Dachshund care and health considerations that any dachshund owner needs to know
Like any other breed, dachshunds are prone to certain health issues like obesity, diabetes, joint problems, decreased stamina and back problems like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Most dachshunds are very healthy dogs, but if you want to properly care for your dachshund, you need to be aware of the specific needs and health concerns of the breed.
Be careful of back injuries
Dachshunds are very playful and active little dogs. Because of their long backs, they can get injured when jumping off an on furniture, especially if they are overweight. That is why it is a good idea to get a ramp so your little friend can safely get up and down furniture.
Also, when carrying your dachshund, you want to make sure you hold their chest and bottom so that their backs don’t get overstretched and possibly injure them.
Feeding a dachshund
Dachshunds are always hungry and will eat anything anytime. It is very easy to overfeed them and cause them to get overweight. An overweight dachshund is prone to a number of serious illnesses, like diabetes and joint or back injuries. So you need to make sure your dog gets a healthy amount of food and treats, if possible, all-natural.
A good daily portion will depend on your dog’s age, size and activity level. Normally, it will be between 1/2 – 1 1/2 cups of dry food. But make sure to consult with your vet or breeder about the ideal portion size for your dachshund’s individual needs.
Buying the right food
If you are looking for commercial food for your dachshund, be sure to carefully read the label. The ingredients are often in amount order, so the first ingredient should be a named meat such as chicken, beef or lamb, avoid generic “meat” labeling as they could be anything.
If the first ingredient is wheat or grain, look for other brands that have a higher amount of meat protein.
Even when a packaging says “natural” or “premium” you need to check the ingredients, to ensure they really are natural, as those terms don’t have an official legal definition, and can be used as a devious marketing tactic.
Grooming your Dachshund
Dachshunds are a medium to low maintenance dogs, smooth dachshunds have short, shiny hair and are easiest to maintain, they don’t need baths too often and shed moderately. Longhaired and wirehaired dachshunds need to be groomed and bathed more often.
For all varieties, you need to clean and check their floppy ears, as they can build up too much wax, but never clean inside the ear, a damp cotton ball around the outside of the ears will be enough. Their nails need to be trimmed regularly to avoid cracking, if you can hear them clicking on the floor, they are too long, and need clipping. Their teeth need brushing two or three times a week.
Activity and exercise
Dachshunds are very energetic, loving, playful and have a lot of stamina. They need moderate activity and love to dig and play outdoors, but are not suited to live outside or in kennels.
Each dog has an individual energy level, but a couple 10 min walks a day or a 1 mile a day walk will suffice for your dachshund to have a healthy life. If time is short some days, playing catch inside for a few minutes will be ok. But if you can’t walk your dog every day, a dog walker may be needed.