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Cheat Sheet

Dachshunds For Dummies

Keeping your Dachshund safe, happy, and healthy requires owning all the necessary pet supplies, finding a good veterinarian, and looking for the warning signs of Dachshund back problems.

Finding a Good Vet for your Dachshund

When you’re looking for a veterinarian, you want someone that you and your Dachshund are comfortable seeing. Here’s a list of things to look for when visiting a potential doggy doctor:

  • Was it easy to make an appointment?

  • Was the person on the phone friendly and accommodating?

  • Does the reception area look and smell clean? (A doggy smell is natural, but you shouldn’t smell anything unpleasant.)

  • Is the office staff friendly and polite when you visit?

  • Does your Dachshund seem interested when you visit, or does he seem nervous? (This isn’t always a good indicator. Some dogs are often nervous in new places, and your Dachshund may remember a previous vet’s office where he received a vaccination.)

  • Do you have a good feeling about the vet? Is she friendly, open, and easy to talk to?

  • Does the vet seem to have a genuine interest and love for animals?

  • Does the vet seem to bond with you and your dog?

  • Is the vet ready and willing to answer all your questions?

  • Does the vet make you feel like he has plenty of time for you?

  • Is the vet willing to give you references?

  • Is the vet open and forthcoming about her training?

  • Does the vet have any particular experience with Dachshunds?

  • Do you have a good feeling about the whole experience after you leave?

Dachshund Back Problem Warning Signs

Pay attention and you can tell if your Dachshund is having back pain. If you see any of the following signs, call the vet (if your Dachshund shows sign of severe pain, paralysis, or drags his back legs, don’t wait, go to an animal emergency facility immediately):

  • Shivering, especially when combined with unusual inactivity

  • Refusal to get up and play, even for food

  • A yelp when you pet your Dachshund or try to pick him up

  • A pulled-in head or arched back or any other strange position

  • A refusal to bend down to the food or water dish to eat or drink

  • Limping of any kind

  • A “drunken” rear end, which moves but looks as if it isn’t completely under control

  • Dragging of the back legs

Essential Items to Have for Your Dachshund

Make sure you have all of the necessary items for your Dachshund. You don’t have to spend a fortune, and you may borrow some of these things from a friend. You can use this list to pick up your pet supply staples:

  • Food. Buy as good a food as you can afford.

  • Leash or lead. Dachshunds must be kept on a leash when near traffic in an unenclosed area. Four-foot lengths are good for new puppies. When your dog is older, a 6-foot length is perfect. Choose leather or nylon, whichever you prefer.

  • Collar or harness. A leash isn’t much good without one. Harnesses are nice for Dachshunds because you won’t risk pulling on their necks.

  • Food and water bowls. Any bowl will do, as long as it is unbreakable and heavy enough so that your Dachshund doesn’t keep knocking it over when he tries to eat.

  • Shampoo. Use shampoo made for pets, not for people. People shampoo is harsh and can irritate your pet’s skin and eyes.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste. It may seem silly to you, but brushing your dog’s teeth is essential for her good health.

  • Nail clippers. A dog with long nails risks a foot injury. Ask your vet to show you how (or have it done professionally once every four to eight weeks). Buy clippers made for dogs, not for humans.

  • Brush and comb. Your dog’s grooming needs depend on what coat your Dachshund has.

  • ID tags. Nobody thinks they’ll lose their dog, but if you do, your dog can’t tell anyone where he lives.

  • Pet gate. A must-have if you have rooms where your Dachshund isn’t allowed or stairs you want to keep him from descending or climbing.

  • Toys. Dachshunds just want to have fun. A few toys are a must-have, even if they’re homemade.

  • Pet odor remover. Accidents happen, but if your dog smells a previous mistake on your carpet, accidents will happen again and again. Ask your local pet store employee to recommend a brand, like Nature’s Miracle.

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