8 Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds (2021 Top Picks)

Edited by: Mike Powell
Reviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Quick Picks

Best Overall for Basset HoundsWellness CORE Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“This wheat-free diet allows you to meet challenging dietary conditions many Basset Hounds are prone to. Its high-protein content and nutrient-packed formula promote healthy growth and are highly palatable to picky Bassets.”

Best Value for the MoneyBlue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
“Blue Buffalo provides all the vitamins, minerals, and protein requirements your Basset Hound needs for just a dollar and a half per pound. But, despite its more affordable price, you won’t find any fillers in this delicious kibble.”

Best for Basset Hounds with AllergiesTaste of the Wild Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“For Basset Hounds with skin and food allergies, Taste of the Wild’s grain-free options eliminates indigestion and intolerance. Free of common allergens, this dog food replaces common ingredients with fruits, vegetables, and whole minerals.”

Basset Hounds have an impressive appetite and low energy levels, making strict and controlled diets necessary. 

These hefty and less active sniffer dogs can weigh upwards of 60 pounds—that’s a number you don’t want to surpass. But, because of their unique body shape and barely-there activity levels, meeting their special nutritional needs can be challenging—but not impossible!

If you’re not an expert on canine nutrition, don’t worry. This guide will take you through all you need to know about the best dog food for Basset Hounds, their nutritional needs, as well as common health problem and how to prevent them.

Product Name
Best Overall for Basset Hounds
Best for Basset Hounds with Allergies
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made with High Protein from Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients 28lb
Our grade
Our Rating 96/100
Our Rating 95/100
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Specially formulated to meet high-protein needs in low-activity dogs
Affordable dog food that provides essential, high-quality proteins
Made without grains, soy, wheat, or artificial additives
Feature 2
Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to promote optimal immune system health
Calcium and phosphorus inclusions promote healthy bones and teeth
Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics to support healthy digestion
Best Overall for Basset Hounds
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag
Our grade
Our Rating 96/100
Feature 1
Specially formulated to meet high-protein needs in low-activity dogs
Feature 2
Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to promote optimal immune system health
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Feature 1
Affordable dog food that provides essential, high-quality proteins
Feature 2
Calcium and phosphorus inclusions promote healthy bones and teeth
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best for Basset Hounds with Allergies
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made with High Protein from Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients 28lb
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Made without grains, soy, wheat, or artificial additives
Feature 2
Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics to support healthy digestion
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Sources researched
23
Sources researched
Customer reviews
18,650
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
11
Hours spent testing
Products tested
8
Products tested

Key Nutritional Requirements of Basset Hounds

When it comes to raising a healthy Basset Hound, quality ingredients matter. While a nutritious meal won’t include any artificial additives, it should also contain the following. 

1) Protein

Whether your Basset Hound prefers chicken, pork, beef, duck, or fish, protein should be the first ingredient on any list you’re reading. While ingredients such as peas and lentils will occasionally suffice as protein alternatives, they may not meet your dog’s nutritional needs. 

A quality source of protein will balance out your dog’s stocky features by providing the energy it needs. 

2) Carbohydrates

Unlike a dog food’s fat content, carbohydrates should be lower on the spectrum when feeding your Basset Hound. But why? Remember, these dogs are famed for their long, floppy ears, which are incredibly susceptible to infections. 

When your Basset Hound consumes too many carbohydrates or unhealthy sugars, their immune systems less effectively combat diseases and infections. 

3) Fats

Basset Hound immune systems love fatty acids. Because they are prone to skin allergies that result in dry, flaky, and blistering skin, omega-3 and omega-6 inclusions can help keep your dog’s coat looking—and feeling—better than ever. 

Foods with vitamins should also be fat-soluble for quicker absorption. Consider kibble with vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are more productive in the body for boosting energy levels throughout the day. 

4) Calories

Yes, calorie counting does matter! These dogs are not naturally active or playful, which means they are at risk of gaining too much weight too quickly. Most Basset Hounds weigh between 60 to 65 pounds as fully-grown adults and will benefit from a calorie count of 1,650 to 1,740 calories a day. 

Always feed your dog according to the recommendations listed on their kibble—you never know when you may be overdoing it (or underdoing it!).  


4 Common Health Issues Basset Hounds Suffer From

1) Ear Infections

Basset Hound ears are comical to look at but not very fun to maintain! Because shorter Basset Hounds tend to drag their ears along the ground, they are more susceptible to infections that, when left untreated, can become life-threatening. 

You’ll notice your Basset Hound has an ear infection if their ears appear inflamed, red, or flaky. Most dogs will also try to scratch at them, which can exacerbate the condition. 

Fortunately, ear infections are easy to treat with antibiotics, anti-fungal treatments, and a well-balanced diet with healthy sugars.  

2) Skin Allergies

Ears aren’t the only things that droop off your Basset Hound. These shorter, stocky dogs also have sagging skin along the lower jaw, which can cause lip-fold pyoderma

This bacterial infection allows yeast to thrive, causing the jaw area to become reddened and foul-smelling. When severe, some veterinarians recommend surgically removing these skin folds.

However, feeding your Basset Hound a grain-free meal high in quality proteins can also do the trick. Grain-free foods for yeast infections are less likely to cause allergies, while fatty acid inclusions keep the skin healthy. 

3) Thyroid Problems

Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is a common disease that affects more dogs than you think. Larger, heftier dogs are more susceptible to it and may experience side effects like hair loss, flaky skin, and a dull coat. 

The good news is, hypothyroidism in Basset Hounds is barely life-threatening. Along with oral supplements, providing your dog with a daily meal high in L-thyroxine can help cushion the blow of this disease. 

4) Bloat

Bloat, or gastric dilation, is a common occurrence in deep-chested breeds. When your Basset Hound’s esophagus slows, it causes the stomach to fill with air. In severe cases of bloat, this trapped air can cause the stomach to twist, cutting off the regular blood supply.  

Poor-quality foods with artificial colorings and flavorings or high in filler ingredients can exacerbate bloat. Thankfully, you can easily avoid this by checking dietary labels for inclusions such as citric acids, replacing them with higher-quality proteins and superfoods.  


How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds

1) Consider the Life Stages

Basset Hounds of different life stages will have different nutritional and caloric needs. For instance, Basset Hound puppies will require extra protein to promote healthy growth and a more active disposition.

On the other hand, full-sized Bassets won’t require nearly as much protein and calories and may benefit from a highly controlled diet to avoid obesity. 

When these dogs become seniors at about seven to eight years old, their nutritional requirements change once again. You’ll want to lower their caloric intake and reduce the amount of sodium and carbohydrates in their food.

2) Look for High-Quality Ingredients

You can never underestimate the positive effects of high-quality ingredients in your dog’s food. By prioritizing an organic and sustainably sourced protein along with vitamins and minerals, your Basset Hound can enjoy an increased lifespan and overall healthier immune system.

3) Know How Often to Feed Your Basset Hound

Because of their healthy appetites, Basset Hounds will benefit from more than one feeding a day. However, you won’t want to go beyond two feedings, as these dogs are prone to obesity. 

Familiarize your dog with regular feeding times to better control their caloric intake. A fussy dog may become very particular about when they want to eat—don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes!

4) Think About What You Should Avoid

There are ingredients you’ll want in your Basset Hound’s diet, but also others you need to avoid. Because of their susceptibility to food allergies, your best bet will be to eliminate grains and low-quality proteins. 

Other inclusions to avoid are: 

  • Sodium nitrite
  • BHA/BHT as preservatives
  • Xylitol and other sugar alcohols
  • Propylene glycol
  • Artificial preservatives, colorings, and flavors
  • Unnecessary fillers

What is the Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds?

  1. Best Overall for Basset Hounds: Wellness CORE Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  2. Best Value for Money: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
  3. Best for Basset Hounds with Allergies: Taste of the Wild Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  4. Best for Basset Hound Puppies: Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Puppy Food
  5. Best for Maximum Digestibility: American Natural Premium Dry Dog Food
  6. Best Organic Dog Food: Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food
  7. Best Without Chicken: Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  8. Best Limited-Ingredient Option: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

1. Wellness CORE Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best Overall for Basset Hounds: Delicious dog food with premium protein inclusions and nutrient-rich superfood blends for your Basset Hound

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag
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Key Features

  • Specially formulated to meet high-protein needs in low-activity dogs
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to promote optimal immune system health
  • High protein formula that supports lean body mass and muscle tone

Basset Hounds prone to weight gain will love this palatable grain free dog food manufactured with high protein inclusions to promote healthy muscles and body mass. Even the idlest of couch potatoes can manage their weight with this grain-free and low-calorie formula. 

If your Basset Hound suffers from allergies, guaranteed levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support healthy skin and coat. Furthermore, your Basset can achieve full-body health thanks to Wellness Core’s antioxidants, glucosamine, and probiotic inclusions.

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If you’re worried about fillers, Wellness Core does not contain any artificial preservatives, dyes, and flavors, which play to Bassets with particularly sensitive stomachs. It is absolutely grain-free and does not contain corn, wheat, and animal by-products.

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Affordable barley and oatmeal blend that promotes a disease-free life and holistic well-being of your beloved pooch

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
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Key Features

  • Affordable dog food that provides essential, high-quality proteins 
  • Calcium and phosphorus inclusions promote healthy bones and teeth
  • Includes vitamins, antioxidants, and chelated minerals to support a healthy immune system

More affordable than most other options, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Dog Food Formula still packs a nutritional punch. Manufactured for holistic health and overall well-being, this recipe contains real meat, whole grains, and garden-harvested fruits and vegetables. 

Pickier dogs will love its variety of natural flavors, all of which undergo a cold-formed method of preservation to prevent potency. 

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With this food, you won’t have to worry about compromised energy levels either. Instead, Blue Buffalo promotes increased energy for regular exercise, ideal for Bassets who could stand to shed a few pounds. 

Its precise calorie, vitamin, and carbohydrate inclusions help assure diet-oriented weight management while keeping your dog’s stomach satisfied. It also reduces intestinal inflammation while helping to maintain a healthy appetite.

3. Taste of the Wild Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Basset Hounds with Allergies: High protein food without  grains, corn, wheat, or artificial flavors formulated for dogs with allergies

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made with High Protein from Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients 28lb
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Key Features

  • Made without grains, soy, wheat, or artificial additives 
  • Features 32% protein from its roasted bison and venison inclusions
  • Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics to support healthy digestion

Taste of the Wild’s Grain-free High Prairie recipe includes peas and sweet potatoes, ideal for Basset Hounds that require a digestive aid.

Its primary ingredients are natural buffalo and bison, which have high protein contents to optimize energy levels while supporting your dog’s joints, bones, and muscle development. 

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Older or lower energy Bassets will thrive on this grain-free recipe’s nutrient-dense inclusions, such as vitamins and minerals from fruits and other superfoods. In addition, it’s high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which keeps dogs from incurring skin allergies. 

Plus, you’ll never have to worry about where Taste of the Wild sources its primary ingredients. Instead, this family-owned business gets its quality ingredients from local and globally-owned sustainable sources.

4. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Puppy Food

Best for Basset Hound Puppies: Protein-packed dog food with more than one source of high-quality meat, ideal for developing Basset Hound puppies

Purina ONE Large Breed Puppy Food, SmartBlend Natural Puppy Food Formula - 31.1 lb. Bag
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Key Features

  • Repairs puppy muscles quickly, encouraging exercise and play
  • Small, divided portions allow for a more controlled diet for your growing puppy
  • Ingredient combination is expertly sourced and manufactured

When it comes to rearing Basset Hound puppies, owners can’t risk the inclusion of preservatives, additives, and gluten in their dog food. Fortunately, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Puppy Food contains none of those and instead comes packed with multiple protein sources. 

It includes highly digestible ingredients such as brown rice, which is easy on your dog’s delicate stomach. In addition, its blend of antioxidants, vitamins, zinc, and selenium provides a robust defense against immune system diseases.

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Natural glucosamine sources support healthy joints, while omega-6 fatty acid inclusions support healthy skin and coat. This unique formula includes DHA, which helps develop brain function and healthy vision.

Veterinarians trust this thoroughly crafted puppy food manufactured in U.S.-owned facilities that impose careful safety checks.

5. American Natural Premium Dry Dog Food

Best for Maximum Digestibility: Allegen-free recipes with probiotics inclusions for additional digestive support for dogs with food allergies

American Natural Premium 78787 Original Recipe Pet Food
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Key Features

  • Formulated with probiotics to aid digestion and help combat allergies
  • Includes a blend of complex carbohydrates to yield a slow release of energy throughout the day
  • Recipe supports the gastrointestinal  tract and improves stool texture

If your Basset Hound suffers from food allergies or is simply a picky eater, this highly palatable dog food ensures maximum digestibility and enjoyment. Manufactured with a delicious blend of chicken, pork, and fish, there is nothing your dog won’t love about American Natural!

Its probiotic inclusions aid digestion while protecting the G.I. tract, boosting the immune system, and reducing stool odor.

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Healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, and barely ensure a steady release of energy throughout the day. Even the most sluggish of dogs will stay stimulated and ready to exercise. 

This dog food is cooked in small batches and at low temperatures to ensure safe results. The formula doesn’t contain wheat, corn, or soy. 

6. Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food

Best Organic Dog Food: Delicious, freeze-dried nuggets rich in organically sourced animal proteins and superfoods for optimal immunity

Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Canine Lamb Formula Nt. Wt. 14 Oz
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Key Features

  • Manufactured with antibiotic and hormone-free lamb organs and ground bone for calcium supplementation
  • Contains optimum levels of amino acids and naturally-occurring enzymes to help develop necessary biological functions
  • Crafted locally with sustainably-sourced ingredients

These freeze-dried nuggets offer the same benefits as a carefully curated raw dog food diet. Its certified organic produce, minerals, and unrefined vitamins fortify the immune system throughout all life stages. 

This delicious dog food formula is easy to serve up and will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. It is also free of wheat, soy, and gluten, catering to dogs with very particular stomachs.

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These freeze-dried nuggets are high in protein, appealing to your dog’s primal diet and keeping them energetic throughout the day. Unlike most other foods, this dog food contains finely ground lamb bone, which improves bone and dental health. 

Finally, you’re not going to find a single ingredient in this food that isn’t organic! That includes salmon oil, coconut oil, and even apples!

7. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best Without Chicken: Easy-to-digest kibble that is free of any poultry products to support dogs with severe food allergies

Nulo FS Adult Dog GF Turkey 6LB
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Key Features

  • Grain-free adult formula doesn’t contain chicken and egg proteins to support Bassets with allergies
  • Dervies vitamin B6 and niacin from turkey to support energy production
  • Calcium and phosphorus inclusions help develop healthy bones

Does your dog suffer from chicken allergies? Nulo Freestyle grain-free dry dog food replaces this popular poultry ingredient with turkey to prevent irritable bowel movements. 

It also contains all the necessary amino acids and DHA, which support healthy brain and eye development. On the other hand, its lack of carbohydrates allows for a comfortable metabolic rate, which is necessary for Bassets who succumb to obesity.

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This grain-free dog food’s phosphorus levels are higher than most, supporting a healthy and robust skeletal structure. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids also keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy and shiny. 

Its low glycemic index ingredients and added probiotics allow your dog to digest this soft kibble and maintain a healthy weight easily. However, keep in mind that this recipe includes peas in case your dog is a picky eater.

8. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best Limited-Ingredient Option: Limited formulation limits carbohydrates and contains no fillers making it safe for your dog

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food with Grains, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula, 28 Pounds
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Key Features

  • Flavorful, highly nutritious limited-ingredient formula allows for balanced and optimal health
  • Its single-protein source is ideal for dogs with multiple food allergies
  • Primarily features venison and sweet potatoes, which help aid digestion

Contrary to popular belief, most dog food allergies stem from proteins, not grains. As such, Natural Balance’s limited-ingredient options prioritize high-quality inclusions like venison to keep your dog’s meals gentle and palatable. 

Plus, veal is rich in amino acids, which boost energy and support healthy muscle development. Its minimal carbohydrates also reduce the probability of developing ear infections or gaining too much weight.

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This tasty dog food improved nose sensitivity and scent factors in previous studies, ideal for pest-sniffing dogs! Other supplementary contents also catalyze nutrient intake, ensuring an energetic Basset even on lazy afternoons.

If your Basset Hound suffers from dry, red, and flaking skin, this diet’s omega fatty acid inclusions improve overall coat health.


Questions & Answers

Q: Do Basset Hounds require a lot of exercise? 

A: Yes. While these dogs are ideal for laid-back, more sedentary owners, a lack of exercise can lead to obesity and weakened joints. As much as possible, pair a healthy diet with loads of training. Walk your dog at least an hour per day to allow for strong muscle development. 

Q: What is the ideal weight for a Basset Hound?

A: These short, heavy-bodied dogs will reach between 60 and 65 pounds when they reach adulthood, with females weighing a little less at 50 to 55. A three-month-old Basset Hound puppy, on the other hand, might weigh between 20 and 25 pounds and should gain between 3 and 5 pounds per month of growth. 

Q: What are common allergies Basset Hounds experience?

A: Now that you know Basset Hounds are prone to food allergies, the question remains: what exactly are they allergic to? These dogs are most commonly allergic to poultry and eggs. Thankfully, many protein-based options contain ingredients such as venison and turkey instead. Some may also be allergic to grains, soy, and wheat. 

Q: How do I get my Basset Hound to lose weight?

A: Basset Hounds are prone to significant weight gain over short periods. If you’re dealing with an overweight hound, eliminate 100 calories from their meal per week until you achieve the recommended dose on their kibble. Remember, Bassets should only weigh between 60 and 65 pounds—any more and they become at risk of other health problems.

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.