What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Dachshund?

dachshund life expectancy

Is your dachshund getting older and starting to age? Or are you just wondering how long dachshunds live for? Here’s everything you need to know about dachshunds and life expectancy.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Dachshund? On average, Miniature Dachshunds live for around 12-16 years and Standard Dachshunds live for around 12-14 years. Dachshunds generally live a long life compared with other dog breeds, with many owners reporting their Dachshunds lived 18+ years.

But wait – there’s more you need to know! Read on to find out whether male or female Dachshunds live longer, how to help prolong your Dachshund’s life, and how to decide when it’s time for your Dachshund to cross the rainbow bridge.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.

Do Dachshunds Live Longer Than Other Dog Breeds? 

Yes, on average, Dachshunds live much longer than most other dog breeds. They’re actually in the top ten breeds that live the longest!

Dachshunds, along with other small dogs such as Pomeranians, Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas, tend to live longer because they’re small in size.

Larger dog breeds age more quickly as they grow faster which can cause abnormal tissue growth and can lead to health problems such as cancer and tumours. 

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Death In Dachshunds?

In 2004, the Animal Health Trust, the Kennel Club, and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association carried out a  nationwide survey of UK purebred dogs.

With the help of the owners who took part, they were able to pull together information on the health of the nation’s dogs, including causes of death.

The most common causes of death in Dachshunds are:

  1. Old age – 21.6%
  2. Cancer – 16.7% 
  3. Heart problems – 14.3%  
  4. Neurologic issues – 11%
  5. Combinations of multiple issues – 5.7%
  6. Urologic (kidney failure/incontinence) – 4.9%
  7. Endocrine (diabetes/Cushings)- 4.1%
  8. Cerebral vascular – 3.3 %
  9. Gastrointestinal – 3.3 %
  10. Perioperative (before/during/after operations) 2.4%

Meanwhile, the University of Georgia undertook a 20-year study into the breed-related causes of death in dogs. The project came to an end in 2004, with researchers having looked at the records of over 74.500 dogs from the Veterinary Medical Database.

The research categorised deaths by organ system and, for the Dachshund, the top five causes of death were related to the following systems:

  1. Neurological
  2. Musculoskeletal
  3. Cardiovascular
  4. Gastrointestinal
  5. Urogenital

So, make sure you take your Dachshund for regular vet checks to catch any potential health problems early enough to treat them. 

Do Dachshunds Have A Low Rate Of Cancer?

Yes, according to the University of Georgia study, Dachshunds had one of the lowest rates of cancer, when compared to other dog breeds. That doesn’t mean to say cancer isn’t a problem for Dachshunds, just that there’s a lower number of cases compared with other dog breeds. 

Do Male Or Female Dachshunds Live Longer?

No one knows for sure whether male or female Dachshunds live longer. But, in general, female dogs across all dog breeds live around six months longer than males. And spayed female dogs generally live much longer than males or females that are still entire.

Do male or female Dachshunds live longer?
Do male or female Dachshunds live longer?

Although there haven’t been any studies looking at whether male or female Dachshunds live longer, there was some research undertaken at the Royal Veterinary College on the longevity differences between male and female dogs across all breeds.

They found that there was only a very small difference with female dogs living for around six months longer than males.

However, when they then looked at whether the dogs were neutered or not, they found that it was the intact males who lived longer than those males who had been neutered.

For females dogs it was around the other way, with those who had been neutered or spayed living much longer than males or females who were still entire.

There are several reasons for this, but it’s party because intact females are at greater risk of Pyometra infections. This can sadly lead to a shortening of life expectancy.

Do Miniature Or Standard Dachshunds Live Longer?

Miniature Dachshunds tend to live longer than Standard Dachshunds because they’re a bit less likely to have problems with their backs. In fact, miniature Dachshunds are known to be one of the longest-living breeds!

Of all the sizes and coat varieties, the standard smooth-haired Dachshund is thought to be at the highest risk of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) while the standard wire-haired has the lowest risk.

While you may think it’s the Dachshunds long back that causes the problems, it’s actually the genetics of their short legs that increase the risk of back diseases.

In all dogs, the discs in their back begin to degenerate with age. But, for the Dachshund, that happens at a much younger age than in dogs with normal length legs. 

How Long Do Crossbreed Dachshunds Live For?

If your dachshund is a crossbreed, their average life expectancy will vary depending on the dog breed they’re mixed with. If a dachshund is bred with a dog that has a shorter lifespan, then you should expect their lifespan to be shortened as well. 

For example, the average life expectancy of a Chiweenie is around 12-16 years. A Chiweenie is a Dachshund and Chihuahua crossbreed. Being small in size means they generally live longer than larger dog breeds.

How Do You Increase Your Dachshund’s Lifespan?

None of us are looking forward to the day when our Dachshund leaves our lives. But there may be some choices and lifestyle decisions that could increase their lifespan and time with us.

So, here are some tips that may help to keep your Dachshund healthy and live as long as possible.

Choose The Right Breeder

First on the list is starting with a Dachshund puppy who has been bred with care and knowledge. In general, getting a puppy from a responsible breeder who tests their Dachshunds before breeding, can help to reduce the risk of genetic conditions.

The Dachshund Club of America recommends three tests are carried out when assessing if dogs are suitable for breeding. These are:

  • Patella Evaluation
    A hereditary condition, Patella Luxation, is caused when the patella (kneecap) becomes dislocated. Breeders should have their Dachshunds assessed for the condition before breeding so there’s no evidence of a luxating patella.
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
    An annual eye examination by a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist can quickly catch any eye problems to stop them being passed down to pups. Eye disease can have a painful and irreversible effect on your Dachshund’s health and, in turn, their life expectancy.
  • Cardiac Exam
    Congenital heart defects are the most common cause of congestive heart failure (CHF). These genetic conditions can’t be prevented, so it’s important for affected dogs not to be bred from. Smaller dogs like Dachshunds seem to be more prone to CHF, because their heart valves degenerate more than larger dog breeds.

So, make sure the breeder you choose is responsible and get the medical history of the parents. Since the lifespan of Dachshunds starts with their genes, it’s good to know if their generational line has any known health problems.

For more guidance on what specific questions to ask your breeder, and what to look out for when getting a Dachshund puppy, click here for the complete guide.

Watch Weight

Just as with humans, Dachshunds who are overweight are more likely to experience health issues that can reduce their life expectancy.

Sadly, the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are all increased if your dachshund is obese.

So it’s really important to limit the treats and to keep your Dachshund fit and healthy. Any excess weight will put strain on their back that could result in slipped or ruptured discs.

If you want to know what weight your Dachshund’s should be, and how to visually check whether they’re overweight, read this.

Feed Good Quality Food

Feeding your Dachshund a healthy diet that gives him all the nutrients he needs is going to reduce the likelihood of conditions related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

So, do research on the dog food you’re buying. Try to avoid dog foods that contain corn, grains, meat meal, dyes, additives, and chemical preservatives.

Cheap ingredients found in some affordable dog foods aren’t the best source of nutrition. So do your research and feed the best and most natural dog food you can afford. As with humans, good nutrition has a huge impact on heath.

If you want to know what type of food to feed your Dachshund and how much they should eat, read this.

Give Daily Exercise

Dachshund doing daily exercise to help improve life expectancy
Dachshund doing daily exercise to help improve life expectancy

Daily exercise can help keep your Dachshund’s weight at a healthy level while also improving their heart and strengthening their muscles.

Most Dachshunds enjoy exercise and running around, but you do have to be careful not to over-exercise puppies. This could cause problems with their joints and bone development.

So you have to slowly build up the amount of exercise puppies get over the first 12 months. This allows for the development of strong muscles to support and protect their fragile back.

From a brief 5-minute venture into the outside world, once vaccinations are done, you can then build up to around 30 minutes a day by the time your puppy is six months old.

Sticking to the 5 minutes per month of age rule is important, especially until your Dachshund reaches their first birthday.

Around 30 minutes daily exercise is the minimum for miniature adult Dachshunds, but standard Dachshunds can be steadily increased to 60 minutes a day by the time they celebrate their first birthday.

Even though Dachshunds have long fragile backs, adults should be getting just as much exercise as other dog breeds!

Don’t forget, Dachshunds were originally bred to be working dogs. So, while they may not be able to run long distances, adults should have the stamina to enjoy long walks if they’ve been built up to it.

Socialise From A Young Age

While genetics can play a part in your Dachshunds temperament and health, early socialisation and training can also make a big difference in their ability to cope with the world.

That means giving your Dachshund pup the opportunity to meet a whole range of different people and environments during the first 16 weeks of their life.

It’s worth knowing that anything your puppy hasn’t encountered by this point might cause a fear response when they’re older. 

Getting your Dachshund puppy out and about before vaccinations are complete can help make him a more confident dog. However, you do have to be very careful and carry him in your arms to keep him away from any risk of infection.

Ask friends and family to come round to meet your Dachshund and get hm used to new people, children (supervised of course!) and smells.

Keep On Top Of Dental Hygiene

Just like humans, Dachshunds can develop gingivitis which can lead to tooth loss. That bacteria can end up spreading to their bloodstream and affect their internal organs.

So, if you ever notice your Dachshund’s breath stinks, focus on his dental hygiene! And keep him healthy by brushing his teeth regularly so that plaque doesn’t build up.

Dental hygiene and regular cleaning is really important for your Dachshund’s health!

dachshund bad breath
Dental issues may affect life expectancy

Deal With Behavioural Problems

Research carried out at Pennsylvania State University, found that dogs who had a fear of strangers had a significantly shortened lifespan.

So it follows that fear and anxiety could potentially shorten a Dachshund’s life.

If your Dachshund struggles with separation anxiety or has any other behavioural problems that you aren’t able to sort yourself, call in a qualified dog behaviourist or speak to your Vet for advice.

Don’t leave your Dachshund’s fear or anxiety to get worse over time. Nip any behavioural issues in the bud as soon as you start to notice them.

Consider Your Geographical Location

The state in which a Dachshund lives could also have an impact on their lifespan. This is because some preventable diseases are much more common in some regions of the United States than others. 

Heartworm, for example, is a fatal disease if left untreated, and it’s one of the biggest health concerns for owners in the Southern states.

So it might not be a big surprise to find out that New Mexico, Tennessee, and Mississippi had the shortest lifespan for dogs across all breeds in 2014.

Give Bundles Of Love

Showing love and affection towards your Dachshund is the easiest way to help prolong their life.

Giving them daily doses of attention not only brings them joy, but can also help them relax and feel calm and protected.

Just like humans, stress can negatively affect your Dachshund’s health, so giving him cuddles and spending time with him is actually good for both you and your Dachshund. 🤗❤️

Keep On Top Of Treatments

To keep your Dachshund in tip top shape, you need to make sure he’s up up to date with vaccinations, any flea and worming treatments or other meds they need to take.

It’s a good idea to keep a diary or create a chart each year. That way you know the exact dates your Dachshund has taken meds or had vaccinations, and when they’re due for the next ones.

Book Regular Vet Check-Ups

Take your Dachshund for regular check-ups at the vets. Noticing any problems early on can definitely help to extend their lifespan. 

It’s also good to be aware of any changes in your Dachshund’s behaviour. If he stops eating, starts acting out of character or you notice any lumps or bumps, it’s possible he could be dealing with a potential health issue.

So, if you ever have any doubts about your Dachshund’s health, always visit your Vet for help and advice.

How old was the oldest Dachshund? 

The oldest Dachshund was called Rocky, a California living smooth coated Dachshund who lived to be 25 years of age! Rocky’s owner believes he achieved this fantastic age because of the very active life he lived.

Sadly, Rocky had problems with his joints, which meant that his legs could no longer support his body. Just a month after his 25th birthday, he had his final trip to the vets.

When Is The Right Time For A Dachshund To Cross The Rainbow Bridge?

There’s never going to be a good time to let your Dachshund cross the rainbow bridge. But, if your Dachshund is suffering, in chronic pain, extremely thin and frail, struggling to walk, disorientated, has withdrawn from the family and lost all interest in life, it may be time to say goodbye.

Always talk to your Vet about how you’re feeling. They’ll do all they can for as long as possible to give your Dachshund a good quality of life. If there are treatments available, you can explore those options first.

When you reach the end of the road, your Vet will let you know. But deep down you’ll know already. Trust your Vet and take their advice and, when the time comes, you’ll know what to do.

Listen to your gut and look into your heart, do what you feel is right and make your decision from a place of love. 🌈 ❤️

So, there you have it. Dachshunds generally live a long lifespan compared with other dog breeds. Miniature Dachshunds tend to live longer than Standards, but their life expectancy can vary depending on their genes. There are also some lifestyle choices you can make to help keep your dachshund by your side for as long as possible. Above all, hold them close, watch them grow and enjoy every second of your many years together. ❤️

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What is the life expectancy of a Dachshund?
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