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10 Best (Healthiest) Dog Foods For Coonhounds in 2020

Coonhounds are sociable dogs that shine on the hunt. Their colorful braying and keen sense of smell make them great hunting companions ready to get the job done. They’re also happy just being with their people at the end of the day.

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Coonhounds can’t tolerate any excess weight, so to support life long health, they’ll need dense nutrition with plenty of protein to sustain their energy needs without empty fillers that can cause weight gain. Let’s see what it takes to keep your Coonhound variety happy and healthy.

Why Quality Food Matters for Your Coonhound

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Dense nutrition strips away all the fillers, so your Coonhound gets every building block needed for lifetime health without the risk of gaining weight.

Quality foods also contain critical substances and supplements that round out nutritional needs. Dogs that are fed diets closer to the way their omnivore ancestors would have eaten stand a better chance of having everything they need to stay happy and healthy for a lifetime.

3 Common Coonhound Health Issues a Good Dog Food Can Help With

Coonhounds have a few issues commonly associated with athletic dogs and one issue that’s pretty particular to the breed. Let’s take a look at what you should be watching out for.

  • Dysplasia – Athletic dogs are prone to ill-effects from dysplasia, a genetic condition in which the hip or elbow socket fails to form correctly. With weight gain or excessive activity levels, it can pop out of place and cause a great deal of pain. Good food can help keep your Coonhound’s weight under control and support muscle groups that will keep the joints supported.
  • Bloat – Bloat occurs when the stomach suddenly distends and twists. Without treatment, it’s quickly fatal. Coonhounds, like many other larger, barrel-chested breeds, are prone to bloat and would do much better on foods that can be served in smaller portion sizes without sacrificing energy throughout the day. Quality foods pack a lot more critical nutrition into smaller portion sizes so that your Coonhound can feel full and happy on several smaller meals per day.
  • Eye Issues – Coonhounds are prone to cataracts and retinal atrophy. Foods that support soft tissues and eyesight are good ways to help mitigate the effects of both of these disorders although you’ll likely have to seek vet treatment in the long run. Make sure your foods have plenty of vitamins and antioxidants to support overall eye health and prevent early deterioration.

What to Look For in a Quality Dog Food for Coonhounds

A vital ingredient in any dog food is protein. It should always be the first ingredient on the list and should come from sources like whole deboned chicken and never just “meat” or by-product meals. If you can’t identify what type of meat is in your dog food, it’s best to change it out for one that lists meat clearly on the label.

Fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients for your Coonhound that can support systems like digestion and nervous system. Dogs are omnivores, so making sure they have a variety of foods in their diets helps keep them in top shape the way their ancestors would have eaten.

Fatty acids help with brain development when Coonhounds are puppies and later, helps support the skin and coat health. Glucosamine and Chondroitin promote joint health, helping to cushion joints and make them stronger. Fiber plays an important part in weight control and gives your Coonhound precious prebiotics for better digestion.

If your Coonhound has severe allergies or skin irritations, it can be best to switch to a limited ingredient diet to help keep those inflammations down. LIDs have a single source of protein and limited other ingredients to just a few to help ease digestion and reduce those allergic reactions.

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Coonhound’s Dog Food

Cheap fillers like corn and soy are terrible for your dog and provide only empty calories. They make it very difficult to keep your dog from gaining weight because you need to feed too much to get the correct amount of nutrients. Avoid foods altogether that list these anywhere in the ingredients list.

Artificial flavors encourage your Coonhound to eat faster, making it more likely for bloat to occur. Artificial colors are only included to fool you into thinking the food is healthier than it is or to unify the colors all together. Avoid both of these as well.

Unfortunately, many dogs are allergic to grains and gluten, but the common substitutes can lead to an enlarged heart. Researchers found a tentative link between potatoes and legumes and a condition called Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Until we know more, talk to your vet about avoiding these ingredients altogether or at least avoiding foods that list them in the first two or three positions just to be safe.

Brands To Avoid

We know you like to save money, and several big box brands are right in front of you tempting you with those dollar signs. We recommend avoiding the following brands despite their low prices because you’ll pay for them in the long run with more frequent vet visits.

  • Pedigree: The familiar yellow bag hides a plethora of red flag ingredients. Artificial colors, by product meals, and cheap fillers are top on the list. Run far away.
  • Kibbles N Bits: The familiar blue bag also hides a poor quality food that uses every single ingredient we mentioned to stay away from. It doesn’t matter that the bag is cheap. You’ll probably regret using it.
  • Ol Roy: The food made directly for Walmart may feel like a jackpot, but it contains nothing but empty fillers, poor quality protein sources, and artificial flavors. Plus, the kibble is difficult for some dogs to chew.

Coonhound Feeding Chart

Most Coonhounds hover around 65 or so pounds, with a few larger or smaller depending on genetics. As puppies and seniors, you need to watch their weight gain, so you don’t end up with issues later and talk to your vet about individual recommendations.

  • Puppies: Control their growth. That’s mission number one for your puppy’s food. Calories should be restricted, but not so much your puppy doesn’t grow. Your vet is likely to change food recommendations a few times as your puppy matures.
  • Adults: Most adult will receive around three cups a day divided up into smaller meals. Check on the back of the food bag for specific feeding instructions and work closely with your vet to monitor weight.
  • Seniors: Seniors will get similar nutrition as they did when they were younger, but with alterations for weight gain or reduction in activity levels. Keep in close contact with your vet to make sure you have the best recommendations for your individual dog.

Best Dog Food for Coonhound

Coonhounds need dense nutrition to keep up with their energy needs all day long. They’re sweetly affectionate but definitely an athletic breed requiring heavy exercise and plenty of room to run. Protein supports those muscle groups, and quality carbohydrates keep energy levels consistent.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Instinct by Nature's Variety Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food<Instinct by Nature’s Variety uses real raw bits of meat freeze-dried and mixed in with premium kibble to give your Coonhound an extra burst of protein and encouragement to eat. Its densely nutritious and offers joint support, fatty acids for skin and eye health, plus essential vitamins and antioxidants from whole fruits and vegetables.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Turkey Meal
  3. Peas
  4. Chicken Meal
  5. Tapioca

About The Company – Instinct By Nature’s Variety tries to mimic your Coonhound’s ancestral diet through an omnivore style recipe. It’s nutritious, supports energy, and prevents excessive weight gain when appropriately portioned. Plus, it uses only premium ingredients in each of its recipes.


  • raw bits of meat
  • joint support
  • premium kibble


  • raw bits settle
  • some Coonhounds only eat the raw bits (kibble may not be tasty)

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Large Breed Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Large Breed Grain-Free

The Rocky Mountain recipe uses premium ingredients with complete proteins for a large breed formula to help control weight and provide energy all day. It uses healthy carbs plus vitamins and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. Plus, it’s grain-free to help reduce inflammation and digestive issues.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Beef
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Tapioca Starch
  4. Peas
  5. Pea Starch

About The Company  – Blue Buffalo uses premium ingredients to provide the best nutrition to your companion, much like the nutrition given to the company’s namesake Blue, the Airedale Terrier. It uses only complete proteins, plus combinations of vitamins and minerals for dense nutrition and all-day energy.


  • quality proteins
  • large breed specific
  • grain free


  • limited bag sizes
  • bags aren’t resealable

NomNomNow Fresh Pet Food Delivery

NomNomNow’s cooked recipes provide nutrition in a form your dog is going to love. Tasty Turkey Fare uses just six ingredients to give your Coonhound fewer allergic reactions without sacrificing any protein or energy sources. Plus, it comes in an easy to serve meal right to your door.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Turkey
  2. Brown Rice
  3. Carrots
  4. Spinach
  5. Eggs
  6. NomNom Nutrient Blend

About The Company – NomNomNow is a vet created, cooked food meal plan that arrives directly at your door and gives you everything you need to feed your Coonhound a top of the line diet. It uses plenty of human grade ingredients and is convenient to serve.


  • middle ground between kibble and raw food
  • human grade ingredients
  • shipped to your house


  • delivery times aren’t always convenient
  • takes up space in your fridge or freezer

Best Puppy Food for Coonhounds

Coonhound puppies need to get carefully controlled calories to prevent rapid growth that can stress developing bones. They also need plenty of DHA plus other essential fatty acids for brain development and skin health. Guaranteed levels of phosphorus and calcium help bones grow strong. Remember to consult your vet closely.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

Now Fresh Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

Now Fresh’s grain-free formula helps control development while still providing all the necessary building blocks for a lifetime of health. Guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus assist with developing bone structure while DHA keeps your Coonhound’s growing brain healthy. Probiotics encourage healthier digestion and may help reduce the overall stool smell.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. De-Boned Turkey
  2. Potato Flour
  3. Peas
  4. Potatoes
  5. Whole Dried Egg

About The Company

Now Fresh’s holistic approach is a better way to feed your puppy the best nutrition you can. The company uses premium ingredients to provide vitamins and minerals without causing the rapid growth of cheaper puppy foods.


  • large breed specific
  • grain free
  • guaranteed calcium and phosphorus


  • picky puppies may not eat it
  • comes in smaller sized bags only

Nutro Large Breed Puppy Tender Lamb Recipe Bites In Gravy Canned Dog Food

Nutro’s large breed puppy food gives your puppy plenty of nutrients in a wet formula that can help encourage your picky puppy to eat without overeating. It has plenty of fiber and whole protein sources for solid growth. It’s suitable as an additive to your puppy’s dry kibble or as a meal by itself.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Water Sufficient for Processing
  2. Lamb
  3. Lamb Liver
  4. Ground Rice
  5. Wheat Gluten

About The Company – Nutro uses a holistic approach to nutrition. They’re more widely available now than they used to be, and that means good news for your growing puppy. You can get everything you need to keep your puppy’s health and wellbeing in the forefront, building lifelong health.


  • satisfies picky puppies
  • easier to chew
  • large breed specific


  • messy to store leftovers
  • strong smell

Best Dog Food for Senior Coonhounds

Seniors need weight control and joint support. Together, these two things help keep your senior active even into the twilight years. Talk with your vet about what you can do to ensure your senior is getting the right nutrition without adding empty calories or ignoring weight.

Merrick Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Merrick Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food<

Chicken provides a lean protein source for seniors who may not be as active as they once were. Sweet potatoes help avoid blood sugar spikes and provide complex carbs for energy all day. The formula also has glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health while essential fatty acids promote eye health and proper brain function.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Peas
  5. Potatoes

About The Company – Merrick is a smaller company based in Texas. They buy ingredients from local sources and use their own test kitchens to create each formula, ensuring you get only the best nutrition for your aging Coonhound. They have plenty of recipes for even picky seniors, ensuring your senior always has options.


  • grain free
  • senior specific formula
  • helps control weight


  • only available in smaller sized bags
  • protein content may be too high for inactive seniors

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials gives your Coonhound simple nutrition with long-lasting energy. Complete protein sources from lamb and wholesome brown rice combine for all-day energy. Glucosamine and chondroitin support joints while the fatty acids help keep skin irritations at bay.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Lamb
  2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
  3. Whole Brown Rice
  4. Brewers Rice
  5. Rice Bran

About The Company – Nutro’s commitment to quality nutrition extends to your senior. The company uses premium kibbles with joint support supplements and high-quality proteins to help keep your Coonhound active and moving. Plus, they’re now more widely available outside of specialty stores.


  • simple formula
  • joint support
  • good protein and carb combination


  • only one bag size
  • picky seniors may not like it

Final Thoughts

Your Coonhound can keep up energy levels for most of its life if it receives the right nutrition from the start. Use a quality food to help keep muscle tone and joints supple so that you can keep playing and snuggling even into the golden years. It’s essential that you pay attention to your Coonhound’s weight throughout its life so that it never gets too big to slow down. It’s time to get your food on track and help your best friend live the best experience it can for as long as possible.

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