Feeding the Fit and Trim Dachshund
Proper nutrition is the key to protecting your dog from obesity and disease.
Kim Campbell Thornton
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Whatever you decide to feed, you probably won't have to worry too much about whether your Dachshund will eat it. Dachshunds aren't known for being choosy. Most members of the breed are voracious eaters that will stick their faces in the bowl and eat whatevers put before them.
I often joke that if you laid a 50-pound bag of food on its side and put a miniature Dachshund in the mouth of the bag, it would eat until it exploded, says enthusiast Patricia Mims of Richmond, Texas. They'll eat until they make themselves sick; they just have no sense when it comes to food. For owners of the rare finicky Dachshund, mixing a teaspoon of wet food in with dry kibble can make the meal a little more aromatic, so its more appealing to the dog. Such enticement is rarely necessary, however.
Prevent Overeating Dachshunds have a propensity toward obesity and can quickly balloon to cartoonish proportions, but the breeds tendency to overeat is no laughing matter. A fat Dachshund waddles when it walks, runs out of energy after walking only a short distance and has difficulty jumping up into a lap. Overweight Dachshunds are also prone to musculoskeletal problems. If they're obese, they tend to have knee problems, says Dottie Laflamme, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl. ACVN, a veterinary nutritionist at the Nestle Purina Petcare Company. They're also predisposed to vertebral disk problems, which seem to be aggravated by excess body weight.
Put an obesity-prevention plan into action starting in puppyhood, before rolls of fat start appearing around your Dachshunds waist. It appears that dogs are very much like people, Dr. Laflamme says. If they're allowed to become fat when they're growing, they're going to be more predisposed to obesity later in life.
Be aware of how much your Dachshund is eating. The best way to do this is to feed a certain amount at each mealtime rather than leaving food out all the time. The recommended amount on the pet-food label may or may not be appropriate for your Dachshund; dogs are individuals and yours may require more or less food than the recommended amount. Experiment until you find the amount that keeps it slim and trim. In general, a miniature Dachshund eats 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry food daily; a standard Dachshund eats 2 to 21/2 cups daily. An adult dog can eat once or twice a day.
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