Weiner dog, sausage dog, Doxie... whatever you call them, the Dachshund is one of the most recognizable dog breeds. This breed's shape — a long, stretched-out torso with stubby, short legs and an adorable hound snout — makes them one of the most unique-looking and beloved dogs.
In addition to their looks, the Dachshund has a lot going for it in the personality department. These fun-loving dogs are affectionate, active, and loyal pets that make great companions for many families. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) the Dachshund was one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the U.S. in 2020.
To care for this attractive breed, it’s important to help Dachshunds maintain a proper weight throughout life. Obesity can shorten the lifespan because it contributes to other health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. The question is, what is the ideal weight for your Dachshund?
Let's take a closer look at what a healthy Dachshund weight should look like and how to make sure your pet stays at a healthy weight.
How Much Should My Dachshund Weigh?
All Dachshunds are considered small dogs, but the types of Dachshunds vary in size. The Standard Dachshund should weigh between 16 and 32 pounds once fully grown. A Miniature Dachshund should weigh about 11 pounds or less. A "Tweenie," neither a Mini Dachshund or a Standard Dachshund, is between 11 and 16 pounds.
The typical weight range for a Standard Dachshund depends on the dog's age. A Dachshund is fully grown by about one year of age, so they should not gain significant weight after this point. While every pup is different, typical weights of Standard Dachshunds by age are:
- 3-5 months: 6 - 13 pounds
- 6-11 months: 12 - 25 pounds
- 12 months+: 16-32 pounds
If your Dachshund puppy falls slightly outside of these ranges, there's no need to panic — this may not necessarily mean your dog is overweight. We’ll show you how to check if they have a weight problem in a bit.
How Can I Tell If My Dachshund Is Overweight?
In most cases, you can tell they're carrying around too much body fat by looking at them. Still, because your dog can experience a gradual weight gain, it can be easy for obesity to sneak up.
How can you tell if your dog is overweight? Try these tips:
- Look down from above. You should be able to see a defined waistline along your dog's torso, near the stomach. Look for a slight inward curve on both sides, behind the rib cage and into the back hips. If this area is bulging, your dog is probably overweight.
- Look at your dog's side profile. Does their belly hang down, rather than curve up gently into the back hips? This is a sign of obesity.
- Feel around your dog's ribcage. You should be able to feel the rib bones underneath your pet's skin and muscle. If you struggle to feel the rib bones, your dog is probably carrying too much weight.
If you think your Dachshund's weight is out of hand, it's time to call your vet's office to get their opinion. If your dog is overweight, you can work together to come up with a weight-loss plan.
What Health Issues Can Obesity Lead To?
Your Dachshund's weight isn't just about their physical appearance. A variety of health conditions are more likely when your dog carries around excess weight. They include:
Because of the Dachshund breed's long body, a lot of pressure is put on their back to support their weight. Obesity only exacerbates that pressure. And because Dachshunds are already at a higher risk for back issues like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), you'll want to avoid back problems whenever you can. In addition to keeping your Dachshund at a healthy weight, always support their back when picking them up, and consider using doggy stairs to help your pet get up on furniture or the bed.
When your dog carries excess weight, it puts more pressure on the joints, wearing out their tissue and cartilage faster. This leads to inflammation and pain associated with canine arthritis. Keeping your Dachshund's weight under control is a good way to avoid this problem. (We’ll give you tips on this in a bit!)
Native Pet's Relief Chicken Chews are another good way to help your pet avoid joint pain. These chews are specially formulated to alleviate pain and improve mobility, and they can even help aid in long-term joint health.
Diabetes isn't quite as common in Dachshunds as it is in other dog breeds, but it's more likely when your sausage dog is overweight. To avoid the need for lifelong insulin injections and specialized dog food, keep your Dachshund's weight in check.
Obesity makes high blood pressure and high cholesterol more likely, which leads to heart issues over time. Heart disease is much more likely in dogs who are overweight — keep your dog's weight in line to give your pet the best chance of avoiding these issues.
How Can I Keep My Dachshund at a Healthy Weight?
We've learned what a normal Dachshund weight is: between 16 and 32 pounds for adult Standard Dachshunds, under 11 pounds for Mini Dachshunds, and between 11 and 16 pounds for Tweenies. If your dog falls into these weight ranges right now, congratulations — you're doing the right thing. So, how do you keep your Dachshund's weight where it should be?
It's simple. Make sure your pet is getting the proper amount of food every day, and don't overfeed them. This is one of the leading causes of obesity. The best way to know how much kibble to feed your dog is to check with your veterinarian.
Ask your vet about the type of food you're feeding your pet to make sure it's high-quality. Cheap foods made with a lot of "filler" material can add unnecessary calories to your dog's diet and lead to an increase in weight. And if you're looking for a healthy treat option, try Native Pet's Yak Chews. These hard cheese chews are packed with protein to give your dog energy without excess calories and fat.
The next step is to make sure your pet is getting enough exercise on a daily basis. Daily walks are a must, and it's also a good idea to get your Dachshund moving with a fun play session every day. Daily exercise burns calories and keeps your dog's bodily systems functioning properly, and it keeps your pet's mind engaged. This results in better behavior and cognitive function throughout life.
What to Remember About Your Dachshund's Weight
What is the ideal Dachshund weight? For Standard Dachshunds who are fully grown, between 16 and 32 pounds is the norm. Miniature Dachshunds weigh 11 pounds or less, and Tweenies fall in between 11 and 16 pounds.
Because obesity may lead to other serious health problems like arthritis, diabetes, back issues like IVDD, and heart disease, pet parents should take care to keep their Dachshund's weight within the above ranges. But it's also important to remember that these are only guidelines — the size of Dachshunds can vary depending on the dog themselves. Check with your vet to find out whether your pet is at a healthy weight.
What can a Dachshund owner do to keep their Dachshund's weight in check? Follow best practices like feeding in proper portion sizes (ask your vet!), feeding a high-quality kibble, and exercising your dog on a daily basis. This ensures you'll enjoy as many happy, healthy years with your beloved Dachshund as possible.
For more information on your dog's health and wellness needs, check out the Native Pet blog.