Help Dachshunds Live Long and Healthy Lives

by Stuart | Last Updated:   November 30, 2020
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The Dachshunds, also called Sausage dog or Doxie, are known for their famous short legs and long body. They are courageous dogs who are capable of taking on animals larger than they’re.

This fellow is incredibly loving and affectionate to the entire family.

Dachshunds possess several characteristics that make them the best dogs to raise. A big advantage of owning a Dachshund is their life expectancy.

So, how long do Dachshunds live? They have a longer life expectancy than many other breeds. However, their lifespan is still largely influenced by the diet and care they receive.

Let’s dive a little deeper into why Dachshunds have a longer life expectancy and what pet parents can do to ensure they live long and happy lives.

Group of four Dachshunds sitting together looking to the side.

Life Expectancy of a Dachshund

Dachshunds have a life expectancy of between 12 to 16 years.  They can lead a healthy life if proper care and exercise are given to them. Regular vet checkups are also important to help them hit their life expectancy.

Miniature Dachshunds tend to live longer than Standard Dachshunds. This is because they’re a bit less likely to have problems with their backs.

Did you know: the Dachshunds are among the oldest dogs that have ever roamed this earth! 

  • Channel: a wire-haired Dachshund died at the age of 21 years. This dog died due to natural causes.
  • Otto: a Dachshund-Terrier mix died at the age of 20. This dog was euthanized after a devastating diagnosis of stomach cancer.
  • Rocky: a short-haired Dachshund died in 2012 at the age of 25. Rocky is widely recognized as the oldest Dachshund ever in the world.

Dachshunds have one of the most unique body types in the canine world. Their short legs and long bodies not only look adorable but also come with many health problems.

What Health Problems Do Dachshunds Have?

Dachshunds are prone to several health issues that you need to be aware of. Some of these health problems are:

Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)

Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) occurs when one or more disks are ruptured or leaking. An IVDD infected spinal cord can no longer support the weight load put on it. 

This happens due to severe injuries or in aged dogs. Symptoms of IVDD are stiffness of the new, shivering, paralysis, back pain, inability to walk, or partial loss of movement.

Eye Problems

There are many eye problems that can hit the Sausage dogs. If they are not attended to early, they can lead to total blindness. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Cherry Eye
  • Corneal Wounds
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Glaucoma
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Orthopedic Conditions

Here are the 4 most common Orthopedic conditions that Dachsunds can suffer from:

  • Hip  Dysplasia: It is usually caused by abnormal hip joint development.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Due to abnormal skeletal development and you’ll likely notice moderate to severe limping.
  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture: This happens when the cranial cruciate ligament ruptures and makes the knee joint unstable. 
  • Luxating Patellas: This affects the kneecap causing it to slip out of position. 

Epilepsy

Epilepsy or seizure disorder is abnormal, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity in your dog’s brain. A Dachshund can fall to the side and make paddling motions with their legs.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the abnormality of the heart including congenital abnormalities and disorders of physical structure, function, or electrical activity.

Cancer

As with people, Dachshunds often get cancer, especially as they get older. It can occur in any part or system of the body and so its symptoms are very varied.

Remember, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better the outcome will be for your four-legged friend.

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What Do Dachshunds Usually Die From? 

There are certain prominent causes of death among dachshunds. In most cases, cancer and heart failure are the main cause of death in Dachshund’s golden ages. 

These causes can be hereditary but many of them are due to their upbringing and lifestyle. The top 5 causes of death in Dachshunds are:

  • Old age: 21.6%
  • Cancer: 16.7% 
  • Heart problems: 14.3%  
  • Neurologic issues: 11%
  • Combinations of multiple issues: 5.7%

Is There a Difference Between Male and Female Dachshund Lifespan?

Male Dachshunds are slightly bigger than female Dachshunds. But this doesn’t have any impact on their lifespan.

Dachshund sex doesn’t affect their life expectancy.

How To Increase Lifespan For Dachshunds

You can help your Dachshund live his best life. Dachshund care is beyond a few rounds of shots. It involves a lot of things including feeding, training and exercises, grooming, taking them for check-ups to a vet, and much more. 

As a responsible Dachshund parent, it is your duty to make sure that your dog enjoys better and longer years. It may feel like a challenge but it’s possible!

Consider the following tips that you can take to keep your Sausage dog healthy and happy.

Healthy food

If you want your Dachshunds to be healthy and full of energy, it is essential to feed them properly. Look for an ideal balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbs.

While dry dog foods are convenient and provide adequate nutrition, it can be a good idea to add some whole foods to their dry dog food.

The diet should be based on your Dachshund’s age, gender, and activity level. 

Vaccination and vet visits

Regular vet visits are essential for your Dachshunds. Keep up with your Dachshund’s vaccines to protect them from diseases. 

Watch the weight

Dachshunds are known for their bottomless stomachs. These dogs can put on weight easily. Dachshunds should not put on weight as it can cause obesity and other obesity-related health issues.

Care for their back

A Dachshund’s back is probably the most fragile part of their body. Make sure that your dog doesn’t need to walk stairs on a daily basis. Also, consider getting a ramp for your car, sofa, or any other elevated furniture.

Regular grooming and careful examination

Regular grooming and careful weekly examination are essential. Always keep an eye out for early signs to spot potential problems early.

Make grooming and examination a positive experience for your Dachshund, filled with praise and rewards.

After all, Dachshunds are moderate shedders and will require consistent care to ensure their coat stays healthy and your furniture stays useable!

Safe playtime

Dachshunds love to play and thrive on human companionship. This is an effective way to develop a strong bond with them.  

Training and socialization

Training and socialization are essential for the well-being of your Dachshund. A well-trained and socialized Sausage dog does not get bored and remains stress-free. 

Choose the right breeder

Genetics play a huge role in the overall health and temperament of your dog. Always insist to see the health certificates of the parents to ensure that they don’t carry any hereditary diseases.

Verify all paperwork for purebred dachshund. Ask the breeder to provide you with the vet records for the puppy.

Brave black wet dachshund dog swims and crossing garden pond with water lilies

Final Thoughts

We all want our Dachshunds to live a long and healthy life. Your Dachshund can live for many years if it does not have serious health problems. This little guy will be a loyal and great dog for many years.

Shoot us a message and let us know if this article was helpful. If you have further questions about Dachshunds, don’t hesitate to ask.

Related Reading:

  1. Do Dachshunds Shed?
  2. English Cream Dachshund Breed Guide
Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.