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Rolling Out Resolutions: Addressing Dachshund Obesity Through Diet

Thank you to Alison Miller for this guest blog post.

Image by Lauren Rathbone from Pixabay


Obesity in dogs is a growing concern, and the stakes are even higher in Dachshunds due to their distinctive short legs. As such, excess weight strains their spine, leading to back problems, a common and severe condition for this breed.

 

Moreover, obesity can also lead to other health complications in Dachshunds, such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems, affecting their overall quality of life and potentially shortening their lifespan. Therefore, pay close attention to your dog's diet from the start. Here's what you can do:


Offer a Balanced Diet

Dachshunds are good choices for families and children, and their susceptibility to obesity underscores the importance of addressing the issue early, as it can affect fun moments. Focus on the following nutrients:


Protein

It's crucial for muscle maintenance and repair, supporting a healthy immune system, and overall bodily functions. For Dachshunds, high-quality animal-based proteins provide the amino acids they need. As such, look for diets that list meat (such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish) as the first ingredient.

 

On top of that, avoid foods with "meat by-products" as the primary protein source, as these are lower quality.


Fats

They are a dense energy source and are necessary for your pet to absorb vitamins like A, D, E, and K. They also play a vital role in preserving the health of the skin and coat. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for reducing inflammation and promoting heart health. These healthy fats come from chicken fat, fish oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), and flaxseed.


Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide a readily available energy source and fiber that aids in digestion. Whole grains (such as brown rice or barley), vegetables, and fruits can offer these nutrients. Nevertheless, these ingredients require moderation to prevent unnecessary weight gain.


Fibre

It can help prevent constipation and diarrhea. Further, fibre helps in weight management by making your Dachshund feel fuller longer, which can help control their appetite. The top sources are vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Some dog foods also include specialized fibres like beet pulp or inulin to support digestive health.


Vitamins and Minerals

They support various bodily functions, including bone health, nerve function, and the immune system. A balanced intake is necessary for overall health and vitality, and your pet can get vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, and fortified foods.


Read Pet Food Labels

The ingredients list is a good starting point; high-quality proteins from animal sources such as chicken, beef, or fish should be first on the list, indicating they are the primary component of the food.

 

In addition, the guaranteed analysis section provides critical information on the minimum percentages of protein and fat, along with the maximum composition of fiber and moisture. Further, the nutritional adequacy statement will tell you if the food is complete and balanced for a specific life stage, such as puppy, adult, or senior.


Set Regular Meal Times and Control Portion Size

Establish regular meal times to regulate your dog's metabolism and aid in digestion, which can also help manage their hunger and reduce begging behaviors throughout the day. Accurately measuring your dog's food portions is equally important, ensuring you're feeding the right amount to prevent overfeeding.

 

It's advisable to start with the feeding guidelines provided by the pet food manufacturer but adjust the portions based on your dog's specific needs, considering their activity level and body condition.


The Role of Treats in a Diet

Opting for low-calorie treat options or those specifically formulated for weight management can help keep your dog's weight in check. You can check reviews of treats suited to this breed on platforms like perfectdogbreeds.com. Healthy alternatives such as vegetables (e.g., carrots or green beans) can also be good treat options, providing nutrition without many calories. However, it's important to introduce any new foods slowly to prevent digestive issues.

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