When considering what is the best dog food for Basenji, it helps to have understand a little about the breed.
The Basenji is a fascinating creature and in many way very unlike other dog breeds.
For a start, there’s that reputation for not barking…but this doesn’t mean they’re silent.
Far from it. With a wide vocal range of yelps, squeals, and howls, the Basenji is anything but quiet.
Their lack of a bark may stem from their origins as hunting dogs in Africa.
It may be that those ancient hunters didn’t want a dog that barked and alarmed the birds they were stalking, and so selectively bred from ‘silent’ dogs.
From this we learn they were active working dogs, as are the modern version which loves exercise and using their intelligence.
Quick look: Top 8 Best Dog Foods for Basenji in 2018
However, the Basenji who doesn’t get enough exercise is prone to weight gain and may also pit their wits against their owner and get up to mischief.
Indeed, whilst thinking about weight gain, this is also a breed that can suffer from underactive thyroid glands and lead to a portly waistline, dull coat, and lack of energy.
Thus, it’s important to not overfeed your Basenji, especially if he doesn’t have a demanding physical regime that involves running for most of the day.
The Basenji is a sight and sound hound.
This means that when something catches their eye or ear, they are liable to take off after it with the speed of the wind.
They are indeed highly intelligent dogs, but as hunting dogs they also are used to thinking for themselves, and so can be fiercely independent.
Another trait is they like to investigate and are curious about anything and everything.
This includes objects in the house, and it’s often said that a Basenji will teach their owner to clean up….because anything left out is liable to be chewed or eaten.
So continuing on the subject of eating, let’s consider some of the best dog foods for Basenjis so you can make the right choice for your favorite hound.
Unfortunately potentially disabling conditions such as hip dysplasia are common in the Basenji breed.
Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition where the hip joint is a poor shape.
Instead of the thigh bone moving smoothly against the cup in the pelvis, it grates and grinds, causing pain and inflammation.
Over time this leads to remodeling of the joint, pain, and can greatly impact on the dog’s ability to get around and lead an active life.
Since it’s difficult to know which dogs will be affected by hip dysplasia, it’s wise to be proactive and feed a diet that will nourish the joints and provide vital building blocks of repair.
Hill’s Science Diet mobility support is one such diet.
It is supplemented with high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine.
These compounds are ‘nutraceuticals’ or food supplements that have a pharmaceutical like benefit on the body.
In this case they aid repair of the joints.
Thus for an active dog, this is a best brand dog food for Basenjis because it helps to protect joint health and keep that active dog up and running.
The food contains respectable levels of chondroitin and glucosamine, and indeed many people who have previously been giving these as a food supplement, stopped giving the later because the food already contained it.
Whilst many people do give this food to older dogs, it’s fine for adult dogs in general.
What is the best dog food for Basenji?
Perhaps you are intrigued by what you’ve heard about feeding raw foods, and the idea is appealing but you don’t have the ability to store a lot of raw meat.
Well, Tru Dog freeze-dried meat bonanza could be your answer.
The ingredients list for this food is truly impressive, with beef and beef by-products such as lung and lights being the major ingredients, with the inclusion of herring oil as a source of natural vitamin D.
The freeze-dried formulation means it comes in a bag (no freezer space required) containing handy lumps of kibble-like meat.
You can either serve it as it comes, straight out of the bag, or you can moisten it with water for it to be reconstituted back to a more meaty appearance.
You can feed it alone as a complete diet, or add in some carbohydrate in the form of kibble.
One thing’s for sure, this is a very healthy option for you Basenji that provides for his nutritional needs in a healthy and wholesome way.
Of course those top quality ingredients mean this is never going to be the cheapest dog food you’ll find, but that’s kind of not the point.
There are many, many foods containing cheap fillers or plant-based proteins, but for those who want only the best for their dog then this diet is a serious contender.
Described by the manufacturer as a premium quality dog food made from premium meats, this particular variety has reduced calorie content.
This makes it ideal for the Basenji whose waistline isn’t as easy to identify as it should because they consume more calories than they burn.
Ironically, a common complaint about many low calories foods is they don’t taste great so the dogs won’t eat it, which is distressing for the pet parent.
But this Natural Balance reduced calorie food is formulated to be tasty and low calorie.
Of course this doesn’t mean the dog can eat as much as they like. Oh no!
The pet parent will need to weigh out the dog’s daily allowance and be strict about portion control in order to keep the dog slim and trim.
But it does mean that what goes in the bowl gets eaten rather than thrown in the bin, which is reassuring for the owner.
Natural Balance is made from wholesome, nourishing ingredients with a named meat as the principle protein, such as chicken.
Again, some restricted calorie foods make use of principally plant based protein as a cheap filler, but not so Natural Balance.
Indeed, even the carbohydrate comes from suitably delicious sounding sources such as oatmeal, potatoes, and brown rice.
So far we’ve consider dry food, but let’s spare a moment to consider this excellent canned food by Nature’s Logic.
The advantage of feeding a wet food is that it’s often more appetizing than dry kibble is softer to chew, and it has higher moisture content.
The latter is beneficial for the urinary tract and can reduce the likelihood of bladder problems.
This is truly a prince among foods as it contains 90% animal ingredients, with a named meat as the principle ingredient.
No cheap fillers here! Indeed, it is grain and gluten free, and even uses natural sources of vitamins rather than cheaper artificial ones.
This does come at a price, but for the Basenji where health and healthy eating is of primary importance you will want to check out this best dog food for Basenji.
With this being a lesser known product than some of the bigger brands, it’s impressive to see that those who have tried it with their dog have all given it a hearty thumbs up.
Our choice: Wellness Complete Health
There is arguably no time in a dog’s life that’s more important to feed them right than as a puppy.
This isn’t just about giving good quality ingredients (important as this is) but about providing the right balance of nutrition for optimal growth of healthy bones, skin, and organs.
Which is why this Wellness food ticks all the right boxes when asking: What is the best puppy food for Basenji?
Made in the US you have the reassurance of tight quality control.
But there are lots of food manufactured in the US so why pick this one?
Well, it’s made with all natural ingredients, with nothing artificial added such as colors, flavors, or preservatives.
In addition, it skips those ingredients such as wheat, soy, and corn that are controversial in dog food.
Technically, wheat and corn is considered natural, but Wellness doesn’t accept this as good enough, they only want to use ingredients that have a proven health benefit to your growing pup.
And yes, you guessed it; they only include a named meat as the main ingredient, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your pup’s bowl at mealtime.
What is the best dry dog food for Basenji?
Our choice: Taste of the Wild
Sometimes choice can be a bad thing because you end up getting so confused with all the different options available.
Ultimately, what you want is a food that promotes good health and your dog loves to eat.
Sometimes we get so carried away by thinking about what a food shouldn’t contain, such as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that we forget to think about what’s truly tasty that goes into a food.
Not so with Taste of the Wild.
As the name implies, they take inspiration from the diet a dog would naturally eat in the wild…but gourmet version.
Take this recipe for example; the principle protein comes from roasted bison and venison, with the carbohydrate supplied by sweet potato, fruit, and vegetables.
You won’t find cheap vegetable protein here, or gluten, or controversial ingredients …instead this is an ultra-premium quality dry dog food.
Our choice: PS Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Does your Basenji lick their paws excessively or regularly suffer from ear infections?
There are many causes of itchy skin, of which a problem that is often overlooked is food allergy.
Of all the allergies a dog can have, food allergy is perhaps the one which offers greatest hope of a ‘cure’ or at least long term control.
This is because by avoiding the allergen which triggers the dog’s allergic skin reaction you can eliminate the trigger and prevent the itch from starting in the first instance.
Most dogs commonly react to a protein source in their diet, such as chicken or beef, and when fed a diet that doesn’t contain that protein, the allergic reaction wanes and settles down.
When a dog is trialed on a low allergen diet for the first time this is known as a dietary trial.
PS Hypoallergenic Dog Food is a best dog food Basenji with allergies because it’s made from a single protein source.
Depending on the flavor variety it is either 90% New Zealand lamb or turkey. (NB When feeding a hypoallergenic diet you should select one flavor and stick with that one for the duration of the dietary trial, rather than swap and change.)
As one of the best dog foods for Basenji with allergies the potential for better skin are priceless, but be realistic about the price and make sure you can commit to it feeding this and nothing else for at least eight weeks.
Our choice: Purina Pro Plan Focus
Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and you tend to know about it because they can either clear the room with their flatulence or they have regular stomach upsets. Not nice!
Having a sensitive stomach often means the gut is less tolerant of certain food stuffs than others, which irritates and inflames the lining of the bowel causing spasm and upsets.
As with any sensitivity, when it comes to ingredients it’s often a matter of what’s left out, as well at what’s included.
This ProPlan is one of the best dog foods for Basenji with sensitive stomach because it leaves out ingredients which are considered controversial because of their link to digestive sensitivities.
This means they’ve left out such staples in other foods, such as corn, wheat, soy, flavoring, colorings, and poultry by-products.
What it does contain is a named meat as its main protein source, whilst carbohydrate energy is provided by oats and barley.
This formula is rich in Omega 3 & 6, and antioxidants for a healthy coat and immune system.
So which food will you choose for your Basenji?
If your pet pal is a Basenji then keep them fit and well by feeding a healthy diet.
But as well as giving a good food, take care over the amount you feed.
Since Basenjis by nature are an active breed, if for whatever reason they can’t get out and about as much as you’d like, they can have a tendency to gain weight.
Remember, how much you feed can be almost as important as what you feed.
The high quality foods mentioned in this article do not need to be fed to excess.
They are all well-balanced and provide everything your dog needs to keep well, so there’s no point in overfeeding.
That’s great news for your Basenji’s waistline and great news for your pocket book as it means even if a product costs more than a rival brand, each bag is liable to last longer when you exercise proper portion control.
Food for thought indeed as to why you should choose only the best dog food for Basenji.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.