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Best Dog Foods For Dachshunds: Puppies, Adults & Seniors

Emma Braby

Last Updated: March 23, 2020 | 15 min read

Best Food For Dachshunds

The Dachshund, also affectionately known as the sausage dog, is often thought of as a toy dog, but he is in fact part of the hound group. His spunky and curious nature makes him quite the energetic pup, so he needs a lot more energy than your standard small dog.  He still has a small mouth that needs smaller bites, so many owners find it difficult to find the best food for their Dachshund that’s perfectly balanced. Many Dachshunds are also known for having a sensitive stomach, and many owners comment that they have to try a few kibbles before finding the perfect one for their pooch.

Here in this article we will talk you through each of his life stages and what nutrients he needs during each of them. Using this knowledge, we have scoured the market for the best options for him as a puppy, adult and senior. It is also no secret that the Dachshund loves his food, so we look at some weight management kibbles for those porkier Dachshunds in order to get him back to a healthy weight.

So many kibbles claim to be the next best thing, and if you don’t know what you are looking for it can be quite a scary task finding the best nutrition for your beloved pet. You are not alone though, as many canine parents have no idea what their dog’s nutritional needs are. But you have come to the right place, so sit back, relax, and get ready to learn everything you need to know about your little sausage’s nutritional needs.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Foods for Dachshunds

Puppies: Purina Pro Small Breed Puppy
Adults: Royal Canin Adult Dachshund Food
Seniors: Blue Buffalo Small Breed Life Protection
Weight Management: Science Diet Weight Management

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Amazon.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Dachshund Puppy Nutrient Needs

According to the MSD Veterinary Manual and AAFCO, small breed puppies need a kibble that will contain a minimum protein content of 22% and a minimum fat content of 8%, as these levels will ensure he has enough energy to grow into a healthy adult. Do not feed him anything but puppy formula that is specifically designed for smaller breeds, otherwise it is likely that he will miss out on key breed nutrients. 

It is likely that a puppy Dachshund pup will eat around 1,000 calories every day, but this will be dependent on his size and energy levels, so be sure to follow the package instructions. Remember this will constantly change as he grows into an adult, so be sure to check the instructions regularly. Feed your Dachshund puppy his daily food allowance across 3 different meals, and do not allow him to free feed otherwise he will eat all day long.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is an important ingredient to look for, as this supports healthy brain and eye development. It is naturally found in mothers’ milk and can be found in egg products and fish oils. A blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants should also be listed in the ingredients as they will help to strengthen his developing immune system, which can be found in fruits and vegetables. Omega fatty acids that can be found in fish oils and flaxseed also ensure that his coat and skin are nourished.

Adult Dachshund Nutrient Needs

An adult Dachshund will be fully mature at around the age of 12 months, and when the time comes get ready to slowly transition him from his puppy kibble to an appropriate adult kibble. Again, only adult kibbles that are designed for smaller breeds will do here.

The adult Dachshund should be fed between 2 and 3 meals every day, dependent on yours and his preferences, but again avoid free feeding as he will quickly become overweight. An adult will need around 600 calories a day, whereas an active adult will need around 900 calories a day, but be sure to feed him according to the package instructions and his lifestyle.

A minimum protein content of 18% and a minimum fat content of 5% is required for the adult Dachshund according to the MSD Veterinary Manual, and an overall balance of omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals will keep him healthy and happy.

As many Dachshunds are known to suffer with a sensitive stomach, after consultation with your Veterinarian, it would be wise to consider a kibble that is designed specifically for those with sensitive stomachs, or those kibbles with a higher fiber content.

Senior Dachshund Nutrient Needs

At around the age of 8 years old, although this does differ with different pooches, you should look to slowly transition him to a suitable senior kibble, again, that is specifically designed for small breeds.

A senior Dachshund will need less energy and calories, and you can expect that a typical senior will need around 470 calories a day. Senior kibbles will have fewer calories and fat as his digestive system and metabolism begins to slow down, and he cannot digest fats as efficiently as he once could. Dachshunds are prone to suffering from Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which is why his energy intake needs to be monitored, because the extra weight will increase his chances of this. So, less calories for the seniors please!

These kibbles will also have a much higher glucosamine and chondroitin content, either from meat and fish meals or from extra added supplements, as they keep his aging bones and joints supple. A wide variety of vitamins and minerals are also required to bolster his immune system too.


Best Food for Dachshund Puppies

Dachshund Puppy With Long Hair
Dachshund puppies need nutrient-dense food specifically made for small breeds.

When your Dachshund is a puppy, it’s important to ensure that your little Doxie is getting the nutrition he or she needs.  Puppyhood is the most important time to really zero in on making sure that your dog’s nutrient needs have been met in order to ensure they reach adulthood fully developed

Your puppy can usually stick around with a good nutrient-dense puppy food until they reach 12 to 15 months of age.  Puppy foods usually have a higher calorie count as well to meet your puppy’s growing needs. In no particular order, let’s look at our favorites.

 
Royal Canin
Wellness Puppy
Purina Pro
Blue Buffalo
Nutro Wholesome
Protein
28%
38%
30%
29%
28%
Fats
14%
18%
20%
17%
18%
Fiber
3.9%
4.5%
3%
5%
4%
Moisture
10%
10%
12%
10%
10%
Kcal/Cup
369
510
461
415
409

Royal Canin Dachshund Puppy

Royal Canin Dachshund Puppy Breed Specific...
  • Royal Canin Dachshund Puppy dry dog food is designed to meet the...
  • Exclusive tailor-made kibble to help Dachshund puppies pick up...
  • Helps protect puppy’s developing immune system and natural...
  • Maintains bone & joint health with appropriate levels of calcium...

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This recipe is made by scientists and canine nutritionists who have studied the needs of the Dachshund puppy, and the protein content is much higher than the basic standards set out by AAFCO, so you can be sure his growing muscles have everything they need.

This kibble has the lowest calorie content, so if he is an inactive pup this might make the better option for him. Dried beet pulp and brown rice provide him with plenty of fiber and energy, and with a precise blend of vitamins his immune system will develop as it should.

We love that this recipe is designed with the dachshund puppy in mind, and the kibble pieces are shaped for his unique muscle and bite.


Wellness Core Small Breed Puppy

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Puppy...
  • ADVANCED NATURAL NUTRITION TO FUEL YOUR DOG'S BEST LIFE: Premium...
  • SMALL BREED PUPPY FORMULA: Smaller kibble size and protein...
  • WHOLE BODY HEALTH: Supported by omega fatty acids, antioxidants,...
  • FIND THE RIGHT FOOD: Wellness offers a full range of foods to...

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This premium recipe is made with deboned Turkey, Chicken meal and Turkey meal, which are the first three ingredients, with Salmon meal not far behind, which is exactly why this kibble is full of high quality and lean protein. It also means that there is plenty of glucosamine in this food for his long spine and joints. Many reviewers commented that their pup’s overall wellness had increased since switching to this food.

Broccoli, kale and blueberries ensure that he eats enough antioxidants for his cellular health. It is the only grain free option on this list, which makes it the only option for those Dachshunds who have a sensitive stomach or grain intolerances. 

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content and calorie count for his growing muscles.


Purina Pro Puppy Small Breed

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Small Breed Dry...
  • One (1) 6 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Protein Small Breed Dry...
  • Made with high-quality protein, including real chicken as the #1...
  • Bite-sized kibble helps to make chewing easier for your small dog
  • DHA from omega-rich fish oil helps to nourish brain and vision...

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This recipe has the second highest protein content on this which ensures that he has enough growing power and muscle maintenance thanks to real Chicken ingredients. There are optimum levels of DHA for his brain and eye development too from fish oils, and many reviewers commented how shiny and healthy his coat looked after eating this kibble.

The kibble pieces are small for the mouths of smaller breeds so that chewing is much easier, and calcium rich ingredients ensure that his bones, teeth and gums become stronger and healthier.

We love that this has the highest moisture content, which makes it a great option for those Dachshunds who find the kibble harder to crunch, or who are just particularly picky eaters.


Blue Buffalo Small Puppy

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as...
  • FOR SMALL BREED PUPPIES: BLUE Life Protection Formula Small Breed...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: Formulated for the health and well-being of...

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This recipe has a mixture of smaller kibble pieces and Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, which are packed full of vital nutrients that puppies need to grow into healthy adults. Not only do they boost his immune system, but they are also full of DHA and optimum calcium levels.

Blueberries and cranberries provide him with antioxidants for a healthy oxidative state, and sweet potatoes and whole peas ensure that his digestive tract is supported with essential fiber. Blue Buffalo is one of our ttop brands for Labradors and several other large breed dogs.

We love that this recipe has the highest fiber content, which is great for those Dachshund puppies who suffer with sensitive stomachs or loose stools. 


Nutro Small Breed Puppy

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Small Breed Puppy...
  • Contains one (1) 5-lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural...
  • Tailored Nutrition For Your Small Breed'S Unique Needs
  • This Nutro Dog Food Is Formulated With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Like...
  • Made With Calcium To Build Strong Bones And Joints

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Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients, followed shortly by Lamb meal, so not only is it nutritious, but it is also super tasty for your pups. DHA and calcium are also listed to ensure that his brain and bones develop as they should.

It has a precise blend of vitamins from ingredients such as apples and blueberries, as well as added supplements to support his growing immune system. Fish oils and vitamin E also contribute to a healthy coat and skin.

We love that the first ingredient in this recipe is farm-raised chicken, so not only are his protein needs met but you can rest assured that his food is ethically sourced too.


Best Food for Adult Dachshund

Adult Dachshund
As your adult Dachshund gets closer to a year in age, you’ll need a premium adult food.

Dachsunds start to reach adulthood at 12 to 15 months of age.  Just like Rottweilers or other large breed dogs, you’ll want to start transitioning your Dachshund to an adult dog food at around this age.  You’ll want to transition them slowly because Dachshunds are known for having an extremely sensitive stomach. 

While they aren’t really picky about the food they eat, they can get gassy and make your life a little unpleasant during food transitions.  Plan on integrating your new adult dog food slowly, transitioning over a 3-4 week time.  In no particular order, let’s look at our favorites for your Doxie adult.

 
Royal Canin
Wellness Core
Purina Pro
Blue Buffalo
Merrick Adult
Protein
26%
36%
26%
26%
27%
Fats
12%
15%
16%
15%
16%
Fiber
4.4%
5%
4%
4%
3.5%
Moisture
10%
10%
12%
10%
11%
Kcal/Cup
293
412
429
397
404

Royal Canin Adult Dachshund

Royal Canin Dachshund Adult Breed Specific...
  • Royal Canin Dachshund Adult dry dog food is designed to meet the...
  • Exclusive tailor-made kibble to help Dachshunds pick up and chew...
  • Maintains bone & joint health with calcium and phosphorus to help...
  • Supports a Dachshund’s muscle tone with precise protein content...

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With a lower protein and fat content, this adult kibble now focuses on what the adult Dachshund needs. With Chicken as the main protein source, optimum levels of calcium and glucosamine help to support his joints and bones, which is particularly important for his unique long skeletal structure.

L-carnitine helps to support his metabolism and ensures that he does not put on too much weight for his frame, and beet pulp and brown rice provide him with fiber and healthy carbohydrates to keep him energized. Royal Canin is one of our favorite food manufacturers, making one of the top foods for chihuahuas and other specific breeds.

We love that this kibble is made with the Dachshund adult in mind, and all of his unique breed needs are met with this recipe, as well as uniquely designed kibble pieces suited to his muzzle shape.


Wellness Core Small Breed Adult

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog...
  • Small breed dry dog food: Optimal protein levels and calorie...
  • Enjoy a lifetime of wellbeing: High quality proteins and...
  • Whole body health: Supported by omega fatty acids, antioxidants,...
  • Find the right food: Wellness offers a full range of foods to...

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With the highest level of protein on this list, this recipe is made with deboned Turkey, Turkey meal and Chicken meal that is lean and necessary for muscle maintenance and repair. Salmon oil not only supports his coat and mobility, but along with taurine it keeps his heart healthy.

Superfoods such as spinach and kale are an excellent source of iron, and apples and blueberries provide him with antioxidants for a healthy oxidative balance. Reviewers commented that this recipe was of high quality and their pooches loved it too.

We love that this recipe is grain free so it is the best option for those who are grain intolerant.


Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Small Breed...
  • One (1) 16 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Protein, Sensitive Skin...
  • Salmon is the #1 ingredient
  • Contains easily digestible oat meal
  • No corn, wheat or soy

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This kibble is made with Salmon as the main protein source, along with Salmon meal and fish meal, which makes it a great option for those Dachshunds who are not a fan of the most popular protein source, Chicken. It also means that it provides his body with all the omega fatty acids he needs for a healthy coat and mobility.

Canola meal and a blend of prebiotic fibers aid digestibility, and sooth a sensitive stomach. Many reviewers commented that after years of trying new medications for skin allergies or sensitive stomachs, a simple switch to this kibble resolved their pups health concerns.

We love that is a great option for those Dachshunds with sensitive skin or stomach.


Blue Buffalo Small Breed Adult

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as...
  • SMALL BREED DOG FOOD: Specially formulated for the wellness of...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dog foods are made with the finest...

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Part of the Life Protection line, this kibble follows in the footsteps of the Blue Buffalo puppy kibble. With a precise blend of adult nutrients such as optimum calcium and glucosamine, this kibble will look after your adult Dachshunds bones and joints.

Real Chicken and fish meal provide plenty of protein and energy for his bouncy personality, and omega fatty acids to achieve a beautiful coat. Cranberries not only provide antioxidants but they also provide support for urinary tract health which can be a common issue in smaller dogs.

We love that the LifeSource Bits are cold-formed to ensure that they retain their nutrient potency, and many reviewers commented that their pooches seem to love the different textures in their bowls.


Merrick Small Breed Recipe

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food...
  • One (1) 4.0 pounds bag - Merrick classic healthy grains dry dog...
  • Real deboned chicken is always the first ingredient
  • Small breed dry dog food with grain, including quinoa, supports...
  • Whole grain dog food with leading levels of glucosamine and...

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Merrick have created this recipe with healthy grains such as quinoa and barley, but protein is still the main focus with deboned Chicken and Chicken meal taking first and second place on the ingredients list. Salmon meal and flaxseed look after his mobility and provide a healthy and shiny coat too.

This kibble is full of quality ingredients, which is what most of the reviewers commented on, and their fussy pups also seemed to love the taste too! This kibble has the lowest fiber content, but with carrots and chia seeds he still gets enough to look after his digestive system.

We love that this recipe has leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin which is super important for his bones, joints and long spine.


Best Food for Senior Dachshund

Senior Dachshund with Gray Hair
Senior Dachshunds need hip and joint support as they age.

As your Dachshund starts to age, you’ll want to monitor their food intake.  Doxies are known for gaining weight relatively aggressively if they free feed, so getting them to a Senior food at around 7 years of age or older is a very good idea. 

If you’ve done a good job keeping your pup’s weight in check, any of the below options will work well with your Doxie as they enter their golden years.  In no particular order, let’s look at our favorite foods for older Dachshunds.

 
Royal Canin
Nutro Ultra
Wellness Complete
Blue Buffalo
Merrick Senior
Protein
26%
27%
25%
23%
32%
Fats
12%
13%
12%
13%
12%
Fiber
3.9%
4%
4%
6%
3.5%
Moisture
10%
10%
10%
10%
11%
Kcal/Cup
340
311
435
371
348

Royal Canin Senior Dachshund

Royal Canin Dachshund Adult 8+ Breed Specific...
  • Royal Canin Dachshund dry dog food is designed to meet the...
  • Highly palatable and rehydratable kibble can be mixed with warm...
  • Supports healthy aging into the golden years with a blend of...
  • Maintains bone & joint health with appropriate levels of calcium...

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This recipe is made for the senior Dachshund over 8 years of age. Brown rice and dried beet pulp ensure that he has plenty of carbohydrates for his energy, as well as fiber in his bowl too look after his slowing digestive tract. L-carnitine is also present which helps to regulate his metabolism.

An optimum blend of vitamins and minerals can be found in the ingredients list which ensure that his cellular health is a priority in his golden years, as well as glucosamine for his uniquely long spine and joints.

We love that this recipe is focused entirely on the senior Dachshund and his aging needs, and it is made by leading Veterinarians and canine nutritionists across the world.


Nutro Ultra Senior Small Breed

DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER:NUTRO ULTRA...
  • DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER, Recommended Replacement Item:NUTRO...

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Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients, and Lamb meal and Salmon meal follow not far behind, which all provide him with much needed protein and glucosamine for his slowing mobility. This recipe also has the lowest calorie count, which is important if he now prefers the comfort of your lap rather than long walkies.

Superfoods such as coconut, blueberries, kale and pumpkins ensure that his body receives the nutrients it needs, and chia seeds and flaxseed ensure that his digestive tract and coat are well nourished.

We love that this recipe is known as the ‘superfood plate’, as it provides your senior pup with plenty of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to ensure that his immune system is reinforced in his later years.  It’s often compared to Blue Buffalo as a top brand.


Wellness Complete Senior Small Breed

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small...
  • ENJOY A LIFETIME OF WELLBEING: High quality proteins and...
  • OPTIMAL ENERGY AND HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEMS: Antioxidant rich...
  • WHOLE BODY HEALTH: Supported by omega fatty acids, antioxidants,...
  • FIND THE RIGHT FOOD: Wellness offers a full range of foods to...

If you click the link above and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

This recipe has the highest calorie count per cup, so if you still have an energetic senior Dachshund on your hands then this will provide him with plenty of energy to keep him going throughout the day. Despite this, however, many reviewers commented on how it managed their senior weights well, thanks to other ingredients.

Turkey and Whitefish offer him lean sources of protein and ensures that muscle maintenance is still a key priority in his diet. With a precise blend of vitamins, specifically vitamin A and E, his overall health and happiness is maintained. No preservatives or nasty fillers can be found in this recipe, and many reviewers commented that they were recommended this as a low sodium recipe.

We love that this recipe focuses on his overall health, so you can be sure that every aspect of his senior health is well cared for with this recipe.


Blue Buffalo Small Breed Senior

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as...
  • FOR SMALL BREED SENIOR DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula Small...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: Formulated for the health and well-being of...

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This recipe completes the Blue Buffalo Life Protection set that we have recommended at each stage, so this makes the obvious choice if you have given him this kibble throughout his life. It’s a top senior food brand for Yorkies as well as other small breeds as well.  A mixture of LifeSource Bits and small kibble bites ensure that his interest is piqued with extra taste and texture, as well as being packed with life-stage nutrients.

This recipe has a precise blend of glucosamine and chondroitin which assists with his slowing mobility as well as keeping his teeth strong, and his immune system is supported with fruits and vegetables. Blue Buffalo is often compared to Merrick, another top food brand that you’ll read more about below.

We love that this recipe has the highest fiber content for those senior Dachshunds who need a little bit more help with their digestive tract, or those with loose stools. 


Merrick Senior Lil Plates

Merrick Lil' Plates Grain Free Small Breed...
  • One (1) 12.0 lb Bag - Merrick Lil' Plates Grain Free Small Breed...
  • Real deboned chicken is always the first ingredient in this grain...
  • Dry food for small breed senior dogs crafted with probiotics and...
  • Dry dog food for small dogs made with leading levels of...

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This recipe is made with smaller seniors in mind, and with that it has a higher moisture content which enables smaller pups to chew the kibbles with ease. It is also grain free which makes it a great choice for those pups with intolerances, and it also has plenty of probiotics and prebiotics to help with his slowing digestive system.

It also has the highest protein content thanks to the deboned Chicken, Chicken meal and Salmon meal ingredients. These ingredients, combined with Chicken fat and Salmon oil, also help to lubricate his joints and nourishes his coat from the inside out. Many reviewers commented on how their picky pups loved this recipe over many others.

We love that this senior recipe has leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are crucial for his aging bones and joints.  Merrick is another top food brand, is often thought highly of when compared to Blue Buffalo.


Food for Overweight Dachshund

Fat Dachshund
Overweight Dachshunds should be placed on a weight management food.

If our Dachshunds were left to their own devices they would quickly become as wide as they are long, so it is important to monitor their food intake. Dachshunds, with their long spine, are more prone to suffering from IVDD, and being overweight significantly increases the chance of them suffering from this, as well as a plethora of other serious weight related health concerns. For this reason, their weight needs to be taken seriously, and if you notice those extra pounds creeping up on him, be sure to switch him over to a weight management kibble. Here are our favorite picks for the chunkier Dachshund.


Eukanuba Weight Control

Eukanuba Fit Body Weight Control Small Breed...
  • L-carnitine, 40% less fat* and an adapted blend of carbohydrates...
  • Animal protein combined with over 50% more* Glucosamine and...
  • Dha & Antioxidant to support healthy brain function.

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Specifically designed for small breeds over 12 months, it is made with leaner protein and L-carnitine which helps to stimulate their metabolism which burns off more energy. With a protein content of 29% and a fat content of 10%, which is 40% less compared to their standard adult version of this kibble, you can be sure that your Dachshund will be able to manage his weight much easier with this kibble.

We love the Eukanuba weight control food.  The clean formula with lower calories will ensure your pup maintains a healthy weight.


Science Diet Perfect Weight

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult,...
  • Small breed dog food clinically proven for weight management
  • Over 70 % of dogs lost weight within 10 weeks
  • Give your little dog long lasting weight support
  • This adult pet food helps your tiny dog maintain lean muscle

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This recipe is designed for small and mini-adults who want to find their perfect weight, and over 70% of dogs lost weight within 10 weeks of eating this kibble. With a protein content of 28.6% and a fat content of 11.2%, there are 291 calories per cup which is enough to allow him to get on with his everyday activities, but low enough to lose weight. This kibble is made and recommended by Veterinarians across the world, and it is a recipe that is based on science, so you can be sure it does exactly what it says on the tin.

We love the Science Diet weight control food for smaller breeds.  It’s also on our list for other small breeds, like the Shih-Tzu.


Final Thoughts

The Dachshund is a distinctive looking dog, with equally distinctive nutritional needs. He must be fed life-stage appropriate food that is designed for smaller breeds, whilst ensuring enough protein for his energetic personality. He should never be allowed to put on too much weight, but if it does happen, be sure to switch him to weight management kibbles, otherwise the chances of him suffering from IVDD increase significantly.

Thankfully, with our recommendations listed above, there is something for every Dachshund out there, and every Doxie owner too. So, if you stick to our favorite picks, you can be sure that your little sausage’s nutritional needs are met in every way.

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