Wiener dogs, or dachshunds, are certainly a unique breed. They have long bodies and short legs, which gives them a very distinct appearance and an instantly recognizable name.
But how long do wiener dogs live? What can you expect in terms of their lifespan?
How Long Do Dachshunds Live
The American Kennel Club (AKC) reports that the average lifespan for a miniature dachshund is 12–16 years, while other, “standard” types of dachshunds have a life expectancy of 12–14 years. That said, there have been some individual dachshunds that have lived full, healthy lives up to a staggering 20 years of age.
Despite the rather broad age range for the dachshunds given by the AKC, it’s certainly possible for these pups to enjoy a longer life in certain cicrumstances.
Of course, you can’t exactly control genetics or plain old luck, but there are some things you can do as an owner to help prolong the wiener dog‘s lifespan.
Dachshund‘s Lifespan and Health Factors
There are a number of different factors that can influence the wiener dog’s life expectancy. Some of these factors are within your control, while others are not.
As with any other animal, genetic material carries a great deal of weight when it comes to the overall health of the animal and how long it’ll live. If the parents and grandparents of your wiener dog managed to live relatively long, healthy lives, chances are good that your pooch will as well.
If you’ve acquired your dog from a professional breeder, you should be given some information on the health history of its family members. This includes their average lifespan, any health problems they may have suffered from, and so forth.
Of course, genetics isn’t an exact science, so even if the family tree looks good on paper there’s always a chance that your wiener dog could suffer from health problems later on in life. But it’s certainly a good sign if the family history is positive.
Diet and Exercise
Without a doubt, what your wiener dog eats on a daily basis will have an impact on how long it lives. A healthy diet full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is crucial for any animal, but it’s especially important for senior dogs who may be more susceptible to health problems.
As your dachshund ages, you may need to adjust its diet accordingly. For example, they may need more or less protein or fat than they did when they were younger because their metabolism has changed. Consult your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is getting the proper nutrition they need as they age, whether that’s canned food, special senior dog food formulas, or dry food.
In addition to diet, exercise can also extend the life expectancy and the average age of the dachshund breed. If your dog has a consistent routine of getting out and playing for at least half an hour each day, they’ll develop stronger muscles and bones as well as improve their cardiovascular fitness, which can help stave off age-related problems later in life.
Of course, you’ll need to take your pet’s age and current state into account when exercising them. You don’t want to overdo it and put too much strain on their bodies, especially as they get older. A moderate amount of exercise can serve as an outlet for their energy and help them stay healthy both physically and mentally.
As you might expect, one of the best ways to help your wiener dog live a long, healthy life is to make sure they’re up-to-date on all their vaccinations. This will help protect them from potentially deadly diseases that could decrease the quality of life or result in serious complications.
Your vet will be able to give you detailed information on which jabs your pet needs and when they need them. It’s important to stick to this schedule as closely as possible and not fall behind, as that could leave your wiener dog more vulnerable to disease.
Wiener Dogs’ Health Problems
Even the healthiest dachshunds can still suffer from health issues at some point in their life. Some of these problems are more common than others, but all of them have the potential to impact the canine’s life expectancy.
|Intervertebral Disc Disease||Known as IVDD for short, it affects the discs that cushion the vertebrae and causes spinal issues and abnormalities. When these discs become damaged or degenerate, they can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, leading to pain, weakness, and even paralysis.|
|Joint and Hip Problems||The state of a dog’s joints and hips may deteriorate over time, resulting in general discomfort, stiffness, and mobility impairment. Hip dysplasia, in particular, occurs when the hip joint doesn’t form properly and becomes dislodged from the socket.|
|Eye Problems||This breed is especially prone to developing glaucoma, a condition in which the pressure inside the eye becomes too high and damages the optic nerve. Other issues that may occur include cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), both of which can lead to blindness.|
|Cushing’s Disease||This is caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol in the body, which can be brought on by a tumor on the adrenal gland. Symptoms include increased thirst, urination, and appetite, as well as hair loss and weak muscles.|
|Diabetes||When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body become resistant to it, a dog’s blood sugar levels can become too high. Peak times for this condition include middle age and old age, when a dachshund’s metabolism isn’t working as efficiently.|
|Hypothyroidism||The thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate metabolic function and energy levels. When it doesn’t deliver enough of these hormones, your dog may appear lethargic, have issues with obesity, suffer from hair loss, and not respond well to cold temperatures.|
|Kidney Problems||The kidneys are responsible for filtering out toxins from the blood and producing urine. When they’re not functioning correctly, it can lead to a buildup of said toxins in the body and make your dog feel very ill. This is particularly common in older dogs, as their kidney function tends to decline with age.|
|Skin Problems||Dachshunds are also susceptible to a variety of skin concerns, such as allergic reactions, hot spots, and infections. Specifically, Acanthosis Nigricans causes the skin to thicken and darken in certain areas, most often around the neck. Regular grooming can help keeping these issues under control, but some may require medication or other treatment from a vet.|
Obviously, the individual response to these health problems will differ from dog to dog. Some may only experience mild symptoms while others will develop severe complications that require long-term treatment.
What Do Dachshunds Usually Die From
As unfortunate as it is, there’s no guarantee that your pooch will live to a ripe old age. The youngest and oldest dachshund alike all face the same risks.
The most common cause of death in dogs, regardless of breed, is cancer. This disease can be challenging to detect and even harder to treat effectively, which is why it’s so dangerous. Many cancers can spread quickly and affect multiple organs in the body, making them very difficult to fight.
Another leading cause of death in dachshunds is heart disease. This can come in numerous forms, from leaky heart valves to congestive heart failure. Symptoms may not be immediately apparent, but they can gradually get worse over time until the heart is no longer able to pump blood effectively.
A rather unsuspecting cause of death that’s normally seen in wiener dogs is neurological problems. These can include anything from seizures to stroke, and often occur without any warning signs. Unfortunately, by the time these problems are discovered, it’s often too late to do anything about them.
Finally, gastric torsion, which is typically known as bloat, happens when the stomach twists and cuts off its own blood supply. Make no mistake, moderate bloating can be managed, but if the stomach has rotated enough, it will fill with gas and put immense pressure on the surrounding organs. If not treated quickly, this can be fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age do dachshunds slow down?
Puppy crazies usually start to slow down around one year old, but they really get settled at age 3-5. This is when they enter their senior years and have less energy than they did when they were younger.
How do you know if your dachshund is dying?
There are a few signs that may indicate that your dachshund is nearing the end of its life. These include a decrease in appetite, weight loss, less interest in playing or going for walks, and longer naps than usual.
Can a dachshund live for 20 years?
There have been some reports of dachshunds living for 20 years or longer, but this is relatively rare. The vast majority of dachshunds will live between 12 and 16 years old.
If you’ve ever wondered ‘How long do wiener dogs live?’, you may be pleased to learn that they actually have a fairly long lifespan. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re immune to health problems and can overcome anything that gets thrown their way.