The Basenji is a unique breed that has unique requirements for care. As they are now a combination of domesticated canine and wild dog, their system requires a diet that needs a certain amount of attention. They are also extremely clean, detesting water. Even with no doggy odor, there can be times when the Basenji will require a bath and general grooming. They are a small dog that is fairly self sufficient but still need all the care that goes with keeping a pet healthy. Once acquiring a Basenji from a breeder, it is important to update all shot as needed with a vet that is familiar with the breed.
The Basenji is a small dog that does not require much but their diet needs to be based largely on meat. Feeding this breed a diet of simple dry dog food kibble is the quickest way to ensure illness. Although there are some dog foods that largely use meat as its base ingredient, dry kibble should only be used as a filler. The natural diet of a Basenji in its native Africa largely consists of lowland game birds and rabbit. It also includes a number of roots, vegetable and rice. A common domesticated Basenji diet consists of a lamb, duck or venison base, a grain free kibble and a small amount of steamed vegetables. The Basenji is known to have a sensitive stomach and finding the right combination of elements can take some experimentation.
One of the most attractive traits of the Basenji is its fondness for staying clean. It is a type of dog that has no odor and only lightly sheds. Many liken the breed to a cat in its habit of spending hours cleaning itself, especially its paws. Although this means they will not require frequent bathing there can still be times when the breed needs a bath after a muddy outing or accidentally bumping up against wet paint. As they do not like being wet, the bath needs to be quick and efficient. It is important to use treats and praise as the Basenji does not respond well to reprimands and punishments. Nails should be trimmed consistently, although their outdoor life and active lifestyle will likely help keep them filed down.
Reputable Basenji breeders are those that provide accurate medical records of first shots. It is an owner's responsibility to follow up with all necessary shots and medical care thereafter. Because the breed has rather unique physical traits, finding a vet with a familiar knowledge of the Basenji breed is a must. Locating a good vet can be as easy as going online to Basenji enthusiast forum and asking for a recommendation either in or around one's local area.