If your Dachshund is getting fat it’s important to find out why and offer an appropriate solution. Weight gain in our canine friends can end up causing many health issues and a lower quality of life.
This article explains how much your dachshund should weigh, and how to help encourage weight loss. This article has been verified by one of our veterinarians.
Eating too many additional calories in the form of treats or table scraps is the main reason why Dachshunds become fat or overweight. Other common reasons include a lack of exercise, age-related factors, or underlying health issues.
7 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Is Overweight (& What To Do)
Let’s run through the most common reasons why Dachshunds start becoming fat and overweight.
- Table scraps
- High-calorie treats
- Lack of exercise
- Age-related issues
- Carbohydrates too high
- Underlying health issues
1. Table scraps
You would be surprised just how many calories are in our food. Simply licking the gravy with a few morsels could be an extra hundred calories or two. Even a small pork sausage can be upwards of 300 calories.
Once your Dachshund gets a taste for your food, he’ll start appearing under the dinner table more often, and without realizing, you’ll start giving him more and more table scraps. These table scraps are high in calories and will contribute to easy weight gain quicker than you realize.
What To Do:
You guessed it! Stop table scraps completely. And this goes for everyone in your family, too. No more secret sausages under the table! If you know that your dachshund does consume table scraps, this may be the only change you need to make.
2. High-calorie treats
Dog treats come in all different varieties from dental chews, pig ears, jerky treats, bones, crunchy biscuits, soft biscuits, and more… Some of these treats are considerably higher in calories than others, and too many of the wrong treats will pile on the pounds.
Depending on which brand you opt for, some jerky treats can be almost 100 calories each, and some popular biscuits can be around 70 calories each. It only takes a few of these every day to really add a lot of calories overall. Fortunately, there are many great options out there you can try.
What To Do:
Switch to low-calorie dog treats only. Zukes Mini Naturals have something like 2 calories per treat! That’s unbelievable compared to a single biscuit which may contain 70 calories! Switch right away and remember to reserve treats for special moments.
3. Lack of exercise
This one causes a stir among dachshund owners, and there’s a good reason for that. Dachshunds are prone to back and spinal injuries, and over-exercising them can lead to serious issues. This is also the same reason why Dachshunds should avoid jumping up and down from the couch too much.
Despite this, there’s still a balance that needs to be found. Although you shouldn’t over-exercise your furry friend, she still needs to be exercised sufficiently. 45-60 minutes of dedicated walking/light running per day (aside from additional playtime) should be the goal. This will keep her body burning calories and her metabolism working properly.
What To Do:
Ensure you’re giving your Dachshund at least 45-60 minutes of dedicated exercise per day. Discourage her from jumping and sprinting excessively, but it’s still important she receives moderate exercise. Incorporate additional playtime sessions into her daily routine too.
4. Age-related issues
As your Dachshund reaches her senior years (7 years +) weight gain becomes very normal. Elderly dogs have slower metabolisms and tend to exert themselves considerably less when out on walks. These two age-related changes will definitely contribute to some level of weight gain.
This doesn’t mean to say that all elderly dogs become fat, but it does increase the chances. While there isn’t much you can do about this one, you can try your best to keep your Dachshund fit with safe exercise routines, and perhaps an adjusted diet (consult your veterinarian).
What To Do:
It’s hard to reverse the effects of aging, so all you can do is try your best to keep her as active as possible while preserving her joint health.
To remain on the safe side with seniors, if your Dachshund starts gaining additional weight and he’s older than 7 years old, take him to your veterinarian for a complete health check-up to rule out underlying health issues.
5. Carbohydrates too high
The world of dog food quickly gets complicated, so I’ll try to keep this as simple as possible! Ideally, your Dachshund is consuming a premium kibble that’s high in protein, medium fat, and low carbohydrates.
Unfortunately, many inferior kibbles out there use carbohydrates to literally pump up their food making it seem like you’re getting more for your money. And while that’s technically true, the quality is bad.
Carbs are cheap and provide little nutritional value for your Dachy. In fact, the National Research Council in the USA have officially stated that “zero carbohydrates are needed to sustain a healthy canine diet”
Protein and fat get utilized much more effectively by your Dachshund’s body, after all, protein and fat are what dogs have been consuming in the wild for thousands of years. So it’s what their bodies know best.
What To Do:
Opt for a premium kibble from brands like Orijen, Acana, Wellness, and Taste of The Wild. Ensure the top ingredients are “Whole” ingredients, and only go for the kibbles with a low carbohydrate ratio compared to protein and fat. If you are unsure, please consult your veterinarian before switching dog foods.
6. Underlying health issues
Underlying health issues such as hypothyroidism and bloat can contribute to weight gain or even just the appearance of weight gain. Let’s explain these common health issues.
● Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone. And it’s this hormone that is responsible for keeping the metabolism working properly. A slow metabolism practically always leads to weight gain, even if you were to reduce the calories your dachshund consumes!
● Bloat is another common issue usually seen in larger dogs, but it can, unfortunately, affect small dogs too. Bloat doesn’t cause weight gain, but it does suddenly bring on the appearance of being “fat”. Bloat can be a life-threatening condition whereby the stomach fills with gas-causing gastric dilation or quite literally a “bloat”.
In some instances, the condition doesn’t progress to get worse than a simple bloat. Other times, it’s a veterinary emergency. Bloat usually happens quickly, so if one minute your Dachshund looks normal, and the next he looks “enlarged” then this could be bloat. If you suspect your Dachshund has bloat, you should always contact your veterinarian right away.
What To Do:
Weight gain is just one of many symptoms of a range of health issues. If you think your Dachshund looks under-the-weather, lazy, tired, weak, or is experiencing nausea, sickness, diarrhea, or a change in temperament, be sure to contact your veterinarian for a general health check-up.
Although genetics is not a common reason for your Dachshund being overweight, there’s still a slight possibility.
If your Dachshund is from a blood lineage where there have been a lot of overweight Dachshunds, it could impact the ease at which he gains weight compared to other Dachshunds.
This is quite unlikely, but there’s still the odd chance this is the cause. And as you already knew, you can’t change your Dachshund’s genetic makeup!
How Much Should Dachshunds Weigh?
So what’s the correct weight for a Dachshund?
It’s important to weigh your furry friend before making any drastic changes. You may discover that she’s significantly overweight, or that she’s actually a lot closer to a healthy weight range than you thought.
Please also note that these are just averages too, so even if your Dachshund falls slightly outside of them, it’s likely nothing to worry about!
Ideal weight is around 4.5kg (10lbs) Maximum weight for miniature Dachshunds is 11lbs
Ideal weight is between 16-32 lbs. Females being on the lighter end of the scale compared to the males.
How To Know If Your Dachshund Is Overweight?
Aside from using the scales, you can also go by how your Dachshund looks.
Use this chart to see how your Dachshund measures up. Source of image
Is It Bad For Your Dachshund To Be Overweight?
If your Dachshund gains a few extra pounds for a short period, it’s not going to cause any real issues. But weight gain over a longer period of time is nearly always going to lead to further health issues and even a shorter life.
So to keep the answer simple, yes it’s bad for your Dachshund to be overweight and if your little sausage dog has had too many sausages, it’s time to reduce her weight!
You must be proactive to find the root cause and address the issue. I personally know many owners who have acknowledged that their dogs are overweight but assumed that with time it will solve itself… This is not the way to fix the issue.
In the canine world, it’s healthier to be slightly underweight than it is overweight. And it has been proven that slimmer dogs tend to live longer than overweight dogs.
When To Seek Veterinary Help
Identifying the cause can be quite tricky, so don’t be hesitant in seeking advice from your veterinarian. If you’ve identified that your Dachshund is getting fat, but you can’t think of any obvious reasons as to why then waste no time calling your veterinarian.
If you have a senior Dachshund that has started gaining weight, it’s best to schedule an appointment to rule out underlying health issues.
If you’ve suddenly noticed your Dachshund appear drastically fat, then it may be bloat or gastric torsion, so you should seek immediate veterinary help.
Additionally, if you’ve already been trying various methods to reduce your Dachshunds weight without any success, contact your veterinarian for further assistance. They will provide further insight and suggestions tailored specifically for your furry friend.
Thank you for reading! I hope this has answered your original question regarding your dachshund’s weight. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me. For now, all the best, Harry.