With their short legs and long backs, dachshunds are among the most recognizable breeds in the world. Their sausage shape gives them the adorable moniker “wiener dogs,” and they’re a popular small breed for pet owners of all kinds.
Because of their conformation, dachshunds need to maintain a healthy weight. An overweight dachshund is susceptible to joint and back problems, not to mention the numerous health conditions that can arise from obesity. Dachshunds need a healthy, nutrient-dense food that maintains their weight without compromising their health.
Here are our 10 best dog food for dachshunds, based on reviews from loving dog owners like you.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated in 2022)
|Best Overall||Spot + Tango||
|Best Value||Purina ONE Adult Formula Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food||
|Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food||
The 10 Best Dog Food for Dachshunds
1. Spot + Tango – Best Overall
|Special diet needs:||Limited ingredient, gluten-free, non-GMO|
Spot + Tango is the best overall dog food for dachshunds. In fact, the brand has been AAFCO-certified to fulfill their dietary requirements and supplies only the highest-quality ingredients and pre-portioned meals to ensure a healthy weight. Spot + Tango offers a variety of kibble and fresh food formulas that include animal protein like duck, salmon, beef, or chicken, as well as high-quality grains like barley and brown rice. The nutrition plans are tailored to your individual dogs needs.
Vitamins and minerals enhance these food formulas and support optimal joint, skin, coat, and organ health, such as fish oil, choline, zinc, and folic acid. All food formulas are gluten free and non-GMO. The food is available through subscription order on the brand’s website, so it takes planning to source. You can’t simply run to the local pet store if you run out. It’s also a little expensive.
2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food – Best Value
|Special diet needs:||Natural, high-protein|
Purina ONE’s SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula is the best dog food for dachshunds for the money. The food features real chicken as the first ingredient with other high-quality protein sources for strong muscles and a healthy heart. Natural glucosamine sources support joint health and omega fatty acids contribute to a healthy coat and skin.
The diet features vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for total health. Though it’s formulated for easy digestion, the food does have gluten meal, chicken by-products, soybean meal, wheat, which can be a problem for those with allergies or intolerances. Some reviewers noted digestive upset in their dogs, so it may not be appropriate for dachshunds with sensitive stomachs.
3. Nom Nom
|Special diet needs:||No fillers or by-products|
Nom Nom is the premium choice for dog food for dachshunds. With formulas like Beef Mash, Chicken Cuisine, and Pork Potluck, the meals are on-par with human food and provide well-rounded nutrition for your pup. The formulas have real animal protein as the first ingredients, plus nutritious fruits and vegetables like kale, mushrooms, carrots, and squash for vitamins and minerals.
With two board-certified veterinary nutritionists on board, Nom Nom food meets the nutritional standards of AAFCO in delicious, fresh formulas. The food is human-grade and free from fillers, by-products, and preservatives. You must order the food from the website, and it takes some planning, since it’s not available at local pet stores. It’s also expensive.
4. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
|Special diet needs:||High-protein|
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Dog Food provides full nutrition for your growing dachshund puppy. With chicken and barley, this formula supports healthy brain, eye, and skeletal development. The kibble is small and easy to eat and digest for small-breed puppies.
All food is made in the US and formulated from natural, high-quality ingredients without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The food is recommended for puppies up to one year and pregnant or nursing adult females. Some reviewers complained of quality control issues, such as insect contamination, and others said their puppy didn’t like the food.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Special diet needs:||Grain-free, gluten-free, high-protein|
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is formulated with novel proteins like bison and buffalo to meet your pup’s protein needs. The formula is grain-free and includes sweet potatoes, peas, and other fruits and vegetables to support full health. The addition of dried chicory root provides prebiotic support, while the K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics give your dog the species-appropriate antioxidants and probiotics for immune health.
All Taste of the Wild food is made in the US and sourced from trusted local and global suppliers. The food is free from grains, corn, wheat, and artificial flavors and colors. Some reviewers said their dog wouldn’t eat the food and expressed concerns over health conditions that possibly arise from grain-free food.
6. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Special diet needs:||Grain-free, no corn, wheat, or soy|
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food offers full nutrition with real, deboned salmon as the protein source and sweet potatoes for carbohydrate energy. Fruits and vegetables like carrots, blueberries, and kelp support health with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, while omega fatty acids provide coat and skin health.
The food contains no corn, wheat, or soy, so it’s less likely to bother dogs with food sensitivities. Several reviewers noted that their dogs didn’t like the food and only ate it when really hungry, while others said it had negative effects on energy levels in their dogs.
7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew Canned Dog Food
|Special diet needs:||Weight control|
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew Canned Dog Food is specially designed to support a healthy weight. The lean recipe offers balanced nutrition with prebiotic fiber for gentle digestion. Based on research, 70% of dogs lost weight within 10 weeks of switching to this formula.
This food is recommended for adult dogs that require fewer calories, such as dogs prone to obesity, less active dogs, and neutered pets, making it perfect for dachshunds with weight concerns. The wet formula is highly palatable and easy for small dogs to eat and digest. Some reviewers noted that they received foul-smelling cans, or their dogs wouldn’t eat the food.
8. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
|Special diet needs:||Pea-free, veterinary diet for dietary allergies|
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Canine Formula Dry Dog Food is a highly digestible food designed for optimal nutrition and fewer adverse food reactions. The recipe was created in collaboration with nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians to provide whole nutrition with one protein source and one carbohydrate source.
The food has hydrolyzed protein with chicken flavoring that can be digested more easily for better absorption. As a veterinary formula prescription, this food needs authorization from a veterinarian to order. Several reviewers said their dogs wouldn’t eat or noted it contains less-desirable ingredients like corn starch. Others mentioned quality control issues.
9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Special diet needs:||Grain-free|
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is designed to provide species-appropriate nutrition with real chicken as the first ingredient. The recipe is high in protein and free from grains to develop lean muscle mass. With Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, dogs get a dose of powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
The carbohydrates in this recipe come from healthy energy sources like sweet potatoes and peas. Omega fatty acids support skin and coat health. The food is free from by-products, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors and preservatives. Some reviewers said their dogs didn’t like the food or that the proportions of LifeSource Bits to kibble was unbalanced.
10. Purina ONE SmartBlendTrue Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack Canned Dog Food
|Formula:||Chunks in gravy|
|Special diet needs:||High-protein, no corn, wheat, or soy|
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack Canned Dog Food provides nutrient-dense foods in a species-appropriate recipe. The variety pack offers different protein and carbohydrate sources in chunky food with hearty gravy to prevent boredom. Each pack has chicken, duck, and turkey and venison formulas. All formulas have high antioxidant levels with selenium, zinc, and vitamins A and E.
The food may be used as a full meal or as a food topper for dry food. Some reviewers said that their dog didn’t like the food, or it caused digestive upset. Others mentioned quality control issues or that their dog only liked one formula.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Best Dog Food for Your Dachshund
Dachshunds are energetic and alert dogs that require specific nutrition to stay healthy. Because of their long backs and short legs, obese dachshunds could suffer health problems or back issues, such as intervertebral disc disease.
With a dachshund’s nutrition, the most important factor is nutrient-dense foods that don’t contribute to weight gain. Here’s what you should look for in your dachshund’s food:
If your dachshund has a low activity level or is otherwise prone to weight gain, a weight control formula may be beneficial. These formulas offer nutrient density without caloric density, meaning your dog gets more nutrition per calorie. Some weight control formulas can cause digestive upset, however, so it’s best to experiment to see how your dog tolerates the food.
High-quality dog food provides real animal protein as the first or primary protein source. Dogs need protein to thrive, so look for foods with muscle meat and organs from animals, not plant protein like grains, corn, wheat, rice, or barley. Meat by-products also provide protein.
This may come down to preference for your dog, but you can choose between dry food, semi-moist food, or wet food. Semi-moist or wet food may be more palatable for your dog and easier on their gums since dachshunds are prone to dental issues that can lead to pain or discomfort in the teeth or gums. However, to prevent dental disease in the first place, crunching on kibble can help.
As mentioned, dachshunds are prone to joint and back problems and may benefit from a joint-support formula with glucosamine and chondroitin. Don’t buy into the hype, however. Different glucosamine and chondroitin formulas provide different results, such as glucosamine hydrochloride versus glucosamine sulfate, so make sure you’re not paying for an expensive ingredient with no verified benefits.
Dachshunds are interesting little dogs with specific nutritional needs to keep them healthy and happy. Our best overall dog food for dachshunds is Spot + Tango, which is specifically designed for the needs of wiener dogs. For the best value, choose Purina ONE’s SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula. Our premium choice is Nom Nom, a fresh food with rich meat and vegetable ingredients. Of note is that our list contains several grain free recipes due to their popularity with dog owners. However, only a very small percentage of dogs have genuine food allergies and shouldn’t eat grains or gluten.
Featured Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock