Top 10 Best Dog Food for Bloodhounds
Bloodhounds are having a bit of a moment. Trumpet, a 4-year-old bloodhound from Illinois, won Best in Show at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Dog lovers everywhere are learning what you already know—bloodhounds make amazing pets!
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Finding the best food for your bloodhound can be a challenge. Most adults weigh around 100 pounds, and feeding them is no small feat. We’ve sifted through dozens of dog food brands to find the best on the market today. Our list includes picks for adults, puppies, seniors, and dogs with special dietary needs.
Puppy Nutrient Requirements
- This breed eventually tops the scales at 110 pounds (sometimes more.) Making him a large to giant-sized breed. This means that you need to feed him food designed for large breed puppies. His body grows quickly, and large breed dog food is designed to control the speed at which his bones grow. Otherwise, he’ll be more likely to suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Healthy omega fatty acids are one of the most essential Bloodhounds puppy nutrient needs. They assist in brain and eye development, nourished skin and coat, cardiac strength, bone and joint support, and overall wellness. Mothers’ milk contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), so these are important to look for on the packaging. Meat meals, fish, eggs, oils, and flaxseed, are rich in healthy fats, so be sure to look out for these ingredients.
- Another important aspect of puppy nutrition is protein. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that puppies need a minimum protein content of 22% for healthy development. Proteins are full of amino acids which are the building blocks of all life. The first ingredient in any dog food should always be meat. And this is usually the difference between a high-quality food and a poor one. Meat meals are also a quality source of protein, as well as glucosamine for joint support.
Senior Nutritional Needs
- When your Bloodhound reaches the age of seven to eight years, you need to switch him to a senior food. All dogs are different, but when you notice that he has less energy, slows down mentally, or begins to get a bit chunkier, it’s probably time to switch. It’s important not to feed an aging dog an adult life stage food because they do not meet his aging nutritional needs.
- Older dogs need fewer calories and fats because they do not burn off as much energy. Many senior recipes also have higher fiber contents because fiber is a low-calorie ingredient that helps dogs feel fuller for longer. Plus, their sensitive stomachs cannot digest rich fats and proteins as efficiently as they used to. Which usually means wetter stools and more gas. This is why many senior recipes are more simple to digest.
- High-quality senior foods also contain more glucosamine and Chondroitin, offering additional joint support. And the giant Bloodhound needs all the joint support he can get. Look for meat meals, fish, oils, green-lipped mussels, cartilage, and other animal organs. Extra fruits, veggies, and vitamin and mineral supplements are needed to help strengthen his aging immune system.
Adult Nutritional Needs
- When your Bloodhound reaches 12 to 15 months, you need to switch him to a large breed adult food gradually. Although he still has more growing to do, he needs less puppy fuel. Adult nutrition is more focused on a well-balanced diet. AAFCO recommends that all adult dogs need a minimum protein content of 18%. Your Bloodhound’s bowl should also include healthy carbs, fiber, omega fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Whether your pup has a sensitive stomach or not, he benefits from probiotic ingredients. These promote friendly bacteria in the gut, making the digestion process smoother and reducing gas (not eliminate, unfortunately). But for any Bloodhound owner, this can be a nostril saver for sure. Look for ingredients such as ‘dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.’
- Bloodhounds can be greedy dogs, so you need to make sure you don’t overfeed them. If you notice that he is always begging for snacks, try a diet with a fiber content of 5% or more. Or, if he is overweight and needs help managing his weight, try a weight management food.
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Bloodhounds
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley|
|Protein content:||22.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||12.0% minimum|
|Calories:||3,508 kcal/kg, 352 kcal/cup|
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult uses vegetables for natural coloring. This recipe is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Some large breed brands only come in super-sized packaging. You’ll appreciate the 15-pound bags if you’re tired of lifting heavy dog food bags. The only ingredient that gives us pause for concern is the “Natural Flavor.”
This ingredient is far down the list, but some pet owners would appreciate more transparency. Blue Buffalo produces their dog food at two facilities: Joplin, Missouri, and Richmond, Indiana. This recipe is free of corn, wheat, and soy but includes brown rice and barley for grains. The kibble pieces in the formula are 11 to 13 millimeters and are designed with bloodhounds and other large breeds. Blue Buffalo’s Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is the best dog food for bloodhounds for the money because of its moderate price point, high-quality ingredients, rave reviews, and availability.
Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, carrots, peas, rice, chicken liver|
|Protein content:||10% minimum|
|Fat content:||3% minimum|
|Calories:||1298 kcal ME/kg|
Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots is our #1 pick with its fresh chicken with carrots recipe. The use of human-grade food and minimal processing means you aren’t getting a typical purée. You’ll see carrot chunks, whole peas, rice, and ground chicken.
Ollie is a subscription-based service that ships fresh dog food to your door. The downside with this and other fresh food formulas is that they must be kept refrigerated or frozen, but you can check out the baked version of this recipe if you want shelf-stable dog food. Switching to a new food can be a risky proposition since you waste money if your dog doesn’t like it. Ollie offers a money-back guarantee on its starter boxes, making it the best overall dog food for bloodhounds.
ORIJEN Amazing Grains Regional Red Dry Food
|Main ingredients:||Beef, wild boar, lamb, beef liver, pork|
|Protein content:||38% minimum|
|Fat content:||18% minimum|
|Calories:||3860 kcal/kg, 483 kcal/8oz cup|
This recipe is a good choice if your vet recommends a high-protein dog food with grains. It is expensive, and the average house pet doesn’t need a diet this high in protein. Oat groats, millet, and whole oats are the grains, but the formula steers clear of soy, wheat, and corn, which are common allergens for the few dogs with grain allergies.
ORIJEN Amazing Grains Regional Red has a higher caloric content than many other brands, so adjust feeding amounts accordingly. It has thousands of positive reviews, but a handful of owners report that their dog experienced an upset stomach after eating it.
ACANA Wild Atlantic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Whole mackerel, whole herring, whole redfish, silver hake, mackerel meal|
|Protein content:||33% minimum|
|Fat content:||17% minimum|
|Calories:||3,440 kcal/kg, 392 kcal/cup|
Consider this ACANA Wild Atlantic Recipe if your dog’s allergies and intolerances have left you scrambling for food they can eat. This formula is not only grain-free, but it also does not contain any beef, poultry, or lamb. A variety of fish provides protein, while apples and pumpkin add fiber. This is an expensive recipe, but bloodhounds don’t typically need such a specialized diet. Most dogs tolerate grains, and it’s best to check with your veterinarian before switching to this recipe. The kibble pieces are approximately 1/2 inch in diameter, which some dog owners claim is too large for their pups, but kibble size probably won’t be an issue for an adult bloodhound with healthy teeth. ACANA produces its food in Edmonton, Alberta, and Auburn, Kentucky. The 4.5-pound bag allows your dog to try this formula without breaking the bank.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Food – Best for Puppies
|Main ingredients:||Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain oats, whole grain sorghum, corn gluten meal|
|Protein content:||24.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||11.0% minimum|
Bloodhound puppies have different nutritional needs than their adult counterparts. This formula’s flavors of chicken, chicken liver, and pork liver appeal to many puppies. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed is a moderately priced brand that does not use artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in its dry dog foods. The one ingredient we’d like to see more transparency over is the “Natural Flavors.”
We like that Science Diet offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can get your money back or a replacement product if you or your pup are unhappy with this recipe for any reason. This food contains fish oil, and a few reviews state that the odor was overwhelming and slightly rancid. You can maintain the food’s freshness by following the manufacturer’s storage instructions. Keep the dry dog food in its original packaging and store it in a cool, dry place. It can degrade after prolonged exposure at 120 degrees F and above. The company produces its dog food at its U.S. facilities with globally sourced ingredients. Most dogs should eat puppy food until at least their first birthday, but larger breeds, like bloodhounds that continue to grow, may need to eat a puppy formula longer. Talk with your veterinarian if you have any questions about what to feed your bloodhound puppy.
Solid Gold Wolf King Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Bison, ocean fish meal, brown rice, oatmeal, pearled barley|
|Protein content:||22.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||9.0% minimum|
|Calories:||3,440 kcal/kg, 340 kcal/cup|
This Solid Gold Wolf King Large Breed Adult might appeal to bloodhounds that turn their noses up at poultry and beef-based recipes. The animal proteins in this blend are novel: bison and ocean fish. Unlike many other novel protein recipes on the market today, this recipe does contain grains. Your dog gets beneficial nutrients from oatmeal and pearled barley without the common grain allergens of wheat, soy, and corn. Further down the ingredient list are superfoods like salmon oil, blueberries, and cranberries. Solid Gold has produced pet food since 1974 and considers itself “America’s first holistic pet food.” Some pet owners have expressed concern over tiny pinholes on the food bag. Solid Gold states these “micro-perforations” allow air to escape, preventing mold and bacteria from building up. The company’s 100% satisfaction guarantee allows you to get your money back if your bloodhound doesn’t like the food.
The kibble pieces are approximately ¼ inch big. This larger size shouldn’t be a problem for adult Bloodhounds and other large breeds but may pose a problem for smaller dogs in your home. This recipe has overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, with the top complaint being that dogs didn’t care for the taste.
Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Super Beef Freeze-Dried Raw Food
|Main ingredients:||Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef heart, beef tripe|
|Protein content:||44.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||35.0% minimum|
|Calories:||4,940 kcal/kg, 56 kcal/patty|
Raw food diets appeal to some dog owners but have drawbacks. Raw dog food must be refrigerated or frozen, and the food preparation requires careful handling. Stella and Chewy’s Stella’s Super Beef Freeze-Dried Raw Food take the hassle out of raw dog food by offering this freeze-dried formula.
You can serve the food as-is, mix it with other dog food, or rehydrate it with cool or warm (not hot) water. The manufacturer states that the raw food should not be cooked or heated up. Not all bloodhounds will benefit from this recipe. Talk with your veterinarian before you switch to this or any other raw, high-protein, grain-free dog food. Stella and Chewy’s is cost prohibitive for many pet owners, especially when served as a dog’s main diet.
According to the manufacturer’s feeding directions, a 100-pound dog would require 22 patties if that this the only food they’re eating. There are less expensive, high-protein, grain-free foods on the market for dogs that need this type of diet. However, Stella and Chewy’s makes our list because it’s one of the few raw, freeze-dried dog foods available.
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, whole grain brown rice, whole grain sorghum, brewers rice, chicken meal|
|Protein content:||20.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||12.0% minimum|
|Calories:||3617 kcal/kg, 335 kcal/cup|
This Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed will appeal to you if you want a GMO-free dog food packed with superfoods like chia seeds, flaxseed, coconut, and kale. Nutro recently reformulated some of its recipes, including this one. The biggest complaint from long-standing customers is that their dogs do not like the new recipes, but this won’t be a problem if your bloodhound is new to Nutro. A few dog owners mentioned that the kibble crumbles easily when they add water or wet food. The texture may be a pro or a con, depending on how soft your dog likes their food.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Big Life Large Breed Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Beef, chicken meal, soybean meal, dried peas, ground whole corn|
|Protein content:||25.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||12.0% minimum|
|Calories:||3505 kcal/kg; 360 kcal/cup|
Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Big Life Large Breed is moderately priced and widely available, and most dogs love the beef and chicken flavors. The unspecified “Natural Flavor” may make this unsuitable for dogs with food allergies and intolerances since the manufacturer doesn’t tell us exactly what the flavor is. Proceeds from the sale of this and other Nutrish formulas fund the Rachael Ray Foundation, which supports animals in need.
Purina Pro Plan Adult 7+ Complete Essentials Wet Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Turkey, water, liver, meat by-products, chicken|
|Protein content:||9.0% minimum|
|Fat content:||6.5% minimum|
|Calories:||1,123 kcal/kg, 414 kcal/can|
We end our list with wet food formulated for senior dogs Purina Pro Plan Adult 7+ Complete Essentials. Older bloodhounds often have special dietary needs and may need fewer calories as they nap their days away. It’s not uncommon for older dogs to have teeth pulled, and that’s where soft, wet food comes in. The grain in Purina Pro Plan is rice, which some dogs tolerate better than corn, wheat, or soy. The inclusion of unspecified “meat by-products”—the organs, fatty tissue, and bones leftover from the butchering industry—makes this food unsuitable for dogs with confirmed protein allergies. Purina is a household name, and it’s easy to find its products in stores and online.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Bloodhounds
Searching for the right dog food can be challenging. Below, we answer some of the most asked questions about bloodhounds’ dietary needs.
How Do I Choose the Right Food for My Bloodhound?
- Your primary considerations when choosing food should be your dog’s age, lifestyle, and overall health. You’ll also want to consider how easy it is to purchase a brand of dog food. Online, subscription-based services are a solution for busy households that don’t want to run out of food. Other dog owners prefer to buy dog food wherever they shop for groceries and household supplies.
- Grain-free pet foods are a growing trend but don’t be too quick to jump on the bandwagon. Most dogs with food allergies or intolerances have trouble digesting animal proteins, not grains. And even dogs with corn, soy, and wheat allergies may tolerate other grains like rice and barley. Consult your veterinarian or a certified veterinary nutritionist before switching to a grain-free diet.
Do Bloodhounds Need a Special Diet?
- Your average healthy adult bloodhound, which is also a family pet, does not need a special diet. Any large breed formula on our list will meet their nutritional needs. Your final choice depends on your budget, preferences for specific ingredients, and your dog’s taste buds.
- Bloodhounds that are hunting companions or working dogs may need a higher-calorie diet to keep up with their energy needs. Talk with your vet about adjusting your dog’s diet during hunting season.
- Your vet may recommend a special diet if your pup has a health condition, is over- or under-weight, or has food allergies. Puppies and senior dogs also have different nutritional needs than adults.
How Long Should a Bloodhound Puppy Eat Puppy Food?
Your bloodhound will grow substantially in their first year, from a tiny puppy you can hold in your hands to a 100-pound adult! Many bloodhounds can switch to adult food around their first birthday, but some pups will still be growing. Your dog’s one-year check-up is a great time to ask your vet if your bloodhound is ready for adult dog food.
We hope these reviews make it easier to choose the right food for your bloodhound.
Our top choice is Ollie’s fresh chicken with carrots recipe. This subscription-based service is perfect for people who don’t want to go to the store or worry about running out of dog food. Our second pick is Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. This brand stands out for its larger kibble size and smaller packaging. ORIJEN’s Amazing Grains Regional Red Dry Dog Food is our third choice and our pick for a premium brand. Consider ORIJEN if your vet recommends a high-protein, grain-inclusive diet.
Our fourth choice is a recipe formulated for puppies, Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oat Recipe. Lastly, our fifth choice is also our vet’s pick, ACANA Wild Atlantic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This recipe is an excellent option if your vet recommends that your dog avoid grains, beef, poultry, and lamb.