What Do Dachshunds Eat

If you’ve ever wondered what to feed your beloved Dachshund, look no further! This article aims to provide you with all the information you need to ensure that your furry friend is getting the right nutrition. From understanding their dietary needs to exploring suitable food options, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover what Dachshunds should eat to stay happy and healthy.

What Do Dachshunds Eat

Table of Contents

Nutritional Needs of Dachshunds

Dachshunds, like all dogs, have specific nutritional needs that must be met to ensure their overall health and well-being. From calorie requirements to vitamin intake, it’s crucial to provide them with a balanced diet that supports their unique needs. By understanding their nutritional needs, you can make informed choices about their diet and help them thrive.

Calorie Requirements

The number of calories a dachshund needs can vary depending on factors such as age, weight, activity level, and metabolism. On average, an adult dachshund requires around 150-250 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. However, this can vary, so it’s essential to monitor their body condition and adjust their calorie intake accordingly. Consulting with your veterinarian can help determine the appropriate calorie requirements for your dachshund.

Protein Needs

Protein is crucial for a dachshund’s growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissues. It is the building block of muscles, skin, and other essential components of their body. A dachshund’s diet should consist of high-quality animal-based proteins, such as chicken, turkey, or fish. Aim for a protein content of around 20-30% in their diet to meet their nutritional needs.

Fat Intake

While fat often gets a bad reputation, it plays an important role in a dachshund’s diet. It provides them with energy, aids nutrient absorption, and helps maintain healthy skin and coat. However, it’s important to provide them with healthy fats, such as those found in fish oil or flaxseed oil, and avoid excessive dietary fat. Typically, a dachshund’s diet should contain around 10-15% fat.

Carbohydrate Consumption

Carbohydrates are a source of energy for dachshunds, but they should be provided in moderation. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits that provide essential nutrients and fiber. Avoid excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates, such as refined grains and sugary treats, as they can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Vitamin and Mineral Requirements

Dachshunds require a variety of vitamins and minerals to support their overall health. A balanced diet that includes a range of fruits, vegetables, and high-quality dog food will help meet their vitamin and mineral needs. However, certain vitamins such as vitamin D and minerals like calcium may require supplementation, especially in specific life stages or health conditions. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dachshund’s specific nutritional needs are met.

Water Intake

Proper hydration is essential for dachshunds, just like any other dog breed. Always ensure that fresh, clean water is available for your dachshund to drink throughout the day. Dachshunds might require more water during hot weather, exercise, or if they are on a dry food diet. Monitor their water intake and consult with your veterinarian if you notice any significant changes.

Commercial Dog Food Options for Dachshunds

Choosing the right dog food for your dachshund can feel overwhelming, considering the numerous options available in the market. Understanding what to look for and what to avoid can help you make an informed decision about their diet.

Choosing the Right Dog Food

When selecting commercial dog food for your dachshund, opt for a high-quality brand that meets the standards set by regulatory authorities. Look for labels that state the food meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition. Ideally, the ingredients should include high-quality animal-based proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates from whole grains or vegetables.

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is a popular choice for many dachshund owners. It offers convenience, a long shelf life, and can help maintain dental health by promoting chewing. Look for dry dog food that is specifically formulated for small-breed dogs like dachshunds, as they have specific needs when it comes to kibble size and nutrient density.

Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food, also known as canned dog food, can be a good option to add moisture to your dachshund’s diet. It often has higher protein content and fewer carbohydrates compared to dry dog food. Additionally, it can be easier for dachshunds with dental issues or older dogs who struggle with chewing. However, it is typically more expensive and has a shorter shelf life compared to dry dog food.

Senior Dog Food

As dachshunds age, their nutritional needs may change. Senior dog food formulas are specifically tailored to meet the needs of older dogs, including joint support, lower calorie content, and enhanced digestive health. When transitioning to senior dog food, do so gradually to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.

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Puppy Food

Puppies have different dietary requirements compared to adult dachshunds. Puppy food provides the right balance of nutrients, including higher levels of protein and fat, to support their growth and development. Look for puppy food specifically formulated for small-breed puppies to cater to their unique needs.

Grain-Free Dog Food

Grain-free dog food has gained popularity in recent years; however, it’s important to understand that grains themselves are not harmful to dachshunds. Unless your dachshund has a specific grain allergy or sensitivity, there is no need to avoid grains in their diet. Focus on providing a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs rather than solely relying on a grain-free label.

Homemade Diets for Dachshunds

Some dachshund owners prefer to prepare homemade meals for their furry friends. While this can offer more control over ingredients and quality, it is essential to ensure their diet is balanced and meets their nutritional needs.

Benefits and Considerations of Homemade Diets

Homemade diets can be advantageous because you have full control over the ingredients you include. This can be particularly beneficial for dachshunds with specific dietary requirements or food sensitivities. However, creating a balanced homemade diet can be challenging, and it’s important to consult with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure your dachshund’s nutritional needs are met.

Balanced Homemade Diet Recipe

For those interested in preparing a balanced homemade diet for their dachshunds, a recipe typically includes a mix of high-quality animal-based proteins, whole grains or starchy vegetables, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. A veterinary nutritionist can help develop a recipe specific to your dachshund’s needs, taking into consideration factors such as age, weight, and any health concerns.

Raw Food Diet

Raw food diets have gained popularity in recent years, with advocates claiming numerous health benefits. However, it’s essential to approach raw feeding with caution, as there are potential risks associated with handling and bacterial contamination. If you are considering a raw food diet for your dachshund, consult with your veterinarian to ensure it is appropriate and safe for your pet.

Cooked Food Diet

Cooked food diets for dachshunds can offer a safe alternative to raw feeding while still providing the benefits of homemade meals. Cooking ingredients thoroughly can help eliminate potential bacterial contamination while still retaining nutrient value. Work with a veterinary nutritionist to create a balanced cooked food diet that meets your dachshund’s nutritional needs.

Supplements for Homemade Diets

When feeding homemade diets, it may be necessary to supplement certain vitamins and minerals to ensure your dachshund’s nutritional requirements are met. A veterinary nutritionist can help determine which supplements, if any, are needed based on your dachshund’s specific diet and needs. Remember, supplements should be used under veterinary guidance to avoid any imbalances or harmful interactions.

Human Foods Suitable for Dachshunds

While commercial dog food or homemade diets should form the basis of a dachshund’s diet, there are certain human foods that can be incorporated as healthy treats or additions to their meals. It’s important to note that human food should only be given in moderation and should not replace their regular diet.

Safe Fruits and Vegetables

Many fruits and vegetables are safe for dachshunds to eat and can provide additional nutrients and dietary fiber. Examples include apples (without seeds), bananas, blueberries, carrots, green beans, and pumpkin. However, remember to remove any seeds, pits, or cores, and introduce new fruits and vegetables gradually to monitor for any digestive upset.

Lean Meats

Lean meats such as boiled chicken or turkey can be a healthy addition to a dachshund’s diet. Remove any skin, bones, or excess fat before offering it to your pet. Cooked lean beef or pork can also be given, but ensure it is cooked thoroughly without seasonings or added ingredients that may be harmful to dogs. Always provide meat in moderation and avoid excessive amounts of fatty meats.


Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support a dachshund’s skin and coat health. Examples of fish suitable for dachshunds include salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Ensure the fish is cooked thoroughly, and remove any bones before feeding it to your dachshund. Fish should be given in moderation to avoid excessive intake of mercury or other potential contaminants.

Dairy Products

Dachshunds can consume some dairy products in moderation, but it’s important to be aware of potential lactose intolerance. Plain, unsweetened yogurt or cottage cheese can be given occasionally as a treat, as they can provide beneficial probiotics and calcium. Monitor your dachshund for any signs of digestive upset and adjust the amount or frequency of dairy products accordingly.


Eggs are a nutritious addition to a dachshund’s diet, providing high-quality protein and essential vitamins and minerals. They can be given cooked or scrambled without any added seasonings. However, remember to consider your dachshund’s overall calorie intake when incorporating eggs or any other additional food into their diet.

Healthy Snacks

If you’re looking for healthy snack options for your dachshund, there are various commercial treats specifically formulated for dogs. Look for treats that are low in fat and made with high-quality ingredients. Alternatively, you can make your own homemade treats using dog-safe ingredients, such as whole wheat flour, peanut butter, or pureed fruits and vegetables.

What Do Dachshunds Eat

Foods to Avoid Giving Dachshunds

While there are many safe and healthy foods for dachshunds, there are certain foods that should always be avoided as they can be toxic or harmful to their health. It’s crucial to educate yourself on these foods to prevent any accidental ingestion.

Toxic Foods

Certain foods, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic, are toxic to dogs and should never be given to dachshunds. These foods can cause serious health issues, including kidney failure and even death. It’s essential to keep these foods out of reach and ensure your dachshund is not exposed to them.

High-Fat Foods

While a small amount of fat is necessary in a dachshund’s diet, excessive consumption of high-fat foods can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, and other health problems. Avoid feeding your dachshund fatty cuts of meat, fried foods, or greasy snacks. Stick to lean sources of protein and ensure their overall diet is balanced and low in excess fat.

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Sweets and Chocolates

Sweets and chocolates can be harmful to dachshunds due to their high sugar and potentially toxic ingredients, such as theobromine. Avoid giving your dachshund any human sweets, desserts, or chocolate in any form. If you suspect your dachshund has ingested chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can cause digestive upset, irritation, and discomfort for dachshunds. Avoid feeding them spicy or heavily seasoned foods, as their digestive systems are not designed to handle spicy ingredients. Stick to bland and dog-friendly flavors when preparing meals or treats.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs, causing kidney failure even in small amounts. Avoid giving your dachshund any products containing grapes or raisins, including grape juice, trail mix, or baked goods that may contain raisins. If your dachshund accidentally ingests grapes or raisins, seek immediate veterinary care.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, whether raw, cooked, powdered, or in any form, can be harmful to dachshunds. These ingredients contain compounds that can damage their red blood cells and cause anemia. Avoid giving your dachshund any food or seasoning that contains onions or garlic.

Feeding Schedule for Dachshunds

Establishing a proper feeding schedule is essential to maintain your dachshund’s health and prevent overeating. By following a regular feeding routine and proper portion control, you can help ensure your dachshund maintains a healthy weight and gets the nutrients they need.

Frequency of Meals

Dachshunds generally do well with two meals a day, although some may prefer three smaller meals. Splitting their daily caloric intake into multiple meals helps prevent overeating and can help regulate their blood sugar levels. However, consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding frequency for your dachshund based on their specific needs.

Portion Control

Portion control is crucial to prevent weight gain or obesity in dachshunds. Use guidelines provided on the dog food packaging as a starting point, but remember that each dachshund is unique and may require adjustments. Monitor your dachshund’s body condition and consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion sizes for their age, weight, and activity level.

Slow Feeding Options

Dachshunds are prone to overeating, and slow feeding options can help prevent them from gobbling down their food too quickly. Consider using slow feeders, puzzle toys, or treat-dispensing devices to promote slower eating and mental stimulation during meal times. This can also help prevent the risk of bloating and improve digestion.

Feeding Guidelines by Age

Dachshund puppies have different feeding requirements compared to adult or senior dachshunds. Follow the feeding guidelines specific to your puppy’s age and breed size provided by the dog food manufacturer. As your dachshund matures, adjust their portion sizes and feeding frequency to meet their changing needs. Regularly consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dachshund’s growth and development are on track.

Feeding Tips for Overweight Dachshunds

If your dachshund is overweight or obese, it’s important to take steps to help them achieve a healthy weight. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for weight loss, which may include portion control, calorie reduction, and increased exercise. Avoid overfeeding, limit treats, and focus on providing a balanced and nutritionally dense diet to support weight loss efforts.

Monitoring Weight and Adjusting Diet

Regularly monitor your dachshund’s weight and body condition to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Use a scale to track any changes in weight and visually assess their body condition. Your veterinarian can help determine the ideal weight range for your dachshund and guide you in adjusting their diet if necessary.

Addressing Common Dietary Concerns for Dachshunds

While dachshunds are generally healthy dogs, they can experience common dietary concerns that may require adjustments to their diet. By recognizing and addressing these concerns, you can help your dachshund maintain optimal health and address any specific issues they may be facing.

Allergies and Food Sensitivities

Dachshunds, like other dogs, can develop allergies and food sensitivities. Common allergens include certain proteins, grains, or other ingredients. If your dachshund exhibits signs of allergies like itching, gastrointestinal upset, or skin issues, it may be necessary to explore an elimination diet or switch to hypoallergenic dog food. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best approach for managing allergies or food sensitivities in your dachshund.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Some dachshunds may be prone to gastrointestinal issues like upset stomach, diarrhea, or digestive sensitivity. If your dachshund experiences frequent gastrointestinal problems, it may be necessary to adjust their diet. Working with your veterinarian, you may explore options like limited ingredient diets, easily digestible proteins, or prescription diets formulated for gastrointestinal health.

Dietary Approach for Gaining Weight

If your dachshund is underweight or needs to gain weight due to health concerns, following a specific dietary approach can help. Your veterinarian can recommend a high-calorie diet or suggest adding supplements like nutrient-dense wet food, dietary fats, or additional protein to support healthy weight gain. Regular monitoring and support from your veterinarian are essential to ensure the weight gain is healthy and sustainable.

Dietary Approach for Losing Weight

Dachshunds are prone to weight gain, which can lead to various health issues. If your dachshund needs to lose weight, it’s important to follow a controlled calorie diet in consultation with your veterinarian. Reducing portion sizes, limiting treats, and increasing exercise can all support healthy weight loss in dachshunds. Additionally, discussing weight loss diets formulated for dogs with your veterinarian can help ensure balanced nutrition during the weight loss process.

Lack of Appetite

If your dachshund experiences a lack of appetite, it’s essential to determine the underlying cause and address it promptly. Lack of appetite can indicate underlying health issues or dental problems, among other concerns. Ensure your dachshund has a suitable and comfortable feeding environment, and consider warming their food or offering a different flavor to entice them to eat. If the lack of appetite persists, consult with your veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance.

Transitioning to a New Diet

When transitioning your dachshund to a new diet, it’s important to do so gradually to avoid digestive upset or refusal to eat. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food and gradually increase the proportion of the new food over several days or weeks. Monitor your dachshund for any signs of digestive issues and adjust the transition rate as necessary.

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Considering Special Dietary Needs for Dachshunds

Certain health conditions or life stages may require special dietary considerations for dachshunds. Understanding the specific needs of your dachshund and working closely with your veterinarian can help you make appropriate dietary choices to support their individual requirements.

Dietary Needs for Dachshunds with Diabetes

Dachshunds, like humans, can develop diabetes, which requires careful diet management. A low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet may be recommended to help manage blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, alongside veterinary guidance, is crucial to ensure proper diabetes management.

Dietary Needs for Dachshunds with Joint Issues

Dachshunds are prone to joint issues, such as intervertebral disc disease and hip dysplasia. Providing a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate can help support joint health. Weight management is also crucial to prevent additional stress on the joints. Consult with your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations for your dachshund with joint issues.

Dietary Needs for Dachshunds with Allergies

Dachshunds with allergies may require specific dietary modifications to avoid triggering allergic reactions. Limited ingredient diets or hypoallergenic dog food formulas can be beneficial in identifying and eliminating potential allergens. It’s essential to work closely with your veterinarian to identify and manage your dachshund’s allergies through proper dietary choices.

Dietary Needs for Dachshunds with Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a common concern in dachshunds, especially as they age. A low-protein, low-phosphorus diet may be recommended to reduce the workload on the kidneys. Additionally, increased water intake may be necessary to support kidney function. Consult with your veterinarian to create a customized diet plan that addresses your dachshund’s specific kidney disease needs.

Dietary Needs for Dachshunds with Pancreatitis

Dachshunds are predisposed to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. A low-fat diet is often recommended to manage pancreatitis, reducing the fat content to alleviate strain on the pancreas. Carefully monitor your dachshund’s fat intake and consult with your veterinarian to create a suitable diet plan for managing pancreatitis.

Consulting a Veterinarian for Individualized Dietary Plans

For dachshunds with special dietary needs or any health concerns, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide individualized dietary plans and guidance based on your dachshund’s specific needs. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in managing and preventing certain health conditions, and your veterinarian is the best resource to ensure your dachshund receives the appropriate dietary support.

Importance of Regular Exercise for Dachshunds

In addition to a balanced diet, regular exercise is vital for the overall health and well-being of dachshunds. Proper exercise helps them maintain a healthy weight, build muscle strength, prevent common health issues, and improve their mental stimulation.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Regular exercise helps dachshunds burn calories, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent obesity-related health problems. Daily exercise supports their metabolism and helps prevent weight gain, which is especially important for a breed prone to weight gain like dachshunds.

Building Muscle Strength

Strengthening their muscles through exercise can benefit dachshunds, particularly in supporting their long back and spine. Exercises that focus on core strength and overall muscle development can help maintain good posture, prevent injuries, and support their overall skeletal health.

Preventing Common Health Issues

Dachshunds are predisposed to certain health issues, such as intervertebral disc disease and joint problems. Regular exercise, particularly low-impact activities like swimming, can help strengthen the supporting muscles, improve joint mobility, and reduce the risk of these conditions. It also improves overall cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Exercise Ideas for Dachshunds

Dachshunds have unique physical characteristics, including their long bodies and short legs. While they may not excel at high-impact activities or endurance exercises, they can still benefit from regular exercise. Moderate walks, controlled runs, interactive play sessions, and training activities can all contribute to their overall well-being. Be mindful of their limitations and avoid activities that may strain their back or joints.

Daily Exercise Recommendations

The exercise needs of dachshunds can vary depending on factors such as age, weight, and overall health. On average, aim for at least 30 minutes to one hour of exercise per day, split into multiple sessions. However, some dachshunds may need more or less exercise based on their individual needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate exercise routine for your dachshund.

Taking Precautions

Dachshunds’ long backs and short legs make them more susceptible to spinal injuries. To prevent such injuries, avoid activities that involve jumping from heights, excessive stair climbing, or rough play that could result in falls or twists. Be cautious when handling, supporting their back when necessary, and provide them with appropriate bedding or furniture that supports their spine.

Monitoring the Health and Well-Being of Dachshunds

Regular monitoring of your dachshund’s health and well-being is key to detecting any potential issues early on. By paying attention to their physical and behavioral signs, you can ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition and address any concerns promptly.

Signs of Good Health

A healthy dachshund should exhibit signs of vitality and well-being. Their eyes should be bright and clear, their coat should be shiny and free from excessive shedding, and their energy levels should be appropriate for their age and activity level. They should have a normal appetite, proper digestion, and regular bowel movements. Regular exercise, a healthy weight, and good dental hygiene are also indicators of good health.

Signs of Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition can manifest in various ways in dachshunds. Signs of nutritional deficiencies or imbalances may include dull coat, excessive shedding, dry or flaky skin, weight loss, lack of energy, poor muscle tone, or stunted growth. If you notice any of these signs, consult with your veterinarian to address any underlying nutritional issues.

Maintaining a Healthy Coat

A healthy coat is reflective of overall good health in dachshunds. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional bathing, can help maintain a healthy coat. Additionally, providing a balanced diet that includes essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, can promote a healthy coat and minimize shedding.

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are vital for maintaining your dachshund’s health. Schedule routine wellness visits with your veterinarian, during which they can assess your dachshund’s overall well-being, perform necessary vaccinations, and address any specific health concerns. These check-ups provide an opportunity to discuss your dachshund’s diet and ensure they are receiving appropriate nutrition.

Routine Blood Tests and Health Evaluations

Periodic blood tests and health evaluations are recommended for dachshunds to monitor their internal health. These tests can assess organ function, detect underlying health issues, and evaluate the effectiveness of their diet and overall care. Regular check-ups, including blood tests if recommended by your veterinarian, can provide valuable insight into your dachshund’s health status and inform any necessary dietary adjustments.

Adapting Diet as Dachshunds Age

As dachshunds age, their nutritional needs may change. It’s important to adapt their diet to accommodate their changing metabolism, activity level, and potential health concerns. Regularly assess their body condition, discuss any changes with your veterinarian, and adjust their diet accordingly. Regular monitoring and adjustments can help ensure a healthy and fulfilling life for your aging dachshund.

In conclusion, providing a well-balanced diet and addressing specific dietary needs and concerns are crucial for the health and well-being of dachshunds. By understanding their nutritional needs, choosing appropriate commercial dog foods, considering homemade diets, and incorporating safe human foods in moderation, you can ensure your dachshund receives the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Additionally, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, monitoring weight and overall health, and incorporating regular exercise will help support their overall well-being. Remember, consulting with your veterinarian is essential to tailor an individualized dietary plan based on your dachshund’s specific needs, age, and health condition. With proper nutrition and care, your dachshund can live a happy and healthy life by your side.