Understanding the Special Needs of the Dachshund Breed

dachshund portrait

Dachshunds are a wonderful breed of dog, known as much for their unique look as they are for their warm companionship and lovability. It’s natural for animal lovers to be attracted to the fun, playful, and cuddly aspects of being a pet owner. But in addition to showing your tender, everyday affection, real love and care requires knowing the special needs of a specific breed and how to accommodate for them.

Unfortunately, because of their unusually long shape, Dachshunds can be prone to spinal cord injuries. Because of this, special attention should be paid to back health throughout the course of their lives, especially as they grow into old age.

Here are a few important ways to keep your Dachshund’s back and spine healthy:

Avoid certain games

Dachshunds are born with an inherited condition called chondrodystrophic, causing dwarfism and leading to a vulnerable spine and more frequent disc ruptures. As such, you should avoid tug-of war and other playful activities that involve the possible twisting of the spine.

Keep their weight down

It is crucial to keep your Dachshund as strong and slim as possible. Excess weight can be extremely debilitating, putting too much pressure on their spine. A well-monitored diet can prevent a big belly that drags their long back down, causing future issues. As far as exercise goes, daily walks are great for Dachshunds. They’ll build muscles over time to better support the spine while also helping to keep weight at a healthy level.

Prevent steep climbs or jumps

Try to keep your Dachshunds from traveling up steep stairs and leaping from high places, which for them would be sofas, beds, or tables. Some owners build makeshift ramps for their dachshunds to climb up and down. Remember that unlike their owners, Dachshunds are unaware of their own weaknesses and health risk factors.

Of course, these back problems can be avoided by following this advice and supplementing it with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a little special attention to detail. Your Dachshund can live a healthy, enjoyable life that matches its exuberant energy and ambitious attitude. Learn more about this wonderful breed by visiting Patti’s Dachshund Farm.