An easy keeper; a wipe-down with a hound glove keeps the coat shiny.
The Basenji is known for his fastidious habits and being full of play and activity. Because he often worked out of sight of hunters, he can tend to be independent and aloof and prefers to meet strangers on his own terms. Grooming is minimal due to his short coat, which lacks the typical "doggy" odor.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Basenji is a medium breed and has a lifespan into its teens.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
An added benefit of the breed is it lacks the typical "doggy" odor. Keeping their coat in god order only requires regular cleaning with a hound glove or mitt. Their nails should be trimmed every 10 to 14 days with a trimmer or grinder to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their prick ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Created in relative isolation in remote African villages, Basenjis have unique qualities. In addition to the vocalizing and the horsey gait, Basenjis are among dogdom’s most fastidious citizens and will groom themselves like cats. Basenjis have been called a “cult breed”—small in numbers, but those lucky enough to own one do so with singular devotion. Basenjis are fascinating, one-of-a-kind hounds, best suited to owners who can meet their exercise needs and the challenge of training this most catlike of canines.
Presently, the primary health concerns in the breed are Fanconi Syndrome (a kidney dystrophy), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (an eye disorder), and surprisingly, hip dysplasia. Some Basenjis may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Basenjis are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own Basenji can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.