The Best Dog Food for Dachshunds – A Buyer’s Guide for 2021

The Best Dog Food for Dachshunds

Despite their relatively small size, dachshunds are amongst the most active and playful dog breeds you can choose. As you would expect from a breed known for its energetic and curious nature, they need plenty of healthy and nutritious food to help fuel them throughout the day.

Not only do dachshunds need a diet that is rich in protein and healthy fats to support their energetic lifestyles, but they also have some nutritional requirements that are unique to the breed.

While their long, slender bodies are what give them such an iconic and adorable appearance, it also means that their spinal cord is susceptible to injuries and premature disc degeneration. Luckily, choosing an appropriate diet for your little wiener dog can go a long way towards protecting its back and spine.

Unfortunately, back issues are not the only thing that dachshund owners have to be concerned about. Dachshunds are also susceptible to digestive issues, which, again, is an unfortunate side-effect of their elongated bodies. Special diets of highly digestible and nutritionally balanced ingredients are needed to meet the unique needs of these tough, little pooches.

How Can We Help?

If you are unsure how to choose an appropriate type of dog food for your little dachshund, we are here to help! Not only will we walk you through some of the best types of dog food for dachshunds, but we will also go into further detail about the nutritional requirements of this unique breed.

Since they come with their own breed-specific predispositions, like a propensity towards dental disease, orthopedic disease, and heightened susceptibility to obesity, you must choose the right foods and know what sorts of supplements you can add to their diets to support healthy growth and aging.

To help you choose the best dog food for dachshunds and their overall health, we’re giving you some general dietary tips for small breeds, as well as some nutritional information that is specific to the small breed, whether you have a senior dachshund, standard dachshund, or an adorable dachshund pup. Remember, in addition to regular vet checkups and a daily exercise routine, offering healthy, breed-appropriate food is one of the most important things you can do to protect your dog’s short-term and long-term health!

General Dietary Tips for Small-Breed Dogs

General Dietary Tips

Choose a Dog Food That is Rich in Antioxidants:

Small breeds tend to live longer than large breeds, which is why it is so important that you choose a type of food that can support their little bodies as they age. Antioxidant-rich ingredients can help delay signs of aging and help your dog live a more active lifestyle for longer.

Not only are they good for long-term health in general, but many studies have also pointed to a link between an antioxidant-rich diet and lower rates of cancer. Luckily, dog food manufacturers have taken note, and now many of the best brands include antioxidant-rich ingredients, like blueberries and spinach.

Look for Dog Foods That Contain Chondroitin and Glucosamine:

Small dogs often suffer from joint pain, especially as they move into their senior years. Not only can joint issues result in pain and discomfort, but they can also reduce your little dog’s mobility. Luckily, chondroitin and glucosamine can help relieve some of the pain by helping to lubricate their delicate joints.

By looking for dog foods that contain these two important ingredients, you can help relieve your small dog’s joint pain and even prevent it from occurring in the first place. If you cannot find a glucosamine-rich dog food that your dog will eat, you can also look for flavorless supplements that can be added to your dog’s existing food, or administered in the form of an easy-to-consume soft gel.

Always Choose a Food That is Appropriate for Your Small Dog’s Current Life Stage:

Whether you own a small breed like a dachshund or a large breed like a Golden Retriever, it is important to choose a type of dog food appropriate for its current size and life stage.

Avoid generic dog foods that claim they are appropriate for all ages and breeds. Paying attention to the dietary needs of different life stages is of critical importance, as your dog will have specific nutritional and caloric requirements as it ages.

Puppies and other young dogs still in their growing phase need more calories relative to their body size than fully grown dogs. For healthy growth, your dog needs plenty of calories, protein, healthy fat, and more. Choosing a puppy food tailored to the specific needs of a small breed will ensure that your little pup is getting everything it needs to grow properly.

On the other hand, when your dog reaches full physical maturity, it will need relatively fewer calories. Adult dog foods are less calorically dense with a reduced amount of protein and fat than puppy food. Once your little dog has reached its senior years, it will need a senior-specific dog food blend that contains very little salt, protein, and fat.

Simply put, choose a dog food appropriate for small breed dogs that line up with your dog’s current life stage.

General Life Stage Food Guide

If you are unsure about the life stages of a dachshund, the following guide will give you a rough idea of what type of food you should be looking to provide your Doxie as it ages:

Life StageAge
Puppy (Choose Puppy Food)Under 15 to 18 Months
Adult (Choose Adult Dog Food)Over 15 to 18 Months and Under 7 Years
Senior (Choose a Senior or Mature Dog Food)Over 7 to 10 Years

The Unique Dietary Needs of Dachshunds

The Unique Dietary Needs of Dachshunds

Dachshunds are energetic dogs that need high-quality diets packed with essential nutrients and an adequate amount of calories. Choose a dry kibble that contains plenty of healthy fats, like Omega 3 fatty acid and lots of digestible protein.

Choose a Dry Kibble to Preserve Your Dachshund’s Dental Health

While we humans might think that dry food looks unappetizing, they tend to be a better choice than wet food for your dachshund’s long-term health because they help to clean the teeth as your dog chews.

Since dachshunds are one of the many breeds highly susceptible to dental disease, you must do what you can to keep your little dog’s teeth healthy. Dental hygiene is incredibly important as the plaque and tartar that can build on your dog’s teeth can actually spread below the gum line and eventually cause serious health concerns if left unchecked.

In many cases, bacteria allowed to spread below the gums can cause root decay and infection, which can ultimately require surgical correction. While brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog-appropriate toothbrush can help, offering a textured, dry kibble is one of the easiest and most effective ways to scrape plaque and tartar off the surfaces of your dog’s teeth.

Choose Dog Food That is Rich in Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids can act as natural anti-inflammatories that help with overall joint health and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis. Since dachshunds are more susceptible to spinal issues than just about any other type of dog, you must do what you can to ensure that your dog’s diet has these incredibly important healthy fats.

As a bonus, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are also great for promoting healthy skin and nails. They also support the nervous system, especially the brain. Since wiener dogs are such intelligent and curious little dogs, you will want to do everything in your power to protect their brains. Luckily, a diet that is rich in essential fats and oils can help in this regard!

Watch Out for Dog Foods That Contain a High Volume of Unhealthy Fats and Empty Calories

As mentioned above, dachshunds are also prone to obesity, which is why it is critical that the food you provide for your pooch contains the right caloric content and is free from unnecessary ingredients.

Even if you choose a healthy type of dog food for your wiener dog, overfeeding is another common issue. Make sure your little pooch is sticking to a strict diet, as obesity will cause your dog a significant amount of discomfort, put a strain on the spine, and impact its quality of life. Not only that, it can drastically reduce your furry friend’s life expectancy, which is another reason why it might be a good idea to go light on the treats if you have a dachshund.

Unfortunately, dachshunds also have a heightened susceptibility to pancreatitis, which can occur when they eat a diet high in unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Not only can pancreatitis lead to severe, life-threatening consequences, but it can also be a painful condition for your dog.

Avoid Dog Foods That Contain Ingredients That Are Known to Trigger Allergies in Dachshunds

Dachshunds can also suffer from skin issues, which, unfortunately, is a result of their unique genetics. While you cannot cure these genetic issues, you can do quite a bit to avoid triggering flare-ups.

One of the best ways to avoid skin and coat issues is to keep an eye out for how your pooch reacts to certain ingredients. Unfortunately, many dachshunds can have a mild allergic reaction when they consume poultry products, like chicken and duck meat. While this is not the case for every Doxie, it is worth keeping an eye out for. If you notice your dachshund seems itchier than usual, check the ingredients listed on the packaging of their food for chicken and duck. If you find the food contains poultry, try switching the food for beef, lamb, fish, or pork flavored food.

Luckily, Omega 3-rich fish oils can, but it will also help reduce the severity of skin and coat issues, so, again, look for a dog food rich in Omega 3s and other healthy fats.

The Top 6 Best Types of Dog Food for Dachshunds

The Top 6 Best Types of Dog Food for Dachshunds

To make shopping for your little Doxie that much easier, we are going to highlight some of the best dog foods for dachshunds. We chose each of the following foods because they provide the nutrients and calories required to protect your dachshund’s short-term and long-term health:

1. Hill’s Science Diet – Adult Perfect Weight Dry Dog Food for Small and Mini Breeds

Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small & Mini Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet is the most commonly recommended dog food brand amongst veterinarians in the United States. If you have never heard about the brand, you will be happy to know that it was founded by several veterinarians who specialized in clinical nutrition. The brand was started during the 1960s when the founders looked to create a specialized diet to meet the unique dietary requirements of the very first dogs in the American Seeing Eye Dog Program.

This particular blend of Royal Canin dachshund is a great option for dachshund owners, as it is designed to meet the exact nutritional requirements of purebred dachshunds over the age of 10 months. The food helps maintain bone and joint health, as it contains the perfect amount of calcium and phosphorus, which is ideal for the tiny limbs you find with dachshunds, as well as their delicate spinal cords.

As with every dog food blend offered by Hill’s Science Diet, it is made from natural ingredients and is free from unhealthy fillers and empty calories. It also has ingredients that support heart health, which is of particular importance for smaller breeds.

The food is made in the United States from ingredients that you can trust. As is always the case with Hill’s Science Diet, they performed a unique series of tests using state-of-the-art technology to ensure it is free from impurities and contaminants that could harm your beloved pet.

It contains healthy proteins and fats that are easy to digest. It is also rich in plant fiber from natural sources, like brown rice, green peas, and oats. These ingredients promote overall digestive health, which is important for breeds known to have sensitive stomachs, like dachshunds.

Overall, it is an excellent dog food that would make a great choice if you have weight concerns for your wiener dog.

Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • Number one recommended brand amongst American veterinarians
  • Supports heart health
  • Rich in antioxidants, which helps support immune system function
  • Safely and effectively helps with healthy weight maintenance and supports the growth of lean muscles

2. Royal Canin – Adult Dachshund Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Dachshund Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin is another pet food brand regularly recommended by veterinarians. The brand is known for using only the highest quality ingredients, and each of their dog food blends is specifically formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists to make sure that they tailor to specific breeds and life stages.

This particular blend is a great option for dachshund owners, as it is designed to meet the exact nutritional requirements of purebred dachshunds over the age of 10 months. The food helps maintain bone and joint health, as it contains the perfect amount of calcium and phosphorus, which is ideal for the tiny limbs you find with dachshunds, as well as their delicate spinal cords.

Given how common disc degeneration is amongst dachshunds, choosing a type of food designed to care for their backs is one of the best things you can do to keep your pooch happy and healthy.

Not only does it have a nutrient profile that is perfect for dachshunds, but the dry kibbles are also even tailor-de for the exact preferences of dachshunds. Your dog will be more likely to eat its full bowl with enthusiasm. The appetizing chicken flavor also helps in this regard.

The healthy and digestible proteins used in this particular food help support lean muscle growth, so your little pooch can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle as they age. As a bonus, it helps reduce stool volume and odor, as the highly digestible proteins and plant fibers encourage healthy digestive system function. Overall, this dachshund-specific adult dog food is an excellent choice for any Doxie pet parent that wants to ensure their pooch gets everything they need from their food.

Key Features:

  • Specifically formulated to meet the exact dietary requirements of adult purebred dachshunds
  • Helps support joint and spinal health with calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids, and healthy protein sources
  • Supports digestive system health, which can result in stool and odor reduction
  • Dry kibbles clean the teeth and are specifically designed to appeal to dachshunds

3. Purina – Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach, High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food & Wet Dog Food

Purina is one of the most recognizable pet food brands, so there is a good chance that you are already familiar with their products. Purina Pro Plan is one of the brand’s premium dog food lines, and this small breed shredded blend is an excellent choice for anyone looking to provide their dachshund a nutritious and appetizing dry dog food.

To make the food even more appealing for Doxies and other small breeds, Purina added tender pieces of shredded meat to the dry teeth-cleaning kibbles. Not only will the texture, aroma, and flavor of the shredded meat encourage your wiener dog to eat the entire bowl, it actually helps boost the overall protein content, which is important when you own a high-energy breed like a purebred dachshund.

This formula was put together to help dogs that suffer from skin and stomach issues. It contains real salmon as the primary protein source, which is usually better for sensitive dogs than poultry. While it is great for dogs with skin and stomach sensitivities, it is also an excellent choice for dachshunds that have never experienced these issues in the past.

The kibbles are also guaranteed to be fortified with live probiotics, as well as natural prebiotic fiber. Both of which help support a healthy digestive system and improve immune system function. Both probiotic bacteria and prebiotic fiber work together to improve the digestive system’s ability to absorb nutrients from any food your dog eats, which is incredibly important for the overall health of the digestive system. Given how susceptible dachshunds are to digestive issues, choosing a dog food that contains the healthy gut bacteria required for a healthy digestive system is an excellent choice.

The dry kibbles also contain added Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which will also help your dog absorb nutrients. As discussed previously, these healthy fats are also critical for long-term spinal health, which is of incredible importance for a breed that is so susceptible to back issues.

Purina Pro Plan kibbles are also packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals, so your little dachshund will have everything it needs to live a happy and healthy life.

Key Features:

  • Guaranteed live probiotics and prebiotic fibers for digestive and immune system health
  • Rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin, coat, joint, and spinal health
  • Easily digestible proteins and fibers are gentle on the digestive system
  • Contains vital minerals and vitamins for strong bones and teeth
  • Made in the USA

4. Diamond Naturals – Small Breed Chicken and Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

DIAMOND NATURALS Small Breed Chicken and Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

As the name suggests, Diamond Naturals makes all of its dog food formulas using natural, healthy ingredients. Their Small Breed Adult Formula is no exception, as it uses real ingredients that you will recognize, like cage-free chicken meat.

The kibbles are also free from artificial colors, scents, and flavors, so you know your dog is getting a healthy and natural meal. On top of that, they do not add unnatural preservatives, which is often the case with lower quality varieties of dog food.

The small, dry kibbles are designed to be the perfect size for dogs with smaller jaws, like dachshunds. They also have a textured surface, which helps clean the teeth and reduce plaque as the dog chews.

Each kibble also contains a source of naturally occurring probiotic microorganisms, which is beneficial for the overall health of your dog’s digestive system. Diamond Naturals ensures this by adding superfood ingredients to the kibbles, like kelp, spinach, chia seeds, dried pumpkin seed powder, blueberries, and more.

Because each kibble is packed with exceptional ingredients and a whole host of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins, you can remain confident that your little dachshund will have all of the energy it requires to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

Key Features:

  • Contains healthy protein sources, like cage-free chicken, chia seeds, and quinoa
  • Formulated with probiotics that are known to be beneficial for the digestive tract of canines
  • Textured kibbles help clean the teeth as your dog chews
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, scents, and preservatives

5. Blue Buffalo – Life Protection Dry Kibble Formula for Adult Small Breed Dogs

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food and Wet Dog Food

This Life Protection Formula from Blue Buffalo is made to meet the exact dietary requirements of active, small breed dogs, like dachshunds. As is always the case with Blue Buffalo dog food, real meat is the most prominent ingredient. In this case, the food contains a high volume of real chicken meat, which helps fuel your dog’s active lifestyle, as well as support muscle growth and maintenance.

It also contains more complex carbohydrates than some of their other formulas, as high-energy breeds require more carbs to fuel them throughout the day. The carbohydrates are sourced from healthy ingredients, like brown rice and sweet potatoes, so you know that your dog is not consuming empty calories and unhealthy amounts of sugar.

It is also rich in antioxidants, which are great for cardiovascular health and digestive system function. A healthy volume of essential vitamins and minerals also ensures that your little Doxie is getting everything it needs to support its long-term health.

Unlike lower quality dog food blends, this Life Protection Formula contains zero chicken by-products and is free from common dog allergies, like wheat and soy. It is made without the use of artificial preservatives and flavors, so you know that your dog is eating healthy ingredients that it will be able to digest properly.

Added Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids help support joint function and mobility. Blue Buffalo also uses a unique cold-form manufacturing process, extending shelf life and preventing the food from spoiling prematurely. Overall, it is a great choice for dachshunds, and it is available at a budget-friendly price.

Key Features:

  • Rich in essential vitamins and minerals
  • Made with antioxidant-rich ingredients, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health, especially as your dog ages
  • High-quality protein sources and healthy, complex carbohydrates, so your dog can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle
  • Small, textured kibbles are easy to chew and help clean your dog’s teeth

6. Instinct – Original Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Instinct Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Original Recipe Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

This high-protein dry kibble blend from Instinct is for small, energetic breeds, like purebred dachshunds. It also is formulated with probiotics and prebiotic fibers, which help support a healthy digestive system.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils help protect the skin and coat and improve overall digestive system function. Each kibble contains high-quality protein sources, like cage-free chicken and green peas. The kibbles are fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, which is helpful for long-term joint health, as well as spinal health. Both of which are important for dachshunds and other breeds that are susceptible to serious back issues, like slipped discs.

It doesn’t use any unhealthy ingredients, like corn, wheat, and soy, so it is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction or lead to unhealthy weight gain. There are no artificial colors or preservatives, either, so your dog enjoys a higher volume of natural, healthy ingredients.

The added calcium and phosphorus promote strong bones and teeth, which is important for breeds susceptible to bone degeneration and dental issues. The dry kibbles also help scrape plaque and tartar off the surface of your dog’s teeth, so they can become a part of your dachshund’s oral hygiene routine.

Key Features:

  • High protein content that is sourced from at least 70% real animal ingredients and healthy oils
  • Contains antioxidant-rich vegetable and fruit ingredients to promote cardiovascular health
  • Minimal processing means a higher volume of nutrients make it into your dog’s food
  • Rich in healthy fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, which is beneficial for your dog’s long and short-term health

The Best Dog Foods for Dachshund Puppies

The Best Dog Foods for Dachshund Puppies

As we explained above, the dietary requirements for puppies are different than they are for adult dogs. If you have just brought home a dachshund puppy, the following dog foods are excellent options:

1. Royal Canin – Breed Specific Dachshund Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Dachshund Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin has a well-earned reputation for being one of the most trustworthy dog food brands in the world. Their dachshund-specific puppy formula was specifically designed to meet the exact nutritional requirements of purebred dachshunds between 8 weeks and 10 months of age.

The kibbles are tailor-made to be easy for dachshund puppies to chew and pick up. Added antioxidants and vitamin E help your pup’s immune system build natural defenses against infections and other ailments. It also contains healthy protein sources and appropriate levels of calcium, phosphorus, and healthy fats to help support their tiny limbs and elongated spine.

As with all of Royal Canin’s formulas, it helps support digestive health and promotes the formation of solid stools, which can be an issue with puppies. The brand achieves this with highly digestible proteins and natural plant fibers.

Key Features:

  • Formulated to meet the exact nutritional requirements of dachshund puppies
  • Kibbles are tailor-made to be the correct size for a growing Doxie pup’s small jaw
  • Formulated for immune system support and the growth of healthy joints and bones

2. Hill’s Science Diet – Dry Puppy Dog Food

This puppy-specific dog food from Hill’s Science Diet supports a healthy immune system and promotes healthy growth. It contains DHA from pure fish oil sources, which is beneficial for brain and eye development.

Healthy and highly digestible proteins help support the growth of lean muscles, while a balanced set of vitamins and minerals help to promote strong bones and teeth for your growing pup.

As always with Hill’s Science Diet, the kibbles use natural healthy ingredients, which is why vets so frequently recommend the brand. Overall, it is an excellent choice for anyone looking for healthy dog food for their dachshund puppy.

Key Features:

  • Contains DHA that is sourced from fish oil, which helps with brain and eye development
  • Dry kibbles help clean the teeth and promote the development of lean muscles and joints
  • Supports cardiovascular health, which is important during your dog’s formative years

Final Words

Choosing a dog food tailored to the exact needs of your dog’s breed and life stage is incredibly important. Not only will it support their day-to-day lifestyle, but it can also support their long-term health.

As dachshunds have so many unique dietary requirements, you must choose healthy food with an appropriate nutritional profile. Each of the dog foods that we highlighted above will help your wiener dog live a happy and healthy life.

You should also remember that providing a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet is only one of the things you can do for your Doxie’s health. You should also make sure that your canine companion is getting plenty of exercise and drinking enough water.

As always, speak with your veterinarian if you have any questions about your dachshund’s dietary requirements.

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