Can Dachshunds Be Vegan Or Vegetarian?

Can Dachshunds Be Vegan Or Vegetarian?

Are you vegan or vegetarian and want to know if your Dachshund can also be fed the same diet? Maybe you want to know what the health benefits and risks are. Here’s everything you need to know about whether Dachshunds can be vegan or vegetarian.

Can Dachshunds Be Vegan Or Vegetarian? Yes, in theory, Dachshunds can eat vegan or vegetarian diets because they’re omnivores that eat food of plant and animal origin. However, it’s important to feed a ‘complete’ version of their dog food to avoid any dietary deficiencies or other health issues.

Read on to find out whether you should feed your Dachshund a vegan or vegetarian diet, if Dachshunds are carnivores or omnivores, and if you should home cook their meals.

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. Always speak with your Vet before making any dietary changes.


Should You Feed A Dachshund A Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet?

Vegetarian and vegan diets have increased in popularity in recent years.

For humans, they most commonly choose to follow these diets themselves because of their own personal beliefs around the killing and eating of animals and animal by-products.

In some cases, it may also be for health reasons. For example, if they find meat and animal products difficult to digest.

For some, there are also concerns with regards to the environmental impact that eating meat has on the planet.

And for others, there could be religious reasons to consider too.

No matter what the reasoning is behind you personally choosing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for yourself, it’s important that you do not let these views stand in the way of what’s best for the long-term health and wellbeing of your Dachshund.

If eating meat is in your Dachshund’s best interests, then it would be unfair of you to allow your own beliefs to stand in the way of them receiving the most appropriate diet for them.

Feeding a vegetarian or vegan diet needs to be done with knowledge and caution. So it’s always best to speak with your Vet before making these kinds of dietary changes.

Can Dachshunds Be Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Yes, in theory your Dachshund can be vegetarian or vegan.

After all, your Dachshund relies entirely on you to feed them anything at all. So it’s your decision what diet you choose for them.

If you decide to eliminate all meat and animal products from your Dachshund’s diet, then that would make them vegan.

However, it’s not as straight forward as completely removing these products and ingredients from your Dachshund’s diet.

If you were to do this, it would likely cause serious health issues for your Dachshund. Particularly if this diet was given to them for a prolonged period of time. 

So always speak with your Vet for advice before putting your Dachshund on a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Are Dachshunds Carnivores or Omnivores?

Your Dachshund’s ancestors naturally would have eaten a predominately meat-based diet, topped up with smaller amounts of berries and plants that they foraged from the wild.

When they successfully hunted and killed a prey animal, they would then consume the whole of the animal, including their stomach contents.

As most of their prey would have been herbivores, they would also be consuming plant matter that way too.

This made them omnivores, not strict carnivores, as many people often incorrectly think.

The same is true of your own Dachshund today, whose digestive system is still able to effectively digest both plant and meat matter, exactly as their ancestors did before them.

Whilst many Dachshunds are now no longer required to catch and kill their own prey to feed themselves with, they’re still more than capable of digesting both plants and meat as part of their modern-day diet.

Can I Feed My Dachshund Puppy A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet?

Puppyhood is a crucial time for your developing and growing Dachshund puppy. They need carefully balanced nutrients to successfully grow and mature without any complications.

This is particularly important for Dachshunds, whose long spines and prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and short legs are prone to joint problems.

Your Dachshund puppy requires optimum nutrition to ensure they develop strong bones to reduce the chance of issues forming.

Extreme care should be taken to ensure that your Dachshund puppy’s dietary needs are being met completely.

Its highly debatable whether a strict vegetarian or vegan diet can achieve this for them. So always speak to your Vet before making that decision.

Dachshund on bright green background with a speech bubble that says 'Can I be vegan or vegetarian?'
Can a Dachshund be vegan or vegetarian?

Would My Dachshund Choose To Be Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Whilst many Dachshunds undoubtedly enjoy eating fruit, vegetables and plants, it’s debatable whether they’d choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet themselves.

Even if your Dachshund chooses a vegetarian or vegan option over a meat or animal product, that isn’t to say they would do so every time.

It may be the case that they simply didn’t fancy eating the meat or animal product at that particular time. 

In general, Dachshunds tend to love meat and still have that natural instinct to hunt too.

Can My Dachshund Just Eat Vegetables?

No, it’s not advisable to feed your Dachshund solely on vegetable ingredients.

In doing so, your Dachshund is unlikely to be getting the correct amount of protein and other nutrients that they need to stay healthy and not become unwell.

Vegetables alone often don’t contain a great deal of protein, which is essential to your Dachshund’s health and wellbeing.

If your Dachshund’s protein requirements are not being met by feeding them meat products, then a suitable alternative plant-based protein must be provided instead.

By just feeding your Dachshund solely on vegetables, they could potentially become very unwell. 

Will My Dachshund Be Healthy If They Are Vegetarian Or Vegan?

If your Dachshund suffers from food related allergies or intolerances, a vegetarian or vegan diet may be of some benefit to them.

However, it’s vital that whatever diet you choose for your Dachshund is nutritionally complete.

There are specifically tailored vegetarian and vegan diets for dogs available on the market. These would be a better and safer option to feed your Dachshund.

They will have been carefully tested and regulated as “Complete” options. This ensures they’re safe for your Dachshund to consume on a long-term basis.

You can find more details about the nutritional content of dog food on the ‘All About Dog Food” site.

However, it’s always best to speak with your vet before changing your Dachshund over to a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Dachshund on bright green background with a speech bubble that says 'Can I be vegan or vegetarian?'
Can a Dachshund be vegan or vegetarian?

Will A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet Make My Dachshund Unwell?

If the vegetarian or vegan diet you choose for your Dachshund is not nutritionally complete, it could cause them severe health problems, particularly if it’s fed over a long period of time.

To avoid this, make sure that any dog food you choose to feed your Dachshund on, is labelled as “Complete”.

In doing so, you can guarantee that this food contains the correct nutrients required to prevent your Dachshund becoming unwell.

This is because dog food labelled as “Complete” has to legally provide enough nutrition for your Dachshund’s needs.

Can I Feed My Dachshund Home Cooked Vegan Or Vegetarian Meals?

No, don’t attempt to make your Dachshund’s vegetarian or vegan diet yourself at home.

It’s unlikely that it would contain the correct levels of nutrients they need for their size, age and health, to stay healthy and thrive.

In fact, it’s extremely difficult to work out the exact nutritional quantities yourself. And you could cause your Dachshund severe health issues if you get this wrong.

So always speak to your vet before making any drastic changes to your Dachshund’s diet just to be sure you’re doing the right thing.

Are There Any Benefits Of Feeding My Dachshund A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet?

The main benefit of feeding a vegetarian or vegan diet to your Dachshund would be to try and help remedy their allergies or intolerances.

Food intolerances and allergies in Dachshunds are most commonly triggered by certain meat products. Chicken, beef and pork can all be common allergens for Dachshunds.

So unless you can find an alternative or novel meat protein source that your Dachshund can tolerate, you may find that a vegetarian or vegan diet could be a suitable alternative.

Owners often have a great deal of success by eliminating meat proteins and instead replacing it for egg proteins.

By feeding your Dachshund egg as their main protein source, they should get the right amount of protein and other nutrients to keep them healthy.

By removing meat products and leaving behind only plant-based ingredients and egg, you would then be feeding your Dachshund a vegetarian diet.

If your Dachshund requires a fully vegan diet, you could then exchange the egg protein for a plant-based protein.

The most common plant-based proteins for dogs are chickpeas, lentils and peas.

However, food elimination and dietary changes should only ever be done under the supervision of your Vet or a qualified dog nutritionalist.

Don’t try and figure it all out yourself because, if you get the nutritional quantities wrong, you could do more harm than good.

Are There Any Alternative Protein Sources For Dachshunds?

Insect protein is relatively new concept in the dog food world. Although it’s already proving to be a popular, eco-friendly option for you to feed to your Dachshund.

If the reason you’ve chosen to feed your Dachshund a vegetarian or vegan diet is because of concerns surrounding meat’s environmental impact, then insect proteins may be something to look into and speak to your vet about.

The insect-based dog foods are most commonly created from Hermetia Illucen grubs and flies. That’s because this is considered a novel protein source.

They’re said to benefit Dachshunds with allergies and intolerances, as well as having a much lesser environmental impact compared with more traditional meat based diets. 

Definitely something to discuss with your Vet!

To find out what Dachshunds do eat, click here!


So, there you have it! Technically, Dachshunds can be vegan or vegetarian because they’re omnivores that eat food of both plant and animal origin. However, that doesn’t mean to say it’s the right diet to feed them. It’s also important to feed the ‘complete’ version of their dog food to avoid any dietary deficiencies or other health issues.

What do I do next?

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'Can Dachshunds be vegan or vegetarian' heading with a Dachshund on a bright green background with a speech bubble that says 'Can I be vegan or vegetarian?'
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