Having an overweight dachshund is annoying but common. It also greatly increases the dog’s health risks, however, so you should work to avoid or mitigate weight gain. So, what are the dachshund diet and exercise needs, and how to form a good weight loss plan? Let’s go over all the steps this includes below.
Dachshund Diet and Exercise – The Basics
The basics of weight loss are quite simple and similar to what they are for us – lower the food intake and increase the daily exercise. The quality of the food and the type of exercise matters too, of course. More importantly, however, you should always consult with your vet before you do anything drastic.
Dachshunds are prone to certain health conditions so your vet is best-equipped to tell you how you should personalize the diet and exercise needs of your dachshund.
Dachshund Weight Loss Plan
Ideally, any weight loss plan of an overweight dachshund should be prepared by its veterinarian. That’s because they will best know your dachshund’s personal needs, health risks, and other complications.
To give you some idea as to what you’d need to do, your first step should be to measure both your dog’s weight and the current size of its daily food intake. Measure those to the dachshund’s expected normal weight for its age and the corresponding normal daily intake. Then, start slowly lowering your dachshund’s current daily intake toward the expected quantity.
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Of course, the second part of a good dachshund diet and exercise weight loss plan is some outdoor playtime. If your Doxie is overweight you ought to be careful not to cause some back issues such as IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disorder) by accidentally slipping a disk. This is why many specialists recommend swimming for particularly overweight dogs. If your Doxie’s weight isn’t that bad yet, simple daily walks should suffice at first.
How Much Daily Exercise Should You Give Your Dog?
Two 30-minute walks a day are the standard but you might want to start slowly if your dog is too out of shape. With dachshund, more so than with almost any other breed, overexercising your dog is very risky, especially if it’s of age. So, it’s often just enough to increase the walk time of your overweight Doxie together with slowly reducing the size of its meals.
If you’re interested in trying swimming but you don’t know how it’s quite easy. All you need is a bathtub and a bit of patience. Dachshunds are small and short-legged dogs, after all, so a full bathtub should be enough to keep their feet off the bottom. Then, just keep your pet from sinking and give it time to paddle. This is an excellent exercise as it gets your dog moving without stressing its back or joints. The water also naturally creates resistance.
Ideally, you will be able to give your dog someplace more interesting to swim in than a bathtub. But, it is a good place to start. If you don’t want to bother with that, daily and well-measured walks should work too.
Dachshund Feeding Chart
Figuring out how much food should a dachshund eat can be complicated.
|Dachshund weight||Daily food quantity|
|3 lbs / 1.5 kg||1/3 cups or 139 calories or 76 grams|
|6 lbs/ 3 kg||1/2 cups or 233 calories or 114 grams|
|10 lbs / 4.5 kg||3/4 cups or 342 calories or 171 grams|
|15 lbs / 7 kg||1 cup or 464 calories or 227 grams|
|20 lbs / 9 kg||1 1/2 cups or 576 calories or 341 grams|
|30 lbs / 14 kg||1 3/4 cups or 781 calories or 398 grams|
Free-feeding Or A Schedule?
All the quantities we listed above are per day but not per meal. So, how much should you feed your dachshund per meal, and should you even bother with separate meals?
Ideally, you shouldn’t be free-feeding your dachshund, i.e. you shouldn’t just pour all the food at once at let your dachshund eat whenever. Many owners do this and it’s not the biggest mistake you can make but it’s also not ideal. By separating your Doxie’s food by meals you promote better weight loss as your dog won’t be stuffing its face with lots of food all at once. It also creates a nice daily schedule around which you can place walking, training, and playtime routines.
As for how much food you should give per meal – just divide the recommended daily food quantity into 2 or 3 – however many meals you’re going to give your dog. Every meal can be the same, there doesn’t need to be a difference between them.
What Is The Best Diet For Dachshunds?
Your dog’s diet should consist of a mix of high-quality kibble and wet food. Both should be specialized for weight loss and should include only adequate ingredients and below on fat. Some of the ingredients to avoid – in addition to fat – include:
- Meat by-products as those can include slaughterhouse waste
Instead, your dachshund’s food should include high protein contents and nutrients, including meats such as chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, and beef. Avoid pork and make sure your dog isn’t allergic to chicken or beef.
Homemade recipes can work too but only if you know what you’re doing and the recipe has been approved by your veterinarian. Rawfood diets are also often recommended but they can include certain risks so, again – talk with your vet to make sure that’d be the right fit for your dog.
In Conclusion, What Are The Best Dachshund Diet and Exercise?
Getting a dachshund on the right diet and exercise is relatively simple but very important. The right exercise plan should mitigate all risks of back or joint trauma. The diet itself should also be calibrated to your dog’s personal needs which can include quite a lot of health considerations. Once you arrive at the right plan, however, and keep at it for a few months, you should be able to easily get your dog back into shape.