Oh, there are few dog breeds as irresistible as the Dachshund; those short legs that can walk surprisingly far, the long face and those adorable eyes that are so incredibly difficult to resist. In Mexico, they are often referred to as ‘Salchichas’ – sausages – which is a fitting name considering their body shape.

It is, however, not an indicator of what you should be feeding your Dachshund, as finding the proper diet for such a dog is a bit more complex. Dachshunds need high-quality dog food to thrive, but it is not just about finding the best dog food for your Dachshund – there is more to know about how to correctly feed a Wiener dog, and what to feed. Let’s have a look!

Choosing Food Brand

Doig food brands on display

Dachshunds are small dogs, but their nutritional needs are just as big and just as important as those of a larger breed canine. They need quality protein from an identified source, which means you should skip any dog food listing “meat” without specifying what animal the meat comes from, and you also want to stay clear of animal by-products, as these are considered low-quality protein sources.

The thing with the Dachshund is their long and vulnerable back. Due to their body shape, it is important to take special care to make sure they don’t hurt themselves during playtime and when exercising, and the first step to prevent this is by providing a high-quality dog food with nutrients to keep them healthy and strong.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin can help strengthen the spine of the Dachshund, along with other bones and joints, and it could potentially be a step towards preventing age-related back pain.

Both Glucosamine and Chondroitin exists- and is produced by the dog’s body, but for a breed with such a delicate body built – some reinforcement is often needed, and especially as they get older due to the natural production slowing down.

When you start looking for the best dog food for your Dachshund – don’t underestimate the importance of reading through the ingredients. The ingredients’ list will tell you everything you need to know about the food product you are considering, and if you know what you are looking for – it can tell you whether a product is good or bad.

Sounds hard? It isn’t. First look at the first two ingredients listed, and make sure they are named meat products and/or a named meat meal product. An example would be deboned chicken followed by a chicken meal.

Next, say no to artificial colors, as some artificial colors (like Red 40) have been linked to cancer. Dachshunds are known to have some hereditary health issues, and you don’t want to increase the risk by feeding potentially harmful things with their dinner. Instead, look for natural dog food products with recognizable content and plenty of animal protein.

Common Dachshund Dietary Issues

Skin allergies and digestive issues are not uncommon in the breed, and if your dog is one of the unfortunate souls to get itchy after eating, or to have diarrhea or other problems following a meal – perhaps a limited ingredient formula would be a better choice for your Dachshund.

These are dog foods that use fewer ingredients, to make it easier for owners to exclude what their pup is sensitive to, but also to give the GI tract a break by not exposing it to too many different food items. You can find limited ingredient formulas in the product selection of most bigger dog food brands.

Always consult with a veterinarian if your dog has allergies or persisting health symptoms, as there could be another explanation. Ask for advice before switching foods, to make sure you don’t accidentally make it worse for your pooch.

How Often Should a Dachshund Eat?

Dachshund eating on a aluminum bowl

The frequency with which you should feed your pooch may differ depending on the dog, because no two Dachshunds are similar. You should preferably feed a Dachshund at least twice a day, as this will help stop them from gulping down their food with too much enthusiasm whenever it is time to eat.

Eating fast (and especially large portions) could cause the life-threatening condition bloat in deep-chested dogs (and other dogs), and this is something you need to be aware of when setting up a feeding schedule for your dog.

If you feed your dog only once a day – the dog will be very hungry at mealtime and are more likely to eat fast, which increases the risk of bloat. Try to feed at least twice a day, or as often as you think your Dachshund would prefer to eat. Just make sure you don’t feed more in total and divide the total daily amount in smaller portions.

Quantity

How much food an adult Dachshund needs depends entirely on the product you have chosen to use. Dog food with a higher protein content can usually be fed in smaller quantities, while a low-quality grain-based dog food might not fill your dog up with the same amount.

The back of the product will have specific feeding instructions according to the weight of your dog, so always have a look and start from there. If your Dachshund seems to be on the skinny side, you might have to increase the amount slightly – as all dogs are different – and the same goes for if your dog seems to be packing on weight easily.

Treats

Another thing to carefully consider is how many treats you slip your Dachshund throughout the day, as too many can easily lead to obesity and dietary concerns. It is hard to resist those puppy eyes when they look up at you – begging for another MilkBone, but there needs to be a limit and you need to stay strong.

Related: Diet Dog Foods.

A good rule to stick to is the 90/10 rule, where 90% of what goes into your dog’s mouth in a day should be their regular dog food, and the other 10% can be treated.

Obesity is a real issue for all dogs, but especially for a breed like a Dachshund, as their back is not made to support too much extra weight, and it can quickly lead to pain and an increased risk of illness (diabetes being one example) and life-threatening injuries.

Moderate the treats for the sake of your short-legged fur friend, and try to choose a healthy treat without artificial additives.

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