The sad truth about getting a new dog is the thought that they won’t be around forever.
One great thing about dachshunds is that they have a long lifespan in comparison to other breeds.
On average, dachshunds live to between 12 and 16 years old, but have been known to live to as old as 25!
Common health problems for Dachshunds
After old age, the most common causes of death in dachshunds include heart, back and stomach problems, and cancer.
Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
The most common back problem for dachshunds is Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD).
IVDD is a disease of the back which causes pain and sometimes paralysis of the back legs or organs.
Dachshunds’ long shape puts their spines under increased pressure, causing IVDD to be 10-12 times more prevalent than in other breeds.
Due to their huge appetites and small sizes, dachshunds are also prone to obesity.
All the previously mentioned health problems can be triggered or irritated by obesity.
What can you do to alleviate these health problems?
Some of these health problems, such as IVDD might be caused by factors outside of your control, such as genetics or injury.
Fortunately, however, there are some steps you can take to ensure your dachshund lives the longest and healthiest life possible.
Limit their chance of inheriting diseases
If you have not yet got your dachshund then carefully consider where you are planning on finding them.
By going to a high-quality breeder, you can get proof of genetic screening and parent’s health bills which allows you to minimize the chance of your new dachshund inheriting any diseases.
If possible, only buy a dachshund that comes with papers proving their parent’s genetics. This will not only limit health problems later in life but will also support responsible breeding, helping to reduce the number of dogs being bred in unethical conditions.
Keep them healthy with diet and exercise
Exercise your dachshund twice daily, but do not let them overexert themself. Short walks for adults or games such as hide and seek with a favorite toy work well as exercise.
It is very important not to let them climb or jump on things as this can put unnecessary pressure on the joints in their legs and back. Instead, get a ramp if you want them to come and join you on the sofa or get into the car.
Make sure you do not overfeed your dachshund, no matter how starving they tell you they are!
Feed them food specifically for dachshunds, such as Royal Canin’s puppy kibble and wet food for adults.
These dog foods have been specially formulated to help strengthen areas that can be problematic for dachshunds, such as their joints and stomach.
If you are unsure whether your dachshund is overweight, you can use this Pet Size O-meter to check.
Do not skimp on the check-ups
Take your dachshund to the vet once a year and consider increasing this if they already have health problems or are from a low-quality breeder or rescue center.
When your dachshund reaches age 11, take them to the vet twice a year as standard.
Always closely monitor your dachshund for behavioral changes such as loss of appetite. If they seem like they are in pain or have a sudden change in behavior take them to the vet as soon as possible.
The Dachshund Breed Council also recommends regularly handling and grooming your dachshund to keep an eye out for lumps, ticks, and fleas.
Giving your dachshund a weekly check-up yourself will help you decide whether they need an extra trip to the vet.
How you can prolong your dachshund’s lifespan?
Dachshunds, on average, live longer than other breeds of dog, and if you follow our advice you can help to keep yours around for as long as possible.
Remember the major health problems that dachshunds face: IVDD, cancers, heart and stomach problems. Keep an eye out for symptoms of these such as behavior changes, pain or lumps.
Keep your dachshund at an ideal weight, using the Size O-meter if you need, and make sure that exercise does not put avoidable pressure on their legs or back.
Try to get a dachshund with papers to decrease the chance of inherited diseases. To find out more about getting a dachshund from a high-quality breeder, check out this article.
Let us know your long-lived dachshund stories in the comments below!
References / Further Learning