Sausage BLOG – 3 – Dulwich Park

Usually we head down to Greenwich Park as its usually got a few dogs running around off-leash. It’s generally one of the nicer parks in London and not terribly far from us.

However, this morning we decided to check out Dulwich Park as this is only 5-10min drive and has free parking!

To our surprise we saw more dogs than we usually do in Greenwich! So Choco got to say hello to a few dogs of various breeds.

We met another little Dacshund named Frank. A little 5 month old Black and Tan one. We had a short run, but we were heading in different directions at the time. Hopefully Choco and Frank will have their run soon!

But the biggest surprise was bumping into Kip!

We actually met Kip a week ago whilst having a family picnic at Dulwich Park and when we met, he was on-leash at the time, so we didn’t get a chance to run properly then; but today Choco had PLENTY of fun!

Until next time Kip!

Sausage BLOG – 2 – Hyde Park Sausage Walk

Short but sweet blog today as unfortunately I was unable to get a decent number of photos. Or a decent photo for that matter!

Usually I go to these events with my partner, however she could not make it on this occasion and I had to fly solo.

So my attention was more focused on making sure Choco did not roll in poo or run off too far!

As usual we met loads of new little Sausages, some of which I discovered we were already following on Instagram.

I got to speak to the owner of Daisy & Delilah whom helped give me some insight on how it is owning two Dachshunds.

We are currently in strong consideration on getting a second Dachshund and will probably take the plunge in the next month or so at this rate.

We will keep everyone updated on Instagram and the blog, until then… enjoy the photos and videos I got from today’s Hyde Park Sausage Walk.

Thanks to Winston’s mum, Ana, for organising this event.

Sausage BLOG – 1 – Dulwich Park with the Familia

With the weather warming up and having a long easter break, we decided to go and enjoy the sun at Dulwich Park.

Dulwich Park is a relatively dog friendly park, although their rules do state dogs must be on leash throughout. We did break the rules a bit as we did let him off, but Choco didn’t move beyond 4-5 meters from us.

It’s always great seeing Choco run off-leash with other dogs, but seeing as everyone else was abiding by the rules of Dulwich Park, Choco couldn’t run with other doggies.

But still lovely to see him run free whilst playing football with the familia!

With a lot of running around he’s got a belly full of Lily’s Kitchen Sunday Roast and is relaxing on a cushion ready to sleep!

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)


First and foremost, I would encourage you all to check out the website, Dachshund IVDD. This website’s topic is solely regarding IVDD and they have advice, resources and other owner experiences with this issue which can potentially cause your Dachshund challenges.

I am no expert in the matter but I will be discussing my findings across various sources as well as my general opinions on how to care for your Dachshund to prevent such health concerns.

I decided to write this post as I had felt that it’s not openly discussed enough. Dachshunds draw a lot of attention from the public and any Dachshund owner knows the difficulty of walking the streets sometimes unnoticed. Dachshunds are incredibly cute, so as owners we should not let this cuteness distract us from taking certain precautions.

So I hope this post will give you a better idea of the topic and encourage you to go do your own research through other medically established sources and come to your own conclusion about how to care for your Dachshund.

What is IVDD?

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition not exclusive to Dachshunds, but all animals in general. However, it is much more common with Dachshunds due to their short legs and longer spines.

The basic issue is a degenerative portion in the centre of the disc leaking fluids into the spine which causes compression on the spinal cord.

This can lead to your dog experiencing a lot of pain, or even worse, paralysis.

How common is IVDD?

The short answer, 1 in 4 Dachshunds will suffer some some degree of IVDD in their lifetime. In percentage terms, that’s 25% likelihood of this happening.

This is obviously quite a high number, especially when you consider that Dachshunds are 10-12x more likely to experience this issue than other dogs.

Dachshund IVDD carried out a study and found that there was no difference between male and female Dachshunds, but there were some differences between the variety of Dachshunds.

I would encourage you to goto Dachshund IVDD yourself to view the graphs as their findings are truly interesting.


It appears that the Smooth Haired Dachshunds, in both miniature and standard size, are the most susceptible to IVDD.

I suspect this is because the smooth haired Dachshunds are the purest breed of Dachshunds. Dachshunds were cross-bred with other breeds to obtain the long and wired hair variant. So not only would they have inherited the hair type, they may have inherited a stronger spine!

I’m unsure if knowing what variant of Dachshund is the most susceptible would sway you from your choice, but we are currently still considering a smoothed hair miniature Dachshund.

How can you prevent IVDD?

Unfortunately the rawest answer is, you can’t!

Ultimately if your dog is likely to go through IVDD, you can’t really avoid it as some of the causes are inherited from birth.

As an example, Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund has recently gone through IVDD. Crusoe’s parents had taken precautions since day one and unfortunately he still required surgery. To read more click here.

However, there are a few precautions you can take to help them protect their backs.

No jumping on and off furniture

We do let Choco jump on and off our couch, however we have gotten him a large foot-stool as a step to come down off the couch. We did consider a ramp, but the ramp would only offer one route off and we found the foot-stool gives him options from both sides of our corner couch.

No going up and down stairs

We have had mixed advice with this topic of stairs. Some Vets being adamant that they do not go up or down stairs and other Vets saying it’s ok for them to go up to remain exercised and strengthen their backs. However, the one consistent is that we do not let them go down stairs at all.

We do not let Choco go downstairs, however there are a few exceptions where if the steps are deep and shallow to allow him to land safely on all 4 paws.

We go with the reasoning that going up will help strengthen his back as the movement of going up stairs is not too different from going up a ramp or hill. Downstairs however is different and we can just imagine as humans how much different it is for us to crawl up stairs and to crawl down.

Keep your Dachshund fit!

For small dogs, the general rule is to walk them 30min a day total. Most owners divide that into 2x15min walks. However, we consider this to be the minimum for Choco and on rainy days, we make a point about playing fetch with him indoors as much as possible so he gets the steps in!

However, for younger puppy’s I would caution you on over exercising them as they’re still developing. Especially with allowing them to rough play with other Dachshunds. I would advise under 6 months, keep them to solid walks, but after 6 months, then let them play with other Dachshunds with a little rough and tumble.


According to Dachshund IVDD there was no correlation between diets and IVDD.

However we have personally found with Choco that Royal Canin biscuits suit him best with regards to his energy levels and healthy looking poo. So Royal Canin does make up the majority of his diet, but we do try to mix in some wet food and raw food. Occasionally we boil chicken breast and bake a sweet potatoe for Choco to mix things up.

We do this mainly because we do want Choco to get a varied diet and receive nutrients which one type of food may not offer.

But ultimately, according to the studies, none of this will play any part on whether Choco ever has to go through IVDD.

Pick Up, Put Down & Hold Your Dachshund Correctly

Because of their long spines, it’s important that you pick up and put down your Dachshund with care and consideration. It’s important you support as much of their spine as possible by lifting from the front and back.

Credits: WikiHow

Likewise with picking up and putting down your Dachshund evenly, you should also hold them evenly with their entire spine supported.

The best article I have seen already written up is

Click Here to follow the link to the full article.

Can they recover from IVDD?

Yes! It is possible for your Dachshund to recover from IVDD.

IVDD is somewhat of a spectrum from pain to paralysis. I’ve read that some dogs have simply had steroid injections or infrared treatment and have recovered. Some have required surgery and physiotherapy but ultimately have recovered.

There are some dog’s whom unfortunately do not recover, but they still do live full and happy lives!

Check out @prinss_lilo_weenie on Instagram to follow her inspiring journey!


This was in no-way meant to be a conclusive article on IVDD. I wrote this with the intention it would provide you with an overview of IVDD and what to look out for.

There are of course more resources out there and more points to cover and I would look to dive into them in more depth in future posts.

However, in conclusion to what has been written above, IVDD is something all Dachshund owners should be aware of but should not panic and worry over.

I spent the first 3 months of having Choco in a panic about his spine. Worrying everyday whether I am doing right by him to ensure he never has to go through this.

I had multiple conversations with various vets and read multiple sites and have found a lot of conflicting information.

There are some websites and vets who advise strongly in one direction of safety and other websites and vets who have advised a more relaxed but cautious approach.

We opted for the latter…

We decided that we want Choco to not be wrapped up in cotton wool and activities which are frowned upon by some such as letting him go upstairs would in fact strengthen his body in the long run as opposed to some people’s perception of it just wearing him down.

Ultimately we will never know on individual basis why certain dogs do suffer from IVDD, but all we can do as dog owners is to do our best for our dogs.


Choco came into my life suddenly in the summer of 2018 where a friend of mind had adopted him for his family.

Not long after Choco moved into his new home, they soon found out their youngest son at 4yrs old was allergic. So it was quite an urgent thing whereby Choco unfortunately needed to leave asap.

My friend looked into putting Choco into boarding at a Doggy Daycare called Richmond Rascals and before that got confirmed, me and my partner discussed looking after Choco temporarily until he was rehomed.

We spent weeks discussing back and forth with various potential owners for Choco and then realised we both fell in love with him and couldn’t let him go.

Being both full-time working professionals it was a difficult decision as we wasn’t sure if we could make it work long-term, but the way life stood at the time it was easily do-able and any obstacles which comes across in the future, we decided we would just have to make it work!

Fast forward to Spring 2019, I am here now writing this post.

I decided to start a blog for not only Choco, but for all things Sausage Dog!

I realised there were many things I wanted to share, discuss and learn with regards to the Dachshund breed. After attending a few Dachshund meet ups I soon realised there was a massive community of Dachshund owners and some of which shared the same questions and concerns we did.

So this blog is also to share Choco’s journey, or Choco’s Modern Life 😉 (go follow on Instagram), as well as educational tips for caring for your Dachshund… or just come visit this site for the cute pics!

I hope you will return regularly and please do leave comments for feedback. 🙂