Best Dog Food for Dachshunds: Feed Your Wiener Well
What’s the best dog food for dachshunds? It’s a tough call, especially since these little dogs have kind of an extreme body type, which can cause plenty of health problems. So finding a good dog food that has all the ingredients you need to promote great health in her problem areas might be a pretty big task.That’s what we’re here for! We consulted several dog experts, did a bunch of research, and even had Chewie taste test some dog foods. Every dog is different, but the list below should give you a great starting point for finding a good food for your dachshund. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.
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Dachshund Diet & Nutritional Requirements
**Please note: these estimates are based on an average weight for this breed. Every dog is different. Please talk to your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.
Dachshunds come in three recognized sizes: standard, miniature & “rabbit.” To keep it simple, we’re estimating calories for an average standard dachshund that weighs about 20 pounds.
Of course, dachshunds can come in many different weights. The typical adult weighs in at anywhere from 16 to 32 pounds. The point is: these are just estimates, and you should always talk to your vet to figure out exactly how much your pup needs to eat.
However, at 20 pounds, the typical adult dachshund should be taking in about 575 calories per day (if not a little more). Dachshunds who are less active or in their senior years are going to need significantly less—more like 470 calories per day.
If you’ve got a lively dachshund on your hands, though, she’ll need to be packing in those calories to the tune of about 900 a day. That’s quite a bit for such a little dog!
This breed doesn’t have a super long coat, and they’re not prone to dry skin or dry fur, so most dog foods out there (and certainly the ones we recommend) will have more than enough fat to keep your little companion looking clean and fresh.
However, you do want to pay attention to protein and carbs. Lots of commercial dog foods out there have (shockingly) low protein content. At the very least, you should be checking your dog food’s nutrition labels to make sure protein is the first ingredient.
More specifically, though, try to make sure the protein comes from good sources (not byproducts) and accounts for at least a quarter of the total calories.
Likewise, dachshunds have problems with weight gain (bless their little, chubby hearts). So you want to steer clear of foods that are super high in carbohydrates. More importantly, avoid simple and starchy carbs, like sugar and molasses. Believe it or not, some companies actually put that stuff in their products!
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Dachshund Health Problems & Good Dog Food Ingredients
Dachshunds have a pretty strange (but pretty!) body type. Unfortunately, this can make for some rather complicated health problems. Some of these conditions are either unavoidable or genetic, but including good ingredients that promote health in those problem areas can go a really long way to helping your pup stay healthy for a long time.
Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
IVDD is an affliction of the spinal column, and dachshunds are especially at risk. In fact, about a quarter of this breed will develop it at some point in their life. This particular problem is mostly caused by the dachshund’s body shape: super-long spine and deeper chest.
One of the things that makes this condition worse is obesity. So, if you’re dog puts on extra weight, it can make her back problems worse. It could even cause a more serious injury.
So, one of the best things you can do for you dachshund is help her maintain a healthy weight. Be careful not to overfeed her, and opt for a food with plenty of good sources of protein, keeping away from simple carbs and weird, commercial fillers.
Bone & Joint Trouble
Large breeds are usually the ones who suffer from joint trouble, since they’re so much heavier and put so much more stress on their joints. However, dachshunds also get to be in the bad-joint club—also because of their long body.
As if that weren’t enough, this breed is also prone to brittle bones. To help them keep their bones and joints in tip-top shape, look for foods rich in calcium and glucosamine. Calcium helps bones stay strong, and glucosamine helps keep joints healthy.
For calcium, look for ingredients like fish, leafy greens and legumes. Glucosamine can be a bit more difficult to find, and some dog foods simply add it as a supplement. However, there are some natural sources, like elk antler. Crazy!
Here's a Quick Look at Some of the Top Foods for Dachshunds
Wild Calling’s Rocky Mountain Medley is a great, balanced dry dog food that is just about perfect for a dachshund.
Right up front, I like that the main ingredient here is fish—trout to be specific. Fish is an excellent source of both protein and omega fatty acids in any dog food, but it’ especially good for dachshunds because it’s rich in calcium, which helps their little bones.
It’s also got a relatively high protein content (31%, which isn’t crazy, but still very healthy) and a slightly lower carbohydrate content. This is good because it can help your pup maintain a good weight.
And, of course, we always look for lots of good fruits and veggies, and they’re in no short supply here. You’ve got cranberries, pumpkin and apples. Plus, you’ve got plenty of good leafy greens—seaweed, spinach and broccoli—which also have lots of calcium.
Why it’s good for dachshunds: lots of calcium from fish, quality proteins, lots of leafy greens.
You may not like: Dried peas (some debate over whether or not this is a good ingredient)
Go! Makes some pretty good dog foods, and we wanted to include this formula because any dachshund owner needs at least one dog food with bone and joint supplements (remember, they’re prone to hip and knee problems!).
First, even if your dog doesn’t have joint problems, this is a good food. The protein content is about 32%, and there’s not too many carbs.
We really like that are so many good sources of protein here as well: chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, deboned chicken, deboned turkey and deboned trout.
In case you weren’t counting, the 6 main ingredients are all great sources of protein, and they include three sources of fish. That’s awesome!
Even better, there are loads and loads of good fruits and veggies here: potatoes, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, spinach, broccoli, blackberries, papayas, pomegranate, and the list goes on.
There are seriously a lot of good ingredients here. Plus, this recipe includes a glucosamine supplement, which greatly helps joint health.
We recommend this one emphatically, especially for senior dogs.
Why it’s a top choice for dachshunds: Lots of fish, includes glucosamine, tons of produce.
You might be concerned about: small amounts of a few weird ingredients (canola oil, alfalfa)
Tuscan Natural’s grain-free recipe is another good, well-balanced choice for dachshunds. This is more of a poultry-based food, but it still has plenty of fish, which provides lots of good calcium.
Most of the protein calories here are derived from turkey, chicken, and turkey meal. However, this recipe also includes two sources of fish: whitefish meal and herring meal, both of which add calcium, protein, and healthy fats.
There’s some good produce here, including apples, carrots and chicory root, although this isn’t the gigantic range of fruits and veg in some of the foods we typically recommend.
Also, most of the carbs come from potatoes. That’s not bad per se, but white potatoes tend to burn more quickly than sweet potatoes, so if your dachshund has weight problems, she may need something with a few more complex carbs.
Why we like it for dachshunds: two sources of fish, lots of good fats from both fish and flax.
You may not like: No leafy greens to speak of, not much produce, includes alfalfa meal (controversial ingredient)
This is a pretty great dog food all around, and it’s got plenty of wholesome ingredients.
The protein content is about in the sweet spot for most dogs: 30%. The main source of protein comes from an ingredient we really like to see in dog food for dachshunds: fish!
There are two kinds of fish here: salmon (duh) and Menhaden fish meal, which is an excellent source of fish oil.
We also like that there are a lot of fruits. In particular, there are lots of great berries here, which are rich in antioxidants and can help dachshunds live long, healthy lives.
However, there’s not many vegetables at all, which, to us, mans that while this is a great food, it’s not a “forever food.” You’ll want to switch to something with more veggies at some point.
It’s good for this breed because: Lots of fish, lots of antioxidants.
The downsides: Not many vegetables, includes small quantities pea fiber (not that great of an ingredient)
**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.