Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds in 2024

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basset hound dog

With floppy ears and a sturdy build, Basset Hounds are the perfect breed for families. But, these chunky dogs need a diet that keeps them at a healthy weight and protects their joints.

So, what’s the best dog food for Basset Hounds? 

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original is my top choice. 

It’s high in protein and includes easy-to-digest carbohydrates. It also offers glucosamine for healthy joints.

But, there are many other options for your low-slung pup. From a limited ingredient diet to high-protein puppy food, you’ll find the best foods for your Basset Hound on this list. 

Our Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds

  1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Dry Dog Food (Best for Adult Basset Hounds)
  2. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food (Best for Basset Hounds Puppies)
  3. Merrick Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food (Best for Senior Basset Hounds)
  4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food (Best for Active Basset Hounds)
  5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Basset Hounds With Allergies)
  6. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Food)
  7. Nom Nom Dog Food (Best Fresh Dog Food)
  8. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
  9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
  10. VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food (Best for Immune Support)

10 Best Dog Foods for Basset Hounds Reviewed 

The dog foods and brands listed below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your dog’s food, consult with your veterinarian. 

Best for Adults

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core Grain Free Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 417 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free food with taurine for heart health 

Your furry friend needs protein and healthy fats to protect their muscles and joints. Wellness CORE Natural Original offers a grain-free formula with 36% Crude Protein and just 16% Crude Fat. 

It starts with premium proteins — like deboned turkey and chicken meal. These offer glucosamine and taurine, two essential vitamins for strong joints and a healthy heart. 

Salmon oil is fortified with omega fatty acids, which are essential in joint health and an itch-free coat — which is helpful for dogs with skin wrinkles like Basset Hounds. It also includes DHA for brain health. 

For easy-to-digest carbohydrates, this recipe also includes lentils. These are packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene for healthy and clear eyes. 

This formula is developed without meat by-products, fillers, corn, soy, wheat gluten. And, it’s free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

While this dog food is grain-free, it is manufactured in a facility that processes grains. So if your pup is highly allergic, it may be best to avoid this option. 

Best for Puppies

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Peas, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 521 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein puppy food with antioxidants for immune support 

Puppies will spend the first year of their life growing and need the nutrition to support their development.

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Puppy dog food is a high-protein formula with vitamins like DHA for brain development.

It’s formulated with just nine simple ingredients. Chicken is the first on the list, followed by Menhaden fish meal. These provide 30% protein, as well as essential fatty acids for joint support. 

This recipe also includes peas, potatoes, and lentils. These offer grain-free carbohydrates, as well as provide natural fiber for digestion health. 

After cooking each batch, CANIDAE adds their HealthPLUS blend. This mix includes probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids, which boosts the immune system and makes digestion easier. 

This formula doesn’t include corn, wheat, soy, or other fillers, and it’s free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Each batch of food is made at CANIDAE’s Texas facility.

Best for Seniors

Merrick Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Senior Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Turkey Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free dry dog food with omega fatty acids for senior Basset Hounds

Once your Basset Hound reaches about 7 years of age, switching them to senior dog food will be essential. These formulas include nutrients like probiotics and glucosamine for a healthy metabolism.

Merrick Grain-Free Senior dog food is the perfect choice for senior dogs. 

First, it starts with real deboned chicken. This animal protein provides a high-protein but lower-fat diet, which is essential for your senior’s metabolism. And, it also has taurine and glucosamine for healthy joints and a healthy heart. 

Chicken fat and sunflower oil provide a natural source of L-carnitine — boosting your dog’s metabolism. Sunflower oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids for extra joint support. 

Instead of grains, this formula includes sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. These ingredients provide natural prebiotic fiber — as well as vitamins, like vitamin E, for a shiny coat. 

This formula is made without corn, wheat, soy, gluten, or artificial preservatives.

Best for Active Dogs

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 377 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with turmeric to reduce inflammation

When your dog is highly active, they will need plenty of protein for muscle support. But, they’ll also need other nutrients to keep their muscles and joints nourished — helping to avoid injury and soreness. 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula has 24% Crude Protein from real deboned chicken and chicken meal.

These provide natural glucosamine and chondroitin for strong joints and bones, and they also offer B vitamins for natural energy. 

Brown rice and oatmeal offer a source of prebiotic fiber for easy digestion, and include magnesium and selenium — which are essential for metabolism support. 

Blue Buffalo also includes their “LifeSource Bits” in each recipe. While this is a proprietary blend, some of the ingredients include turmeric and dried kelp

Turmeric is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory — helping to make muscle recovery faster.

This formula is free of corn, wheat, soy, and poultry by-product meals.

Best for Allergies

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance LID Grain-Free Sweet Potato & Venison
  • First 5 Ingredients: Sweet Potato, Venison, Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Canola Oil
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and limited ingredient dog food for Basset Hounds with food sensitivities

Does your pup have food allergies? While food sensitivities aren’t common amongst most Basset Hounds, some triggering foods include chicken, wheat, and soy. 

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets dog food is free of peas, pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, wheat, and soy. This makes it an excellent choice for sensitive tummies and allergy-prone dogs. 

This formula’s first ingredient is real salmon. Fish is the only protein source — which means a less likely chance of your dog reacting to the food. It provides essential protein, as well as omega fatty acids for healthy joints and skin. 

Sweet potatoes are added for extra fiber and healthy carbs. They also include calcium and iron — both of which are crucial for healthy bones and teeth. 

Menhaden fish oil and canola oil offer additional omega fatty acids and DHA for brain health. And cassava flour provides fiber for easier digestion. 

This formula was crafted by a team of board-certified clinical veterinarians and research scientists with over 125 years of combined experience. 

Best Wet Food

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 443 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: High protein wet food for dogs who need more moisture 

Basset Hounds aren’t picky eaters — they’ll usually eat anything put in front of them. But life changes can leave your pup with limited options on what to eat. 

If your dog is getting older, can’t eat crunchy kibble, or needs additional water, wet food can help. 

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free dog food starts with turkey as its first ingredient. It provides protein as well as essential amino acids to help support lean muscle mass. And, turkey liver offers taurine for healthy heart function. 

Sweet potatoes and peas provide easy-to-digest carbohydrates — aiding in healthy digestion. They also supply vitamins, like vitamin A, to support eye function and a healthy immune system. 

For wholesome fats, flaxseed meal is added. This provides omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E for joint health and a shed-free coat. 

You can feed wet food exclusively to your Basset Hound, but you can also mix the two formulas — which is a more economical choice. Just remember not to overfeed. 

Best Fresh Food

Nom Nom Beef Mash

nom nom beef recipe
  • First 5 Ingredients: Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Eggs, Carrots, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 4% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 77% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 182 kcal/cup ME
  • Key Feature: Customized human-grade dog food with wholesome ingredients 
Get 50% OFF your first Nom Nom order!

Fresh food is one of the best options you can feed your dog. Not only is the food additive and filler free, but it also has natural ingredients that your pup can digest quickly.

But, making fresh food can become tedious. Plus, it’s hard to learn the perfect proportions, so you know your dog is getting all of their vitamins. 

That’s where Nom Nom comes in. They offer customized and human-grade dog food that’s fit to your Basset Hound’s needs. 

To get started, you’ll take a quiz about your dog. You’ll answer questions about their weight, height, age, and activity level — among others. The quiz will only take you about 5 minutes, and once completed, your dog will receive a customized meal plan. 

From there, you’ll pick out the recipes that you think your dog will enjoy the most. Beef Mash is a popular option — made with beef, fresh russet potatoes, and cage-free eggs. But there are other choices as well, including pork, turkey, and chicken. 

While you can choose one recipe, you can also try out all four. After you’ve placed your order, Nom Nom will prepare and ship the food directly to your door. 

Best Budget Food

American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food

American Journey Active Life Formula Beef Brown Rice
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Rice Bran
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 344 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and budget-friendly dry dog food made with real beef 

With dog food, there’s a popular myth that higher-quality food will cost more. But, it’s possible to find wholesome and nutritious food without fillers and additives while being on a budget.

American Journey Active Life formula offers the same ingredients as other popular dog food brands while also being a great deal.  

This recipe starts with real deboned beef. First, this provides 25% lean protein, helping maintain healthy muscles. It also includes B vitamins for energy, as well as glucosamine for healthy joints. 

Chicken fat, flaxseed, and fish oil offer a boost of omega-3 fatty acids and taurine. These are essential for a shiny coat and a healthy heart. 

Whole grain brown rice and barley add a healthy dose of fiber — helping with proper digestion. They also give your pup energy for their daily activities. 

For natural antioxidants, blueberries are added. These superfruits also include both vitamin C and calcium for strong bones and a healthy immune system. 

American Journey Active Life is free of wheat, corn, soy, and poultry by-product meals. 

Best for Weight Loss

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Adult Light Chicken Meal
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pea Fiber, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 5.5% Crude Fat, 14% Crude Fiber, 10.55% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 271 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Low-calorie and low-fat dry dog food with fiber for metabolism control 

Basset Hounds are stocky by nature. However, excessive weight gain can cause health problems like diabetes.

To help your dog maintain a healthy weight, you may need to feed them a lower-calorie diet that will keep them from packing on the pounds. 

But, they’ll also need the same nutrients — like vitamins and minerals — so they can keep up their energy and immune system. 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light dog food includes all the same flavors and wholesome ingredients that other formulas offer — with fewer calories. 

It starts with chicken meal, which provides 20% Crude Protein to keep your dog satiated and to build lean muscle mass. It also includes a natural source of L-carnitine, which converts fat into energy and helps boost the metabolism. 

Cracked pearled barley provides fiber and selenium for healthy digestion and metabolism function. Then, flaxseed supplies a healthy dose of omega fatty acids for joint support and mental clarity. 

This formula doesn’t include any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It’s also manufactured in the US with ingredients that are ethically sourced.

Best for Immune Support

VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food

VICTOR Purpose Performance
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Millet, Chicken Fat, Blood Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 3.8% Crude Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 399 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free dog food with antioxidants and probiotics for immune support

Basset Hounds are prone to disorders and diseases that can make them lethargic. Because of this, finding food that boosts endurance and energy levels is important.

If you notice that your dog’s diet tends to exacerbate their symptoms, even during treatment, try switching to VICTOR Purpose Performance Dry Dog Food. 

This nutrient-dense formula contains beef meal for glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of these aid in long-term joint health. Beef is also high in B vitamins and vitamin A, which promote energy levels and immune health. 

Gluten-free carbohydrates like millet and alfalfa meal aid in digestibility. And, they include vitamins C and E for immune system function and healthy skin.

For extra immune support, this recipe also has carrot powder and supplemented probiotics. These help your dog feel more energetic and can help prevent certain diseases. 

This formula is sourced and made in the USA and is free of artificial preservatives. Instead, they use green tea extract to keep food fresh. 

basset hound adult

Guide to Buing the Best Dog Food for Basset Hounds

Your Basset Hound needs a moderate to high protein diet with less fat and calories to avoid gaining too much weight. Here’s how to choose the best food for them. 

High-Quality Animal Protein

Basset Hounds don’t need a super high-protein diet. But, high-quality protein is essential for building muscle integrity. Any dog food formula you choose should have at least 18% Crude Protein.

Animal proteins should be listed first — so focus on meats like beef, lamb, chicken, and fish. 

Low Fat

Because obesity and elbow dysplasia are common for Basset Hounds, their food shouldn’t be too high in fat content. Instead, a low to moderate fat diet is helpful.

It will still protect their joints and provide them with energy while helping them maintain a healthy weight. 

When looking for food, focus on those that have healthy fats. These could include flaxseed oil, fish oil, sunflower oil, and even coconut.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

Basset Hounds need a diet slightly lower in carbohydrates. However, healthy fiber is also essential. Not only does it aid in digestion, but it can also help boost your dog’s metabolism. 

When choosing carb and fiber sources, look for ingredients like potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, oats, and quinoa. 

Vitamins and Minerals

The dog food you choose will already have a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals for your pup.

For additional support of your Basset Hound, look for options that have omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and taurine — these help with both heart and joint health.  

Ingredients to Avoid

Not all dog foods are created equally — some have fillers and additives that you should steer clear of.

While some may cause a little discomfort or dry skin, others can cause long-term damage to your dog’s health.  

A few ingredients to avoid include artificial colors and preservatives, xylitol, and nitrates. These may be listed at the bottom of the ingredient list, so look closely. 

Wheat, soy, and corn are usually okay but can be harmful to dogs with allergies.

Basset Hounds Feeding Guide

Basset Hounds can gain weight quickly and need a lower fat and calorie diet with plenty of protein to keep lean muscles. Here’s what to know about feeding them.


Basset Hound puppies need extra protein to build their muscles and fill their tummies, and it’s also essential to choose a formula that is made just for their life stage. 

During the first 12 months of your dog’s life, you’ll want to feed them around 28 calories per pound that they weigh. So, if your pup is about 20 pounds, they’ll need 560 calories. 

It’s also important to offer more frequent feedings until your Basset Hound reaches adulthood. 2 to 3 feedings a day will ensure healthy digestion. 


Basset Hounds typically reach adulthood at around 12 months. After this, you can switch your dog to adult food and lower their feedings to twice a day if you haven’t already.  

Because they’re prone to weight gain, you’ll also want to drop your dog’s calories to about 25 calories per pound. For the average 55 pound Basset Hound, that’s a little under 1,400 calories a day. 


As your Basset Hound ages, their metabolism will start to slow — and chronic diseases like hypothyroidism can develop. This usually happens around 7 years of age. At that point, it’s essential to switch to senior food. 

These formulas have lower calories and carbohydrates, but they also contain higher probiotic content for digestion and essential fatty acids for joints.  

The average calories for a senior Basset Hound is around 1,100 a day, or 20 calories per pound. 

basset hound puppy

Common Basset Hound Health Issues 

Basset Hounds are prone to some significant health problems. Their bodies are short and extremely chubby, which can exacerbate some issues. Here’s what you need to know. 


Basset Hounds are naturally stocky. However, their lazy nature makes them gain weight faster than other dogs their size. And, obesity can easily lead to other health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and more. 

Luckily, obesity is preventable. First, don’t overfeed your hound. Measure their food correctly and feed them their appropriate daily calories.

Second, focus on their physical health. Take your pup for a daily walk, or try out some low-impact exercises like swimming. 


Hypothyroidism is common in canines — especially Basset Hounds. It’s a genetic disorder that impairs the production of thyroid hormones, which results in a decreased metabolic rate.

If you notice your dog is gaining weight rapidly, has increased shedding, or is lethargic, they may be dealing with hypothyroidism. 

While there isn’t a specific cure for this disorder, professional treatment can help. And, a lower carb and calorie diet can help manage weight gain and lethargy. 

Be sure to meet with your veterinarian about the best way to support your pup. 

Elbow Dysplasia 

Due to their stubby legs and extra girth, elbow dysplasia is common in Basset Hounds. Elbow dysplasia happens when the elbow joint doesn’t properly fit into the socket and dislocates. 

To help prevent elbow dysplasia, keep your dog’s calories in a healthy range. Also, find a dog food with healthy fats like fish oil to protect the joints. 


Senior Basset Hounds are more prone to arthritis type disorders like Osteoarthritis. This degenerative disease causes a break down of muscles and cartilage, which can cause pain and slow the movement of your aging pup. 

While there is no cure, Osteoarthritis can be managed with a healthy diet containing omega fatty acids and glucosamine to strengthen both the muscles and joints. 

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help as well, since more weight makes their body work harder. 

Our Verdict

Basset Hounds need the perfect balance between healthy proteins and fats. They also need lower calories to keep their build without gaining too much weight.

That’s why Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original is a great dog food option for them. It includes the essential vitamins and minerals that your pup needs, without extra fillers or empty calories. 

No matter what, all of the food choices on this list will support your Basset Hound’s needs, from puppyhood to their senior years. 

FAQ About Basset Hounds

Want to know more about your Basset Hound? Here are some questions and their answers!

How many calories does a Basset Hound need?

Your Basset Hound will need about 22 calories per pound that they weigh. So the average 65-pound pooch will need about 1,400 calories a day. If your dog is a puppy, more active, or pregnant, you will want to increase this amount to about 25 calories per pound. 

How much food should a Basset Hound eat a day?

It’s important to avoid overfeeding your Basset Hound. Stick to 1–1.5 cups of high-quality food every morning and 1–1.5 cups at night. 

Why is my Basset Hound always hungry?

Hound breeds are usually food motivated. If you put anything in front of them, they will eat it. However, if you’ve noticed a sharp increase in your dog’s appetite, this may be a sign of a health problem (like diabetes). So see your veterinarian as soon as possible to weed out possible issues. 

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Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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