How Long Do Dachshunds Live? How To Increase Their Lifespan?

How Long Do Dachshunds Live? How To Increase Their Lifespan?

According to experts, you can expect your Dachshund to live approximately 12.5 years. However, statistics is one thing, but life is something else. The upper limit will vary significantly, depending on the dog’s genetic health, care it receives, and adequate diet

Several factors help determine the Dachshund’s lifespan, and through this article, we will be referring to them and pointing out what you, as the Dachshund owner, can do to prolong your beloved Dachshund’s life.

The Dachshund

Before discussing how long do Dachshunds live, I think it’s a good idea to introduce you to the Dachshund first. Dachshunds are very social and loyal, and they adore their human family. They aren’t big dogs, but they are not aware of it! Their playful personality and adorable looks have made them a sought after breed all around the world.

Dachshunds quickly adapt to most living arrangements, making them an ideal choice for those living in apartments. They love to be the center of attention and want to be involved in everything happening around them, whether it is a romp with the kids or just lying down close to you.

Dachshund size

Famous for their unique appearance, this bright, loyal, and lovable dog breed is fun to have around your family. Weiner or Sausage dogs are also bred in two different sizes and come in many different colors. There are three distinct coat types, wire, short and long-haired.

Dachshunds may be willful and stubborn, but a dog’s disposition is the direct outcome of how well his owner understands and provides for his needs. There are no badly behaved dogs, only uninformed owners. So, don’t let your Doxie down.

How Long Do Dachshunds Live?

As we mentioned, it’s challenging to look at any Dachshund puppy and determine how long he’s going to live. As with all dog breeds, there’s always an average lifespan given. You can regularly hear from owners that their Dachshunds lived even 17 or 18 years. The AKC (American Kennel Club) suggests the lifespan of Dachshunds is between twelve to sixteen years.

How long do Dachshunds live

Factors that will impact a Dachshund’s lifespan are a combination of several things: the health of the Dachshund puppy’s parents and how his human parents take care of him. We’ll discuss these two relevant factors in more depth through the article.

Because the average is up to sixteen years, it doesn’t mean they cannot live longer than that, my Doxie lived to be almost seventeen years old, and my family’s four Dachshunds are already approaching fifteen and are still going strong.

How To Choose A Fit And Healthy Dachshund Puppy

The first of the two factors that affect a Dachshund’s lifespan is choosing a healthy puppy and determining if the puppy’s parents are healthy. Adopting a new puppy is incredibly exciting and something the whole family is looking forward to; waiting for the time he’s ready to come home seems to take forever.

But, no matter how excited and impatient you are to adopt a puppy, you must do serious research before choosing one. The first noticeable thing to research is everything about the particular breed you’re choosing. Dogs are not all the same, and different breeds require different types of upbringing. For example, if you select a high-energy breed, you need to be happy to take them long walks, get them involved in doggy sports, etc. However cute the puppies are, this is the wrong breed for you if this doesn’t suit your family.

How to choose a fit and healthy Dachshund puppy

Next, you need to do due diligence research on the breeder of the puppy. Puppies are expensive. Unfortunately, this leads people to make an error in judgment and buy a puppy from online ads or puppy mills.

Where the sole focus of these so-called breeders is how much money they can make. The welfare of the parents or the puppies is not even a consideration. I hate to say it, but there are so many of these scams it’s easy to be taken in by them.

Remember, the purchase price of a puppy is the least expensive part of the purchase. If a sick or poorly bred puppy lives for only ten years, that ten years will cost a great deal of money on vets and hospital bills.

What To Look For From The Dachshund Puppy Breeders

Here’s our list of what you need to consider and questions you must get honest answers to before buying your baby Dachshund.

What to look for from the Dachshund puppy breeders
  • One essential thing is to see the Dachshund mother with her babies. If it’s at all possible, ask to see the father as well. You might find this is difficult because your Dachshund breeder paid a stud fee, and the male belongs to someone else. However, you still want the sight of the health screening certificate from both parents.
  • We urge you to be firm in your resolve here and insist on this. Remember, breeders make a lot of money from purebred Dachshund puppies, and they desperately want to sell them. In doing so, they might be tempted to tell you what you want to hear.
  • Ensure that the Dachshund mom and the father (if available) are healthy, lively, and friendly and look as though they are well-cared for.
  • No Dachshund puppy should leave his mother before he’s eight weeks old. And professional breeders prefer to keep them until they are up to ten weeks old or at least until they have had their first round of vaccinations and are microchipped. Beware of any breeder who is happy for you to take home a Dachshund puppy before they are at least eight weeks. They need this time with their moms to help with socialization and determine if there are any health reasons why the breeder should not sell the Dachshund puppy.
  • Never send payment to an advertiser before you have visited them and inspected the puppies, even if it’s only a holding deposit.
  • Professional Dachshund breeders will always offer you the opportunity to visit with the puppies several times before they are ready to come home with you. Visiting this way helps the bonding process between you and the puppy. The best breeders will actively encourage you to do this.
  • The breeder’s vet delivering and caring for the Dachshund puppies should have issued a health certificate giving evidence the puppies have been health screened for hereditary diseases and confirmation the puppies are in the best of health. Ask for the vet’s details because you should personally contact the vet concerned if the breeder refuses to provide the details, pass and adopt from another breeder.
  • Ask the breeder for references and look for available reviews from people purchasing puppies from them. Then, do in-depth research and find out what it takes to raise a healthy and strong dog. Be aware of its specific needs and be prepared to handle them as much as possible

Top Cause Of Death In Dachshunds

A survey, Mortality in North American Dogs 1984 to 2004: published in 2011 and undertaken by the University of Georgia, established a high percentage of deaths in Dachshunds attributable to neurologic system disease.

The UK Kennel Club recorded the usual reasons of Dachshund dead, including:

  • Old age in 21% of cases
  • Cancer in 16.7% of cases
  • Heart disease in 14.3% of cases
  • Neurologic disorders in 11% of cases
  • Combinations of a few different issue in 5.7% of cases
  • Kidney failure in 4.9% of cases
  • Cushing’s disease or diabetes in 4.1% of cases
  • Vascular diseases in 3.3% of cases
  • Gastrointestinal infections in 3.3% of cases
  • Complications related to operations in 2.4% of cases

Some of these reasons depend on genetics, and you can’t influence them much. On the other hand, you can take care of your buddy well and prevent other health problems.

Back problems

Approximately one of four Dachshunds face a back problem, especially the ones suffering from overweight. Since this breed is prone to put on weight, proper diet and enough exercises are crucial.


Dachshunds have the lowest cancer rate of most other breeds. Unfortunately, it is the most significant death cause in seniors.

How To Increase Your Dachshund’s Lifespan?

Most Dachshund owners are surprised when they realize how long they can extend their Doxy’s life by providing the proper care and attention. To offer high-quality care starts with how well you know the Dachshund breed.

How to increase your Dachshund's lifespan

Dachshund owners need to appreciate what the primary behavioral and health problems are in the breed. What are the issues pertinent to the Dachshund that owners need to come to terms with?

1. Your Dachshund Requires A Healthy Diet

The only way to know what’s the best food to feed your Dachshund is by researching. Yes, it takes time. But if you treat this as part and parcel of raising a healthy dog, you’ll enjoy the exercise.

You might have had or are raising children, and you wouldn’t feed them just any old food. You would ensure that every mealtime is healthy and balanced. The same attention to detail is necessary for your Dachshund. After all, he cannot do this for himself.

Feeding your dachshund

Healthy diet

Kibble – Choose kibble brands designed especially for Dachshunds with an adequate nutrient ratio.

Canned food – It is more digestible and tastes better than kibble. It is high in protein, low in carbs, and doesn’t contain artificial preservatives.

Home-cooked food – It is a nutritious and delicious choice, but you need to follow guidelines and check about particular foods that are healthy or harmful for Dachshunds. Keep in mind that such a diet often contains too little calcium.

Raw food diet – It is healthy food without preservatives, but you should be aware of risks. Offering some bones to your furry friend will be beneficial for its teeth. Try to avoid dog food with grains, corn, meat meal, dyes, and preservatives and provide enough proteins, vitamins, minerals with little carbs and fat in everyday meals.


Animals proteins are crucial for Dachshunds, especially muscle building, skin cell forming, and hair growth. Keep in mind that this dog can’t digest plant proteins, so its body won’t use them at all.

You can offer your furry friend meat, fish, poultry, and eggs every day since its body doesn’t store proteins. However, avoid animal protein by-products like feather meal and blood. Such food is low in nutrients, and you can never be sure what the exact composition is.

In an ideal case, 50% of the diet should be proteins. It is not a problem if you give your dog more than that because it will excrete surplus. On the other hand, offering less than 18% will cause weakness and sluggishness and negatively affect its health.


Some studies show that grains cause joint problems in Dachshunds, but you will often hear that your dog needs grains as a source of vitamins and minerals. Basically, it is better to provide these compounds from cooked vegetables or even fruit.

Offer your buddy blueberries, apples, bananas, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and spinach in a small amount. In any case, never allow that carbs exceed 50% of a dog’s daily meal.


Your Dachshund will need 5 to 10% of animal fat in a regular diet, including Omega 3 and Omega 6, that will keep its heart, brain, skin, and coat healthy. Its body can’t digest plant fats appropriately.

Vitamins and minerals

If you feed your dog appropriately, the food you give it will fulfill all its needs. Otherwise, you should provide the necessary vitamin and mineral supplements. Always consult your vet before making such a decision because artificial minerals can be harmful to Dachshunds.

Food to avoid

The list of foods you should never offer your dog includes chocolate, salt, coffee, moldy cheese, avocado, citrus, grapes, and onions.

Join Dachshund forums and post questions asking other Dachshund owners what they feed their dogs. Breed appropriate forums are an excellent way of obtaining valid information. You can filter out any advice or information you deem not helpful.

2. Obese Dachshunds

When we discussed the leading cause of death in Dachshunds, we said neurologic system disease, heart disease, and cancer. Two of those neurological and cardiac diseases, while possibly being genetic, are also a direct response to obesity. You might as well say obesity reduces the lifespan of Dachshunds more than almost anything else.

You must help your Dachshund to maintain a healthy weight. I know, Dachshunds love to eat, I’ve been there myself, and it’s complicated. At every life stage, there will be a recommended maximum calorific intake suitable for his age. Try to stick to it. Ask your vet to help; he can devise a diet that you can use to help your Dachshund keep as much weight off as possible.

3. Dachshunds Need Exercise

At first glance, what do you see when you look at a Dachshund? A small dog, short legs, long body? Not the kind of body you would expect needs much exercise. But, you would be wrong.

Dachshund exercise requirements

Dachshunds were bred to be active hunters, chasing prey and digging them out of their burrows. They need exercise; for the sake of their body and mind, they need to get out and run, especially when they are young. As they grow older, their exercise needs diminish, but young and middle-aged Dachshunds love to run and play.

Providing at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity for a healthy adult Dachshund is highly beneficial for this highly energetic breed. As for puppies, the rule of thumb is to offer about five minutes of moderate exercise per month of its age. Never force your short-legged friend to jump or climb up and downstairs.

Exercise is one way for them to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. It also helps to strengthen essential bones and muscles needed to support their extra-long backs. A healthy Dachshund can handle upwards of one hour of daily exercise and play.

4. Take Your Dachshund Regularly To Your Vet

Don’t forget visits to your vet. Not just when he’s ill or under the weather. Schedule annual check-ups, so the vet can see him regularly. Not only is this important to ensure he’s healthy at that visit, but regular visits allow the vet to get to know your Dachshund. Many a time, a vet’s prior knowledge of the dog has saved the dog’s life.

Dachshund health

Your vet will also keep track of vaccination schedules and parasite treatments, things that are easily forgotten or late. You should give your Dachshund the once over every couple of weeks or so. After all, no-one knows your Doxy better than you.

The Oldest Dachshunds Worldwide

O average, your Dachshund is on the list of breeds that live the longest, and their lifespan is usually longer than most other breeds.

The oldest Dachshund, Rocky, lived 25 years as a resident of California. It is assumed that this lovely creature lived this long thanks to active life even though it had problems with joints.

Dachshund-terrier mix, a senior gentleman Otto from Shrewsbury, the UK, was almost 21 years old. Wire-haired Chanel from New York, USA, and Scolly from Mexico lived more than 20 years.

Which Lives Longer Standard Or Miniature Dachshunds?

In general, it seems that miniature Dachshunds live the longest. Perhaps because being smaller and weighing less than a standard Dachshund puts less strain on their backs and hearts.

Taking a cross-section of all Dachshund sizes and types of coat, the Dachshund at greater risk of IVDD (intervertebral Disc Disease) is the standard size smooth-haired Dachshund.

Dachshunds are what are known as chondrodystrophic dogs, which means they have short legs and long backs. Dogs of this nature see a much higher incidence of IVDD than other dogs. However, IV disc herniation is a disease that many dog breeds suffer from.

How Long Do Dachshunds Live? The Ball’s In Your Court

We have discussed how genetics and the breeder play a considerable role in your Dachshund’s lifespan. We have also given you lots of information on how you, as the Dachshund owner, can also increase his lifespan.

One area we haven’t spoken about is training and early socialization. When Dachshund puppies first come into the world, young dogs are oblivious of what the world and their environment are all about. They aren’t born into the world with advanced knowledge of all this.

The way you can help him is by early socialization. From the age of six weeks, up to sixteen weeks is the prime time to introduce your puppy to sights and sounds and other people and pets. We cannot stress strongly enough just how vital this is to your puppy’s health and well-being.

Just like humans, stress can be the harbinger of many health issues. If you haven’t socialized him, whatever strange sight or sounds he comes across can make him anxious and fearful.

In answering how long do Dachshunds live, we have attempted to answer that question as fully as we are able. Hopefully, it has given you plenty to consider.