Dachshunds are loyal, energetic, and oh-so-cute, but the one thing that they also are is prone to obesity. Not only are they usually gluttons and LOVE food, but their heart-melting eyes make many a Doxie owner cave in and feed them high-fat human snacks.
If you’ve noticed your precious wiener dog looking a little tubby around the sides, you might have to rethink your dog’s diet and exercise regimen.
Fret not! In this blog post, we’ll share some weight loss tips for Dachshunds and how to help your little tubs lose weight.
The Problem With Dachshund Obesity
Dachshunds might be all cute and cuddly when they are a little on the round side, but obesity isn’t good for any living creature, dogs included.
Studies have shown that obese dogs are more prone to developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, orthopedic problems, skin conditions, and an overall decrease in their quality of life.
In addition, these types of illnesses can impose costly and preventable economic expenditures for pet owners who purchase their medications and treatments.
What Is A Healthy Weight For Dachshunds
A standard Dachshund should weigh a maximum of 32 pounds when fully grown, and a miniature Dachshund should weigh 11 pounds or less.
Knowing if your sausage dog is at their ideal weight is one of the most important things you can do for its long-term health and well-being.
There are a few easy ways to tell if your pup is too chubby. Feel along the spine and ribs - you should be able to identify both, but not see them. Check that your pup has an obvious waist between its tummy and hind end, and pay attention to any lumps or bumps.
If none of these markers are present, your pup is likely carrying some extra weight that could cause various health issues over time.
How To Help A Dachshund Lose Weight
The ideal weight loss plan would consist of two key components - diet and exercise.
Switch To Low-Fat Dog Food
Think about switching brands to low-fat dog food meant specifically for small breeds like Dachshunds. Your vet would be able to recommend an ideal low-calorie dog food that will keep your Dachshund at an ideal weight.
Some of our favorites for overweight dogs include Wellness Core Reduced Fat and Natural Balance’s Low Calorie food with peas, salmon, and oatmeal. You can also consider alternative sources of protein like Wilder Harrier’s food from farmed insects.
High-fat diets that mainly consist of proteins can cause rapid weight gain and digestive issues in dogs which weaken the immune system. The best dog food for overweight Dachshunds should replace proteins with healthy carbohydrates like wild rice and oats, resulting in higher energy levels and better digestive health.
This type of diet has been scientifically formulated to address the specific dietary needs of dogs, providing an enriched range of vitamins and minerals necessary for maximizing overall health.
With their soulful eyes and intense stares, Dachshunds can be excellent beggars and it is oh-so-hard to say no! However, feeding them human food or snacks off the dinner table can all add up to their calorie count.
In addition, when it comes to canine nutrition, dogs should not be eating human food. Feeding your dog human meals can cause digestive problems, an unbalanced diet, and put stress on their organs.
Many of the ingredients found in processed human foods contain sugar and sodium, both of which can lead to obesity and other health issues in your pup if consumed frequently.
If you are training your Dachshund and using treats, make sure to keep their treats to about 10% of their total calories in a day and factor that into their meal plan. If possible, always opt for low-fat healthy snacks like Blue Dog’s Natural Dog Treats or Cadet Gourmet Sweet Potato Fries.
Increase The Amount Of Exercise Your Dachshund Gets
Another way to help your Dachshund lose weight is to increase their exercise. The more they exercise, the more calories are burnt, which is the key to successful weight loss.
- Increase The Length Of Your Walks
The best exercise for overweight Dachshunds would be to increase the duration and length of a gentle walk. Dachshunds are active dogs that need about 30 minutes of exercise a day, but overweight Dachshunds could surely do with an hour’s walk.
Increase the length of the walk gradually instead of immediately doubling it. You can add 10 minutes in the first week, and another 10 minutes every week after until your Dachshund is walking an hour a day.
Once your Dachshund has comfortably adjusted to the new exercise regimen, you can increase the speed of the walk until you are both walking at a brisk pace.
Keep in mind Dachshunds don’t like cold weather so if it is particularly chilly out, you might have to use a winter jacket or some kind of insulation for your pooch.
- Add Other Activities
In addition to increasing the intensity and length of your walks, you can also add in other fun activities like a vigorous game of fetch.
Make sure to only get your Dachshund to fetch balls on the ground and not jump for them. Excessive jumping places great strain on your dog’s spine, and Dachshunds are particularly prone to spinal conditions like IVDD.
You can also head to the dog park to let your Dachshund romp around with his or her canine buddies. A dog park can be an incredibly beneficial space for both humans and their canine companions.
It provides a safe environment for dogs to socialize with other dogs off-leash while their owners enjoy quality time together.
Not only can this help to improve the physical health of your pup, but also its mental health, creating an outlet for stimulating activity and promoting good behavior. You might even make some new four-legged friends in the process!
Now that spring is right around the corner and the temperatures heat up, there are plenty of fun activities that you can do with your Dachshund!
Just be sure to protect your Dachshund from the increased risk of bugs like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes that come with the season. Read here about all our spring safety tips and how to keep your Dachshund safe!
Final Thoughts On Dachshund Weight Loss
If your Dachshund is a little on the chubby side, speak to your vet about how to safely help your Dachshund lose weight. Switching to dog food with a lower caloric count and increasing the output by exercising more would be a very good start! Good luck!
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