Dachshunds are one of the most popular dog breeds, as they are small in size, relatively easy to care for, active, perky, and friendly in nature. However, do not forget that the dachshund is, first of all, a hunter, which greatly affects its behavior. Besides, the memorable appearance of dachshunds (elongated body and short legs) entails a tendency to diseases of the spine. The obesity to which they are prone gives huge problems to short dogs. All these features must be taken into account when choosing a diet for a dachshund puppy.
Dachshund puppies in the house are tenderness and joy and a great responsibility, which completely falls on the owner’s shoulders. All crumbs of dachshunds are funny and touching – how not to be mistaken when choosing a puppy? Dachshund puppies are psychologically and physically ready to move to a new family at the age of two months. They are no longer as attached to their mother as newborns and received the initial dose of vaccinations.
If the purchase’s purpose is to acquire a show dog, a guaranteed champion, then the pet should be chosen after the change of milk teeth (6 months), when the potential exterior is visible.
The same situation is if the buyer wants to buy exactly the rabbit dachshund (the smallest one). The kennels offer puppies at the age of 6 months since even the most experienced breeder cannot guarantee the future size dachshund at a younger age.
Dachshund puppies are impressionable and hypersensitive, so all family members should be involved in the process of adapting a cute animal to a new home. This is especially true for young children who can scare the dog with screams, noises, or sudden movements.
Due to the specifics of the structure of the dachshund’s body, there are several special rules for handling them:
- It is forbidden to pull them up by the front limbs to lift them on your hands without any particular reason.
- It is forbidden for nimble dachshunds to jump even from a low height (fraught with spinal deformity).
- For the same reason, dachshunds should not go down the stairs on their own before reaching the age of nine months;
- It is better to cover the smooth and slippery surface of the floor in the apartment with a carpet to prevent the possibility of injury to the animal.
What to feed?
There are three varieties of dachshunds according to the type of coat: smooth-haired, wire-haired, and long-haired, and variations in size are fixed – standard (up to 27 cm), dwarf (up to 21 cm), and rabbit (up to 13 cm). In females, respectively, the upper values of growth are 2–3 cm less. The dietary requirements for all varieties of dachshunds are the same. But take into account, first of all, the general breed characteristics and check list of food reviews for small breed puppies at ThePets guide to make nutrition choice easier.
As a rule, a puppy gets into a new home from a breeder who has already taught him to eat solid food, and in the first 1-2 weeks, you should adhere to the type of food to which the baby is accustomed. The stress of moving, changing surroundings, and seeing strangers around can be very intense and should not be aggravated by changing your diet.
After the baby gets used to it, you should think carefully about his proper nutrition because whether it grows up as a healthy, strong dog now depends only on you. Drawing an analogy with people, many owners believe that healthy food is only fresh and natural products. Therefore, after reading the recipes on the Internet, they begin culinary experiments in their kitchen.
However, we must never forget that a person is omnivorous. His body can extract nutrients and useful substances from literally everything where they are contained at least some. Another thing is a dog, a carnivorous predator, adapted to eat almost exclusively on meat. It is not so much the variety that is important to it, but its full value and balance, which is very difficult to provide only on natural products.
We advise you to choose a good quality dry or wet diet, train your dog to it, and forget about calorie tables and lists of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in foods, which you probably studied to feed your puppy correctly. The transfer to another diet should take place gradually – by gradually replacing the old feed with a new one within 10-14 days.
How to choose the right diet for your dachshund puppy?
When choosing a ready-made industrial diet, you should pay attention, first of all, to the list of ingredients – meat products should occupy the first places in it, and sources of carbohydrates, especially cereals, should be no more than half, but preferably a third of the total number of components.
As a rule, all dry ready-made industrial rations are balanced and complete, but when choosing wet ones, look for an indication of this on the package. The content of all vitamins, macro- and microelements necessary for a dog is essential for dachshunds. It serves to prevent the spine’s diseases, which in representatives of this breed experiences special stress due to the body’s elongated shape.
Besides, dachshunds are very fond of eating – you will immediately notice this – and therefore, they are prone to gaining excess weight, which should be monitored from childhood. So it is better to choose foods that are low in carbohydrates and also strictly adhere to the feeding rate.
Treats should be no more than 10% of your total daily allowance, and we advise you to only offer them as a reward for following commands and behaving correctly. A treat just like that, in response only to the pitying gaze of the dachshund’s expressive eyes, leads to the formation of undesirable eating behavior – constant begging. Feeding food from the human table is also contraindicated – not only does such food disrupts the balance of the diet and leads to inevitable overeating with all the ensuing consequences.
Excellent prevention of excess weight gain in a dachshund puppy is an active movement. Therefore, as soon as the quarantine after vaccination passes, start accustoming your pet to long walks. Buy more toys and play with your baby both at home and on the street. This will not only give him great pleasure, help you build a strong bond with the dog, but also strengthen its health.
Nutrition of an adult dachshund dog
Sociable and active dachshunds have won a huge audience of admirers with their behavior. They are smart and brave and fearless, which is very important for a hunter. A fine sense of smell, mobility, and the ability to instantly dig a deep hole (more than 40 cm), unique for such small sizes and short legs, characterize this breed as one of the best among hunting. But along with these excellent qualities, this breed has its own disadvantages associated with the hunting heritage – these are greedy dogs.
And as you know, overeating leads to weight gain, especially if energy is not wasted on walks. This can lead to serious health problems because the dachshund’s back is long, and the extra weight puts stress on the spine. Besides, overweight dachshunds are at a higher risk of heart disease.
Correct Dachshund Diet
To avoid undesirable consequences, it is important to correctly assess your dachshund’s nutritional needs and choose a diet appropriate for its activity.
For example, fresh lamb and salmon are great sources of digestible protein for your dog. The presence of a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids will give healthy skin, make the coat shiny and radiant, support vision, and most importantly, by participating in a large number of biochemical processes, these polyunsaturated fats help bones and joints stay healthy, which is very important due to the structural features of the skeleton dachshunds.
Dachshunds can easily find a common language with other dogs and even cats living in the same house. However, you need to be very careful with a rabbit, ferret, guinea pig, or chinchilla at home – even if you are sure that the ancestors of your dachshund had no idea what hunting was, your pet may wake up with hunting instincts.
The dachshund is ideal for keeping in an apartment. Thanks to its small size, you can even travel with it, and the existing shortcomings can be corrected by proper education.