We love our dogs, and of course, we want to have as much time as possible with them. Well, we have excellent news! The average lifespan of a Dachshund is 12 to 14 years, and Miniature Dachshunds can live up to 16 years, which is relatively long for a pooch!
If you’re lucky enough to be owned by a Dachshund, affectionately nicknamed Doxies, you’d want to prolong its life as much as possible. While there isn't any magic formula for eternal youth, there are several steps we can take as dog parents to help our Dachshunds live long and happy lives.
If you were wondering how to make your Dachshund live longer, you’re in the right place! In this blog post, we’ll look at the five must-dos to keep your sausage dog in tip-top shape that will not only stick around for a long time but also thrive in the pink of health.
You are what you eat, and this applies to our precious furballs too. Top-notch nutrition can have a profound effect on our dogs and is the secret to a long Dachshund life.
The first step in providing your pup with proper nutrition is understanding what they need to stay healthy. While all dogs are different, there are some basic guidelines to follow.
First, look at the label of any dog food you buy. Quality ingredients should be listed first; if your pup’s food contains fillers like corn or wheat gluten, it’s not ideal for long-term health.
Instead, look for foods that contain natural proteins like chicken or fish as well as fruits and vegetables for added vitamins and minerals.
Studies show that high-quality foods or prescription diets can extend a Dachshund’s life expectancy. Proper nutrition helps keep organs functioning optimally while providing essential vitamins and minerals necessary for cellular repair processes throughout the body.
If your dog has a medical condition or special requirements, you can think about adding some supplements to his or her diet. Check with your vet before making any dietary changes.
In addition, try to get your wiener dog to eat more slowly. Eating slowly is another way to keep your Dachshund healthy, particularly when it comes to digestion. Eating too quickly can lead to the dog swallowing too much air, which in turn can cause digestive discomfort, especially since Doxies are prone to GDV (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus) which can get dangerous.
Eating slower also allows your pup to chew more thoroughly, thus making sure they are getting all the nutrients they need due to more efficient digestion. Additionally, dogs that eat quickly can sometimes overeat as they're not giving their body enough time to signal that they are full, possibly leading to obesity and related problems.
Taking more time with meals might be difficult for voracious eaters, so you might want to try slow feeder mats or bowls not just to slow your dog’s chompers down but also to give some mealtime entertainment to sausage dogs who are notorious gluttons.
Food isn’t everything! Just like us humans, exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle for dogs as it helps keep their joints and muscles in top condition.
Moderate, supervised cardio activities such as walking, fetch, swimming, and running are key to keeping a dog's body functioning and healthy. Studies show that older dogs who exercise regularly tend to have fewer health problems than those who don't get enough activity, especially when a leading cause of death in Dachshunds is heart failure.
Swimming is an excellent cardiovascular activity that is easy on the joints, which is especially important for Dachshunds prone to developing spine problems.
However, because of their oh-so-cute but short legs, Dachshunds might not be champion swimmers, so you might want to think about having your pooch in a doggy life jacket just for peace of mind.
Training and Mental Stimulation
Training and mental stimulation are great ways to improve a Dachshund's lifespan. After all, a well-trained dog is a calm, relaxed one, which is the recipe for a happy, well-balanced dog.
Not only does being trained and mentally engaged keep them psychologically healthy and fit, but it also helps to alleviate stress, natural anxiety, and behavior problems that can occur in an untrained dog.
On top of that, providing mentally stimulating activities like interactive games or puzzles keeps their minds alert and able to learn new things well into old age and can even extend a Dachshund’s life expectancy as they remain mentally and physically fitter than most.
Check out this spinning food dispenser that will keep your Doxie occupied and happy while you go about your day!
This helps to maintain the joy they get from life since they tend to tire out a bit less quickly than their more sedentary counterparts.
Regular Check-Ups At The Vet
Regular vet check-ups for your dog are a must! Not only is it a crucial way to keep your Dachshund healthy, but it is also to build a relationship with an animal doctor so that if something does eventually go wrong, you already have someone familiar with your pup ready and able to help.
Plus, it's always better to be safe and get ahead of any potential health issues than wait for them to become more serious. You might think you know your wiener dog well, but nothing beats having a professional examine your dog and identify any potential problems that can be easily treated when spotted early.
Our Doxies rely on us for their well-being and taking the time to take them to the vet is one way we can show that we put their health first.
Spay or Neuter
It is a well-known fact that spayed or neutered dogs have longer lifespans than unfixed dogs. Neutered male dogs live 13.8% longer and spayed female dogs live 26.3% longer!
With spayed and neutered dogs, the risk of certain cancers is significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. These cancers typically affect reproductive organs such as the testicles, prostate, ovaries, and uterus, and cancer is another leading cause of death for Dachshunds.
In addition, it makes dogs less likely to try to escape to look for a mate. Unfixed dogs tend to jump fences and get into all kinds of trouble with wild animals and traffic. Males will do anything to get to a female in heat, and a female in heat will likely do the same.
Dogs may be near-perfect creatures but they have one obvious flaw - they have a way shorter lifespan than us and we are likely to outlive them!
However, that’s life, and with these tips, you can extend your Dachshund’s life expectancy and help your bestie live the best life possible. Good luck!