Part of the hound group, the popular miniature dachshund is lovable, friendly and playful with a keen sense of smell. His long body is low to the ground because of his short legs. You'll invest huge effort while caring for your puppy, and you'll get back just as much joy.
Provide your miniature dachshund puppy with clean, fresh water at all times. Feed him a quality puppy food that is high in healthy protein and fat yet does not contain additives or other harmful ingredients. Brands based on whole foods provide nutritious options. When your puppy is between 8 and 12 weeks old, give him four meals per day, and when he's between 3 and 6 months old, reduce this to three meals per day. Between 6 and 12 months, feed him two meals a day. By the time he's out of the puppy phase at 12 months, feed him once a day, or divide his daily food quantity in half to make two meals.
Monitor your puppy for weight problems, which are particularly harmful for miniature dachshunds because of back and spine problem risks. Miniature dachshunds love to eat, even to the point of overeating, so practice discipline with food quantities you give. Your miniature dachshund will weigh about 11 pounds once he's out of the puppy phase and fully grown.
Provide your miniature dachshund puppy with moderate amounts of exercise, such as walking, each day. Because this breed is so active, you will enjoy bonding while playing together. Your puppy might not be able to walk for very long or go up stairs because of his short legs and small size.
Groom your puppy by giving him baths and brushing him. The three different coat varieties in the dachshund breed are long-haired, wire-haired and smooth. The first two need more brushing than smooth ones do. Your miniature dachshund puppy's fur should not be cut. Keep your puppy's nails trimmed, although many dachshunds dislike manicures. If this is true for your puppy, consider taking him to the vet or groomer for nail clipping. Miniature dachshunds have sensitive ears, so clean ears gently and thoroughly.
Provide your miniature dachshund puppy with as much attention and social interaction as you can, because this breed loves to cuddle and bond with his human family. Allow him to sleep and rest in his own cozy dog bed or crate.
Puppy proof your home and yard so your curious miniature dachshund puppy doesn't chew or otherwise damage things or hurt himself. Provide him with safe toys to chew on. Make sure there are no areas of your fence that could provide the perfect escape route. Because he's so tiny as a puppy, your miniature dachshund only needs a small opening to slip through. With his body being low to the ground, he can be more susceptible to harm from insecticides and other chemicals. So steer clear of these potentially toxic items that he could get into his mouth or on his paws while he's exploring.
Be consistent and patient as you train and housebreak your miniature dachshund puppy, even though his personality will likely be independent and strong-willed. This might make the training process challenging. Take him outside for potty walks after he eats, drinks, plays and wakes up. Reward and praise him when he follows your instructions.
Manage your miniature dachshund puppy's health to give him a great start in life. See your veterinarian for regular checkups and vaccinations, according to the schedule your vet advises, and if your puppy is injured or ill. Become informed about the specific health needs and risks of miniature dachshunds, such as back and spine problems. Follow your vet's instructions for at-home and professional dental care.
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Dachshund
- Dachshund World: Care & Health of Your Dachshund
- Dachshund World: House Training Tips
- Dachshund World: Dietary Concerns
- Dachshund World: Grooming Tips for You and Your Dog
- Dachshund World: Dental Care
- Dachshund World: Choosing Your Partner for Good Health
- Dachshund World: Dachshund First Aid
- Dachshund World: Dachshund Training
- Try giving high-quality treats, especially as an incentive during training. In addition to the puppy supplies listed here, feel free to buy other items depending on your needs and preferences. These might include extra toys, dog coats if you live in a cold climate and any of the multitude of supplies available online and at your local pet store. Miniature dachshund puppies interact well with children, but supervise the puppy and child while they are spending time together.
- See your veterinarian or emergency clinic when any urgent issues arise related to your puppy's well being and health. Learn first aid so you can be as fully prepared as possible for acute health issues.
Judy Wilson has writing and editing expertise in health, technology, pets, business and travel. She has contributed to USAToday.com, SFGate.com and numerous other publications. Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed Mini Medical School.