Dachshunds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds around. With their long bodies, stubby legs, and overall small stature, they're lovingly referred to as a "Weiner Dog."
These small and lovable pups have an energetic personality to match their goofy looks. They can spend hours running and playing, making them the perfect addition to the family.
While these pooches are often highly sought-after because of their unique builds, the thing that sets them apart can prove to be a hindrance if you're not careful. Their distinct body shape makes Dachshunds susceptible to a host of health issues that could affect their quality of life.
One way that owners can combat these problems is to provide them with high-quality foods. A great diet can help to minimize health concerns and give them the fuel they need to thrive.
Here's a quick overview of the recommended formula's.
How Much Food Does a Dachshund Need?
Dachshunds are a relatively small breed, but they'll still need a considerable amount of dog food to maintain their overall health. Smaller dogs tend to have a higher metabolism than their larger canine counterparts. With all the energy they burn on a daily basis, they'll need plenty of kibble to refuel.
The best way to determine how much food they need is to take a look at their size and activity levels. More active dogs will need significantly more food than that of a senior dog.
Average adult Dachshunds can weigh anywhere between 16 and 33 pounds. In most cases, healthy dogs will weigh in the ballpark of 20 pounds or so.
These pups will need approximately 600 calories each day. Particularly energetic dogs may need upwards of 900 calories. If your Dachshund is a bit older or less active, you'll want to decrease their caloric intake to around 470.
Those figures apply to normal adult Dachshunds. While most don't realize it, there are actually two other types of Dachshunds out there. These include the Miniature Dachshund and the Rabbit Dachshund.
Miniature Dachshunds weigh, on average, around 11 pounds. A healthy adult would need approximately 350 calories each day. Rabbit Dachshunds can weigh 8 pounds or less. These tiny dogs will only need about 240 calories a day.
Puppies will need a bit more food than older dogs. They may require upwards of 1,000 calories every day. As they're growing, those extra calories will be put to good use to help develop their bones and muscles.
In addition to supplying them with enough food, you need to make sure that the kibble you're giving your puppy has a noticeably higher protein content. At the very least, puppies should have a diet that consists of 22 percent protein.
The exact amount of calories for your dog may differ slightly from these figures. The key to finding that perfect balance is to keep an eye on their weight, activity, and eating habits. It may take some trial and error, but finding the right calorie requirements for your Dachshund will make all the difference.
As with any dog breed, it's important that you adjust their food intake when big life changes occur and when they start to get a bit older.
5 of the Best Dry Dog Foods for Dachshunds
1. Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core has a line of dry food that's specifically formulated for small breeds like the Dachshund. It's completely free of grains, ensuring that your pup can digest the kibble with no issues at all.
It's also free of corn, soy, meat by-products, and artificial additives. Instead, it has a collection of wholesome ingredients that will benefit your dog. The main protein sources include deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal.
The protein makes up an impressive 36 percent of the recipe. It also has complex carbohydrates like potatoes and peas. There's even a healthy dose of fat from salmon oil.
2. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Dachshund Adult dry dog food
This Royal Canin dry dog food is formulated around the unique biological needs of the Dachshund breed. Protein makes up 29% of the recipe. It also has all the things your dog needs to maintain healthy bones and joints.
This includes calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin. The food has 4.1 percent fiber for easy digestion. Overall, the product is designed to help you manage your dog's weight. It's completely balanced and can even keep your dog's teeth clean.
Each individual piece is designed to accommodate the Dachshund's jaw and facial structure. They'll be able to pick up pieces with ease and get a quick tartar scrub as they chew.
3. NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food
From Nutro is this kibble made for small dogs like the Dachshund. It utilizes a blend of ingredients that are designed to promote better overall health.
For protein, the manufacturers used chicken, chicken meal, salmon meal, and lamb meal. Healthy whole grains like brewers rice and brown rice are also included. To give your dog all the vitamins and nutrients they'd ever need, the food contains 12 different superfoods. These include blueberries, carrots, spinach, kale, apples, and much more.
It has no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients. Each food used in non-GMO, so your dog can take advantage of all they have to offer.
4. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food (for puppies)
This high-quality option from Wellness is packed with beneficial ingredients. It all starts with the protein. This particular formula contains deboned chicken, chicken meal, and salmon meal.
The protein makes up 28 percent of the recipe. It also has added DHA, which is designed to improve brain and ocular health. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are also thrown into the mix. These include carrots, tomatoes, and spinach.
Omega fatty acids from the salmon oil will promote better heart health and smoother skin. Probiotics, prebiotics, and plenty of fiber ensure that food makes it through your dog's system without any trouble.
5. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is a relatively simple recipe that contains only the essentials. It's made up of 25 percent protein. This protein comes from salmon, ocean fish meal, and smoked salmon.
The inclusion of salmon ensures that your dog is consuming balanced omega fatty acids. They can help keep their coat and heart healthy. To help with digestion, the formula contains prebiotics and probiotics.
It also contains a healthy amount of fiber thanks to the dried chicory root and potato fiber. Plant-based ingredients like blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes provide a slew of beneficial nutrients.
When to Feed Your Dachshund
While many dogs will do just fine with getting a single meal at the end of the day, Dachshunds are a completely different story. With their high metabolism levels, these pups will burn right through their energy supply long before the day is done.
As a result, you may want to consider splitting up your pup's meal into three separate portions. An extra meal in the middle of the day is the perfect pick-me-up to keep them going.
It's important that you don't add any additional calories to their daily intake. Instead, you should figure out how many calories they need and split it up into smaller portions. Free-feeding is not recommended with this dog breed either.
While it may be tempting to let them eat until their full, Dachshunds are notorious weight-gainers. You need to stay on top of their diet to keep them healthy.
Not all dry dog foods on the market are made the same. 600 calories of a cheaper formula will do more harm than good when compared to the same amount from a high-end brand. With that being said, you don't have to go straight for the most expensive kibble on the shelf.
When you're shopping, it's important that you take a look at the dog food's ingredients list. Dachshunds need a variety of macronutrients to stay active and in shape.
Protein is one of the most important things to look for. It acts as the building blocks for your dog's muscles. Your canine companion needs a healthy dose of wholesome animal protein every day. Look out for high-quality sources like chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb.
These ingredients come from the animal's meat. Meat meals are also a suitable ingredient as long as the animal source is clearly labeled. It's best to stay away from unhealthy byproducts and mystery meats.
With any dog food, the protein source should be at the very top of the list. This indicates that it's the most prevalent ingredient in the formula.
If the first ingredient listed is corn, wheat, or soy, move onto the next option. These are often used in cheaper dog foods. They can have an adverse effect on your dog's health and gastrointestinal tract.
While you have your eyes on the ingredients list, take a look at the percentage of protein that's in the recipe.
Healthy adult Dachshunds should consume foods that have at least 18 percent protein. However, it's recommended that you aim for around 25 percent. Of course, higher percentages are always better for your furry friend.
Carbohydrates are found in nearly every dog food. In a dog's body, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and delivered throughout the body for energy. Needless to say, carbohydrates are important for Dachshunds. However, not all sources will benefit your dog.
As mentioned earlier, sources like corn, wheat, and soy should be avoided. These are simple carbohydrates that break down very fast. The energy they provide burns up quickly, which will ultimately cause your dog to feel lethargic in the middle of the day.
Instead of those simple sources, go for complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, peas, beans, and whole grains. They take much longer to break down, providing your pooch with a slow and steady supply of energy.
Fats are essential for any dog. Not only do they add flavor to the food, but they can keep your dog's fur supple and avoid any skin irritation. Fat can also provide a good boost of energy. Luckily, Dachshunds don't have long fur that you need to take care of.
They also don't have a problem with energy. Most commercial dog foods will have plenty of fat to get the job done. However, it's important that you avoid foods with excessive fat.
Fat has more calories than carbohydrates and protein. Too much of it can lead to excessive weight gain. A healthy Dachshund will do well with anywhere between 5 and 8 grams of fat each day. Look out for foods that have natural sources of fat.
Animal fat from the protein source is a good option. Another great source is flaxseed or fish oil. They contain Omega Fatty Acids that can help keep your dog's heart and brain healthy.
Dachshunds are at risk of experiencing a number of health conditions thanks to their unique body shape. Many of these problems are unavoidable due to genetics. However, a healthy diet filled with all the things they need can affect the severity of the condition and when they suffer from it.
Obesity if fairly common among Dachshunds. It doesn't take much for them to gain weight despite their relatively active lifestyles. As an owner, you need to do your part to control their weight.
Stick with a diet regime that works and hold off on giving them too many fatty treats. If you start to notice that your pup is packing on the pounds, it's imperative that you adjust their diet accordingly to help them lose the weight and avoid any lasting issues.
Invertebral Disk Disease
This condition affects the spine. Dachshunds are at risk because they have a longer spine and deeper chest. About a quarter of all Dachshunds will suffer from the disease at some point in their life.
If can be painful and affect everything they do. Obese dogs are at the highest risk of the disease. The best thing that you can do to help them avoid it is to keep their weight in check with a healthy diet.
Bone and Joint Problems
While joint issues are often associated with larger dogs, Dachshunds can also suffer from these painful ailments. They're known for having relatively brittle bones that can easily break. To combat these issues, give your dog a healthy supply of calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Glucosamine and chondroitin can be added to your dog's diet through supplements. Many manufacturers throw these nutrients into their recipe as well. The sources of calcium are plentiful. They include fish, greens, beans, and much more.
Anal Gland Problems
Dachshunds can experience the dreaded anal gland problem. It often afflicts dogs when they become constipated. Their two anal glands are incapable of emptying, causing a painful block that will have to be addressed.
The best way to avoid these issues is by giving your pooch a food that's easy to digest. Look out for high-fiber foods and those that have probiotics. They promote healthy digestion.