We love our Dachshunds with all of our hearts and want them to be with us as long as they can. You may be wondering how long that is though.
There are a lot of factors that influence a Dachshund’s lifespan. One of them is how overweight they are.
Article originally published December 6, 2012
A chubby Dachshund is not “more to love” or a “cute”. That extra weight is fat and it’s unhealthy for your Dachshund.
A fat Dachshund might not live as long or might get sick and not be able to live a life of quality and adventure.
Let’s Get Real: Is Your Dog Fat?
Pet obesity is on the rise and it’s one of the most common Dachshund health issues.
We love our Dachshunds “just they way they are” though so we tend to miss when they are getting a little chunky until it’s too late.
If you want to help your Dachshund live a long, happy life, you have to honestly asses their current weight.
Here is a handy chart to asses your dog’s body condition from the Association of Pet Obesity and Prevention.
If your dog is a 4 it could probably stand some lose some weight. If it’s a 5 then it definitely needs to loose weight.
Determining your dog’s ideal weight is more than just looking at a chart though. There are several other factors to consider.
For more information, check out my article How Much Should My Dachshund Weigh.
How Long Will My Overweight Dachshund Live?
The average Dachshund lifespan is 12 – 15 years, with some living longer and some living shorter.
A Dachshund’s lifespan can be shortened by things like accidents, back problems, genetics, diseases, and how fit they are.
New research with data provided by Banfield Pet Hospital found that the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to 2.5 years shorter, on average, than the lifespan of dogs with a healthy body weight. (source)
Because no one can tell you exactly how long any Dachshund will live if they are not obese, they can’t tell you exactly how long they will live if they are.
Being overweight can cut up to 2.5 years off of your dog’s life.
However, with an average life expectancy of 12-15 years, and the fact that excess weight can shorten a dog’s life by up to 2.5 years, an overweight Dachshund could potentially only live to be 9.5 to 12.5 years old.
What Can I Do if My Dachshund is Overweight?
The first step is admitting their is a problem. If you have determined that your Dachshund is overweight, you’ve already started the process of making a positive change in your dog’s life.
The next step would be to talk to your veterinarian to discuss your Dachshund’s health and rule out any underlying medical reasons for your dog’s excess weight.
Beyond that, it’s pretty much like with people: Controlling weight is a matter of balancing calories in with calories out.
Calories Out: The Exercise Factor
When my Dachshund’s start to look a little plumper, the first thing I do is look at the amount of exercise they are getting.
Calories In: The Food Factor
You’ll then want to look at how much your Dachshund is eating each day.
Making sure your dog is not overeating, or slightly cutting down the amount they eat, can help keep your Dachshund’s weight under control.
Don’t forget to count the treats or the tasty tidbits other people in our house may be sneaking your pup behind your back!
Don’t be afraid to ask them – tell them why it’s important that they are honest.
Let your family members know there are other ways to show the dog that they love them without making them fat.
Consider that some supplements also contain calories like raw goats milk, probiotic yogurt, multivitamin chews, and joint chews.
Make sure you are giving your Dachshund a high-quality food. You’ll be able to feed a lower volume of food if it’s more nutritionally dense.
Check to make sure you are giving your Dachshund the correct amount of food.
Verifying you are not feeding more than is recommended on the back of the package is a good place to start.
However, that is just a general guideline. If your dog is gaining weight, you may need to reduce their food portion a little.
Replacing part of your dog’s meal with no-salt green beans can help them feel full while significantly reducing calories consumed.
Also, switch to scheduled feeding if you have been free-feeding (leaving the bowl of food out all day).
It’s easier to monitor how much your Dachshund is eating if you know how much and when they are eating.
Also, if you have a multi-pet household, it ensures that your sneaky Doxie can’t steal out of their Brother or Sister’s bowl.
What Does a Fit Dachshund Look Like?
Honestly, not what most people think it looks like.
My Dachshunds are very fit and I’ve had many people over the years ask me what is wrong with them, or if they are sick, because they look “too skinny”.
I can assure you they are not too skinny.
They are certainly fitter than most Dachshunds out there but I get complimented by almost every veterinarian I see for their excellent weight.
People are used to seeing round Dachshunds that look like they have a barrel chest. They look cylindrical from front to back like a sausage.
What most people don’t realize though are that Dachshunds are a deep-chested breed.
When people usually think of “deep-chested” dog breeds, Dobermans, Greyhounds, Great Danes and Standard Poodles usually come to mind.
But Dachshunds are a deep-chested breed too!
A dog with a deep chest has waist that is significantly wider, measured from the back to the bottom of the chest (sternum).
A deep-chested dog usually has a chest that extends to or below their elbows.
When a deep-chested dog is at an ideal weight, their waist is significantly smaller than their chest circumference, they have a visible “tuck” as their waist slopes up sharply behind their ribcage, and sometimes the last rib or two is visible to the naked eye.
Letting your Dachshund gain too much weight is a problem but it’s less so if you commit to doing something about it.
Obesity can shorten a Dachshund’s lifespan up to 2.5 years.
I know you want your furry companion to live as long as they can so please discuss your dog’s weight with your vet, increase their exercise, and adjust how you feed them, to keep their weight in check.