Dachshund health checkup is important!

By Travis Neighbor Ward

Some dachshund health problems and diseases are caused by genetic factors, and it’s important to know what they are so you can watch for any symptoms. That can include things like eye problems.

But some health issues can be avoided if you practice preventative measures to keep your dog fit. It even includes things like proper grooming.

Here are five important things to do as part of your regular dachshund health checkup.

1. Stay on a schedule with your vet

Your vet is your go-to source for all things related to your dachshund’s health. That includes getting immunization shots, checking for tooth decay, and keeping an eye on any early signs that there may be a problem brewing. When you first get a puppy or adult dachshund, make an appointment right away. When you’re there, ask for a detailed explanation of the schedule you should plan to follow for the upcoming year. That way you won’t forget.

2. Give your dachshund a heartworm prevention medicine monthly

Heartworm is really dangerous for dogs — it can become deadly if left untreated. And it’s harder to battle if your dog has had it for a while. The good news is you can prevent it by giving them medicine once a month in the form of a tasty dog treat. The brand my family uses is called Heartgard™. Ask your vet what medicine their office recommends and what the proper dose is based on your dog’s weight and age.

3. Keep your dachshund’s weight down

It’s sad when you see a severely overweight dachshund that can’t run around anymore because his belly is dragging on the ground. Unfortunately it’s very easy for even a caring parent to let their dog’s weight creep up. Dachshunds can easily gain weight, and dog foods tend to be quite fatty. Look for a food that is low-fat and follow the recommended quantity exactly.

Avoid the temptation to feed your dog table scraps. We did that with our first dachshund and she soon became a bit overweight. Plus, she then started begging for food when we’d sit down to eat. It was a recipe for disaster, and it took a while to train her out of that. You can avoid the problem by using your willpower to say “no.”

4. Take care of your dachshund’s back before it gets hurt

Dachshund’s long body shape makes them more vulnerable to back injury. Plus, they love to jump — particularly when they’re puppies. These two things combined can be trouble.

We used to marvel at our dachshund Cocoa’s ability to jump four feet off the ground. It was like watching a very entertaining circus act as she’d run and leap from our patio into a large planter pot, then onto a retaining wall to chase a squirrel. She also used to jump on and off of our beds easily.

One day she jumped and must’ve landed strangely, because the next thing we knew Cocoa was unable to walk without yelping. The vet’s solution was to have us crate her for days and give her pain medication.

It worked — Cocoa got better and still loves to run and jump. But now we limit her. We don’t let her jump off of furniture and I moved that pot so there’s now ay she can jump onto the retaining wall. Also we limit the walks we take her on.

We still walk her for 45 minutes at a time, but hiking is off-limits. Sometimes her back acts up and she won’t go upstairs on her own. For now Cocoa is 8; we’re hoping that we changed her habits early enough that it won’t get worse. Only time will tell.

The best solution is to prevent this by starting off with a no jumping policy. Overall it will help your dachshund live a more comfortable active life.

5. Keep your dachshund's teeth clean

I have a whole post on tooth cleaning  if you want details on how to do it. It’s important to think of your dog’s teeth as part of her health. Dachshunds tend to develop plaque more easily than other breeds. This leads to stinky breath and possible heath issues.

What else do you during your dachshund health checkup?

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