’ll calculate the right amount to give your Basset.

All of the meat and veggies in The Farmer’s Dog’s recipe are fresh, human-grade ingredients, so your Hound gets his nutrients in the most nourishing form. It is 100% grain-free and is packed with various vegetables to provide your dog with vitamins and minerals. But, if you aren’t looking for grain-free, you can mix in rice to stretch your shipment and budget a little further.

We love that The Farmer’s Dog is available in four different flavors: Chicken, Beef, Turkey, and Pork. So, if your pooch has a discriminating palate, there are several choices from which to choose.

Wellness Complete Large Breed Adult

Wellness complete large breed adult
  • Grain-inclusive formula.
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient.
  • Probiotics for digestive health.
  • Helps maintain healthy body weight.
  • Hip and joint support.
  • 340 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This is the adult version of the Wellness option we recommended in the puppy section. Like before, it focuses on complete health. This includes skin and coat, energy, digestive health, immunity, eyes, teeth, and gums. Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients on this list, making it meaty and yummy.

Salmon meal, flaxseed, vitamin E, and biotin keep his skin supple and coat looking its best. It is a grain-inclusive food that relies on wholesome rice, barley, and gentle oat. Carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries provide the antioxidants for his immunity. Taurine looks after his heart. And the kibble is fortified in probiotic ingredients to support the health of his gut too.

We love that this recipe is considered to be a high-fiber diet. So if your adult is a forever-hungry hound, this is a great option to keep him feeling full.

American Journey Large Breed Adult

American Journey Large Breed Food
  • Budget-friendly dog food.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Made with real fruits and vegetables.
  • High-protein blend.
  • Glucosamine for joint support.
  • 370 calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This recipe follows on from the puppy formula recommended in the previous section. The first two ingredients are salmon and turkey meal, contributing to the second-highest protein content of 30%. Salmon and turkey provide a mixture of rich and lean meats and lots of amino acids for his long muscles. It also means he’ll be supplied with a high glucosamine content too.

This kibble is fortified in probiotics, so he is guaranteed live yogurt cultures with every bite. The fiber content is also high at 5%, thanks to the prebiotic fibers such as chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and beet pulp, amongst others. It is a grain-fee recipe full of nutrient-dense ingredients like blueberries and dried kelp and added vitamins and minerals. Taurine is added for cardiac support.

We love that this recipe has one of the highest omega 3 fatty acid contents on our list, thanks to the salmon-based recipe, making it an ideal option for those with sensitive skin or coat.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult
  • No by-product or meat meals.
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.
  • Fresh de-boned meats and fish for protein.
  • Moderate protein and fat levels help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prebiotics and fiber-rich.
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Made with 20+ natural superfoods.
  • Crafted by pet nutritionists.

This recipe follows on from the puppy option, and it is designed with large breed adults in mind. The protein listed includes deboned turkey, duck, and salmon, as well as egg. All provide lots of DHA and ARA for his cognitive function and heart health, and everything else we have already mentioned. Super tasty and lean, this is a great blend for your adult dog.

This is a grain-free option that uses potatoes, peas, and sweet potatoes for his slow-release energy. There is a long list of superfoods, including coconut, pumpkin, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate, and papayas, so he can fight illnesses. Yucca schidigera is listed, which is known to decrease odorous gassy dogs. Green-lipped mussels support his joints.

We love that this recipe is our premium pick for adult Basset Hounds, thanks to the high-quality meat ingredients and superfoods.

VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro Dry

VICTOR Purpose Nutra Pro Dry
  • Sourced and made in the USA.
  • Composed of 92% meat protein with premium-quality chicken meal.
  • Nutrient-dense recipe that is high in protein and contains low carbs.
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and amino acids.
  • Made from gluten-free grains.

This is a great option for Basset Hounds who hunt in the field or are more energetic. It has the highest protein content, and the ingredients list kicks off with chicken meal followed by blood meal. This might sound gross to you, but it is highly nutritious for Fido. Menhaden fish meal and beef meal are also listed, so he gets all the amino acids he needs.

This high protein and low carb formula is optimized for sporting dogs with high energy. It is nutrient-dense, thanks to organic dried seaweed meal and alfalfa meal, which keep his immunity topped up. L-carnitine is listed, which stimulates his metabolism, preventing him from putting on too much weight. There are also lots of probiotic ingredients to support his gut.

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content on this list. At 38%, it offers high-quality protein and plenty of energy for energetic Bassets who need fueling.

Best Food For Senior Basset Hounds

Around the age of seven or eight, you’ll need to think about switching him to senior food. Senior dog foods are a must for older canines who use less energy. Especially long and low dogs who need to avoid weight gain at all costs. Here are our favorite options for the golden oldies out there.

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Senior

Blue Buffalo Senior Large Breed Formula
  • Glucosamine for joint health.
  • L-Carnitine for muscle retention.
  • No corn, wheat, soy or by-products.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
  • Calcium boost for bone density retention.
  • 344 Calories per cup.
  • 20% Protein, 10% Fat, 7% Fiber.

Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection range provides a complete senior diet making it our top pick. The protein content is 20%, which exceeds AAFCO guidelines—at the same time, offering a lower content for dogs who cannot digest too much meat anymore. But still, chicken is the first ingredient with chicken meal following shortly after which is rich in glucosamine. Your Basset’s joints are well cared for with the high glucosamine content found in this kibble.

This is a grain-inclusive diet that uses wholesome brown rice for slow-release energy. L-carnitine helps to keep his body trim, which is often found in weight management recipes. Flaxseed and fish oils take care of his heart, skin, and coat, as well as cognitive function to keep him alert. Seven superfoods for his senior years are found in the LifeSource Bits are added to the mixture.

We love that this recipe is full to the brim with prebiotic fiber that keeps him satisfied in between mealtimes. Plus, probiotic ingredients promote friendly bacteria in his digestive tract.

American Journey Senior Formula

American Journey Senior Recipe
  • Budget-friendly formula.
  • Grain-free dog food.
  • MCTs assist with mental sharpness.
  • Glucosamine for joint health.
  • Antioxidant blend for immune health.
  • 329 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 10% Fat, 7% Fiber.

This option is the final installment of the American Journey series for the Basset Hound. If he has enjoyed them throughout his life, this is the obvious pick for him. It isn’t strictly designed for large breeds but provides everything large breeds need in their senior years. Microalgae and dried kelp are nutrient-dense, helping to keep his immune system strong.

Taurine is listed for his cardiac health, along with many other vitamin and mineral supplements. This pick has a high glucosamine content thanks to the first ingredient being deboned salmon, turkey meal, and chicken meal. This is a grain-free kibble that uses gentle pumpkin and sweet potatoes for healthy energy. It also has a high fiber content to keep him feeling full.

We love that this recipe offers the highest protein content, which is great for larger Hounds who still need fuel in their golden years.

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior
  • Made with Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Made with farm-raised chicken.
  • Natural sources of glucosamine.
  • Made with natural fiber for digestion.
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • 306 Calories per cup.
  • 22% Protein, 11% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This recipe almost completes the Nutro selection, but instead of lamb, this recipe uses chicken instead. Chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, and they offer a protein content of 22%, which is ideal for those whose stomachs can no longer digest meaty food with ease. If it’s easier on his stomach, it means less gas too. Chicken meal is a natural source of glucosamine.

Pumpkin is a prebiotic fiber also known for its soothing properties. And kale, spinach, and other vitamins and minerals provide the strength his immunity needs to stay young and fit. This is a grain-inclusive option that uses rice, bran, and sorghum, which are nutritious and provide enough energy to get him through the day.

We love that this recipe has the lowest calorie count. This is the best option for senior Bassets needing to lose a few pounds or manage their weight.

Now Fresh Large Breed Senior

Now Fresh Senior Food
  • Free of chicken and byproducts.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Great alternative to a raw food diet.
  • No corn, wheat or soy.
  • High-protein formula.
  • 373 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 13% Fat, 6% Fiber.

This option is our premium choice and completes the set for your Basset Hound. This pick is full of the finest ingredients to ensure your senior pooch lives out the rest of his years on the best and yummiest nutrition. And it also ensures his weight is managed thanks to the lean meats and balanced protein to fat ratio. This recipe offers a trio of proteins: turkey, salmon, and duck. And green-lipped mussels supply the highest level of glucosamine.

Added probiotic ingredients keep his gut in regular condition, and prebiotic fiber helps to keep him feeling fuller for longer. This is a grain-free recipe that uses potatoes and peas as the secondary energy source after protein. Added vitamins and minerals boost the long list of superfoods included in this recipe to keep him fighting fit.

We love that this recipe is our premium pick for the older Hound. Or those who need extra joint support because it has leading levels of glucosamine.

Victor Purpose Healthy Weight Senior

Victor senior
  • Nutrient-dense for aging dogs.
  • Glucosamine boost for joint health.
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals.
  • L-Carnitine for muscle retention.
  • Formulated for superior digestion.
  • 360 Calories per cup.
  • 27% Protein, 11.5% Fat, 4.5% Fiber.

This recipe is designed for dogs of all sizes, including large and giant breeds. It ticks all of the boxes that large breed seniors need, and it has one of the highest glucosamine contents too. Targeted nutrition concentrates on digestibility thanks to selenium yeast, prebiotic fiber, probiotic ingredients, and optimized mineral complexes, ensuring his stomach is supported as much as possible.

Beef meal is the first ingredient, with fish meal, chicken meal, and blood meal following shortly after. All provide amino acids and healthy omega fats for his cognitive function. It uses gluten-free grains such as brown rice and millet to meet the energy requirements. Seaweed meal is nutrient-dense, and vitamin and mineral supplements ensure his immunity is supported.

We love that this recipe focuses on gut health and digestibility for older dogs.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what nutrition your Hush Puppy needs throughout life, you are better able to choose the optimal food for him. And by sticking to our recommendations, you can be sure you are making the right decision for his health and happiness. There is something here to please every Basset Hound and every owner’s wallet, so everyone comes out a winner.

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