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My Dachshund Is Overweight (6 Reasons & 3 Weight Loss Tips)

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Starting to notice your dachshund’s love handles are getting a little too much love? Some reasons why a dachshund is getting fat are more obvious while others can completely take a person by surprise. So…

Why Do Dachshunds Get Fat?

For the most part, dachshunds get fat because their calorie intake is too high. Based on their current weight, they’re eating more than is required for them to stay at the same weight. Aside from calorie intake, they could also have an underlying health issue causing them to gain weight.

In this post we discuss how to tell if your dachshund is actually overweight, what the top 6 reasons are for a dachshund to become fat (#4 is VERY common) as well as the easiest ways to help a dachshund lose weight.

Let’s jump right in!

Is My Dachshund Overweight? How To Tell If a Dachshund Is Overweight

An adult standard dachshund that’s a healthy weight will be anywhere between 16-32 pounds according to AKC. For miniature dachshunds the healthy weight is roughly 11 pounds.

If your dachshund is dramatically over these weights then they’re considered overweight.

A couple other ways for you to tell if they’re overweight is by looking at their ribcage while they’re standing.

If you’re not able to see their ribs clearly or feel their ribs when touching their ribcage, they’re considered overweight.

Or, if when looking at them from the side (while they’re standing) their chest and stomach/abdomen are the same distance from the floor.

For them to be at a healthy weight you’d want to see their stomach slightly further away from the floor than their chest.

This is called having an abdominal tuck and is present on all dogs that aren’t overweight.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Why Do Dachshunds Get Fat?

1) Old Age

my dachshund is overweight

It’s quite common to see a dog gain weight as they get older.

Not only is their body getting more stiff, their metabolism is starting to slow down as well. Which means they won’t burn off calories as easily as they once did.

Also, while their body isn’t able to move around as freely as it once did, dog moms & dads usually get more lenient with age as well.

They want their pup to be comfortable so they cater to them more, which usually means saying yes to more food more often.

So while your dachshund is getting older, they aren’t moving as much, their metabolism is slowing down, and they may be getting even more food.

Interestingly, a study done in France found that as a dog ages, their likelihood of becoming overweight/obese increases dramatically.

When a dog reaches the age of 12 they’re 6 times more likely to be overweight than when they were 2-3 years old!

Related Reading: 12 Best Dog Beds For Dachshunds: Ultimate 1-Stop Resource

2) Too Many Meals

You might unknowingly be giving your dachshund too many meals throughout the day!

In order for a dachshund to stay at a healthy weight, they need to get a certain amount of ‘scoops’ of dog food each day.

Or wet dog food, whichever you choose for your pup.

The problem of your dachshund gaining weight will come from getting too many portions of food either every day, or many days of the week.

They may look at you with their puppy-dog eyes asking for more food. And believe me, I get how hard it is to say no.

But, it’s likely one of the main causes for their weight gain.

It’s important for you to find out how much food they need each day in order to be healthy, and stick to that amount.

No more just because they’re your cute fur baby.

It stinks to have to be a stickler, I know. ☹️

But it’s for their own good!

3) Not Enough Exercise

Even if dachshunds only need roughly 30 minutes of exercise per day to remain healthy, if they don’t get any they’ll get fatter over time.

It may not happen after a week of no exercise. Maybe not after a month of no exercise. Maybe not even after a few months!

But at some point it will catch up to them.

Daily exercise is super important to keep your pup happy and healthy.

The healthier they are, the more longevity they’ll have. And who doesn’t want that for their pup.

The easiest way to ensure your dachshund is getting enough exercise is by giving them 2 walks a day. One in the morning and one in the evening.

As well as a good 10 minute play session. Whether it’s fetch in your backyard or some playful wrestling and running around the house.

It doesn’t take a lot of exercise, but they’ll certainly gain weight if they’re without any.

Related Reading: Top 12 Best Harnesses For Dachshunds

4) Treat Overload

dachshund weight loss

A treat here and there can absolutely add up.

But who can resist that puppy-dog pout?!

The truth is, because a dachshund doesn’t require too many calories in a day, you can easily go overboard with treats.

One in the morning, one after their walk, one when you get home, one after their walk, some dinner scraps, and maybe a bedtime treat or two. On top of their meals!

This can definitely be the culprit behind your dachshund becoming fatter.

The best thing to do is set a limit to how many treats you’ll give them in a day. If you factor in the amount of calories they get from their food and add each treats calorie amount, you’ll know exactly how many you can give.

This also means you have to say no when they sit and stare at you when you’re cooking.

Fatty human food that is seemingly a nice treat for your pup can definitely make them pack on the pounds.

5) Cushing Disease

There’s a possibility that your dachshunds’ weight gain has nothing to do with their food intake or exercise.

Cushing disease is when your dog has an underlying health issue that forces their body to produce excess cortisol, the stress hormone.

If you’re noticing that recently your dachshund has been super hungry lately and never seems to be full/satisfied, even after a big meal, they may have cushing disease.

The only way to fix this is by having a vet either prescribe medication or in some cases undergo surgery.

Related Reading: 16 Ways To Know If Your Dog Is Sick + Helpful Tips

6) Hypothyroidism

Put simply, hypothyroidism is when your dachshunds’ bodily functions start to slow down which results in weight gain.

When their thyroid isn’t functioning properly, their metabolism will slow down which will contribute to additional weight gain.

Unfortunately, dachshunds are actually one of 7 dog breeds that are more likely to have this condition.

If your dachshund’s weight gain is out of character, meaning they don’t overeat and get plenty of exercise, it’s important to take them to the vet.

Dachshund Weight Loss: 3 Tips To Help a Fat Dachshund Lose Weight

1) Watch Their Calories Intake

The most important thing you can do to help your dachshunds weight loss journey is to closely monitor their calorie intake.

This of course means that you need to know how many calories your pup needs to have each day to not be unhealthy, but also be at a calorie deficit.

If your dog is slightly overweight, a common formula to use to help you figure out how many calories they need each day is:

Divide their ideal weight by 2.2 (this gives you their weight in kilograms).

Multiply that number by 30.

Then add 70.

For example, if you wanted to bring your dachshunds weight down to 28 pounds it would look like this.

28 / 2.2 = 12.73

12.73 x 30 = 381.9

381.9 + 70 = 451.9 calories per day

If your dachshund is way overweight and they need to progressively reduce their calorie intake over time it’s best to consult with a vet on the best way to do this.

If you do have a calorie number to stick to it’s important you measure their meals, watch how many treats you give them, and little to no snacking.

Believe it or not, calorie intake is THE biggest factor when it comes to weight loss.

This is why it’s important that you monitor their calorie intake. The better you do this the quicker your pup will be back at a healthy weight.

During this period your pup might be a little grumpier. But that’s to be expected. We all get a little grumpy when we’re hungry.

And for the next little while, until their body has adjusted, they’ll be hungry more often due to the more limited food/calorie intake.

2) Increase Their Activity

dachshund weight loss

After dieting, the next most important thing is exercise.

However, since your dachshund will be, or should be, at a calorie deficit, it’s important not to overdo it on the exercise.

While yes, it’s important for them to be getting physical activity.

Since their body will be adjusting to running on less food, they won’t have an abundance of energy for excessive exercise.

Dachshunds only really need 30 minutes of activity per day to stay in healthy condition.

So as long as they’re getting 2 good walks per day and some play time in between, their physical activity needs will likely be met.

3) Create a Plan

The best way to ensure you stay on track with your dachshunds new lifestyle is to create a plan.

As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

Whether that’s coming up with a new diet and exercise plan yourself, or consulting with a vet about how to go about this lifestyle change. It’s important to have an idea of how you’re going to tackle this.

If you wing it and don’t give it much thought, your dachshund will likely remain fat.

There’s another saying which goes, that which is measured improves.

That which is measured and reported on improves dramatically.

Create a plan, set a goal, and by doing this you’ll be able to tell if you’re on track or if things are staying the same/getting worse.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Other posts you might find interesting:

8 Surprising Reasons Why Dachshunds Sleep So Much

Top 9 Reasons Why Dachshunds Smell + 8 Ways To Stop It

Do Dachshunds Like To Cuddle? 11 Things You Should Know




Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Risk Factors for Obesity in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in Animals