Posted on: July 12, 2023 Posted by: Petsynse Comments: 0

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Dachshunds, aka wiener or sausage dogs, are instantly recognizable and adored for their extremely short legs, long body and muzzle, and droopy ears. They’re consistently ranked among the most popular breed in the U.S. undoubtedly for their courageous, highly spirited, playful, and affectionate personalities. As a faithful doxie owner, the most important thing you can do is provide your spunky little guy with the healthiest diet throughout every stage of his life.

Unfortunately, Dachshunds are particularly prone to obesity and suffer from a few breed-related health problems. And many have sensitive stomachs. All of these concerns can make finding the perfect dog food for your pup a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve researched hundreds of premium dog food brands and formulas and have some specific recommendations for your doxie’s nutritional needs at every life stage. All of our picks are the best dog food for mini Dachshunds as well as standard doxies.

At A Glance: Best Dog Food For Dachshunds


Table Of Contents

Note: All of the dog foods we’ve included in our reviews meet or exceed Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional guidelines, are made in the USA, and contain no corn, wheat, soy, fillers, or artificial ingredients.

Nutritional Needs For Dachshunds

Dachshund eating food out of a stainless steel bowl

Standard Dachshunds can be either a small or medium-sized breed, weighing anywhere from 16 to 32 pounds as adults (dogs 25 pounds and over are typically considered medium-sized). Miniature Dachshunds are smaller, topping out at 11 pounds. Both types are more energetic than many other small dogs, so they require protein-rich dog food that contains plenty of lean animal protein, healthy fats, fiber, and complex carbohydrates to fuel their busy little bodies.

The Dachshund is a relatively healthy breed as long you provide your furry friend with a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet and proper vet care. A premium, high-quality diet is particularly important to lower the risks and symptoms of some health conditions common with this breed, such as obesity, a sensitive stomach, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), patella luxation, hip dysplasia, and eye problems.

Weight Control

You’ll find Dachshunds on nearly every list of the top 10 breeds most prone to obesity, so weight control is incredibly important with this breed. The right food and maintaining a healthy weight can help slow the progression of IVDD and hip dysplasia, two skeletal problems that commonly affect this breed. Avoiding foods with unnecessary fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients can help your pup maintain an ideal weight.

Expert Tip: If you suspect your doxie has already developed a weight problem, it’s crucial to get it under control as soon as possible to avoid a host of long-term health issues, such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Even a few extra pounds in small breeds can lead to serious problems. See our guide on overweight and obese dogs and our reviews of the best dog food for weight loss.

Digestive Issues

Unfortunately, this breed is known for having a sensitive stomach, which can make finding an ideal diet challenging. Chicken, beef, dairy products, and wheat are the most common culprits of food intolerances in dogs, but preservatives, fillers, and other low-quality ingredients can also create digestive problems.

We’ve included some limited-ingredient formulas in our reviews that may be good options if your doxie has a fragile tummy. We also review food specifically crafted for pups with sensitive stomachs.

Eye Health

Doxies are at a higher risk of developing cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative eye disease. Some ingredients to look out for to maintain eye health include taurine, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and antioxidants. Some premium dog foods also contain the best whole foods for eye health, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, blueberries, cold-water fish, and eggs.

Beyond Basic Ingredients

At a minimum, all dog food should include protein, carbs, healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. But many of the most nutritious premium dog foods are fortified with additional ingredients that can have significant health benefits for your furry friend. Here are a few you’ll want to look for and how they support your pup’s health. For your convenience, we’ve listed these premium ingredients in our reviews.

  • Fruits & vegetables: excellent natural sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support immune health
  • Fish oil and/or flaxseed (omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, including DHA & EPA): brain and eye development, skin and coat health, joint and immune support
  • Glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate (often from chicken meal*): maintain healthy joints
  • Prebiotics & probiotics: support digestion and a healthy level of good gut bacteria
  • Taurine (see above): supports cardiovascular, eye, and brain health, immune system function, and benefits many other body functions 
  • L-carnitine: an amino acid derivative that helps the metabolism of fats and also may benefit dogs with heart disease (it’s particularly beneficial for older, less active dogs) 
  • Organ meats: excellent source of premium quality protein and fat as well as vitamins A, B, D, and E, copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
  • Chia seeds: rich in plant protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus

*A note about meat meal: Quality pet food brands often use meat meal in their recipes, which can be a very healthy source of protein for your pup (as long as the “meat” is named, e.g., chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.). A meal can be made from the meat, tissue, organ meat, bone, stomach, and intestines of the named animal. But meal doesn’t include by-products like hair, feathers, beaks, heads, blood, hooves, hide trimmings, etc.

Best Wet Dog Food For Dachshunds (All Life Stages): The Farmer’s Dog

Dog with a box of The Farmer's Dog

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We’ve chosen The Farmer’s Dog as the best dog food for wiener dogs in all life stages. This premium fresh dog food brand personalizes its recipes based on your pup’s age, breed size, and more, so it’s an excellent option for puppies, adults, and senior dogs. We think fresh dog food is one of your best choices for your pup’s health, and The Farmer’s Dog is our top recommendation for human-grade, fresh, and personalized meals. All recipes feature high-quality, whole-food animal protein, vegetables, and fruits gently cooked and flash-frozen to preserve nutrients and freshness.

You simply fill out a brief profile of your pup, which includes age, breed, current weight, body shape (e.g., too pudgy), and whether he has any health conditions. In addition to personalizing the food, they deliver your dog’s meals pre-portioned, making mealtime virtually effortless on your part. They offer grain-free beef, chicken, pork, and turkey recipes developed by board-certified nutritionists. While The Farmer’s Dog requires a subscription, you can cancel anytime.

Each recipe includes different ingredients, but here’s a breakdown of their turkey formula.

  • First 5 ingredients: USDA turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, and spinach
  • Formula highlights: human-grade & whole-food ingredients, omega-fatty acids (from fish oil), and taurine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 38% (min), crude fat 26% (min), crude fiber 2% (max)
  • Calories: not available


Our readers have access to 50% off your first box. No code is needed; just use this link, and the discount will be applied! You can also visit our dedicated The Farmer’s Dog coupons page.

Full Review Of The Farmer’s Dog

Best Puppy Food For Dachshunds

Most veterinarians and animal nutritionists recommend that most Dachshunds and particularly mini doxies should eat a small-breed puppy formula. Why? Because they have very high metabolic rates, small-breed puppies require nutrient- and calorie-dense food that’s higher in protein and fat than regular puppy food.

Many experts also recommend feeding small breeds at least four meals per day until around six months old. That’s because young small-breed puppies burn through calories so fast, they’re at a higher risk of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and more frequent feedings help reduce this risk. Here are our top picks for the best dry dog food for Dachshund puppies.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy (Grain-Inclusive)

Wellness Complete Health Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

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This Wellness Complete Health formula is designed to give your mini or standard doxie puppy all the nutrition he needs for whole-body development and plenty of fuel for his energy level. With a smaller kibble size perfect for little doxie mouths, this formula features real turkey as the first ingredient and easy-to-digest, lower-glycemic grains.

Whole fruits and veggies, such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and apples, provide nutritious antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Most owners say their pups love this food and they have minimal tummy issues on this diet.

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned turkey, chicken meal, oatmeal, salmon meal, and barley
  • Formula highlights: salmon oil, flaxseed, dried chickory root, probiotics, and taurine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 28% (min), crude fat 19% (min), crude fiber 4.25% (max)
  • Calories:  489 kcal/cup


Merrick Lil’ Plates Small Breed Puppy (Grain-Free)

Merrick Lil' Plates Small Breed Puppy (Grain-Free)

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This limited-ingredient and grain-free puppy food is crafted specifically for small and miniature breeds. With optimal levels of protein, fat, and complex carbs, Merrick’s Lil’ Plates helps to build and maintain healthy muscle and sustain energy levels. It’s fortified with whole-food ingredients, such as apples, blueberries, and flaxseed for a highly nutritious boost.

And with lower caloric content than the other formulas we review here, this premium recipe is a great choice if you’re worried your puppy is already gaining too much weight. Most customer reviews say their pups love this food, even picky eaters.

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and salmon meal
  • Formula highlights: salmon oil, flaxseed, taurine, and probiotics
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 28% (min), crude fat 15% (min), crude fiber 4.5% (max)
  • Calories:  392 kcal/cup


Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy (Grain-Inclusive)

Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food

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We’re huge fans of the brand Diamond Naturals for its combination of high-quality ingredients and affordable pricing. It’s hard to beat the nutritional value of their formulas in this price range. This high-protein small and medium-breed puppy recipe features cage-free chicken as the first ingredient and wholesome grains to keep your Dachshund fueled throughout the day.

Other premium ingredients for ideal puppy growth and health include chia seeds, kale, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, coconut, spinach, and carrots. Some pup parents said their dogs experienced diarrhea and gas on this diet, but an overwhelming majority of customers rave about this formula and its fantastic value.

  • First 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, and cracked pearled barley
  • Formula highlights: salmon oil, fish oil, flaxseed, chia seeds, dried chickory root, and probiotics
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 32% (min), crude fat 22% (min), crude fiber 3.5% (max)
  • Calories:  453 kcal/cup


Best Dry Dog Food For Dachshunds (Adults)

You should slowly transition your Dachshund to adult food somewhere between 10-12 months of age once he’s finished most of his growth. AAFCO guidelines recommend a minimum of 18% protein and a minimum of 5% fat for all adult dogs, regardless of size or breed. But small breeds like mini and most standard Dachshunds need higher levels due to their faster metabolic rates. So, be sure to choose a small-breed adult dog food for your doxie (unless he’s over 25 pounds). Adult doxies should consume about 40 calories per pound per day (or more if your little guy is extremely active).

Open Farm Small Breed With Ancient Grains

Open Farm Small Breed With Ancient Grains

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Open Farm is one of our favorite pet food brands due to its top-notch food quality and superior ethical and sustainable practices. All of their pet food is formulated by animal nutrition experts, and every batch is tested by an independent third-party lab. While their puppy and dog food is pricey, we think their many formulas are among your best choices for commercial kibble.

This recipe is an excellent choice for many Dachshunds because it’s fortified with New Zealand green-lipped mussels, salmon oil, and flaxseed. All of these ingredients can help support your pup’s joint health, especially for those prone to IVDD, hip dysplasia, and other inherited joint conditions. Featuring humanely raised chicken and turkey, easily digestible grains, and locally sourced fruits and veggies, this formula is also free of corn, wheat, soy, peas, potato, and legumes. It’s also available in a grain-free formula.

  • First 5 ingredients: chicken, turkey, menhaden fish meal, barley, and brown rice
  • Formula highlights: salmon oil, flaxseed, taurine, New Zealand green-lipped mussels (excellent for joint support), and dried chicory root
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 27.5% (min), crude fat 16% (min), crude fiber 5% (max)
  • Calories:  436 kcal/cup


You can save 5% off every order if you sign up for auto-shipping with Open Farm.

Full Open Farm Dog Food Review

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Small Breed (Grain-Free)

Nulo Freestyle Limited Small Breed

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Made with a single animal meat source (turkey) and no grains, this limited-ingredient premium dog food is a fantastic choice for doxies with sensitive stomachs and food intolerances. It’s also free from eggs, peas, pea protein, potatoes, corn, wheat, and soy. The formula is packed with probiotics and miscanthus grass, an excellent fiber source, to support ultimate digestive health. And plenty of included L-carnitine can help your pup maintain a healthy weight throughout his adult years.

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned turkey, turkey meal, chickpeas, canola oil, and sweet potatoes
  • Formula highlights: chicken-free, salmon oil, dried chicory root, probiotics, and L-carnitine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 30% (min), crude fat 17% (min), crude fiber 4.5% (max)
  • Calories: 422 kcal/cup


  • Starts at: $31.99 (5.5-lb bag)

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed (Grain-Inclusive)

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed

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Blue Buffalo is a well-respected and popular brand for its highly nutritious, well-balanced formulas at very reasonable pricing. This recipe features real lamb as the first ingredient, wholesome grains, and whole veggies and fruits, such as carrots, blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and kelp.

All of these natural ingredients are fortified with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, a blend of vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants to support your pup’s optimal immune health. As with all of Blue Buffalo’s formulas, this recipe provides your doxie with an excellent balance of ingredients for whole-body health and muscle development.

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned lamb, fish meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley
  • Formula highlights: fish meal, flaxseed, turmeric, taurine, glucosamine, dried chicory root, probiotics, and L-carnitine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 24% (min), crude fat 16% (min), crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Calories: 389 kcal/cup


Best Dog Food For Senior Dachshunds

With an average lifespan of 12-15 years, Dachshunds are considered seniors between 8 and 10 years old and should be slowly transitioned to senior dog food. Again, a small-breed formula is important if your doxie weighs less than 25 pounds. Pups in their golden years need to eat a diet lower in calories in fat to prevent weight gain, and this is extremely important for obesity-prone Dachshunds. A dog food rich in antioxidants and other immune-boosting nutrients is also essential to help prevent cancer, heart problems, cataracts, and other issues that older dogs face.


Ollie dog food

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Ollie is similar to The Farmer’s Dog (see review above) in that it delivers fresh-frozen meals to your door and uses only human-grade, whole-food ingredients carefully chosen by animal nutritionists for optimal health in all life stages. Ollie also personalizes your pup’s food based on his profile (age, gender, breed, weight, body shape, activity level, allergies, and other health issues).

All of their meals are excellent for older Dachshunds, but for those with an intolerance to the usual proteins, we recommend their grain-inclusive lamb recipe. However, if your doxie is sensitive to grains, Ollie offers grain-free chicken, beef, turkey, and pork recipes.

Ollie also has a new line of gently-baked beef and chicken formulas that you can mix and match with their fresh-frozen options. The limited ingredients and fresh whole foods in all their recipes can help support your elderly doxie’s digestive issues and immune health.

  • First 5 ingredients: lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, chickpeas, and kale
  • Formula highlights: human-grade & whole-food ingredients, limited ingredients, organ meat, salmon oil, chia seeds, and taurine
  • Guaranteed analysis (wet food basis): crude protein 10% (min), crude fat 7% (min), crude fiber 2% (max)
  • Calories: 1804 kcal ME/kg (note: this isn’t kcal/cup like our other reviews)


Our readers can get 50% off their first order. Use this link to take advantage of this offer (no discount code needed).

Full Review Of Ollie

Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior (Grain-Inclusive)

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This highly-rated Nutro senior recipe is formulated for small breeds who require fewer calories and lower fat content as they age. Made with non-GMO ingredients, it features real chicken as the first ingredient and easy-to-digest grains (no corn, wheat, or soy). Included dried pumpkin and other natural fiber sources are beneficial for digestive problems that many elderly dogs face.

Other all-natural ingredients, such as dried kale, spinach, coconut, and chia seeds, are fantastic sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for immune health. Many customers say the small kibble size is perfect for their aging seniors who have difficulty chewing.

  • First 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, whole grain barley, split peas, and brewers rice
  • Formula highlights: fish oil, chia seeds, and glucosamine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 26% (min), crude fat 14% (min), crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Calories:  320 kcal/cup


Now Fresh Small Breed Senior (Grain-Free)

Now Fresh Small Breed Senior (Grain-Free)

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Now Fresh is a lesser-known premium brand that carries this highly nutritious formula crafted by vet nutritionists for the special needs of senior small-breed pups. It contains moderate levels of calories, protein, and fat, as well as L-carnitine to help less-active Dachshunds maintain a healthy weight as they age.

This grain-free recipe features de-boned turkey, salmon, duck, and eggs for high-quality protein sources. It also includes more than a dozen whole fruits and veggies, including carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, blueberries, and more. Another bonus, Now Fresh cooks all fresh ingredients only once at low temperatures to maintain their nutritional value. Although it’s pricey, this dog food gets fantastic reviews from owners who say it’s worth the cost.

  • First 5 ingredients: de-boned turkey, potatoes, peas, potato flour, and pea flour
  • Formula highlights: omega fatty acids, DHA, EPA, taurine, New Zealand green-lipped mussels, dried chicory root, probiotics, and L-carnitine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 24% (min), crude fat 12% (min), crude fiber 5.5% (max)
  • Calories: 375 kcal/cup


Best Dog Food For Dachshunds With Sensitive Stomachs

Dachshunds are notorious for having sensitive stomachs, which can be caused by various digestive issues or food intolerances. In addition to finding the ideal diet, you may also want to give your pup a daily probiotic supplement formulated for dogs, which can help ease digestive symptoms and keep your pup’s gut healthy.

If you suspect your Dachshund has a food intolerance or allergy, you may want to consider an at-home dog allergy test to uncover the source of his tummy troubles. These kits require a simple saliva or hair sample that you send to the company’s lab, and you get results within a few weeks. You can then share these results with your vet to help further narrow down possible causes.

Spot & Tango Unkibble Cod & Salmon Formula (Grain-Free)

Spot & Tango Unkibble Cod and Salmon

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We think Spot & Tango’s Cod & Salmon Unkibble recipe is a fantastic option for doxies with tummy troubles. This limited-ingredient formula features high-quality fish, no grains, and nutritious fruits and veggies. Made with human-grade, whole-food ingredients, Unkibble is a shelf-stable, super-healthy alternative to traditional kibble.

Spot & Tango even customizes your furry friend’s diet based on his breed, age, weight, body shape, activity level, and other factors. They also offer beef and chicken Unkibble recipes and several fresh-frozen meals. While it requires a subscription, you can cancel anytime. And you can try it out with their two-week trial that offers a full money-back guarantee.

  • First 5 ingredients: cod, salmon, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds
  • Formula highlights: human-grade, chicken-free, omega fatty acids (from real fish & flaxseed oil), and chelated minerals
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 29.67% (min), crude fat 22.06% (min), crude fiber 1.15% (max)
  • Calories: 4,131 kcal/kg


Looking for a Spot & Tango promo code? Visit our dedicated Spot & Tango coupon page to check out the latest offer and save.

Full Review Of Spot & Tango

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach (Grain-Inclusive)

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

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This Purina dog food is formulated specifically for sensitive stomachs and skin issues and comes highly recommended by many veterinarians. Entirely chicken-free, this limited-ingredient recipe features salmon as the first ingredient and easy-to-digest oatmeal and other whole grains. And it’s fortified with probiotics for digestive and immune health.

Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach is also available in a senior formula and canned food. While they offer salmon, lamb, and turkey adult kibble recipes, we’re featuring the adult salmon and rice recipe, which gets the best customer reviews from this line.

  • First 5 ingredients: salmon, barley, rice, oatmeal, and canola meal
  • Formula highlights: chicken-free, omega fatty acids (from real salmon and fish oil), glucosamine, prebiotics, and probiotics
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 26% (min); crude fat 16% (min); crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Calories: 467 kcal/cup


Should I Consider A Hip & Joint Supplement?

Since Dachshunds are at a higher risk for developing several hereditary joint and skeletal conditions, you may want to consider adding a daily joint supplement to your furry friend’s diet. The best joint supplements for dogs help maintain joints in healthy dogs, and for dogs with joint problems, they help improve joint health and relieve inflammation, stiffness, and pain. As with all supplements, you should get your vet’s approval to double-check that it’s safe for your pup.

Planning Ahead For Health Problems

Although doxies are generally a healthy breed compared to many others, all dogs face some health problems throughout their lives. And if your furball develops hip dysplasia, IVDD, a luxating patella, cataracts, etc., all hereditary conditions somewhat common in Dachshunds, you may be faced with expensive veterinary bills and surgical costs. One of the best things you can do to manage your finances and protect your pup’s health is to sign your doxie up for pet insurance.

It’s ideal to get your furry friend covered as early as possible before problems arise because most pet insurance providers don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Learn how pet insurance works and if it’s worth it for your pup. If you’re already familiar with it, be sure to see our reviews of the best pet insurance companies.

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