Lisa Chelenza knows that not everyone in your family walks on two legs. For helpful tips on taking care of your animal friends, and advice from local veterinary experts, watch Pet Pointers Wednesday and Saturday on YNN. If you have ideas for Pet Pointers segments, email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet Pointers: Basset hounds
They are known for their noses, but basset hounds are also loyal and lovable with a fascinating history that dates back centuries. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza takes a closer look at the basset hound.
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The droopy eyes, the floppy ears…who could resist the face of a basset hound? These enthusiastic, all-purpose dogs were developed to flush out game for hunters in 16th century France and were a gift to George Washington.
While they are low to the ground, basset hounds are not small and weigh in between 40 and 75 pounds on average. They are sturdy, heavy boned, capable of surprising endurance in the field, with a mild fun loving temperament. As with all hounds, they love to be outside, sniffing everything.
While basset hounds make great family pets, they are prone to a few health issues that can be avoided and managed.
Obesity is very common among basset hounds and can best be prevented with daily exercise and a strict feeding schedule. Slow down their eating so they won’t swallow a lot of air, and feed them smaller portions throughout the day to prevent bloat.
A tear gland issue called ‘cherry dye’ is also common and should be addressed by a veterinarian to prevent infection. A basset’s floppy ears, while part of their charm, can trap moisture and cause ear infections. To help prevent an ear infection, be sure to dry their ears after a bath or going in water.
If you think a basset hound might be the right breed for you, do some research, meet a few, and consider adoption first. There are basset hound rescue groups across the country with lots of dogs waiting for a forever home.
To find a basset hound rescue near you, go to www.just-basset-hounds.com/basset-hound-rescue.html or www.nybasset.org.