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Another thing you may not know about Dachshunds is that they actually come in three different sizes – miniature, standard, and kaninchen. The Miniature Dachshund stands 5 to 6 inches tall and weighs a maximum of 11 pounds at maturity. Standard Dachshunds stand 8 to 9 inches tall and weigh 16 to 32 pounds at maturity. The third size, identified by the German word kaninchen which means “rabbit”, is not recognized by kennel clubs in the United States or the United Kingdom but it is recognized in Germany and by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale – this size weighs 8 to 11 pounds.

Though the Dachshund may be small, they have big personalities and lots of energy. These dogs are very playful and they can bond closely with family, though many dogs of this breed are standoffish or even aggressive toward other dogs and strangers. Consistent socialization and training is a must for this breed, as is a healthy diet. These dogs require a steady influx of energy throughout the day to support their fast metabolisms without going overboard in calories to the point of obesity. The best way to ensure that your Dachshund’s specific nutritional needs are met is to select a small-breed or toy-breed formula (depending on the dog’s size). Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional requirements for Dachshunds and to receive recommendations for quality dog food brands for this wonderful breed.

General Nutritional Recommendations for Dachshunds

When it comes to the nutritional requirements for dogs in general, all dogs need a healthy balance of protein and fat with some carbohydrates thrown in for dietary fiber. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends a minimum of 18% protein content for adult dogs and 22% for puppies to help fuel their growth and development. When it comes to fat, a minimum of 5% is recommended for adult dogs and 8% for puppies. It is important to remember, however, that this is a minimum – the ideal protein to fat ratio is a little bit higher, depending what kind of dog you are talking about. Dachshunds, as a small-breed dog, need a higher fat content in their diet than larger dogs to provide the extra energy they need to keep their fast metabolisms running all day long.

Not only do you need to pay attention to the type of nutrients a commercial dog food product provides, but you should also be mindful of where those nutrients come from. A high-quality source of animal protein should always be the first ingredient on a dog food label. Animal-based nutrients are more biologically valuable for your dog than plant-based ingredients because dogs are primarily carnivorous and their bodies are adapted to digest animal ingredients more efficiently than plant-based ingredients. Quality proteins include things like fresh meat, poultry, seafood, fish, and eggs. When it comes to fats, these too should be animal-based – things like chicken fat or salmon oil are excellent additions to a healthy dog food product.

3 Brands We Highly Recommend Feeding your Dachshund

1
Merrick Dog Food
Overall, Merrick appears to be a very high-quality brand of food that offers a great many options for pet owners. Their products are divided across several lines so you can choose the one that best fits your dog...Read full review
4.6
SAVE 20% ON MERRICK RECIPES:
2
Wellness Dog Food
Overall, Wellness is a high-quality brand of food that offers an excellent variety for pet parents. In addition to a number of size- and life stage-specific formulas, they also offer grain-free options and even air-dried and baked foods. Read full review
4.5
SAVE 20% ON WELLNESS RECIPES:
3
Blue Buffalo Dog Food
Simply put, this Company sets a standard for quality in pet food that all pet food manufacturers should strive to achieve. Not only do they use the freshest...Read full review
4.6
SAVE 20% ON BLUE BUFFALO:

After making sure that your Dachshund’s food contains enough protein and fat, you can start to look at the other ingredients. When it comes to carbohydrates, your dog has no minimum requirement but you should avoid any product that contains more than 5% crude fiber because it may be difficult for your dog to digest. Look for high-quality, digestible carbohydrates like whole grains or, for grain-free options, starchy vegetables or legumes. Any product that contains fresh fruits and vegetables in the ingredients list is worth considering because these items contribute natural sources for key nutrients which are more biologically valuable for dogs than synthetic nutrient supplements. If the product does contain synthetic supplements, chelated minerals are something to look for – these have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb. Probiotics (such as dried fermentation products) are also a great addition because they will help to improve and regulate you Dachshund’s digestion.

Special Dietary and Nutritional Concerns

Although any dog is likely to gain weight if you overfeed him, the Dachshund breed is particularly prone to obesity and it can be very dangerous. Not only does obesity increase your dog’s risk for serious diseases like heart disease and stroke, but all of that extra weight can put a dangerous amount of stress on his bones and joints. You do not necessarily need to feed your Dachshund a reduced calorie or weight control formula, however, unless he is already overweight and needs to lose a few pounds. If your Dachshund is within the healthy weight range, however, you would do well to feed him a high-protein diet that will support his lean muscle mass. You should also watch his fat intake because fat contains 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrate.

In addition to obesity, the Dachshund breed is prone to a number of musculoskeletal disorders like intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), patellar luxation, and osteogenesis imperfecta (sometimes known as brittle bone disease). To reduce the risk for these and other musculoskeletal disorders, you may want to choose a diet for your Dachshund that is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin – these are two of the most beneficial supplements to support your dog’s bones and joints. Keep in mind that some musculoskeletal disorders are genetic, however, so you may not be able to prevent their development with dietary modifications but nutritional support can help to reduce the severity of these conditions.

Sneak Peak into our Top Picks for the Best Dachshund Foods

Recipe Cost First 5 Ingredients Rating
Wellness TruFood Small Breed Chicken & Chickpeas Recipe:

Review | Buy Here

$3.79/lb Chicken, Peas, Pea Protein 4.5 stars

Use our 20% off and FREE shipping coupon on ALL brands to save even more money off the already low price @ Chewy.

NutroNutro Grain-Free Small-Breed Chicken & Lentils Recipe

Review | Buy Here

$2.35/lb Chicken, Chicken Meal, Dried Potatoes 4.5 stars
Blue Buffalo Freedom Small-Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe

Review | Buy Here

$2.25/lb

Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils

4.5 stars

While it is important to make sure that your Dachshund does not overeat, you do need to make sure that he gets a steady influx of energy throughout the day because his metabolism is much faster than that of a larger dog. Consider this – a 20-pound adult Dachshund requires about 700 calories per day while a 100-pound Akita needs about 2,400 calories per day. If you divide it out, however, you will find that the Akita only needs 24 calories per pound of bodyweight but the Dachshund needs 35 calories per pound of bodyweight. Small-breed dogs like the Dachshund have very fast metabolisms so you need to make sure yours gets enough energy. You may want to consider feeding him three small meals throughout the day instead of two to keep his metabolism up.

What is the Best Dog Food for my Dachshund?

As a small-breed dog, the Dachshund has fairly high needs for energy to support his fast metabolism. All dogs require a diet high in quality protein to support their lean muscle mass, but small-breed dogs like the Dachshund may require a little more fat than larger dogs because it provides a concentrated source of energy. To ensure that your Dachshund gets the proper nutrient ratio, consider feeding him a small-breed specific formula. For miniature Dachshunds, a toy-breed formula may be best. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice for your Dachshund:

Wellness TruFood Small Breed Chicken & Chicken Liver:

If you are looking for a high-quality product that will meet your Dachshunds higher needs for energy, consider this Wellness TruFood Small Breed Chicken & Chickpeas Recipe. This recipe is part of the TruFood Baked Blends line of products offered by Wellness, one of the leading providers of holistic pet food products. Made with a blend of whole-prey chicken, fiber-rich peas and Chicken Liver, as well as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, this formula offers complete and balanced nutrition as well as plenty of natural flavor your Dachshund won’t be able to resist. It is also rich in omega fatty acids to keep his skin and coat looking and feeling great, plus I tis completely free from artificial additives as well as wheat, corn, and soy ingredients. What makes this recipe truly unique, however, is the fact that it is slow-baked in small batches to ensure that the raw ingredients retain more of their nutritional integrity. This makes for a healthier, more natural product for your pet.

Nutro Grain-Free Small-Breed Chicken & Lentils Recipe: 

For a quality diet made specifically to meet the unique nutritional needs of small-breed dogs, give this Nutro Grain-Free Small-Breed Chicken & Lentils Recipe a try. This formula is completely free from gluten and grains, full of the fresh and natural flavors of chicken and lentils. Made without any artificial additives, this grain-free formula is made in U.S.-based facilities with premium natural ingredients guaranteed to provide quality and balanced nutrition. Not only is this formula rich in protein and healthy fats, but it helps to promote both healthy digestion and weight management in smaller dogs. This recipe contains a whopping 26% protein and 15% fat which is a great ratio for small-breed dogs like the Dachshund who have high needs for energy. All of the ingredients in this grain-free recipe work together to keep your small-breed dog looking and feeling healthy – this recipe even comes with a 100% complete satisfaction guarantee.

Merrick Classic Small Breed Adult Recipe:

Small-breed dogs need a high-quality diet that is rich in protein as well as healthy fats to ensure that their needs for both energy and nutrients are met – this Merrick Classic Small Breed Adult Recipe is a great place to start. Made with deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, and peas as the first five ingredients, this recipe is loaded to the brim with healthy nutrients. This protein-rich recipe features 60% poultry and fish proteins with 20% fresh produce and 20% whole grain ingredients – that is a recipe for healthy nutrition if ever there was one. In terms of healthy fats, this formula is supplemented with DHA for healthy growth as well as a balance of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. Plus, this small-breed specific recipe is completely free from artificial additives and it is produced in company-owned five-star kitchens that are held to the highest standards for safety and quality. You will love this dog food recipe as much as your Dachshund does – or perhaps even more!

What is the Best Dog Food for Dachshund Puppies?

The Dachshund is a small breed that generally weighs no more than 32 pounds at maturity. This being the case, Dachshund puppies tend to grow very quickly and they usually reach their adult size in 12 months or less. To make sure that your Dachshund puppy gets the energy he needs to grow strong, healthy bones and to develop plenty of lean muscle mass, consider feeding him a small-breed specific puppy formula. Once he reaches about 80% of his maximum size, you can switch to an adult small-breed formula. Below you will find reviews for several high-quality dog food formulas that could be a good choice to consider for your Dachshund puppy:

Blue Buffalo Freedom Small-Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe:

If you are looking for a quality diet that is free from grains for your small-breed puppy, consider this Blue Buffalo Freedom Small-Breed Puppy Recipe. As part of the Freedom line of products, this recipe contains zero glutens and grains – it focuses on tapioca and green peas for digestible carbohydrates instead. Made with plenty of high-quality proteins like chicken and turkey, this formula helps to promote muscle growth in your Dachshund puppy while also supporting his fast metabolism. This recipe contains plenty of healthy fats for brain and eye development as well as healthy skin and coat – these fats also help to promote your puppy’s immune system health. As an added bonus, this formula is made with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits which consist of a special blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure nutritional completeness and healthy oxidative balance. Plus, your puppy won’t be able to get enough of this product’s natural, meat-rich flavor!

AvoDerm Small Breed Puppy Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe:

This AvoDerm Small Breed Puppy Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe is specifically designed for dogs that weigh 20 pounds or less at maturity which makes it a good choice for miniature Dachshunds in particular. This recipe features high-quality proteins like chicken meal plus digestible whole grain carbohydrates such as brown rice and oatmeal. One of the most unique additions to this recipe is the avocado which helps to promote your puppy’s skin and coat condition while also supporting the healthy development of his brain, eyes, and immune system. This formula offers your Dachshund puppy all of the nutrients he needs with nothing he doesn’t, and it is a recipe that is completely free from corn, wheat, and soy as well as artificial additives.

Diamond Naturals Small-Breed Puppy Formula:

For a quality puppy food that won’t break the bank, consider this Diamond Naturals Small-Breed Puppy Formula. This recipe belongs to the Diamond Naturals line of dog food products which is one of the better brands produced by the Diamond Pet Foods company. This particular recipe is designed to provide for the unique nutritional needs of small-breed puppies and it features quality ingredients such as chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, and salmon oil. With a total of 32% crude protein and 22% fat, this formula is sure to provide your puppy with all of the protein he needs to develop strong muscles and the fat he needs to support his fast metabolism. Plus, it contains chelated minerals for nutritional completeness as well as dried fermentation products which will help to improve and regulate your puppy’s digestion. It is also full of natural flavor your puppy won’t be able to resist.

No matter what kind of dog you have, quality nutrition is absolutely essential. Dogs need plenty of quality animal proteins to provide the amino acids they require to build healthy tissues and muscles – they also need animal-based fats to provide a concentrated source of energy. Fats play a particularly important role in the diet of small-breed dogs like the Dachshund, so you would be wise to choose a high-protein diet with moderate to high fat content for your Dachshund. If you take the time to choose a high-quality diet for your Dachshund he will enjoy good health and you will enjoy his companionship for many years to come.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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5 comments

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  • my dachshund is 12 yr. old and recently diagnosed to be diabetic, also had a past issue of pancreatis, and chronic sinusitis. Her vet has her on a low fat diet food gastro intestinal royal canine.. this has a lot of corn meal, corn grits and rice flour with pork by products, and water are the first five ingredients , will this keep her a high glucose level?

  • We just purchased a 9 week old mini daschund. The breeder gave us a 2 lb science diet small puppy bites with chicken meal and barley. Is this okay for her?

  • i have a standard Dachshund he prob weighs 30-34lbs i need to know name of dog food that would be best for him he is 3 1/2 yrs old and has been on a can (moist food) diet that i would rather see him eat more healthier and thought dry food may be bettter. if you please could tell me what dog food i should go with would be much appreciative..

  • Hi! I make my own dog food for all three of my doxies. They are all miniature, with their ages being a female at 6 months, my other female is 8-1/2 years old, and she is overweight at 18.75 pounds, and my oldest is a male at 10 years old he is 11 pounds. The two oldest are neutered. My concern is that I am giving the right amounts of protein, fat and veggies. I cook equal parts of chicken livers and gizzards with 3# of ground chicken, beef, turkey or lamb(one of these), I add about 1/2 of this amount of sweet potatoes, and 1/4 the volume of kale. All of these are processed in my food processor, then I add about a quart of cottage cheese and bone meal supplement. Does this sound reasonable?

  • I am so confused about there food. I would just like to know what food that I can afford for my dachshunds because everyone says they got the best. Please help me with this because I don’t need anymore $^&@&$ about food. I am scared I will do the wrong thing and loose my dachshunds and I can’t go through that again. Thanks VERY much.

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