Feeding Schedule for your Dachshund
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Are you feeding your dachshund a healthy diet? Always check the label on your dachshund’s food for the AAFCO stamp. This stands for American Association of Food Control Officials. This ensures that the food you are giving your dog will have the proper amount of vitamins and minerals needed for healthy living.
Dog Food Nutrition
Take a look at the ingredients list. The Meat of choice (fish, chicken, beef, etc..) should be listed as the first ingredient. Dog foods that contain grain or corn-based fillers aren’t healthy for your dog.
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.
Discuss your dog food choices with your Vet at your dog’s next visit. Your vet may have some recommendations for dog food brands that aid in keeping your dog’s immune system healthy.
Some dachshund owners prefer to make their dog’s food at home. By using your own natural ingredients at home, you know exactly what ingredients your dog is consuming. This is especially helpful with a dog that has any known 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.
Feeding Schedules by Age:
Dachshunds love food. They 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’ (leaving dog food out) all day at their bowl. If they graze, they won’t stop eating and can gain too much 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
Puppies under 6 months of age should have 3 smaller meals per day. Once in the morning, 1 time in the afternoon and once in the evening for dinner. After 6 months of age, your dachshund puppy can eat 3 small meals per day. 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.
While housetraining, it is recommended to feed the evening portion of the food before 6 pm. Then, let them outside after the meal (and every meal you feed your puppy).
See my Dachshund Housetraining Article for some Easy and Helpful Tips.
Remember, Do not feed your puppy any people food or 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. Having your dog beg and bark is a habit you don’t want to start because it can be hard to break.
When I was young, 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.
Dachshund Tip: Dachshunds don’t naturally crave people food or table scraps. They develop the taste once they are exposed to the food. Then, they bark, beg, and act finicky towards their dog food. Think of table scraps as fast food that is fatty and addicting. It’s best to stick with their food and an occasional healthy Dog treat from the pet store.
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, and that helped them have fewer issues with their glands. We didn’t have to have their anal glands done 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.
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. Try to stay with your same dog food brand and gradually switch over to the senior based diet food. 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.
Follow your dog food’s manufacture label for recommended portion sizes and adjust as needed based on your dog’s individual needs.
Make sure to keep a consistent feeding schedule for your dachshund, they are creatures of habit. Keeping good daily routines will result in a happier and healthier dog. Wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after their meals for any vigorous exercise to prevent bloating.
If your dog stops eating or shows any signs of lethargy, make sure to visit your vet as soon as you can. A dog out of their daily routine is a sign something might not be right. The sooner you get them checked out, the better.
Along with good dog food nutrition, is a well-rounded exercise routine for your dachshunds. Doxie’s love to eat and nap, and it is unfortunately easy to become overweight or obese when not properly walked or played with.
Regular exercise should consist of walking daily or a couple of times per week. Ten to fifteen-minute walks tend to be sufficient for a good dachshund walk. Any longer may get to be tiring for your dog, which may lead to you carrying them back home.
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. They can make it over those hills and rocks on the trail, but their little legs will be pretty tired by the end of the trail. Also, bring a towel they can rest on in the car on the way home in case they get muddy or decide to take a dip in the creek on their hike.
Playing fetch with his favorite ball or toy inside or outside is another favorite exercise activity. Not only is it a fun exercise for them, but it will also strengthen the bond they have with you. They love the one on one attention from their owner.
Whether on a walk or playing fetch, make sure to take regular breaks so they don’t overdo it. My dachshund could play fetch until he dropped. So, I had to put on a timer to remind myself even though he could go all day, it isn’t good for his back to run around too much. At times, we would play too long and he was stiff and sore the next day.
Check out Dog Food Advisor for honest dog food reviews and rankings.
APA Cited 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.