Dachshunds are one of the most popular dog breeds on the planet for a number of reasons. They are loyal companions, great family dogs, effective watchdogs, talented hunting dogs, and have many other talents and positive attributes. It’s no wonder they’re so popular! But how long do dachshunds live?
On average, dachshunds live from 12 to 16 years. This is considered a long or above-average lifespan among varying dog breeds. In fact, both of the two oldest dogs that ever lived were dachshunds! They are well known for being impressively long-lived. But what makes them live for this length of time? How can you keep your dachshund healthy and happy so it lives a longer life?
Read on to learn all about dachshunds and how long they can really live!
Why Do Dachshunds Live So Long?
The impressive 12-16 year lifespan of dachshunds is certainly noteworthy. Not every dog is graced with the ability to live such long and happy lives. So what gives the dachshund this unique quality that allows it to outlive most other dog breeds?
Firstly, dachshunds are a small breed. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but it is widely known that for some reason, smaller dog breeds live longer than bigger breeds of dogs. This is part of the reason that dachshunds are able to live so long.
Even among small dogs, dachshunds live quite long lives. Part of this is because they don’t have certain breed-specific health problems. For instance, they don’t have shortened snouts that give them respiratory problems like pugs do, and they don’t have particularly bad joints due to their lightweight.
Still, dachshunds do have their fair share of health problems that you’ll need to watch out for. After all, no dog’s life is perfect, and if you want your dachshund to live a long and healthy life, you’ll need to look out for some potential health risks.
What Health Problems Can Dachshunds Have?
There are a few health problems that dachshunds tend to experience that can shorten their potentially long lives. Keep your eyes peeled for any of the following health issues, and get them solved as soon as possible to keep your dachshund happy and healthy.
Dachshunds aren’t also known as “weiner dogs” for no reason. Their unique bodies give them this name, and also their long spines. This body shape made them great for burrowing and hunting in tight spaces when they were originally being bred in Germany. However, in modern life, it can result in some spinal issues!
Namely, some dachshunds tend to come down with a condition known as intervertebral disk disease, in which one or more disks in the lower back of the dog degenerates. This causes the spine to lose flexibility, resulting in back and neck pain that can be quite severe.
If left untreated, this can cause your dachshund to lose the ability to walk or even stand. That’s why it should be treated as soon as possible.
There are several types of treatment for intervertebral disk disease that range from oral medication administered by a veterinarian to surgery. Consult your vet to find out what would be best for your dog!
The short, stubby little legs of your dachshund may be cute, but they are also the result of dwarfism that is specific to this breed. These short legs with a rather long (and quite heavy) body on top of them can result in what’s known as hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is caused by a hip joint that is deformed, allowing the ball part of the joint and the socket part of the joint to rub together. This causes pain and loss of function in the hip and the leg attached to it.
If you notice your dachshund walking funny, walking less than usual, or treating one leg a bit more tenderly than the others, talk to your veterinarian. If you catch hip dysplasia early, it will be much easier to treat.
Dachshunds are actually also quite susceptible to problems with their eyes and their vision. They often come down with conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, which can cause discomfort and hamper the ability of your pup to see.
It is unknown why dachshunds are more susceptible to these problems than other breeds, but there is a clear trend. Miniature dachshunds are even more prone to eye issues than normal-sized ones, but we’ll get into that a bit more later.
Either way, keep an eye on your dachshund’s eyes… get it? But actually, keep a lookout for signs of glaucoma and cataracts, such as your dog appearing to have deteriorating vision, cloudiness in the eye, your dog’s eye looking irritated, etc.
Unfortunately, not all eye problems that your dachshund will experience are curable like glaucoma and cataracts are. In fact, many older dachshunds come down with what is called progressive retinal atrophy. This condition is incurable and leads to blindness. This is among the worst eye problems your dachshund will ever have.
How To Keep Your Dachshund Healthy
There are many ways to keep your dachshund happy and healthy. Making sure they are eating a proper and healthy diet and getting enough exercise (30 minutes a day) are great ways to start.
However, the best way to truly make sure that your dachshund is on track to living a long life is to bring it to the vet regularly. A trained professional will be able to see problems before they get out of hand, which will allow you to prevent health issues and extend your dachshund’s life!
Mini Dachshund Lifespan
Although they are more susceptible to many of the issues described above, mini dachshunds are also known for having long lifespans. They have lifespans that are basically the same as full-sized dachshunds, at 12-15 years.
The only thing you have to worry about with mini dachshunds is that they are more likely to contract illnesses and conditions that can cause discomfort or even be more serious than that. Keeping a watchful eye on your mini dachshund and taking it to the vet regularly will hopefully solve this problem.
So, short answer, dachshunds live for around 12-16 years. This long lifespan, provided you take care of your dachshund properly, will give you plenty of time to make great memories with your furry friend!