How To Keep Your Dachshund Healthy
Dachshunds Love Food! Unfortunately, these adorable long dogs are one of many small breeds that are more Prone to Obesity.
The best way to keep your dachshund at a healthy weight is to follow these 3 Easy Steps:
1. Dog Food Nutrition
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What Dog Food Should I Feed My Dachshund?
- Dachshund Diet: It is important to feed your Dachshund a Vet recommended Healthy Diet. Take a look at the ingredients list. The Meat of choice (fish, chicken, beef, etc..) should be listed as the first ingredient.
- Dog Food Warnings: Dog foods that mainly contain grain or corn-based fillers aren’t healthy for your dog. Also be cautious of Grain-Free Dog Foods, they have a risk of giving your dog heart disease.
- Dog Food Rotation: Have you ever done a dog food rotation? It’s a good idea to change your dog’s diet up occasionally. Your dog’s regular food may not be meeting all of your dog’s nutritional needs.
DIY Dog Food
Some dachshund owners prefer to make their dog’s food at home. By using your own natural ingredients at home (Recipes by Lifestyle Pet Guru), you know exactly what ingredients your dog is consuming. This is especially helpful with a dog that has any food allergies.
Your vet can recommend a well-balanced meal plan and amount per serving for your dog if you are interested in creating your dog’s food at home.
Did you know that some Human Foods are safe for Dogs to eat? Here is a List of Vegetables that Dogs Can Eat from SpoiledHounds.com.
Looking for a Homemade Frozen Dog Treat Recipe for the Summer time? Check out Kol’s Notes for a Cheese Burger pop recipe your dog is sure to love!
2. Feeding Schedules By Age:
Maintain a healthy feeding schedule to Reduce Obesity and Prevent IVDD in your Dachshund.
Dachshunds have a pretty big appetite compared to other dogs their size.
It is important to have a feeding schedule for your dachshund instead of allowing them to ‘graze’ all day long.
If they graze, they won’t stop eating and can gain a lot of weight.
Dachshunds need to have a healthy diet along with walks and play for exercise to maintain a healthy body and strong back (spine).
Puppy Feeding Schedule
For Puppies, look for a dry dog food that includes more protein and fatty acids to help build strong muscles and energy levels. Look for foods that are formulated for puppies.
Puppies under 6 months of age should have 3 smaller meals per day. Once in the morning, one time in the afternoon and in the evening for dinner.
Set the puppy’s dog food bowl down for about 20 minutes at a time, then take the bowl up until the next feeding. That way you can tell if they are getting too much or need a little more depending on their unique metabolism. Let your puppy outside after each meal during Housetraining.
Training Tip: It is preferred to feed their evening portion before 6 pm. This will help reduce the number of overnight accidents.
Do not feed your puppy any table scraps. This is not good for the dog’s health and can make them finicky eaters. It also creates a bad begging and barking habit while you are eating your meals.
When I was younger, my family dachshund would constantly bark and beg at the table for every meal. My parents gave her many table scraps, and you could tell because she was obese.
Adult Feeding Schedule
Around 12-14 months of age, your doxie can eat 1-2 times per day. Once in the morning and once at night is ideal. Spreading out the meals allows the dog to digest smaller amount and not have as many issues with their Anal glands.
We had to go from 1 meal per day to 2 times per day with our dachshunds. That helped them have fewer issues with their anal glands. We didn’t have to have their glands expressed quite as often at the vet when we split up their meals.
Adult dachshunds require less fat, protein, and calories in their diet than they did as puppies. Too much fat and calories could lead to weight gain and lower energy level issues.
My Miniature Dachshund, Reno, tended to inhale his food way too fast and at times choked on his dog chow. I found some awesome Slow Feeder Dog Bowls to help him out with this issue. He eats at a much slower pace now, which aids in his healthy digestion.
Training Tip: Dachshunds don’t naturally crave people food. They develop the taste once they are exposed to the food. Table Scraps are like fast food for dogs (fatty and addicting). Stick with Dog food and healthy Dog treats from the pet store.
Senior Dog Feeding Schedule
Dachshunds are considered Senior dogs at 7 years old. Senior dogs can continue the adult feeding schedule as long as they are in good health (1-2 times per day). Most Senior dogs may do a lot more napping around the house compared to their young adult counterparts, so they may eat smaller amounts of food than they used to.
There are senior dog food options that you can try for your dog that may help with digestion and joint health as they grow older. Most Senior dog food includes more fiber to aid in digestion at this age.
For Doxies over the age of 12, it is recommended to split their daily meals into 2. One small meal in the morning and one in the evening. Splitting up their meals help with their digestion and reduce anal gland issues.
Healthy Drinking Water
Always keep your dogs well hydrated. Make sure to give your dachshund clean drinking water daily. Filtered water bowls are even better in keeping your dog’s water healthy. Make sure to clean your dog’s water dish weekly at a minimum.
3. Healthy Habits
Wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after their meals for any vigorous exercise to prevent bloating.
A well-rounded exercise routine for your Dachshund is very important to your dog’s health. Doxie’s love to eat and nap, and it is very easy for this type of dog breed to become overweight when not properly walked or played with.
Some fun examples of how to play with your dog from Zak George’s: How to Exercise a Puppy, on YouTube.
Regular exercise should consist of walking daily or at least a couple of times per week. A 15 to 20-minute walk tends to be a sufficient length for a good dachshund walk.
Dachshunds love to explore Hiking Trails. So many wonderful sights and smells for them to discover, they will thank you for the adventure. Make sure to bring plenty of water for them to drink after the hike.
Playing fetch with your dog’s favorite ball or toy is a fun activity your pup will love. It will help strengthen the bond they have with you. Dogs love one on one attention with their owner.
Check out some Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors on Puppyleaks.com.
My dachshund could play fetch until he dropped. So, I had to set a timer to remind myself to stop. Even though he could play for hours, it isn’t good for his back. At times, we would play too long and he would act stiff and sore the next day.
Whether on a walk or playing fetch, make sure to take regular breaks so your dog doesn’t overdo it.
How Do You Exercise Your Dachshund? Please share you tips in the Comments Below.
Recommendations For Your Dachshund’s Health:
References ( bibliography):
- Schweitzer, Karen. 2010. Our Best Friends the Dachshund. Pittsburg, PA: Eldorado Ink.
- Pinney, Chris. 2010, 2000. Dachshunds: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.