Dachshunds and Grain-Free Food - What's the Real Story Behind Their Diet?

Dachshunds in a field of corn

Wondering if grain-free food is the right choice for your fur baby? 


You're in the right place! 


We're diving deep into why this diet is all the rage, the good stuff it might do for your dachshund, and some concerns you should know about. 

Is Grain-Free Food the Way to Go for Your Dachshund?

Grain-free food has gotten super popular for dachshund parents, and for some pretty good reasons.

  • Allergies: Our dachshund pals can get itchy and uncomfortable with food allergies. Guess what's a common troublemaker? Grain! Going grain-free could mean fewer sniffles and scratches.

  • Weight Watch: Dachshunds can get a bit chubby, and we don't want that hurting their little backs. Grain-free food usually has fewer carbs, which might help keep those extra pounds away.

  • Lookin' Good: Some owners swear their doxies have glossier coats and more pep when they eat grain-free.

But hold up! 


There's been some talk about a heart issue called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) that could be linked to grain-free diets. 😮


Back in 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rang some alarm bells


They said more dogs with DCM were eating grain-free than those who weren't. But they're still studying it, so the jury's out. 


For now, they suggest talking to your vet, especially if your doxie might be at risk for DCM.

Still, lots of dachshund owners are sticking with grain-free. 


Some think the perks outweigh the question marks, while others are willing to roll the dice for a happier, healthier pooch.


Pro Tip: Before you make the switch, give your vet a call. They can help you pick a food that's both yummy and good for your dog, and keep an eye out for any heart issues.

"Some think the perks outweigh the question marks, while others are willing to roll the dice for a happier, healthier pooch."

What's the Real Deal with Grain-Free Food? 🤔

Ever heard of grain-free dog food and wondered, "What's that?" 


Let's break it down!

  • No Grains, Please: Grain-free food skips the usual suspects like wheat, corn, and rice. Instead, you'll find stuff like sweet potatoes or peas.

  • What Does Grain-Free Even Mean?: Heads up, the FDA doesn't have a set rule on what "grain-free" should be. So, read those labels! You wanna know exactly what's in that bag.

  • Pseudowhat?: Some grain-free foods might have things like quinoa or buckwheat. They're not exactly grains but kinda act like them. So, keep an eye out if your pup has allergies.

Common Myths—Busted! 💥

  • Myth: "Grain-free is better for every dog."
    • Reality: Not really. Dogs can actually do fine with grains. But if allergies are a thing, grain-free might be your go-to.
  • Myth: "Less carbs in grain-free food."
    • Reality: Nope, still got carbs. They just come from other stuff like potatoes.
  • Myth: "Grain-free is gonna cost you."
    • Reality: Sometimes true, sometimes not. There are budget-friendly grain-free options too.

And hey, before you jump into grain-free, a chat with your vet is a good idea. 


They can help you decide if it's the best fit for your dog and keep tabs on their ticker, too.

A dachshund visiting the vet to learn about his diet

Picking the Perfect Grain-Free Food for Your Dachshund

Wanna give your Dachshund the best grub? Cool! Here's the lowdown:


What Your Doxie Needs

Dachshunds have their own health quirks like back issues, weight gain, and allergies. So, aim for food that's made especially for them.


Go for the Good Stuff

Skip the fake stuff and look for quality meats, fruits, and veggies. Real meat should be the first thing you see on the label.


Balance is Key


Not all grain-free foods are created equal. Your Dachshund needs a balanced diet, so look for the AAFCO seal to make sure it's up to snuff.


Tips for the Best Pick

  • Read Labels: Know what's in there. Avoid grains and fake ingredients.
  • Brand Matters: Stick with trusted brands.
  • Ask the Vet: Your vet knows your dog best.

Special Diet Needs for Dachshunds

Got a Doxie with back issues or allergies? Specific foods can help. 


For back problems, go low-cal and high-protein. For allergies, simpler is better.


Ingredients to Aim For

  • Real Meat: Chicken, beef, you name it.
  • Fruits and Veggies: They pack in the good stuff like vitamins.
  • Healthy Fats: Look for omega-3 and omega-6 to keep that coat shiny.

Getting the Nutrients Right

Make sure your pick has the AAFCO seal. This means it's tested and balanced.


If your Dachshund is older, maybe go for more protein and less fat.

"Skip the fake stuff and look for quality meats, fruits, and veggies. Real meat should be the first thing you see on the label."

Switching Your Dachshund to Grain-Free: A Step-by-Step Guide



Ready to switch your Dachshund to grain-free food? 




But slow down a bit. Doing it all at once could upset your dog's tummy. Here’s how to make the change smoothly over about a week to 10 days:

  1. Start Small: On the first day, make your dog's meal with just 10% grain-free food and 90% of their usual chow.
  2. Easy Does It: Each day, add a bit more grain-free food and a bit less of the regular kind.
  3. Finish Line: By days 7-10, your Dachshund should be fully on the grain-free diet.

Keep an eye on how your Dachshund is doing. Look for any changes in their poop or if they're eating less. 


If you notice stuff like that, slow down on the switch or stop it.


Extra Tips to Make the Switch Easier:

  • Pick a grain-free food that's kinda like your dog's current food. That'll make the switch easier.
  • Feed smaller meals more often at first. This can help your dog's tummy adjust.
  • You can add a little water or broth to make the food yummier and easier to digest.
  • If your Dachshund is a fussy eater, mix the new food with treats or wet food they like.

Still having trouble? 


Don’t worry; just talk to your vet. They can give you tips that are just right for your dog.


Things to Keep in Mind After the Switch:

  • The grain-free food should be well-balanced nutritionally.
  • Make sure you’re giving the right amount of food based on your Dachshund’s age, weight, and how active they are.
  • Too much food can make your dog overweight, so be careful.
  • Keep track of your dog's weight and overall health.
  • Have a chat with your vet about what your Dachshund really needs in their diet.


A dachshund sitting on a table filled with delicious foods

Some Popular Grain-Free Foods for Dachshunds



Looking for some grain-free grub for your Dachshund? 


Here's a list of some foods made just for little guys like them:

  1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness for Small Breeds
  2. Canidae Grain Free PURE for Small Breeds
  3. Eukanuba Grain-Free for Small Breeds
  4. Fromm Gold for Small Breeds
  5. Hill's Science Diet Small Paws
  6. Merrick Grain Free Lil' Plates (Wet Food)
  7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials for Small Breeds
  8. Orijen Fit & Trim
  9. Royal Canin X-Small Adult
  10. Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains for Small Breeds
  11. Wellness Complete Health for Small Breeds

Remember, this list isn't everything. There are tons more out there. 


Always chat with your vet to pick the best one for your pup.


What to Look for in Grain-Free Food:

  • High-quality stuff like real meat, fruits, and veggies. Skip anything with fake stuff or fillers.

Making Sure It's Balanced:

  • The food needs to have all the good stuff your Dachshund needs. Check the label to make sure.

Not sure if grain-free is the way to go? Just ask your vet. They can help you pick a food that’s good for your Dachshund.



A cute dachshund puppy getting veterinarian advice on the best diet for a dachshund

Talk to Your Vet Before Switching Foods

Before you make any changes to what your Dachshund eats, it's super important to have a chat with your vet. 




Here are some reasons:

  1. Pick the Right Food: Dachshunds can have special needs like back issues or tummy troubles. Your vet can help you find food that works for them.
  2. Safe Switch: If you want to change their food, you have to do it slowly. Your vet can help you make that switch without upsetting your pup's belly.
  3. Keep an Eye Out: After changing the food, you gotta watch your dog to make sure they’re okay. If something’s off, like runny poop or they’re not eating much, call your vet quick.

Questions to Ask Your Vet:


  • Is grain-free good for my Dachshund?
  • What grain-free foods do you recommend?
  • How do I change their food safely?
  • What should I look out for after the switch?

By talking to your vet, you make sure your Dachshund gets what they need and stays healthy.


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