Care and Feeding Tips for Your New Puppy
Eukanuba Puppy Small Breed food or Diamond Small Breed Puppy Chicken, Rice, and Veggies (no corn, wheat or soybean meal) - these are dry kibble so mix it with a little warm water (no need to soak). Feed the puppy in his crate so he gets used to it plus has peace and quiet to eat. Take up the food after 10 minutes even if he hasn't finished. Do not offer food again until his next regularly scheduled meal. This teaches the puppy to eat everything quickly. Let him take a little nap in his crate right after eating - then take him outside to go potty when he wakes up.
Feed 3 times/day until 4 months old (can switch to the adult versions of the above foods at 5-6 months of age), then twice a day until 8 months old. Then can feed once a day or stay on the twice a day schedule for life.
At 1 year of age, switch to a good adult dry dog food like Diamond Premium Edge Chicken and Veggies (no grain - available at feed stores), Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Small Bites or Eukanuba Lamb and Rice Adult or Nutro Natural Choice Chicken and Rice or Lamb and Rice. Do not feed Iams dry food - their formula changed when the company changed hands and there have been a lot of coat/allergy problems with dogs on Iams. The same is true with Science Diet, plus a lot of dogs dislike it. There are many really good natural kibble foods like Wellness, California Naturals, Nature's Variety, Flint River Ranch, Blue Buffalo, etc. These contain no corn, soy or wheat but are more expensive. If you can afford it, the best diet for your Dachshund is a natural diet of raw foods. There are a lot of good ready-made raw patties that contain raw meat, vegetables and fruits like Nature's Variety medallions, Oma's, Aunt Jenny's, BARF, etc. Feeding raw bones is also very healthy for your dog and can help prevent dental problems later in life. More on this below.
Amount - most adults eat between ¾ cup and 1 ¼ cup dry food per day. Feed smaller amounts for small puppies - you basically have to experiment to see how much to feed. A fat, rolly polly puppy is not good and a fat adult is unhealthy. DO NOT feed free choice. Dachshunds are pigs and will overeat. If you have an adult dachshund who tends to gain weight just looking at food, substitute a portion of their regular dried food with no-salt, canned green beans or plain canned pumpkin (no spices added). Dogs tend to love these two foods and they get filled up on them with no calories.
No need to add canned food or vitamins - the premium dog foods are pretty complete and canned food turns dachshunds into fussy eaters.
Never use Greenies or any other dental chews! These tend to accumulate as slimy chunks inside their stomach and intestines and can cause intestinal blockages and death.
Starting at 6 months of age and continuing for life, once a week (or every day if you can afford it), give your dachshund a raw chicken or turkey neck, thigh, wing or drumstick, or a raw beef bone with meat attached.. DO NOT COOK the chicken or beef bones. A dachshund can crunch RAW bones just fine and will not choke on them, but you should give them the bones on a towel in their crates and supervise them the first few times. The raw bones will clean the teeth beautifully. Cooked chicken bones will splinter and poke holes in the dog's intestines, and cooked beef bones are so hard and brittle that they can break the dog's teeth plus splinter. Expect very small, solid, light colored poop after eating the raw chicken or beef bones as the dog's body utilizes most of this raw food quite well. My personal preferences are raw chicken thighs and beef rib bones. Be sure to practice good sanitation and wash all surfaces thoroughly that have come into contact with the raw food. Remember, dogs are carnivores and can even eat carrion with little ill effect. Dogs have short intestines so their food is absorbed and passed through quickly. They are not subject to the food poisoning problems than can bother people who eat raw meat.
Clean your dog's teeth after every meal. Use doggy tooth paste, not human tooth paste, and a soft toothbrush or finger brush. Rinse with a good doggy dental rinse. Dachshunds are notorious for developing yucky teeth later in life, and this can save you many expensive dental treatments at your vet. It is also a good idea to have a human dental scraper on hand to get beneath the gums once a month and to get at the back molars. I was having a horrible problem with tartar and gingivitis in my dachshunds' back molars until I started feeding the raw chicken thighs once a week The fat in the chicken also gives them a wonderful, shiny coat. Another good product to use is Petzlife Oral Care gel - you'll never have to have a dental done on the dog again if you use it regularly. It will even loosen old, nasty tartar so you can easily scrape it off.
Good, natural treats are small pieces of raw carrot, broccoli, celery, spinach, and bananas. Stay away from raw and cooked onions - can be poisonous to dogs. Chocolate is also very poisonous to dogs. If you suspect your dog has eaten something poisonous very recently (as within the last hour), you can make them vomit it up immediately by giving a couple of teaspoonfuls of hydrogen peroxide. You can suck it up in a 12 cc syringe and squirt it into the back of the dog's mouth in a pocket made between the cheek skin and the back teeth. A dog will usually vomit everything out of it's stomach within 5 minutes of getting the hydrogen peroxide. Don't make the dog vomit if it has eaten certain kinds of caustic cleaners as that can cause further damage to the throat and mouth. Call your vet first before taking any kind of action if you suspect some kind of chemical poisoning.
Vaccination protocol has changed over the last few years due, in part, to research from Cornell University. It has been shown that we are over-vaccinating our dogs and that this, in turn, has led to many more autoimmune disorders and cancer later in life. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has come out with a new dog vaccination protocol which all vets should be following. If yours is not, find a new vet who does. Yearly shots are no longer recommended for any disease!
Basically, puppy vaccines containing distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvo (DHP+parvo combo shot) should be given no earlier than 8 weeks of age. Then a booster shot of the same DHP+parvo combo is given at 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. Another booster shot is given one year from the 16-week old date. After the one-year booster, DHP+parvo shots are given every 3 years until age 8, when all shots are stopped. However, research has shown that after the 1-year booster shot, dogs are immune for life from these diseases. My own dogs do NOT get any more shots beyond their 1-year booster shot and I recommend this protocol for any puppies I produce.
Never give the "L" portion of this shot which is leptospirosis. Lepto is a bacterial disease, so to truly be effective, this vaccine needs to be given every 6 months for life. This is hardly practical, plus the Lepto portion of a DHLP shot is usually the cause of vaccination reactions which can be fatal (causes facial and throat swelling). Although my dogs may get exposed to rats and livestock ponds while hunting (possible sources for lepto), I NEVER give the lepto portion of the DHP+parvo shot. Make sure your vet understands that you do not want the lepto included in the DHP+parvo shots. Lepto is a treatable disease if your dog should happen to get it.
A puppy should receive his first rabies shot at 6 months of age, no earlier. Although many vets push for a rabies shot at 4 months of age, this shot is too hard on young puppies. Many dogs often react to rabies shots and can become quite ill or develp abcesses and hair loss at the shot site. Most states have now gone to a 3-year protocol for rabies shots, so if you absolutely need to get a rabies shot in order to get a town or county dog license, check your state laws and insist on getting a 3-year shot. If your dog reacts badly to the first rabies shot, then have your vet run a blood titer check every 3 years rather than getting the shot itself. Most towns and counties will accept a blood titer report in lieu of a shot.
I find kennel cough/bordatella shots (nasal spray) to be worthless. A lot of vet offices and kennels require them prior to surgery or boarding your dog, so you may have to get one, but I feel that they are unnecessary. The shot covers only a few strains of kennel cough, and there are hundreds of strains out there, so it basically does little to actually protect your dog. Kennel cough is a mild, self-limiting disease that usually resolves itself within a few days although it is contagious to other dogs. You can give your dog Robitussin DM cough syrup to help the cough, but otherwise no treatment is necessary other than isolation from other dogs. In the over 30 years that I have been showing dogs and exposing them to thousands of strange dogs, I have only come home with kennel cough 2 times.
A great website with articles on over-vaccination effects in dogs and humans can be found at http://www.truthaboutvaccines.org/articles.html.
Good toys in no particular order of preference - Nylabones, Cow Ears (never pig ears - to much fat that will cause stomach upsets), Gumabones, Booda Velvet and Booda Bimples bones (dachshunds tend to eat these too fast so save for special occasions), pressed (not knotted) rawhide bones (only U.S. made), Wilson blue racquet balls (dachshunds find it almost impossible to chew these, unlike hard rubber balls which they can eat), rubber Kong toys, twisted cotton rope bones.
Bad toys (or allow use only with strict supervision) - cow hooves (very brittle and can break your dog's teeth leading to expensive root canals), knotted rawhide (can choke on the pieces - foreign-made rawhide contains lots of arsenic - poisonous), pig ears (can choke plus are too fatty), tennis balls (only with supervision as dachshunds like to defuzz' them), rubber squeaky toys (all dachshunds like to chew out the squeaker and can choke), stuffed plush toys (only with supervision as they like to shred the stuffing out of them).
BATHING & FLEA CONTROL
Smooth dachshunds really don't need to be bathed very often. Once a month you can use Ivory Dishwashing Liquid (the clear stuff only) as a shampoo. It will kill fleas and ticks instantly and you don't have to let it sit on the dog for 5 minutes like other flea shampoos (not to mention it's real cheap!). However, it will dry out the dog's coat if used more often. If the dog needs a bath any more than once a month, use a mild dog shampoo that does not contain any kind of flea/tick killer.
For a flea/tick problem, use Bio-Spot which comes in a tiny tube which you squirt between the dog's shoulder blades and down the middle of the back. It is every bit as effective as anything you'll get from the vet like Advantage or Frontline, at half the cost. You can order Bio-Spot from any dog supply catalog or buy it at PetsMart. Do not use products taken internally for fleas that you get from the vet, like Program, Interceptor or Revolution, as these have been known, through anecdotal evidence, to kill dachshunds by causing liver failure and autoimmune reactions. Plus, if you do not normally have a flea problem, why would you want to systemically poison your dog every month for nothing? If you'd rather use some kind of flea spray, use Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus. A good yard spray is made by Virbac.
Great internet site for all kinds of dog information (crate-training, behavior, health, etc.):
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