Dogs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but few are as instantly recognizable as the dachshund.
Built long and low to the ground, these cute little wiener dogs have great personalities to go along with their somewhat comical appearance!
Unfortunately, this unusual build has saddled dachshunds with a few health concerns that can reduce their quality of life. So, it is important to ensure that you provide your dachshund with a food that can help minimize these problems and deliver the kind of nutrition your pup deserves!
Best Dachshund Food: Quick Picks
- Wellness CORE Small Breed Recipe [Most Protein] Protein-packed formula with turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal as first 3 ingredients. Grain-free, high-fiber ingredients along with plenty of probiotics and prebiotics too!
- Blue Buffalo’s Small Fish & Brown Rice [Best Fish Recipe] Whitefish as #1 ingredient with no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Nutro Adult Small Breed [More Affordable] Chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients, plus healthy complex whole grain carbohydrates like whole brown rice and whole grain oatmeal.
Characteristics of a Reliable Weiner Dog Food
While different breeds and individuals have varying dietary needs, almost all dogs require foods that possess a few key characteristics. Try to ensure that any food you purchase for your dog exhibits the following traits:
- Good foods are made in countries with high safety standards. Ideally, you should look for brands manufactured in the United States, but foods made in western Europe, New Zealand, Australia or Canada are usually produced under similarly stringent standards.
- Good dog foods feature a real meat, such as chicken, turkey, beef or salmon, as their first listed ingredient. While properly identified meat-meals (for example, chicken meal) are acceptable ingredients, ideally meat meals should be listed after the primary protein.
- Good dog foods leave out unnecessary additives, such as artificial colors or flavors. A good recipe will ensure that your dog finds his food palatable. Artificial colors are sometimes added to make the food look appealing to humans (dogs could care less). Neither added flavors nor colors are necessary, and they can lead to food allergies and other problems.
- Good dog foods do not include unidentified meat-meals or byproducts. Ingredients like mystery meat meal or poultry byproduct may be comprised of any number of species; so, you should stick to foods that identify the species used to produce the meal or byproduct (ex. fish meal or chicken meal).
Important Considerations for Feeding Dachshunds
While there are several types of dachshunds with varying sizes and colors, all have a number of health concerns, and it is important to select a food with these issues in mind.
While few foods will perform miracles, those that are specifically designed to address common dachshund problems are better than those that do not.
Some of the most important health problems that may be treatable via proper food selection include:
- Obesity – It doesn’t take many extra calories to fatten up these small dogs, so it is important to provide dachshunds with a low calorie food formulated for dogs prone to obesity, and/or ensure that you are not overfeeding your Dachshund. Additionally, you’ll want to go lightly on treats and other sources of empty calories.
- Bone and Joint Issues – Dachshunds actually suffer from a type of dwarfism, called chondrodysplasia. Accordingly, their joints are subject to a variety of problems. Many of these joint problems occur within the breed’s vertebrae, which are interconnected somewhat poorly.
Always support your dachshund’s back when holding him, and never encourage them to stand up and beg (tricks that require standing on hind legs aren’t generally recommended for any breed that is prone to arthritis).
You may also want to consider keeping an eye out for dog food that aids in joint health – look for ingredients like glucosamine and chrondotin.
- Skin and Coat Problems – Dachshunds suffer from a variety of different skin problems, many of which are genetic in nature. Although you can’t correct a genetic problem via food, you can help to promote overall skin and coat health with a smart food choice. Look for dogs that contain ingredients like fish oil and omega 6 fatty acids.
- Urinary Issues and Stones – It is important to be observant for any urinary problems afflicting your pup. Many such problems may require you to use a specially formulated pet food to help eliminate stones. Consult with your vet before making a food choice in these situations, as they may be able to recommend special prescription diets.
- Anal Gland Problems – Dogs have two anal glands, situated on either side of their anus. These glands normally empty during the process of defecation, but if your dachshund experiences constipation or diarrhea, they may fail to empty properly. Accordingly, it is important that you feed your dachshund a food he digests easily; those with multiple fiber sources, easily digested proteins, and probiotics are preferable.
5 Best Dog Foods for Dachshunds
Some of the best dog foods for dachshunds include the following:
1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed Recipe
High quality grain-free recipe
Made of fiber-rich ingredients combined with probiotics and prebiotics for smooth digestion.
About: Wellness CORE Small Breed Recipe is a great choice for most dachshunds, and it is packed with plenty of high-quality ingredients. Despite being a grain-free recipe, it still includes high-fiber ingredients to help ensure smooth digestive function for your pup.
- 100% grain-free recipe contains no wheat or corn
- Deboned turkey is the first listed ingredient to ensure your dachshund loves the taste and gets the protein he needs
- Includes probiotics (beneficial bacteria), prebiotics (food for beneficial bacteria) and fiber to ensure proper digestion
- Made in the USA under strict quality controls
Wellness CORE has a very impressive ingredient list that satisfies all of the desires you’d have from a premium dog food, and it seeks to address many of the problems to which dachshunds are vulnerable. Additionally, most dog owners who’ve tried the food report that their pet finds it delicious.
The only real drawback to Wellness CORE is its price; it is one of the most expensive foods in this review. However, if money is no object, this makes a phenomenal choice, as it’s our top pick when it comes to quality.
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas...,
Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Spearmint, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Fish & Brown Rice
Grain-inclusive nibbles with whitefish as #1 ingredient
Nutritious, high-quality fish-based food that’s fortified with probiotics and other supplements for optimal nutritional value.
About: Blue Buffalo’s Small Breed Fish & Brown Rice formula provides exactly the type of nutritious ingredients your low-and-loveable dachshund requires – especially for pups that love fish!
- Real deboned whitefish is the first listed ingredient
- Made with Blue Buffalo’s trademarked LifeSource Bits – antioxidant rich nibbles of goodness your dog will love
- Fortified with vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other supplements for optimal nutritional value
- Made in the USA for maximum safety and quality
Blue Buffalo boasts one of the most impressive ingredient lists among the foods surveyed, and it makes an ideal selection for most dachshunds. Blue Buffalo isn’t just a high-quality food – it is also the most affordable of the five foods recommended in this review.
Users have reported very few complaints about Blue Buffalo. However, it would be nice to see the #2 ingredient be meat protein as well.
Deboned Whitefish, Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids...,
Whole Ground Brown Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols),Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids),Natural Fish Flavor,Whole Potatoes,Peas,Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene),Whole Carrots,Whole Sweet Potatoes,Blueberries,Cranberries,Apples,Blackberries,Pomegranate,Spinach,Pumpkin,Barley Grass,Dried Parsley,Garlic,Alfalfa Meal,Dried Kelp,Yucca Schidigera Extract,L-Carnitine,L-Lysine,Glucosamine Hydrochloride,Turmeric,Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols),Dried Chicory Root,Oil of Rosemary,Beta Carotene,Vitamin A Supplement,Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1),Riboflavin (Vitamin B2),Niacin (Vitamin B3),d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5),Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6),Biotin (Vitamin B7),Folic Acid (Vitamin B9),Vitamin B12 Supplement,Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C),Vitamin D3 Supplement,Vitamin E Supplement,Iron Amino Acid Chelate,Zinc Amino Acid Chelate,Manganese Amino Acid Chelate,Copper Amino Acid Chelate,Choline Chloride,Sodium Selenite,Calcium Iodate,Salt,Caramel,Calcium Carbonate,Potassium Chloride,Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae),Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product,Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product,Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
3. NUTRO Adult Small Breed Dog Food
Budget-friendly food made with non-GMO ingredients
Chicken-based food with brown rice and oatmeal for carbs. It’s made in the USA too!
About: Nutro Adult Small Breed is a fantastic option for dachshund owners who are dedicated to providing their pet with a high-quality food at a slightly lower price-point, designed specifically with small breeds in mind.
In addition to high-quality proteins, Nutro Small Breed is made with whole grains to avoid the empty calories refined grains provide.
- Real chicken is the first listed ingredient and responsible for the food’s great taste
- Features whole brown rice and whole grain oatmeal – both of which are excellent carbohydrate sources
- Formulated with an ideal mix of antioxidants to boost your pup’s immune system
- Made in the USA under strict health, safety and quality guidelines
Nutro provides most of what you’d want in a premium dog food, without the premium price tag. Although it is missing some of the bells and whistles that some higher-priced foods offer, it provides your dog with a no-frills, healthy diet to keep him happy for years to come.
While Nutro Small Breed food features a number of high-quality ingredients and supplements, it lacks probiotics, which may be helpful for ensuring your dachshund digests his food well.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Whole Brown Rice...,
Whole Grain Oatmeal, Rice Bran, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Soybean Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Biotin, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
4. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Flavor Small Breed Dog Food
Features novel protein (venison) and a smaller kibble size
Grain-free formula with venison and lamb as the first ingredients.
About: Taste of the Wild, Small Breed Appalachian Recipe is a meat-based dog food that lists real venison as the first ingredient. Designed to reflect the diet of wild canids, Taste of the Wild will appeal to your tiny dachshund’s inner wolf.
- Venison – a nutritious and novel protein source — is the first listed ingredient
- Contains three different probiotics to help ensure proper digestive function
- Small kibble size to suit your dachshund’s tiny teeth and jaws
- Easily digested ingredients ensure your dog will feel great after eating
Taste of the Wild is full of high quality proteins, fruits and vegetables to ensure a well-rounded diet. But it may also be a great option for dogs suffering from food allergies, thanks to its reliance on venison and lamb meal – both of which are rare among dog foods, and relatively unlikely to trigger your pup’s allergies.
Like most other premium dog foods with impressive ingredients, Taste of the Wild is an expensive option. However, it is well worth the value, given its great taste and high nutritional value.
Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils...,
Pea protein, canola oil, egg product, duck meal, pea flour, tomato pomace, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
5. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dog Food
Smaller kibble that doesn’t slack on nutrition
Features turkey, chicken meal, and salmon along with peas, lentils, and chickpeas for a grain-free formula.
About: Like the Wellness Core product line, Wellness Complete Health Small Breed is made from wholesome, nutritious ingredients and avoids unnecessary dog food additives.
- Deboned turkey is a great protein source for dogs, and it is the first listed ingredient
- Contains only natural ingredients, with no corn, wheat or soy
- Small kibble size is perfectly suited for small breeds, such as dachshunds
- Made in the USA for maximum safety and premium quality
Most dogs find Wellness Complete to be tasty, and their owners love the ingredient list, which includes not only premium proteins, but plenty of vegetables and colorful fruits too. Wellness Complete is completely grain-free, and relies on chick peas, lentils, sweet potatoes and other ingredients to provide carbohydrates.
Dog owners have very few complaints about Wellness Complete; those that reported a negative experience had usually received expired products, or suffered through similar problems related to retailer storage or shipping logistics. As to be expected from such a high-quality food, Wellness Complete is at the high-end of the price range for most dog foods.
Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas...,
Salmon Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Potatoes, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Tomatoes, Natural Chicken Flavor, Carrots, Spinach, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Apples, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorby l-2-Polyphosphate, Chicory Root Extract, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Yucca schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
If you are interested in providing your dachshund with a food likely to keep him healthy and happy, consider the five listed above. Most of these should provide your pup with the nutrition he needs and a great taste that will have him waiting at his food dish for dinner time.
What do you feed your dachshund? We’d love to know what products have worked well and which ones left something to be desired. Let us know in the comments below.
Also, if you can’t get enough of these adorable weiner dogs, make sure to also check out our collection of Dachshund mixed breeds – boy are those guys cute!