If you want to find a dog that practically lives for food, then get yourself a Dachshund! These precocious little wiener dogs are known for eating almost anything and everything. If you’re thinking about adding an extra-long pup to the family, don’t let their adventurous palate excuse a low-quality food. Let’s explore the dietary needs of these little guys before you bring one home!
Essential Nutrients for Dachshunds
A balanced dog food is always priority when you’re feeding a dog. When an animal is eating the same thing every day, it needs to be balanced in macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Almost all dog foods, regardless of their quality, have the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals based on AAFCO standard.. Listed below are some of the more important nutrients to pay attention to when purchasing dog food, but they aren’t the only things to look for.
Dachshunds Protein Requirements
As humans, we think of muscle building when we think of protein. This is true in terms of canine nutrition, but protein is more complex than just building and maintaining muscle. Protein forms enzymes that turn food into energy, and it also helps create hormones that are responsible for certain bodily functions. Dachshunds are naturally energetic when they’re young, so providing them with a food that’s complete with a quality protein is incredibly important to maintain their energy stores.
Most foods have between 21 and 24 percent protein, and the “right” amount really depends on your dog, their activity level, and their overall health. Your veterinarian will know the best ratio for your dog.
Dachshunds Carbohydrate Requirements
Carbs are necessary for energy, but the type of energy created from metabolizing carbs depends on the carbs themselves. There are two types: simple and complex. Simple carbs are easy to digest and provide quick energy spurts that are followed by energy crashes. Complex carbs provide longer lasting energy without the succeeding crash. Simple carbs aren’t the ideal choice for Dachshunds because they’re more likely to cause weight gain. In terms of dog food ingredients, simple carbs consist of cheaper fillers like corn and soy.
Higher quality dog foods will use better carbs like brown rice, sweet potato, or even quinoa, so your dog is eating complex carbs dense with nutrients.
Dachshunds Fat Requirements
As a society, we’re programmed to cringe when we hear the word “fat” even if it’s about healthy fats. Fat is incredibly important in a dog’s diet. There’s a huge difference between good and bad fats, meaning you can’t just go give your dog a bunch of fatty meats and consider it healthy.
Fats are necessary for creating health skin and coats. Fat is incredibly good for joints, too, and since Dachshunds have an extremely long back and short, stumpy legs, they need as much help as they can get. Foods that utilize better quality ingredients usually have some sort of essential fatty acid added in the form of fish or some other kind of oil. Some dogs need more than a commercial food can provide, and in these cases, you can discuss supplementing your dog’s diet with additional fatty acids.
Special Dachshund Diet Considerations
Because of their anatomy, there are a few things to take into account when choosing a diet for your Dachshund.
Excess Weight Due to Diet
The single worst thing you can do to your Dachshund is overfeed them. A fat little Dachshund may be adorable, but the extra weight is incredibly bad for their back. One of the number one causes of euthanasia in this breed is herniated discs. Some dogs are lucky and can still walk after surgery and a very lengthy recovery process, but not all Dachshunds are this lucky. Every bit of excess weight on your Dachshund is turning them into a ticking time bomb for serious spinal problems.
Balancing their nutritional needs with their caloric intake is the best place to start in preventing obesity. Dachshunds are naturally energetic, but they love to cozy up under a blanket, too, so you need to ensure they’re getting exercise alongside careful calorie monitoring. Choose a good dog food with quality sources of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, and avoid cheap dog treats. Treats are nothing but empty calories. Treat your Dachshund with things like green beans, peas, or even plain Cheerios.
Common Dachshund Allergies
This breed is prone to food allergies and sensitivities. Signs of a food allergy include dry skin, coarse hair, itchy paws and ears, red skin, and hot spots. Not many owners are aware that an allergy may present as digestive upset. Some dogs with a food allergy will skip the itchy skin and instead suffer from chronic nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
The most common allergy trigger is grain. There’s a reason there are so many grain-free dog foods on the market! Dogs are natural carnivores, so it isn’t surprising to see many who just can’t handle grains in their food. If your Dachshund is on a grain-free food and they’re still experiencing allergies, it could be the type of protein they’re eating. Chicken is the most common meat found in commercial foods, but it’s also an allergen for many dogs.
The only way to find out exactly what your dog is allergic to is an elimination diet, and this is something your veterinarian can help you with to ensure you’re doing it correctly. If it’s done incorrectly, you’ll never get the answer you’re looking for.
Properly feeding your Dachshund can be a tricky process if you aren’t aware of their basic nutritional needs. Your veterinarian is the best source of information for what you should be feeding your little wiener dog, so if you’re having a hard time deciding what they should be eating, chat with your vet. They’re always happy to point you in the right direction!