Care of a Basset Hound
UPDATED 08.01.11 - PLEASE READ
These Care Instructions go with any puppy that we have bred that is going to a new home in our "Puppy Kit" along with a Contract of Purchase and also a disc full of photos burnt for you of the litter from birth to pick up. Also supplied in your Puppy Kit are your new babies Vaccination details, Microchipping documents, Registration Papers and Dogs NSW Membership forms.
Care of Your New Basset Hound Puppy.
Welcome to the world of the Basset Hound! Please read through the following information carefully.
Taking on a new puppy is a commitment that we view very seriously when "vetting" new owners, so being armed with as much information as possible is the best advice we can give you. You will have this new member of the family for anything up to 15 years, although the life expectancy for this breed is between 10-12 years. This in turn means that you will be responsible for this animal for a decent period of time, which also means we spend a lot of time making sure that our babies are going to appropriate homes.
Basset Hounds ARE NOT for everyone - they drool, shed hair all year round, are stubborn beyond belief and are "Scent Hounds" (meaning their noses rule their lives!). Having said this, they will also reward you with unbelievable devotion, loyalty, love and companionship for many years. Where our babies are placed is as important to us as our breeding programme itself so it is imperative that you do your research in relation to this breed, particularly if you haven't owned (or been owned by) a Basset Hound before so that you understand their idiosyncracies.
All our puppies ARE registered - the NSW K9 Council is currently in the process of introducing a new form which has been in place in Qld for quite some time already in relation to Limited and Main Registrations for the new puppy purchaser. Main Registration is specifically for dogs that are going to show homes whilst the Limited Registration is designed so that the puppies going to "Pet" homes still have registration papers, can still compete in agility, obedience and tracking events and such but are not permitted to be shown in conformation classes. Limited Registration also means that you are unable to use the dog for breeding purposes and cannot enter that dog in breed/conformation shows.
Both the Main and Limited Registration papers will show the "Pedigree" of your new puppy - ie the parentage, going back three generations on both the sire (father) and dam's (mother's) side.
You should only ever purchase a Basset Hound from a Registered Breeder and preferably from someone who is showing their dogs on a regular basis - even if you are only after a "Pet". A lot of the breeders who are showing will have websites that you can look over and they will usually have show results listed on those sites. The reason that we recommend this is because the majority of Show Breeders are usually only producing litters so that they can keep something from that litter for themselves to "run on" and show themselves thus meaning that they are only breeding the very best they possibly can and abiding by the "Standard". The Standard is what is expected of each breed of pure bred dog in regards to type, conformation, movement, temperament, size etc.
"Back yard" type breeders are less likely to have put in the time, effort, research and money into their breeding programmes as those of us who are consistently showing and producing litters to keep some of the progeny. This is also the reason why most Show breeders will not assign a specific puppy to a potential purchaser until the puppies are nearly ready to be placed into their new homes. So please be patient with us if you are waiting for a new addition to your family, we may still be trying to decide who we keep!
First Night Home:
I CANNOT EXPRESS THIS MORE LOUDLY!!! When you pick up your new puppy from us, go straight home.... do not stop and let the puppy outside of your vehicle, do not stop even if the puppy may want a toilet break. YOU RISK THE HEALTH OF YOUR PUP by letting it outside of your vehicle for two reasons. Firstly, the pup may get a fright and slip a lead and get killed on the road and secondly your puppy is like a human baby that can pick up tummy bugs and other nasties from road side stops. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PUP OUTSIDE OF YOUR OWN HOME until at least two weeks after his 16 week vaccination needle.
On the first night at home with you, it is a good idea to plan ahead and know how you are going to handle things. So, if you want to put the puppy to bed in another room, away from you and then you go into him every time you hear him whine, you will have taken the first steps to teaching him to bark or howl - something that will be hard to undo! So - if you KNOW that you are a big SOFTY, don't do it! Instead, put him on a bed next to your own so that he wont feel abandoned. We have even had some new owners put their own mattress on the floor so that they are next to the puppy!
So, having said all this, if you intend for the puppy to sleep separately from the rest of the family, stick to it when the crying begins after you have put him in his own room - he is a baby and he will soon tire and go to sleep!
When you get your new puppy home, he will need lots of love and reassurance so that he can adjust to his new surroundings and your family environment - away from the only home he has ever known with his mum and all of his brothers and sisters. His first night away may be a little unnerving for him so keep this in mind if you find him to be upset or crying - but remember not to cater to him if you have decided to have him sleep in a separate room from you! A Basset loves company, so we do actually recommend that you keep him with you so that he doesn't feel abandoned and when you go to put him to bed, get a hot water bottle or a heated wheat bag to put in with him along with a ticking clock under the blanket which will replicate his mother's heart beat. Make sure that you wrap the hot water bottle in a towel so that it wont burn your puppy and he will also be less likely to bite at it. There are lots of other good products on the market that you can buy that will keep him warm and may help save you the inconvenience of sleepless nights.
Reassurance goes a long way with a Basset and we have found that the best thing to do over the next pursuing nights is to set your clock at 3 hourly intervals for tiolet training episodes! ie 9pm, 12pm, 3am, 6am, 9am etc - this will help YOU as much as the puppy in the long run and will set a very good precident for toilet training, will eleviate messes inside during the night and make your job a lot easier. It will be well worth while! If you get messes inside, more than likely it will be your fault rather than the puppies, as you wont have been quick enough to get him outside - so don't scold him. Just remember that he is a baby and has a very small bladder!
Taking Care of His Ears:
As the Basset Hound has large, long ears, (known as "leathers"), air is unable to circulate inside like other breeds that have erect or more open ears. This can then cause problems if you are not vigilant in keeping the insides of your Basset's ears clean and dry. We have found that the best way to attend to this is by using a mild, good quality baby wipe to clean the outer regions of the inner ear each week. If you don't do this, his ears may become smelly and your dog may be prone to getting ear mites and infections and you may end up with Vet bills that could have been easily avoided. You can also use cotton buds to clean the external parts of the folds of skin that form part of the inside of the ear, paying special attention that you do not poke it inside the actual ear where you could do some damage. If you are not confident in doing this, get your Veterinarian to show you how - it is always best to ask if you are unsure.
Purchase a good quality, mild ear cleaning product from your Veterinarian - I use one for sensitive skin to avoid any reactions from harsher products that may be available. Gently apply a reasonabley generous amount to the inside of the ear and massage it in - you can wipe away any excess with a tissue or wipe. Once again, ask your Veterinarian to show you if you aren't confident in doing it yourself, he will also advise you as to which product he recommends for this purpose.
If your Basset does end up with an ear infection, you may notice an unpleasant smelling ordour coming from the ears and he will more than likely be showing signs of discomfort - ie shaking his head, trying to scratch at his ears and showing general signs of discomfort and irritability. If this occurs, please see your Veterinarian as a matter of urgency as you may need to administer special ear drops, possibly antibiotics.
Vigilance is required when it comes to the care of the Basset's eyes. They can tend to get mucky if you don't wipe them clean each day. A Basset tends to have the reputation of being "hung over" due to the look he expresses specifically from his eyes! However, even though they can naturally tend to have a pinkish haw to them, they should never be bright red and showing signs of infection. If you see your hound rubbing at his eyes or continually rubbing his face on the ground/carpet or such, chances are that he has an infection. You will need to consult with your Veterinarian if this occurs with a sense of urgency as your Basset's sight may be at risk. I ALWAYS keep my dogs' eyes wiped clean and often bathe them with a damp, tepid tea bag. (Yes, I did say tea bag!!) - heomeopathically it works very well and can even ease the affects of infections. I have used this with success with horses' eyes as well but do not rely upon it entirely as you may need to administer an antibiotic cream into his eyes.
Nails and Nail Trimming:
You will also need to pay special attention to the length of your Basset's claws/nails as they will need clipping on a very regular basis. Be disciplined as he is already used to having them done every week with a minimum of fuss, so keep it up. To begin with, you will be able to clip his nails with your own small finger nail clippers and then later on, as he grows and his nails become harder and thicker, you will need to invest in a good pair of nail trimmers which you will be able to purchase from either your Veterinarian or Pet Supply store. The best ones to get have a guard that will help to prevent you cutting the quick, causing the nail to bleed and then making your Basset worried about having his nails done next time. These clippers are reasonably priced and you should be able to purchase them for under the $AUD30.00 mark. Failing this, your local dog groomer and/or Veterinarian usually supplies a nail trimming service for you at a minimal cost that will be worth it in the long run.
If either your local dog groomer or Veterinarian are not familiar with Bassets, they may think that his nails aren't long enough to trim every week or two - if you can hear the nails hit the floor as the dog walks, they need trimming! If you keep at it, you will find that you will only have to trim a sliver off of his nail each time, reducing the risk of cutting him, which in turn will keep him easy to do and you will keep his nails looking like a million bucks!
Children and Your New Basset:
We are constantly being asked if a Basset Hound is a suitable dog to have around children - all I can say there is check out the rest of our website and you will see for yourself! Your new baby Basset has been socialised with other dogs, people and children and raised in a loving family environment but it is important to NEVER, EVER leave your puppy or dog unattended with children (especially children under the age of eight years old). Bassets are generally extremely patient with young children but they have a lot of loose skin and long ears which children will find irresistable and may also find delight in pulling on them which will inevitably hurt the dog. So naturally, a dog's self defence mechanism is to respond with a yelp and perhaps a snap. Your new Basset has been raised amongst my two children (one aged 13 and one 3 year old at the time of typing this information) and have definately been put to the test but no dog is bomb proof, so please NEVER leave your dog unattended with children.
THE OLD SAYING OF - "EVERY GUN IS LOADED, EVERY HORSE KICKS AND
Also, the Basset Hound is at a very convenient height for children to want to throw their leg over and try to ride - this can obviously cause serious injury to the dog's back and legs and should be avoided at all times.
So common sense should prevail with this and remember - for both your children's sakes and the dog's sake - DO NOT LEAVE YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN UNATTENDED WITH ANY DOG AT ANY TIME.
Exercise and the Basset:
It is recommended that long walks be avoided for the FIRST SIX TO TWELVE MONTHS so that your baby's bones get a chance to grow and settle without too much stress - short walks are highly recommended until then - say a 50 metre stretch at a time. The Basset really is a medium to large sized dog on short lets, so keep in mind there is a lot of weight for those little legs to carry until the puppy is more mature. A Basset Hound is obviously a low slung, heavy boned scent hound bred for hunting small game, primarily rabbits and pheasants - so once he has matured, you will be able to take him on longer walks as they were bred with endurance in mind for hunting all day long.
It is a common misconception that a Basset Hound is a lazy dog - not that he doesn't enjoy a good relaxing lie in the sun, on his back, belly exposed to all or curling up on a cold day as close to the heating appliances as possible! We have found that the Basset Hound absolutely love their exercise and going on regular walks is one of their favourite past times - in fact, you could be under threat of being knocked over when they see you pick up the lead!
Basic Facts about the Breed:
The Basset Hound is a hunting dog - but were bred to flush out rather than to hunt down and kill. His long ears were developed to stir up ground scent for his large nose to smell and the folds of skin under his chin are useful for trapping and holding the scent. His large feet give him steadiness and his heavy bone make him sturdy. A fully grown male Basset can reach up to 35kg in weight and a bitch can reach up to 30kg - neither the male or female should be higher than 15 inches at the whither for showing standards. They were also bred with endurance in mind to enable them to tolerate hours of hunting with their master and are much more agile than most people would think. A well put together Basset can jump up and down from furniture with ease so you will have to watch that they do not injure themselves at a young age doing just that.
With the fact that the Basset Hound is a "scent" hound in mind, be forewarned that you will take your dog's life in your hands if you take him for a walk outside of your own yard off of the lead. He will be away, nose down, tail up, following any scent that takes his fancy and no amount of calling, yelling or whistling will bring him back to you - and he will inevitably end up under the tyres of the next passing vehicle. A tragedy that can well be avoided - NEVER take your Hound for a walk off of a lead. For this reason, it is imperative that any new home that our puppies go to have a well fenced, secure yard for him to spend his years with his new family.
Also, be aware that because of the length of a Basset Hound, he can create easy access to things on bench tops by standing on his hind legs - so just when you thought it was safe to leave a delicious morcel on your bench, you will discover that nothing relating to food will be sacred from the Basset!
You can obtain a copy of the "STANDARD" for each pure bred breed of dog from your local Canine Council and this will explain what is expected as far as conformation for each breed is most desired. Even when purchasing a pet for your family, it is best to get a dog that is as close to the "Standard" as possible to ensure the best possible health for your dog in the long run. In other words, if your dog is well put together then you are LESS likely to end up with problems associated with poor conformation down the track.
Bassets are relatively easy to live with in relation to grooming in that not a lot of it is required! However, they are renowned for drooling and shedding hair all year round. We recommend that you always have what we refer to as a "drool rag" on hand, especially during walks, trips in the car and after meals and drinks. It is not uncommon, after a good shake, that you may find drool decoratively hanging from your ceiling! Males can tend to drool more than females, but both sexes will drool more when excited or upset or upon any presentation of food!
We find that if you give your Basset a decent brush with a "Stripping Comb" (can be purchased from your local Pet Supply Store - looks like a miniature hack saw blade), say once a week, you will cut down on your vacuuming time significantly. As our dogs are shown regularly, they are also bathed regularly so that they are presented at their best. I like to use the Stripping Comb on all of them before I put them into the bath otherwise I find that the plug hole gets clogged with their shedding coat! You should be able to pick up a Stripping Comb (OR FURMINATOR) for under the $AUD25.00 mark - they are fabulous and worthwhile having!
Keep in mind that any form of grooming, even just patting your Basset, will increase the bond developed between you and he and you will be paid back ten fold for your time with his loyalty and love. The Basset tends to like to have contact with you wherever you are sitting and will probably not be content with just sitting next to you but rather will prefer to sit on you or your foot thereby maintaining very close contact!
Another thing to watch out for is any sign of fowl smells coming from your dog's mouth - one thing that can cause this is a mild infection within the folds of the skin around the mouth. If this occurs, you can cleanse with salty water every four hours and the problem should resolve - the smell is from bugs growing in the food that can get trapped within the folds of skin. Like everything, if any problem persists, seek Veterinarian advice as there could also be an infection inside the dog's mouth.
This also brings me to mention health care in relation to a Basset's teeth. You must ensure that his teeth are kept healthy and clean. You can purchase many products today that will assist you with this task, including meat flavoured toothpaste and specially designed toothbrushes! Any build up of tartar will result in disaster for your hound's teeth - which in turn will mean expensive dental treatment and possible surgery, so it certainly pays to be vigilant in dental care. Feeding big, raw bones does help to keep their teeth clean but will not guarantee that you still wont have to clean them yourself. If you see any tartar build up, you can scrape it off but if you are unsure as to how to do it, please see your Veterinarian so that he/she can show you how to do it or he/she may be able do it for you on a regular basis. As in humans, a sure sign of bad teeth can be bad breath - so if it smells bad there, check it!
Dogs can also "retain" puppy teeth - that is to say the puppy teeth do not naturally fall out as they should leaving two rows of teeth in the adult dog. This can cause a problem with food stuff getting caught between the rows, so best to consult with your Veterinarian if this occurs as it could be recommended that the retained teeth be removed.... this will require an operation. You can expect for the adult teeth to be coming through on your dog between the age of about 4-6 months, so it is wise to be reqularly checking your dog's mouth early on.
Couch Potato Extraordinaire!?:
You will soon discover that your new Basset is a highly intelligent individual and will quickly take over the house hold if allowed! It is a good idea, right from the start, to establish some ground rules that should be adhered to for everyone's sake - including his!
You will also discover that a Basset Hound loves nothing better than to take over the prime position on the lounge! It is a good idea not to allow your dog to jump up and down from any heights unaided (particularly off of furniture or out of cars) as they can hurt their backs and damage growth plates in their legs which will in turn affect them badly throughout their life. From unknown injuries brought on by these types of activities, they can develop arthritis and back problems from damage incurred earlier without you even knowing. If you establish from the beginning, that his position in the lounge room is on the floor and invest in a good quality dog cushion for him, you can sit with him on that level to begin with so that he learns that this is a good alternative to the lounge. A good quality dog bed or tough bean bag is also a really good idea and your Basset will love it!
Vaccinations and Worming:
Your puppy will come to you with his first lot of vaccination needles already done at the age of 8 or 9 weeks but you will need to have a booster shot done at 12 weeks of age with your own Veterinarian and then again at 16 weeks of age. The Vaccination booklet will be given to you as part of the "Puppy Kit" we supply along with his Registration papers, Microchipping paperwork, Care Instructions etc. Talk to your Vet about yearly vaccination shots and a worming programme for your new puppy. Your puppy has been wormed regularly since he was 2 to 3 weeks old so it is imperative that you maintain a rigourous worming programme. Worms can KILL a puppy and at best make him very, very ill.
The Vaccination Certificate will state when his next lot of shots are due. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PUPPY OUTSIDE OF THE CONFINES OF YOUR OWN HOME AND BACKYARD TIL at least two weeks after his 16 week vaccination.
You will need to worm your puppy again when he reasches 12 weeks of age (you can purchase worming suspensions and or tablets from your Vet) and then every month until six months of age; thereafter treat every 3 months or on Veterinary advice. You will have to weigh your puppy to know how much worming treatment is required each time. Be aware that some worms carried by dogs can actually be passed onto humans, so it pays to keep it up to date for a healthy pet and family! Also make sure that the worming programme you use covers Hydatids that can be fatal if not treated.
Whether you live in an area where Heartworm is prevalent or not, you will need to consult with your Veterinarian on the best prevention treatment available that will suit your lifestyle. Your puppy has NOT been on any treatment for Heartworm thus far so it is up to you to enquire with your vet and commence a routine to control this type of infestation. Heartworm is NOT something that is treated when you "worm" your Hound for intestinal worms. Heartworm is spread by mosquito bites so even if you do not live in an area where Heartworm is prevalent, it is still worth while following up on the prevention of it, especially if you travel to areas that do have high incidences of Heartworm infestation. All it takes is for your dog to be bitten by a mosquito that has bitten another infected animal and your dog will can become infected. Once again, prevention is far better than the cure - as Heartworm can be fatal and at best, if your dog is infected, could certainly shorten the life span of your beloved Hound.
Fleas and Tick Control.
Best approach when it comes to fleas is NO fleas are good on any dog - Bassets can have very sensitive skin when it comes to fleas being present. They are horrid little creatures that will make your dog unhealthy and it would be hard to imagine what it would feel like to be covered in biting, itchy little black critters crawling all over one's body!
I find "Frontline" to be a good product but please consult with your vet in relation to finding what works best for you and your Hound. If you find that you have an outbreak of fleas, you will need to treat the environment where your dog is kept (ie. bedding etc) as well as the dog itself. There are several products readily available even at your local supermarket to aid in the eradication of a flea infestation but if in doubt, consult with your Vet.
If you live in an area where ticks are a problem, please consult with your local Veterinarian to consider what options are available for you to keep ticks off of your dog. In some areas of Australia, they are a huge problem, especially the Paralysis ticks which will kill a dog and at best, cost you a lot of money to treat if caught in time. A Paralysis tick has to be on the dog for about three days before it starts to inject enough of its poison for you to see the first sign at which stage, one symptom you may see is that your dog will seem to be wobbly on its hind legs - if this occurs you will need to consult with a vet as a matter of urgency in order to save your dog's life. As a Basset Hound has a lot of loose skin and areas that are easy for a tick to access and attach themselves without your knowledge, prevention is certainly better than the cure so please see your Vet.
Other signs of Paralysis ticks being present on your dog could be difficulty breathing and coughing. Watch out for any signs of distress when you know tick season is on.
Other Things to Watch Out For.
Puppies, just like human babies, will experiment by putting things in their mouths! You will need to be vigilant and watch that there are no small objects that can be easily swallowed by your new baby Basset - including pebbles and stones. If you purchase any toys for your new arrival, make sure that there are no small items (such as buttons used for eyes etc) that can come adrift and then be swallowed. If you have fruit trees in your yard with your dog, watch for any unripened fruit that has fallen prematurely that could be mistaken for a tasty experiment to swallow - especially stoned fruit (with big seeds in the centre). Any of these things, if swallowed, could result in expensive surgery to save your Hound. Also, some fruits that are excellent for humans to consume can be deadly poisonous to your dog - including any part of the avocado fruit, plant or seed.
For at least the first week of having your new Basset Hound Puppy at home, keep him right there - at home. Don't be tempted to take him visiting everyone as his immunity will be lower from his vaccination needles combined with the longest journey he has ever been on - going home with you - his defences may be down. This will also enable you at least a week where you are both getting the opportunity to know each other and develop confidence between yourselves!
As a general rule, we tend not to take any puppies anywhere until after 10 days has passed after they have received their 12 weekly immunisation needle. Once again, speak to your vet if you have any questions.
Poisonous Plants, Swimming Pools and Ponds.
Please make sure that you are familiar with any poisonous plants in your garden when introducing a new family member such as a puppy into your home. Oleandar is highly poisonous and only a miniscule amount of the sap needs to be consumed to be completely fatal to your pet. Other poisonous plants include a lot from the lily families - so arm yourself with information so that you know what could be harmful and remove it from your garden or fence it off securely from your dog. Also, all parts of the Avocado plant is highly toxic to dogs including the fruit and seed.
Swimming pools and ponds can also prove to be a fatal combination when mixed with a new puppy. Never, ever leave your puppy unattended in the same yard as a swimming pool or pond that it is too deep for your pup to reach the ground if it falls in. I have heard of some sad instances where a pup has fallen into something like this and drowned - a tragedy that can be well avoided.
Toilet Training..... Good Luck!
We have come to the conclusion that some puppies are naturally cleaner than others but the principles are the same and that is that prevention is better than cure! It is best if you can avoid having any urine smells at all in the house casued from accidents as a puppy can tend to keep going back to the same spot to do it again! We have done our best to raise the puppies as cleanly as possible so they don't get comfortable in a messy, unclean environment. It can actually be very hard to retrain a kennel raised puppy which is another reason why ours are raised as part of the family, inside our homes.
So remember to always feed him outside so as to avoid accidents inside the house - it only takes a matter of moments for the bowel to kick in after a feed! Take him outside regularly, especially for the first month or so - we have found that 3 hourly intervals can be a good way to start the toilet training exercise. You can even start the training to have him go only in a specific spot outside if you are vigilant, persistant and consistant with where you take him to do his business and use lots of praise after the job is done outside!
If you happen to have accidents inside the house, it is probably more your fault than his as you weren't quick enough to get him outside. If this does occur, please don't scold him - clean up the mess and try to use something like a good quality disinfectant or metho to go over the stained area which should deter him from going to the same spot again. Spot clean the area by testing in a corner (or inconspicuous area) if the accident occurred on a carpetted section so as not to discolour the floor covering.
What to Feed your Basset:
If you want your Basset's diet to be relatively simple we recommend doing the following:
Purchase a GOOD quality dry dog food (specifically for LARGE DOGS) - brands like "Eucanuba", "Super Coat", "Advanced", "Optimum" and "Pedigree" are just a few. Generally, the more you spend, the better the food. These brands of dry dog food have all the necessary measured amounts of Protein, Calcium, Fat and Fibre as well as antioxidants and minerals. These brands will also have the correct ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They may be slightly more expensive, but it will be well worth it in the long run. Feeding cheap brands of dry dog food will more than likely cause your dog to get a good dose of the runs, their motions will be smellier as a result and he generally wont look as good or do as well. It is a good idea to "study" the ingredients to satisfy your decision on which brand to use and if necessary consult with your Vet and/or your breeder.
Do not ever feed dry food that expands to any great degree upon being soaked in water as it will do the same thing inside your dog's stomach and will inevitably lead to a case of "Bloat" (explained below).
If you have just gotten a puppy, feed him outside as he will nearly always need to go to the toilet straight after he has finished eating. This will make it a lot easier to toilet train him. Make sure that you purchase dry food that is specifically for LARGE BREEDS as some puppy foods can have too much protein etc which can make your baby grow too fast and damage their skeletal development. Another good way to avoid this is to mix half and half puppy/adult dry food (for large dogs) together.
Always ensure that there is a plentiful supply of FRESH water for him - this means that you will need to clean his water dish DAILY - because Bassets have a tendency to drop collections of food pieces into their drinking water as they drink (along with the mandatory drool!) and the water will quickly turn sour, especially on a hot day.
Initially it is best to give your new puppy four meals a day with the heaviest meal given at night - the underlying principles for this is that the biggest meal will help to settle your puppy in for a better sleep - meaning that you will get a better sleep! But don't forget the 3 hourly toilet interludes throughout the night though especially after feeding him the heaviest meal prior to bed time.
Leave dry food out all the time so that he is never hungry and wont learn to be a greedy eater which can, it is believed, potentially lead to an episode of "Bloat". Bloat is a condition that can be potentially FATAL, is extremely painful and at best may involve an expensive operation as the stomach tortions and twists and then fills with inescapable air - hence the term "Bloat". If you are ever unlucky enough to see a case of Bloat, you will see first hand how the stomach can fill with air and gas.
If you make the four main meals the tastier ones, he will learn to appreciate them more and will then only pick at the dry food that has been left out for him when he is really hungry. He will learn to self monitor and in turn wont get too fat (so long as the four main meals aren't too big or too full of fatty scraps). It's like leaving vegetables out for a human child all day to pick at and giving four delicious meals in between!
I tend to feed the youngsters this way until they are about 6 months of age and then I reduce the amount of times they are fed each day until they are on only 2 meals per day (by around 12months of age) - one in the morning and one at night but I always have dried food out for them during the day (and a clean source of water too).
I know that a lot of people will opt for a canned food for the sake of ease but I do recommend that you dont rely on just that type of food if you are aiming for optimum health and looks! Poor quality canned food will give your dog the runs and will make the stools very smelly which means that you have the job of cleaning up the mess!
SAMPLE MEALS FOR A PUPPY BASSET HOUND. (To about 6 months of age)
1/3 of a cup of good quality dried food soaked in hot water and a bit of puppy milk/porridge (can be purchased from your supermarket in the dog food isle).
PLEASE NOTE: That COWS MILK CAN AND DOES CAUSE DIAHORREA which can be due to a lactose intolerance in dogs in general and can leave a thick, slimmy coating over their stools which will often also be loose.
Morning Tea. 1 x boiled egg in shell (cracked up - the shell is a good source of calcium). The shell can be a bit messy on the lawn but it will degrade and they love it! You can peel it if you prefer! Do not feed raw eggs to dogs as the whites of the egg uncooked will leach essential vitamins and minerals from his system.
Lunch. Half a small can of puppy food (if you must use canned food! Whiskas meatloaf style CAT food would be my pick) or homemade rissole (you can make a heap and freeze them, obviously made with no onions).
Bedtime Meal. (fed outside remember!) White brisket bone or 2 chicken necks (smashed up with a hammer and cut into about 2cm segments)
Please remember that the quantities listed above are to be used as a guideline only - as your puppy grows, then the amount you feed may have to increase. You will get to the stage where you will know if the puppy is leaving a lot of food, you will need to cut down on the quantities and vice a versa. Just watch out if you have a puppy who tends to guts its food and cleans everything up, as you may not need to regulate that puppy's meals so that it doesn't gain too much weight! Some Basset puppies are real little hoovers and guts everything down, others may be a little more picky. It's really the gutsy ones you have to watch.
Also remember that as your puppy gets older, you can cut out some of the meals. I still feed my younger show dogs (up to 18 months of age) 3 times per day as they are part of the family and I am home to do it but I know that a lot of people don't have that luxury, so just ensure that there is always dry food out for him and FRESH water.
NEVER, EVER feed your puppy or dog onion (watch out when feeding left overs from your own meals that there are no onions in it), chocolate, grapes or raisons, beans or any other food item that will cause 'gas'. Onion, chocolate, grapes and raisons cannot be digested by your dog and could be fatal if fed to him. Any food that may cause 'gas' could be responsible for bringing on a case of "Bloat". It is also best not to exercise or excite your hound just before and after a feed, because this is also believed to contribute to the onset of Bloat so don't feed him for about an hour either side of exercise.
It is also a good idea not to feed him just before a journey in the car until you know that they are used to travelling and then you will be less likely to have bouts of car sickness.
I tend to introduce chicken necks to our puppies at about 5-6 weeks of age and I bash them with a hammer(!) and then cut them into about 1 cm pieces so that they are less likely to guts them whole and choke. You can eventually give them to your hound whole and they love them. They are a good source of calcium due to the bone content.
SAMPLE MEALS FOR AN ADULT BASSET HOUND. (6 months plus)
A typical morning meal for my adult Bassets (if you want to go "All Out"!) would be something like:
Breakfast. Boiled egg, piece of grain bread toasted. 1 x cup of good quality dry dog food, 1/2 x cup of loaf/log of dog food - Scotties brand would be the pick of loaf style dog food, 1-2 x chicken necks and about an hour after that, 1-2 cups of a drink of puppy milk.
Lunch. Half a cup of good quality canned food (Whiskas cat food, meatloaf style), 1 x tablespoon boiled rice, half a cup of diced lamb or beef hearts and 1 x cup of dry dog food.
Dinner. (here we go!)
1 x grated raw carrot, grated raw broccoli (about the same amount as 1 grated carrot), grated cheese (about 2 x tablespoons worth), 1 x cup of minced beef/lamb (raw or cooked) and/or raw diced lamb or beef hearts, 1 x teaspoon flax seed oil, 1/2 can sardines in oil or spring water, 1 x cup of good quality dry dog food. About 1 hour after that, 1-2 cups of puppy milk. Only ever use small portions of rice/pasta and if you notice any skin rashes after feeding pasta in particular, stop feeding it - some dogs can have allergies from the wheat content in pasta.
The above diet is what I feed our show dogs and it shows in their coats and general condition - Bon Apetite!
Please remember that the quantities that I have used are to be considered a "guideline" and may change depending on the age and weight desired for your individual dog. Obviously, up the quantity if your dog is under weight and cut down the quantity if your dog is a bit on the chubby side!
It is also a really good idea to converse with the breeder that you have purchased your puppy from to make sure your new acquisition doesn't have any food related allergies that they may know of and obviously avoid those foods. Check with the breeder what type of diet the puppy has been raised on and try to stick with that diet for at least the first 3-7 days to avoid any unnecessary tummy upsets caused from a change in diet and environment when you get your puppy home. Only change the diet gradually if you feel the need to do so at all.
Snacks. RAW bones, Natural Yoghurt, Canned Sardines (another good source of calcium from the bone content), Canned Carnation Milk (half water/half Carnation Milk) - they love it! *NB... Natural Yoghurt is good to feed after you have wormed your dog to re-establish correct gut flora. Or you can purchase a product called "Protexin" to do the same job.
NEVER, EVER feed your dog cooked bones of any sort - even cooked chicken bones. Cooked bones tend to splinter when they are chewed and if swallowed they can cause serious damage to your dog's internals including piercing the stomach or bowel.
RAW bones are an EXCELLENT thing to give to your dog throughout its entire life - just make sure that they are too big to be swallowed. They are an excellent way to help keep your dog's teeth and gums in a healthy state and are an excellent way to keep your Basset amused during the day if you aren't at home. Be warned though, he may want to bury them! So if you don't want your garden dug up, take them away from him when he has finished slobbering all over it! Another alternative to taking it away completely from him is to create his own sand pit and teach him to bury things in that instead of your garden.
Also, we have found that partially frozen, fresh bones help to alleviate sore gums caused from the teething process. Given to your puppy frozen will act to partially numb the gums and help to discourage him from chewing other things!
Please remember that we are only too happy to speak with you over the phone or communicate with you via emails if you have any concerns or questions. We also strongly recommend that you find a very good, reliable Veterinarian locally for yourself so that you feel comfortable contacting him/her if need be. Any decent Vet should be happy to speak to you over the phone if you have any concerns in relation to the health of your new family member - but you should also never hesitate to make a visit to the Vet if need be.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
If you are unsure about anything relating to the health and well being of your dog, please contact your Veterinarian - for the cost of a phone call, you may be able to solve any problems and if it happens to be something of a more sinister nature, you may end up saving yourself expense and heartache if you catch something early enough. I am sure that your Basset Hound will capture the hearts of all and sundry in the surgery during your regular check ups, so capitalise on that if you have to!
If you have purchased a puppy of any breed we hope that you experience a life time of companionship, loyalty, love and friendship as we have had the pleasure of in our lives with all of our dogs. Given the right start in life and the right love throughout the years, a dog will certainly enhance your time on God's green earth. To those of you who have already purchased a dog from or through us, we wish you happiness, peace and good times for the future - from everyone at "Delsharla".
Goulburn, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0412.310 717
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org