Feeding the Fit and Trim Dachshund

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

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Put the food down for 10 or 15 minutes, Mims says. If it doesn't eat it, take it up until the next mealtime. Don't ever leave a Dachsie with as much food as it wants, whenever it wants. If those sad eyes plead with you for more food, Mims advises mixing in cooked vegetables, such as green beans or carrots. They're low in calories, but they give the dog something to eat so it feels full. Perform a monthly rib check to gauge your Dachshunds condition. You should be able to feel its ribs but not see them. If the ribs are buried under a heavy layer of fat and theres no evidence of a waist when you look down at your Dachshund, talk to your veterinarian about a diet and exercise plan for the dog.

Because each dog is an individual, theres no way to guarantee your Dachshund a sleek physique simply by feeding a given amount or type of food. Energy requirements can vary by about 30 percent, even in dogs that belong to the same breed, sex or age group, so its easy to feed one dog too much while feeding another too little, even if both receive the same amount of food. Cast an unsparing eye on your Dachshunds body: If its starting to get fat, cut back on the food; if its starting to get too skinny, feed it a little more.

The ideal weight, of course, depends on your Dachshunds size and frame. A miniature Dachshund should weigh 11 pounds or less. According to the breed standard, a standard Dachshunds weight ranges from 16 to 32 pounds. Heldebrant says that a standard female usually weighs 18 to 20 pounds; and a standard male, 28 to 35 pounds.  Feeding Busy Badger Hounds In addition to controlling the amount of food your Dachshund eats, exercise is the best way to keep obesity at bay. The Dachshund is a hardy, vigorous breed that's born to be active, something you might not be aware of if you're new to the breed. Even though they're hounds, they're often used as lapdogs or strictly as companion animals, so I think pet Dachshunds tend to lead sedentary lifestyles, Breidenstein says. 

Make it a point to exercise your Dachshund daily. Depending on its state of health, the breed has a lot of options for activity, such as going for walks, playing fetch, and participating in agility trials, field trials and earthdog tests. If you're starting with an inactive animal, a leashed walk a couple of times a day is great, Dr. Laflamme says. 

If your dog is a little bit more fit, even taking it out for a jog is okay if you don't overdo it. Dachshunds have short little legs, and they've got to travel a lot of distance to keep up with you. Dr. Laflamme warns against playing Frisbee, however, noting that the jumping and twisting motions inherent in that activity could injure a Dachshunds long back.

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janet   bethlehem, PA

2/28/2012 4:13:44 AM

good article, thank you

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