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Why is My Dachshund Not Eating?

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on November 30, 2023

With their unique physique and spirited personality, Dachshunds are generally known for having a good appetite. A Dachshund not eating can cause concern for any pet owner. This article explores common reasons behind losing appetite in Dachshunds and advises when to seek veterinary attention.

Understanding the Dachshund’s Dietary Habits

Dachshunds, though small, have a hearty appetite and enjoy their meals. They require a balanced diet to support their energetic lifestyle and maintain their spinal health. Any abrupt change in their eating habits warrants attention.

Common Reasons for Appetite Loss in Dachshunds

Stress-Induced Changes in Eating Behavior

Dachshunds are sensitive dogs and can experience stress due to environmental changes such as moving houses, family changes, or even daily routines. Stress can lead to a temporary decrease in appetite.

Oral and Dental Issues Impacting Eating

Dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, or dental abscesses can make eating painful for Dachshunds. Their long snouts can predispose them to specific dental issues, making regular dental care crucial.

Diet and Food Preferences

Dachshunds can be picky eaters. A sudden change in their food type or brand, or even introducing an ingredient they dislike, can result in a refusal to eat. Observing their food preferences is critical.

Health Concerns Affecting Appetite

A variety of health issues, from minor ailments like an upset stomach to more severe conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease, can cause a Dachshund to lose appetite. If accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it’s a cause for concern.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

Prolonged Refusal to Eat

If your Dachshund refuses to eat for more than 24 hours, it’s advisable to seek veterinary attention. This is especially critical if they show other symptoms of illness.

Accompanying Symptoms of Illness

Signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or noticeable weight loss, in combination with a loss of appetite, are red flags. These symptoms could indicate a severe health problem.

Behavioral Changes

Any significant changes in behavior, such as increased aggression, excessive sleeping, or lack of interest in usual activities, especially when coupled with a loss of appetite, warrant a professional assessment.

Preventive Measures and Care for Dachshunds

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Routine check-ups with a veterinarian are essential for early detection of health issues that might affect your Dachshund’s eating habits. Regular health screenings are crucial for this breed due to their predisposition to specific health issues.

Maintaining a Consistent Routine

Dachshunds thrive on routine. Keeping a consistent schedule for feeding, walks, and playtime can help reduce stress-induced appetite loss.

Providing a Balanced Diet

A nutritionally balanced diet is vital for Dachshunds. Given their propensity for spinal issues, maintaining a healthy weight is crucial. Consult a vet for diet recommendations tailored to your dog’s age, size, and activity level.

Monitoring Oral Health

Due to their susceptibility to dental issues, regular dental check-ups and at-home dental care are essential. This includes teeth brushing and providing dental chews that are safe for Dachshunds.

A loss of appetite in Dachshunds can arise from various factors, from environmental changes to serious health concerns. As a responsible Dachshund owner, recognizing these reasons and knowing when to seek veterinary assistance is vital. Regular preventive care, a stable environment, and attentive observation of your dog’s eating habits will help ensure their health and happiness.


Tips for Getting Your Dachshund to Eat

Dachshunds are known for their playful yet stubborn nature, which can sometimes extend to their eating habits. This article provides essential tips to encourage your Dachshund to eat, ensuring they receive adequate nutrition to support their unique body structure and active lifestyle.

Enticing Your Dachshund with Appealing Food Toppers

The Magic of Flavorful Additions

Introducing food toppers is a great way to make meals more appealing to your Dachshund. Tasty options like a sprinkle of shredded chicken, a small spoon of salmon, or a bit of pureed pumpkin can significantly enhance the appeal of their regular meals. Always ensure the toppers are safe and suitable for dogs.

Moderation is Key with Toppers

While toppers can be effective, it’s essential to use them in moderation to avoid upsetting the nutritional balance of your Dachshund’s diet. Toppers should be used as an enhancement, not a substitute for their regular food.

Hydrating Meals for Enhanced Palatability

Adding Moisture to Kibble

If your Dachshund eats dry food, adding a bit of water or low-sodium broth can make their meals more enticing. This enhances the smell of, tens the kibble and aids in hydration, which benefits their overall health.

Gradual Introduction of Liquids

Start by adding a small amount of liquid to the kibble, gradually increasing it until you find the right balance that your Dachshund enjoys. This method can also benefit older dogs or those with dental issues.

Switching to a Different Dog Food Brand

Finding a Suitable Flavor and Formula

Sometimes, all it takes to encourage a Dachshund to eat is switching to a different dog food brand. Each brand has its unique flavor profile and ingredients, which might be more appealing to your dog.

The Importance of a Gradual Transition

When introducing a new brand, transitioning gradually is crucial to avoid upsetting your Dachshund’s stomach. Mix the fresh food with the old in increasing amounts over a week to allow your dog’s digestive system to adjust.

Creating a Stress-Free Eating Environment

Establishing a Peaceful Mealtime Space

Dachshunds can be sensitive to their surroundings. Ensure their eating area is quiet and free from distractions to create a stress-free environment, which can significantly improve their willingness to eat.

Consistency in Feeding Routines

Maintaining a consistent feeding schedule helps regulate your Dachshund’s appetite. Feed your dog at the exact times daily to establish a routine they can depend on.

Limiting Treats and Snacks Between Meals

Managing Treat Consumption

Reducing the number of treats between meals can help ensure your Dachshund is hungry at mealtime. Be mindful of the treat’s calorie content and how it fits into their daily intake.

Consulting with a Veterinarian for Persistent Issues

Seeking Professional Advice

If your Dachshund’s appetite doesn’t improve with these strategies, or if there are any signs of health issues, consult a veterinarian. They can provide tailored advice and rule out any underlying health problems.


Encouraging a finicky Dachshund to eat can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it is achievable. Experimenting with food toppers, hydrating their meals, switching food brands, and ensuring a peaceful eating environment are effective methods. Remember, patience and consistency are essential, and veterinary advice is crucial when necessary to ensure the health and well-being of your Dachshund.


Frequently Asked Questions About Why Dachshunds Might Not Be Eating

1. Why Might My Dachshund Not Be Eating?

Dachshunds might not eat for various reasons, including stress, environmental changes, dental issues, or being picky with food. It’s essential to observe if there are other symptoms like lethargy or vomiting, which could indicate a health issue. Consulting a vet is advisable if the problem persists.

2. Is It Normal for Dachshunds to Skip Meals Occasionally?

It’s somewhat familiar for Dachshunds to skip a meal occasionally, especially in hot weather or if they’ve been less active. However, if skipping meals becomes frequent or your Dachshund shows other signs of distress, it might indicate an underlying health issue.

3. Can Emotional Stress Cause My Dachshund to Stop Eating?

Yes, emotional stress can significantly affect a Dachshund’s eating habits. Stressors like changes in the household, a new pet or family member, or a disrupted routine can cause a temporary decrease in appetite.

4. How Can I Tell if My Dachshund’s Loss of Appetite is Due to Illness?

If your Dachshund’s loss of appetite is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or drastic weight loss, it could be due to an illness. These signs should prompt a vet visit, especially when combined with a lack of eating.

5. Could Dental Problems Be Making My Dachshund Not Eat?

Dental issues can indeed cause your Dachshund to stop eating. Oral discomfort from problems like tooth decay, gum disease, or dental abscesses can make eating painful, leading to a reduced appetite.

6. Is My Dachshund Not Eating Because of the Food Type?

It’s possible. Dachshunds can be particular about their food, and a sudden change in brand, flavor, or formula can lead to a refusal to eat. Introducing new foods gradually and observing your dog’s reaction is essential.

7. Should I Worry If My Dachshund Misses One Meal?

Missing one meal isn’t usually a cause for immediate concern. However, if your Dachshund skips multiple meals or shows other signs of illness, it’s important to pay closer attention and consult a veterinarian.

8. Do Vaccinations Affect My Dachshund’s Appetite?

Vaccinations can sometimes cause a temporary decrease in appetite in Dachshunds. If your dog doesn’t resume eating within a day or two after vaccination or shows other signs of discomfort, it’s best to consult your vet.

9. How Long Can a Dachshund Safely Go Without Eating?

While a healthy Dachshund can survive for a few days without eating, it’s not advisable to let them go without food for more than 24 hours. Prolonged fasting can lead to health issues, especially in a breed prone to certain conditions like hypoglycemia.

10. Can Changes in Routine Affect My Dachshund’s Eating Habits?

Yes, Dachshunds are sensitive to changes in their routine, which can impact their eating habits. Factors like moving to a new home, changing their daily schedule, or any significant environmental alteration can affect their appetite.

11. Are There Specific Health Conditions That Cause Dachshunds Not to Eat?

Several health conditions can lead to a loss of appetite in Dachshunds, including gastrointestinal issues, infections, organ diseases, and even cancer. A veterinarian should evaluate any prolonged or sudden loss of appetite.

12. Can Parasites Cause My Dachshund to Stop Eating?

Yes, internal parasites can cause a loss of appetite in Dachshunds. If you suspect your dog has parasites, which may also present with symptoms like weight loss or changes in stool, consult your veterinarian for treatment.

13. Is It Normal for Older Dachshunds to Eat Less?

As Dachshunds age, they may eat less due to decreased activity levels or underlying health issues related to aging. However, a significant reduction in appetite in an older Dachshund should not be overlooked and warrants a vet check.

14. What Are Some Ways to Encourage My Dachshund to Eat More?

Encouraging your Dachshund to eat can involve trying different foods, adding food toppers for extra flavor, ensuring a stress-free eating environment, and keeping a consistent feeding schedule. If these strategies don’t work, consulting a veterinarian is advisable.

15. When Should I Take My Dachshund to the Vet for Not Eating?

If your Dachshund hasn’t eaten for more than 24 hours, or if their lack of appetite is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it’s time to visit the vet.

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