Food & Metabolism


If you want your Basenji will be healthy don’t let him get fat.

Basenjis really like food. This helps in training to get them do what you want. Food is best tool used to control their stubbornness and wild nature. You will be very surprised how patient and good dogs they can be when they expect food.

Basenjis are natural chewers. This is an instinct that they are born with. When they are puppies they are at their very worst because they have new teeth coming in and their gums are swollen and itch. The only thing that helps to relieve the misery is to chew until the new teeth come through. They will chew on anything that they can find lying around the house. It is to your advantage to keep your pup supplied with a variety of sturdy chew bones that will hold up to some real abuse. They love to chew on shoes and for some reason, socks as well. As basenjis get older, this isn’t as big a problem. Basenji owners have learned not to leave their shoes and socks lying around the house because you never know when the urge to chew on them will strike.

Their metabolism works more like the wild dogs’ than the domesticated dogs’.

Their preference is several small meals each day. That reflects a daily pattern of multiple kills of small prey items of their ancestors, the solitary territorial predator the wolf, Canis lupus.

That means, for an adult dog one good meal per day will be perfect. Especially after good run or intensive exercise. You can choose to feed your Basenji in the morning or in the evening. Very likely he will show you what suits him the best.

The Basenji can generally be fed normal dog food but not with much proteins. Because too many proteins can cause bladder stones in this breed. However, Basenjis will steal any food that is left lying around, and as a result, can quickly become overweight. We recommend raw food for your Basenji. This includes raw meat and cooked vegetables.


NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.