Weight Loss Tips For Dachshunds
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The Dachshund Dog Breed is Addicted to Eating Food! They Love, Love, Love, their munchies. It is so tempting to slip your Dachshund a piece of food when they give you those adorable puppy eyes.. as if they are starving and they really need it.
Our 5 Simple Weight Loss Tips for Dachshunds include Quality Dog Food, Dog Food Feeding Schedule, Adopting Healthy Eating Habits, Regular Exercise, and the need to check for any Underlying Illness.
What is Overweight for a Dachshund?
Here are the typical / average weights per your dachshund’s size:
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?
If you aren’t aware of your dachshund’s weight issue, your vet should let you know. 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 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.
5 Weight Loss Steps to Reduce Obesity:
Quality Dog Food
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.
What Dog Food Should I Feed My Dachshund?
My veterinarian recommended Science Diet (small bites) 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 (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.
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.
Multi Chews From Alpha Paws 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! They are an awesome deal, your doxie will love them.
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.
Puppy Feeding Schedule:
For Puppies, look for a dry dog food, formulated for puppies, that 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 6pm. 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.
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.
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 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 as well.
For Doxies over the age of 12, one small meal in the morning and one in the evening works well. Splitting up their meals help with their digestion and reduce anal gland issues.
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 and age. If you need some extra help with portion control, consult your vet. Also, using dog food measuring scoops helps a ton, so you know how much you are giving them, 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 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 during meal time (both items from Amazon). My dachshund puppy and my senior dog love them (see pics below). They keep my dachshund’s busy and eating at a much safer pace, so, Win-Win!
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, 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).
Healthy Drinking Water:
Always keep your dog well hydrated. Make sure to give them 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.
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 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 total 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 major sweaty work out 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.
Note: You should wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after their meals for any vigorous exercise to prevent bloating.
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 to remind myself to stop and take a break. Even though he could play for hours, it isn’t good for his Fragile 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.
Toys and Puzzles:
Sometimes, I just don’t feel like playing games with Eko, he has a lot of puppy energy, so I need some help keeping him occupied. 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. They help keep your dog occupied for longer periods of time and reduce destructive behavior and 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: PetDroid Interactive Dog Ball is for Self Play, Hooray! It is Motion Activated and has an Automatic shut off when it isn’t being played with. This ball will help get your dog moving and playing inside the house.
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).
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, they need to be checked for any Underlying Illness.
What helps your Dachshund Lose Weight? Let us know in the Comments.
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