Feeding the Fit and Trim Dachshund

Proper nutrition is the key to protecting your dog from obesity and disease.

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The nutritional needs of a pet Dachshund receiving normal exercise can be met with a regular food, but the intense competition of conformation showing or field trialing calls for additional nutrients to meet the stresses of that lifestyle. For instance, field dogs may need additional food or a higher-protein food if they're doing a lot of running during the season.

Dachshunds are unique, Dr. Laflamme says. They're small dogs, and pound for pound, small dogs in general have greater energy requirements than large-breed dogs. So when it comes to Dachshunds that are involved in showing or field trials, the increased energy requirement of a small dog is coupled with the increased energy needs of an active dog. They may need a dense, nutrient-rich food, one that's high in protein and fat. On the other hand, its important not to let them eat too much and become overweight.

Many exhibitors supplement their show dogs diets to improve coat texture and shine, but not all believe its necessary. I feed my dogs a premium commercial diet, she says. They occasionally get some boiled chicken or liver or something like that, but as a treat, not a supplement. They are all show dogs, and they all have lovely coats and skin.

For treats, Breidenstein gives her dogs a little cottage cheese, yogurt or vegetables mixed in with their food. My female loves bananas, and our male tends more toward meat things, such as liver snaps. They both love baby carrots. We try to make their snacks as healthy as possible, Breidenstein says.  Different Life Stages, Different Needs A Dachshunds nutritional needs will change with age. Because of lifestyle differences and the onset of health problems, an older dog may show more individual variability in its nutritional needs than a younger dog or even a puppy. As its energy requirements decrease, its need for protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients remains the same. 

Rather than cutting back on the amount of food an older Dachshund eats, Dr. Laflamme recommends switching to a diet that's lower in calories. When you reduce the amount of food the dog eats, you're not only cutting back on calories, you're cutting back on protein and other nutrients, Dr. Laflamme says. With a lower-calorie food, you're simply reducing the calories, not the other nutrients.

No matter how old your Dachshund is, theres one sure way to know whether its food is doing its job: Trust your eyes. A look at your Dachshund should show you a trim, confident dog with a shiny coat, and eyes sparkling with intelligence and good health, ready for whatever comes its way.

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janet   bethlehem, PA

3/1/2012 4:18:30 AM

good article, thank you

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Nancy   Pittsboro, NC

11/12/2010 7:40:14 PM

Great Information;it's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

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Mainak   Burdwan, AL

8/4/2010 12:01:32 PM

Very useful article, need to be read by all Dachshund owners.

My dachshunds eat well, but, I feed them calculatingly. In general, Dachshunds are voracious eaters. If you don't keep a tab, then they become obese
easily.
Regarding exercising, I have kept two of them (both males, almost the same age). They play a lot, like each other's company, mutually groom each other, do not feel lonely and chase each other on our rooftop, thereby fulfilling their daily quota of exercise. I don't have the time/scope to walk them daily; hence, I found out this solution.

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Joanne   Lincoln, NE

6/7/2010 8:22:28 AM

I have the rare Dachshund who does not like dry food and is finicky about her food. I have tested several dry brands, mixing wet food with them or leaving them dry. She always eats the wet and leaves the dry. It becomes a waste of money. She will eat one or two brands of dry treats so she gets some crunch. She likes yogurt and will try bananas along with canned peaches and some veggies. Our problem is exercise. I have had health problems which limits my time outside. I try to play with Brandi when we are inside, but I don't seem to find the right games.

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