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Caring for your Dachshund

Keys to a healthy lifestyle

Dachshunds generally suffer from few health problems and are long-lived, provided they are kept well-exercised, fit and fed on a healthy, balanced diet and not allowed to become overweight.

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Body condition

Fit or fat?

For a healthy, happy Dachshund, you need to keep him at the right weight throughout his life.  Being overweight, or indeed underweight, can lead to serious health risks. It is good to get into the habit of checking your Dachshund's weight  on a regular basis.  The Pet Size_O-Meter is the perfect tool to help you do this.

Read our Diet Advice.


Keep your dog active

Exercising your Dachshund is as much about giving him mental stimulation as it is about physical exercise. The Breed Standard describes the Dachshund’s character as “Intelligent, lively, courageous to the point of rashness, obedient”. A bored Dachshund is likely to be a noisy and destructive Dachshund, so varied daily exercise provides the mental stimulation to keep him happy.


Current veterinary advice

The WSAVA vaccination guidelines for dogs aim to provide globally applicable recommendations on best practice, to help vets undertake the practice in a standard and scientifically justified fashion.

Download Small animal vaccination: a practical guide for vets in the UK

Spaying and neutering

The latest evidence for Dachshunds

Many veterinary surgeons seem to advocate spaying of bitches and neutering of dogs, but this is not a straightforward or obvious decision to make.  Our DachsLife 2015 Survey found that neutered Dachshunds were nearly twice as likely to have suffered back disease (IVDD) than entire Dachshunds. Neutering under the age of 1 also resulted in higher odds of IVDD than those neutered over the age of 1. Read more about our IVDD/neutering analysis and other risks identified in DachsLife 2015.

Guide to post-operative care for your dog if you have decided to have a spay/neuter operation.


Your weekly routine

Once a week check your dog’s eyes, ears and feet. Keep the nails short using nail clippers, or a file. When your dog has all her adult teeth (by about 6 months) start brushing the teeth weekly.

Long and Wire Dachshunds will need regular grooming using a bristle brush and wide-toothed metal comb. Pay particular attention to the longer hairs on the legs (and a Wire’s beard) to ensure there are no tangles.


Paying the vet's bills

We strongly recommend that you either take out an insurance policy before your dog needs any treatment or ensure you have adequate funds available to pay for treatment if the worst happens.

If you are considering insuring your Dachshund, do your research into the different types of policy available. According to one survey, 1 in 3 owners had their claims declined because their policy simply didn't provide the cover they thought it would. The Telegraph published this useful Pet Insurance Guide

According to This is money, insurance cover costs an average of £261 per year depending on age, breed, and health. Average vet bills for people without insurance were £810, according to their survey.

Behaviour and temperament

Living with a Dachshund

Our 2022 analysis of behaviour and temperament is here. Our DachsLife 2012 survey report on temperament and behaviour is available as a pdf download here.

They are loyal companions and make good family pets. They are not noted for their obedience but, with patience and persistence by the owner, they can be trained. However, they are Hounds and when they are off the lead, if they get a scent, they can “go deaf” when it suits them.

We often get asked if Dachshunds can be left alone while the owner is out at work. Read our advice, here.

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