Dogs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but few are as instantly recognizable as the dachshund. And looks aside, wiener dogs have great personalities to go along with their somewhat comical appearance!
But 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.
We’ll help you do exactly that below, by sharing nine of the best dachshund foods on the market. Check ’em out!
Quick Picks: Best Low Protein Dog Food
- #1 Nom Nom [Best Overall Dog Food for Dachshunds]: Fresh, custom-crafted dog food made with human-grade ingredients and shipped right to your front door.And as a K9 of Mine reader, you can get 50% off!
- #2 Blue Buffalo Small Breed [Best Kibble/Dry Food for Dachshunds]: A nutritious, antioxidant-rich kibble that’s specifically designed for small breeds.
- #3 CANIDAE [Best Canned/Wet Food for Dachshunds]: An ideal choice for picky pooches, this is one of the few grain-inclusive canned foods on the market.
- #4 Diamond Naturals Small Breed [Most Affordable Dog Food for Dachshunds]: A very reasonably priced option that doesn’t force you to compromise on nutrition.
Characteristics of High-Quality Weiner Dog Foods
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 dog 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, alleviating the need for artificial flavors. And while artificial colors are sometimes added to make the food look appealing to humans, your dog couldn’t care less about the color of his chow.
- 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 (such as whitefish meal or chicken meal).
The 9 Best Dog Foods for Dachshunds: Pooch-Appealing Picks!
Ready to find a new food for your dachshund? Here are our favorites, broken down into a few categories for wiener dogs with different kinds of needs and preferences!
1. Nom Nom
About: Nom Nom offers human-grade foods that are custom crafted for your dog and shipped right to your front door. And for added convenience, this fresh food delivery service pre-portions your dog’s dinner so that you don’t have to measure out your doggo’s meals.
- All meals are formulated by a nutritionist and board-certified veterinarian
- Nom Nom foods are made in small batches at US-based facilities
- These foods are custom crafted for your dog’s individual needs
- No subscription required
- Can be used as a nutritious topper or served on its own
Ingredients (Turkey Recipe):
Ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach...,
- Most dogs go crazy for the taste and premium ingredients used in this food
- Unlike some other fresh food brands, Nom Nom doesn’t require you to enroll in a subscription plan
- The pre-portioned packaging makes mealtime a breeze for most pooch parents
- We love that these foods are custom-formulated for your specific pet
- The single-serving packaging isn’t especially eco-friendly
- Fresh food can be challenging to serve while on the go
- Unsurprisingly given the food’s quality, these meals are pricey
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed
About: This small breed dog food from Blue Buffalo is a great choice for pet parents looking for top-notch nutrition and taste at a more affordable price point than fresh options. Packed with real, whole proteins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and supplemental chondroitin and glucosamine, this food checks just about every box owners could want!
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed
A high-quality kibble that’s fortified with probiotics and joint supplements.
- Whole meat is the first ingredient
- This food is full of omega 3s and fortified with joint supplements and probiotics
- The included “LifeSource Bits” provide a boost of antioxidants
- This kibble is made in the USA
- It’s designed specially for small breed dogs
Ingredients (Lamb Recipe):
Deboned Lamb, Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,
- This food’s small kibble size is perfect for pint-sized pooches
- Blue Buffalo is relatively affordable for its impressive quality and ingredient list
- It’s a great source of omega-3s, antioxidants, and joint-supporting supplements
- Not all dogs will enjoy the “LifeSource Bits” and may attempt to pick around them
- Limited flavors; you can only choose between lamb or chicken for this food line
3. CANIDAE Pure
About: While most owners prefer kibble, many four-footers prefer canned foods. But unfortunately, there aren’t many grain-inclusive canned options on the market.
However, Canidae Pure is a palate-pleasing canned food that not only features grains but also all of the vitamins, minerals, and calories your little wiener dog needs to stay healthy.
A US-made, grain-inclusive wet food that’ll keep your dog’s lips smackin’.
- A whole meat (chicken, lamb, or turkey) is the first listed ingredient
- Made with salmon oil (a great source of omega 3s)
- Formulated for all life stages
- Made in the USA
- One of the few grain-inclusive wet foods
Ingredients (Chicken & Rice Formula):
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Brown Rice...,
- Most dogs love the taste of this wet food
- It’s rare to find a wet food that’s made in the USA and grain-inclusive
- Serves as a great source of omega 3s to support joint health and provide a shiny coat
- Canned food can be difficult to portion out and store
- Wet foods are a bit more expensive than kibble
4. Diamond Naturals:
About: If you’re looking for a nutritious food that won’t break the bank, this affordable kibble from Diamond Naturals is certainly worth considering. But even though this food features a price tag pet parents love, it still satisfies almost all the nutritional requirements you’d want for your pup’s dinner.
A high-quality, small breed dog food that’s available at an affordable price.
- Whole meat is the first ingredient
- Fortified with 5 different probiotic strains
- Made with antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies
- Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients
- Formulated specifically for small-breed adult dogs
Ingredients (Chicken and Rice Recipe):
Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice, peas...,
- This dry food provides a great combination of affordability and quality
- The small-sized kibble is perfect for your dachshund’s tiny teeth
- Diamond Naturals also offers chicken-free recipes for any dogs with sensitivities
- Some of the ingredients (such as cracked pearled barley) aren’t as impressive as the ones used in more expensive foods
- Digestive issues were reported by a handful of dog parents, though this can happen with any food
5. Wellness Complete
About: Wellness Complete is a nutritious, US-made kibble that’s perfect for young dachshunds. Specifically made for small-breed puppies, this food contains plenty of fiber and supplemental probiotics to ensure problem-free digestion, and the individual kibblets are small enough for your pint-size pooch’s mouth.
A tasty kibble that’s designed to satisfy the nutritional needs of small-breed puppies.
- Supplies DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) for your pup’s developing brain
- Includes antioxidant-rich ingredients like carrots and blueberries
- Made in the USA without by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives
- Whole meat is the first ingredient
- Formulated with 4 different probiotic strains
Ingredients (Turkey and Salmon Recipe):
Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Salmon Meal, Barley...,
- Most dogs appear to love the taste of this multi-meat food
- Contains omega-3-rich salmon and salmon oil for a shiny coat and healthy joints
- This kibble is made with probiotics and plenty of fiber-rich ingredients to support your puppy’s digestive system
- This food features a mix of proteins, which could be a problem for dogs with food sensitivities
- Some owners characterize tomato pomace as a “filler” (though it’s certainly not harmful)
6. Nutro Senior
About: Proper nutrition is just as important for older dogs as it is for young little whipper snappers, so you’ll want to be sure to choose a chow that’ll keep your older pooch happy and healthy. This senior food by Nutro is a great choice, as it’s made in the USA and packed with antioxidants, whole grains, and vitamins to help your furry friend feel his absolute best.
A nutritious, palate-pleasing kibble made specifically for small breed seniors.
- Whole, real chicken is the first ingredient
- Made with fiber-rich ingredients like spinach, peas, and pumpkin
- Packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients to support your senior
- Fortified with calcium to support healthy joints and bones as your pup ages
- Made in the USA
Ingredients (Chicken Recipe):
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice...,
- This food is packed with nutritious ingredients, including antioxidant-rich produce and whole grains
- The tiny-sized kibble is perfect for compact canines like senor dachshunds
- This food provides excellent value, given its nutritional profile and affordable price point
- We’d prefer if this dog food line was available with different protein options
- Though dogs didn’t seem to mind, some owners didn’t care for the smell of this food
7. Natural Balance L.I.D.
About: Have a dachshund who suffers from food allergies or intolerances? You may want to try a limited-ingredient diet (L.I.D.) option to help avoid problematic proteins.
Natural Balance is a great choice for these types of situations, as it not only features a relatively short ingredient list that’s devoid of common triggers, it’s also designed specifically for small-breed doggos.
- This kibble only contains a single animal protein to avoid triggering allergies
- Unlike many other L.I.D. recipes, this food is grain-inclusive
- Made in the USA
- Designed specifically for small breeds
- Made without common triggers, including chicken, beef, and soy
Ingredients (Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe):
Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran...,
- We love that this specialized formula is still very reasonably priced
- Unlike some other L.I.D. recipes, this food seems to appeal to most pupper palates
- Natural Balance provides a charity rebate program to support qualified dog rescues in exchange for your proof of purchase
- We’d love if this food were available with multiple protein options
- This food is only available in relatively small bag sizes (4 and 12 pounds)
8. Purina Pro Plan
About: Dogs of all breeds can suffer from sensitive digestive systems, but dachshunds seem to experience these kinds of issues more than many others. Accordingly, you may need to pick a food that’s specifically designed to be easy on your pup’s tummy.
Purina Pro Plan is a great choice for these kinds of situations, as it’s made with easy-to-digest salmon and rice, and it’s fortified with prebiotics and probiotics to promote problem-free digestion.
Purina Pro Plan
A small breed dog food specifically formulated for pups with sensitive stomachs.
- Salmon is a great high-quality protein source and the food’s first listed ingredient
- Made with prebiotics and probiotics to support healthy digestion
- Recipe includes tons of omega fatty acids for coat health
- Made without tummy-triggering produce
- Contains no corn, wheat, or soy
Ingredients (Salmon and Rice Recipe):
Salmon, Rice, Barley, Canola Meal, Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine)...,
- Most pups with sensitive stomachs tend to do well with this kibble
- Not only contains probiotics but also prebiotics (food for the probiotic microbes) for maximum digestive support
- This dry food is surprisingly affordable for a specialized small breed formula
- Some owners dislike the “fish-like” smell of this dry food
- The taste of this food didn’t seem to drive dogs wild like some other brands
9. Taste of The Wild Dry Dog Food
About: Grains (especially whole grains) provide pups with plenty of essential nutrients, which is why we usually recommend owners select grain-inclusive dog foods. That being said, a small number of four-footers fail to handle grains as well as their owners would like.
In cases like this, a grain-free dog food — like this Taste of the Wild recipe — is a great option for any furry friend who are sensitive to grains. The protein-packed food will provide your pooch with plenty of energy to feel his best throughout the day.
Taste of The Wild Dry Dog Food
A grain-free dog food that’s made with whole meat and fortified with probiotics.
- Whole venison is the first listed ingredient
- Made with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
- Packed with “superfoods” like antioxidant-rich blueberries
- Contains multiple proteins to please pupper palates
- Made without any grains, including corn or wheat
Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils...,
- Though most dogs should receive a grain-inclusive food, this is an excellent option for those who need to avoid grains
- This food is fortified with probiotics to help support problem-free digestion
- This food contains five different animal-derived proteins
- Multi-protein foods can be problematic for dogs with food allergies or intolerances
- a small number of dogs experienced an upset stomach after eating this food
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 take it easy 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. This means you may want a dog food that’s fortified with joint supplements, including things like glucosamine and chondroitin.
- 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 3 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. Some dogs may even get infected or impacted anal glands. 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.
How Many Calories Does My Dachshund Need?
Your dog’s ideal daily calorie intake depends greatly on his age, weight, lifestyle, activity level, and the recommendations provided by your veterinarian.
In order to determine the most accurate calorie needs of your dog, you’ll need to figure out your dog’s resting energy requirement (RER).
This way, you and your pet-health professional can figure out the individual calorie needs for your canine companion.
As a ballpark figure, you can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on your dog’s food, or consult a calorie chart like this one.
Since dachshunds typically weigh between 16 and 32 pounds, you can estimate that they’ll need anywhere from 320 to 640 calories per day.
With all that being said, the only accurate way is to determine your dog’s individual calculation in collaboration with your veterinarian.
If you are interested in providing your dachshund with a food likely to keep him healthy and happy, consider the ones 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!