Written by Dr. Marcelle Landestoy, DVM
Creating homemade meals for your dachshund can be a treat for both you and your pup, but there are several ingredients and snacks you’ll want to avoid.
Avoid feeding your dachshund cherries, onions, nutmeg, and artificial sweeteners. You’ll also want to keep garlic, sweets, citrus, grapes, and animal bones away from your dog’s dinner bowl. Some of these foods are poisonous to dachshunds, and others pose choking risks.
In this article, I’ll guide you through a detailed list of foods you should limit or avoid feeding to your adorable wiener dog.
You can use this information to ensure your pup lives a healthier, happier, and potentially longer life!
Foods Your Dachshund Should Avoid
Whether you make homemade meals for your dachshund or enjoy feeding them table scraps from time to time, it’s crucial to know which ingredients and snacks can cause your dog pain.
Using the traffic color system makes it easy to identify and differentiate between foods that cause mild discomfort and those that are extremely toxic. For example:
- GREEN represents foods that cause mild discomfort, especially in large quantities. These foods may cause mild bloating, indigestion, and discomfort.
- YELLOW represents foods that can cause moderate to severe pain, resulting in trembling, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. These foods can produce serious health problems over time.
- RED represents foods that are poisonous and potentially fatal. You should avoid feeding these to your dog at all costs and eliminate their access to these foods.
Let’s explore which foods belong to these categories to ensure you’re feeding your dachshund only the healthiest, most nutritious, and safest meals.
Green: Mild Discomfort
The following are foods that you’ll want to serve in moderation, as they can cause mild discomfort:
The occasional piece of whole wheat bread isn’t likely to cause many digestive issues, but feeding your dachshund bread daily could harm their overall health.
A slice of whole wheat bread contains protein, iron, and fiber – three things all dogs need to thrive.
However, according to food scientists, it contains only a few other nutrients.
Otherwise, it’s a fattening, carb-rich snack that can be particularly harmful to smaller breeds like dachshunds.
Because it’s high in fiber, it can also impact your dog’s digestion.
So, if your pup enjoys bread, offer whole wheat bread in small amounts and do so only once in a while.
Broccoli, kale, and spinach are all wholesome food choices for humans, but they can cause problems for your dachshund.
Cruciferous vegetables, which include a lot of leafy greens, can cause digestive upset, flatulence, and even kidney damage in your pup over time.
Some of the most crucial cruciferous vegetables (try saying that three times fast!) to watch out for include:
- Spinach: This leafy green is rich in oxalate, a substance that inhibits calcium absorption in the digestive tract. Oxalate binds to calcium to form calcium oxalate, a type of salt that can become kidney stones.
- Kale: Like spinach, kale is rich in calcium-seeking oxalate, so it’s best served in moderation or on rare occasions.
- Horseradish root: Though it’s not poisonous, horseradish root can cause your dog discomfort. Pups that have chowed down on this vegetable might experience stomach cramps and painful defecation or diarrhea.
If you feed your dog edamame every day, you’ll likely want to stop.
While these beans provide fiber and calcium, they can also alter thyroid function.
Besides, your pup may be allergic to soy, resulting in an itchy coat, dry skin, and vomiting.
Serving small quantities of soybeans every once in a while isn’t particularly dangerous, especially if your dog doesn’t have soy allergies.
But less is more when it comes to this snack.
Yogurt, Cheese and Milk
Dairy products are a delicious source of calcium, but they can cause digestive upset, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Like some people, many dogs are lactose intolerant.
Consequently, eating yogurt and cheese can make them mildly uncomfortable.
Avoid feeding your dog dairy products, especially in large quantities.
These foods are safe for dachshunds when provided infrequently and in small portions.
If your dog consumes a large amount of any of these foods, prevent them from continuing to eat and ensure they have plenty of clean drinking water available.
Yellow: Moderate to Severe Discomfort
The following are foods that you should not get into the habit of feeding your dachshund, as they can cause moderate to severe health problems, especially over time:
Cured Deli Meats
Tossing your pup a piece of deli meat while you’re making lunch might seem like a harmless act.
But cured deli meats can contribute to life-long kidney problems, especially when your dog eats them daily or in large quantities.
That’s because the curing process imparts a lot of sodium into meats, preserving them while also making them salty.
Humans can process this amount of salt better than small dog breeds, so you’ll want to keep your pepperoni, salami, and bacon to yourself.
Most pups can easily digest popcorn, making it a decent occasional snack.
However, the melted butter and sodium added to microwave or pre-buttered popcorn can be bad for your dog.
Opt for the plain, home-popped variety when enjoying movie night with your dachshund (for their bowl, at least).
Mixed nuts are a great addition to any table, but they’re not safe for your dog.
That’s because many assorted nut mixes contain macadamia nuts, which are toxic to dogs.
They also contain peanuts, which are high fat, and almonds, which can be challenging for some dogs to digest.
Mixed nuts might be fun at a party, but they’re not a party for your dog’s digestive system.
Don’t let your dachshund snack on these at any point.
Raw Animal Products
Raw eggs, meat, or fish can cause short-term and long-term problems for your pup.
Firstly, raw animal products typically contain several strains of bacteria, some of which can harm your dog’s health.
Salmonella and E. coli are some of the most concerning common strains found in raw foods, including meats and eggs.
Raw fish and meat may also contain parasites like pinworms and tapeworms.
Your dachshund could become a new host for these parasites if the meats aren’t cooked adequately.
If you maintain a backyard vegetable garden, you’ll want to ensure that your dachshunds can’t get to your tomato plants.
This plant’s leaves and unripe fruit are rich in a substance called tomatine.
This stuff is poisonous to dogs, and it can cause:
- Stomach upset
If you’ve found your dachshund hanging around tomato plants, you’ll need to monitor them closely and be ready to take them to a veterinarian at a moment’s notice.
After eating these foods, your dog can experience a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms.
The best thing to do is monitor their behavior and provide them with a comfortable, clean place to lie down.
I agree with the American Kennel Club’s recommendation to seek immediate veterinary care if your pup:
- Falls unconscious
- Doesn’t stop vomiting after one hour
- Is vomiting blood
- Cannot stand for more than a few seconds
- Experiences a seizure
Red: Poisonous and Potentially Fatal
The following are foods that you should never feed to dachshunds, as they can prove fatal, even in small amounts:
Adult dachshunds weigh less than 40 lbs (18 kg) and can be more sensitive to some foods because of their small size.
That’s partially why alcoholic beverages like beer and wine are so dangerous.
Dogs can’t process alcohol as most humans do. Additionally, small breeds can suffer from alcohol poisoning or toxicity after consuming only a small amount of alcohol.
In short, it’s best to keep these drinks away from your dachshund.
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and stevia can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea, but xylitol can be fatal.
VCA Animal Hospitals states, “…xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.”
This artificial sweetener (technically a sugar alcohol) is a common ingredient in dental-friendly candies and sugar-free snacks.
Some natural foods, like strawberries and cauliflower, also contain small amounts of xylitol.
Animal Bones or Skin
Rawhide and chicken bones might seem like a natural snack for dogs, but these traditional dog treats can be fatal.
Small bones like those from chicken thighs and drumsticks can snap into shards that can lodge into your dachshund’s throat, causing bleeding or choking.
The skin of rawhide bones can do the same thing, so you’ll want to keep that away from smaller breeds like dachshunds.
You might enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning (or an ice-cold caffeinated soda), but these beverages can be toxic to your dog.
Caffeine can make the heart beat faster and lead to shaking, seizures, and high blood pressure.
Small breeds are especially sensitive to caffeine and can easily consume a fatal dose.
The best way to avoid accidental caffeine poisoning is to keep your caffeinated beverage on a tall table that’s well out of reach of your doxie dog.
Though cherry fruit isn’t toxic to dogs, cherry pits contain cyanide, which is one reason why people don’t eat them!
These large ball-like seeds are also a suffocation hazard for small breeds.
Cherry pits are small enough for a dachshund to wolf down but large enough to get stuck in the pup’s throat.
If you enjoy eating cherries as a snack, remove and discard pits and stems in a place your dog can’t reach to help them avoid these hazards.
Though the occasional orange slice isn’t going to pose a risk to your doxie pup, limes and lemons are out of the question.
The skins of these citrus fruits are rich in limonene, a natural insecticide that can prove poisonous to dogs of all breeds.
If you enjoy adding lemons and limes to your fruit salads, dinners, or beverages, immediately dispose of the used fruits by discarding them in a secure bin out of your dog’s reach.
Desserts and Candy
Feeding your dog candy and sweets can lead to weight problems and diabetes.
Remember, canines don’t consume refined sugars in the wild, so adding sugar to your dog’s diet isn’t beneficial.
Chocolate desserts are particularly dangerous, as theobromine (a compound found in cacao) is toxic to dogs.
Milk chocolate contains less theobromine than dark and bitter chocolate, but it can still be deadly.
Due to their small size, dachshunds may suffer from chocolate poisoning at much smaller doses than larger breeds.
If your doxie happens to eat some chocolate, seek immediate veterinary care.
A few cloves of garlic can spice up any meal, but this popular ingredient can be toxic to all breeds of dogs.
Your dachshund would have to consume between six and ten garlic cloves to reach potentially fatal levels.
However, milder poisonings can still result in vomiting, severe stomach pain, and weakness.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are popular snacks, but they contain an acidic compound that can cause severe stomach upset and kidney failure in dogs.
Unfortunately, these snacks can easily drop onto the floor unnoticed, and watchful pups might lick them up in mere seconds.
If this happens, you’ll need to seek immediate veterinary care to ensure your dog’s kidneys don’t begin to fail.
It’s best to enjoy these snacks when your dog is safely out of the room (make sure to clean up afterward) or avoid buying them altogether.
The smell of nutmeg might remind you of wintertime celebrations, but this spice can be poisonous to both dogs and humans, which is why you’ll want to keep your nutmeg safely stored away at a height your dachshund can’t reach (which shouldn’t be too challenging).
If your dachshund happens to lap up even a single teaspoon of spilled nutmeg, they can begin to vomit, hallucinate, and tremble.
In this situation, immediate veterinary action is necessary.
Onions have antifungal and antibacterial properties like garlic and can add flavor to your favorite meals.
But these two vegetables share another quality: toxicity to dogs.
These root vegetables contain toxins that can destroy your pup’s healthy red blood cells, leading to anemia over time.
Onions can also agitate your dachshund’s digestive tract, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.
A dachshund’s mouth and throat are slimmer than a Saint Bernard’s!
Consequently, they risk choking when consuming uncut foods like large slabs of cooked meat or corn on the cob.
For this reason, you’ll want to cut or blend your dachshund’s meals into bite-sized pieces (roughly ½-inch to 1-inch or 1.27-2.54 cm portions) before feeding.
Doing so significantly decreases the risk of choking, which can be life-threatening.
If your dog consumes any foods in this category, it’s vital to seek immediate emergency veterinary care.
Several items in this category are toxic to dachshunds. Some can obstruct their breathing passages, causing them to suffocate or choke.
Not seeking immediate care for your pup can prolong their discomfort and potentially result in death.
Always contact emergency veterinary services if your dog has eaten toxic foods like chocolate, onions, garlic, or raisins.
As a responsible dog parent, part of your duty is to provide the best quality care for your four-legged family member.
Part of that care means feeding them a high-quality, nutrient-rich diet free of potentially harmful foods.
Don’t hesitate to refer to this guide (or reach out to your veterinarian) to confirm the ingredients you’ve chosen for your dog’s meal are safe and non-toxic.
It’s also recommended to chop or blend safe foods to make them easier for your dachshund to snack on.
This is because large-sized portions can pose a choking risk to all tiny dog breeds.
- Nutrition Value: Bread, whole wheat
- National Kidney Foundation: Calcium Oxalate Stones
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Food Intolerance in Dogs
- National Library of Medicine: Unintended Effects from Breeding
- American Kennel Club: When Should I Call the Vet?
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs
- Food Insight: What is Xylitol?
Veterinary Hospital Director at UCE
Dr. Marcelle is a general veterinarian with a Small Animal Medicine Specialty | Director of the UCE School of Veterinary Medicine | Certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society