The Low Down on Long Dogs

Dachshunds: Noun

one of a German breed of dogs having short legs, a long body and ears, and a usually tan or black-and-tan coat.

Dachshunds: Origin

1840-50; < German, equivalent to Dachs badger + Hund dog

So you got a dachshund. What does that mean?

Congratulations! You’ve drank the kool-aid and are now an official member of Team Dachshund by rescuing one of the sweetest most loving breeds of dog, who will be your closest companion and best friend their whole lives. Now it’s time to make sure all the other pieces of the dog-ownership-puzzle are in place to ensure they have a healthy and safe environment to keep the good times rolling for a lifetime.

Have you ever jumped from a high up place and felt like you jammed your knees or back? Small dogs jumping off of furniture is about equivalent of a human jumping from a one-story building. And little dogs love to jump, averaging 30 to 40 times a day, that’s almost 25,000 times per year or over 300,000 times in their life! The force of landing ripples through their bodies in a sequence of powerful shocks. Without getting too scientific, the long-story-short is that whether it’s hoping off the old chesterfield or taking a superman leap off the bed, all jumps will add serious wear and tear to your dog’s joints. Help guide and encourage your dogs to use ramps as much as possible.

Every doxie owner needs ramps or pet steps for all areas of the house that your pup would otherwise be inclined to jump. Couches and beds are usually the easiest places to identify, but if there any other hard to reach places you want to give your pooch a full access pass, make sure they can safely get up and down with complete ease and without having to jump up and down.

Dachshunds are susceptible to gaining weight faster than other canines. The best way to manage weight is by feeding them only the suggested amount of dog food recommended by a veterinarian or pet professional. Sometimes food manufacturers suggest a higher than needed amount of food on the back of the bag, which is arguably a way to go through food faster. Another weight gain danger comes from the T-Word every dog longs to hear: treats. The kind of treats and the amount of treats given in a day can make a huge impact on their health. Using kibble or training treats are a nice and lean option, compared to higher fat and calorie treats that often look salivating even to our own taste buds. Those other kinds of yummy looking cookies, rawhides, and fancy viddles are still great to offer on special occasions. Read what your treats are made from, this is also a great way to be aware what is contributing to their overall health.

THE E-WORD: EXERCISE (insert eye roll here)
Dachshunds and small breed dogs tend to have a moderate amount of energy, which isn’t a surprise if you meet one before. Daily walks are one of the greatest healthy habits you can work into your routine, and a little bit goes a long way. Just 10-15 minute walks give them a healthy dose of exercise that helps burn calories, files their nails, get some fresh air, offers exciting new smells and places to “mark” and provides endless amounts of bonding between you and your pooch. Most dachshunds love to play and have their favorite toys, give in to their canine wiles and toss the ball, play tug-of-war, or watch them entertain themselves with throwing their squeakies up in the air. It’s impossible not to smile and love them even more when you’re playing and walking together.

More dachshund care resources can be found on our Links page.

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