"Keeping Dachshund Pups Fit and Healthy
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"Keeping Dachshund Pups Fit and Healthy

Dachshunds are gorgeous when they are puppies and adorable as adult dogs. They are quite comical looking with their long, low hung bodies and short legs, but you should never be fooled by their size, because in every Dachshund there's a much larger dog just waiting to get out!

If you are thinking about getting a Dachshund puppy, there are certain things you need to consider before you make your final decision one of which is whether or not you are going to have enough time to dedicate to your new canine friend. Remember, it will be up to you to teach them the ropes and all the rules while at the same time making sure they are kept safe and well until they are allowed to go outside which is after they've received all their inoculations.

Puppies Don't Need Much in the Way of Exercise

Dachshund puppiesdon't need much in the way of exercise because they'll expend a tremendous amount of energy albeit in short bursts throughout the day whether they are playing in the house or outside in the garden weather permitting. They do however, need lots of rest and sleep time which is why it's important to set up a nice quiet spot in the house where you can place their dog bed. Like this they can retreat to their sanctuary whenever they feel the need to take a nap and you should never prevent your puppy from doing this. Sleep time is all-important for all puppies including Dachshunds.

Puppies Should Keep All Four Feet on the Ground

Because of their long backs, Dachshunds do suffer from all sorts of orthopaedic health issues. They are in fact, what’s known as a chondrodysplastic breed and as such you should always make sure your new puppy keeps all four feet on the ground. In short, it's best not to let them jump on things or to go up and down the stairs on their own as this could cause damage to their already quite delicate backs which in a worst case scenario might even result in paralysis of their hind legs.

Sadly around one in four of these delightful dogs suffer from some form of disc problem during the course of their lives and this typically happens when they are anything from 3 to 7 years old. Bearing this in mind, you should always make certain your puppy has the best start out in life and the only way of doing this is to ensure they don't put any pressure on their young backs and to keep all four feet on the ground. If you want to take them upstairs, you will have to carry them up and then down again. To prevent them from going down the stairs on their own, it's recommended that you fit a stair gate at the top.

Once your pup has had all their shots, it's time to take them out into the big wide world for a walk and preferably this should be done with them wearing a harness rather than a collar so that you avoid putting too much pressure on their young necks. It's more than enough to take them out for short 5 minute bursts every couple days and to gradually increase the time as they grow older. At 6 months, a good 20 to 25 minute walk is more than enough for their little legs to have to cope with and they get to enjoy all the new scents and smells they pick up en-route which helps keep them mentally stimulated and well socialised.

Weight Watching is a Must

Dachshunds are little piggies by nature and there's nothing they enjoy more than eating which means they have a tendency to plough on the pounds if they are allowed to eat too much and not be given enough exercise. Obesity is a real problem among the breed and therefore you need to be very watchful of your pet's weight throughout their lives. If they carry too much, this puts extra pressure on their spine and their hearts which can lead to all sorts of quite serious health issues including disc disease.

With this said, you have to make sure your dog gets enough physical exercise while at the same time making sure a young dachshund is not put through their paces too much which could result in certain deformities including the following:

  • Turned out paws
  • Poorer body development
  • Weaker toplines

The rule of thumb with these little guys is to avoid over-exercising them or tiring them out which will only result in doing more harm than good. A little exercise given often is far better and will result in a much fitter and happier little dog! If you think your pup is looking tired when you are out on a walk, it's far better to pick them up all the while supporting their backs and to carry them the rest of the way home, rather than forcing an already tired dog to walk. The best way to carry your little canine friend is as if you were holding a football with one hand supporting the check and their rear end tucked neatly under your arm so their backs are kept in the horizontal position.

Conclusion

All puppies are adorable, but Dachshunds are especially cute. However, because of their long backs and the fact they are known to suffer from disc disease it’s really important that pups be given the best start in life and this means preventing them from going up and down stairs on their own as well as jumping up on furniture. Short walks are best for these little guys and if you think your pet is looking tired, it’s far better to pick them up and carry them rather than force them to walk which can result in their developing bone deformities. It’s also important to keep an eye on their weight because Dachshunds like their food and are prone to put on too much weight which again can lead to all sorts of health issues.

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