Navigating the world of puppy shopping can be a difficult task, so I have put together my top puppy must haves. These are my top must haves for a miniature dachshund, all of which have been tested by Scooby. They include products from bedding to training aids and toys.
Top 10 Must Haves for a Dachshund
1. A crate or puppy play pen
Most vets and dog trainers recommend crate training your Dachshund, which is why this is the number one in my ‘must haves for a Dachshund’ list. Not only does crate training help with toilet training, it is also incredibly useful in the unfortunate event your dachshund experiences IVDD, where they may have to be crated for six weeks. Crate training takes a lot of work, but if done correctly can be an invaluable tool for keeping your puppy safe.
For Scooby we purchased both a crate and a puppy pen, we leave the crate door open but place the puppy pen around the crate so he can go in and out. It is important to fully read up on crate training before attempting this training method.
We purchased a 24 inch crate, which only fits his bed inside, alongside an adjustable play pen. I think the 24 inch crate is perfect if used in conjunction with a play pen, otherwise I would purchase a slightly larger crate.
2. A comfortable bed
There are thousands of beds you can choose from, a simple crate mat to more expensive luxurious bedding. It really is down to personal preference. We found that Scooby settled best in smaller beds where he was more enclosed, so a tepee proved to be the prefect bed for when he wasn’t in his crate. For his crate bed we use a round calming bed from a brand called Scruffs.
3. Puppy Food
Of course, an excellent nutritious food will be on a ‘must-haves for a dachshund’ list. Navigating through the 100s of brands and types of pet food is difficult, and of course, you want the best for your pup. Your breeder will usually give you a week or two’s supply of the food they have been feeding your puppy, you don’t want to change their diet instantly as this can cause an upset stomach. Start by slowly mixing the new food in with the old and gradually increase the ratio of new food to old.
For Scooby, we decided on a mix of wet and dry food, for the brand we selected tails.com, they provide a unique blend of food, made specifically for your dog backed up by science. The food is sourced from the UK and Europe and delivered to your door within 72 hours of ordering, for free, each month. Once your pup is old enough you can add in their wet food and also their tasty treats. Scooby is constantly receiving compliments on how shiny and healthy his coat is. He has clean teeth and never experiences bloat after meals. For me one of the best things about Tails is, they calculate the exact amount of calories your pup needs each day to grow and maintain a healthy weight, and it can all be measured out with the free scoop they provide with your first order.
4. Food and water bowls
This is an obvious one and again there are so many to choose from. We bought a titanium bowl with a rubber bottom to prevent it from sliding around the floor, we also bought a smaller water dish that can be attached to the side of the crate so that it wouldn’t get knocked over in his sleep; but allowing him to always have access to fresh water. Another water bowl must have, is a portable water dispenser, these are great to take on car journeys, or on walks. You can easily carry them in your bag, then just release the water when your Dachshund needs a drink.
5. A great fitting harness
There are many articles arguing which is better to walk a Dachshund on, a collar or a harness? I tend to opt for a harness while they learn to walk on a lead, just as their necks are so tiny. For this reason, Scooby and I would put an excellent fitting harness on our must haves for a dachshund list. We found that the puppia XS harness was the perfect fit for Scooby when he was 10-14 weeks, my only critique was that it isn’t adjustable, so he grew out of it quickly. His current harness is the same style, mesh with padding and an adjustable belly strap.
6. Pet insurance
I cannot stress how important great pet insurance is, as you know our beloved Dachshunds are prone to IVDD (1 in 4 dachshunds experience this in their lifetime), and treatment can cost upwards of £8000. When searching for the best pet insurance make sure you find one with lifetime cover, that will cover over the £7000 per individual treatment, per year. Some have a large covering for the year, but cap the pay out at £3000 per treatment. We went with Bought By Many, they cover £15,000 per year and do not have a procedural limit, in addition they offer great perks like dental cover, complementary treats (acupuncture etc), 24 hour vet helpline, doggie first aid courses and many more.
If you sign up via this link, you will receive a £20 amazon voucher.
7. Interactive training toys and puzzles
Dachshunds are highly intelligent dogs, so it’s important to keep them well stimulated and puzzle toys are a great way to do so. There are loads of options out there, we started with the basics of a treat dispensing ball, a fillable kong and the lick mat. All three are great ways to make meal times last longer and get your pup using their brain to get the food and treats. It’s advisable to supervise your pet whilst using these toys.
8. Indestructible toys
Ok, this one might be a tough task as dachshunds are renowned destroyers of toys. But it is important to keep some things in mind when purchasing toys, rope toys are great for teething, but also fray easily and bits of rope can become lodged in their stomachs, so throw away any ropes they become frayed. Crinkle toys are great fun (Scooby’s favourite in fact,) but they are filled with crinkly plastic, so again keep an eye on them and throw away if they become warn. Kong do great toys that are slightly more hard wearing than others. Flavored Nylabones are also a great toy for your teething puppies.
- Super High Bounce: Better than standard tennis balls, the Ultra Ball is made of durable rubber yielding an ultra bouncy, exciting fetch experience on land or on water thanks to lightweight, bouyant design. Compatible with size Medium Chuckit Launchers
- Tough and Durable: This rugged dog fetch toy has a textured surface and a thick rubber core that can stand up to rough play yet is soft on dog's mouths. Not intended as a pure chew toy, always supervise your dog when playing with this toy
- Sizing matters: Size medium measures 2.5" in diameter and is best suited for dogs weighing 20-60lbs. Dog balls should be small enough for your dog to carry, but large enough that the ball can't completely fit in their mouth. When in doubt, buy a size up
- Make Fetch Happen: Chuckit Performance toys are designed with you and your dog in mind; Try our full range of indoor and outdoor interactive dog toys including tumblers, flyers, fetch toys, other balls for dogs and more
- ChuckIt Fetch Pet Toys: Chuckit makes indoor and outdoor dog toys that enrich the human-animal bond and helps dogs and puppies stay engaged. Try our full line of ball launchers, puppy toys, flying discs, tennis balls for dogs, dog chew toys, and more
- Advanced Formulation Designed to Gently Clean, Deodorize and Dry Your Pets Ears
- Gentle and Safe for Regular Use which Prevents Ear Infections, Reduces Wax Build Up and Removes Debris in and Around the Ear
- 100 Convenient, Alcohol Free, Soothing and Non-Irritating Disposable Ear Wipes for Dogs. For Dogs Over 12 Weeks Old
- Reduce Foul Ear Odor and Prevents Infection to Keeps Your Dog Happy and Healthy without Medication
- Made in the USA in Federally Regulated Manufacturing Facilities to Ensure Quality and Safety
9. A hot water bottle, ticking clock or heart beat teddy and an old t-shirt.
This may seem like an odd combination, but it is one of the top must haves for a dachshund puppies first night at home. A hot water bottle and a ticking clock/heart beat teddy will mimic their littermate’s warmth and heart beats, some breeders even give you a blanket that smells like the mum, whilst the old t-shirt will smell of you, all bringing comfort to your puppy whilst they settle into their new environment. We bought this heart beat teddy from amazon.
10. Training treats
If your dachshund puppy is food driven, treats can prove a great training aid, there are so many out there to choose from, but it is important to get treats that are both age appropriate and also not high in calories. We bought the Wagg low calorie puppy treats, they are 6 calories a treat, but you can cut the treat up into much smaller pieces.
When we teach Scooby a new trick, or need a ‘high value’ reward, we used boiled chicken pieces as this is his favorite. You can also use pieces of their dry food (if you use this) and take it out of their daily allowance to ensure they are not over eating.
This is mine and Scoobys tried and tested list of must haves for a Dachshund.