Dachshunds love to eat -- so, as the owner of a sausage dog, it's your job to make sure the pooch is eating right. Some owners feed their dachshunds a homemade diet, but most dachshunds eat commercial dog food. An adult dachshund typically weighs about 11 pounds at the miniature size and up to 32 pounds in the standard size.
How Much Food?
Your veterinarian can advise you regarding the quantity of food your dachshund should have each day. If you buy commercial dog food, the packaging should contain guidance regarding how much food a dog needs at a particular body weight. As an example, a 20-pound dachshund might need approximately 1 cup of commercial food daily to maintain his weight. Accordingly you could feed more if your dachshund needed to gain weight and less if your dachshund is currently overweight, although there are other sound strategies. Use a measure for your dog's food, and establish a fixed feeding schedule. For example, you might feed half a cup in the morning and half a cup in the evening. Dachshunds do well with routine and schedules -- if you leave food out all day for your dog instead, he is likely to overeat and gain weight.
Typically, dachshunds are ready to transition from puppy to adult food around the age of 1 year. When transitioning from one type or brand of food to another, make the change gradually: Start by substituting a spare amount of the existing food with the new, a fraction such as one-eighth of the entire meal portion. Next day, substitute in one-fourth, then half, and so on, until you are feeding your dog only the new food. Try different types of dog food until you find one that suits your dachshund's energy requirements, taste and digestive system.
If your dachshund's diet is not suitable for her, you will likely see physical signs. A dachshund on a suitable diet and feeding schedule will have plenty of energy and be in good general health. Signs of an unsuitable diet may include diarrhea, problems with skin or fur, and losing or gaining weight.
Commercial dog treats are convenient and can be helpful in training your dachshund. However, it's easy to forget to add in the calories contained in treats when you're calculating how much your dog should be eating each day. Limit the overall number of treats you feed your dachshund. Raw vegetables, such as carrot pieces, are a healthier and cheaper alternative to commercial treats.
Dachshunds can be greedy little dogs, but overeating leads to weight gain. The dachshund's back is long and relatively fragile -- any excess body weight can put strain on the dachshund's back, leading to health problems. Additionally, overweight dachshunds are at higher risk of heart problems. As a breed, dachshunds have a tendency to develop dental issues -- give dental chews as occasional treats, and brush the outside of your dachshund's teeth regularly.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.