weight loss tips for dachshunds

Weight Loss Tips For Dachshunds

Updated 06/28/2021 by Ava Jaine

All Dachshunds are addicted to Food!  It is just so tempting to slip your Dachshund a piece of food from the table when they give you those adorable “starving” puppy eyes…and before you know it, they are overweight.

We have found 5 Simple Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds which include: Quality Dog Food, a routine feeding schedule, promoting healthy eating habits, Exercise, and checking for possible illness.

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What is Overweight for a Dachshund?

Here is how much your dachshund should weigh, according to their size.

  • Standard:  Full grown standard dachshunds can weigh between 16-32 pounds.

  • Miniature: Adult mini dachshunds on average are 11 pounds or less.

  • Tweenie: Dachshunds that appear to be more between the standard and miniature dachshund size can be between 10-15 pounds.

  • Toy or Rabbit Size: Adult average size under 8 lbs.

Your Dachshund is Overweight if…

You can generally tell if your dachshund is overweight just by looking at them and noticing those round fatty rolls.

  • Do they ‘hobble’ when they walk instead of prancing?
  • Do their tummies touch the ground when they walk?
  • When you give your doxie hugs, do you feel their ribs easily or do you really have to hunt for them?

When my dachshunds, Eko and Bastian, visit the vet, she always lets me know if they are starting to put on weight.

You and your vet should be on high alert when your dachshund starts to tip the scales because more weight on your dachshund’s back means a higher risk of the spinal disease IVDD.

My Childhood Dachshund, Heidi, (pictured below) was a “labeled” as a Miniature Dachshund. 

From what I can remember, she shared a cup of coffee with my dad every morning.  She also enjoyed her own piece of Birthday Cake at everyone’s birthday party. 

Heidi was given a lot of table scraps for many years and she was dangerously overweight.

Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
 

5 Weight Loss Tips to Reduce Obesity

  • Quality Dog Food

  • Feeding Schedule

  • Healthy Habits

  • Exercise

  • Underlying Illness

1. Quality Dog Food

Dog Food Ingredients: It is important to feed your Dachshund a Vet recommended healthy diet.  Explore the dog food ingredient list on the back of your dog’s food bag. 

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

Avoid Grain-Free: Dog foods that mainly contain grain or corn-based fillers aren’t healthy for your dog.  Avoid giving your dog Grain-Free Dog Foods, they have a risk of giving your dog heart disease.

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.  Learn more about rotating your dog’s food the right way to avoid upset stomach.

Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
 

What Dog Food Should I Feed My Dachshund?

My veterinarian recommended Science Diet or Royal Canin dog food for Dachshunds. 

She likes the quality ingredients in their food and they are Not Grain-Free.  My puppy, Eko, is on Science Diet for puppies and my senior dog, Bastian, is eating Science Diet for 7+ adult dogs. 

They both love their food and I am happy with the results.  They are both very healthy and have shiny coats, so I can’t complain.

Homemade Dog Food

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 food allergies.

Talk to your vet for recommendations on a well-balanced meal plan and amount per serving for your dog if you are interested in creating your dog’s food at home.

Related Post: Homemade Dog Food Your Dachshund Will Love!

Supplements

My Dachshund, Reno, had a very sensitive stomach.  His stomach couldn’t tolerate any food scraps and he couldn’t eat many 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 poor Reno was sick for the rest of the evening. 

My vet recommended that I add some probiotics to his diet to help him with his digestive issues.

15 in 1 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 my pups beg for!

Use code DACHSHUNDSTATION20 for 20% off on Alpha Paw!

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!

More Fiber!

Grab some natural Pumpkin Puree from the grocery store or hang on to your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern for some extra fiber and healthy nutrients. 

Pumpkin Puree helps keep your dog feeling full, so they don’t want to constantly eat all the time.

The high amount of fiber and nutrients found in pumpkin can help your dachshund stay regular and keep those extra fatty pounds off their sensitive backs.

Post You May Like: 12 Reasons Why Dachshunds Should Eat Pumpkin

Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
 

2. Feeding Schedules By Age

Maintain a healthy feeding schedule to reduce obesity and prevent IVDD in your Dachshund. 

Dachshunds have a large appetite compared to other dogs.  It is important to have a strict feeding schedule for your Doxie instead of allowing them to ‘graze’ all day long.  Grazing can cause them to gain a lot of weight in no time.

Puppy Feeding Schedule:

For dogs under the age of one, look for a dry dog food formulated just for puppies.  High quality puppy food usually includes more protein and fatty acids to help build strong muscles and maintain healthy energy levels.

Puppies under 6 months of age should have 3 small meals per day

Once in the morning, one time in the afternoon, and in the evening for dinner.  Pretty much, the same time that you eat your meals.

Set the puppy’s dog food bowl down for 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 food depending on their appetite.

Training Tip:  Your puppy should eat his evening portion before 6 pm. This will help reduce the number of overnight accidents.

Adult Feeding Schedule:

Around 12-14 months of age, feed your dachshund 2 times per day.  Once in the morning and once at night is ideal. 

Spreading out the meals allows the dog to digest smaller amounts and reduce any digestive issues.

Splitting up my dachshund’s meals helped them have fewer anal gland issues.  We didn’t have to have their glands expressed quite as often at the vet when they started eating 2 smaller meals per day.

Adult Dachshunds require less fat, protein, and calories in their diet than they did as puppies. 

A Dog Food that is high in fat or has too many calories will lead to weight gain and lower energy levels.

Senior Dog Feeding Schedule:

Dachshunds are considered senior dogs at 7 years old.  Senior dogs can continue the adult feeding schedule, 2 times per day, as long as they are in good health. 

Senior dogs will do a lot more napping around the house, so they may eat smaller amounts of food than they used to.

There are senior dog food options that may help with digestion and joint health as they grow older.

Most senior dog foods include more fiber, which promotes healthier digestion.

 

Portion Control:

How Much Should I Feed My Dachshund?

On the back or side panel of your dog food bag, there is a chart that will help you determine how much food your dog should be eating. 

It usually goes by your dog’s weight or age.  If you need some extra help with portion control, consult your vet. 

Note: Using a dog food measuring scoop (From Amazon) helps a ton!   It will make sure you are feeding your doxie the right amount and not just guessing.

 

Slow Feeder Dog Bowls:

You not only have to keep a routine feeding schedule, you need to help slow them down while they are eating as well. 

Some doxies suck down their food in seconds. Don’t let your dachshund continue stuffing their tummies at a super hero speed.  This can cause choking and a scary disease called Bloat.

Helping your dachshund eat slower will aid in healthier digestion and help them feel full longer.

My Miniature Dachshund, Reno, inhaled his food way too fast and at times would choke and cough after eating. 

I found some awesome Slow Feeder Dog Bowls to help him out with this issue.

Some other cool slow feeder options that I absolutely love are the Bob-A-Lot and this Doggie Activity Mat (from Amazon) during meal time.

My dachshund puppy and my senior dog love the Bob-A-Lot and the Doggie Mat (see pics below). They help my dachshund’s eat at a much slower pace, so, Win-Win!

 

Here are the cute videos of my Dachshunds using the Dog Activity Mat and Bob-A-Lot on my Dachshund Station YouTube Channel.

Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
 

3. Healthy Habits

Do not feed your dog any table scraps.  I know, this is a tough one.  This is not good for the dog’s health and can make them finicky eaters. 

When I was younger, my family dachshund, Heidi, would constantly bark and beg at the table for every meal.  My parents gave her many table scraps every time she barked, and you could tell because she was obese.

Giving your Dachshund table scraps out of love is a bad habit for both of you. 

It becomes a routine, every meal, every day.  Unfortunately, Dachshunds are one of many small breeds that are more Prone to Obesity.  They are also the cutest dogs on the planet (in my opinion), and it is hard to resist that doxie face!

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).

Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
 

Healthy Drinking Water:

Always keep your dog well hydrated. Make sure to give them clean drinking water daily.  Filtered water bowls are even better at keeping your dog’s water clean.  Make sure to wash your dog’s water dish at least once per week.

4. Exercise

A consistent exercise routine for your Dachshund is very important to your pup’s health.  Doxie’s love to eat and nap, so it is super easy for them to become overweight when not properly walked or played with.

How Do You Exercise a Dachshund?

Walking:

Walking is not only great at helping your doxie maintain a healthy weight, but it is also good for YOU.  You need sunshine and fresh air, especially if you are inside most of the day.

Plan to walk 15-20 minutes at your doxie’s pace. Remember, they have shorter legs and need to put in more of an effort to keep up with you. 

Don’t plan on a sweaty ‘workout’ kind of walk.  A dachshund walk will be more of a walk, stop, and sniff stroll.  Your dachshund will love it and look forward to it daily.

Dachshunds also love to explore Hiking Trails

There are so many new sights, sounds, and smells for them to discover.  Make sure to bring plenty of water for them to drink after the hike.

Tip:  Wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after your dog finishes their meal for any vigorous exercise to prevent bloating.

Playtime:

Play games with your dachshund!  I get it, during those cold and rainy months of the year, you don’t want to go for a long walk.  Your doxie doesn’t want to go outside during that weather either.

Some games we like to play in the house with our dachshund puppy, Eko, is chase, tossing a ball, and hide and seek.

My Dachshund can play fetch until he drops.  So, I have to set a timer for 20-30 minutes to remind myself to stop and take a break.

Even though he could play for hours, it isn’t good for his Fragile Back.  Sometimes if we play too long 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.

Toys and Puzzles:

My dachshund, Eko, is so full of that spunky puppy energy that I sometimes can’t keep up with him.  I like to use IQ Dog puzzles and toys to keep him busy when I need a break.

Solving puzzles develops your dog’s intellectual skills. 

Dog IQ toys and puzzles help keep your doxie occupied for longer periods of time and reduces destructive behavior, like Separation Anxiety.

#1 Dog IQ Puzzle: The Dog Smart Beginner Dog Puzzle Toy is a Level 1 Treat Dispensing Dog Toy (on Amazon).

#1 Self Play Dog Toy:  This Wicked Ball is for Self Play, Hooray! The IMYMAX Wicked Ball keeps your Dog or Cat entertained all day. This smart interactive ball is USB rechargeable, waterproof, and bite resistant.

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

Dachshunds need to have a healthy diet along with walks and play for exercise to maintain a healthy body and strong back (spine).

Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds
 

5. Underlying Illness

Why is My Dachshund Gaining Weight?

If you have tried all of the weight loss ideas above, and your Dachshund is still having issues with obesity, get them checked out by a vet. 

Your dog may have an illness that is causing the weight gain.  Chronic illnesses like Cushing’s Disease and Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain in dogs.

We hope that our 5 Simple Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds will help you. 

Remember: Quality Dog Food, Dog Food Feeding Schedule, Adopting Healthy Eating Habits, and Regular Exercise should help your doxie get his healthy weight back.  But, if they don’t work, take your dog to the vet for a check up.

What helps your Dachshund Lose Weight?  Let us know in the Comments.

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