How to Choose the Best Food for Dachshunds: Our Ultimate 2022 Reviews

time-for-some-food-for-dachshund

All dogs need a proper balance of proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to have adequate nutrition and optimal health. 

But how much protein is too much? Should your dog be eating grain-free? How can you differentiate between trendy dog food and scientifically backed dog food? 

All of this can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve narrowed down the best food for dachshunds to help you choose the best dachshund food for your dog. Below are our top picks, so your pet can have the best diet possible. 

What Is the Best Food for My Dachshund?

If you’re in a hurry, we’ll just get straight to the point for our top selection.

Our overall winner is the Royal Canin Dachshund. It is designed to meet the nutritional needs of a Dachshund’s small frame. The kibble is tailor-made for a dog of this breed, and it supports bone and joint health as well as muscle tone. This formula also contains calcium and phosphorus to help maintain strong bones and teeth.

Read below about our top picks for dachshund food, including the best puppy food for dachshunds. 

Royal Canin Dachshund

The Royal Canin brand is a fan-favorite amongst long-time dachshund owners and in our opinion, it is the best food for Dachshunds. Excellent flavor, paired with high-quality ingredients, helps dachshunds live longer and happier lives. 

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Dachshund engineers their food for dachshunds with small details, such as the size of the kibble, which makes it easier for small, pointed dachshund jaws to pick it up and chew it.

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Royal Canin is excellent because they partner with pet experts to design the perfect food based on the different breeds. They understand that not all dogs are the same, and not all small dogs are the same; some breeds have specific requirements. 

Plus, Royal Canin uses quality ingredients such as chicken meal, rice, oatmeal, and a mix of vitamins to make your dachshund shine. 

Pros:

  • Unique kibble design specifically made for dachshunds
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals 
  • Dachshunds love the flavor 

Cons:

  • More expensive than other dog food 
  • Food contains chicken by-products (not actual chicken meat), which can turn some customers off 
  • Some experts say that this food contains more fillers than standard dog food 

Blue Buffalo 

If you’ve searched for premium dog food before, chances are you’ve run into the family-run, wholesome company Blue Buffalo. 

Blue Buffalo has earned a top spot on our list with their dog food that boosts health, well-being, and happiness. Their unique formula promotes a robust immune system, aids the development of strong muscle structure and growth, and promotes healthy skin and coat, so your dachshund looks as great as they feel. 

Life Protection Formula
Blue Buffalo Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

When you purchase Blue Buffalo, you’ll find quality ingredients like deboned chicken, whole ground brown rice, whole potatoes, flaxseed blueberries, pomegranate, and much more.

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How do they do this? Blue Buffalo packs their formula with hearty ingredients. Not only does Blue Buffalo only use real meat, but they also use whole grains and fruits and vegetables to naturally increase the number of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the dog food formula. Plus, their use of fish oil and antioxidants strengthens joints and their immune system. 

When it comes to nutrition, Blue Buffalo never cuts corners. Their commitment to quality makes it one of our top choices for dachshund dog food. They pack their food with high-quality ingredients to keep your dachshund by your side for years. 

Pros: 

  • Hearty, healthy ingredients
  • Dogs love the taste 
  • Real meat 

Cons: 

  • Some dogs have adverse reactions
  • There have been quality issues such as expired dog food or bugs in the food 

Hill’s Science Diet 

The top recommended brand by Veterinarians all over America, Hill’s Science Diet has crafted an incredible reputation by making dachshund food with high-caliber ingredients and a delicious taste. They have a specific niche: a diet based on science, not trends. 

Instead of creating food with buzz words, Hill’s Science Diet researches what type of food your dog needs to have a healthy, thriving life. From there, they create food that promotes optimal health and well-being through hard-backed science. 

Great for Muscular Strength
Hill's Science Mini Chicken Recipe

Hill’s Science diet never compromises on quality, which is why you’ll find exceptional ingredients in every bag. Hill’s Science uses ingredients like flaxseed, dried beet pulp, coconut oil, and dried carrots in each formula to provide exceptional nutrition.

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Hill’s Science is also an excellent option for dogs who struggle with weight loss. Because it’s scientifically designed, Hill’s Science has crafted the perfect formula that helps dogs keep a healthy weight: and it works. 

Seventy percent of dogs lost weight during the trial runs of Hill’s Science. If your dog struggles with weight or weight loss, consider Hill’s Science Diet. 

Pros:

  • Great size nuggets
  • Nutrition and quality you can count on 
  • It helps dogs lose and maintain a healthy weight

Cons:

  • Frequent recalls
  • Some dogs don’t like the taste
  • Some dogs struggle with the small bites 

Orijen 

Orijen has one goal and one goal only: create a powerful dog food formula with high-density protein. And it shows. Orijen packs each bag with a powerful combination of cage-free eggs, chicken, turkey, and fish. 

What’s even more, Orijen only uses fresh and raw animal ingredients, such as meat, organs, cartilage, and bone. Orijen is also grain-free and delivers a balanced nutritional diet for all dachshund age ranges.

Great Treats for Training
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food

Orijen packs their kibble with dense nutrients with ingredients like butternut squash, kale, spinach, collard greens, carrots, apples, chicory root, and turmeric. It contains no additives or fillers, and it contains wholesome ingredients.

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Not only does Orijen make an excellent high-protein option, but they also include a whopping 15 fresh or raw ingredients in every recipe. So, if you like to feed your animals raw (but don’t want to pay the price), Orijen is a great alternative. 

Because it has such high-density protein and raw ingredients, you may have to slowly transition your dog to be able to eat this dog food full time. Orijen recommends a slow transition over two weeks to ensure that your dog doesn’t become sick from an abrupt food switch. 

Pros:

  • No high-glycemic fillers
  • Percentage breakdown allows you to know what protein and how much your dog is getting in each bag 

Cons:

  • Some dogs get diarrhea
  • Some dogs get rashes 

Wellness Core

Wellness Core is a kibble your dogs are guaranteed will love. Wellness Core crafts its nutritionally balanced formula with high protein, fats, and carbohydrates levels and is completely grain-free. Plus, taurine and high protein promote optimal heart health, and omega 3s not only work to keep healthy skin and coat but are also terrific for brain health. 

As if that’s not enough, Wellness Core includes plenty of both prebiotics and probiotics for a thriving gut and digestive system. There are no meat by-products, no fillers, no artificial preservatives, and no artificial flavoring, so you can feel good about what food you give to your beloved dog.

Made in USA
Wellness CORE Grain Free

The formula is also designed with rich antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, (like fish and flax omega) to give your dog healthy skin and coat. Plus, high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain bone and joint health.

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Overall, Wellness Core has designed a dog food formula based on the philosophy that dogs thrive when fed a meat-based diet. As a result, their formula provides protein without using any gross meat by-products or grain, fillers, soy, wheat, gluten, corn, or artificial flavoring. 

Instead, you’ll find quality meat ingredients, plus a wide variety of supplements and vegetables, including vitamin E, spinach, broccoli, carrots, parsley, apples, kale, spearmint, and niacin. As a result, Wellness Core has some of the best dachshund food around. 

Pros:

  • Dogs love the taste
  • It helps maintain a healthy weight 
  • Quality ingredients 
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics help a healthy digestive system (good for dogs with stomach issues)

Cons:

  • Some customers report issues with manufacturing, like holes in the bag
  • Some dogs have gotten sick on this food 

Acana 

Next on our list is Acana. Free of grain, gluten, potato, and tapioca ingredients (a type of starch native to South America), Acana makes a top-tier formula for dogs of all ages. 

So, what is inside Acana dog food? High protein meat (from fresh and raw animal ingredients), key nutrients, whole vegetables, fruits, and botanicals. In fact, 60% of their dog food is made of protein-rich, premium animal ingredients, while 40% is made of vegetables, fruits, and other vitamins and minerals. That leaves 0% for any bogus filler or artificial ingredients, and so forth. 

Fresh & Quality Sensitive Digestion
Acana High Protein

Acana dog food is free of all artificial colors and preservatives, so you can be confident with what you’re feeding your beloved Daschund.

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Additionally, Acana works with a premium group of suppliers, farmers, ranchers, and fishers. They carefully vet both their ingredients and the people who supply them to ensure it holds up to the Acana standard. Their kitchen has even won awards. 

Among some of these fine ingredients, you’ll find ingredients such as red lentils, pinto beans, green lentils, chickpeas, yellow peas, pumpkin, plus lamb, fish oil, beef liver, beef kidney, and more. 

Pros:

  • Dogs love the taste
  • Very fresh
  • No by-product 

Cons:

  • Expensive 
  • Some customers report finding hair inside of the kibble (must be hair from the animals) 
  • Orijen Acana Dog Foods may contain toxic metals 

Royal Canin Small Puppy

If you’ve got a high-energy dachshund puppy on your hands, you may want to feed them with Royal Canin Small Puppy mix: a kibble designed especially for small puppies. 

The Royal Canin Small Puppy mix makes a great dachshund puppy food because it contains proteins and prebiotics that promote healthy digestion. Royal Canin has smaller kibble sizes, making it some of the best puppy food for dachshunds to munch away on while promoting healthy dental care. 

Great Value
Royal Canin Small Puppy

This tiny puppy mix is made for puppies up to ten months old and is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins to support healthy growth and immune system development.

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Royal Canin backs up its formula with an impressive 50-year history in scientific research and observation. It’s through this dedicated research that Royal Canin continues to deliver optimal dog food that’s cut above the rest. 

Among quality ingredients, Royal Canin also loads up its formula with essential vitamins for development and growth. When you choose Royal Canin, your dachshund will be eating vitamin e, vitamin a, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and much more. 

If you’ve got a rambunctious puppy on your hands and you’re looking for the best puppy food for dachshunds, Royal Canin Small Puppy is one of the top brands available. 

Pros:

  • Research-backed 
  • Loaded with vitamins
  • Loaded with prebiotics and probiotics

Cons:

  • It contains rice and other gluten 
  • Changed recipe – some dogs don’t like the new flavor 
  • Some dogs have poor reactions, including diarrhea and vomiting 

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Purina Pro Plan achieves exactly what it sets out to do: craft an excellent nutrition source for small dogs with an emphasis on sensitive skin and stomachs. By using soothing ingredients like oatmeal and sunflower oil, dogs can easily digest this food as it’s gentle on the digestive system.

Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Purina Pro Plan

Salmon is the primary ingredient, which is easy to digest and contains high amounts of protein. Also made with 23 essential vitamins and minerals to help support his overall health and wellness.

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In addition to oatmeal and sunflower oil, the formula is also loaded with prebiotics that nourish intestinal bacteria for digestive health. They make their dachshund food without inflammatory ingredients like corn, wheat, poultry by-product meal, and soy.

Purina has a longstanding reputation for being a premium dog food company. With the support of countless veterinarians, Purina Pro Plan is a top choice for any dog owner with a dachshund who has a sensitive stomach and is prone to digestive issues. It is also the best dog food for dachshunds with skin allergies. 

Pros:

  • Effective for dogs prone to reactions
  • Purina factory has great quality control 
  • It tastes excellent – good for picky eaters 

Cons: 

  • Some packaging issues 
  • Some customers report finding bugs in the mix
  • A recent formula change caused some dogs to get sick 

Merrick Grain Free

Poultry-free and grain-free, Merrick is all about Texas-certified beef. Beef, paired with hearty sweet potatoes, makes this a powerful combination of protein and healthy fats to help a dog maintain optimal weight and increased energy.

Premium Food with Premium Results
Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato

Merrick never uses artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or ingredients. No grain, corn, soy, wheat, or gluten. As a result, this brand sells some of the best dog food for dogs.

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In addition to protein and sweet potato, the formula has fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients. They also include hearty levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy hips and joints. 

Pros:

  • Great for maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Moderately priced 
  • Packed full of vitamins and nutrients 

Cons: 

  • Some customers report receiving bad batches 
  • Some dogs have adverse reactions like diarrhea
  • Some dogs don’t like the flavor 

Taste Of The Wild 

Taste Of The Wild crafts a high-caliber dog food formula that is both egg-free and grain-free. Instead, Taste of The Wild packs their formula with high-quality animal protein, mainly from fish. Because it uses so much salmon, the formula is rich in omega fatty acids that help keep skin healthy and fur smooth and shiny and is a good option for dogs with food sensitivities. 

Great Even for Super Picky High Energy Dogs
Taste of the Wild Smoked Salmon

Taste of the Wild uses sustainably sourced salmon, so you can feel as good as your dog does with Taste Of The Wild’s low environmental impact and strong ethical foundation.

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We all know that probiotics are critical to a healthy digestive system, but not many brands can tout an impressive 80 million live, active cultures in each pound like Taste Of The Wild does. These cultures are tremendously important as they help your dachshund’s digestive functions and strengthen its immune systems. 

Additionally, Taste Of The Wild is one of the best dog foods for dachshunds. It’s loaded with hearty legumes, fruits, and vegetables to give your dachshund the fuel they need to go all day long. The formula also has high amounts of zinc and vitamin E to strengthen the immune system.

Pros:

  • Great taste
  • Excellent source of probiotics 
  • Salmon helps digestive functions 

Cons:

  • It contains canola oil (which some dogs have poor reactions to) 
  • FDA warns that grain-free diets may lead to heart problems down the line

Best Food for Dachshunds Buying Guide 

The more closely you tailor your dachshund’s diet to fit their specific needs, the more healthy they will become. 

What Does Your Dachshund Really Need?

Below is a quick glance at what dachshunds need to have an adequate diet, and important things for you to consider before buying your dachshund its food. 

Are Dachshunds Picky Eaters?

Dachshunds can be picky eaters, but it’s less about the breed and more about how you feed them. If they have a large choice of dachshund food, they can easily get fussy about what they want. Too many treats or scraps of table food can also make them picky eaters. 

Avoid giving too many treats, skip the table scraps altogether, and feed them a consistent diet of the best dog food for dachshunds to avoid them turning their nose up at dinnertime. 

Do Dachshunds Need a Special Diet?

Dachshund food requirements don’t differ from other dogs. High-quality, protein-rich, nutritionally sound dog food that’s suitable for most dogs, like the brands we’ve reviewed above, will keep your weiner dog healthy and happy. 

Nutritional Needs of Dachshunds

Like with any dog breed, dachshunds need a diet consisting of mostly protein, moderate fat, and very little carb content. 

Puppies and lactating females should get a diet of about 22% protein and 8% fat. Adult dogs should get a diet of about 18% protein and 5% fat. All dogs, not only dachshunds, should follow the same basic guideline.

For further reading on specific amounts, a great resource is the AAFCO, which released a paper in 2014 detailing the specific nutritional requirements for both cats and dogs. 

If you have a puppy or an older dog, the nutritional needs of your dachshund vary slightly. Because they’re growing, puppies need a much higher protein content than adult dachshunds. Especially when they’re really young (under six months), they grow rapidly, and as a result need high-quality proteins and animal-based fats.  

Important Considerations for Feeding Dachshunds

Because they’re so small, dachshunds are prone to obesity. It is important to provide dachshunds with a low-calorie food formulated for dogs prone to obesity and ensure that you are not overfeeding your Dachshund. 

If your Dachshund is a mixed breed it is also worth considering the other breed characteristics and what that may mean for your dog. Smaller breed mixes like the Havanese, the Yorkie, or the Maltese require roughly the same amount of food. However, if the mix breed is a little larger you may want to compensate for that.

How Much Food Does A Dachshund Need?

Each brand of dog food dictates how much food you should give to your dachshund, but an adult dachshund should eat twice a day, totaling up to about a cup and a half of food each day.

Dachshund Feeding Chart

Royal Canin recommends the following dog feeding schedule

2 months old6-12 oz4 meals per day
3 months old7-15 oz4 meals per day
4 months old7-15 oz3 meals per day
5-6 months old7-16 oz3 meals per day
7-8 months old6-12 oz2 meals per day
9-10 months old5-11 oz2 meals per day
10-12 months old4-11 oz2 meals per day

Dietary Considerations for Dachshunds

Weiner dogs can gain weight easily, so it’s necessary to avoid overfeeding. Too many calories, and a dachshund’s belly can easily drag the ground. Read the feeding guide on your dog food carefully to avoid overdoing it. 

Since their primary sources of energy are protein and fat, a high-protein diet is ideal. If you do have some carbohydrates, that’s okay. A recent study from the FDA shows a possible correlation between grain-free diets and some heart problems. 

Talk to your vet if you’re considering a grain-free diet or have other concerns. You should also talk to your vet before making any dietary changes.

Characteristics of a Reliable Weiner Dog Food

Look for several indicators of quality when you’re shopping for dachshund food. 

  • No additives like artificial flavors and colors
  • Meat is the first ingredient, not a meat meal or other ingredient, but something like chicken, salmon, etc.
  • No meat by-products that don’t identify the type of meat they come from (e.g. fish meal or chicken meal but not protein meal)
  • The food is manufactured in the US, Australia, Canada, or other countries that are known for high safety standards

Common Dachshund Health Problems

Dachshunds suffer from joint and bone issues because of the way their bodies are structured. Keeping your dog a healthy weight with the best food for dachshunds is important in preventing those problems or delaying them for as long as possible. 

Weiner dogs also tend toward coat and skin issues in part because of their genetics. Dachshund food that contains plenty of omega 6 fatty acids and fish oil can help keep their skin and coat healthy. The best dog food for dachshunds with skin allergies will offer more protein and fewer potential allergy triggers like soy and wheat that can cause skin problems to flare. 

Conclusion 

Overall, we love Royal Canin Dachshund. It has a great balance of protein, fats, and grains, and a surplus of vitamins and minerals aid the development of joints, muscles, and bones. 

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Dachshund engineers their food for dachshunds with small details, such as the size of the kibble, which makes it easier for small, pointed dachshund jaws to pick it up and chew it.

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Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Our resident DVM helps review every article to ensure we always provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information. She’s proud to help provide pet parents everywhere with the info they need to keep their pets safe, healthy, and comfortable.