Are you concerned about your dachshund’s weight or just want to keep your dachshund at their optimum size?
You might think that how big they get is beyond your control, but there are things you can do to ensure they stay healthy.
How much should a Dachshund weigh?
A dachshund can weigh up to 32 pounds and any weighing less than 11 are classified ‘miniature’.
Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers, hence the German name: ‘dachs’ (meaning badger) – ‘hund’ (meaning dog).
Their long bodies and short legs were originally intended for sniffing into badger holes.
Nowadays, these charming features render them beloved family pets, but can also cause some health problems. Back pain and stomach problems are among the ailment’s dachshunds are susceptible to, and there is one major factor that increases the likelihood of them occurring.
Obesity in Dachshunds
Dachshunds have big appetites but small stomachs, so it is up to you to monitor their food intake to prevent them from getting obese.
Obesity does not only cause many health issues, but it can also lead to an untimely death.
Dr Sophia Yin, an esteemed animal behaviourist, provided guidance for telling if your dog is overweight.
She used a 9-point scale developed in 1997 to explain that a healthy dog (one scoring 4-5 on this scale) should have a visible waistline from above and just noticeable ribs.
If your dachshund is overweight, do not despair! There are things you can change to help him lose weight successfully.
What type of food should you feed your Dachshund?
To help your dachshund stay at its optimum weight, you need to make sure it gets a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Videos such as this one show how you can make your dachshund’s food yourself;
However, a 2006 study found that dogs whose diet consisted mainly of wet or homemade food were more likely to be obese.
If your dachshund is overweight, it might be best to feed them mostly kibble.
Food and other allergies are common in dachshunds, so you should monitor your puppy very closely when introducing new foods.
Amount of food
As important as the type of food you give your dachshund is the quantity. Vet and animal medicine writer Dr Jennifer Coates recommends one 8oz cup of dry food per day for a 15lb dog. Always start with the amount recommended on your dachshund’s food and talk to your vet if you are not sure.
Dr Coates also emphasizes the importance of using charts as described earlier to regularly ensure that the amount of food you are giving your dog is optimal. If you notice that your dachshund is not at their ideal weight, adjust their quantity of food to combat this.
It is important to make sure your dachshund gets the right amount of exercise. This does not mean as much exercise as possible, as over-exercising a puppy can cause them to develop abnormally.
The Dachshund Breed Council recommends gradually introducing exercise into your puppies routine until it is fully developed (at 1 year old).
They recommend a 5-minute on-lead walk per month of age, so 10 minutes for a 2-month-old dachshund.
This advice does not include playing on their own where they can decide when they have had enough.
Once your dachshund reaches adulthood (1 year) you should then maintain their exercise schedule, again adjusting if you notice a weight change.
Once your dachshund reaches age 11 and is considered a senior, begin to decrease the amount of exercise they take. Consult your vet to help you decide how much exercise your dog needs.
How to keep your dachshund at its optimum weight
Dachshunds can grow up to 32 lbs, but a miniature dachshund should not weigh more than 11.
If you feed your dachshund the right amount of food with high nutritional value, you can help them to maintain the ideal weight.
Whilst under-exercising is a major issue that can lead to obesity, over-exercising a puppy can lead to developmental problems.
If you follow all our advice and your dachshund is still over- or under-weight, consult your vet. Your dachshund might have an underlying health problem beyond your control, such as an over- or under-active thyroid.
To estimate how big your puppy will be at full size, you can use this puppy chart.
Let us know how big your dachshund is destined to be in the comments below!