How Long do Basset Hounds Live?

We all want our Basset Hounds to live with us forever, but unfortunately that’s not possible. So how long do Basset Hounds Live?

According to Amercian Kennel Club, Basset Hounds have an average life expectancy of 12 to 13 years. The oldest known Basset Hound lived for a whopping 16.7 years which is a lot higher than the average lifespan of most dog breeds.

Further in this article we will look into some common causes of death in basset hounds and go through few things you can do to extend their life. 

4 Common Causes of Death in Basset Hounds

Here are some of the most common causes of mortality in Bassets:


According to Ross D. Clark, the author of Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Risk Factors of Basset Hounds, cancer is the most common cause of death in Basset Hounds. The breed has a high predisposition to lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The treatment for these cancers is chemotherapy which could induce short-lived remissions. However, if left untreated, most Bassets with lymphoma die within 3-4 weeks.

The problem with cancer in Bassets is that it isn’t detected until it is too late. Bassets are good at hiding pain and often, it is too late to administer treatment.

Bloat – GDV

Bloat or Gastric Dilation Volvulus is a deadly but treatable condition. Unfortunately, many Basset Hounds die from it each year. Often, owners are not even aware of this condition until it affects their dogs.

Bloat results in gas, food, and fluids filling up the dog’s stomach, causing it to twist. As the stomach expands, it presses on vital organs leading to complications.

The condition also occurs suddenly and progresses rapidly. Without emergency surgery, dogs can die within hours.

According to experts, factors that increase the risk of bloat are age, eating too fast, drinking large quantities of water quickly, exercising right after meals, and the use of elevated food bowls.


Obesity or unhealthy weight gain is another leading cause of reduced mortality in Basset Hounds. It can result in a host of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, etc.

To some extent, owners are responsible for obesity in their Bassets. Many pet parents allow their dogs to get lazy and fat. Bassets are food-motivated dogs who enjoy table scraps. If allowed to become couch potatoes, they can rapidly pack on the pounds.

Owners must resist the temptation to feed table scraps to their Bassets and make sure they lead an active lifestyle even in their golden years.


According to Dr. Ross Clark, the Basset Hound breed is abnormally susceptible to mycobacterium infections. It is especially seen in dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors or are adopted from shelters.

Infections like mycobacterium usually occur if a Basset Hound is bitten by a parasite having the bacterium.

Failure to administer medical treatment promptly can result in death.

6 Tips to Increase Your Basset Hound’s Life Expectancy

Several factors can increase your Basset Hound’s lifespan. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your buddy lives a long and healthy life:

  1. Daily Exercise

Exercise is good for humans and dogs. Basset Hounds that are exercised daily not only have the optimum weight but are also less likely to indulge in negative behaviors such as barking, indoor urination, chewing up things, etc.

The amount of daily exercise for your Basset Hound will depend on their age and overall health, but most Bassets benefit from a daily walk of 30-40 minutes. You can always opt for two or three shorter walks or play a game of fetch with your pet on rainy or snowy days.

  • Good Nutrition

An adult Basset Hound weighing about 70 lb. will need 1700 calories per day. This quantity vary based on age, overall health, and activity levels.

Puppies need 3-4 meals while adult Bassets can do with 2 meals.

Always select a premium dog food that is devoid of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and fillers like corn or soy. Learn to read dog food labels and choose food containing real meat, fruits, and vegetables.

As mentioned above, Bassets are prone to weight gain. So, do avoid table scraps, and do not give in to your pet’s pleading eyes.

  • Grooming (Especially Dental Care)

The Basset’s short coat does not need too much brushing, at least not as much as some of the long-haired dog breeds.

However, weekly brushing and monthly baths can prevent ticks and fleas which are known to carry deadly pathogens. Grooming is also a great way to bond with your Basset Hound and also allows you to check for lumps and bumps.

Of primary importance is daily oral care. Brush your Basset’s teeth every day to prevent plaque and tartar since poor canine oral hygiene is known to cause cardiopulmonary diseases.

  • Adequate Mental Stimulation

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to mental issues like depression, anxiety, boredom, etc. You can prevent these issues by providing your Basset Hound with daily mental stimulation.

This includes playing with them, taking them out for walks and car drives, training them in basic obedience, or enrolling them in agility courses. Dog puzzles treat dispensers, and Kong toys are also some great tools to keep your Basset mentally stimulated indoors.

  • Reduce Stress

Bassets are known to suffer from separation anxiety and tend to get stressed when left alone for long periods. Over time, stress can manifest as health issues that could decrease your dog’s lifespan.

Try to eliminate stress in your Basset’s life by minimizing leaving your pet alone. You could hire a pet sitter or dog walker to come to check on your dog. If needed, bring a companion dog to provide your pet with some much-needed company.

  • Regular Veterinary Care

Your puppy will need several vaccinations in its first year and booster shots each year to prevent deadly (yet preventable) canine diseases like distemper, hepatitis, etc.

It is also important to get your pet neutered/spayed when the time is right. Not only will this prevent behavioral issues like territory marking but also certain cancers in male and female dogs.

Regular veterinary checkups can also help detect health conditions that, if treated early, could save your dog’s life.

Final Thoughts

Basset Hounds from good breeders are generally healthy and hardy dogs with an average life of 12 to 13 years. Although, from time to time, diseases like cancer, bloat, and bacterial infections are known to afflict the breed.

I hope this guide helps you take good care of your Basset and even extend your pet’s life.