How Long Do Dachshunds Live? (Average Lifespan Data & Facts)


Dachshunds are the lovable little dogs often referred to as wiener dogs. This happy-go-lucky dog breed is not just prized for its cuteness and temperament but also for its relatively long life expectancy. It’s important to know what to expect from the lifespan of a dog before bringing it home, but keep in mind that a variety of factors can greatly influence lifespan as well.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Dachshund?

On average, the Dachshund has a lifespan of 12–14 years. Many Dachshunds will exceed this life expectancy, though, and it’s not uncommon for these dogs to live to be 16 or older.

Why Do Some Dachshunds Live Longer Than Others?

  1. Nutrition: A high-quality diet that helps your Dachshund maintain a healthy body weight can make a big difference in their lifespan. Overweight dogs tend to live shorter lives than dogs that are a healthy weight, and feeding a high-quality diet that is carefully measured to meet your dog’s needs will provide the best shot at longevity.
  2. Environment and Conditions: A safe environment is a necessity for Dachshunds. Due to their elongated backs and short legs, Dachshunds are at an increased risk of back injuries. Dogs with back injuries may have shorter lifespans as they may lose mobility or controlling their pain may be difficult.
  3. Housing: Dachshunds are pretty tough for little dogs, but they still should be kept as indoor dogs. Living outdoors increases the risk for injury and illness, which can shorten a dog’s life expectancy. Other factors can decrease your dog’s lifespan, like exposure to the elements and parasites.
  4. Size: Although Dachshunds come in multiple sizes, there aren’t significant differences in their lifespans. However, as mentioned above, obese dogs typically live shorter lives. They are more prone to developing serious medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease. Obese Dachshunds are also at an increased risk of back and joint damage due to their weight.
  5. Sex: Surprisingly, sex has little impact on a dog’s life expectancy. Small studies have indicated that males may live slightly longer lives than females, but the differences are minimal. Spaying and neutering have shown evidence that it increases a dog’s longevity, though. This is because intact dogs are more likely to develop cancers and life-threatening infections related to their reproductive organs that are removed during a spay or neuter procedure.
  6. Genes: A poorly bred Dachshund is likely to have a shorter lifespan than a responsibly bred dog. This is because well-bred Dachshunds come from health-tested parents that don’t have known medical concerns or increased injury risks. Dogs that come from irresponsible breeders are often from parents that have not been health tested per breed recommendations, increasing the risk of genetic conditions.
  7. Breeding History: Whether your dog has or has not been bred does not have an impact on their lifespan. The primary component to consider here is whether or not they are spayed or neutered. Fixed animals are less likely to experience serious issues related to the reproductive system.
  8. Healthcare: Access to healthcare increases the chance of longevity for a dog. This is because dogs that receive routine medical care are typically fully vaccinated for preventable diseases. They also usually receive medications like flea and tick treatments and heartworm preventatives. Access to healthcare also increases the chances of treatment options in case of illness or injury.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The Four Life Stages of a Dachshund

Puppy

Dachshunds are considered to be puppies from birth until sometime around the time of sexual maturity, 4–9 months of age. Puppies younger than 8 weeks old should be kept with their mother and littermates whenever possible as this is a formative period. Exposure to littermates and the mother encourages appropriate social development. Most puppies begin weaning around 4 weeks old, but they should stay with mom and littermates until at least 8 weeks old, even if they are fully weaned earlier. Housetraining can begin around the time puppies are weaned.

Adolescent

Dachshunds are adolescents from the time they reach sexual maturity until they are around 1 year of age. During this period, your Dachshund will continue to grow and develop. Growth and development is likely to begin slowing once your dog has reached sexual maturity, though. Most Dachshunds are finished growing by 12 months of age, but some will continue to grow until around 18 months of age. Sometime near the end of puppyhood and the beginning of adolescence, your Dachshund should be showing great strides in housetraining.

Adult

Although your dog may continue to exhibit some of their puppy energy beyond 1 year of age, they are technically considered an adult. Adulthood lasts until around age 7 years. During this period, your Dachshund is likely to show increasing maturity. They should still be active and energetic, although they may not have the same level of exuberance that a younger dog would.

Senior

Above age 7, your Dachshund is considered a senior. Many dogs live well into their senior years, though. Most Dachshunds stay active members of the household into their teen years. They may begin to slow down with age, but it’s important to keep in mind that age is not a disease. With proper care, including a safe home environment, healthcare, high-quality food, and routine activity, your Dachshund may stay healthy and active well into their senior years.

dachshund in red harness
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

How to Tell Your Dachshund’s Age

There is not an exact science to determine a dog’s exact age, but there are a few clues. One way to determine your Dachshund’s age is to check out their teeth. As dogs age, their teeth wear down, becoming flatter. They may also have an increase in staining. Dogs that have received routine dental care may have healthier teeth, while dogs with a significant history of fleas or chewing on things like toys or kennel bars may have teeth that make them appear older.

Another thing to look for is graying of the fur, especially on the face. How much of your dog’s fur turns gray and how quickly this occurs is very dependent on the dog, though. Some dogs may begin showing gray hairs on their face in early to mid-adulthood, while others may not develop significant changes until much later in life.

Conclusion

Dachshunds are charming dogs that can live quite long lives with proper care. There are multiple factors that can significantly impact their lifespan, though. It’s important to work to provide your dog with the best life possible—regardless of their age—when you bring them home. There are things you can do to increase longevity for your Dachshund, though.


Featured Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock



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