Whether you are a dachshund novice or a seasoned owner, we are sure you will fall in love with your new baby, and with lots of love and proper care of his/her health, you will have a long, healthy life together.
I am on dachshund number four, myself, and to know this breed is to love it even more.
They are stubborn, fearless, hilariously funny, intelligent, amazingly loyal and protective, super playful and the best snuggle bugs you can ever imagine, and for all intents and purposes, they are really a big dog trapped in a little hot dog body. Shhh…Don’t tell them that. They can be very sensitive about their size.
They are, also, food hounds and will eat you out of house and home if you let them, and it is really important not to let them get overweight because it is a major contributor to any future back issues.
Keeping your doxie fit and on a healthy diet is so important to their overall health. If choosing dry food, a good, high quality, made in the U.S.A. brand of dry dog food that is grain free, soy free, preservative free is recommended. Feed them approximately ¼ to ½ cup of food 2x daily depending on their activity level. Older doxies should definitely be fed about ½ cup total per day broken up into two feedings.
Optimally, the ideal diet for doxies would be a human grade, whole food diet either of raw, dehydrated or freeze dried dog food. I cannot stress enough the importance of a good diet.
Doxies love to snack, so peeling and cutting up small pieces of carrots and apples are a doxie’s favorite along with a quality brand of unsalted canned green beans which is a great filler to add to dog food to help keep their weight down.
Doxies love to exercise. They are full of energy, so a nice long walk everyday followed by some quality interactive playtime of fetch or chase will be sure to keep your new family member happy and fit and their muscles strong to help protect them from back injuries.
Limiting your dachshund’s jumping, especially on hard surfaces, and their use of stairs would definitely be in their best interest because, over time, the constant impact of both can lead to neck and back injuries. I know this is a hard task, and most dachshunds are excitable, and as I said earlier, fearless, and will leap off the highest pieces of furniture in your home, so I recommend small ramps and stairs, so you can guard against future spine problems.
Another thing that helps prevent neck and back injuries, to your dachshund, is using a harness when walking them rather than a collar as the constant tugging of the leash can put added stress on their spine and cause future inflammation in their necks.
If, however, your dachshund does, at some point, develop spine issues, a trip to the vet is a must as x-rays and medical care are in order. Veterinary care has come so far, nowadays, that back problems don’t have to be an end to your baby’s life. With crate rest and drug therapy, most dachshund’s do well, and recover quite nicely, and with the new advances in laser therapy, acupuncture and even doggy chiropractic treatment, which most vet’s practice, it has proved to be a miracle in treating back injuries without the use of surgery.
Keeping your dachshund’s ears clean and monitored for yeast is important as they can be prone to ear infections with age.
We recommend keeping their nails nice and trim every 2 to 3 months and keeping them bathe and groomed, so they are clean and smell good too.
It is also crucial to make sure your dachshund’s teeth and gums are healthy, so make sure to brush their teeth and have routine check-ups and cleanings at your vet’s office. Any bad breath can be the sign of a tooth abscessing and a sign of infection, so an immediate trip to your vet is imperative. Do NOT use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth as it is toxic. Using a dog approved toothpaste or coconut oil and a canine toothbrush are best.
Another important part of their hygiene, and overall health, is watching for signs of anal gland discomfort which Dachshund’s are prone to, so if you see your doxie licking back there or scooting his/her butt across the floor, they may be trying to tell you something. Having your vet or groomer extract their glands as needed is a must, though I have noticed that the better their diet’s the less discomfort they have in their hind ends.
We hope these tips help you and your pet have many happy and healthy years together.
by LuAnn Bruno
Happy Tails Dachshund Rescue:
Probiotics (Nutramax Proviable-DC) (great for digestive and gut health)