Best Dog Food For Bloodhounds
The Ultimate Bloodhound Food Buyer’s Guide
Famed for its nose and tracking abilities, the Bloodhound is a very old breed. This scent hound was originally bred to hunt large game such as deer and wild boar in the Middle Ages. They are likely descended from hounds bred by monks at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert in Belgium c. 1000 AD and from French and Norman hounds. There is some dispute about the origin of the modern Bloodhound, however, with the British also claiming it as a native breed. The breed appears to have been well-established in England by the 14th century and dogs of this kind were used by the English to track William Wallace (Braveheart) in Scotland in the late 13th-early 14th century. From its earliest days it seems that the hounds were used to track humans and were sometimes referred to as “sleuth hounds.” With the popularity of fox hunting, and the decline of deer and wild boar hunting, Bloodhounds became much less popular after the 18th century. There was a flurry of interest in the breed in the 19th century when dog shows were introduced but following World War II the breed’s numbers in Britain and Europe were very low. However, the breed has always been very popular in the United States. In the U.S. the Bloodhound has a long history of being used to track humans such as escaped prisoners and missing persons, often with great success. Today there are more Bloodhounds in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. According to the AKC, the Bloodhound is the 49th most popular breed in the country. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1885.
In temperament, the Bloodhound is a friendly, good-natured, inquisitive dog. Like many hounds, they tend to be somewhat independent and able to think for themselves. They are gentle, affectionate dogs but tireless when they have found a scent. They can be hard to train, especially if they are following their nose. Then your dog may tune you out and stubbornly ignore you. Otherwise they usually make very good family dogs. Due to their large size, however, you should supervise them around small children as you would any dog. Although the breed is often portrayed as a lazy, bumbling dog, they actually need regular exercise and plenty of space. They are big, powerful dogs and they like to romp and play. If you don’t provide your Bloodhound with enough exercise, he may start to destroy your home. You definitely need a fenced yard if you have a Bloodhound and they should not be off-leash. These dogs have the best noses in the canine world. Instinct and 1000 years of selective breeding tells them to follow when they smell something interesting. A Bloodhound that picks up an interesting scent can follow it for miles. He won’t notice a vehicle headed toward him so make sure he’s on a leash when you leave the house together. Bloodhounds also bay, drool, and slobber so if you object to these breed traits, this isn’t the breed for you.
Quick Look : Top 4 Best Dog Foods for Bloodhounds
|Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe
Read Reviews Where To Buy
|*New Formula* ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Read Reviews Where To Buy
Male Bloodhounds usually stand between 25 and 27 inches tall. Females stand 23 to 25 inches. Male Bloodhounds usually weigh about 90 pounds (though they can weigh up to 110 pounds). Females weigh about 80 pounds (though they can weigh up to 100 pounds).
As already mentioned, Bloodhounds are not the lazy lay-abouts they are sometimes portrayed as in TV shows and films. They are active dogs. Young Bloodhounds, especially, can be quite rowdy. In addition, many Bloodhound owners and their dogs take part in Tracking, Obedience, Rally, Agility, and Trailing events. If you and your dog are involved in any of these events, be sure to take that into consideration when you are figuring how many calories your Bloodhound needs in his diet.
According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Bloodhound weighing 90 pounds requires an average daily caloric intake of 2038 kcal. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Some dogs may need more calories depending on their level of activity and their individual metabolism. For example, if you train with your Bloodhound (weighing 90 pounds) and do tracking, you might need to feed him somewhere around 2265 kcal. Growing puppies consume more calories than adult dogs and so do young adult dogs. A young Bloodhound puppy (4-12 months) weighing 70 pounds needs an estimated 1865 kcal per day. You always need to adjust your dog’s food intake based on his activity level and other factors.
Since Bloodhound puppies are a large breed and the breed grows slowly, we recommend feeding a good food formulated for large breed puppies. These foods typically have fewer calories and calcium levels that are appropriate for large breed growth. The National Research Council recommends a safe upper level of 4.5 grams/1000 kcals for calcium but pet nutritionists usually recommend no more than 3.5 grams of calcium per 1000 kcals (or less) for growth or all life stage foods formulated for large breed puppies. The calcium amount in the food should be between 1-1.3 percent for large breed puppies. A puppy’s skeleton is growing and developing during these months and too much calcium for a large breed puppy often leads to skeletal problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. (You can find a great deal of research and information online about feeding large breed puppies and dogs but much of it is geared toward Great Danes. Fortunately, most of this information can be applied to Bloodhounds.)
Expect your Bloodhound puppy to gain 3-5 pounds per week, with the greatest growth occurring between 4-8 months. Your dog will continue to grow for another year or two but at a slower rate.
If you feed a puppy food, most breeders recommend feeding this food until your puppy reaches about 80 percent of his adult size. With a large breed puppy such as the Bloodhound, you should not switch to an adult maintenance food while the puppy is still growing. Continue to feed a large breed puppy food or an all life stages food until your dog reaches maturity. A large breed such as the Bloodhound needs precise calcium and other mineral content that is not found in maintenance dog foods. You should talk to your breeder about the food they recommend for their puppies since they usually have experience with how their puppies grow and develop.
Feeding Your Bloodhound
Bloodhounds are especially prone to bloat/torsion or GDV (gastric dilatation volvulus). It is one of the leading causes of death in the breed. Concern about bloat affects many feeding decisions for Bloodhounds. For example, the American Bloodhound Club recommends feeding small puppies (8-12/16 weeks) three to four small meals through the day. When your Bloodhound puppy is 12/16 weeks to 6 months, they suggest moving to three feedings per day. From age 6 months onward, you can feed your Bloodhound two meals per day. However, some owners prefer to go on feeding three meals per day, even for adult dogs, with snacks and treats between meals since this is thought, in some quarters, to reduce the risk of bloat. You do need to avoid feeding one large meal per day. An empty stomach can lead to more air/gas which can result in bloat/torsion.
There has been research and there are various studies online about bloat. We recommend that you look at them if you are considering a Bloodhound or other deep-chested breed prone to bloat. The American Bloodhound Club discusses some of the things that owners do to try to lessen the chance of a dog bloating. Things that have been recommended include splitting up meals to feed several smaller meals throughout the day; soaking dry food so it will expand before the dog eats it; elevating the food dish 8-12 inches so the dog takes in less air when he eats (though other people claim raised bowls contribute to bloat); monitor the dog’s exercise before and after he eats so he has some resting time; and using a “slow” bowl to discourage dogs from eating too fast. Other things that may help include feeding dog foods that contain pre- and probiotics to help with digestion, or adding other supplements.
Most people with Bloodhounds recommend feeding good quality dog foods with a protein percentage from the upper 20 percent level to the lower 30 percent mark. Fat percentage is suggested to be around 12 to 18 percent.
As with any dog, you should feed your Bloodhound a good quality dog food. Food that is high in animal protein is usually a good choice.
Whether you feed your dog a food with or without grains is a personal choice. Many people choose grain free dog foods because their dogs have digestive problems, food allergies or sensitivities, or skin problems. You may want to avoid the most common grains, such as corn and wheat which are often over-used in dog foods, but there are many good dog foods that use alternative grains/cereals such as oats and barley. If you still prefer to feed a grain free dog food, that should also work for your Bloodhound. Try a couple of foods, with and without grains, and see how your dog does on the foods so you can make your decision.
Bloodhound Health Problems
As already discussed, bloat is a serious problem in Bloodhounds. Health surveys have identified it as a leading cause of death in the breed. The particular cause of bloat – or a way to stop it – have not been found.
Cancer also occurs with some frequency in the breed. It appears most often as osteosarcoma and lymphoma in Bloodhounds.
Bloodhounds can also be subject to glaucoma and some other eye problems such as entropion and ectropion (eye lid problems).
Epilepsy also occurs in the breed and there is ongoing research into the disease, as there is in other breeds.
As with many breeds, individual dogs can have problems with allergies ranging from flea allergies to food sensitivities. Dermatitis can be a problem with some dogs.
Finally, as you might expect with those beautiful long ears, Bloodhounds can be prone to ear infections. The long ears can trap bacteria in the ear canal. It’s particularly important to clean your Bloodhound’s ears regularly and be watchful for any signs of an ear infection.
The American Bloodhound Club expects breeders to test their dogs for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and heart problems.
Unfortunately, Bloodhounds often have a short lifespan. In the United States their lifespan is reported to be 7-10 years. In the UK, health surveys show a shorter lifespan of 6.75 years.
Ingredients to Avoid and Some to Look For
As with most dogs, when choosing a food for your Bloodhound you should look for a food that has good sources of protein and fat.
Ideally you will select a dog food that features two or three meat proteins in the first several ingredients listed. Both whole meats and meat meals are good sources of protein. Whole meats refer to foods such as whole chicken, beef, fish, and lamb. Some people don’t like meat meals as much as whole meats but they are a concentrated form of the meat in which the moisture has been removed. They contain several times as much protein as a whole meat. Meat meals are usually quite acceptable as one of the first ingredients in a good quality dog food. They are used by many good dog food brands.
Many dog foods today, even some of the most expensive and highly touted, use lots of plant proteins such as lentils and peas. These foods often have high protein percentages on the label. When you read the guaranteed analysis it’s important to consider how much of the protein in the food comes from meat and how much comes from plants. Your dog is able to digest meat protein more easily than plant protein. Meat protein is a much more natural source of protein for your dog than plant protein.
Dogs also need good sources of fat. You should look for named fat sources such as chicken fat. Other named fats also provide needed nutrients such as fish oil which can provide omega-3 fatty acid to help keep the skin and coat healthy. Puppies can benefit from DHA which is Docosahexaenoic acid. This is a specific form of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain and eye development. Older dogs seem to benefit from medium chain triglycerides which feature medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These have been found to help older dogs feel and act younger. They are often made from a combination of coconut oil and other oils.
If you want to avoid corn, soy, and wheat in your dog food, your Bloodhound may still be able to eat an alternative grain such as barley or oats. Or you can feed a grain free dog food that uses an alternate source of carbs that is low glycemic such as sweet potatoes. You don’t have to feed a dog food with an excessively high percentage of protein but it’s a good idea to keep the carb percentage low to moderate.
If your Bloodhound has a food allergy or food sensitivity, you may need to work with your veterinarian to identify the food triggers unless they are very obvious. There are lots of good foods with alternative meat proteins today as well as limited ingredient diets which we will discuss below.
Recommended Dog Food For An Adult Bloodhound
Unless your Bloodhound has a food allergy or sensitivity or some other health problem, he should be able to eat most good quality dog foods. If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity you will need to try to avoid foods with ingredients that are triggers for your dog.
We have suggested a variety of foods here for Bloodhounds. We have tried to find foods that meet the protein and fat levels suggested by the American Bloodhound Club. Most of the foods we have selected do not contain corn, wheat, or soy, unless noted. The puppy foods meet the calcium requirements for Bloodhound puppies. You may have to try a couple of foods to find which one is best for your dog. You should also keep in mind that your dog’s dietary needs can change as he grows and ages so you may have to change foods to suit him.
Best Dog Foods for Bloodhound Adults
|Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe
Read Reviews Where To Buy
|*New Formula* ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Read Reviews Where To Buy
Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult Recipe is made by Petcurean. You may be more familiar with some of the other product lines from this Canadian company, such as Go!, Spike, or Summit. This food for large dogs is made from 100 percent fresh turkey, salmon, duck and 100 percent fresh omega 3 & 6 oils from coconuts and canola. It has no corn, wheat, or soy, and no other grains, gluten, or beef. It uses no rendered meats, no by-products, and no artificial preservatives.
The features New Zealand green mussels and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. It has added L-Carnitine for a healthy heart and to help turn fat into lean muscle. It has taurine for good vision and heart function. And it has added pre- and probiotics for better digestion. The first ingredient is deboned turkey. It contains 363 kcal/cup and has 27 percent crude protein and 13 percent crude fat. These levels should help your Bloodhound stay at a good weight. We think this food has some good features for a large breed in terms of bone and joint health and heart health, as well as quality ingredients.
Champion Pet Foods has completed their new kitchen in Kentucky and they have reformulated some of their dog and cat foods to reflect what is “regional” to the Kentucky area. So, it’s still the same award-winning company, but some Acana foods will be made in Kentucky. We’ve had a chance to review the Acana dog and cat foods and there are some changes in the meat proteins but the foods still look good. If you visit the Acana web site you can view the old and new formulas to see the changes (we really like being able to compare the formulas). The old Grasslands formula, for example, was heavy on lamb, duck, whitefish, and lentils. The new formula features goat meal and catfish meal, in addition to the lamb and duck. The old formula has 31 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. The new formula has 33 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 6 percent crude fiber, and 12 percent moisture. The food has 70 percent animal protein ingredients and 30 percent vegetables, fruits, and botanicals. No grains, potatoes, or tapioca. If you’re looking for a good grain free dog food for your Bloodhound that is low in carbohydrates, we think that the Acana foods are a good choice. Acana foods typically have slightly less meat protein than Orijen (made by the same company), but we think they’re a good choice for many dogs.
Victor dog food has something of a cult following. People who feed it really seem to love it. It’s made by Mid America Pet Food – a company that co-packs for some other well-known brands. Mid America is a family-owned and operated company located in east Texas. According to the company, more than 80 percent of the ingredients used in their foods come from a 200-mile radius of their facility. They currently have seventeen formulas available. They have foods that are free of corn, wheat, soy, gluten, and grain by-products. They use no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The Yukon River Salmon formula has 32 percent crude protein, 15 percent crude fat, and 34 percent crude carbs. Seventy-six percent of the protein in the food comes from fish. We think that many Bloodhounds would do well on this food. Or you could check out one of Victor’s other foods. People who feed Victor are devoted to this brand. Considering the ingredients, their foods are very reasonably priced.
Designed specifically for large dogs over 50 pounds, Fromm Large Breed Adult Gold is one of our favorite dog foods for large dogs. It contains duck, chicken meal, and chicken as the first three ingredients. Chicken cartilage is added for a natural form of glucosamine to keep joints supple which is important for big dogs. The food contains no wheat, corn, or soy that might irritate the digestive system. Fromm Large Breed Adult Gold features moderate protein and fat which may be better for large dogs like Bloodhounds which are prone to bloat. The food is moderate in terms of calories (378 kcal/cup) which helps your large dog stay slim.
We also like the fact that Fromm is a family-owned company in Wisconsin and they make their food in small batches fresh every morning. These are good ingredients from a respected company in a formula that should be good for your large dog.
Best Dog Foods for Bloodhound Puppies
Bloodhound puppies can usually begin eating a puppy food right after they are weaned or they can eat a good all life stage food. If you have questions about how to feed your puppy, we recommend talking to your puppy’s breeder. They usually have the most experience with raising Bloodhound puppies and can guide you.
Puppy foods should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. It’s also important that dog and puppy foods do not have an excess of calcium since this can affect bone growth. This is especially true for large breed puppies like Bloodhounds. If you are feeding your puppy a food that is properly formulated, you should not add any extra calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, or other calcium supplements. Doing so can lead to serious health problems such as OCD (osteochondritis dessecans) – painful bone spurs that may require surgery – and other orthopedic problems.
Here are some of the puppy foods we like for Bloodhound puppies. Remember that an all life stage food can also be fed, as long as the nutrients are appropriate for your puppy.
No question about it: this is an expensive food. However, it has a lot desirable points. No corn, no wheat, no soy. It’s grain free, gluten-free, GMO-free, and it’s considered a limited ingredient diet. It contains no by-products, tapioca, or potatoes. It has a single protein (dehydrated chicken) and carbohydrate source (split peas – though we aren’t sure if sun-cured alfalfa counts as a carbohydrate or not) and the meat is hormone-free, pesticide-free, and antibiotic-free. It also has the proper calcium level for large breed puppies (though it says it’s formulated for small puppies). There’s more, but you get the idea. If you are trying to be very careful with your Bloodhound puppy, then this LID holistic puppy food from Canine Caviar is definitely a food you may want to consider. Canine Caviar also has several other formulas so you can rotate the proteins. Seriously, this food is so holistic we don’t even know what some of the stuff means, but we are impressed with it.
This grain free, high protein food can be a good choice for Bloodhound puppies. No grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. No meat by-products or fillers. It has DHA for brain and eye development, antioxidants, and probiotics. And it has the proper calcium level for large breed puppies. The first three ingredients are Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal. It has 417 kcal/cup. Recommended.
Best Dog Foods for the Senior Bloodhound
Many senior dog foods are formulated with the belief that older dogs are overweight and need to lose pounds so they often have less fat and fewer calories than regular dog food. If you have an older Bloodhound, be sure to carefully read dog food labels so you don’t accidentally buy a food that has too few calories for your older dog.
Senior Bloodhounds, like many older dogs, can start to have problems metabolizing nutrients, including protein. They may start to lose muscle tone and weight as they get older. Look for a senior dog food that has plenty of protein that is easy to digest. As long as your older dog doesn’t have any problems with his kidneys or with phosphorus, there is no reason to avoid higher protein levels.
Orijen Senior provides plenty of excellent quality protein for your older Bloodhound . This food features deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail ﬂounder, whole eggs, and whole Atlantic mackerel. It helps keep older dogs in good muscle even as they become less active. Made of 85 percent meats and fish, the food is low-glycemic and has low carbs to help keep your older dog’s blood sugar steady. The food also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your Bloodhound ‘s joints healthy. The food is 38 percent crude protein and 15 percent crude fat. It checks in at 414 kcal per 8 ounce cup. We think this is a very good food for senior dogs who often need extra protein as they get older. (We know Orijen is expensive but this food really stands out for senior dogs.)
We also like Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets Kibble for older dogs. These foods have one animal protein source and no grains or glutens. The ingredients are easy to digest. They have added omega 3 and omega 5 for healthy skin and coat. And, since they are formulated for dogs with food sensitivities, they are easy on an older dog’s digestive system. The foods are high in protein. Instinct also has several other canned LID diets available. You can choose from duck meal, lamb meal & peas, and turkey meal. Instinct also has canned recipes for these LID foods if you would like to add some tasty toppers to your Bloodhound’s meals.
Another senior food we like a lot is Bright Mind 7+ from Purina. Whether you normally like Purina foods or not, we have heard nothing but positive comments about this food, especially for elderly dogs that might be slowing down and starting to withdraw. The food addresses some of the cognitive issues that older dogs can have.
Best Dog Foods for Bloodhounds with Skin Problems/Allergies
As mentioned earlier, Bloodhounds can have some allergies and skin problems. If your dog needs to avoid common proteins, you can try this food.
Any dog suffering from skin problems or food allergies may benefit from Wild Calling!’s Xotic Essentials recipes. Formulas like their rabbit meal recipe use exotic meats that are rare in today’s pet food market so your dog hasn’t eaten them before – less chance of having an allergic reaction. The foods are also highly digestible. Wild Calling! also uses what they call LITe (limited ingredient technology). They don’t use any of the ingredients commonly found in most dog foods such as chicken, grain, gluten, egg, yeast, corn, wheat or soy. If your Bloodhound has a food allergy, he may benefit from Wild Calling! The foods are formulated for rotational feeding and they offer several Xotic Essentials recipes, such as kangaroo and bison, so your dog doesn’t get over-exposed to one kind of meat protein. This is an All Life Stage food. We think that dogs with skin problems and food allergies can definitely benefit from these recipes.
Another food that is often recommended for dogs with food allergies and skin problems is Zignature. It comes in proteins such as trout & salmon, kangaroo, turkey, duck, venison, and others. It’s available in dry and canned versions. Foods are potato- and grain-free, and chicken-free. They do not use common bonding agents (thickeners and ingredients to hold the food together) in their foods which are high in simple carbs and starches. They only use low glycemic carbs such as chickpeas that add extra protein and fiber to the food. They work with Tuffy’s in Minnesota and Performance Pet in South Dakota to make their foods. Many people like Zignature very much. If you have a dog with food allergies, this is a brand that you might consider. This duck formula is a good example with hypo-allergenic meat first, no corn, wheat, soy, dairy or chicken, chicken eggs or chicken by-products.
Best Dog Foods for Bloodhounds with Sensitive Stomachs
If your dog has a sensitive stomach it can be an indication of a food sensitivity, which is different from a food allergy. A dog with a food sensitivity will have gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Or it could be something more serious.
A dog with a sensitive stomach can often be helped by feeding the right dog food. Sticking to a limited ingredient diet food with as few ingredients as possible can reduce the chance of your dog having a bad reaction to something in the food.
We recommend Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food. This food is grain free with limited ingredients. It has good quality, alternative ingredients that are easily digestible for a dog with a sensitive stomach. And it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The first five ingredients are: Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil, and Potato Fiber. It has 21 percent crude protein, 10 percent crude fat, 4.5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. It has 380 kcal/cup and it’s an all life stage formula. If your dog can’t eat some of the ingredients in this food, Natural Balance has lots of other LID recipes that you might check.
Best Dog Foods for Overweight Bloodhounds
Middle-aged dogs often start to put on some extra pounds, especially if they are not getting enough exercise. You can help your dog lose weight by cutting back on his portions and encouraging him to get more exercise. Try reducing snacks or giving your Bloodhound low-calorie snacks such as apple pieces instead of treats with more calories.
If you have a Bloodhound that needs to lose more weight we recommend Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe. We like the fact that this food has 32 percent crude protein. The crude fat percentage is between 8 and 11 percent with 5 percent crude fiber so your dog should not feel like he’s starving. It is AAFCO-approved for a maintenance diet. The food has 3,210 kcal per kilogram or 360 kcal per cup ME (metabolizable energy) on an as fed basis (calculated). It is grain free and made from 55 percent beef and poultry. And it contains no corn, wheat, or soy and no ingredients from China. The first five ingredients in this food are: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, and Sweet Potatoes.
If your dog needs to lose weight, you should proceed slowly. No crash dieting. You should aim for your dog to lose no more than 3 to 5 percent of his body weight per month or about one percent each week.
We do not recommend a weight control dog food for a puppy or a very old dog. These foods generally have fewer calories and may have some other differences in nutrients that make them inappropriate for growing puppies or older dogs who need special nutrition.
Although they are friendly and good-natured, Bloodhounds are not for everyone. They can be hard to train, they will take off after a scent that smells enticing, they bay, and they drool and slobber. Plus, they need quite a bit of room for exercise. But they are sweet, gentle, affectionate dogs. They can make a wonderful family pet for the right family. If you are considering getting a Bloodhound, meet some breeders and their dogs, get to know the breed, perhaps talk to Bloodhound rescue, and decide if this is the right dog for you.