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Why Is My Dachshunds So Skinny? 8 Reasons + 5 Helpful Tips

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If you’re noticing your dachshund is starting to get on the skinny side it can be quite concerning. Whether you’re noticing other odd behavior or not, it’s a pretty clear indicator something’s off.

But what is it?

Is it normal for Dachshunds to be skinny?

Why Is My Dachshund So Skinny:

Dachshunds will become skinny when their food doesn’t agree with them. If they often have diarrhea and clearly aren’t digesting their food well, this will cause them to be more skinny than usual. Big changes to their environment and unknown illnesses can also cause weight loss.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • How much a dachshund should weigh and what is considered skinny
  • 8 real reasons why your dachshund is so skinny
  • When your dachshund being skinny is something to worry about
  • 5 tips to help your dachshund put on some weight (Sometimes all that’s needed is tip #4!)
  • And much more

Let’s jump right in!

Why is my dachshund so skinny

How Much Should A Dachshund Weigh?

In order to know whether or not your Dachshund is skinny, we need to identify what is actually considered “skinny” or under weight.

Dachshunds come in two size varieties: standard and miniature.

Standard dachshunds should weigh between 16 and 32 pounds, while miniature dachshunds should weigh 8 and 11 pounds.

There is also a third variety, known as the kaninchen dachshund, which falls somewhere in between the standard and miniature sizes.

Ideal weight for a dachshund depends on a number of factors, including height, age, and activity level.

For example, a taller dachshund may be within the healthy weight range even if they weigh more than a shorter dachshund of the same age and activity level.

As a general rule of thumb, dachshunds should be compact and muscular, with a noticeable waistline.

If your dachshund falls into the under weight category or you can tell they seem skinny, let’s look into why dachshunds get skinny.

8 Real Reasons Why Dachshunds Get So Skinny

1) Overly Anxious

If your dachshund is feeling particularly anxious lately, it can definitely affect their appetite which is making them become so skinny.

Outside of if your pup experienced any form of trauma at an early age, big changes to their environment can also contribute to your dachshund feeling anxious.

Things like moving into a new home, a change in your work schedule, bringing home a newborn baby, or adding another pet to your family.

All of these change your pup’s daily environment in one way or another.

Which can make them feel all out of sorts because dogs thrive with routines.

And when their routine gets changed because something happens to their environment, it can throw off their appetite and make them lose weight.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear

2) Feeling Depressed

dachshund skinny

Like people, dogs can get depressed too.

And when they do, they often stop eating as much because they just don’t have the same appetite.

(I think dachshunds are more prone to depression because they’re such sensitive souls.)

So if your pup seems a little down in the dumps lately and isn’t eating as much as usual, it could be due to depression.

The most common thing that can cause your pup to become depressed is when someone they love is no longer in their life.

This can be the loss of a family member, whether human or canine, or when someone they love dearly is gone for weeks or months.

If your dachshund is missing a family member can cause them to eat less and in turn become much more skinny.

A study found that dogs experiencing depression actually eat 35% less as well as 31% slower.

So it’s understandable for your dachshund to be so skinny compared to their normal weight if they’re feeling depressed.

Related Reading: Why Does My Dachshund Always Look Sad? 7 Reasons + Tips

3) Poor Oral Hygiene

You might not think that poor oral hygiene can make your dachshund skinny but it actually can.

If your pup doesn’t have good oral hygiene, they’re more likely to develop gum disease or other mouth infections.

These mouth infections often lead to a loss of appetite because they cause a lot of pain.

Which then causes pups to eat less and become skinnier.

And in fact, roughly 90% of all dogs will develop some form of gum disease by the time they reach 2.

Largely because they haven’t received any proper oral care.

So if you rarely, or never, brush your pups teeth or give them dental chews, their mouth could be sore and is causing them to eat less.

Which of course would also result in your dachshund becoming more skinny.

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

4) Not Enough Food

This one seems pretty obvious but it’s still worth mentioning.

If your dachshund isn’t getting enough food, they’re going to become skinny because they’re not consuming enough calories.

Dachshunds need roughly 340 calories per day.

However, some dachshunds may need more or less depending on their activity level, age, and weight.

A simple calculation for how many calories a healthy adult dachshund needs each day is as follows:

Get your pup’s weight and divide it by 2.2.

Multiply that number by 30, then add 70 on to that.

So if your dachshund weighs 21 pounds it would look like this:

21 / 2.2 = 9.54

9.54 x 30 = 286.2

286.36 + 70 = 356.2 calories per day.

If you’re feeding your dachshund the recommended amount of food per day and they’re still skinny, then it’s time to move on to the next potential reason.

5) Main Food Source Change

dachshund skinny

If you’ve recently changed your dachshunds’ food it could definitely affect their appetite and make them lose weight.

Even switching from one brand of dog food to another can sometimes make a difference in how much they eat.

When making a change to your pup’s food it’s always best to do so gradually.

Over the course of a week or two, slowly mix in the new food with their old food.

That way they can get used to the change and it won’t be such a shock to their system.

If you make a sudden switch, it could definitely affect their appetite and make them more skinny.

6) Intestinal Parasite

Intestinal parasites are more common in puppies but adult dogs can get them too.

These parasites live off the food that your dachshund eats and can cause a lot of problems.

One of those problems is weight loss because they’re taking away vital nutrients that your pup needs.

Another problem is diarrhea which can also lead to weight loss if it’s severe enough.

If you think your dachshund has an intestinal parasite, the best thing to do is take them to the vet.

They can properly diagnose and treat the problem so that your pup can start putting on some much-needed weight.

7) Food Allergy

Just like people, dogs can be allergic or sensitive to certain foods.

If your dachshund is allergic or sensitive to something they’re eating, it could definitely affect their appetite and make them more skinny.

It could also make it so their body doesn’t properly absorb their food’s nutrients.

Which means pooping more often and less calorie retention because their body isn’t properly digesting the food.

The best way to find out for sure if your pup has a food allergy or sensitivity is to talk to your vet.

8) Health Problem

There are a variety of health problems that can cause weight loss in dogs.

Some examples include diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and thyroid problems.

If you don’t think that any of the previous reasons apply to why your dachshund is so skinny they might have an underlying health issue.

If you think your dachshund might have a health problem that’s causing them to be skinny, the best thing to do is take them to the vet.

They can properly diagnose and treat the problem so that your pup can start putting on some weight again.

5 Tips To Help Your Dachshund Not Be So Skinny

why is my dachshund so skinny-min

1) First & Foremost: Diet & Exercise

If your dachshund hasn’t become so skinny because of a health issue, adding more exercise will really help increase their appetite.

Getting their body moving will spark their hunger and make them want to eat more than they have been.

Which makes the next important thing the quality of food they’re eating.

If they aren’t eating quality food they won’t have much energy which will make them uninterested in exercising.

Which will create an unfortunate cycle of not exercising because of low energy caused by their food, which then makes them want to eat less and in turn have even less energy.

When it comes to dog food a good rule of thumb is buy the highest quality you can afford without negatively affecting you financially.

You want to look for food that one of its main ingredients is a meat-based protein, is highly digestible and contains little to no preservatives.

Pair this with an increase in daily exercise and your pup should put on more healthy weight.

Related Reading: Top 12 Best Harnesses For Dachshunds

2) Help Give Them Stability

If your dachshund has become more skinny because of a change in their routine/environment, try to help give them some stability and predictability.

Dogs thrive off of routines so if there’s been a lot of changes lately that could be affecting their appetite.

Try to keep things as consistent as possible and set regular meal times each day.

Another thing you can do to help give them stability is create a safe space for them that’s just their own.

This could be a crate or even just a corner of a room with their bed, toys and some treats.

When they’re in this space they should feel safe, stable and comfortable so that they can relax and not worry about anything else.

Making sure they have a consistent routine and their own safe space will help decrease their anxiety and make them more likely to want to eat.

3) Look For Their Stressor

If your dachshund has become more skinny because of stress, it’s important to try and figure out what’s causing their stress.

There are a variety of things that could be causing them stress such as: a new person/pet in the house, changes in their routine/environment, loud noises outside, etc.

Once you know what’s causing their stress, you can start to work on alleviating it.

If the stressor is something that can’t be removed from their environment (like a loud construction site next door) there are still things you can do to help decrease their stress levels.

Some things include: increasing the amount of exercise they get, adding more mental stimulation through training/tricks, providing them with a safe space (as mentioned before), and using calming aids like ThunderShirts, CBD oil, or Adaptil diffusers.

If you can’t remove the thing stressing them out the next best thing is to help them overcome their anxious feelings toward whatever it is.

Which will take time and patience but will ultimately help their appetite once they overcome it.

4) Try Different Dog Food

why is my dachshund so skinny

Sometimes when a dachshund starts getting too skinny it’s because what they’re eating doesn’t agree with them.

This could be for a variety of reasons such as: allergies, bad ingredients, or their stomach is too sensitive.

If you think this might be the case with your pup, try switching to a different dog food.

There are a lot of different types of dog food on the market so it might take some trial and error to find one that works for them.

A good place to start is by looking for a hypoallergenic or sensitive stomach formula.

There are also grain-free and limited ingredient diets that might be worth trying if your pup has food allergies.

It’s important to find a food that not only agrees with their stomach but also provides the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy weight.

If you’re unsure of what food to switch them to, it’s never a bad idea to ask your veterinarian for advice.

5) Speak With a Vet

If nothing you do seems to work for your pup, it’s a good idea to chat with a vet.

They’ll be able to give you specific advice on what might be going on and how to best help your pup put on some healthy weight.

They can also rule out any potential health problems that might be causing them to lose weight.

[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:

Why Doesn’t My Dachshund Like Me? (Fully Explained + Tips)

11 Reasons Why Dachshunds Refuse To Walk + 7 Helpful Tips

Dachshund Reverse Sneezing: Why It Happens & What To Do


Nutrition – General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs

Separation Anxiety

Owners’ Perceptions of Their Animal’s Behavioural Response to the Loss of an Animal Companion

Periodontal (Gum) Disease in Dogs