Best Dog Food For Dachshunds

Everyone smiles when they see a Dachshund walking down the street! They are so recognizable, and yet some only know them by name as “weiner dogs”. Owners and enthusiasts call them Doxies, so a rose by any other name, right?

A diverse breed, Doxies come in two sizes (standard and mini) and they sport three different types of coat — smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired.

Anyone who’s ever owned a Dachshund will tell you how intelligent they are, as well as a bit willful (Read: stubborn), but they’re a breed beloved by millions. That’s why we’ve put together a complete guide for the best food for Dachshunds!

Royal Canin carries foods specifically formulated for all kinds of breeds, and since Dachshunds have a unique physique that requires some tailored nutrition, we’ve found that Royal Canin Dachshund blend is the best food for Dachshunds.

 

The Best Dog Foods For Dachshunds Are:

ProductDetails
1. Royal Canin Dachshund

  • Formulated for adult dogs 10 months and older
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Formulated specifically for Dachshunds
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2. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Small and Mini Adult

  • Chicken flavored recipe
  • Dry kibble consistency
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Formulated for weight management
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3. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Weight Management

  • Dry kibble formula
  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Weight management formula
  • Chicken, lamb, and salmon flavor
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4. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed

  • Turkey, chicken, salmon and oatmeal recipe
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Crafted for small-breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
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5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe

  • Formulated for small-breeds
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Chicken, turkey and brown rice flavor
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6. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult

  • Small-breed formula
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Chicken, brown rice and sweet potato recipe
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7. Wellness CORE Small Breed Recipe

  • Formulated for small-breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Turkey and chicken recipe
  • This food is grain-free, so be sure to check with your vet to make sure it’s right for your Doxie.
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8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult

  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Formulated for small breeds
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9. Wellness Complete Toy Breed

  • Chicken, rice, and peas recipe
  • Formulated for super small toy breeds
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Dry kibble texture
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1.  Royal Canin Dachshund

Dachshund parents everywhere trust Royal Canin to feed their beloved besties because they know that it’s formulated specifically for the needs of a Dachshund’s unique body type.

This blend includes ingredients focused on a Doxie’s bone and joint health with just the right amount of calcium and phosphorus, and helps keep them long and lean with just the right balance of fats, protein, and carbs to manage weight and build lean muscle.

Dachshund’s elongated bodies mean they require foods that deliver extra joint and bone health for those long spines. Doxies are also prone to weight gain, putting even more stress on their skeletal systems, and Royal Canin’s formula is developed to keep your sausage pup a healthy weight.

Specs

  • Formulated for adult dogs 10 months and older
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Formulated specifically for Dachshunds

Pros

  • Dry kibble sized for easy chewing and digestion
  • Measured protein and L-Carnitine to support lean muscle
  • Optimal calcium and phosphorus for bone and joint health
  • Supports healthy digestion with quality proteins, carbohydrate and fiber sources

Cons

  • Some Doxie parents said the price was too steep for the quality.
  • Some dogs had tummy troubles after eating this food.
  • Some dogs didn’t care for the taste.

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2. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Small and Mini Adult

This blend was specifically formulated to help control calories for toy and small breed dogs to keep them trim and lean.

Doxies need to keep a strong and toned physique to support that adorable frame, and this food contains real chicken which works to support lean muscle development.

Hill’s develops their recipes crafted in the US using quality ingredients backed by sound nutritional science to keep your baby happy and healthy! This food is also widely recommended by veterinarians and breeders.

Specs

  • Chicken flavored recipe
  • Dry kibble consistency
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Formulated for weight management

Pros

  • Contains natural ingredients which provide vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Protein blend supports healthy weight loss and the building of lean muscle
  • Prebiotic fibers from natural sources help with digestion and support nutrient absorption
  • Crafted with natural ingredients, plus vitamins, minerals and amino acids

Cons

  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor
  • Owners reported burnt kibble
  • Some owners reported the kibble was too small

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3. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Weight Management

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Weight Management contains ingredients with all of the healthy vitamins and minerals a doggo needs to eat well but stay lean. From what we hear, Doxies give it two paws up for flavor as well.

Nutro’s formula is made with no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives by nutritional experts who take great care in developing each food to fit your dog’s needs. 

The Nutro brand has been around for 90+ years, and have been commited to creating quality foods with non-GMO ingredients since the very beginning.

Specs

  • Dry kibble formula
  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Weight management formula
  • Chicken, lamb, and salmon flavor

Pros

  • Nutro provides reduced feeding guidelines structured to keep your Dachshund satiated with lean proteins and targeted levels of fats, while promoting strong, lean muscle growth to promote healthy weight loss.
  • Contains quality whole grains to support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Ideal balance of protein, fat, and carbs helps keep your Doxie’s weight under control
  • This formula contains added nutrition to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Cons

  • Some Dachshunds reported gassiness after eating this formula.
  • Some owners said their doggos didn’t seem to enjoy the taste.
  • Some owners reported the kibble seemed too big.

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4. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed

Wellness Complete Health small-breed formula dog foods are made specifically to satisfy your tiny bestie. With a taste they’ll love, and nutritious ingredients, your Doxie will thrive.

The wellness brand is focused on complete pet wellness. Not only are they committed to using nothing but quality sources of protein, whole grains, and omega fatty acids in their blends, they do so keeping in mind that a satisfying mealtime builds healthy, energetic, and happy doggos every day for a lifetime!

Specs

  • Turkey, chicken, salmon and oatmeal recipe
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Crafted for small-breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs

Pros

  • Abundant sources of protein help nourish and promote lean muscle growth
  • Contains immune system boosting vitamins C and A
  • Chondroitin Sulfate supports joint health
  • Healthy skin and shiny coat courtesy of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

Cons

  • Some owners reported gastrointestinal problems after their dogs ate this food.
  • Some owners reported the food smelled unusual upon opening the bag.
  • Some Dachshunds didn’t dig the taste.

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5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe

Your little buddy will love the taste of Merrick Classic Small Breed Recipe, and it’s formulated with a specially-balanced blend of proteins, veggies, fruits, and healthy whole-grains to support digestive health, energy, muscle development, and overall health.

This food also contains zero corn, wheat, gluten, soy, preservatives, or fillers. Over 30 years ago in Hereford, Texas, Garth Merrick began making dog food with the best ingredients designed to deliver superior nutrition.

The Merrick company stayed put, and still handcrafts foods with love from Hereford. With that much commitment, your dog is sure to love mealtimes!

Specs

  • Formulated for small-breeds
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Chicken, turkey and brown rice flavor

Pros

  • Ingredient #1 is real meat, fish, or poultry for a great taste and to promote healthy muscle mass
  • Whole foods like apples and carrots support overall nutrition with a rainbow of vitamins and minerals.
  • Quality whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and barley support digestive health
  • Omegas 6 and 3 fatty acids give your petite pup a glossy coat and healthy skin
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine help keep those joints and hips functioning properly

Cons

  • Some owners complained of sudden rise in price.
  • Some Doxies didn’t like the flavor.
  • Some doggies had tummy problems after eating.

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6. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult

Your pint-sized puppy dog will love Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Natural Dry Dog Food because it’s got the delicious taste of chicken, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.

Quality protein promotes healthy, lean muscle while omega fatty acids give him a glossy coat and healthy skin.

There’s no artificial ingredients, or nutritionally devoid fillers added, so you know you’re feeding her wholesome food with all the good stuff she needs and none of the stuff she doesn’t!

Specs

  • Small-breed formula
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Chicken, brown rice and sweet potato recipe

Pros

  • Made in the US with non-GMO ingredients
  • Contains omega 6 and 3 fatty acids for a soft coat and healthy skin
  • Natural fibers support healthy digestion
  • Real, quality sources of protein fuel her energy and help develop toned, lean muscle

Cons

  • Some owners say Nutro has a habit of changing their formulas with no warning, causing tummy troubles for their Doxies.
  • Some Dachshunds didn’t like the taste.
  • Some Doxie parents reported weight gain in their babies after feeding them this food.

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7. Wellness CORE Small Breed Recipe

Wellness CORE’s philosophy is one of getting back to nature — for your dog, that is. They believe that canines receive the best nutrition from a diet that’s heavy on the meat and light on the fillers, meaning each recipe contains a ton of high-quality proteins.

Throw in a load of nutritional supplements, botanical blends with antioxidants, and probiotics for healthy digestion and immunity, and you’ve got a well-balanced food your doggo will love.

Specs

  • Formulated for small-breed dogs
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Turkey and chicken recipe
  • This food is grain-free, so be sure to check with your vet to make sure it’s right for your Doxie.

Pros

  • Contains probiotics for healthy digestion
  • Glucosamine helps support joint health
  • Omegas fatty acids sourced from salmon help keep her coat gorgeous and her skin healthy
  • High-quality proteins keep her energy high and her weight healthy

Cons

  • Some owners have doubts about this brand’s quality, as they’ve had multiple recalls on certain formulas.
  • Some Doxies didn’t like the turkey and chicken recipe.
  • Some owners reported upon opening a new bag, the food had an odd odor and seemed stale.

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8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formulas begin with real, quality sources of protein to make sure your furry bestie has enough energy to keep up with you all day. Fruit, veggies, and whole grains round out the recipe with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Blue Buffalo’s patented LifeSource Bits deliver an extra boost of enhanced nutrients and antioxidants to keep her happy, healthy, and full of vitality.

Strongly committed to research and development, Blue Buffalo employs a fleet of vets, nutritionists, and food scientists at state-of-the art facilities here in the US. All of Blue Buffalo’s team are focused on formulating the healthiest, safest, and most delicious foods for your Doxie.

All blends undergo rigorous standards of testing, monitoring things like digestability, stool quality, palatablility, nutritional testing, and microbiology just to name a few.

Specs

  • Chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Dry kibble formula
  • Intended for adult dogs
  • Formulated for small breeds

Pros

  • Zero meat by-products, corn, wheat or soy
  • Immune health supported by antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • High-quality whole proteins build healthy, lean muscle for energy and weight management
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and luxurious coat
  • Kibble sized for small-breed dogs keeps them crunching to remove plaque and tartar

Cons

  • Some owners reported the food smelled spoiled upon opening the bag.
  • Some dogs don’t like the flavor
  • Some owners reported their dogs became sick after eating this food.

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9. Wellness Complete Toy Breed — Best Food for Mini Dachshunds

Teeny tiny doggies need special food, and that’s why Wellness Complete Health Toy Breed recipes are designed just to feed those pint sized pups!

Toys are higher energy breeds, so they need a food that will fuel that supercharged metabolism in a kibble small enough for those tiny teeth to crunch easily.

This blend’s crunchy texture is formulated to help keep plaque and tartar buildup at bay, maintaining optimal oral health. Perfectly balanced proteins, calories, and fats help to provide the fuel for your toy Doxie’s energy levels without piling on the weight that her little body doesn’t need! 

Specs

  • Chicken, rice, and peas recipe
  • Formulated for super small toy breeds
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Dry kibble texture

Pros

  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids contribute to healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Her tiny joints will stay well-oiled and healthy with chondroitin and glucosamine
  • Kibble is the perfect size and shape for your toy
  • Each crunchy bite helps eliminate plaque buildup and helps maintain healthy teeth.
  • Optimal protein, fat & calories all balanced to provide energy while building lean muscle and managing her weight

Cons

  • Some Dachshunds reported tummy aches after eating this food.
  • Some owners said their doggies didn’t like it.
  • Some owners said the kibble was too small for their particular dog.

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Best Food For Dachshunds — A Buying Guide

Now that we’ve looked at a few of the best dog foods for Dachshunds, there are some guidelines you should know when it comes to feeding them correctly based upon their specific needs.

Dachshunds benefit from many of the same things other dog do when it comes to their nutrition.

Quality-sourced proteins are a must. Look for whole, deboned sources of protein as the first ingredient. A quality food should contain meat fillers, or animal by-products as it’s primary source of protein.

A good dog food should contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Try to find a food made in the US or close to wherever you happen to live. Locally manufactured and/or sourced ingredients mean less time in shipping and more time fresh from your pantry.

Consult your vet, breeder, or pet nutritionist about they recommend are the best foods out there. Some may say dry food isn’t a good fit for your dog, others may say kibble is the thing they should be eating primarily.

Some experts recommend a completely home-cooked raw diet (although many of us may not have the time or motivation to make a home-cooked meal for our pet every day… no matter how much we love them). Regardless, ask them for recommendations.

Special Nutritional Needs of Dachshunds

The needs of a Doxie overreach those of an average dog (because they’re not your average dog!), so it’s important to educate yourself on the specifics.

Weight Management

Choosing a food focused on weight management is a good idea. Throughout the course of their life, your Doxie will put strain on her spine and the joints in her little legs.

It’s just the way they’re shaped (it’s called chondrodysplasia, or disproportional dwarfism, but more on that in a minute…), and it doesn’t have to be a huge problem if you’re making sure to watch their weight.

It’s vital that a Dachshund stay within a healthy weight range to avoid back injury and maintain healthy joints. (Also when considering their overall health.)

Limit treats to training tools to avoid excess calorie intake. Also, don’t let those adorable little faces fool you — no matter what they say they won’t think you don’t love them if you don’t let them have table scraps.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal conditions are common in Dachshunds (including gastroenteritis and hereditary liver problems — again, we’ll talk about those a little further down this page), so it’s a good idea to look for foods that will be easy on their tummies.

This is a good thing to consult your vet on, some formulas are gentler on a dog’s digestion than others. This is also another good reason to refrain from giving him table scraps — human food isn’t always good for sensitive little bellies.

Cardiac Issues

These are something to watch out for — common to Daschunds is DMVD, or degenerative mitral valve disease) so a food rich in glucosamine and fish oils should help support robust heart health and help keep those joints strong and well-lubricated.

Foods that contribute to weight management with a lower sodium concentrate are preferable, so read your labels. DMVD is another good reason for keeping your dog’s weight in check — hauling around more pounds than they’re built for overworks the heart. 

Oral Health

Dental health requires some extra focus when choosing the best dog food for your Dachshund. Dachshunds have a tendency toward crowded teeth (another symptom of chondrodysplasia). Choose a food that is designed to clean their teeth as they crunch. Size and shape does matter!

Crowded teeth means increased risk of peridontal disease, inflammation, and infection. In addition to choosing an appropriate food that supports dental health, have her teeth cleaned by a professional on a regular basis to help prevent plaque and tartar buildup.

You can try to brush her teeth youself, but good luck! Some Doxies will fight you on it, leading to frustration for you both. If you can’t get them thoroughly clean, again regular cleanings from a licensed professional might be required more frequently.

Typical Health Issues in Dachshunds

As we touched on above, Dachshunds have a higher propensity for some physical issues that other breeds may not. In general, if they get moderate exercise and the right nutrition, they’ll stay happy and healthy.

If cared for properly, Doxies can live to the ripe-old age of 16 years! So what are some of the health concerns we should be looking for as good Dachshund parents?

Chondrodysplasia

Since Doxies suffer from chondrodysplasia, their unique skeletal structure can cause some health problems.

Long-bodied dogs need extra attention to spine support — making sure they maintain a healthy weight, get moderate amounts of exercise, and keeping their joint health in mind are all ways to handle the condition.

DMVD

DMVD (degenerative mitral valve disease) is a leaky heat-valve issue that can be monitored and caught early if you go for regular checkups, as it’s one of the things your vet will be looking for at each wellness visit.

DMVD is another reason keeping a Doxies weight healthy is so important — they don’t need the strain on that tiny heart that obesity causes! Be sure to look for symptoms of shortness of breath, struggles with exercise, and/or coughing after exercise.

If you suspect your Doxie is having a hard time with exercise, take him to the vet for testing.

HGE

Doxies are one of the breeds at risk of developing HGE, or hemorrhagid gastroenteritis — an acute gastrointestinal disorder that can strike even healthy dogs, particularly small breed dogs severely, and without warning.

If left untreated, it can be potentially fatal. Look for symptoms of bloddy diarrhea and vomiting as well as other signs of gastrointestinal distress.

Portosystemic shunt (PSS) can also be behind some of these kinds of symtoms as well as some abnormal neurological behaviors like dizziness and seizure to name a couple. PSS is a hereditary condition in which the liver can’t function effectively to remove toxins.

Often a special diet and medication can be used to treat this disorder, so be sure to ask your vet what kinds of foods are best for liver-support.

Here are a few recommended Health Tests according to the National Breed Club:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

Dachshund Portion Sizes

How much your Doxie should eat depends on a few factors:

  • What is the ideal weight for his or her projected size? Standard Doxies should weigh anywhere from 16-32 pounds, while toy, or mini Doxies should weigh in at no more than 11 pounds.
  • What is his or her current weight?
  • Age plays a role in feeding when it comes to transitioning from puppy food to dry food, as well as the portions your sausage baby should be eating.
  • What is his or her usual level of activity?

Here are some standard guidelines for how much you should feed an average Doxie:

  • Feed Dachshunds 2-4 months of age 4 meals daily. Wet food is best in these early months, and the amount of food they should have at each feeding depends on her weight and veterinary recommendations.
  • Dachshunds 4-6 months old should ideally be eating 3 meals daily. Now is the time for transitioning from wet food to dry as recommended by your vet. Again, amounts at each mealtime should be determined by your Doxie’s current weight and their ideal weight goals.
  • Dachshunds 6-8 months old should be eating 2-3 meals daily. Dry kibble formulated for dental health is recommended. Monitor his or her weight for portion control and calorie count.
  • Doxies over 8 months old should have 2 meals daily, portioned based on current weight vs. ideal weight as determined by your veterinarian.

About treats and other stuff:

  • It’s not recommended to give Doxies any more extra calories than they really need, but treats for training purposes designed to help clean their teeth aren’t a bad idea at all as long as you keep an eye on caloric intake.
  • Aforementioned table scraps should be avoided for lots of reasons, weight notwithstanding. Those little sausage bellies aren’t fit for standard people food unless your veterinarian recommends a raw diet tailored to the needs of your little lap warmer.
  • Free-grazing is discouraged. Leaving food down all day isn’t a good idea because: a) It doesn’t make keeping track of how much they’ve eaten and when they eat easy. Remember, Doxies need to be on a regulated diet, so if you set down their bowl and walk away, they may eat too much too fast or not enough without your knowledge — and b) Leaving food out can cause it to go stale or attract bugs. No one wants bugs in their food, right?

Final Thoughts

For all of their physical sensitivities, these dogs were initially bred to be excellent hunters — they are hounds, after all, so they’ve got great sniffers!

Standards were bred to scent, chase, and flush out burrowing critters, and mini-guys can chase rodents like a champ. Loving and loyal, these guys have a big bark for such a little size, making them excellent watchdogs.

We recommend Royal Canin Dachshund dry dog food for your adult Doxie to keep your little sausage up and running like the hunting machine they were meant to be. If you take good care of them, they’ll be around to take good care of you for many fun-filled years!

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