Ways to Keep Your Dachshund Healthy

Ways to Keep Your Dachshund Healthy

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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. Quality Dog Food

What Dog Food Should I Feed My Dachshund? 

It is important to feed your Dachshund a Vet Recommended Healthy Diet.  Take a look at the ingredients list.

The meat of choice  should be listed as the first ingredient (fish, chicken, beef).

Dog Food Warnings:  Dog foods that mainly contain grain or corn-based fillers aren’t healthy for your dog.  Be very cautious of Grain-Free Dog Foods.  There is a high risk of heart disease with Grain-Free Dog Foods.

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.  Check out Kol’s Notes.com for a Cheese Burger Pop Recipe your dog is sure to love!

Supplements

My Dachshund, Reno, had a very sensitive stomach.  He couldn’t tolerate any food scraps, and very few dog treats without getting sick.  I took him to Petco for his Birthday to pick out a toy and the lady at the checkout gave him a special looking dog cookie for free.  I thought it was so nice, but Reno threw up the rest of the night.  My vet recommended that I add some probiotics to his diet to help him with his digestive issues.

The Multi Chews from Alpha Paw are what I like to recommend for Doxies with unique digestive needs. They are a daily peanut butter tasty treat that they beg for! They contain essential Vitamins, Glucosamine, and Probiotics to help dachshunds that have issues with gas, bloating, constipation, and stomach issues. They are made in the USA, check them out on Alpha Paw’s Website.  They are an awesome deal, your doxie will love them.

keep your dachshund healthy

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 support healthy 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…pretty much the same schedule you have.

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 House Training.

Training Tip: Feed your puppy their evening meal before 6 pm. This will help reduce the number of overnight accidents.

keep your dachshund healthy

Table Scraps

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 Dog Food: Adult dachshunds require less fat, protein, and calories in their diet than they did as puppies.  Too much fat and calories can lead to weight gain and lower energy levels.  Stick to Adult Dog food when your pup turns 1.

Slow Feeder Bowls: 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.

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 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 at keeping your dog’s water clean and healthy.  Make sure to clean your dog’s water dish weekly at a minimum.

keep your dachshund healthy

3. Healthy Habits

Exercise

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.

Wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after their meals for any vigorous exercise to prevent bloating.

Here are some fun examples of how to play with your dog from Zak George on YouTube: How to Exercise a Puppy.

Walking

Regular exercise should consist of walking daily or at least a couple of times per week. A 20-minute walk tends to be a sufficient length for a good dachshund walk.

Hiking

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.

keep your dachshund healthy

Playing

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, he loved it!  So, I set a timer to remind myself to stop because it wasn’t safe for his delicate back (IVDD Risk).  At times, we would play too long and he would act sore the next day.

Whether on a walk or playing fetch, make sure to take regular breaks so your dog doesn’t overdo it.

Giving your Dachshund a healthy dog food diet, keeping them on a regular feeding schedule, and maintaining a regular exercise routine will keep your dachshund happy and healthy.  If you notice that your dachshund is a bit overweight or obese, here are 5 Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds that can help you out.

How Do You Exercise Your Dachshund?   Please Share in the Comments Below.

References:

  • 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.
How To Keep Your Dachshund Healthy
How To Keep Your Dachshund Healthy