Basset hounds are gentle and kind.
With their soft, floppy ears, their long, slinky bodies, and their short, stubby legs, they are one of the most recognizable breeds of dogs on the planet.
They are friendly and funny, but they have a literal nose for trouble. Basset hounds can be both rewarding and challenging pets.
Are Basset Hounds Good Apartment Dogs?
There is a lot about Basset Hounds that makes them suitable for apartment living.
- They are low-energy dogs
- They don’t tear up things
- They don’t need wide, open spaces for vigorous play
But Basset Hounds do need some outdoor space just to bask in the sun. They won’t need a lot of outdoor space.
Even a patio or a well-protected balcony will be enough.
Basset Hounds Don’t Need a Lot of Physical Activity
A Basset Hound won’t volunteer to go with you on your run or follow behind you when you ride your bike. Your Basset Hound will not want to catch a ball or a Frisbee.
They won’t dig a hole to bury a bone, or try to chase a butterfly or a squirrel.
You don’t need to worry about your Basset Hound taking off for sights unknown the very first time you leave the patio gate unlocked.
Basset Hounds are happy spending 23-1/2 hours a day indoors just spending time with their human families, and maybe the cat. But while Basset Hounds don’t need to exercise their bodies very much, they do need to exercise their noses.
It can take a Basset Hound 30 minutes to make the trip from your front door to the end of the block and back, because they will want to sniff every rock, every flower, every fire hydrant, and every other dog along the way.
Basset Hounds Do Make a Lot of Noise
Basset Hounds are lazy, but they are not quiet. Basset Hounds bark, howl, and cry when they are left alone.
This won’t be a problem for you, since you won’t be at home, but your neighbors may object. Most Basset Hounds suffer from separation anxiety.
Your veterinarian may be able to prescribe medications that make it easier for your Basset Hound to spend the day alone, but they take 10 to 12 months to work.
You may have to arrange for your Basset Hound to be visited by a dog walker during the day, or enroll it in canine daycare.
Basset Hounds Get Along Well with Other Pets
Basset Hounds can make great second pets. They get along well with other dogs, and they have even been known to warm up to cats.
This doesn’t mean that other animals necessarily get along with Basset Hounds, however.
If you already have another dog, you will need to take measures to prevent jealousy and competition.
This means you will need separate beds, separate food and water bowls, and toys for each dog. Everyone in your family, children included, needs to know what to do if your two dogs begin to fight.
Basset Hounds usually won’t cause intentional harm to a cat, but problems may arise when they play too rough with a kitten. Hamsters and birds are gray area.
Basset Hounds were bred to be hunting dogs, and they have an instinct to chase certain kinds of animals.
You will need to keep these pets in cages, or at least in separate rooms when you let the smaller pets out of their cages, so your Basset Hound won’t mistake them for a tasty treat.
Basset Hounds will eat just about anything in sight. This means that you will need to feed your cat from bowls set high enough that your Basset Hound cannot reach them.
Basset Hounds Can’t Keep Up with Children
Basset Hounds are very affectionate with children, but they don’t have enough energy to play with children.
Young children will need to be trained not to pull on your Basset Hound’s long ears. Bites can result.
You Will Need a Single, Reliable Place for Going Potty
Basset Hounds are lovable and loving dogs, but they aren’t the smartest dogs. They may not always get the idea that it is time for them to “go” just because you take them outside.
You will need one place your Basset Hound will always be free to urinate or defecate when you take them outside.
Then you will need to be a good neighbor and make a habit of curbing your dog.
Crate training really isn’t an option for Basset Hounds. They are short, but they are considered large dogs. They will not be comfortable if they have to go inside a crate.
You Will Need to Get Furniture and Floors Ready for Your Basset Hound
Something you need to be prepared to deal with when you get a Basset Hound is drool.
Basset Hounds slobber. Mary Lukins of Desiree Acres Bassets tells her customers:
“Be prepared to deal with drool. Some Bassets have wetter mouths than others, and others don’t drool quite as much, but, with Basset Hounds, drool is a fact of life.
Basset Hound owners learn to tolerate it. They even develop a sense of humor about it.
Not only does Basset Hound drool hang from their lips in strings or ropes, but when Bassets shake their heads it is flung far and wide, daytime, nighttime, indoors, outdoors, and when riding in cars.”
It is one thing to toss out a cheap rug because your puppy had an accident on it.
But you don’t want to have to pay to replace your landlord’s carpet. Good carpets and furniture are too expensive to take chances on.
Here are some precautions you can take to keep them from getting ruined:
- Basset Hounds are sloppy eaters. Get placemats to place under your Basset Hound’s food and water bowls to prevent damage to the floor.
- Tile. Pergo, and linoleum are pet-friendly. Choose rooms with these floors for your Basset Hound’s sleeping area.
- If your landlord has never sealed your wood floors, just before you bring a Basset Hound home is a good time. Sealing wood floors keeps pet waste from damaging the finish.
- Keep a can of carpet cleaner on hand. If you clean up any accidents before they set in carpet fibers, they will be much easier to clean up. Also, your Basset Hound will be attracted to the scent of his own pee and poop and “accidentally” go there again if you don’t remove the odor.
- Vegetable dyes have a distinctive odor. Any carpets, throw rugs, blankets, or clothing colored with artisanal dyes will get the attention of your Basset Hound. Keep them stored away.
- Even if your Basset Hound will be mostly a lap dog, it is a good idea to keep the furniture covered. You will need a vacuum cleaner attachment of a small hand-held vacuum cleaner for regular removal of dirt and hair from slipcovers.
Making Your Apartment Puppy-Proof
Bringing a Basset puppy home? You will need to puppy-proof your apartment.
Cover any and all wires. Basset Hound puppies love to chew on them.
Pick up anything from the floor that you do not want to become your Basset Hound’s chew toy. This includes children’s toys, coloring books, and games.
Make sure you don’t have any poisonous plants in your apartment. Plants in the lily family, including some you might not expect, like aloe, are poisonous to Basset Hounds.
So are ivy, mother-in-law plant, dumb cane, elephant’s ears, and pothos.
You will also need to make a checklist to ensure what specific rooms in your apartment will be safe for your Basset Hound puppy.
Buy locks for all of your cabinets. Secure toothpaste, toothbrushes, hygiene supplies, shaving cream, razors, and soap.
Stop using toilet bowl cleaner. Switch to vinegar. Baby-proof electrical outlets. Remove the space heater. Lock the trash can inside the closet.
Make a “Lid Down” sign for the commode.
Buy a toy box with a lid. Instruct children to keep their toys in the box except when they are playing with them, with no exceptions!
Place all shoes on closet shelves. Buy a hamper with a lid for dirty clothes. Place stuffed animals on higher shelves.
Baby-proof electrical outlets. Tack cords for window blinds where your Basset Hound cannot reach them.
Get a lock for your master bedroom closet. Keep shoes and clothes locked inside.
Fold and store the comforter with pillows when not in use. Lock prescriptions in the bedside table. Baby-proof electrical outlets.
Get a lock for the pantry door. Keep loose snacks and garbage cans in the pantry.
Move unused games and puzzles to the cabinet behind a locked or sliding door. Tack cords for drapes or blinds out of reach of your Basset Hound.
Place game controls and TV remotes in a closed drawer. Baby-proof electrical outlets.
If you have your own laundry room, be sure to elevate electrical cords where your Basset Hound cannot find them.
Keep detergents, fabric sheets, fabric softener, and bleach on a shelf your dog cannot reach.
Other Considerations for Keeping a Basset Hound
Basset Hound owners also need to be prepared for:
- Frequent nail trimming. Basset Hounds have thick nails. If you or a groomer does not trim their nails on a regular basis, scratches to wood surfaces are sure to occur. An electrical nail grinder reduces the risk of trimming off too much, but it may take a while for your dog to get used to the sound. It is best to start trimming your Basset Hound’s nails when she is still a puppy.
- Regular grooming. Basset Hounds don’t shed a lot, but their hair is very sticky. It is easier to remove loose hair from your dog’s coat by regular brushing than it is to vacuum dog hair off your blankets and upholstery.
- Frequent baths. Like all hounds, Basset Hounds get a gamey smell. Some people compare it to rancid corn oil or stale corn chips. You will need to bathe your Basset Hound every two to four weeks to control the odor.
- Ear care. Basset Hounds can get itchy or painful ear infections. Their ears need frequent cleaning with cotton balls, never with Q-tips. Take your Bassett hound to the vet if she develops ear odor. It can be a sign of infection.
- Brushing teeth. Basset Hounds usually have good, strong teeth, but you will need to brush them 2 or 3 times a week to keep them that way. Use canine toothpaste (most dogs prefer liver-flavored) and a special straight toothbrush for reach your dog’s back teeth. Canine dental care products are available online and in pet supply shops.
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