Dachshunds are miniature social dogs with elongated bodies carried down to the ground. They are among the most famous dog breeds within the United States. Originated in Deutschland to hunt badgers, and prepared to follow their prey through underground tunnels.
Dachshunds long bodies make them exposed to serious back issues and excess weight will greatly increase the chances of such troubles. It’s essential to notice and maintain a healthy weight for your Dachshund.
We understand the importance of your Dachshund maintaining a healthy weight, so we’ve created an article on what the ideal weight for a Dachshund is, to help you on your journey.
According to most Kennel Club data, the Dachshund comes in 2 sizes: normal and miniature. Normal Dachshunds usually weigh 16 to 32 pounds. Meanwhile, Miniature Dachshunds weigh 16 pounds and below.
If you’re new to pet-owning, the chances are, you’re always concerned in case your dog’s weight exceeds the usual size for his or her age. Who wouldn’t, right? Dachshund owners tend to be more worried and anxious, due to the fact that Dachshunds are recognised to be a breed that’s susceptible to obesity and back problems.
What is a healthy weight for a Dachshund?
A healthy weight will depend on the type of Dachshund you have, whether that’s a standard-sized Dachshund or a Miniature Dachshund.
As a rule of thumb, we suggest keeping a Standard Dachshund between 16 to 32 pounds, and a Miniature Dachshund under 16 pounds or less. However, this will also depend on their body weight and length.
Finding a healthy weight for your Dachshund can be challenging, but it’s something you have to spend time understanding. An overweight Dachshund isn’t good for either you or your dog, as they will have an increased risk of having health problems later down the line, and let’s not forget a hefty medical bill for you, too.
Their stature makes them prone to back problems and being overweight makes them even more prone to injury. As a Dachshund owner, you need to have a sharp eye to determine a Dachshund’s ideal body weight and the right amount of food as part of a nutritious diet, along with routine exercise, is required to maintain it.
However, in addition to weight indications, the size of the animal, such as chest circumference and height at the withers, must also be taken into consideration.
How can I control my Dachshunds weight?
You can control your Dachshund’s weight by:
- Moderating their meals and reducing the amount they are fed
- Changing up the food to a healthier alternative
- Getting them on a healthy diet
- Exercising them more often
- Reducing the number of treats you give them
Maintaining the correct weight is very essential for all small dog breeds, however, in particular, Dachshunds, as they have an elongated structure. Extra weight will give an additional load on the backbone, which may result in injuries and displacement of the vertebrae. Overweight Dachshunds are also in danger of heart disease, so if your dog is overweight, or close to becoming, this shouldn’t be taken lightly and you should act as soon as possible.
For their prevention, it is important to maintain weight within the normal range as specified above. If your Dachshund is gaining weight over time, it is necessary to put the dog on a diet and we suggest speaking to your veterinarian to help devise a plan.
As a starting point, we suggest reducing portions, reducing calorie intake and precisely observing the food that you are giving your Dachshund.
Moderate your Dachshunds meals
The health of your pet will depend on how it’s fed. The primary task in caring for a Dachshund is not to overfeed the dog, and we know that it can be hard to resist their sad, pleading look, begging for all sorts of goodies, but you need to moderate their food consumption.
Check that you are giving them the correct amount for their weight and reduce the number of treats they receive. You could try breaking the treats into multiple pieces, then giving them a full one every time. Dogs like to receive treats, regardless of the amount, so this is a nice and easy approach without eliminating treats altogether. Because who doesn’t like a tasty goodie every now and then?
Change up the food that you give your Dachshund
Look to move your Dachshund onto a high protein and low carb diet, a good choice could be to move the dog onto kibble. It’s an excellent low-calorie choice that lots of dogs love, and it’s easy to store, serve and maintain.
However, it is known that when kibble is created, manufacturers use carbohydrates to help bind the ingredients together, and this will add valuable nutrients to your dog’s food. These nutrients are required to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, but at the same time, if you are looking to manage your dog’s weight, you’ll need a low carb diet. This is because dogs can’t process carbohydrates effectively, so if you are looking to control your Dachshunds weight, decreasing carbohydrates is essential.
We suggest looking into a high protein formula that’s low in carbohydrates, this could be canned or raw food and if your dog is relatively happy with the food that they are currently eating, you could look for a lower carbohydrate variety. However, you shouldn’t move your dog onto it straight away, you should slowly transition them over to the new food. If feeding your dog kibble, this could include a mixture of the old and new kibble, or if wet, feed them a combination of the old and new wet food that you plan to give them, every time they have a meal.
If you move your dog onto the new food straight away, this could cause an upset stomach and potentially, diarrhoea so you should always slowly transition your dog over.
If you feed your dog wet food, you could look to change their meal plan to dry kibble than wet food, as wet food is known to be higher in calories, but that will depend on whether your dog likes dry food or not. You could reduce the amount of wet food and give them some dry kibble alongside, this way they are getting a hydration boost and also kibble that helps support their dental health. This could also help manage their weight.
Exercise your Dachshund often and get them moving
It’s no surprise that dogs like to leave their home and go on a walk, as they are very sociable animals. However, Dachshunds, in particular, need to be walked often to maintain a healthy weight and to keep their bones strong.
You should aim to walk your Dachshund for 5 minutes per every once month increase in their age, meaning that if you have an 8-month-old Dachshund, you should aim to walk them at least 40 minutes per day. 60 minutes of walking time is required for an adult Dachshund.
This could include a walk to your local park or a walk around a field, so they can release their energy and have fun, whilst losing weight and keeping themselves in a healthy state.
How do I know if my Dachshund is overweight?
A Dachshund could be considered overweight if:
- They are tired all the time
- They are very slow when you walk them
- They aren’t interested in playing with you
- You can’t feel their ribs
- They are in their senior years
- They have fat rolls
If you suspect that your Dachshund is overweight, you should speak to your veterinarian.
Is my Dachshund underweight?
A Dachshund could be considered underweight if:
- Their ribs, pelvic bones and spine is more noticeable
- Their ribs and waist is noticeably more narrow than it’s ribcage
- Their spine and ribs are visible when viewed from above
- Their shoulder bones, spinal cord and hip bones and very easy to feel beneath the skin
- They are very skinny and look abnormal
If you suspect that your Dachshund is underweight, you should speak to your veterinarian.
What can happen if a Dachshund is overweight?
If your Dachshund is overweight they have a higher risk of developing the following;
- Many different types of cancers
- Heart disease
Responsible breeders aim to maintain the highest standards of the breed as established by Kennel Clubs like the American Kennel Club. Dogs who meet these standards are less likely to suffer from health conditions. However, some congenital health issues can happen in Dachshunds. Here are some conditions to be aware of:
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Dilation-volvulus gastric
- Acanthosis nigricans
If you have suspicions that your Dachshund is overweight or they exceed the recommended guidelines for the ideal weight of a Dachshund in this article, then you should consult with your veterinarian.
They will be able to help devise a plan to reduce your Dachshunds weight.