What Is the Best Dog Food for a Dachshund?
Dachshunds are a very popular breed of small dog. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, Dachshunds are the 13th most popular dog breed in America. The breed originates from 16th century Germany, where the breed was bred for hunting badgers in their setts. Dachshunds are renowned for their fearless, clever and playful natures and they make good pets. There are standard and miniature varieties, with smooth, long haired and wire haired coats that are one of the most frequent dogs the dog groomers have to work with.
Dachshunds are a small breed with standard Dachshunds typically weighing 16-32lbs and miniature ones 11lbs. They tend to have a long life expectancy, but are at risk of certain health problems. They are a deep-chested breed, which means they have an increased risk of bloating. Owners can help to prevent bloat by feeding their Dachshund small meals several times a day rather than two large meals, and making sure their pet avoids exercise immediately before and after mealtimes. Wet or dry dog food that is specially formulated for dogs with sensitive digestion, often labelled “easy to digest”, may be the top choice for Dachshunds that are susceptible to bloating.
Due to their physical shape, with a long back and short legs, approximately 25% of Dachshunds suffer from back issues such as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). To reduce the risk of this occurring, owners should try to stop their dog doing anything that puts strain on the spine, such as too much exercise, jumping or becoming overweight or obese which make the dog training process more difficult. Measuring out portions of kibble or wet food at each mealtime is a good way to prevent overeating.
Another health issue than can occur in Dachshunds is patellar luxation, which is a temporary issue with the kneecap that in extreme cases requires surgery. Again, being overweight or obese can worsen this condition.
Dachshunds can be affected by low thyroid levels, signs of which include putting on weight quickly without overeating, lethargy and sometimes hair loss. This issue can easily be treated by a vet.
Like any breed of dog, some Dachshunds can develop skin allergies or stomach issues and gas that are related to intolerances to certain ingredients in their food. Changing a dog’s diet to a dog food recipe that is grain free or free from common allergens like wheat, corn or soy, can result in visible health benefits.
How much food a Dachshund needs depends on factors such as its weight, level of activity and age. The National Research Council of the National Academies recommends an active adult standard 30lb Dachshund should consume 922 calories on average each day. A miniature Dachshund of 10lbs needs fewer calories, 404 per day. Older or less active dogs will need a lower caloric intake than puppies or young adult dogs. These are just guidelines and each individual dog will have its own optimum caloric intake.
In common with all breeds of dogs, Dachshunds need a lot of protein to maintain good health and their diet should contain a minimum of 18% protein (22% for puppies) as well as at least 5% fat (8% for puppies). Most commercial wet and dry dog food contains much more protein and fat than these recommendations. As well as making dog food taste more palatable, healthy fats are a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are good for the skin, coat, heart and brain.
Owners should look for a protein rich dog food made from quality ingredients, with a meat protein such as chicken, beef, lamb or fish as the main ingredient. Some owners believe dogs thrive on an almost carnivorous diet, in which case they will look for premium brands of dog food that are very high in animal protein and low in plant based carbohydrates. Ultimately the best dog food for a Dachshund really depends on the individual dog’s nutritional needs and preferences.