Diet advice for your Dachshund
Feeding your adult dog:
Every dog is different for the type of food they like to eat, and you may find they become ‘fussy’ as they get older.
Some enjoy soft, canned-food over hard kibble but making sure that they get all the nutrients and minerals they need is vital to aid their growth and development. You’ll find there are a few brands that make food tailored to your Dachshund, such as Royal Canin dog food - they have an adapted calcium and phosphorus content to help aid bones and joints (something we advise making sure your food contains).
Ideally, when looking into the ingredients of your dog food, you want a moderately high percentage of protein with a relatively low water percentage to ensure the dog is getting enough calories from the food (change this to lower levels of protein should you find they become overweight - they’re getting too many calories from that current diet). They also require some source of Vitamin D in the diet to prevent the occurrence of rickets and it may be a good idea to introduce some Omega 3 such as DHA or EFA into the diet which can be found in fish oils as recent papers have suggested there’s a link between low Omega 3 levels in the diet and aggression; something we definitely don’t want to see from our dachshunds!
Grains such as Soy often bulk out food and this is good in small percentages as it allows for waste products to be moved through the large intestine and be excreted (creating good, firm stools) but this is a source of insoluble fibre which cannot be digested by enzymes in the dog's body so will possibly leave your dachshund not feeling as full as they could be and more importantly lacking in the nutrients and calories they need.
Some dogs also appear to have allergies associated with grain food so grain-free food may be a better option for them. However, recent research appears to have found a suspected link between grain-free food and heart disease (canine dilated cardiomyopathy). This has led to an investigation into foods containing legumes such as peas, so serious thought needs to be placed into whether the risk outweighs the benefit for your individual dog.
When it comes to looking into a raw-food diet, there are many different points to consider. Ultimately, dogs were bred as carnivores but have now adapted to become obligate omnivores with their bodies being able to cope with larger volumes of carbohydrates found in vegetables than before.
Undoubtedly, there are some potential benefits such as shinier coats, healthier skin and higher energy levels with the high protein content. However, there is also a big risk of not meeting your dog’s nutritional demands when constructing a raw diet at home (e.g. struggling to get enough calcium and phosphorus for bone development) so if this is something you would like to do, please investigate further with a knowledgeable nutritionist. Furthermore, bacterial contamination for humans when handling raw meat is a risk so serious consideration needs to be put into this option.
As a final message, it’s important to emphasise that one size DOES NOT fit all, and this is exactly the same for feeding your Dachshund. Their age, size, medical condition and personal preference will all play a part in making your final decision on what and how much to feed your Dachshund.
Feeding your puppy:
Energy demands are high and hence your puppy's diet needs to contain high levels or protein but be careful not to over-do it as this can lead to unwanted excessive fat accumulation putting a strain on the puppy's skeleton.
The rate of growth for your dachshund will be high and they should reach their adult maturity by between 8-12 months, at this point you should look at changing their diet, in particular decreasing the amount of protein as energy demands will decrease now.
We advise you give your puppy a good quality complete diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need during this crucial time of development and make sure to follow the guidelines on the back of the pack whilst also considering the individuality of your dog and adapting the diet to ensure they’re getting everything they need (but also not too much)!