The Best Dog Food For Dachshunds in 2020 (Buying Guide)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Dachshunds are the smallest hound breeds and were originally bred to hunt and chase badgers.  But this small breed is known to be adorable, with their short legs and slinky-like long bodies.

These cuties are lovable and affectionate, although they do tend to burn off their excess energy by barking at everything and digging up the yard! 

Because they’re small breed hunting dogs, the best dog food for Dachshunds should be high in fat (for easy-access energy) and animal protein (to keep those muscles tough).

Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Lil' Bites Chicken Little Recipe Small Breed Dog Food, 7 oz. Bag
VICTOR Purpose - Senior/Healthy Weight, Dry Dog Food
Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken Grain-Free Mini & Medium Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food 5.5 Lbs
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Raw nutrition, which is easy on the digestive system.
High protein and lower in fat to prevent weight gain with age.
Very high protein and fat, great for active puppies.
Pro 2
Four flavors available, each avoiding allergens.
High fiber grains and veggies.
Great Omegas, including DHA and EPA.
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Lil' Bites Chicken Little Recipe Small Breed Dog Food, 7 oz. Bag
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Pro 1
Raw nutrition, which is easy on the digestive system.
Pro 2
Four flavors available, each avoiding allergens.
Best For Seniors
Rank
Ranked #2
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VICTOR Purpose - Senior/Healthy Weight, Dry Dog Food
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
High protein and lower in fat to prevent weight gain with age.
Pro 2
High fiber grains and veggies.
Best For Puppies
Rank
Ranked #3
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Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken Grain-Free Mini & Medium Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food 5.5 Lbs
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Very high protein and fat, great for active puppies.
Pro 2
Great Omegas, including DHA and EPA.
Sources researched
15
Sources researched
Customer reviews
16,720
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
12
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Dachshunds

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Lil’ Bites

Best Overall: Highest quality and highly digestible

Overall Score91%
Animal Protein96%
Omegas86%
Supplements86%
Digestibility96%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Raw nutrition, which is easy on the digestive system. 
  • Four flavors available, each avoiding allergens. 
  • Contain organic fruits and vegetables. 
  • Appropriate for Dachshunds of all life stages.

CONS

  • No supplements added. 
  • Hard to tell the Omega levels.

Just because Dachshunds are small breeds, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from raw dog foods. These freeze-dried raw bites are super healthy and your Dachshund will thrive on this nutritious meal. Raw diets are also known to be highly digestible, so it should be easy on your little one’s tummy

It’s super for pet parents who want to feed their pup the highest quality and most digestible foods for Dachshunds as possible.

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Nutritious But Missing Supplements 

One of the best things about this range is the variety of recipes. If your Dachshund needs to avoid certain ingredients, it’s easy to do so while still getting a highly nutritious and tasty meal

While these raw dog foods are a great option, you will need to buy a separate glucosamine supplement for your Dachshund. This shouldn’t be a problem though – they’re easy to find online or at your local vet. 

It’s also a little hard to tell what the Omega levels are in these dog foods, but considering the protein consists of muscle and organ meat, it should be fairly high naturally.

Victor Senior Healthy Weight

Best For Dachshund Seniors: High protein and lower in fat

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas90%
Supplements96%
Digestibility86%
Affordability86%

PROS

  • High protein and lower in fat to prevent weight gain with age. 
  • High fiber grains and veggies. 
  • Good calorie count (360 per cup). 
  • Contains DHA and good Omegas.

CONS

  • Contains chicken meal, so may not be suitable for dogs with poultry allergies. 
  • No real meat.

Seniors often need a food with a lower fat content, and that’s especially true for dogs like Dachshunds that are prone to gaining weight quickly. This dry dog food contains 11.5% fat, while retaining a great protein level of 27%. 

Your senior Dachshund will do well on this food. It contains stuff to keep their joints strong enough to support their aging body, L-carnitine (which helps regulate metabolism and energy production), and DHA to keep their eyes as young as possible.

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No Real Meat 

Although real meat is a highly digestible ingredient, this dog food opts to go with meat meal exclusively. That accounts for the high protein count. It contains a variety of meals, including beef, chicken, pork, and fish. 

For seniors who may be sensitive to one or more of those, a different food may be best. For all others, this dog food is a great choice.

Farmina Grain-Free Small & Medium Breed Puppy

Best For Dachshund Puppies: High protein and fat content

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas90%
Supplements95%
Digestibility90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Very high protein and fat, great for active puppies. 
  • Great Omegas, including DHA and EPA. 
  • Good Omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. 
  • Contains fruits and veggies for healthy carbs.

CONS

  • Somewhat pricey.

Baby sausage dogs will need a dry dog food slightly higher in protein and fat than an adult. This kibble is awesome for active puppies, as it contains a whopping 42% protein and 22% fat. If you have a Dachshund puppy, choosing the best dog food can get them off to the best start in life. We recommend this dog food for Dachshunds who are still younger than a year. 

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Puppy-Specific Nutrients 

Puppies need joint supplements from a young age, and this kibble has a good level of glucosamine and chondroitin. 

The Omegas are great – some of the highest we’ve seen. This will help keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy from the very beginning. The DHA and EPA counts are also really good, so dogs on this kibble will be off to the very best healthy start! 

The only downside is that it only comes in one flavor, and that recipe does contain chicken. If your dog doesn’t like chicken or is allergic to it, you’ll need to choose something else. It’s also somewhat pricey, but the quality is worth the price tag.

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Recipe

Premium kibble at an affordable price

american journey dog food for dachshunds
Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas90%
Supplements88%
Digestibility88%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Good protein and fat levels for active Dachshunds. 
  • Contains DHA as well as high Omega fatty acid levels. 
  • Added joint-strengthening supplements. 
  • One of the most affordable foods on the market.

CONS

This dry dog food is proof that a premium kibble can be both high-quality and affordable. Your Dachshund dog will get all they need from this recipe, and its super ingredients make it very easy to digest. 

We recommend this kibble for Dachshund parents who want something that’s going to build your dog’s immune system, nourish them properly, and keep your bank account happy at the same time

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Premium Additions 

For an affordable dog chow, this kibble contains some amazing additions. It has a nice glucosamine and chondroitin level to keep those joints stable, which is important for Dachshunds who get a lot of exercise. 

The Omega count is on the higher side, which is awesome for pups like Dachshunds who tend to suffer from skin problems due to food allergies. Higher Omegas are also helpful when it comes to preventing seizures, which is another common health problem in these small breeds. It also has a little sprinkle of DHA, to boost brain power and sight.

Zesty Paws Raw Freeze-Dried Salmon Skin & Coat Support Dog Treats

Best Treat

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas90%
Supplements90%
Digestibility90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Only one ingredient – high-quality salmon. 
  • High in Omegas for skin and coat health. 
  • Close to 200 treats in one bag. 
  • 5 calories per treat.

CONS

  • If left for too long, they can become hard.

Premium-quality dry dog foods should be supplemented with a premium quality treat. For a small breed like Dachshunds, finding a healthy yet low-calorie can be difficult, but we believe this one will do the trick. 

There’s only 5 calories in each treatlet, which means you can feed a couple of them to small dogs every day without worrying that they’ll become overweight. One packet should also last a good few months if you stick to 2 or three treats per day and make sure to store them somewhere airtight.

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Single Ingredient 

There’s only one ingredient in these – salmon. This is great not only because it reduces the chance of allergies, but also because salmon is high in Omegas, so even these tiny bites will help nourish your Dachshund’s skin and coat. 

In addition to the usual Omega-3 and -6s, there’s a little dash of DHA and EPA, which is wonderful for both puppies and adults.

Diamond Naturals Light

Best For Weight Management

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas85%
Supplements95%
Digestibility85%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • No chicken or potato. 
  • Good fiber ingredients (healthy grains, fruits and vegetables). 
  • Contains great supplements. 
  • Extremely affordable.

CONS

  • Protein content may be too low for some (we suggest adding a few high-protein treats if this is the case!).

If your Dachshund is overweight, a weight management dry dog food could help him or her slim down to a healthy size again. Extra weight puts strain on joints and the heart, as well as just making your poor dog uncomfortable. 
It’s free from common allergens like chicken, legumes, and potato, so it should go easy on your dog’s stomach.

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Low Fat 

Weight management dog food works by lowering the fat content in the kibble. Fat is what dog’s use most of the time to fuel them through the day. If the fat is lowered, then their body has no choice but to start using their own body fat to turn into energy. 

This dry dog food contains 6% fat, which is very low but will definitely be effective for obese dogs. The only thumbs-down is that the protein content might be too low to maintain muscles. We recommend using this as a short-term dog food, only until your dog has reached their desired weight. Then you can put them back on normal dog food.

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Range

Best Limited Ingredient

Overall Score90%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas95%
Supplements90%
Digestibility90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Various recipes available, making it easy to avoid allergens.
  • Contains DHA, EPA, and high Omega levels.
  • High in protein and fat.
  • Added joint supplements.

CONS

  • Slightly on the pricey side.

For dogs who struggle with food allergies, a limited ingredient diet can be a lifesaver. The Acana Singles range is by far our favorite. It’s biologically appropriate nutrition, so your dog’s little body will have no trouble digesting it. It’s also packed to the brim with healthy supplements to help your dog live his best life.

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Flavor Variety 

It’s rare to find a limited ingredient range that has more than one or two recipes. This one has five unique formulas, all of which are nutritious and loaded with tasty stuff. 

No matter which one you choose, your dog will be avoiding his allergens and getting a nutrient-packed meal, complete with joint supplements, Omegas, DHA, and EPA.

Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Potato

Best Without Glucosamine

Overall Score88%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas90%
Supplements85%
Digestibility90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Avoids allergens like chicken, beef, lamb, and eggs. 
  • High in Omega fatty acids. 
  • Healthy weight formula is great for Dachshunds. 
  • No wheat, corn, soy, or by-products.

CONS

  • May be too low in protein and fat for very active Dachshunds.

Perhaps you’re already feeding your Dachshund a glucosamine supplement, or maybe your vet has advised against joint supplements for some reason. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for a dry dog food that doesn’t contain glucosamine, we’ve chosen this as our top one.

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High-Quality Ingredient List 

Wellness Complete Health is known for being premium quality and only adding the good stuff to their foods. This offering does not disappoint, with a lovely ingredient list that avoids common problem foods. 

Whitefish is the main ingredient, followed by Menhaden fish meal which usually adds a little dash of glucosamine anyway. It’s fairly low in calories, as well as in protein, but this dry dog food from Wellness Complete will give your dog all the nutrition they need.

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat

Best For Skin Allergies

Overall Score88%
Animal Protein85%
Omegas90%
Supplements85%
Digestibility90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Avoids most common allergens. 
  • Added DHA for extra Omegas. 
  • Good calorie count for dogs prone to weight gain. 
  • Superfood ingredients for extra vitamins and minerals.

CONS

  • No joint supplements. 
  • Does contain potatoes.

We love Diamond Naturals dry dog food for their nice price and superior quality, healthy dog foods. This one is no exception, taking top spot for the best dog food for skin allergies. It’s a specialized Skin & Coat formula that works for all life stages. 

If your Dachshund is one of those dogs who has trouble with itchy, dry, or brittle skin or fur, choosing a dog food like this could make all the difference. It’s highly nutritious, and packed with all the right stuff (except for glucosamine). Give it a try and see how your dog’s skin and fur improve.

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High Quality for Great Price 

The only thing you won’t be getting in this dog food is glucosamine, but it’s very easy to buy that separately. You’ll still be getting Diamond Naturals’ fantastic quality natural ingredients that steer clear of most allergy ingredients (with the exception of potato and legumes). 

Salmon and fish meal contribute to the protein, with healthy, fiber-rich vegetables like peas, potatoes, kale, and carrots making up the carbs. The addition of blueberries, oranges, and papaya add a nice little splash of vitamins and minerals, too. 

The ingredients that really give this dog food its skin-nourishing properties are DHA, Omega-3, and Omega-6. The levels are high, and the addition of vitamin A and vitamin E enhance those properties even more.

The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Dog Food

Best Digestibility

Overall Score87%
Animal Protein90%
Omegas80%
Supplements80%
Digestibility95%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Human-grade and very easy to digest. 
  • Available in various flavors. 
  • Adds a splash of moisture to your dog’s diet. 
  • Dehydrated ingredients, no preservatives added.

CONS

  • Fat counts vary quite a bit (some may be too low). 
  • No supplements added.

The Honest Kitchen is all about organic ingredients, so we can recommend this unusual dog food with full confidence. Dachshunds are notorious for their wonky digestive systems, and the more digestible dog foods for Dachshunds are, the better. 

If your Dachshund tends to be sensitive to food or has trouble digesting, this could be a great thing to try. It’s not your average dog food – it has no crunch or kibble-ness to it. It’s a moist, soft, porridge-like food that will go down well and make your dogs’ stomach happy!

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Dehydrated Ingredients 

The four different flavors of this food all contain organic protein, fruits and veg. The difference between this food and others is that their ingredients have been dehydrated. If you’re wondering what purpose this serves, it keeps them fresher for longer, eliminating the need for artificial preservatives. 

Simply add water (warm or cool) to turn this dry food into a delicious, healthy meal for your Dachshund. This is more advantageous than most people realize, because your dog will be getting in a good bit more moisture than they may usually, which also helps quite a bit with digestion. 

If you aren’t convinced yet, the fact that this food is human-grade means that you could make yourself a bowl of it and eat it alongside your dogs. There’s nothing untoward or unhealthy in it at all – not for us, and not for our pets.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria #1: Animal Protein

A great quality, healthy animal protein should always be the first ingredient. You may need to try a few different proteins if your Dachshund has food allergies. Common allergy-inducing proteins are chicken, beef, and lamb, so cater to your dog’s needs. 

The protein count should also be 25% and upwards for bouncy Dachshunds. Plant proteins are all right to see further down the list, but we’ve made sure each dog food on this list contains a named, high-quality animal protein upfront.

Criteria #2: Omegas

Dachshunds are prone to skin problems as a result of food allergies. Their fur is also quite short and fine, which means allergies can be aggravated by environmental factors. 

A nice dose of Omega fatty acids in a dog food can help nourish and moisturize dogs’ skin, keeping them as itch-free and smooth as possible. It also helps with digestion, which is great for Dachshunds. 

We’ve chosen dog foods that have good levels of Omega fatty acids to help keep your small breed’s skin and digestive system as healthy as possible.

Criteria #3: Digestibility

A dog food’s digestibility is a hard number to find, but you can do a quick test by having a look at how natural the ingredients are and the fiber level. 

Dachshunds tend to have trouble with their anal glands. Dog foods that are higher in fiber and have a high digestibility score can help decrease the chances of this becoming a problem.  Grains that contain gluten (wheat, corn, soy) are not easy to digest, so we’ve made sure the dog food options on this list don’t contain them at all. 

We’ve chosen only easily-digestible, healthy foods here to make sure your Dachshund’s stomach can deal well with them.

Criteria #4: Supplements

Dachshunds may be small, but they’re bundles of energy. Their active lifestyles can take a toll on their joints, so Dachshund food should contain supplements to strengthen and maintain their joints.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are seen on many dog food labels, and we’ve made an effort to stick to dog food that contains one or both of them.

If we’ve found a food that’s great quality and it doesn’t contain either one, we’ve made a note. It’s not the end of the world – glucosamine is super easy to buy separately.

We have tried to stick to dog food that contains it, though, as it’s easier for both pet parents and pups!

Criteria #5: Affordability

This is always a consideration for us at Dog Embassy. We aim to keep dogs happy, and of course, a happier pet parent makes a happier pup. 

Some of the dog food we’ve reviewed is more on the pricey side, but they’re well worth the buy. Our Best Value for Money choice is especially for pet owners on a budget. It’s a premium quality, on-par with the others, but the price is right for everyone.


Questions & Answers

What should the best dog food for Dachshunds contain?

Animal protein needs to be first on the list. This can be in the form of real meat like deboned turkey, chicken, beef, and so on, or it can be meat meal (chicken meal, salmon meal, etc).

Fruits and veggies are great carbohydrates, and gluten-free grains are fantastic for fiber. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, potatoes, berries, and grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and millet are super ingredients.

The best food for these small dogs also needs to contain joint supplements and Omega fatty acids, to counter their tendency towards joint problems and skin allergies.

You should also see chelated minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins and minerals, and no artificial or synthetic ingredients at all.

What are some common health issues in Dachshunds?

Small breed dog breeds like Dachshunds are prone to certain health conditions, such as: 

All of these can be helped or prevented to a certain degree by feeding your Dachshund a premium-quality dog food. Of course, if any strange symptoms do show up, a vet’s visit is in order.

How many times a day should I feed my Dachshund?

Dachshunds need between 30 and 40 calories per pound of body weight per day, depending on how active they are. With this in mind, you can calculate how many calories your pooch should be eating on a daily basis. 

Split this between two or three meals per day. If you can, we’d recommend three meals a day – these guys expend a lot of energy and need to be refueled often! Puppies will definitely need three meals a day for at least the first year.

Are there things I should not feed my Dachshund?

Grains containing gluten are a big no-no. These include corn, wheat, and soy. Foods with artificial or synthetic colors, flavors, or preservatives should also be avoided. There are certain foods that you should never feed your dog, and of course, you need to pay attention and figure out if there are specific foods your pup is sensitive to.