Dachshunds have their distinct health and behavioral vulnerabilities. Their unique physique – elongated back and short legs – makes these dogs prone to intervertebral disc diseases. Doxies are foodies, and this puts them at an increasing risk of obesity. Owners should be aware of such breed-specific issues and plan their Dachshund care regimen keeping in view the dog’s grooming and training needs.
Here are a few points to consider while taking care of your Doxies and preventing their vulnerabilities from triggering health or behavioral problems.
Dachshund Care: Prevent Back Injury
The Dachshund is more susceptible to intervertebral or slipped disc disease due to their physical shape. As the dog has short legs and a long back, he is at a risk of “ruptured or herniated disc’ more often than other dogs. Excessive pressure or trauma forces the disc to fracture and bulge out. This not only puts a strain on the vertebrae, but also causes pressure on the spinal cord. Doxies with the problem may suffer from pain, inability to control the bladder, and even paralysis.
Routine Dachshund care must focus on protecting these dogs against any risk of back injury. Take appropriate precautions. Don’t allow your Doxie to jump. Prefer walking as a better form of exercising your dog and avoid running fast. Ensure that the dog’s activity does not make him prone to stress in the back. Prevent the dog from climbing stairs and hold him in a way that the back is not squeezed.
Check your Doxie’s back for physical symptoms of injury while grooming. Take him to your vet if the dog has trouble standing or pain in the back.
Dachshund Care: Ensure Healthy Weight
Dachshund obesity is a cause for concern. Doxies have a tendency to overeat, and this makes them overweight. An obese Doxie is at an enhanced risk of a back problem, diabetes, thyroid disorder, hypertension, and bone and joint disorders. So your Dachshund care regimen must focus on maintaining a healthy weight for the dog.
Consult with a vet to know the appropriate weight of your dog and make changes in his food and lifestyle accordingly. Feed your Dachshund quality and nutritional food sufficient to meet his daily dietary requirements that vary with age, build and activity level. Cut down unnecessary treats and snacks if the dog is overweight. Make exercising your dog a part of your daily routine. A Doxie requires about 5 minutes per month of his age. A mature adult Dachshund must have 60 minutes of exercise every day.
Never allow your Doxie to have a belly that hangs down.
Dachshund Care: Holding and Jumping Caution
Make sure you hold your Doxie properly to avoid any stress or injury to its back. While lifting the dog, put your hands on his back and belly simultaneously. Don’t try to hold him with one hand. Holding a Dachshund by his paw or head may not be good considering the dog’s injury-prone back. Using a harness with a leash also reduces the chances of disc injury.
Preventing the dog from going up and down stairs is an essential part of Dachshund care. Always carry the dog upstairs or downstairs so there is no stress on his back. Never allow the dog to jump up, as this may also strain the back.
Dachshund Care: Training Time
Doxies have a stubborn temperament, and they prefer to live on their own terms. This makes training a Dachshund often difficult.
However, with proper Dachshund care and understanding of his personality, you can train the dog to be a perfect and loving companion. Avoid dictating terms to a Doxie or handing out harsh punishments. The Dachshund loves friendly and personal attention, and you can make most of it to train him.
Divide the training time into short sessions not exceeding 10 minutes at a stretch. While short sessions ensure better personal attention, higher frequency facilitates quick learning. Reward for positive behavior with praise and occasional treats to motivate you Doxie.
Ignore the dog when he is excited, aggressive, or not amenable to your command. The lack of attention is the biggest punishment for these attention seekers.
Dachshund Care: Good Health and Healthy Diet
Regular inspection for health problems is an indispensable part of your routine Dachshund care. The dog is susceptible to skin, spinal, orthopedic, and gland-related disorders. You can check most of the problems with apt attention to diet and physical activities. Identify and avoid allergy triggers. With proper grooming techniques, you can avert the risk of infections.
Feed your dog thrice a day. Pay attention to its ability to digest and signs of gastrointestinal disorders. Avoid commercial dog food rich in fillers, preservatives, or by-products. Home-cooked food is the best for your Doxie. You must consider the daily calorie requirement of your dog, taking his age, weight, and activity level into consideration. The diet should be fortified with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fat. Safeguard your dog from dehydration.