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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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 extra weight.
You and your vet should be on high alert when your Dachshund starts to tip the scales. 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.
5 Weight Loss Tips to Reduce Obesity
Quality Dog Food
1. Quality Dog Food
Dog Food Ingredients: It is important to feed your Dachshund a Vet recommendedhealthy 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 foodthe right way to avoid upset stomach.
What Dog Food Should I Feed My Dachshund?
My veterinarian recommends Science Diet or Royal Canin dog food for Dachshunds. She likes the quality ingredients in their food and they are not Grain-Free.
My Dachshund, Eko, is built like a tank (piebald doxie pictured below). He is registered as a mini Dachshund, but has the build and weight of a tweenie (in between a mini and a standard).
When Eko starts to put on some extra pounds, especially in the cold winter months, I switch him over to Science Diet Perfect Weight. This dog food helps him maintain a healthy weight, along with our daily walks.
New Dog Food Update:I have recently received some recommendations on a new dog food through Alpha Paw called Natural Vitality Dachshund Food. It is actually formulated for doxies!
Real chicken is listed as the first ingredient and doxie parents love it because their pups, who are picky eaters, are gobbling it up. It also includes salmon oil, which is an anti-inflammatory – great for healthy joint and bone support.
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.
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.
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 have3 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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
I get it, during those cold and rainy months, it’s harder to go on daily walks with your doxie. But, they still need some sort of exercise to get them moving.
Play games inside with your Dachshund! There are plenty of indoor doggie games you can play inside with your pup. Play chase, toss a ball, and hide and seek too.
My Dachshund can play fetch until he drops. So, I have to set a timer for 20 minutes to remind myself to stop and help him 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 acts 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 Dog IQ puzzles and toys to help him stay busy when I need a break.
Solving puzzles develops your dog’s intellectual skills and reduces destructive behavior.
#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).
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.
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.