Dachshund Health Guide
The Dachshund is a surprisingly sturdy dog with stamina, one that will do quite well with moderate exercise. Keep in mind that due to the body structure, this breed tends to gain weight quickly. Therefore, you would need to take care not to feed this breed too much, paying particular attention to the foods they are given on a regular basis.
With this in mind, it is best to ask some questions of the breeder you are working with and of the veterinarian to help you set a diet that will be best for your pet.
For instance, you might consider making fresh meals for their Dachshund with healthy foods such as vegetables and grains that contain the right vitamins and the right levels of protein.
Dachshund Health Guide
There are some factors to keep in mind when you are working with the vet or breeder to set a meal plan for your new puppy, or when you are changing the diet of a grown dog. These factors include age, bloodlines of the dog, activity level, and the food currently being fed.
If you decide to go with commercial pet foods, most experts would urge you to buy only the premium brands and mixes so that your Dachshund gets the proper amount of water, vitamins, enzymes, etc. Changes in the dog’s diet should be made gradually and with attention to how the pet reacts to the change. In fact, it is best not to make the change completely in less than two or three weeks.
As for physical problems, the Dachshund is prone to back injury and conditions due to its elongated spine. Unfortunately, the back of this breed can lead to paralysis the dog’s later stages. However, the breed is also prone to degenerative disc disease, a genetic condition that can often be eliminated from your list of problems by dealing with a careful and reputable breeder that closely monitors his breeding stock and the health of his puppies.
If you suspect a disc problem, look for unusually quiet, slow-moving behavior, sensitivity to touch on the neck, yelping or crying when moving the head, or poor appetite.
It may be best to have a ramp for the Dachshund to get to a second level of floor or onto furniture, such as a bed, if you allow the pet to do that. With a ramp or pet stairs, this greatly reduces the potential for damage to the discs in the spine. If you hold your Dachshund, it is best to hold the pet with the back horizontal, supporting the chest.
This too will help prevent injury to the back and spine. Now, if you have children in the home, it would be vital that they learn to leave the Dachshund on the ground, or be taught how to hold it properly.
The Dachshund is also prone to heart disease and diabetes, especially if the diet and exercise schedule are not correct for the pet. The breed can become overweight and lazy, leading to serious health problems in later life. Generally, the Dachshund will live 12 years or more, even up to 16 years, if it is properly cared for.
The wrong diet and too many treats can lead to obesity in the Dachshund, so the owner should always be careful about getting away from a regular meal plan. You will even find veterinarians that suggest carrots and celery as treats. Some suppliers now have excellent natural treats for Dachshunds as well.
The Dachshund is a clean dog that should be bathed monthly. They usually carry little or no “dog” odor and shed an average amount, unlike many other breeds. The smooth coated variety of Dachshund should show a consistent and shiny coat.
Because of few health risks and ease of grooming, this particular breed makes an exceptional pet.
Read More About Dachshund
- Dachshund Breed Information
- Dachshund : 10 Most Common Questions
- Dachshund Training Guide
- Owning a Dachshund : Breeder Recommendations