If you’re a fan of Dachshunds, you’re likely also in love with their smaller counterparts—miniature Dachshunds. Despite their tiny size, miniature Dachshunds are every bit as loyal, protective, and fearless as their larger brothers and sisters, so if you’re looking for a dog that’s compact, affectionate, and will stick by your side no matter what, the miniature Dachshund could be just what you’re looking for.
Miniature Dachshunds live 12 and 16 years on average. But are they prone to certain health conditions or breed-specific conditions? It’s normal to want to know as much as possible about your potential future canine companion’s well-being so that you can better care for them. In this post, we’ll explore a miniature Dachshund’s lifespan and why some dogs live longer than others.
What’s the Average Lifespan of a Miniature Dachshund?
Miniature Dachshunds have an average lifespan of between 12 and 16 years according to the American Kennel Club. Small dogs are pretty lucky in this regard, as they live longer on average than larger dogs. That said, there are certain health conditions that Dachshunds are prone to, including:
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Dental disease
- Eye conditions
- Hip dysplasia
Why Do Some Dogs Live Longer Than Others?
A dog’s lifespan depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of the food they eat, their environment, size, and breed-specific conditions. Let’s explore these factors further.
Dogs require a diet that ticks all the boxes when it comes to their nutritional needs. As omnivores, dogs get their nutrients from meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables and require six essential nutrients, which are:
Their diet should also be appropriate for their life stage and size. Feeding your dog a complete, nutritionally balanced diet gives them a better chance of living a longer, healthier life. The consequences of feeding a poor diet include obesity, a weakened immune system, diabetes, pancreatitis, and unhealthy coat and skin.
2. Living Environment
A safe, comfortable living environment can make all the difference in terms of your dog’s health and lifespan. Naturally, if a dog is kept in an unsafe or neglectful environment, they’re more likely to end up having an accident.
For this reason, it’s important to make sure your windows and balconies are protected if you live high up and that chemicals and toxic plants are kept well out of reach of your dog. A dog should never live outdoors or in cold, drafty environments.
Sadly, some breeds have shorter lifespans due to their size. Large dog breeds simply tend to wear out quicker because they age at a much faster rate than smaller breeds. For example, Great Danes have a lifespan of around 7–10 years, while a miniature Dachshund has a life span of approximately 12–16 years.
4. Breed and Genetics
Some dogs are genetically prone to certain hereditary conditions, like congenital heart defects. The breed can also be a factor in a dog’s lifespan. Some breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs have shorter average life spans due to the breathing issues they suffer as a result of their short noses and flat faces. Their narrow airways can also cause heart, eye, ear, and skin problems among other health issues.
The 4 Life Stages of a Miniature Dachshund
This stage is from birth to when your dog is around 6 to 9 months old. At this stage, you can expect your miniature Dachshund to be very mini indeed—if you consider that a fully grown miniature Dachshund only weighs up to 11 pounds, you can only imagine how small they are as puppies. They’ll also likely be very excitable, energetic, and curious about the world around them.
2. Young Adult
This stage lasts from when your dog is 9 months old until they’re 3–4 years old. At the end of this stage, their physical growth and socialization are considered complete.
3. Mature Adult
Mature adult Dachshunds between 3 and 4 years old and the start of the final 25% of their estimated life span depending on their breed and size.
A senior dog is in the final 25% of their average lifespan.
How to Tell Your Miniature Dachshund’s Age
If your miniature Dachshund is a rescue dog and you don’t know their age, you can get an estimate by looking at their teeth, coat color, and body, and looking for cloudiness in their eyes. As dogs get older, they typically develop fat pads on the lower back. Their spine might also become more prominent. Older dogs’ eyes can take on a hazy or cloudy appearance.
Greying of the coat may also become apparent, and the teeth may accumulate tartar and develop staining. These are not surefire ways of knowing your miniature Dachshund’s age, though, as individual dogs may develop tartar or yellowing at a younger age. The best way to get an estimate is to have your vet take a look at your miniature Dachshund and give you an estimate.
In short, miniature Dachshunds have pretty long average lifespans of between 12 and 16 years. However, there are some health conditions that you’ll need to keep an eye out for if you acquire a miniature Dachshund—obesity, intervertebral disc disease, and dental disease to name a few. If you’re concerned about your miniature Dachshund’s health or would like an estimate of their age, please consult your vet.