Is your Dachshund overweight? Are you wondering how to help your Dachshund lose weight? Here’s everything you need to know about helping your Dachshund lose those extra pounds steadily and safely.
How Do I Help My Dachshund Lose Weight? Take your Dachshund to the vets to check nothing is medically wrong. Reduce the amount of food you’re feeding and adjust your Dachshund’s diet, including swapping out processed treats for fresh vegetables. Gradually increase their daily exercise over time.
Obesity can not only shorten a Dachshund’s life but any extra weight can also put pressure on their already fragile back. Read on to find out how to help your Dachshund lose weight with the best diet and exercise tips.
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.
Take your Dachshund to the vets before starting them on a weight loss regime
If your Dachshund has noticeably put on weight, the first thing you need to do is take him to the vets.
Weight gain in Dachshunds is often caused by eating too much and not exercising enough.
However, weight gain can also be caused by neutering, heart disease, tumours, parasites, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, or even certain medications.
Therefore, it’s essential you take your Dachshund for a vet check before putting him on any kind of weight loss regime!
That way, you can find out if there are any underlying factors causing your Dachshund to be overweight.
Your vet will also be able to confirm if your Dachshund is medically overweight, and how you can help him to safely lose weight over time.
You also need to find out how much weight is a good amount for your Dachshund to lose each week and then use that as your goal.
Trying to get your Dachshund to lose weight too fast, or without taking him for a vet check first, could be dangerous. So make sure you book him in!
Weigh your Dachshund before starting a new weight loss regime
Before you start helping your Dachshund to lose weight, you need to weigh him.
If you know what your Dachshund weighs before you start, this’ll help you keep track of his weight loss journey. That way he’ll lose those extra pounds steadily and safely.
It’ll also help you monitor what’s working with your Dachshund’s new weight loss plan – and what’s not!
You can weigh your Dachshund at the vets, or you can get some of your own doggy weighing scales.
Improve your Dachshund’s diet for weight loss success
There are a number of ways you can improve your Dachshund’s diet to help him lose weight:
Change your Dachshund’s regular dog food
You can ask your vet for recommendations on what type of dog food is safe and healthy for an overweight Dachshund.
Although, just keep in mind that some vets tend to recommend diet dog food brands that are generally less calories but full of fillers – which aren’t ideal either!
You just want to feed the best quality dog food you can afford (no meat meal!) that doesn’t contain chemical additives and fillers.
You can also check out this useful website called ‘All About Dog Food‘ that gives you the nutritional rating for every type of dog food there is.
Go for something as natural as possible with a high nutritional rating.
Don’t free feed your Dachshund
If you want your Dachshund to lose weight, you need to control the amount of food he’s eating each day.
That means you can’t free feed – which is where you leave the dog food down on the floor all day for your Dachshund to eat when they feel like it.
You need to have set mealtimes. Leave the food down for around 20 minutes and then remove the dog bowl.
If your Dachshund is used to free feeding, this is going to be a bit more of a challenge.
But taking control of the food yourself really is the best way to tackle your Dachshund’s weight problem.
Feed your Dachshund at the same times each day
Adult Dachshunds are normally fed breakfast at around 7am-8am and dinner around 4pm-5pm.
Don’t feed your Dachshund’s dinner too late. Dogs take longer to digest their food than us humans, and you need him to poop before bedtime!
Regular food routines and a healthy digestion are an important part of your Dachshund’s new weight loss regime.
Reduce the amount of food your Dachshund eats
Before you make any reduction in how much dog food you feed your Dachshund, you must speak to your vet.
You need to be sure what you’re doing is safe for your Dachshund and that he’s had all the relevant health checks.
Adult Dachshunds are generally used to getting two meals a day.
If you need to cut down the amount of dog food your Dachshund eats to help him lose weight, you could replace some of it with green beans (providing you get the ok from your vet of course!).
Green beans are are low in calories and literally full of fibre. They’ll help your Dachshund to still feel full when on the new weight loss regime.
Dachshunds can eat green beans either steamed, raw, or canned. They’re a healthy snack which most Dachshunds seem to enjoy.
If you cut down your Dachshund’s regular dog food and add a percentage of green beans instead, this can help him adjust to eating less dog food, without even realising!
Make sure to chop up the green beans before you put them in your Dachshund’s bowl.
And, if you’re using canned beans, make sure they’re plain and don’t have any added salt or other nasty ingredients!
That’s important, because salt and additives are really bad for dogs and can lead to all sorts of health problems.
Use a slow feeder dog bowl for your Dachshund
Let’s face it, most Dachshunds are greedy! So using a slow breeder bowl does exactly what it says, slows down the amount of food your Dachshund can eat at once.
Slow feeder bowls are dog food bowls that are full of obstacles and challenges that stop your Dachshund being able to gobble down his food in one go.
They’re basically like puzzles where your Dachshund has to work out how to get into the nooks and crannies of the bowl to eat.
Slow feeder bowls reduce the speed in which your Dachshund can eat and will make him feel like he’s eaten more than he has.
They also slow down and improve digestion so your Dachshund will feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Invest in a measuring cup to keep food portions consistent
You need to make sure your Dachshund is getting exactly the same amount of food in his bowl every day.
The best way to do this is to invest in a measuring cup to help you keep track of how much food your Dachshund is getting.
It’s important that you don’t exceed the recommended measured amount of food at mealtimes, however much your Dachshund begs and pleads!
Don’t feed your Dachshund from the table
Don’t feed your Dachshund your own food, especially from the dinner table.
It might be tempting to try and sneak your Dachshund a scrap of your dinner every now and again, but this has to stop!
These titbits really do add up and will significantly increase the amount of food your Dachshund is eating every day.
It’s also harder to keep track of what your Dachshund is eating when you’re giving him extra bits of food throughout the day.
You must resist those puppy dog eyes!
Even if you cut down the amount of food your Dachshund is eating at mealtimes, you also need to limit the dog treats.
Feeding your Dachshund highly processed, fatty treats may cause him to put on weight.
Try to cut out any shop-bought processed treats as these often contain high amounts of salt, fat, and sugar.
At the very least, be sure to read the ingredients on any packet dog treats you do buy, and try to go for more natural, healthier alternatives.
Swap out treats for fresh vegetables
Instead of giving your Dachshund unhealthy shop bought treats, try giving him fresh vegetables instead.
It can be a bit of fun to spend some time working out which vegetables your Dachshund likes the best.
So chop up a few pieces of different vegetables like green beans, broccoli, carrots, or cucumber. Give your Dachshund a taste of each one, and see which is his favourite!
Whichever one it is, this can be his new reward food instead of unhealthy treats.
Praise your Dachshund with affection and toys instead of food
If you usually reward your Dachshund with food or dog treats throughout the day, try replacing them with affection or toys.
You don’t have to do this every time. But it can often be just as motivating for your Dachshund to be rewarded with playtime and attention instead.
You can do this if you’re training your Dachshund too. Other forms of praise, which don’t involve food, will still keep your Dachshund engaged in training.
Make sure your Dachshund is getting enough exercise to help with weight loss
If you Dachshund is overweight, make sure he’s getting enough exercise.
Adult Miniature Dachshunds need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Adult Standard Dachshunds need at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.
So try introducing a short early morning and evening walk into your Dachshund’s daily exercise routine. And work on his fitness by increasing the length of those walks each week.
However, if your Dachshund hasn’t been used to getting regular exercise or refuses to walk, then you’ll need to build up very slowly.
It’s also important to get a vet check to be sure all is ok before you increase the amount of time your Dachshund is exercised.
If you go straight into long walks on day one, you could injure your Dachshund or cause him joint pain, especially if he’s obese.
Try to remember that slow and steady wins the race and helps keep the weight off too!
If you can’t get out for walks each day for whatever reason, then start by throwing a ball in your garden or yard instead.
Regular exercise in any form is essential to keep your Dachshund fit and help him lose weight.
Older Dachshunds might need less exercise. However, it’s still important to keep up a small amount of regular exercise each week.
Book Hydrotherapy to help your Dachshund lose weight
Hydrotherapy means water therapy. It’s known to be a helpful treatment for Dachshunds who need to lose weight or are seriously obese.
During hydrotherapy, your Dachshund will be encouraged to swim in the water and get all his muscles moving.
Some owners might try using toys in the water to help their Dachshund get excited about the sessions.
Hydrotherapy can be a useful form of exercise for overweight Dachshunds. That’s because it’s weight bearing and easier to do than regular walking or running.
For overweight Dachshunds, normal exercise might be difficult for them. They may struggle to walk and run like fitter, healthier Dachshunds.
Exercising in water is so much easier. They’re not burdened by the extra weight putting pressure on their joints, and there’ll be less chance of injury too.
Mobility will be hugely increased when they’re swimming, and they might even enjoy doing it!
Play games with your Dachshund
Your Dachshund probably loves playing games with you. They’re a great way to get your Dachshund moving and encourage weight loss too.
Play fetch with your Dachshund
Find your Dachshund’s favourite toy and play fetch in the yard or garden or in the park to get him moving and exercising!
Play tug of war with your Dachshund
A good game of tug of war can help your Dachshund burn off a few extra calories while keeping him entertained.
Just be sure not to pull too hard. Remember to stay down low at your Dachshund’s level so you don’t injure his fragile back.
Take your Dachshund on a playdate
Another good way to get your Dachshund moving when playing is to take him on a playdate with another dog!
Any sort of gentle activity that can be increased over time will be beneficial to your Dachshund’s health and fitness. And, as an added bonus, it might even help you too!
If you want to know how to tell when your Dachshund has reached the perfect weight just by looking at them, you can find out here.
So, there you have it! The first step in helping your Dachshund lose weight is to take him for a vet check. Get your Dachshund moving with regular walks, hydrotherapy, or by playing games. Improve your Dachshund’s diet, replace fatty treats with tasty fresh vegetables, and make sure to use that measuring cup at meal times!
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