Have you just got a new Dachshund puppy? Are you trying to work out where to start and what you need to do? There’s a lot to think about at first, so here’s 16 of the most important tips to get your started with your new Dachshund puppy!
The Best 16 Tips For New Dachshund Owners:
- Look After Your Dachshund’s Back
- Lift And Hold Your Dachshund Correctly
- Don’t Over-Exercise Your Puppy In The First 12 Months
- Feed The Best Dog Food You Can Afford
- Learn Which Foods Are Toxic To Dachshunds
- Watch Your Dachshund’s Weight
- Dachshund Proof Your Home And Garden
- Start Basic Dog Training Straight Away
- Put A Garden Table On Your Lawn
- Decide On The Rules And Stick To Them
- Start Socialising Your Dachshund Puppy
- Get Your Dachshund Used To Being Touched
- Make Contact With Your Local Vet
- Get Pet Insurance For Your Dachshund
- Bring Your Dachshund Up Your Own Way
- Try Not To Worry!
Read on to find out more about the best tips new Dachshund owners need to think about.
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
TIP 1 – Look After Your Dachshund’s Back
One in four Dachshunds suffers with Intervertebral Disc Disease, or IVDD as it’s also known, so looking after your puppy’s back must be your top priority.
So don’t allow your Dachshund to go up and down stairs or steps and stop him jumping on and off things as much as you can.
It’s better to either use a ramp to help him get up and down onto the bed or sofa, or simply lift him yourself.
Puppies will obviously run around and do things you don’t want them to do, and sometimes it can’t be avoided.
But you need to make a conscious effort to carry your Dachshund up and down any steps when you can, and block off your stairs using baby gates.
- To find out more about IVDD and how to care for a Dachshund’s back, click here
- To find out more about stairs and what to do, click here
TIP 2 – Lift And Hold Your Dachshund Correctly
It’s important to lift your Dachshund the right way. You need to put one hand under his front legs and the other under his bottom to support his back.
Don’t ever lift your Dachshund by the front legs or let his body dangle down. This is a complete no-no and could put extra pressure on his long back.
When holding a Dachshund, keep his body as even and straight as possible and always be gentle and careful.
TIP 3 – Don’t Over-Exercise Your Puppy In The First 12 Months
It’s important you don’t over-exercise your puppy on a leash for the first 12 months.
Stick to the 5 minutes per month of age rule until his bones and muscles have fully developed.
So, for a 3 month old Dachshund, that would be 15 minutes of leash exercise a day. And for a 6 month old Dachshund, that would be 30 minutes of leash exercise a day.
This is just for the formal ‘leash‘ exercise though. You can still play with your Dachshund during the day in addition to this time.
- To find out more about a Dachshund’s exercise needs, click here
TIP 4 – Feed The Best Dog Food You Can Afford
Feed your Dachshund the best dog food you can afford. You want to give him as much good nutrition as possible to keep his bones healthy and strong.
In the UK, Scrumbles and Lily’s Kitchen are good options. Scrumbles dog food is free from the common allergens, is gluten free, has no palm oil, pea protein or added salt and sugar and they also have grain free options available.
Wherever you are in the world, check the ingredients list on the back of your dog food and go for natural ingredients where possible. Try to avoid things like meat-meal, grains, fillers, added salt and sugar etc.
Whenever you change your Dachshund’s dog food, always do it gradually and slowly to avoid tummy upset. Do this by mixing his current dog food with his new dog food and then increase the proportion of new dog food over the next 7 days.
- To find out more about what Dachshunds eat, click here
TIP 5 – Learn Which Foods Are Toxic To Dachshunds
It’s important to be aware of the human foods that are toxic to Dachshunds as some may even surprise you!
Foods Dachshunds MUST NOT eat include chocolate, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, avocado, macadamia nuts, cooked bones, xylitol sweetener (found in many foods) and sweets.
So, before you feed any human food, just make sure you double-check it’s safe for Dachshunds to eat.
TIP 6 – Watch Your Dachshund’s Weight
You need to make sure your Dachshund stays at a healthy weight. If he becomes overweight, it’ll put extra pressure on his already fragile back.
Dachshunds LOVE food and are very skilled at manipulating owners to get what they want!
Luckily, they also like crunchy veg like small chunks of carrot and cucumber. So swap out fatty shop bought treats for healthier veggie options.
Dachshunds are sadly prone to obesity. So just make sure he has a visible tuck to his waist and you can feel his ribs with your hands.
- To find out the ideal weight for a Dachshund, click here
TIP 7 – Dachshund Proof Your Home And Garden
If you have a new Dachshund puppy, you’ll need to adapt your home and garden to keep him safe (and your things safe too!).
Dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs to burrow down and flush badgers from their setts.
They’re excellent diggers, they love to chew and, like all puppies, can be into anything and everything.
- To Dachshund-proof your home, click here
- To Dachshund-proof your garden, click here
TIP 8 – Decide On The Rules And Stick To Them
Decide what you’re going to allow your Dachshund to do and what you’re not. Routines and consistency are really important when your puppy is young.
If you don’t want your Dachshund on the sofa, don’t lift him up there. A quick cuddle will confuse him and he won’t understand when you say no in the future.
It’s better if you sit down on the floor and let him cuddle you there. Dachshunds only understand black and white, so start as you mean to go on!
TIP 9 – Start Basic Dog Training Straight Away
You can start basic dog training with your Dachshund at 8 weeks old. They learn most things in the first 16 weeks of their lives, so be sure to make time for training early on.
Here are the basics to get your started:
TIP 10 – Put A Garden Table On Your Lawn
The vast majority of Dachshunds hate the wind and rain. When they’re small, they can get a bit cold outside and prefer to piddle indoors!
If possible, put a garden table (or similar) on your lawn during the first few months. This is so your Dachshund always has a dry place underneath to wee.
Having that cover and a dry patch of grass will really help when trying to establish the new potty routine.
TIP 11 – Start Socialising Your Dachshund Puppy
Even though your Dachshund can’t start going out until he’s had all his jabs, you can still begin socialisation.
Get your Dachshund used to noises like the TV, hoover, washing machine and music. Dress up in different clothes, put hats on and also glasses.
Carry your Dachshund around the block so he gets used to all the different sights, sounds and smells. Take him for a drive so he gets used to being in the car with you.
Ask friends and family to come over to see him so he gets to meet a whole range of different people, male and female.
Think about the things you do in your normal life and try to expose him to those things bit-by-bit.
TIP 12 – Get Your Dachshund Used To Being Touched
Some Dachshunds can be a it funny about having their teeth, feet, nails and ears touched. So start getting him used to this while he’s still young.
If you give your pup a bath, make sure you use dog shampoo (not human shampoo). Dachshunds can be prone to skin issues so try to choose something natural and fragrance free.
In the UK, Earthbath is a good brand of dog shampoo as it’s fragrance free and contains aloe and oatmeal which is great for a Dachshund’s skin. They also do a fragrance free conditioner.
- To find out how to bathe your Dachshund, click here
- To find out how to clean your Dachshund’s ears, click here
- To find out how to cut your Dachshund’s nails, click here
- To find out how to groom your Dachshund, click here
TIP 13 – Make Contact With Your Local Vet
When you get your new puppy, book them in for a health check at your local vets.
It’s good for the puppy to meet the vet when he’s young so he has a positive association about going there in future.
You need to discuss flea and worming treatments and schedule his vaccination appointments too.
- If you want to know how to care for a new Dachshund puppy, click here
TIP 14 – Get Pet Insurance For Your Dachshund
Always get pet insurance for your Dachshund. One in four Dachshunds are prone to the painful and debilitating back condition IVDD.
The cost of surgery runs into many, many thousands and ongoing treatment can be extremely costly.
In the UK, Bought By Many and the Kennel Club Pet Insurance are both good options. It’s good to get Lifetime Cover with vet fees of around £15K.
If you get a few weeks free pet insurance from your breeder, don’t wait for that to run out before you get your own.
When you take out new pet insurance, you won’t be covered for any claims during the first 2 weeks. So be sure to organise your own insurance at least 2 weeks before theirs runs out.
- To find out more about pet insurance for Dachshunds, click here.
TIP 15 – Bring Your Dachshund Up Your Own Way
There are many things Dachshund owners do agree on – but there are also many things they don’t!
After doing your own research, there are some decisions you’re going to have to make yourself.
Some of the things Dachshund owners won’t EVER agree on are:
- Puppy pads for potty training
- Crate training
- The best age to neuter or spay
- The best dog food
- Feeding RAW food
- Collar vs Harness
- Sleeping in bed with your Dachshund
- Whether Dachshunds can go off leash
- How long Dachshunds can be left
So, if you start feeling overwhelmed or confused, that’s totally understandable. There aren’t always right and wrong answers and there are always pros and cons.
It’s best to do your own research, read the blog, and make informed decisions that are right for you and your new Dachshund.
TIP 16 – Try Not To Worry!
Even though getting a puppy is all new and there’s a lot to think about at first, try not to worry.
Everyone starts where you’re starting right now. No one knows it all to begin with but there’s lots of time to figure things out.
There’s plenty of help if you need it too, so you’re not on your own. Read the blog or join the Facebook group that goes with it, and reach out if you have any questions.
Things may not always go to plan with your new puppy, and that’s OK too. Day by day things will get easier as you settle into the new routine.
Everyone goes through the puppy stage and comes out the other side. It may be hard and you may feel a bit overwhelmed at first, but this is normal and it’s going to be fine
Dachshunds are smart and loyal dogs with so many amazing traits. All they really need you to do is LOVE them, so they can LOVE you right back in abundance. ❤️
- To find out more about new puppy overwhelm, click here
- To find out how to care for a new Dachshund puppy, click here
So, there you have it! If you have a new Dachshund puppy and don’t know where to begin, follow these 16 tips to learn how to look after your new Dachshund properly!
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