The dachshund or “wiener dog” is one of my favorite breeds. For most of my life, I’ve cared for another low-to-the-ground dog breed known as the Bassett Hound, so I have a special place in my heart for dogs that slink around the house. While dachshunds are amazingly cute and curious family dogs, they also require special care. Obesity can lead to back problems, and they’re more prone to skin allergies. In this article, I share tips on how to select the best dog food for dachshunds with skin allergies and the top 5 brands currently available.
Before you begin your search for the right food, it’s important to be aware of the most common dog food allergens, which are:
For some pet parents, it’s hard to believe that protein sources are the ingredients causing their dog’s allergies. For this reason, a lot of people switch to grain-free dog foods before ruling out protein sources.
The best approach is to take all the ingredients in the list above out of the equation first. Since it’s best to keep your dachshund lean, choosing limited-ingredient and grain-free foods is a good starting point. Once you determine which protein sources agree with your dog, it’s best to find well-balanced foods containing those protein sources with grains.
The process does take time, but once you know what your dog can and cannot eat, you’ll save money in the long run and have a happier dog, which also equals a happier you.
Top 5 Best Foods for Dachshunds with Skin Allergies
|#1) Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites|
|#2) Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed|
|#3) Nulo Freestyle Limited+|
|#4) CANIDAE Grain-Free Pure Petite Small Breed Adult|
|#5) Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet|
Tips on Selecting the Right Food
Before we take a closer look at each of the five brands above, I want to share some of the terms to watch out for when choosing the best dog food for dachshunds with skin allergies.
Since you want to avoid chicken altogether when assessing your dog’s food intolerances, you’ll notice that some brands sneak chicken into their formulas. The companies use terms such as “no poultry byproducts” or “no poultry by-product meal.”
If you see these terms, it usually means the food contains chicken fat. All of the foods in this guide do not contain chicken fat.
Another tip is to watch out for “chicken meal.” You’ll notice that some foods advertise non-chicken protein sources on the label, but once you check the ingredients, you’ll see “chicken meal” as one of the first ingredients.
The five brands in this guide contain zero chicken or “egg product,” which is another ingredient to check for when selecting your food. The key is to avoid chicken, beef, eggs, wheat, corn, and soy altogether while determining which protein sources agree with your doxie.
Reviews of the Best Food for Dachshunds with Allergies
Now that you’ve considered the tips above, let’s look at the five brands in the chart above. In each review, we share the highlights and the pros & cons according to current dog parent reports.
#1) Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites
Natural Balance is one of our favorite dog food brands for all dogs with allergies, and the Small Breed Bites formula is perfect for doxies. What’s really nice about the L.I.D. formula for small breeds is that it’s available in three chicken-free flavors including Potato & Duck, Sweet Potato & Fish, and Lamb Meal & Brown Rice.
Another highlight of this brand is that it’s not overly rich, which makes it one of the best dog foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs. If your doxie suffers from skin allergies and a sensitive stomach, this is a great food to help him get back on track and produce healthier stools.
Outside of the protein sources, the L.I.D. blend contains easily-digestible potatoes and healthy sources of fat including flaxseed, canola oil, and salmon oil to support skin & coat health. Overall, this is a great limited-ingredient dog food to start with to get your dachshund’s skin allergies under control because it’s simple yet highly nutritious with all the right ingredients.
- A good balance of fiber, protein, and fat for healthy weight
- Loved by doxie parents
- A good source of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for a softer, shinier coat
- May help to firm up stools
- May help to alleviate itchy skin
- A good choice for dachshunds that are sensitive to rich dog foods
- Good for dachshunds with sensitive stomachs
- High protein for lean muscle mass
- A handful of reported quality control issues
- Potential inconsistent batch quality
- Does not contain pre or probiotics
#2) Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed
Wellness Simple formula for small breeds is another excellent choice for doxies with skin allergies. The Salmon & Potato formula is great for dogs who prefer fish-based dog foods rather than other alternatives to chicken. Of the five brands in this guide, Wellness is the only one that is salmon-based, and salmon is an excellent source of both protein & Omega 3.
Dogs suffering from hot spots, dry itchy skin, and sensitive stomachs are likely to do well on this food. Other main ingredients in the Simple blend include peas, potatoes, canola oil, and ground flaxseed. In reality, this blend is very similar to the Nutro blend above with several of the same key ingredients.
A couple of final highlights are Wellness food is made in the US, it’s competitively-priced, and its glucosamine & chondroitin content makes it a good choice for senior doxies.
- The best fish-based formula for doxies
- Added pre & probiotics make it easily-digestible for most dogs
- Approved by current dachshund parents
- Good for dogs with stomach problems
- The kibble size is perfect for all small breeds
- May help to eliminate excessive scratching that leads to raw skin and lost fur
- Helps to keep bowels regular and solid
- Loved by most pet parents dealing with allergies
- The bag is not actually resealable
- Some dogs reject it
- Tends to go out of stock or on backorder
#3) Nulo Freestyle Limited+
Nulo Freestyle is an excellent choice for active dachshunds who require more protein. Currently, Nulo offers a turkey formula for small breeds that’s packed with goodies. One ingredient you’ll find in this blend that’s not offered in other foods is the GanedenBC30 probiotic for improved digestive & immune health in dogs.
Other noteworthy ingredients that make Nulo Freestyle unique are Omega 3 & 6 and L-Carnitine for weight management. Bodybuilders often take L-Carnitine to help turn fatty acids into fuel for a leaner physique.
Several final highlights are the inclusion of non-GMO canola oil, a single protein source to avoid skin allergies, no hidden chicken products or fat, and no pea or white potato products. For doxies that are sensitive to potatoes and/or pea protein, Nulo Freestyle Limited+ is a top choice.
- Contains a patented probiotic that’s been shown to survive the cooking process
- The best choice of the 5 brands in this guide for active doxies
- Contains no white potato or pea products for extra-sensitive dogs
- More protein-rich than most other brands on the market
- Contains amino acid L-Carnitine for weight management
- An excellent choice for doxies with sensitive tummies
- May help to alleviate gas
- An easy brand for dogs to transition to
- The highest cost per pound of the brands in this guide
- A couple of bad batch reports
- Potentially too high in protein for less active dogs
#4) CANIDAE Grain-Free Pure Petite Small Breed Adult
Canidae is another brand we typically include in our guides for all breeds with allergies. The Pure Petite formula is the best choice of the formulas in the Canidae line for dachshunds with allergies. Lamb is a good alternative source of protein for dogs with chicken allergies because it’s full of amino acids and healthy dietary fats.
Of the five formulas in this guide, Pure Petite is one of the most limited with 8 main ingredients, which makes it easier to detect whether the ingredients cause your dog’s skin allergies. Additionally, it’s one of the most affordable premium limited-ingredient dog foods for small breeds.
Like the Nulo formula above, Canidae Pure Petite contains probiotics for enhanced digestive health. If your dog is suffering from itchy skin due to yeast issues, probiotics help to repopulate the GI tract with friendly bacteria.
One thing we like is that Canidae adds its probiotics after the cooking process to ensure they reach your dog’s gut. The final highlight we want to point out is the raw coating on the kibble that makes this formula a good choice for finicky eaters.
- Canidae contains probiotics for improved gut health and healthier stools
- The combination of peas, lentils, and garbanzo beans is easy for dogs to digest
- Finicky eaters are more likely to take to the raw outer coating of freeze-dried lamb
- Perfect kibble size for dachshunds
- Good for sensitive stomachs
- Shinier and softer coat reports
- May help to heal skin allergies
- Lamb is a great alternative to chicken-based dog food
- Quality control issue reports
- The raw coating may crumble
#5) Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
Last up is Blue Buffalo. We consider Blue Buffalo to be one of the most reliable dog food brands that deliver consistent quality. You’re less likely to run into any quality control issues or out of stock annoyances with this brand. Of the formulas currently offered by Blue Buffalo, the Basics Limited line is the best choice for dogs with allergies.
Basics Limited is available in several flavors and in both wet & dry formulas. The top choice for doxies is the Lamb & Potato Small Breed blend. One ingredient you’ll find only in Blue Buffalo dog food is its Lifesource Bits that are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Of the five brands in this guide, Blue Buffalo and Nulo are the top options for active dachshunds.
Lastly, if you want to avoid grain-free food once you get your doxie’s skin allergies under control, Blue Buffalo also offers a limited-ingredient blend with grains with main ingredients Turkey & Potato. The grains are oatmeal and brown rice with no wheat, corn, or soy products.
- A good choice for dogs with chicken allergies
- There are wet, grain-free, and standard limited-ingredient formulas to choose from
- Blue Buffalo contains Lifesource Bits with added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Contains probiotics for improved gastrointestinal health
- Approved by doxie parents
- A good choice for dogs with IBS
- Picky eaters are more likely to eat it
- One of the top picks in this guide for senior doxies
- Pricier than other brands
- A couple of complaints about customer service
- Not a good choice for dogs who are sensitive to potatoes
It’s always a good idea to consult your vet first when selecting the best food for a dachshund with skin allergies. He or she will lead you down the right path. However, since most skin allergies are due to chicken, beef, dairy products, corn, and wheat, the five brands in this guide are all good choices for doxies and small breeds in general.
Signs that your dog is allergic to food ingredients often include chronic ear & paw infections, endless itching that can lead to raw skin, hives, facial swelling, and upset stomachs that lead to loose or runny stools.
Lastly, remember that grains are not always the cause of your dog’s skin allergies. Once you determine which protein sources agree with your dog’s gut, it’s a wise decision to select a well-balanced food with grains.