Taking Care of Your
Miniature Dachshund

Feeding  |  Housing   |  Housebreaking  |  Training
Exercise  |  Grooming  |   Teeth  |  Health
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GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR MINIATURE DACHSHUND PUPPY

Bring your puppy to a veterinarian for it initial checkup. Find out from the breeder which shots have been administered, as well as worming information. Initial vaccinations will not guarantee that your puppy will be immune, but the entire series of vaccinations must be completed in order to protect your puppy from disease. During this time, it is best to keep your puppy away from other animals which are not current on their vaccinations.
Keep poisonous substances out of your dog's reach, including insecticides, household detergents, and household plants. Some indoor plants such as English ivy, dieffenbachia, philodendron, and caladium are poisonous; so don't let your puppy chew or play with their leaves. A veterinarian can give you a list of hazardous plants and other toxins.
Provide a quiet place to feed and house your puppy. It is important to find an area that the puppy will feel secure, free from traffic and drafts. Ask an experienced Breeder about the best type of dog food for your puppy. It is our experience that Veterinarians, Pet Shops, and Pet Food Stores are not the best source for food information.
Initially your puppy needs plenty of rest, so handling and playtime should be kept to a minimum. If you have children, be sure to instruct them on the proper way in which to pick up and hold the puppy; a puppy should never be picked up by its front legs or neck. Be consistent and patient with your puppy; it will reward you with unconditional love and companionship.

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FEEDING YOUR MINIATURE DACHSHUND

Feeding is one of the most important areas in an Miniature Dachshund development; it begins very early when the puppy is weaned and continues throughout its life. The food that a dog is given plays an important role in its muscle and bone development. When purchasing a puppy, it is important to find out from the previous owner what type of food the puppy was eating; any sudden changes in diet can cause digestive problems. If you wish to change its food to another well-balanced diet, do so gradually. Begin by mixing small portions of the new food with the one being replaced, until it is completely switched over. Remember to do this gradually, over a period of seven to ten days.
The amount of food that a dog eats and the number of times per day that a dog is fed changes as it matures. As a puppy, it should be fed small portions frequently. While it is young, the puppy's activity level is high and you will want to be sure that it is eating enough to develop properly and steadily gain weight. Basically, a Miniature Dachshund should be fed four times a day until it reaches three months of age. Between the ages of three to six months, give the puppy three meals a day, the portions being slightly larger than before. After six months, there should be two meals a day; and at one year of age, there should be only one meal. You could also feed your dog some dry biscuits in the morning and evening if it is having only one meal per day.
Once the Miniature Dachshund becomes an adult, it's important to keep in mind that it does not need to be given as much food; obesity can be a problem if not monitored closely. When your dog is a year old, you may decide to feed it in the evenings when your family has its meal. The dog's meal can also be divided into two smaller portions, one given in the morning and one at night. Never over-feed your dog; since it will not turn down food, it's up to you to monitor its eating habits and provide a reasonable amount. Remember to keep a bowl of fresh clean water near your dog's food bowl at all times.

In order to develop good eating habits, allow your dog its own dining area. Feeding times should be at the same time and in the same place everyday. Your dog's food and water should be served at room temperature so that the food is neither too hot nor too cold. Snack foods such as cake, chocolate, and other junk foods are not for dogs and should never be given to them. Other unhealthy foods include spicy, fried, starchy or fatty foods. Chicken, pork, and fish bones are very dangerous to a dog if eaten since they can cause intestinal damage and tear the stomach lining.
There are many good commercial foods on the market that are nutritionally complete for your Miniature Dachshund. Most of them contain the ingredients listed on the packages. Remember that providing a variety of meats and cereal grains is very important in maintaining a balanced diet for your pet. Your dog should get the daily requirements of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water from its diet to develop properly. You may need to make some dietary changes depending on your dog's age, growth, and activity level; your breeder can assist you in making these adjustments, if necessary. If your Miniature Dachshund becomes pregnant or sick, the nutritional needs will change. Consult with your veterinarian to make the proper dietary adjustments; vitamin and mineral supplements can also be given.

There are a variety of feeding dishes to choose from hard plastic, stainless steel, and earthenware dishes, available in many shapes and sizes. Choose one that is large enough to hold each meal, but will not tip over or spill as your dog eats. It is very important to keep your dog's feeding and watering dishes clean on a daily basis. Once the dog has finished it meal, throw away any uneaten food and clean the dishes. They should be washed using hot water and soap, and then rinsed and dried.

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HOUSING

Before considering housing accommodations, determine the environment which is best suited for you. If your Miniature Dachshund will be kept indoors, provide it a permanent place, away from the flow of traffic. A garage or basement could make a suitable home for your pet, or you may arrange for your dog to have a room of it own.
A dog crate can be utilized as a bed or an indoor doghouse. It should be large enough for your dog, providing sufficient room for standing and moving about. A crate can also be a very effective method in house training. Your Miniature Dachshund will become familiar with the crate by keeping the door open, allowing it to come and go. If your dog will be outdoors, provide it with a well-built house that will ensure protection from the weather. It should be made of water-proof materials and be well insulated. In order to maximize warmth and provide protection from drafts and cold temperatures, your dog's sleeping area should be away from the entrance of the doghouse. The house should be cleaned on a regular basis; floor must be swept and bedding changed as needed.
If you have a fenced-in yard, your Miniature Dachshund should have plenty of exercise space if given access to roam about freely. Of course, the yard must be maintained and excrement removed daily. If cleanup is a problem, you can fence off a smaller portion of the yard surrounding the doghouse. This will provide exercise space while minimizing yard maintenance. If the doghouse is not within the confines of a fence, you should provide your dog with additional room for mobility by attaching a run to the doghouse. This would enable your dog to get the additional space needed for play and exercise.
When purchasing a bed, look for one that will provide enough room for your Miniature Dachshund. The bed should be replaced as the dog grows. It is important to clean and disinfect the sleeping area to prevent parasites such as fleas, lice, and mites; so choose bedding that facilitates cleanup. When a bed has been purchased, place it in a warm and dry, draft-free location, away from the feeding and toilet area. Keeping it near family activity will allow your dog to become accustomed to the everyday routine of your household.
Some dogs, especially puppies, like to chew apart bedding. Chew toys can be purchased to alleviate this problem. A blanket or towel can also be placed over the bedding to further protect the bedding and provide a soft surface for your dog to snuggle.

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HOUSEBREAKING

Housebreaking is an area that will take consistency and much patience. If your Miniature Dachshund puppy has not been trained prior to your ownership, it is important to begin immediately. A puppy needs to relieve itself approximately six times per day. Since a full stomach puts pressure on the bladder and colon, begin training your dog to eliminate after each meal.
One method of training your Miniature Dachshund puppy is by using its kennel crate. At night, place the puppy in its crate; most young pups will wake up barking or whining early the next morning, indicating a need to relieve itself. Take the puppy outside to the area where you want it to eliminate. If successful, provide the puppy with plenty of praise; and then allow it to play inside while preparing its breakfast. Carefully supervise the puppy when indoors; do not allow it to run in the house until fully trained. After playtime, take the puppy outside again, and repeat the elimination process; then put the puppy back into it crate. Wait one hour and repeat the process. By the end of the day, the puppy will realize that when taken out of the crate, it should eliminate. However, if the puppy is not successful after 10-15 minutes, bring it back inside and place it in the crate. After 30 minutes try again. This sequence can be repeated until the puppy is fully housebroken.
If your Miniature Dachshund puppy will be an indoor pet, you may prefer to use newspaper in the training process rather than the crate method. In this case, newspaper should be layered and placed in a corner away from it feeding and watering dishes. Take the puppy to the newspaper after meals; and be sure to encourage and praise it when it does its 'business.' Change the newspaper sheets each time, putting the bottom sheets on the top with new ones underneath. This helps reinforce the purpose of the newspaper by sight and smell, and will increase the possibility of it using that same area again. We do not like this method, but if it is your choice, than there are a lot of new products on the market to use besides newspaper. Also, you can litter box train a dog, too.
It is important to remain consistent when house-training your Miniature Dachshund. Since your dog wants to please you, do not confuse it by letting it do something one day and then punishing it for doing the same thing on another day. Remember, no form of physical punishment is as effective as praise and encouragement.

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TRAINING YOUR MINIATURE DACHSHUND

The training of your Miniature Dachshund, you should begin as soon as you acquire the dog. You can do the training yourself, or you can hire a professional trainer to do the work. Local dog training classes are usually available; they will be listed in the newspaper, or your breeder can recommend a trainer.
There are two types of training behavioral and obedience. Behavioral training corrects bad habits that your Miniature Dachshund may have developed such as begging, chasing cars, jumping on people, and so on. It is important to be consistent during the training process.
Obedience training sessions should be short, but frequent; ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient. If your training sessions are too long, your Miniature Dachshund will become bored. The best training time is before meals. If you work with your dog before it eats, it will begin to associate its meal as a reward for the training sessions.
Before giving a word command to your dog, speak its name to get its attention; then speak a one-word command such as sit, stay, or heel. Do not get impatient, you will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement; do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command.
Some of the specific commands are 'sit', 'stay', 'heel', and 'come.' When speaking the commands, say them loudly and clearly, repeating them often. The dog may have to hear the commands over and over, but will soon begin to associate the word with its meaning. When your dog responds correctly, remember to praise it; this will provoke your dog to perform correctly the next time.

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EXERCISE

Exercise is an essential element in your Miniature Dachshund development, both physically and mentally. While it is important to monitor your dog's dietary habits and provide the proper medical attention, it is equally imperative to provide your dog with adequate exercise.
This is especially important if your dog is confined during the day, while you are at work or school. An allotted time should be set aside each day for exercise. A walk around the block or a game of fetch would be ideal; you can also jog or bicycle with your dog. Indoor dogs can be taken outdoors for exercise after meals; a housebroken dog will be accustomed to this arrangement and can gain some exercise time while taking care of its 'business.'
Familiarize your dog with a collar and leash as soon as possible. You might even allow your Miniature Dachshund puppy to wear the collar a few days before attaching a leash. If you take your dog on a long walk through the park or playground, keep it on the leash; the leash should be long enough to allow your dog sufficient room to run and jump. Also, make sure that your dog is wearing a tag or collar which identifies its name and address in case it were to become separated from you.
Always allow your dog some warm-up time before engaging in heavy play. Since most Miniature Dachshund are enthusiastic about exercise, you should provide ample time for activity and exertion. This enables a dog to look its best by staying in shape, and is a great form of stress or tension release.

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GROOMING

Grooming can be a special time of bonding between a pet and its owner. Some areas of grooming include bathing, coat care, eye/ear care, and nail/teeth care.
Your Miniature Dachshund should be bathed only when needed; too frequent bathing will dry out the skin and coat. Use a good shampoo which is veterinarian approved. Dry bathing your dog is another option. These products are sold at most pet stores and are applied by rubbing into the dog's coat; afterward they are brushed out. If you give your dog a wet bath, keep it indoors and protect it from any drafts until it coat is fully dry.
Most Miniature Dachshund love having their coats brushed and combed. They are usually easy to handle if you are gentle, taking care to not pull the hair. During the shedding season, it's a good idea to give your dog a hand massage in order to remove the excess hair; this should be done outdoors.
Check your Miniature Dachshund eyes and ears during the grooming process; the eyes should be clear and bright, and the ears should be clean. It may be necessary to clip some hair within the ears if there is not a clear air passage. Pay close attention to the ears; if you notice any redness, bad smell, swelling, or sensitivity to touch, contact your veterinarian immediately.
You should keep your puppy's nails clipped to ensure good foot development. Let your veterinarian show you how to do this so you do not clip too much. If you clip too far back, you may cut a vein and make the nail bleed. Be sure to have a good, sharp nail clipper to do this job. If it makes you uncomfortable or your dog will not cooperate, you can pay a professional groomer to clip the nails.

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CARING FOR YOUR MINIATURE DACHSHUND TEETH

Miniature Dachshund puppies need to chew while their teeth and jaws are developing for a variety of reasons. Chewing helps cut the baby teeth, makes sure they are shed at the right time, and helps cut and settle the permanent teeth in the jaws. It also helps the development of the jaws. Most dogs have all 42 permanent teeth by the time they reach seven months old. When an adult dog chews it is for different reasons. It may be cleaning his teeth or perhaps just exercising its jaws. It is a good idea to have some chew toys available for your dog, otherwise it may begin chewing on some valuable items. Make sure that there is nothing dangerous that it can chew on.
Dental care is an area of a Miniature Dachshund care that should not be overlooked. You may want to have your veterinarian show you how to do this the first time. Your dogs teeth should be brushed daily, although some flossing 'toys' are just as effective. Unlike humans, cavities are practically unheard of in dogs; however, they have a more rapid accumulation of tartar, which can result in infection or a loss of teeth.
Your butcher or pet store will be a good source for strong natural bones. However, natural bones may wear down the dog' teeth; so they should be used periodically. Also, avoid feeding your dog small bones; they could swallow the broken pieces which could result in surgery or death. Some rawhide chews contain lead, insecticides, or other foreign matter that may contribute to constipation in your dog. Consult your veterinarian before introducing rawhides to your dog.
One of the safest and complete solutions to your dog's chewing needs is the nylon chews. Some are enhanced with bone and natural meat flavors. While chewing on the nylon bone, the dog's gums get massaged and teeth get cleaned. If tiny portions are swallowed, they usually pass through the intestine without disturbing the digestive process. Nylon chews should be kept indoors because they may become brittle and may splinter when exposed to freezing temperatures. They are not abrasive like natural bones; therefore, they do not break down the enamel on the teeth. Nylon chews can also be sterilized; boil it for 30 minutes and allow it to cool completely before giving it to your dog. Be aware of imitations; ask your veterinarian to recommend a good quality nylon chew.
Consistent maintenance and prevention are the keys to promoting healthy teeth and gums. Your Miniature Dachshund should be checked and its teeth cleaned by a veterinarian at least once a year.

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HEALTH

Miniature Dachshund puppies rely on their mother's milk to provide protective antibodies. Approximately two weeks after weaning, their natural immunity begins to diminish; therefore, it is important to bring your puppy to the veterinarian for a check up and vaccination schedule. Vaccines stimulate puppies into producing their own antibodies; so all puppies must be vaccinated in order to protect them from certain diseases. Common diseases include distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, rabies, and coronavirus. Your veterinarian should be notified if you notice a loss in your puppy's appetite, any vomiting or diarrhea, or persistent coughing.
Parasites can also pose a problem for puppies; they can be either internal or external. Most of the internal parasites live in the puppy's intestine. Their eggs are usually transmitted through the soil from other infected feces. Some indications of internal parasites include vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool, poor appetite, lethargy, or weight loss. Thin spaghetti-like or short rice-like worms are also indications of internal parasites. A veterinarian can examine a sample of the puppy's feces to detect parasites.
External parasites such as fleas, lice, and ticks, can cause skin damage and can infect a puppy with disease. Lice are small insects that cling to the dog; infection is usually made by contact with other animals or an infected environment. Fleas feed on the puppy's blood and cause itching. Once a flea is swallowed, it can cause tapeworms. Ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever as well as lyme disease. Ear mites can also pose a problem for your puppy; signs include scratching of the ears, shaking of the head, or dark earwax. It is best to seek the advice of your veterinarian to treat parasites, both internal and external
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