Dachshunds are cute little pups that make great additions to any busy family and get 'awws' and 'oohs' wherever they go because of their diminutive size and affectionate personalities. But did you know that dachshunds were originally bred to be hunters? Their job once to hunt down badgers, rabbits and other tunneling critters!
Not all dachshunds are tiny! In fact, there are two types common to the US these days. Miniature (11 pounds and under as an adult) or standard (usually between 16 and 32 pounds as an adult). They are all still rather 'long and short' but what they lack in height they make up for in personality! They are also very intelligent dogs, Doxies love to play and often do very well in obedience trials.
Every dachshund pet parent wants the best for their pup and that is especially true when it comes to choosing the best food for dachshunds. As there are lots of choices out there doing that can be difficult. Dachshunds need lots of vitamins, minerals and protein in the way that all small dogs do, but as they do have a tendency to gain weight a little more easily than some breeds their calorie count has to be monitored as well.
To help you make the right choices when shopping for the best dog food for dachshunds here's a look at some of the most popular and highly rated on the market right now.
When shopping for dog food for your dachshund you should be on the lookout for a formula that is high in protein but lower in fat and one that is suitable for the smaller, often rather sensitive stomachs of the smaller dog.
Blue Buffalo is a brand that is often recommended by vets and breeders for smaller dogs like the dachshund. The Freedom line is, as the name alludes, grain free and entirely based on natural meats, fruits and veggies.
Like many premium dog foods, the meat component makes up a little over 70% of the formula composition. The chicken used is a combination of deboned raw chicken, chicken meal and chicken fat. This combination makes for a good protein profile and is low in fat (80% protein/20% fat), something that is good for a breed like a dachshund that often may need an extra eye kept on the weight management aspect of their diet.
Some pet parents are a little concerned when they see 'chicken meal' but it is not a filler (as some mistakenly believe) but simply a dehydrated form of the meat and in fact by removing the liquid the protein is concentrated, making the chicken meal three times as high in this essential element of any dog's diet than the raw meat itself. The inclusion of chicken fat provides other essential nutrients, including Vitamin B6, phosphorus and omega-6 fatty acid.
Other ingredients that come high on the ingredient list include peas - which are another good source of protein - flaxseed, which is exceptionally rich in Omega 3 fatty acids - blueberries and kelp.
Blue Buffalo is somewhat different to other dry dog foods as it contains what looks like dark, moister 'bits'. The company calls these 'lifebits' and they are essentially a vitamin supplement for dogs (like the one you perhaps take every day) but in kibble form. They include a wide range of vitamins and minerals along with the amino acids taurine, L-lysine, and L-carnitine. Taurine is often included in dog foods because it is believed that it aids in heart health while the L aminos help convert fat to energy and muscle mass and helps keep your furkids body lean. There is no soy, corn or wheat and is both gluten and grain-free, with 373 kcal/cup.
Per parents who have chosen Blue Buffalo Freedom for their dachshunds tend to be very passionate about it. They praise the fact that the taste seems very endearing to their pups and that the kibble seems to cause fewer stomach problems than other dog foods they have given their 'doxies' in the past. A number do also comment it does seem to help a pooch who is slightly overweight trim down.
As we have been discussing some dachshunds are prone to gaining weight rather quickly, the reason that some pet parents turn to a specialist weight management food like Fromm Weight Management.
The Fromm formula's protein profile is made up of turkey liver, duck, chicken, lamb, eggs, and cheese. This is a very protein heavy line up but the meats used are all lower fat than traditional red meats like beef and so that helps with the weight management side of things. The kibble is also 'fortified' with the amino acid L-Carnitine, which helps convert fat into energy more efficiently, aiding the efforts to keep a dachshunds weight under control even further.
You may be wondering where the cheese - which is actually billed as Real Wisconsin Cheese - comes in, especially as some people believe cheese is a little too calorific. Here though it is only used in smaller quantities and offers the benefit of extra protein and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Pet parents who feed their furkids Fromm Gold Weight Management are obviously usually concerned with maintaining the pup's weight and most feel it does a great job while also reducing stomach upsets. Unlike many human 'diet foods' owners also report that their pups seem to love the taste and the smaller kibble size is easier for a small breed dog to chew and digest.
Most experts do feel that any pup's diet should consist of a mixture of dry and wet dog foods. Fromm Gold is not a weight management product like its sister product but it is a great source of lean meats and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables.
Although Fromm Gold is available in a number of flavor profiles, it is the chicken that is most often recommended for dachshunds as chicken is a leaner source of protein than beef or duck. The formula is a relatively simple one: minced chicken in chicken broth with carrots, potatoes, and peas (which almost sounds like a human comfort dinner) that is supplemented with additional amino acids to aid digestion.
Some of the biggest fans of the Fromm Gold formula are pet parents who have occasionally cooked their dogs food from scratch themselves and not always having the time to do so have turned to this formula instead and have found it to be comparable. And when a tinned dog food can appeal to the "wiener" as much as a home cooked meal does that can't be a bad thing!
The Blue Buffalo Freedom Puppy is very similar to the adult version of the kibble that we have already discussed but it does add a few extras to help meet a growing puppy's additional nutritional needs. It's made with protein-rich, deboned chicken and has the all important nutrients essential to a growing Doxie: Calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A. The "puppy-sized" kibble is perfect for your pup's smaller jaws and helps to remove tartar too.
In the case of this formula, the 'lifebits' are also fortified with extra DHA and ARA, which are fatty acids found in mother's milk and choline which helps support the function of the growing brain, nervous system and cell health. The analysis shows that the food has 27 percent crude protein and 16 percent crude fat. It has 403 kcal/cup which should provide plenty of calories for a small Dachshund puppy.
Like most dog breeds there are certain health conditions that seem to affect dachshunds more than they do others. These include all of the following:
It's a subject we have more than touched on so far. Dachshunds are prone to excessive weight gain (like poor Obie the obese dachshund), and if they are allowed to tip into obesity they will be at very similar health risks to obese humans. Being very overweight puts them at risk for heart disease, diabetes and even bone and joint problems (as a result of the added stress on the bones from the extra weight.)
Since this video, a new loving owner has since rescued Obie and helped her lose 50 lbs in one year and has maintained 54lb weight loss since 2013. Owner says - " It was 90% diet with Obie and barely any exercise."
In addition to making sure they are regularly exercised pet parents can help prevent obesity in their dachshund by keeping a close eye on their weight and many do feel that feeding their 'sausage dog' a weight management formula does help to do that very well. Remember also to always, always measure out the food and watch those extra "treats".
Bloat is the term used when a dog's stomach fills with too much air. It's very uncomfortable for them and can lead to other issues like gastric torsion (a more serious condition in which the stomach literally twists.)
To help prevent this, pet parents should ensure that the food they choose is a good source of fiber and that it is as easily digestible as possible.
Some dachshunds are prone to back problems (perhaps that is not surprising as they do have such long backs) and to inflammations of the vertebra and to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) which is a degeneration of the discs themselves.
While some of this may be genetically based there are dietary changes that can be made to help aid a dachshund's back health. These include ensuring that your pup gets adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as Omega fatty acids which can aid bone health. But the most important of all is to try to ensure they are a healthy weight by limiting their caloric intake, making use of a weight management formula if required and also refusing to give in to their love of table scraps!
Canine Hypothyroidism (abnormally low levels of thyroid hormone) is most likely seen to develop in purebred dogs such as the Dachshund, as well as the Golden Retriever, Doberman pinscher, Cocker spaniel, Shelties and the Irish Setter. Common signs include unexplained weight gain, excessive scaling, inactivity, lethargy and frequent skin infections. The good news is that low thyroid is treatable and a vet can prescribe a supplement when properly diagnosed. Consult with your vet, check your Doxie and ease your mind.
The best dog for your wiener will vary from pup to pup. However the foods on this list are excellent choices according to many pet parents - and vets - and so should give you a good idea of what to look for the next time you are shopping for the best food for your Doxie.