The dachshund, a member of the hound group of dogs, ranges in size from miniature (less than 5kg or 11 lbs.) to standard (14.5kg. or 32 lbs when full grown), according to the American Kennel Club. Commercial dog food is the staple of many dachshunds' diets, although some owners opt for homemade food. Because there are pros and cons of both, the pet owner can decide which option is best for her dachshund. According to Official Dachshund Guide, dachshunds usually switch from puppy kibble to adult food by the time they are about 1 year old.
It is important to find a commercial food the dachshund enjoys eating. According to Official Dachshund Guide, many dogs enjoy eating the same food for years. Many veterinarians and breeders advise dachshund owners that any healthy, nutritious dog food type or brand is suitable for the dachshund. As is the case with human food, though, it is important to read labels and avoid additives, preservatives and potentially allergenic ingredients. According to Dachshund World, many foods have too much or little protein, not enough vitamins and minerals and too many fillers. Dachshund food should be high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids.
Dachshunds often tend to eat too much and thus gain weight, according to Kingdom of Pets. The weight gain can lead to health issues, including spine, heart and blood sugar problems. The pet owner must be disciplined in managing feeding frequency and food portion amounts. According to Dachshund World, it is important to provide the dachshund with food that will enhance dental health. Royal Canin K-9 Nutrition Mini Dachshund includes ingredients intended to be beneficial for a dachshund's special health needs.
The veterinarian can provide advice on food quantity for the dachshund. Monitoring the dachshund's weight and lifestyle are other ways to gauge food portions. Dachshunds who get more exercise require more food than those who are sedentary. According to Official Dachshund Guide, it is best to arrange a set feeding schedule rather than leaving food out all day, which can give the dog the chance to eat too much.
Consider experimenting with various brands of dog food until finding what works well for the dachshund. However, when changing the dachshund's diet from one food to another, transition slowly to reduce any digestive problems that can come with the change. Try giving the dachshund half of the new food and half of the original, then each day gradually increase the new food and decrease the amount of original food until only the new food is provided.
According to Dachshund World, if a dog has enough energy and is healthy, that is a good sign he is on a suitable diet. If there are digestive problems, such as diarrhoea, consider different options. Skin and fur problems, as well as weight gain or loss, are other indicators of problems with a particular food.
Rather than giving a dachshund commercially made dog biscuits as a treat, a healthier option could be homemade treats or raw carrot pieces. Dachshunds often love vegetables just as much as biscuits, and they benefit from the vegetables' nutrition.