15 Best Dog Foods for Dachshunds: Our 2020 In-Depth Feeding Guide

The Dachshund is a small-breed dog known for his long body and short legs as well as his friendly personality and floppy ears.

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Dachshunds are intelligent dogs that were originally bred for hunting, so they still exhibit behaviors related to that purpose. These dogs have a tendency to bark and to dig, though these behaviors can be controlled through patient training. This breed has moderate needs for exercise and his short coat is very low-maintenance and low-shedding as well.

The Dachshund technically comes in two different sizes – miniature and standard. The miniature Dachshund stands only 5 to 6 inches tall and weighs up to 11 pounds while the standard Dachshund stands 8 to 9 inches tall and weighs 16 to 32 pounds at maturity. Regardless of your Dachshund’s size, feeding him a healthy and high-quality diet is the best way to help him live a long and happy life.

Keep reading to learn more about Dachshund’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the 2020 best dog food for Dachshunds.

Understanding a Dachshund’s Food Requirements

All dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements, but there are some subtle differences for the miniature Dachshund and the standard Dachshund. Both are small-breed dogs, so they have fast metabolisms and a high need for calories in their diet. They both need plenty of protein to support lean muscle mass and to help prevent obesity. Both protein and fat is best from animal sources, though plant sources can be used to supplement the diet and to provide nutritional balance.

Dogs do not have any specific needs for carbohydrate in their diet and, in fact, have a limited ability to digest them. Both the miniature Dachshund and the standard Dachshund also have a higher risk for allergies than many breeds, so you should limit ingredients that might trigger allergies such as grains. Grain-free carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes offer excellent nutritional value and are usually easy to digest as well.

  • Puppy Dachshunds Diet – As a puppy, your Dachshund needs a high-calorie diet that provides at least 22% protein and 8% fat. Miniature Dachshunds will eat less than Standard Dachshunds in terms of volume, but both need four meals a day to sustain growth and development.
  • Adult Dachshunds Diet – When your Dachshund reaches his full size, you can reduce his diet to a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat. Very active dogs can use more fat for energy, but you should keep the fat content moderate to prevent unhealthy weight gain. Miniature Dachshund adults may still need four meals a day, but Standard Dachshund adults can usually get by with three.
  • Senior Dachshunds Diet– As a senior dog, your Dachshund may slow down a bit and his risk for obesity increases with age. Focus on lean proteins with moderate fat and feed your dog two or three meals a day, according to his activity level.

In addition to protein, fat, and carbohydrate, look for beneficial supplements in your Dachshund food. Prebiotic fibers and probiotics support healthy digestion while chelated minerals are a biologically valuable source of essential minerals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a valuable addition as well.

Special Dietary Considerations for Dachshunds

The Dachshund is a fairly healthy breed with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Because he is prone to obesity and a number of other health problems, however, you should be mindful of certain things to make sure he reaches his full lifespan.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Dachshund may be prone:

  • Allergies
  • Canine Diabetes
  • Deafness
  • Epilepsy
  • Eye Problems
  • Gastric Dilation
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Obesity
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Skin Problems

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Though musculoskeletal issues are more common in large breeds, the Dachshund is prone to back problems due to his compressed body shape and poor genetics. Intervertebral disc disease is a condition in which your dog can lose the use of his hind legs as well as bowel and bladder control. Be careful how you hold your dog and don’t let him jump up and down from furniture. You may also want to include joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin in his diet.

Another problem Dachshunds frequently develop is diabetes, especially if they are overweight. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to control your dog’s blood sugar or if his body can’t use insulin properly. You should also watch out for gastric dilatation, a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with air and twists, cutting of blood flow to the heart and the rest of the body. It happens when dogs eat or drink too much, when they exercise too close to a meal, or by swallowing air as they eat. It occurs more frequently in deep-chested breeds like the Dachshund.

In terms of the dietary considerations you need to make for your Dachshund’s health problems, think about allergies and obesity. All dogs have the potential to develop allergies, but they occur in Dachshunds at a higher rate. Common allergens include corn, wheat, soy, beef, chicken, and pork so you may want to avoid these ingredients as well as artificial additives and low-quality fillers. Choosing a moderate fat recipe can help prevent obesity, and you should be controlling how much your dog eats anyway due to his risk for gastric dilation.

Dachshund Feeding Chart

As your Dachshund grows and develops, the goals for his diet will change. As a puppy, he needs plenty of calories and protein to support healthy growth and development. Dachshund puppies usually need four meals a day to keep their energy up and their diet should be rich in both protein and fat. As your dog gets to his adult size, however, you may need to drop down to three meals a day.

Both adult and senior Dachshunds have a high risk for obesity, so you need to be careful to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass and a healthy body weight. A protein-rich diet is a must and you should look for one with moderate fat content to prevent your dog from gaining too much fat. Most adult and senior Dachshunds do well on three meals per day, though you may need to reduce to two if your senior Dachshund is already overweight or is very inactive.

The Best Dog Food for Dachshunds: Our Top 15 Picks for 2020

Now that you have a better understanding of your Dachshund’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for a quality dog food! Remember, the best Dachshund food will be rich in calories to support his fast metabolism and made from premium-quality, digestible ingredients like animal proteins and fats, whole-grain or grain-free carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and veggies.

Here are our top 15 picks:

Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal Recipe

Overall Best Food for Dachshunds: To get your Dachshund the nutrition he needs with a low risk for triggering food allergies, try this Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal Recipe. It is a holistic recipe featuring wholesome natural ingredients like anchovy and sardine meal which provides lean protein as well as omega fatty acids. This recipe contains nutrient-rich chicken fat for energy with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients. It is rich in protein to support lean muscle mass but moderate in fat content which is beneficial for miniature Dachshunds as well as Standard Dachshunds.

  • Pros: Several sources of animal protein, highly digestible, grain-free carbohydrates, nutrient-rich chicken fat, 35% protein and 16% fat, fresh fruits and veggies, probiotic supplements
  • Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet, some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Whitefish Recipe

Most Affordable Food: A quality dog food doesn’t have to break the bank, as this Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Whitefish Recipe proves. It is made with all-natural ingredients and is grain-free as well which means a reduced risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities. It features salmon meal and fresh whitefish for a protein-rich, moderate fat recipe that is highly digestible for dogs. Plus, it contains chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption with probiotics for digestion.

  • Pros: Affordable recipe, quality protein and fat sources, fresh fruits and vegetables, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, nutrient-rich chicken fat, chelated minerals, probiotic supplements
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients, could be higher in fat

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe

Most Popular Food: If you aren’t sure what to feed your Dachshund, you can’t go wrong with a popular choice like this Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe. Formulated specifically for small breeds, this recipe is both highly palatable and digestible for most dogs. It features real venison as the first ingredient with other supplemental proteins like lamb, duck, and ocean fish. It contains 32% protein and 18% fat with fresh fruits and veggies to deliver natural sources of key nutrients, not to mention plenty of antioxidants. This recipe is also free from artificial additives and grains, so it is unlikely to trigger food allergies and sensitivities if your dog has them.

  • Pros: Formulated for small breeds, several sources of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, blend of omega fatty acids, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

 NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery

Super Premium Food: If you want to feed your Dachshund the best of the best, choose a fresh food option like NomNomNow. This company produces fresh dog food that exceeds AAFCO standards and every recipe is made with the finest whole food ingredients. NomNomNow products are always made fresh, never frozen, and they are delivered automatically on a monthly basis. Each package is perfectly portioned, and you can keep the food fresh in your fridge or freezer. Simply fill out a short profile online about your dog’s needs and you’ll receive a custom meal in one of four delicious recipes.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest natural ingredients, variety of recipe options, prepared fresh each week (never frozen), delivered automatically to your door, free shipping in the USA
  • Cons: Some delivery restrictions for certain parts of the country, may need to call to adjust recipes

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Potato Dog Food

Best Food for Dachshunds with Allergies: If your Dachshund suffers from food allergies, you may need to switch to a limited ingredient diet made with a novel source of protein. This Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Potato Recipe is just what the doctor ordered. With the ideal balance of protein, fat, and calories for small breeds, this recipe is made with a limited number of main ingredients and salmon as the only source of animal protein. This formula is loaded with natural flavor and contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates for fiber and nutrients. Plus, it has probiotics for digestion.

  • Pros: Made with a limited number of high-quality ingredients, single source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, rich in omega fatty acids, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), could be higher in fat

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small-Breed Recipe with Real Chicken

Best Food for Dachshunds with Sensitive Stomachs: For Dachshunds with sensitive stomachs, digestibility is key and that means high-quality, natural ingredients. This Nature’s Valley Instinct Raw Boost Small-Breed Recipe with Real Chicken fits the bill exactly because it consists of high-quality kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces for a boost of nutrition and flavor. This recipe contains cage-free chicken as the main ingredient with chicken meal for glucosamine and chondroitin. Chicken fat provides a nutrient-rich source of energy with grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and tapioca. All in all, it provides 37% protein and 16% fat.

  • Pros: Premium quality nutrition, high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, rich in essential fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotics, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Cons: Very expensive to feed as a staple diet

3 Top Rated (5 Star) Dachshund Adult Foods

FirstMate Small Bites Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula LID Dry Food

For an allergy-prone breed like your Dachshund, this FirstMate Small Bites Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula LID Dry Food is a good choice. It features highly-digestible natural ingredients like chicken meal, whole blueberries, and Burbank potato for a protein-rich, moderate-fat diet. It is supplemented with chicken fat for energy, glucosamine for healthy joints, and chelated minerals.

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Lentils Recipe Dry Food

If you’re worried about food allergies, this Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Small Breed Salmon & Lentils Recipe Dry Food is a great option. Made with premium natural ingredients including protein-rich salmon and grain-free carbohydrates this recipe is highly digestible and formulated specifically for small-breed puppies. Plus, it contains prebiotics and probiotics to encourage healthy digestion.

Natural Balance LID Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Small Breed Bites Recipe

Because the Dachshund is prone to food allergies, you may want to start your dog with a limited ingredient recipe like this Natural Balance LID Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Small Breed Bites Recipe. This recipe features real lamb as the main ingredient with digestible brown rice for carbohydrate energy. It is protein-rich with moderate fat content and chelated minerals for nutritional balance.

3 Top Rated (5 Star) Dachshund Puppy Foods

Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for a protein-rich, grain-free recipe for your Dachshund puppy then look no further than this Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Recipe. This formula features real deboned chicken as the main ingredient with digestible carbohydrates like peas and tapioca. It is protein-rich for muscle development with 18% fat for energy and plenty of dietary fiber.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal, & Salmon Recipe

Formulated specifically for small-breed puppies, your Dachshund would be lucky to have this Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal, & Salmon Recipe. This formula features salmon as a protein-rich ingredient and a source of DHA plus antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies. It also contains digestible whole-grain carbohydrates with dried fermentation products for probiotic support.

Canidae PURE Petite LID Salmon Formula Small Breed Puppy Recipe

Since the Dachshund has a high risk for food allergies, a limited ingredient diet might be a good choice for your puppy. This Canidae PURE Petite LID Salmon Formula Small Breed Puppy Recipe offers premium-quality nutrition with natural ingredients like salmon, salmon meal, garbanzo beans, and flaxseed. It is rich in protein with moderate fat content and plenty of beneficial supplements.

2 Picks for Senior Dachshund Terrier Foods

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Senior Recipe

If you’re looking for a nutrient-dense recipe to nourish your senior Dachshund without contributing to unhealthy weight gain, try this Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Senior Recipe. This recipe features deboned turkey as a lean source of protein with plenty of dietary fiber for healthy digestion. It contains just 10% fat with fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure nutritional balance and dried fermentation products for probiotic support.

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe

As your Dachshund gets older, his metabolism may slow down so he needs a protein-rich, moderate-fat recipe like this Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe. This recipe features several animal proteins including chicken and salmon as well as nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. It is supplemented with chicken fat for essential fatty acids, chelated minerals for nutritional balance, and probiotics for healthy digestion.

Our FAQ and Dachshund Feeding Guide

Not only do you need to think about choosing a high-quality Dachshund food, but you should think about how to store it and feed it properly. Dachshunds are small dogs, so they only need a small bowl – they also have short legs, so it should not be so large that they have trouble reaching into it. Stainless steel and ceramic are two of the best materials for dog bowls because they are durable and don’t harbor bacteria. Just know that ceramic will break if you drop it.

In terms of storing your Dachshund’s food, the best idea is to place the whole bag in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry location. The inside of the bag is treated to help keep the food fresh, so you don’t want to lose that benefit. At the same time, you don’t want to keep the bag open because exposure to air will cause it to lose some of its nutritional value.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Dachshund:

How much food should I feed my Dachshund? – The Dachshund is a small breed that only eats about ½ cup to 1 ½ cups of food per day. The exact amount will depend on your dog’s age, weight, and activity level, however, so pay attention to the feeding recommendation on the package. Keep in mind as well that the Dachshund is a deep-chested breed prone to gastric dilation, so don’t feed your dog too much at once.

How many times a day should I feed my Dachshund? – For the most part, the Dachshund should eat three small meals per day. As a puppy, you may need to feed your dog an additional meal to fuel his growth and development but, once he reaches full size, you can drop down to three meals. Refer to the feeding recommendations on the package to see how much to feed your dog per day then divide it by the desired number of meals.

What kind of food do Dachshunds eat? – The Dachshund is a small breed with a fast metabolism, so he requires a calorie-dense diet. This breed is also prone to food allergies and sensitivities, so the quality of his diet matters. Wet food is higher in calories and protein than dry food, for the most part, but dry food offers dental benefits which are important for smaller dogs. You should also consider feeding your Dachshund fresh food, dehydrated food, or freeze-dried food because it is the closest to a raw diet. If you can’t afford those, choose the highest quality dry food you can consistently afford.

What vegetables are good in a Dachshund food? – Vegetables provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality Dachshund food. Here are some of the best vegetables for dogs:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Even if your dog food contains fresh vegetables, you might consider supplementing his diet with veggies as a healthy snack. Just make sure they are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them thoroughly before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Dachshund’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best dachshund food.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Dachshund dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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