With their long, droopy eyes and bellies that nearly touch the floor, Basset Hounds are easily recognized. They’re always happy to see you and are popular with pet parents worldwide. However, many people might wonder how long this popular pup can be expected to live. The short answer is that Basset Hounds live on average for 8–12 years. The long answer is a little more complicated because this number depends on various factors. So, let’s look at precisely what affects a Basset Hound’s lifespan.
What’s the Average Lifespan of a Basset Hound?
The average lifespan of a Basset Hound can vary considerably. Generally, they live for around 8–12 years. However, some dogs can live as long as 17 years. This can be due to a few factors; some you will have control over and some you won’t, such as lifestyle or genetics.
Why Do Some Basset Hounds Live Longer Than Others?
1. Genetics and Health Conditions
There are certain conditions that Basset Hounds are more prone to, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, carpal valgus, patellar luxation, glaucoma, and obesity. They are also predisposed to ear and skin problems. Bassets can have allergies to mold, proteins, pollen, or dust mites, which trigger ear and skin inflammation. They can also have a skin yeast (Malassezia) which can develop into an infection, making the skin inflamed. This might require bathing your Basset Hound with anti-fungal shampoo and cleaning their ears to prevent and manage infections.
While this can feel like a lot to deal with, with the proper care, Bassets can be a relatively healthy breed. It’s equally important to take care of your dog’s dental health and grooming needs and keep up with scheduled veterinarian visits. Health problems generally can be picked up early by a vet, and they can also advise you on exercise, diet, and any other concerns you might have.
Basset Hounds should ideally weigh between 40–70 pounds; they were bred to be active and hunt, but they also like their food, so keeping their weight controlled can be tricky. Balancing your dog’s diet with exercise is vital since too much food can result in weight gain, obesity, and severe health risks. An excellent way to keep them healthy is to pick high-quality, nutritious dog food.
When picking a brand, choose one that uses real meat as its first ingredient, such as chicken, beef, or turkey. Vegetables, fruit, probiotics, and omega fats are great additions to an ingredient list. Avoid brands that use artificial colors and preservatives such as BHA and BHT.
Ideally, your Basset Hound should have about an hour of exercise a day. This can involve walks, training, and playtime. These are scent dogs, which means you’ll need to keep a firm grip on the leash when you’re outside because if they catch a whiff of something that smells interesting, they will be off. You can use this to your advantage and play scent games; it will keep their minds active, which is as important as keeping them physically active.
Exercise is essential, especially with a dog that loves their food as much as Bassets do. Obesity is a real concern and can lead to other problems like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
4. Living Environment
The living environment you create for your Basset Hound will affect their mental and physical well-being and their lifespan. It is up to you to create a safe, clean, and comfortable space for them to live in to meet their needs.
When you get a pet, it’s always a good idea to research the breed. Because of their shape and weight, Basset Hounds shouldn’t be made to walk up many stairs or jump off furniture. Heavy activities like these can cause health issues, so make sure you lift them out of the car or off the furniture.
Additionally, Basset Hounds like spending time with their humans, which means they are prone to feeling lonely when you aren’t there. With this feeling comes bouts of howling and some other undesirable behaviors. It can also cause them stress and anxiety. A companion (human or animal) can help with these feelings of loneliness.
The 3 Life Stages of a Basset Hound
Puppy and Young Adult
When Basset Hounds are 2 months old, they generally weigh 10–15 pounds. It is essential to get them puppy food during this time, as it will meet all their developmental needs.
Socialization is also incredibly important during this time; the more situations, people, and other animals your dog comes into contact with, the more well-rounded and confident they will be as an adult.
Your Basset Hound will reach adulthood when they are around 1 year old. Your Basset will be slightly less energetic than they were as a puppy, but keeping them active will be extremely important. They enjoy playing games and being with their family. As they age, you might notice some less serious health conditions appear.
Once they reach 7 years old, the Basset Hound is considered a senior. Adjusting their diet by switching to a senior formula will provide adequate nutrition. You will notice them graying, and they will sleep more often, so it could be more of a struggle to get them exercising each day. More serious health problems will likely develop during this time, so it’s important to keep up to date with your vet visits to ensure your Basset is healthy.
How to Tell Your Basset Hound’s Age
Determining your Basset Hound’s age is more difficult if they have been adopted. More often than not, a specific age is challenging to determine, whereas if you bought your dog from a reputable breeder, there would be documentation to let you know how old they are. There are ways to estimate their age, of course.
If your Basset Hound hasn’t reached their top weight and they are still on the small side, it’s safe to assume they are young. Your vet can also check certain things to estimate age. The condition of your Basset’s teeth will indicate roughly how old they are—if they don’t have all their adult teeth, they are still a puppy, and as they age, their adult teeth will change. Their overall fitness will also show you how old they are. Older dogs sleep more, show signs of graying in their fur, and generally move much slower than younger dogs.
Basset Hounds generally live to be around 8–12 years old, but this number will depend on factors such as health conditions they might be prone to and how much exercise they get. There are some things you can’t control, such as genetics, which might make your Basset more prone to certain health problems. However, if you keep up to date with your vet visits, you can still ensure a longer life for your dog with proper treatment. This means, with the proper care, your Basset might even live longer than this average.
Featured Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock