You want to keep your Dachshund healthy, so you may be wondering what the best supplements are for them.
I want to keep mine healthy too so I researched supplements for senior dogs, supplements for Dachshunds with back problems, supplements for dogs that are very active, and more.
I came up with a list of what I think are the best supplements for my Dachshunds.
The list of supplements I give them has changed over the years but I update this post when it’s significant.
UPDATED: originally published July 2016
Why I Give My Dachshunds Supplements
I admit I didn’t always give my Dachshunds supplements. At least not consistently.
But in 2016, I got a big wake-up call when my Dachshund Gretel hurt her back and was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD).
The thought of never hiking with her again scared me, so I resolved to do everything I could to help keep her active and reduce the chance of re-injury.
This effort involves many things but supplements are a big part of it.
Also, my first Dachshund Chester developed dementia later in life. It was the most heartbreaking experience I’ve ever gone through with a pet.
I started looking into supplements to help his brain health at that time but I was also concerned about preventing it in my future Dachshunds as they age.
Like me, a lot of people don’t see the importance of giving their dog a supplement until something goes wrong.
But now I know better and make the effort to give my Dachshunds supplements every day (although we may skip a few days if we run out or are traveling).
I give my Dachshunds supplements:
- Because my Dachshunds love to hike and are very active so I want to help keep them strong and energetic
- Because my Dachshund Gretel has IVDD and I want to help prevent back injuries in my younger one Summit
- To help with age-related pain and and joint inflammation and discomfort
- My older Dachshund is 13 and considered a senior. I want to keep her healthy and comfortable as she ages.
- To help protect my younger Dachshund from future health issues (she doesn’t have any currently).
- To maintain a healthy skin and coat
- To help manage nervousness and anxiety
- To help maintain brain health and cognitive function
- To help support a healthy gut and digestive system
- To help reduce potty accidents due to incontinence (Gretel)
- To help maintain dental health and promote fresh breath
I think it’s important to note that supplements are intended to support healthy body functions and are best used as a preventative to delay any potential health issues.
For example, a joint supplement is primarily intended to prevent, or delay, joint deterioration and discomfort.
With that being said, it’s possible that a dog will see benefits of using one after they already have arthritis.
What Supplements Do I Give My Dachshunds?
I wrote the first iteration of this Dachshund supplements article back in 2016.
Since then, my opinion on supplements has changed, the list of supplements I give my Dachshund has evolved, and I’ve attempted to organize the information in the most helpful way that I can.
Today, I think the best way to organize the information for you is to first give you a list of the supplements we use up front.
Then, I break the list down according to different health concerns, provide more details about each supplement (including what the purpose of each is), and mention any related ones I think are relevant.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Supplements I give my Dachshunds daily:
- ProDen PlaqueOff
- Super Snouts Super Shrooms Mushroom Complex
- Glycoflex Plus
- Honest Kitchen Herbal Digestive Supplement
- VetriScience VetriDisk
- Vet Classics Bladder Incontinence Support
- Pet CBD: Currently Pet Releaf
- Grizzly Salmon (omega) Oil™
In addition to these daily supplements, I rotate other supplements through their diet at times.
There is no real reason except I see these supplements as a bonus and not a priority.
I get on kicks where I give my Dachshunds something regularly until it runs out and then I may replace it, replace it with another similar product, or go without for a while.
There are also some supplements that are only relevant when my dogs are experiencing a specific issue like constipation, diarrhea, digestion issues, or the like.
Intermittent supplementation includes:
- Plain canned pumpkin or Native Pet Pumpkin Powder)
- Probiotics (goat milk, plain greek yogurt, or VetriScience® Vetri Mega Probiotic)
- Bone broth (liquid or powdered bone broth)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Slippery elm bark powder
- VetriScience® Vetri DMG
While the supplements listed above are the brand or type I am currently using, when I break the list down by health concerns below, I also list alternatives if I think it’s relevant to do so.
I choose to rotate some supplements, like a probiotic, to get different ingredients and benefits from them over time.
I list alternatives that I’ve tried before and liked but am not currently using.
I may also mention one if it’s popular among Dachshund owners but I haven’t used it.
Supplements for Dachshunds By Health Concern
After my Dachshund Gretel’s back injury and diagnosis of IVDD, I went a little nuts with the supplements. I gave her everything that I thought would help, which was about 20 things.
After a while, I realized that many of the supplements had overlapping benefits..
I didn’t think some others were doing much for her or were that important.
You will notice that some of the same supplements are listed multiple times, but under different health concerns.
Again, this is an attempt to better organize the supplement information from you.
That way, if you are seeking supplements to address a specific condition but not others, you can see which supplements you might want to give your dog for that.
I consider the supplements included in this article to be high-quality and in most cases there is at least strong anecdotal evidence that they are effective for a lot of dogs, if not actual scientific studies.
Please remember that I am not a veterinarian and I am not qualified to give advice about what supplements you should give your dog. I’m just sharing what works for us.
Always check with your vet first before giving your dog a new supplement if you are at all in doubt.
Supplements for Dachshunds with back problems
Both Dachshunds who have been diagnosed with IVDD, and those that need a preventative, can potentially benefit from these supplements.
The supplement I choose to use specifically for spinal health is VetriScience VetriDisk.
Vetri Disc combines bovine tracheal cartilage with amino acids, mineral sulfates, vitamins, pepsin, and horsetail rush (Equisetum arvense) to support back health and the spine’s connective tissues.
I’ve recently been informed that VetriDisk may not be available outside of the US so you may need to look for an alternative.
It’s the only supplement I know of specifically for spinal health and that includes that particular combination of ingredients.
However, the two primary ingredients in VetriDisk are bovine tracheal cartilage and vitamin c and both of these are available for dogs separately.
Note: dachshund back problems have been treated with liquid vitamin c injections (source) but there may be some benefit to it in powder form too.
Other IVDD supplements
Other supplements that generally support joint lubrication, tendons, and that can help reduce inflammation include:
- Glucosamine joint supplements
- Omega fish oil
I go into more detail about each of these in the joint supplement section below (spinal health and joint health are related).
Joint Supplements for Dachshunds
Proper joint support is more than just giving your Dachshund glucosamine.
A well-rounded joint health supplement protocol includes a high-quality joint supplement plus other supplements that support muscles, connective tissues, and help to reduce inflammation.
Glucosamine is important but there are also many other compounds that also benefit joint health including chondroitin, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), and green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). Omega fish oils, and CBD.
My dog joint supplement of choice is Glycoflex Plus from VetriScience.
In addition to glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), it contains DMG, green lipped mussel (perna canaliculus), manganese, selenium and grape seed extract.
These ingredients help cushion joints, promote cartilage building and alleviate discomfort caused by normal daily activities.
Glycoflex is clinically proven to increase hind leg strength by up to 41% in just four weeks. (source)
It comes in a small dog formula so you don’t have to break the chews in half to get the proper dose.
Another favorite joint supplement is ActivPhy Joint, which has many ingredients similar to GlycoFlex Plus.
It doesn’t contain green lipped mussel but does contain blue green algae extract. It also doesn’t contain chondroitin.
Although I have not tried it because I don’t think the ingredients are as good as in GlycoFlex Plus, I’ve seen many dog owners recommend Nutramax Dasuquin.
Salmon oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which acts as an anti-inflammatory dog joint supplement to increase mobility, and helps to relieve pain and inflammation.
We primarily use Grizzly Salmon Oil™ , which is made from Wild salmon oil, contains high levels of the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, as well as Omega 6 and Arachidonic fatty acids.
These components not only support healthy skin and coat, but also cognition, vision, immunity, other nerve-based functions, and healthy hair and skin (more on that later).
Note: if you give your dog oil primarily to improve their skin and coat, the Grizzly Wild Pollock Oil (which contains high concentration of EPA but very low DHA) is significantly cheaper.
If you or your dog are vegetarian, flax seed oil also contains omega-3 oils.
There are a whole slew of good things this ground root can do for your dog but the two biggest are reducing inflammation and pain associated with aging and damaged joints.
This is important to help alleviate any soreness if Gretel’s IVDD gets aggravated and any discomfort she experiences due to getting old.
Not only is turmeric good for a dog with IVDD, it helps keep any inflammation at bay so my younger Dachshund can perform at her best.
Turmeric has been found to be more effective if it’s turned into a “golden paste” first.
The recipe for golden turmeric paste I use calls for turmeric powder (make sure you use organic), pepper, and coconut oil for dogs, which has its own health benefits including improving skin health, aiding in digestion, and helping with arthritis or ligament problems.
Hemp CBD (Cannabidiol)
CBD for pets is all the rage right now. It is touted as somewhat of a cure-all.
CBD is derived from industrial hemp and contains almost no THC, the compound that produces a “high”, so it’s safe for dogs (CBD even been found safe even in high doses).
There are many Benefits of CBD for dogs, including helping to reduce inflammation and pain.
This clinical study found that over 93% of dogs (in the study) experienced decreased pain, scores, improvements in mobility, increased energy, and increased focus.
I’ve tried over 10 different brands of CBD for dogs for my Dachshunds Summit and Gretel.
One of the best pet CBD brands I’ve seen and used is Pet Releaf.
Bone broth naturally contains glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and chondroitin, which are important for helping to strengthen and repair joints.
It also contains amino acids, including glycine and arginine, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
While you can make bone broth yourself, I buy what we use.
This is another supplement on the list that I vary a lot. I constantly use different brands since they are largely the same.
Of note though, is the Honest Kitchen instant bone broth (beef or turkey flavors available).
It has a long shelf life and you can make it in small amounts for your Dachshund as needed.
Sometimes I buy liquid bone broth though and freeze it in protons so that it doesn’t go bad before we use it all.
Skin and Hair Health Supplements
As I said earlier, a lot of supplements do double (or triple) duty so there is no need to feed multiple supplements to cover each specific issue.
Most of the supplements listed below are also listed under other health concerns here so you may already be covered.
If the biggest health concern for your Dachshund is itchy skin, adding an oil to their food can really help.
Specifically, Omega-3 oils (fish or flax) or coconut oil are the most helpful.
Omega-3 oils can help with skin allergy relief, reduction of shedding & dander, and making the coat shiny.
Advantages of coconut oil are that you can rub it directly on any areas of your dog that are dry or cracked and it has antimicrobial properties.
My first Dachshund Chester had really itchy skin but it stopped about a week after I started adding omega-3 oil to his food.
MSM can help to alleviate discomfort caused by allergies, and (skin) inflammation.
This naturally-occurring, sulfur-rich compound is also found in most joint supplements so if you’re using one of those, your dog is probably already taking this supplement.
Other dog skin and coat supplements
Although omega-3 oils and a joint supplement are enough to help most Dachshunds, sometimes those things aren’t enough.
In those cases, owners may need to consult with their veterinarian and experiment with additional supplements.
Some options might include:
- Giving your dog both omega-3 and coconut oils
- Adding evening primrose oil (it’s high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that may help to relieve dry, itchy skin and inflammation).
- Adding Quercetin, a bioflavonoid often referred to as ‘nature’s Benadryl’.
Digestive Health Supplements for Dogs
Proper digestion is essential for your dog. If the food isn’t sufficiently broken down in the stomach and intestines, your dog can’t fully absorb the nutrients.
Digestive bacteria and enzymes
There are three main supplements that help support proper digestion.
- Prebiotics – special plant fibers that help healthy bacteria grow in the gut.
- Probiotics – live yeasts and good bacteria introduced into the digestive system to help counteract bad bacteria.
- Digestive enzymes – proteins that help to break down food in the digestive system when the body’s enzymes are not sufficient
You can introduce prebiotics to your dog’s diet by adding fresh vegetables (that’s what I do) or by using a digestive supplement that contains them.
I prefer to feed probiotics to my Dachshund in natural food form by giving them plain greek yogurt or raw goats milk with live cultures.
But sometimes I give them the VetriScience® Vetri Mega Probiotic.
The advantage of using a pill or powdered supplement over goat milk or yogurt is that the former contains few or no calories.
I typically buy goat milk in liquid form from the pet store but sometimes I use this powdered goat’s milk for dogs (this is especially handy when traveling).
For digestive enzymes, which include papaya leaf and papain, I give my Dachshunds the Honest Kitchen Herbal Digestive Supplement.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While I don’t do it every day, I periodically add Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar to their food.
There are several benefits to giving your dog apple cider vinegar like aiding digestion, helping with gas and constipation, and helping with joint problems and arthritis.
It’s important to use apple cider vinegar that has the “mother” still in it.
The mother is the dark, cloudy substance in the apple cider vinegar that contains some of the best parts of the apple.
Vinegars with the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain.
Bragg apple cider vinegar is pretty much the “holy grail” of healthy vinegars.
Regulating poo consistency (diarrhea or constipation)
Besides being a prebiotic, pumpkin has the magical ability to firm up a dog’s poo or make it softer.
Pumpkin is high in soluble fiber, which can add bulk to your dog’s stool by absorbing water and help manage loose stools.
Be sure to use only unsweetened pumpkin (I prefer the pureed stuff that comes in a can) and start with ½ teaspoon and see how that goes (no pun intended) before adding more.
Note: Sweet potato has similar properties. Some people have found more success using sweet potato to firm up stool, and using pumpkin as a laxative.
Supplements intended to help with health bowel movements, and the prevention of anal gland issues, like Glandex, are too harsh for Summit and cause constipation, so I use pumpkin for this purpose instead.
Stomach irritation and IBS
I add a little (extra*) slippery elm bark powder to my Dachshund’s food any time they seem to have an upset stomach.
*the Honest Kitchen digestive supplement already contains a little bit.
The active ingredient is a mucilage – a substance that becomes viscous and gel-like when mixed with water – so it can act as a protective coating in the stomach and intestines.
I also give it to them if they eat something that I think might need a little help going through their digestive tract smoothly, like when we are camping and Summit chews on sticks (she spits most of the pieces out but just in case).
Supplements for Senior Dachshunds
The majority of supplements on this list are also good for senior Dachshunds.
Some of the biggest challenges senior Dachshunds face are arthritis, joint inflammation, digestive issues and cognitive decline (Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), sometimes called “doggy dementia”), and a less robust immune system.
I addressed supplements for joint health and digestion above. That leaves…
I give my senior Dachshund Gretel lion’s mane mushroom (hericium erinaceus) to support cognitive health.
It’s been reported in many studies that lion’s mane mushroom can help stimulate the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a protein that promotes the growth and normal function of nerve cells in the brain.
There are many mushroom complexes for dogs out there but be sure to look at the label as many incorporate several different mushrooms except lion’s mane.
One exception is the Super Snouts Super Shrooms blend.
You can also buy lion’s mane mushroom powder as a separate supplement.
Senilife is another supplement containing a unique blend of antioxidants that support brain function in elderly dogs including phosphatidylserine, ginkgo biloba extract, and resveratrol (grape extract).
The product claims that it can help reduce changes in behavior related to aging in as little as 7 days but I will note that I gave to my first Dachshund Chester after he had moderate dementia and I didn’t notice a difference. It may be best used in the early stages.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), found in coconut oil, can also help support healthy brain function.
MCTs have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older pets.
I’m a big fan of mushrooms for immune system support, for both myself and my Dachshunds.
Specific mushrooms that help to support and protect proper immune function include:
- Reishi (ganoderma lucidim)
- Shitake (lentinula edodes)
- Turkey tail (trametes versicolor)
My supplement of choice is the Canine Matrix Daily Immune Support Supplement.
There are a couple supplements I use that address issues not listed above.
There are also a couple I only use on an as-needed basis.
A Supplement to Help Incontinence
I give my senior Dachshund Gretel Vet Classics Bladder Incontinence Support.
Incontinence Support includes a blend of plant-based precursors, botanicals and phytoestrogens to support bladder muscle tone and function for spayed and senior female dogs.
Gretel occasionally leaks when she sleeps but she rarely has accidents since giving her this supplement (I had tried others previously that didn’t seem to do anything).
An “Energy Shot” for Active Dogs
DMG, an adaptogen that helps the body cope with various forms of stress, supports immune system function, helps maintain healthy circulation, increases oxygen utilization, decreases lactic acid build-up, and improves performance/stamina.
Dental health support
While I don’t consider dog dental products a traditional supplement, I mention it because it’s important.
People often ask me how I care for my Dahcshund’s teeth and, if you have been following us for a while, you know I don’t brush my Dachshund’s teeth.
However, I don’t neglect them either.
I created a routine that includes the ProDen PlaqueOff supplement to soften plaque and tartar on their teeth and then a natural chew to help scrape it off.
Stress and anxiety
Gretel has persistent anxiety and both of my Dachshunds experience elevated stress levels on occasion.
I’ve tried several natural calming products for them but most didn’t work.
The one that’s been the most effective, and has the most additional benefits, is Hemp CBD for dogs.
Our current favorite brand is Pet Releaf.
I’ve also had some success with VetriScience Composure.
How I Administer These Supplements
All of the supplements above are either liquids, pastes, powders, or chews.
I either add the chews to their dish at meal time (mostly so I don’t forget) or give them as a treat during the day.
I mix the liquid, powder, and paste supplements into their food either at breakfast or dinner.
Now that I have a routine down, it literally only adds another minute or two to what I’m already doing.
However, I DO feed them raw food so it’s super easy to mix in with their meal.
If you feed kibble or freeze-dried raw, you may have to get more creative.
Supplements are a way to add nutrients to your Dachshund’s diet that are not produced naturally in the body (at all or in the required amounts) or contained in their food.
They have the potential to help prevent or delay potential medical issues or support specific conditions your dog suffers from.
I consider supplements to be a “good faith” practice though because, except in rare circumstances, they work internally where you can’t see it.
In other words, you will likely not be able to detect a visible difference between the times you give your Dachshund the supplement and when you don’t.
Supplements are a subtle, long game and you just have to trust, based on science and/or personal belief, that they are doing their job.
But sometimes, like in the case of CBD for anxiety or pumpkin for constipation, you will see an immediate difference.
Using a lot of different supplements can get expensive but, luckily, Dachshunds are small so they only need small doses.
If you can’t afford all of the supplements you want to use at once, I suggest you make a list and rotate the ones you give – feeding one to your Dachshund until it’s gone, moving to the next, and eventually making your way back to the first one.
Giving the supplement occasionally can help compared to not giving it at all.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.