Have you ever seen the Hush Puppies mascot dog and felt your heart melt into a puddle of love at how adorable the dog is? And each time you look at the picture of the mascot have you ever made up your mind that this is the dog you absolutely need and cannot function unless you have it?
Well, you are probably not the only one to have been in that position. Basset Hounds are undeniably adorable creatures but if you’re serious about adopting a Basset Hound or any other dog breed for that matter there are certain questions you will need answers to in order to determine if that breed is a good match for you.
So, if you are looking into getting yourself a Basset Hound, you will need to do research about things such as: do Basset Hounds shed a lot? Are they easy to train? Are they indoor or outdoor dogs? Do they come with any associated health problems?
We are here to make things easier for you. We have made a list of answers to the questions you may have before adopting a Basset Hound.
Basset Hound Breed Information
The Basset Hound’s origins can be traced to as far back as the 1500s in France. The word “bas” in French means low which is an accurate description of our adorable breed. Basset Hounds are low in terms of how close they are to the ground.
Although they look like relatively smaller dogs, do not be fooled. With a heavy bone structure and all the muscle that they pack, they usually weigh 50 to 65 pounds, although they are no more than 14 inches tall at the shoulder.
Bassets are big dogs on small legs which is a result of dwarfism of achondroplasia. While we ask you to not be fooled by their tiny stature, Basset Hounds are a medium to large dog breed. Despite all this, they are under the impression that they are lap dogs and will do anything to wiggle their way into your lap!
Shedding is every pet owners’ number one peeve. But if there is one thing any pet owner needs to know is that shedding is normal. While you can take active steps to reduce the amount of fur that is shed, you cannot stop it completely. And if you are extremely averse to fur shedding there are certain breeds of dogs that are not a good fit for you.
Bassets, despite their short and oily coat of fur, do shed a lot. While the Basset Hounds do not shed as excessively as long as double-coated breeds like Yorkies or Labradors, they still do shed. And there are several factors that are linked to their shedding.
The Basset’s short hair can shed profusely. Shedding can be kept under control by gently going over the dog at least once a week with a soft brush or a shedding tool. As well as removing hair that is ready to shed, grooming is like an all-body massage that benefits his skin and overall health.
Read the original article at – American Kennel Club
This comes down to common sense. Bassets shed more particularly in Summers and Spring in order to rid themselves of their winter coat which was made to keep them warm through the harsh winters and to help them prepare for warmer weather.
Some studies also seem to suggest that shedding is linked to exposure to sunlight. The more exposure your Basset Hound has to the sunlight is actually linked to their shedding rather than the temperature.
The study was carried out on indoor dogs (Bassets are also mostly indoor dogs) who lived in unchanging temperature but changing light patterns. The artificial light at home served as daylight and the Bassets did shed their fur. In conclusion, exercise is also linked to your Bassets shedding, which you will need to keep in mind for grooming your dog..
A healthy diet is essential for keeping your dog healthy. A healthy diet can also affect how much your Basset sheds. The fur is made up of keratin which is a certain type of protein and in order to maintain a sleek healthy coat, you need to ensurea your Basset has adequate proteins in their diet.
The primary source of protein is meat so incorporate that into your Bassets meals. As per studies, 30% of the protein intake goes into the production of your dogs’ fur and if there is a lack of protein, it will result in a dry, brittle, and easy to pluck coat.
However, Bassets are prone to obesity so make sure you consult your vet on what other things should be added to your dog’s diet. Make sure they are taken out for regular walks to maintain their healthy living.
If you feel that your Basset Hound is shedding fur more than usual that might be indicative of a health problem and should not be ignored. One of the health factors can include stress. Since Bassets are extremely sociable creatures, try not to leave them alone for too long otherwise their separation anxiety might lead to stress.
Fleas can also cause excessive shedding. Luckily, this can be cured with a good flea treatment that is usually easily available.
However, if there are no visible problems that you can identify linked to the excessive shedding then it might be a more serious problem such as an organ issue and you should not waste any time and go straight to your vet.
Here are a few tips and tricks to prepare your house for your Basset and its shedding:
- You will need to set up house rules with your Basset. There will have to be no go areas where your Basset cannot go or sit around such as the couch or the carpeted areas. You can also prepare a special room for your Basset with own bed where they can lounge around and will not be tempted to roam around the house.
- Keep a lint remover handy. Lint removers are a godsend for pet owners whose pets shed.
- Invest in a humidifier. The humidifier will keep the air moist and will prevent the fur from sticking onto clothes and furniture.
- If all else fails and you want to protect your house and furniture (if not your clothes) then you can get sofa covers.
Bassets have a short oily coat that is designed to keep the dogs clean from external factors. So, while you should not bathe them regularly, an occasional bath will also help reduce their shedding.
Please be careful how often you bath your dog, as this can be damaging to their skin, hair, and health. Brushing can also help reduce shedding a bristle brush will do wonders on their coat.
Cleaning your Basset’s ears is something important for Basset Hounds. Bassets have long droopy ears that touch the ground. This feature is especially important because they are hunting dogs and it helps them pick up on sounds. But that also means, their ears get dirty easily.
Ear infections might be a common occurrence because air does not circulate well in the inner ear. You will need to clean the inside of your Bassets’ ear at least once a week with a solution recommended by your vet. Clean the facial wrinkles with a damp cloth and dry them. Do not forget to check your Basset’s paws for sores between the toes!
Bassets are extremely mild-tempered and laid-back breeds and will get along with everyone including other pets and children. They are also very social animals and since they are indoor dogs, they prefer the constant company of people around them.
If left alone for too long they might develop stress, they will also howl and yell while alone and can also take out their loneliness on your furniture.
Bassets also tend to become stubborn especially when they get attracted to the scent. If they pick up a scent that catches their attention, they might refuse to listen to you altogether and ignore your commands, this can be picked up in their training.
Similarly, they are not the easiest to train. They will need an incentive, like a dog treat, for them to listen to you but if they do not like the treat, they will go back to ignoring you. Patience is a virtue with Bassets.
Possible Health Concerns
Basset Hounds have a few associated health risks. These include:
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) or also known as bloat or gastric torsion. This is a life-threatening condition that can affect deep-chested dogs like Basset Hounds. This happens especially if they are fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, drink large volumes of water after eating, and exercise vigorously after eating.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a hereditary disorder that can cause mild to moderately severe bleeding and prolonged bleeding times. You will need to get blood tests done before going in for surgery.
- Panosteitis (also called Wandering or Transient Lameness): This is sometimes seen in young Basset Hounds. Its primary sign is sudden lameness and puppies usually outgrow it by the age of two years with no long-term problems. The lameness can be slight or severe. Many vets are not aware of this problem in Basset Hounds and may misdiagnose it as elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or even more serious disorders. If misdiagnosed, the vet may want to do surgery on your dog that is not needed, so a second opinion is always advised.
It takes patience but when you are getting so much love from your pet, what is a little patience? Every pet, no matter what breed it is, requires commitment and effort. The amount of effort you put into taking care of your Basset will only make your life with your pet that much more worthwhile.
In return, you will receive a lot of (slobbery) kisses, cuddles, and unconditional love for a lifetime to follow. So, you will have to make sure they get the right amount of food, exercise, attention, and that is just about it!