A common question from new Basset Hound puppy owners is how much and how often to feed them. Bassets are a larger breed of dog and will often shovel down as much food as they can get during those growing years.
As a result they can have a tendency to put on a lot of weight unless owners monitor their food intake.
Basset Hound puppies from 2 to 6 months old should be fed 3 to 4 times per day. After 6 months, 2 meals a day is sufficient. The amount of food in each meal is dependent on a number of factors such as food type, puppy’s weight, time of year, calories in the food and your dog’s metabolism & activity levels.
Usually Basset puppies up to 3 months old start on 4 smaller meals. This is because their stomachs can’t handle too much food all at once so spacing them out is a good idea.
After 3 months you can start reducing it down to 3 meals a day until they reach around 6 months. Then gradually reduce down to 2 meals a day after that.
Basset Hound Puppy Feeding Chart
|Puppy Age||Meals Per Day||Food Type||Amount Of Food|
|8 Weeks |
|4||Large Breed Puppy Food||See Note Below Table|
|12 Weeks |
|4||Large Breed Puppy Food||See Note Below Table|
|16 Weeks |
|3||Large Breed Puppy Food||See Note Below Table|
|6 Months||2||Large Breed Puppy Food||See Note Below Table|
|12 Months & above||2||Adult Dog Food||See Note Below Table|
Important Note: As mentioned earlier the amount that you feed your puppy in each meal is determined by a number of factors which is why those figures aren’t shown in the chart. Lets look at those factors in a little more detail…
1. The type of food (whether it’s dry or wet) – Dry dog foods often contains up to 4 times more calories than wet food mainly because of it’s lack of water content.
2. Your puppy’s weight – If you feel he’s a little overweight you might want to reduce the amount you give him per meal.
3. The manufacturers recommended amount per serving
4. The amount of calories in the food which can vary from brand to brand. Check the labels to find out.
5. Your dog’s metabolism and activity levels. Active dogs with fast metabolisms will burn more calories than inactive dogs with slower metabolisms.
6. The time of year. Often they need less in summer than they do in winter.
So it’s not one size fits all when it comes to feeding amounts. Trial and error is recommended here.
Start with the food manufacturer’s guidance (or less than as I’ll explain in a second) and then monitor your Basset’s weight and general body condition over the coming weeks.
If they start putting on weight then cut back on the amounts accordingly until you find the serving amount that suits your specific puppy.
One final note on feeding amounts..
Keeping your Basset puppy slightly leaner is always better than having them slightly overweight. It’s advisable to feed them less than the amount the dog food manufacturer recommends on the label and here’s why...
Bassets typically have very high bone mass. This means bone makes up a higher percentage of the Basset Hound’s weight when compared to other breeds.
When you buy your large breed puppy food the manufacturer’s recommendations are determined by the overall weight of ALL large breeds, not just Bassets.
Because of this higher percentage of bone mass to muscle mass in Bassets you need to feed them less amounts than other dog breeds of the same overall weight.
What’s The Best Dog Food For Basset Hound Puppies?
Bassets puppies typically need what’s called “large breed puppy food” which is food that contains a lower fat and caloric content than normal puppy food.
The reason is that large breed dogs like Bassets can grow faster than their delicate bone structure can handle causing orthopedic issues later in life.
The lower fat content in large breed puppy foods is usually around 10% fat whereas normal puppy food can often be as high as 15-25% fat.
Another important factor is the calcium to phosphorus ratios in the food. Higher levels of each can have a negative impact on your Basset puppy’s bone development.
Large breed puppy food will typically have lower levels of calcium than normal puppy food (around 1 to 1.2%) and will limit the ratio of calcium to phosphorus to around 1:1 to 1.8:1.
Some dog food manufacturers don’t display these numbers accurately on the package.
Many will just show the minimum amounts so it’s important to determine the maximum amounts of calcium and phosphorus as well as the ratio of any puppy food you’re buying.
Higher quality brands will typically do this but a little checking and research when it’s not clearly stated on the label what the maximum percentages are is recommended.
The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) have a number of guides to reading pet food labels. The following links can help..
>>> How to understand a pet food label
>>> What’s in the Ingredient List
How Long Should A Basset Hound Eat Puppy Food?
Usually puppies stay on this type of food till around 12 to 18 months and then start transferring across to adult food. The exact timing of the switch though can vary depending on the Basset’s weight.
If you find that your puppy’s weight starts to rise appreciably at around 9 months then a switch to adult food can be done.
It’s worthwhile noting however that if you do switch over earlier than 12 months, you need to make sure the calcium to phosphorus levels of the adult food is not too high.
Many adult dog foods do not adhere to this restriction in calcium/phosphorus so the later you can switch over from large breed puppy food to adult food the better.
How Much Dry Dog Food Should I Feed My Basset Puppy?
How much dry food you give your Basset depends on the individual dog and it’s metabolism. If your dog is overweight it’s better to limit the amount you feed it.
Many dry dog food brands have a recommended amount on the package but usually a little less than that is required. Being slightly leaner is better than slightly overweight for Basset puppies.
There are ways you can check to see if your dog is overweight or underweight. Here’s a PDF chart that you can print out and check.
Why Does My Basset Puppy Eat Poop?
Some dog foods that are not as digestible in the stomach make the poop more “food like” and as a result, hound breeds like Bassets (that have a highly sensitive sense of smell) will think the poop is food and will often investigate, sniff &/or eat it.
Most times this habit will go away over time as the puppy gets older (usually over 1 year old) but occasionally with some Bassets, it doesn’t.
There are ways to minimize the problem such as modifying your Basset puppy’s diet to include more digestible food.
This can make the poop look and smell less like edible food. Some people also try putting pepper or some other mild irritant into the poop which may discourage the puppy from trying to eat it again.
Can I Feed My Basset Hound Puppy Human Food?
It’s not recommended to feed your Basset puppy human food for a couple of reasons…
1. Good quality dog food is designed to give your puppy the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
Human food is obviously not optimized for dogs and in fact may have ingredients that can have a negative impact on your puppy’s health.
Food intolerance (which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting) can be common especially with food that dogs are not used to eating.
2. If you give your Basset human food on a regular basis they will quickly learn that if they hold out on eating the puppy food you give them they can perhaps get the good stuff (eg your food) instead.
You’re basically training them not to eat puppy food and to wait for you to offer them something better.
The best thing to do is to give them their bowl of wet or dry puppy food and if they don’t eat anything after 10 minutes or so then remove the bowl until the next meal time.
They will quickly learn that if they don’t eat what you offer them in the bowl then they’re not getting anything else.
Why Does My Basset Puppy Get Aggressive Around Food?
It’s not uncommon for Basset puppies to feel aggressive around their food bowl. Hounds are primarily pack animals so guarding food is part of who they are.
If your Basset puppy starts exhibiting this food guarding there are things you can do to limit it.
Try to put the food bowl in a quiet place away from other pets or people so they’re not forced to be defensively guarding it.
They can just quietly eat without disturbance. Don’t leave your hand there while they are eating at this point– that’s asking for trouble with a puppy who’s showing food aggression signs.
Of course this doesn’t alleviate the problem in the long run so to do that you need to then take it to the next stage.
Start putting the bowl down next to your pup and then dropping some dry food into it – not much, just a handful to start with. Let him eat that up completely and then drop some more in and let him eat that.
Take it step by step from there by starting to drop the food into the bowl just before he finishes the previous handful of food and then after a while start dropping food in while he’s still eating the last lot of food.
What you’re trying to do here is to gradually let him get used to your hand near the bowl. Over the course of a few days or so he will associate you being so close with getting more food – not someone trying to steal it away.
More Basset Hound Articles:
Can A Basset Hound Swim? (And Do They Even Like Water?)
The Best Crates To Buy For Your Basset Hound Puppy
How Much Do Basset Hounds Sleep?