The dachshund has a very distinct long body and short legs. However, this body type also predisposes them to back problems. Dachshunds need proper diet and exercise to remain healthy. You might have a question in mind, “will my dachshund have back problems?” Let’s find out in this article.
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The dachshund is originally a hunting dog that was bred to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals. The body structure of the dachshund makes it suitable for raiding burrows and digging through the habitat of their prey. However, the body structure of the dachshund makes them prone to back injuries or back problems.
The dachshund’s physique allows them to fulfill their hunting dog roles. Moreover, there are different activities that dachshunds aren’t designed for, such as distance running, leaping, and strenuous swimming. However, this doesn’t mean that the dachshund should not get enough physical activity. The dachshund is a hunting dog that packs a lot of stamina in a small package. There are just certain activities that are suitable for the dachshund.
Dachshunds are capable of hunting and sprinting. So, if you are to create an obstacle course for them in your home to promote physical activity, the obstacle course should not be too high and it should stimulate the natural hunting behavior in the dachshund. Obstacle courses should be low to avoid injuries from falling or missteps. The body of the dachshund is built for burrowing and digging, so if you can simulate this behavior, it is a very good exercise for your dachshund.
Common causes of back problems in Dachshunds
Back problems in dachshunds can be caused by many things. However, a dachshund owner should be aware of these things or activities to avoid and maintain your dachshunds’ health. Keep your dachshund safe from back injuries and other problems by preventing the things which may cause back problems. Here are some of the common causes of back problems in dachshunds:
- Jumping from higher ground
- Falling from the stairs
- Frequently climbing up and down the stairs
- Long-distance running
- Playing rough with larger pets
- Games of tug-of-war
- Use of the wrong type of collar for dachshunds (harness collar and a leash is recommended for dachshunds, avoid using a leash and neck collar on dachshunds)
- Bone mineral loss due to aging
- Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
Will my Dachshund have back problems?
Due to the unique physique of the dachshunds, they are prone to back problems when compared to other breeds. Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) is the most common back problem in dachshunds affecting about 25% of all dachshunds would experience IVDD at any point in their life. However, if you own a dachshund, make sure that they are getting proper diet and exercise. Furthermore, aging dachshunds requires special care, because their back can easily be strained when they are already old. You may prevent your dachshund from having back problems by avoiding things which may cause back problems in your dog.
The average life expectancy of a dachshund is 12-16 years, according to the American Kennel Club. Moreover, back problems may begin to arise in their later years of life. Back problems in dachshunds may slowly progress or emerge from previous injuries. That is why it is important to take care of dachshunds and prevent them from falling from great heights that may cause injury. Senior dachshunds may need vitamin and mineral supplements to support their back’s health as they age.
There is no guarantee whether your dog can completely avoid back problems or not. Moreover, it is important to get a dachshund with good genetics to avoid the onset of genetic problems that may intensify back problems later in life. Regular visits to the vet may help prevent back problems together with proper diet and exercise. Also, your vet might prescribe the necessary medication if your dachshund is diagnosed with a back problem. It is well-known that obese dachshunds are more prone to back problems as they age. So, it would be beneficial for your dachshund to maintain a healthy weight.
How to avoid back problems in Dachshunds?
If you want to avoid back problems in your dachshund, then you have to ensure that our dachshund is able to maintain a healthy weight. Obese dachshunds are more susceptible to back problems due to the additional weight that their long backs have to carry around as they carry out their normal daily activities. In addition, obese dachshunds may also have joint problems which cause more distress to the dog.
You may use a dog crate to prevent your dachshund from getting any injury from their mischief. Moreover, most dachshund injuries may happen when you are not home, so if you suddenly go home to a dachshund in pain, you might not even know the reason why. But, you might need to bring your dog to the vet to make sure that any injury is not severe.
When caring for a dachshund you need the right gear to keep them safe from injuries, such as a harness collar and leash. Other types of collars may strain your dachshund’s neck and back too much which may eventually lead to injury. Furthermore, if you own a dachshund at home that likes to climb or jump on furniture, it would be safer for your dachshunds if you could provide a ramp for them in your home for their comfort and safety.
Will my dachshund have back problems? At some point in their life, your dachshund might experience back problems which can either be a temporary injury or a life-long disease. However, there are ways to avoid back problems in your dachshund, so as long as you care for your dachshund correctly, you may help your dachshund be part of the 75% of dachshunds which will not get affected by IVDD. Also, it might be beneficial for your mischievous dachshund to be kept in a crate when you are away to prevent any injury when you are not around.