By the healthybud team
Reading time: 2.5 minutes
Dachshunds make great pets for a few reasons: they’re loyal and affectionate, small & adaptable, intelligent & trainable – and they have big personalities!
But when those big personalities come with big bellies, these adorable dogs can have health issues. Extra weight is more dangerous for dachshunds than many other breeds because it puts extra pressure on their long spine.
If you’re trying to keep your dachshund’s weight stable, or hoping to bring it down safely, read on for advice about a safe approach.
🧑⚕️ Rule out other problems
If your dog’s weight has changed notably in a short period of time, bring them to your vet for a check-up. In many cases, your dachshund’s weight gain will be due to a combination of too much food and not enough exercise. But some health issues like heart issues, diabetes, parasites, or tumours can lead to weight gain or loss, and it’s best to rule those out first!
Some medications also contribute to weight gain. If your dachshund is already on medication for a health problem, talk to your vet about managing any potential side effects like weight gain.
🐕 Choose a healthy dog food
If you aren’t already, choose a healthy dog food with high-quality ingredients for your dog. Freeze-dried meals from healthybud include turkey or beef protein and health-supporting superfoods like sweet potato, kelp, and blueberry.
Your vet is also a useful resource for advice on your dachshund’s diet. Chat with them about how much food your dog needs, based on their weight and activity level. This allows you to feed your pup a set amount per meal at certain times, instead of free feeding.
Your vet can also weigh your dog for you, and give you advice about how much weight loss – and at what rate – is a safe amount.
☝️PRO TIP: Does your dog gobble their food down too quickly? Try a slow-feeder bowl, a snuffle mat, or a Kong. These encourage your dog to eat more slowly, and provide a bit of mental fun at the same time!
🐟 Don’t forget snacks and treats!
Meals should provide most of your dog’s food, but pay attention to their snacks and treats too! Choose high-value treats with a great taste and smell like healthybud’s Turkey Gut Booster – your dog will be satisfied with a smaller amount. And choose healthy whole ingredients like those in our Banana Crisps or Cod Skins treats.
Speaking of treats, avoid giving your dog human food. It often has a lot of ingredients your dog doesn’t need, like added fats, and can have more calories than you might realize! Stick to treats made for dogs, or make your own from whole ingredients using a recipe from a trusted source.
😅 Gradually increase their exercise
Helping your pup get a good amount of daily exercise will help their weight stay at a healthy level. Start taking a walk twice a day if you aren’t already doing that. If you are, try increasing the length of those walks by a couple minutes each time.
Go slowly if you need to! It’s all progress. And overdoing it could be too much in the other direction, especially if your pup has other health issues.
If you have a way to let your dachshund go for a swim, go for it! Exercising in water is a great option for overweight dachshunds, or pups with joint issues.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is not meant to replace your vet’s advice or prescribed medications, but only to suggest additional options to explore, based on your dog’s condition.