15 Best Dog Foods for Bloodhounds: Our 2020 Feeding Guide

If you know anything about the Bloodhound breed, it is that he has one of the strongest noses around.

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A large-breed scent hound, the Bloodhound was originally developed for hunting large game like deer and wild boar. Since the Middle Ages, these dogs have also been used to track people. Though the exact origins of the breed are unclear, the Bloodhound is thought to be descendant from the Chien de Saint-Hubert, a type of hound kept at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert in Belgium.

Though most famous for his hunting and tracking instincts, the Bloodhound is a gentle and even-tempered breed that can adapt to family life. He does have a bit of a stubborn streak, however, so training and handling can be a challenge. In addition to maintaining a firm position of leadership with your Bloodhound, you also need to feed him a healthy Bloodhound diet.

The best dog food for Bloodhounds is rich in protein to support strong muscles with adequate fat to provide for his high energy needs. Keep reading to learn more about your Bloodhound’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Bloodhounds.

Understanding a Bloodhound’s Diet Requirements

Dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, but their bodies are designed to absorb and utilize nutrients more efficiently from animal sources than plant sources. This simply means that most of your Bloodhound’s diet should be animal-based. It starts with protein, the building blocks of healthy muscle, which can come from meat, poultry, or fish. Animal proteins are complete proteins which means that they contain all 10 amino acids that your dog needs.

After protein, fat and carbohydrate are the other two nutrients to think about. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy and support for healthy skin and coat. Carbohydrates also provide energy as well as essential nutrients and dietary fiber. Look for a recipe made with healthy animal-based fats and digestible carbohydrates with a maximum of 5% crude fiber.

  • Puppy Bloodhounds – When your Bloodhound is a puppy, he’ll need protein to support muscle growth and plenty of fat to provide energy to fuel that growth. Puppies need a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in their diet, though more is usually better. You do, however, want to make sure your Bloodhound puppy doesn’t grow too fast because that could increase his risk for skeletal problems later – controlling his calcium and phosphorus intake is important for this as well. The best thing to do is start with a large-breed puppy recipe and follow the feeding recommendations.
  • Adult Bloodhounds – As an adult your Bloodhound needs a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat. To maintain his lean muscle mass, however, you should look for a high-quality large-breed dog food that contains at least 20% protein (ideally closer to 30%) with 12% to 18% fat. Again, these recommendations will vary depending on your Bloodhound’s size and activity level.
  • Senior Bloodhounds – As your Bloodhound gets older, his metabolism will slow down, and he’ll need fewer calories. You can accomplish this by reducing the amount you feed him or switch to a senior recipe or weight management formula. Just make sure it is still rich in quality animal protein to help him maintain his lean muscle mass to prevent obesity.

Even if you feed your Bloodhound a large-breed diet, you should still keep an eye on his body weight and condition to make sure he isn’t overweight. You should be able to feel his ribs through the skin and he should have a clearly defined tuck at the waist. Talk to your veterinarian if you aren’t sure.

Special Dietary Considerations for Bloodhounds

The Bloodhound breed is generally fairly healthy, though all dogs are prone to developing certain health problems. Most of this breed’s problems are related to his size, though these dogs do have a much higher incidence of gastrointestinal issues than most breeds.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Bloodhound may be prone:

  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Dermatitis (Fold Dermatitis)
  • Ear Infections
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Entropion/Ectropion
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric Dilation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Otitis Externa

Most of the problems to which the Bloodhound is prone are eye problems, skin problems, or gastrointestinal problems. Let’s take a closer look at some of the conditions in these categories.

In terms of eye issues, Bloodhounds are prone to both ectropion and entropion. The former occurs when the eyelid rolls outward, leaving the eye exposed to irritation. The latter is when the eyelid rolls inward, irritating or damaging the eyeball. This can happen in either one or both eyes and, if it is severe enough, can be corrected through surgery.

The Bloodhound is also prone to skin problems due to the fact that his skin is very loose and forms deep folds and wrinkles. One skin problem to which the breed is particularly prone is dermatitis or, more specifically, skin fold dermatitis. This occurs when friction or trapped moisture in the skin folds leads to irritation and infection. This can become very severe, so skin and coat maintenance is important for the Bloodhound breed. Including healthy fats in his diet will help as well.

The most common gastrointestinal issue seen in the Bloodhound breed is gastric dilation. Also known as bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that is particularly common in deep-chested and large-breed dogs. It occurs when the dog eats too much at once, drinks too much water at once, eats too fast, or exercises too soon after a meal. When it happens, the stomach fills with air and twists, cutting off blood flow to the heart leading to a drop in blood pressure and sudden shock.

Bloodhound Adult and Puppy Feeding Chart

The amount you feed your Bloodhound will change over the course of his life according to his needs. As a puppy, he will require a more calorie-dense diet to support his growth and development, usually divided into three meals per day. As an adult, the focus becomes maintaining lean muscle mass and a healthy body weight. You’ll be feeding your dog 4 to 8 cups daily, divided over two meals. When your Bloodhound becomes a senior, you may want to cut back on the amount you feed him or switch to a senior or weight maintenance formula.

The best way to determine exactly how much to feed your Bloodhound is to refer to the feeding recommendations on the package. These are based on your dog’s age and weight, so you might have to make adjustments if your dog is still growing. Remember, these recommendations are for the entire day, so you’ll need to divide that amount into 2 or 3 meals, according to your dog’s needs.

Best Dog Food for Bloodhounds

Now that you know more about your Bloodhound’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best dog food for Bloodhounds. The best place to start is with a large-breed adult recipe made with premium proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. Here are our top 15 picks:

Merrick BackCountry Raw Infused Large-Breed Recipe

Overall Best Food for Bloodhounds: If you want the best of the best for your Bloodhound, this Merrick BackCountry Raw Infused Large-Breed Recipe is a great option. It consists of high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces for a boost of flavor and nutrition. This recipe features deboned chicken as the #1 ingredient with a full 38% protein. It is completely free from grains, including corn, wheat, and soy, and is loaded with digestible carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes. Chicken fat provides an excellent source of concentrated energy and essential fatty acids which fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients. It also contains chelated minerals and probiotics.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble plus freeze-dried raw pieces, deboned chicken first ingredient, grain-free digestible carbohydrates, fresh fruits and veggies, rich in essential fatty acids, probiotics
  • Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, very expensive

American Journey Large-Breed Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

Most Affordable Food: If you’re looking for an affordable dog food that offers high-quality nutrition for large-breed dogs like your Bloodhound, this American Journey Large-Breed Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe is an excellent option. Not only is it grain-free, but it is loaded with healthy protein from real chicken. Grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas provide valuable energy and dietary fiber, with healthy fats to support your Bloodhound’s skin and coat. This recipe is fortified with antioxidants for a strong immune system, probiotics for a healthy digestive system, and chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. You’ll also find fresh fruits and vegetables on the list to ensure complete and balanced nutrition from natural sources.

  • Pros: Formulated for large breeds, real chicken as the main ingredient, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, antioxidants for immunity, probiotics for digestion
  • Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, contains some plant protein

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: This Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Food is a protein-rich option for your Bloodhound that also contains plenty of healthy omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This recipe features salmon and ocean fish meal as the primary proteins with smoked salmon for an additional boost of flavor. There is plenty of omega fatty acids to ensure skin and coat health as well as dried fermentation products for probiotic support. This recipe is completely grain-free, made with digestible carbohydrates like sweet potato and peas with fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. You’ll also be glad to know that it contains chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption.

  • Pros: Protein-rich salmon and ocean fish meal, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, probiotics for healthy digestion, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Not a large-breed specific recipe, first source of fat is plant-based

 NomNomNow Fresh Dog Food

Super Premium Food: If money is no object and you truly want to feed your Bloodhound the best of the best, consider NomNomNow. This company is a meal delivery service for dogs that offers fresh, custom meals delivered right to your door. Fresh ingredients are best when it comes to ensuring nutritional integrity in dog food, so you’ll be glad to know that every ingredient used is of the highest quality. This brand is designed to support your dog’s lean muscle mass while meeting his energy needs, taking into account his size and the risk of obesity. Simply fill out a profile for your dog online and choose your recipe then wait for it to be delivered. It is as simple as that.

  • Pros: Fresh wholesome ingredients, recipe customized to your dog, exceptional nutritional quality, delivered fresh to your door
  • Cons: Very expensive, limited number of recipes to choose from

 Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Recipe

Best Food for Bloodhounds with Allergies: If your Bloodhound suffers from food allergies, this Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Recipe is a great option. It may be expensive, but it is worth every penny because it features a novel source of protein (kangaroo) and is entirely grain-free. This recipe is loaded with natural meat flavor with grain-free chickpeas, flaxseed, and peas for carbohydrates and dietary fiber. It is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption with vitamin supplements for balance. All in all, this recipe is designed to ensure complete and balanced nutrition of the highest quality.

  • Pros: Novel source of protein (kangaroo), grain-free digestible carbohydrates, free from common allergens, rich in antioxidants, plenty of fiber for digestion, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Very expensive, contains some plant proteins

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed

Best Food for Bloodhounds with Sensitive Stomachs: If your Bloodhound has a sensitive stomach, he may benefit from a grain-free recipe made with highly digestible ingredients like this Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Large Breed Dry Food. Formulated specifically for large breeds, this recipe features deboned chicken and chicken meal as the main ingredients. Naturally grain-free, this recipe contains digestible carbohydrates like chickpeas, peas, and potatoes which also provide plenty of fiber for healthy digestion. This formula is supplemented with chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition with probiotics for healthy digestion. Plus, it has the ideal balance of protein and energy to support lean muscle mass without causing your dog to gain an unhealthy amount of weight.

  • Pros: Designed for large breeds, real chicken as the first ingredient, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, plenty of healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken

Top Rated (5 Star) Bloodhound Adult Foods Recommendations

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole-Body Health Large-Breed Recipe

If you’re looking for a large-breed recipe that supports healthy and regular digestion, this Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole-Body Health Large-Breed Recipe is a great choice. Made with protein-rich chicken and duck, it is highly digestible with the help of whole-grain brown rice and oats as well as grain-free carbohydrates like peas and potatoes. This recipe also contains plenty of healthy fats for skin and coat health as well as chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large-Breed Salmon Recipe

For a high-protein recipe that is free from grains, try this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large-Breed Salmon Recipe. This formula contains 32% protein to support your Bloodhound’s lean muscle mass with just 14% fat. This is enough to support his energy needs without putting him at risk for unhealthy weight gain. You’ll also be glad to know that this recipe is completely free from by-products and artificial additives but contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe

To ensure digestibility and quality nutrition, this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe features clean, wholesome ingredients like pasture-fed lamb and whole brown rice. This recipe contains a wealth of digestible whole-grains as well as a blend of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. It is also rich in fiber for healthy digestion with chelated minerals to ensure the optimal absorption of essential nutrients.

Top Rated (5 Star) Bloodhound Puppy Foods Recommendations

Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula

If you’re concerned about the quality of your Bloodhound puppy’s nutrition, this Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula is a good option. Made with only the freshest, most wholesome ingredients, this recipe delivers plenty of healthy protein and whole-grain carbohydrates. Plus, it is designed specifically for large breeds and contains all the nutritional supplements needed to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe

Though this Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe is at the higher end of the price spectrum, it is well worth it. Made with premium animal proteins like turkey, salmon, and duck, this recipe is also loaded with omega fatty acids. With fresh fruits and veggies for nutritional balance and grain-free carbohydrates, this recipe is highly digestible and high-quality. It delivers a full 29% crude protein with 16% fat, plenty to ensure that your Bloodhound puppy grows properly.

Victor Active Dog & Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dog Food

If you’re looking for a recipe that will meet your Bloodhound puppy’s needs and transition him into adulthood, this Victor Active Dog & Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dog Food might be the way to go. With 33% protein, this recipe will more than support your puppy’s growth and development, but the fat content isn’t so high that it puts him at risk for obesity as an adult. Plus, it is formulated for active breeds and contains all kinds of beneficial supplements including dried vegetables, probiotics, and chelated minerals. Plus, it is grain-free which is another bonus.

2 More Picks for Best Senior Bloodhound Foods

Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

If you’re looking for an affordable brand of senior dog food that will help your Bloodhound maintain a healthy body weight, consider this Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food. Made with 27% protein and 11.5% fat, this recipe supports lean muscle mass and ensures that your dog gets the energy he needs without an excess of calories. It features protein-rich beef with whole-grain carbohydrates and plenty of healthy animal fats. Plus, it is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Senior Dry Food

If protein is your priority, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Senior Dry Food is a great option for your Bloodhound. Made with both deboned chicken and chicken meal, this recipe provides 30% crude protein with adequate fat content to support your dog’s energy requirements. Plus, it is naturally grain-free for easy digestion and supplemented with plenty of fiber and probiotics. Plus, it contains fresh fruits and vegetables to provide antioxidants and their anti-aging benefits.

Our FAQ and Bloodhound Feeding Guide

It won’t do you any good to buy the best dog food for Bloodhounds if you don’t keep it fresh. Exposure to air can destroy the nutritional quality of dog food and exposure to moisture can cause it to rot. Proper dog food storage is extremely important and the best thing to do is put the whole bag in an airtight container. The bag is already treated on the inside to keep the food fresh, so don’t just pour the food into an empty container.

In addition to choosing the right food storage method, you should also think about how you’re going to feed it. You’ll need a fairly large bowl to accommodate your Bloodhound’s meals and you should stick to materials that are easy to clean like stainless steel or ceramic. You might also think about buying a slow-feed bowl if your dog has a tendency to eat too quickly. This will help to slow things down and reduce the risk for gastric dilation which can be fatal.

How much food should I feed my Bloodhound? – The amount of food you offer your Bloodhound depends on his age and body weight. Growing puppies need a steady influx of energy without going overboard – you want them to develop properly without growing too quickly. Start with a high-quality large-breed puppy food and use the feeding recommendations to decide how much to feed your puppy. After 12 months, you’ll want to switch to a large-breed adult recipe and, again, follow the feeding instructions. Keep in mind that your dog’s needs will change as he gets older, so check the feeding recommendations every six months or when your dog gains or loses several pounds.

How many times a day should I feed my Bloodhound? – Most Bloodhounds do well with two meals per day, though puppies may need three meals a day while they are growing. The idea is to provide your dog with the energy and nutrients he needs without putting him at risk for gastric dilation. If your Bloodhound is on the larger end of the size spectrum and eats 8 cups of food per day, you may want to divide it into three meals or simply give him small snacks between two larger meals. Senior dogs generally only need two meals per day.

What kind of food do Bloodhounds eat? – When it comes to choosing a type of food for your Bloodhound, there are many options to consider. Some Bloodhound owners prefer wet food because it is higher in protein and moisture which can support your dog’s digestion. It may also enable him to take him more calories with a lower volume of food which could help prevent gastric dilation. Because Bloodhounds are so large, however, it is typically more cost-effective to buy dry food. Whatever type of food you choose, make sure you’re buying the highest quality food you can consistently afford.

What vegetables are good in a Bloodhound food? – Many dog owners make the mistake of feeding their dogs too many treats. If you overfeed your Bloodhound, you run the risk of him becoming overweight or obese which can greatly increase his chances for developing other health problems. Fresh veggies are a healthy and low-calorie alternative to traditional dog treats. Here are some of the best vegetables for dogs:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

In addition to feeding your dog fresh veggies as treats, you should look for them in his dog food. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide natural sources for key nutrients which are always more biologically valuable than synthetic supplements.

Do Bloodhounds need grain-free dog food? – All dogs have the potential to develop food allergies and sensitivities, but Bloodhounds are particularly prone to skin problems that can be triggered by food issues. If your Bloodhound experiences recurrent skin or ear infections, it could be caused by something in his food. One option is to switch to a grain-free diet and see if that helps. If not, your dog may be allergic to a different ingredient. It’s also possible that your dog’s problems are caused by an underlying health condition, so talk to your veterinarian.

A Final Word

The Bloodhound sometimes gets a reputation for being lazy, but they are actually a very active breed. These dogs have a talent for tracking and they are never happier than when they are following a scent. This is not to say that they aren’t also happy at home with family, but these dogs thrive when they have a job to perform and they always do it to the best of their ability.

If you want to enjoy your Bloodhound’s company for as long as possible, make sure you buy the best dog food for Bloodhounds you can afford. It should be rich in animal protein with moderate fat and digestible carbohydrates. And don’t forget about joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin as well as probiotics for digestion.

By now you should have all the information you need to choose the best dog food for Bloodhounds but if you still need some help, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above.

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