Can you extend your Dachshund’s Lifespan?

Last Updated on April 15, 2023

Dachshunds (Doxies) are well known to be courageous and hardy little watchdogs, but did you know that two Dachshunds have been given the Guinness World Record for an oldest living dog?

While there are dog breeds with longer lifespans, we consider the Badger Dog to be right up there with them.

Long-haired Dachshund dog in a tree stump
Long-haired Dachshund dog

If you’re curious how you can increase your Sausage Dog’s lifespan or improve their quality of life, read on!

Overview: How long do Dachshunds normally live?

According to the AKC, the Wiener Dog has a life expectancy of around 12 – 16 years but they’ve been known to live into their mid-20s.

That’s a long life for a dog, especially when you discover that most dog breeds only live till they are 10 – 13 years. 

Studying the Dachshund Life Expectancy

Is it just luck or is there something special about these small dogs? Why do they live so much longer than the average dog? 

It’s a funny phenomenon that has baffled experts, but small breeds tend to live longer than large breed dogs.

Veterinarians think that it has something to do with their accelerated growth in puppyhood. Since Doxies don’t have a lot of growing up to do, it’s worked in their favor by giving them a longer lifespan.

The Oldest Dachshunds in the World

As previously mentioned, two of the oldest Dachshunds in the world held the Guinness World Records longest living dog title. Chanel lived to 21, while Lady and Scolly lived to 20. 

There’s another Dachshund that grabbed attention in the United States for being the oldest Dachshund ever – despite not being a title holder. Rocky is recorded to be 25 years old at the time of his passing.

While there aren’t any studies regarding whether males or female Wiener Dogs live longer, studies show that female dogs tend to live 6 months longer than male dogs, especially if they are fixed.

Funnily enough, it’s intact dogs that live longer than those which have been neutered.

The Wiener Dog comes in two sizes and two different coat types. Whether you have a Wirehaired or Long-Haired Dachshund, Miniature, or Standard Dachs, they share the same average lifespan. 

Dachshund age in human years and dog years

Portrait of young Dachshund dog on a green grass

There’s a common misconception that one human year is equal to seven dog years. It’s not that simple, as you have to take into consideration the size differences over different breeds.

As mentioned, smaller breeds have a longer lifespan because they age slower. So how old is your Doxie in human years?

In the first year of their life, they mature quickly and reach 15 human years by the time they are one. After that, they gain 4 years for every additional year. Check out our quick guide below:

Dachshund Dog Years Human Years
2 Months Old 2.5 Years Old
3 Months Old 3.75 Years Old
4 Months Old 5 Years Old
5 Months Old 6.25 Years Old
6 Months Old 7.5 Years Old
7 Months Old 8.25 Years Old
8 Months Old 10 Years Old
9 Months Old 11.25 Years Old
10 Months Old 12.5 Years Old
11 Months Old 13.75 Years Old
1 Year Old 15 Years Old
2 Years Old 24 Years Old
3 Years Old 28 Years Old
4 Years Old 32 Years Old
5 Years Old 36 Years Old
6 Years Old 40 Years Old
7 Years Old 44 Years Old
8 Years Old 48 Years Old
9 Years Old 52 Years Old
10 Years Old 56 Years Old
11 Years Old 60 Years Old
12 Years Old 64 Years Old
13 Years Old 68 Years Old
14 Years Old 72 Years Old
15 Years Old 76 Years Old
16 Years Old 80 Years Old
17 Years Old 84 Years Old
18 Years Old 88 Years Old
19 Years Old 92 Years Old
20 Years Old 96 Years Old
21 Years Old 100 Years Old

What Determines Dachshund Lifespan?

There are many external factors that can affect your Doxie’s life expectancy, from their birth to the care they receive throughout their lifetime.

Genetics is a big part of how long your dog will live; while you can’t control their genetics, you can influence the care they receive. 

What Biological factors impact Dachshund’s life expectancy?

The Doxie’s size allows him to live longer than larger breeds. However, his pedigree is another biological factor that can impact his lifespan.

If he’s from a line of puppy mill dogs, he’ll most definitely be less resilient than one from a reputable breeder. 

There isn’t a whole lot of data about whether purebred Doxies are healthier and have longer lifespans. Some mixed breeds can sometimes be healthier, depending on what mix it is.

One of the oldest dogs ever to have lived was a Doxie Terrier cross. You can take a look at how full of energy Dotto was, even in his 20s:

What do Dachshunds usually die from?

Old age isn’t a common cause of death. In a small survey, it was discovered that 21% of dogs died from old age. The leading causes of death are often illness, specifically cancer, or accidents.

Neoplasia is common in older dogs, especially in this breed from Germany. Doxies can also succumb to kidney problems or heart diseases. 

The Dachshund breed can be prone to obesity. This silent killer will put extra stress on your small dog’s organs, their weak kneecaps, and delicate long back.

Being fat can exacerbate underlying health problems, such as a bad back.

What health problems do Dachshunds have?

Doxies are at risk for developing intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) due to their elongated backs. Some dogs have to be euthanized because the pain is too great to bear.

Regular exercise can help with their back problems as it will strengthen their core muscles. 

Providing your pup with good care is the secret to being a proud owner of an older doggie. It also helps to keep up with their dental health.

Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis or gum disease, and that can shave years off your dog’s lifespan.

Dachshund dog playing tooth brush

Brushing your dog’s teeth or providing them with dental chews is one way to keep their teeth clean. If there’s too much buildup, you can have your vet clean your pup’s teeth under sedation.

However, because Doxies are predisposed to portosystemic shunt (PSS), which prevents the liver from removing toxins, anesthesia is not recommended.

Putting your dog to sleep while a medical procedure is being carried out might seem routine, but it doesn’t come without risks. Obese and senior dogs can cause anaphylactic shock or even death

Bloat is something that can take your beloved pooch’s life suddenly.

If you notice him drooling excessively, dry heaving, entering prayer’s pose (with their butt in the air), or with a tender and swollen stomach, you need to bring him to the vet immediately.

His stomach might have flipped on itself and, without treatment, can be fatal.

Cushing’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism can go on undetected because it manifests as frequent urination and later followed by hair loss and weight gain.

It’s a condition where their adrenal glands malfunction and produce excessive cortisol. While this disease usually attacks older dogs, certain medications can also cause it to develop.

The Sausage Dog can also suffer from neurological problems such as Lafora’s disease. This is an inherited progressive myoclonic epilepsy.

The symptoms don’t show up until later in life, and your dog will experience brief two-second seizures. This disorder is more prevalent in Miniature Wire-haired Doxies, affecting more than 20% of the population.

Miniature Dachshunds usually have fewer back problems, with the standard-sized Smooth-Coated Doxie being most likely to have IVDD.

However, due to the lousy breeding practices of creating teacup dogs, they can be quite frail. 

Thrombocytopenia has a 30% fatality and it affects the body’s ability to clot due to a faulty immune system. This can cause internal bleeding and infections.

Aside from that, joint dysplasia can also develop. Eye problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, skin issues, acanthosis nigricans juvenile cellulitis, and hormonal imbalance is also uncommon.

Environmental factors affecting Dachshund lifespan

Small dogs can easily be affected by toxins such as herbicides or chocolate. Since Sausage Dogs are so low to the ground, they can easily pick up on contaminants in our environment.

Furthermore, they are clean animals and will often groom themselves, ingesting contaminants on their coats.

Bathing them when they’ve come into contact with toxins is important to make sure they don’t swallow any. The best thing you can do is puppy-proof your home.

No matter how well-trained your dog is, all it takes is a few misplaced pills. 

Dachshund dog licking his lips

There were over 150,000 cases in the UK where dogs have accidentally overdosed on medication or eaten toxic ingredients lying around the house.

Garlic, onions, nuts, raisins are all culprits of pet poisoning. The substance on tick collars is not only toxic to ticks and fleas but to your little buddy as well.

If you ever see your dog convulsing or exhibiting tremors, he might have eaten some chocolate. Excessive diarrhea or vomiting are also signs of concern.

If you live in an environment where venomous snakes, spiders, or poisonous plants are rampant, know precisely what species inhabit your area. 

Doxies are also rather mouthy and love chewing on things. There are two things you should do to prevent an unhappy accident from happening.

One, get him some chew toys from your local pet shop or buy it in bulk on Amazon to save a couple of bucks. Two, don’t leave electrical items, especially cables and wires, within reach of your pup’s itchy jaws.

How do I know if my Dachshund is dying?

Dying dogs can cry, howl, or suffer from lethargy. If you notice your dog acting weird and not eating his kibble or showing any interest in moving, they might be nearing the end of the line.

A checkup at the vet will be able to tell you whether anything is wrong with your dog and if there’s anything you can do to alleviate his suffering. 

Cute young Dachshund dog sleeping

How can pet owners increase Dachshund’s lifespan?

Standard Dachshunds are slightly sturdier than Miniature Dachshunds, but they are small dogs, and extra care needs to be taken, especially when they are puppies.

Never leave them unattended, especially not with young children, as they can easily get hurt.

Choose a reliable breeder

Choosing your puppy from a reputable breeder will significantly increase its longevity. Why? Responsible breeders will only breed from healthy dogs, and that will minimize health issues.

Proper breeders will also ensure their puppies get proper health care and vaccinations to prevent premature deaths.

Two Dachshund puppies in an autumn forest

Getting your puppy from a dependable source is one way to ensure your puppy will have good breeding. You can find responsible breeders from your local kennel club.

The breeder you choose should be able to tell you about their lineage and the medical history of your pup’s pedigree.

Adopting from a shelter will deprive you of all this information, making it almost the same as buying from a pet shop. The only difference is that you’ll be rescuing a dog instead of supporting the pet trade.

Feed Your Dachshund a Balanced and Healthy Diet

They might look like lap dogs, but Doxies are hunting dogs with high activity levels. Without proper nutrition, they can quickly burn out.

They need high-quality protein and lots of it. You’re looking at a minimum of 18% of protein, supplemented with carbs, fat, and other essential nutrients. The quality of dog food can also lengthen a dog’s lifespan

You want to find a high-protein kibble that’s formulated for small breeds. The kibbles should be gentle on your pup’s jaws and keep his teeth clean. When he reaches 9 to 12 months, it’s time to switch to an adult formula.

Puppy food is usually higher in calories, and an adult on such a high-calorie diet will result in obesity.

Don’t miss out: Best Dog Food for Dachshund

Maintain Your Dachshund’s Healthy Weight and Watch His Back

Don’t be fooled by their short legs; the Dachshund can sure run. They were used to hunt ferocious badgers, after all. You can simulate hunting by hiding toys for your Doxie to find.

Trekking, jogging, and swimming are also enjoyable activities. They aren’t natural swimmers, but it shouldn’t be a problem with some patience, plus it’s good for their backs.

Active Dachshund dog biting stick while running on the meadow

They shouldn’t be encouraged to play fetch because it puts unnecessary strain on their backs. Another thing you might want to do is to train your pupper to wait for you to carry him up and down the stairs or off a couch.

When you pick up a Doxie, make sure you support them fully and don’t let their hind legs dangle.

Give Your Dachshund Proper Medical Care and Grooming

Unlike humans, your furkid won’t be able to tell you that they are feeling under the weather. That’s why it’s important to bring him for routine checkups at the vet.

Your vet will be able to tell you how to keep your Dachshund puppy in tip-top condition.

Deworming your dog on schedule is one way to prolong your Dachshund’s life. Heartworm is hard to treat and can cause lasting damage to your pup, not to mention, it’s costly. In the case of parasites, prevention is better than cure.

Aside from being a stellar owner and taking good care of your pup, you’ll also need to send him for regular medical checkups as well as grooming.

Leaving your dog’s nails to grow too long can hurt him and lead to health problems.

If his nails are overgrown, you can ask your vet to trim them back. They sometimes do this under sedation as not to traumatize or distress the dog.

What to do if your Dachshund is near the end of his life?

Much as we’d like to keep our dear fidos close to us for as long as we live, we invariably have to say goodbye. Coming to terms with the fact that your buddy is losing his health can help prepare you for the end. 

Many elderly dogs often suffer from some debilitating disorder or another. Even if they are otherwise healthy, vision is usually the first to go, followed by their hearing.

Don’t be alarmed if your dog runs into a wall or doesn’t hear you calling. It’s just signs of old age.

If your vet determines that your pooch is not in any discomfort or pain, you can let them live out their days comfortably at home.

If they are suffering and you would like to ease their pain, you can choose to put them down. If that is your choice, please stay with them so they won’t feel scared or alone.

How the Dachshunds lifespan compares to other breeds

If you’re comparing them with larger breeds, the Dachshund will win hands down. Compared with small breeds similar in size, you’ll find that the Doxie comes out at around the same life expectancy bracket. 

Other small active breeds with the same life expectancy are the Beagle, Yorkie, Teacup Poodle, and Pomeranian. The Chihuahua is a lot smaller and can live up to 20 years on average. 

Final Words: Summing Up the Dachshund Life Expectancy

Happy Dachshund dog running on the backyard

It’s no secret that every dog owner wishes their dog will live forever, but there’s a limit to how long your Doxie will live, whether he’s a Miniature Dachshund or a Dapple Doxie.

You can most definitely extend your doggie’s life by providing proper care and quality kibble.

If you found the information helpful, let us know in the comments and share it with other Doxie owners!


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