How to Determine a Dachshund's Ideal Body Weight

A close-up of a dachshund taking a leash walk on the pier.
A close-up of a dachshund taking a leash walk on the pier. (Image: karen-cooper/iStock/Getty Images)

Dachshunds are feisty little pups who are lovingly referred to as "wiener dogs" because of their resemblance to hot dogs. One thing your dachshund shouldn't be is round, because that would mean that he's overweight. Fortunately, with the help of your vet and using the guides provided by the American Kennel Club for the breed, you can determine the ideal weight for your canine companion.

Read the Standards

You can get an idea of your dachshund's ideal weight based on the standards established for the breed by the AKC. There are two sizes of dachshunds, the standard and the miniature, each of which has a different acceptable weight range. Adult miniature dachshunds should weigh 11 pounds or less, while adult standard dachshunds should weigh between 16 and 32 pounds, according to the AKC. If your pup's weight falls above these standard ranges, he might be overweight. If he's on the low end of or below them, he could be underweight. Consult with your vet or breeder if you're unsure of which type of dachshund you have.

Check Fido's Appearance

Your dachshund should have a cylindrical body with a visible waist, slightly tucked in just past his ribs, when you look at him from above. If your pup has an oval to round shape, with no tuck at the waist, he's likely obese. Ideally, you shouldn't be able to see your pup's ribs but be able to feel them when you handle him, according to the Dachshund Breed Council. If you can't feel your dachshund's ribs, and he has visible fat rolls around his neck and shoulders, then he probably should shed a bit of weight. Dachshunds with visible ribs and a severely tucked in waist are underweight.

Visit the Vet

Dachshunds are prone to developing back problems, especially injuries to the discs of the spine, which may result in limited mobility and paralysis in some cases, warns the Vetstreet website. Excess weight can put pressure on the spine and exacerbate these issues. If you're concerned about your dachshund's weight, visit your vet to determine if he's at his ideal weight and, if not, what can be done to get him there. This may include feeding him less food. Your vet may recommend a decrease in his daily caloric intake of around 20 percent, recommends the Dachshund Club of America. She also may recommend you feed your dachshund a special veterinary diet, which is lower in calories.

Keep Fido Active

Dachshunds require a moderate amount of exercise to keep them trim, along with a proper diet. Don't strain your dachshund with exercise that involves jumping or climbing, which could injure his back. Instead, take him on one to two daily walks. Play interactive games like fetch with Fido. Make him work for his food by serving him kibble in a treat ball to engage your little scent hound's natural hunting instincts. Feed your pup smaller meals throughout the day to keep him full and prevent a condition known as bloat, which dachshunds are prone to developing. Bloat can be caused by feeding your pooch one large meal daily instead of several smaller ones and feeding him within an hour of his daily exercise, warns WebMD.

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