Adequate daily exercise and play, good nutrition, routine grooming and time with his/her owner/family equal a healthy Bloodhound.
Additionally, provide your hound with a quiet space of his/her own where he/she can eat in peace and sleep without being disturbed. This area needs to be available whether you have an indoor or an outside hound. While Bloodhounds enjoy other dogs, most do not like to share their food or special toys, so provide your hound(s) separate spaces from each other and/or other household pets. This is also an area where toddlers or small children need to not bother the hound if he/she is eating or sleeping, therefore avoiding any accidents.
Bloodhounds are messy, so choose bedding which can be easily laundered. Scrub stainless steel food bowls and water buckets with dish soap and hot water after each meal to remove the layer of drool. Keep towels handy to wipe the lips after a drink… yes, many Bloodhounds do like to snorkel down deep into their water buckets.
Bloodhounds are very observant, love to sniff/push buttons i.e. ice makers on fridge doors, and some are escape artists. Clip gates, door latches, and water buckets for security. Watch what you leave on counters, kitchen tables, and put the lid on the trash, or better yet in a cabinet. Their nose is fascinated by anything which you have touched (kid’s toys), worn (eye glasses, retainers), buried (flower bulbs), or disposed of. Anything 5’ or below is fair game for oral investigation or possible destruction. If it’s valuable, put it up high or behind a closed door.
Finally, and importantly Bloodhounds are susceptible to Bloat and/or Torsion which are life threatening conditions requiring immediate veterinary attention. You may have one or both conditions occurring. No specific single cause has been identified, but precautions can be taken to lessen the chance of occurrence, i.e. feed several small meals, slow down an eater \who “inhales” food, soak kibble, feed on a regular schedule and avoid changing routines, no heavy exercise before or after eating, and monitor behavior after a meal. Many owners choose to have a surgery called a preventative (prophylactic) gastropexy done which prevents Torsion. Get into the routine of watching your Bloodhound eat and observing what is “normal” for your hound, that way if you notice something that is not usual behavior or is a cause for concern, you are prepared. Bloodhounds are also notorious for ingesting undesirable objects (rocks, TV remotes, eye glasses, knives, socks, etc.), so watch what you leave laying around.
Adriana Pavlinovic © 2016, 2018 - ABC Public Education Coordinator