Dachshund Care: Protecting Your Dachshund’s Back and Joints with Indoor Ramps

Dachshund Care: Protecting Your Dachshund's Back and Joints with Indoor Dog Ramps

With their small size, short legs, and long bodies, it’s no surprise that Dachshunds are one of the most popular DoggoRamps users. 

Affectionately known as “Wiener Dogs”, “Sausage Dogs”, and “Doxies”, the American Kennel Club (AKC) reports that Dachshunds have been one of the top 15 most popular breeds for the last decade. 

However, as many Dachshund owners may know, the combination of a long spine and short legs in a small package leaves this lively breed susceptible to dangerous back and joint problems that can be triggered or exacerbated through jumping.

In fact, all Dachshund owners are advised to keep a close eye on their dog’s activities, limit stair use, and prevent them from jumping on and off furniture.

If you own or are considering getting a Dachshund, read on to discover some essential Dachshund care tips and why pet ramps for your Doxie are a MUST.

Why Exactly Can’t Dachshunds Jump Off Beds and Couches?

As lively and courageous dogs, Dachshunds may make it seem as if jumping all sorts of heights and distances is a perfectly normal thing for the breed to do.

Unfortunately, the impact from jumping off furniture puts a great deal of stress on the breed's elongated spine. This can lead to severe back injuries and trigger painful spinal conditions like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Weighing under 32 lbs., Dachshunds are also prone to knee issues that affect smaller breeds.

Dog ramps play an important role in protecting this feisty breed’s back and joints. They provide Dachshunds with an impact-free and easy-to-use alternative to jumping on and off furniture and allow them to lead a more fulfilling life. 

A black and tan Dachshund stands on top of his crate with his dog ramp in front of him

Before being introduced to an indoor ramp, Frank the energetic Dachshund loved showing off jumping skills by hopping on and off the couch. Now, he enjoys safe access to and from his favorite hangout spots and prefers showing off his ramping skills instead.

Dachshund Back Problems (IVDD)

Due to their long spines, Dachshunds are genetically predisposed to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). This back condition affects nearly 25% of Dachshunds.

IVDD occurs when the discs between a dog’s vertebrae begin to harden, and eventually bulge or burst. A ruptured or bulging disc can compress a dog’s spinal cord and lead to extreme pain, weakened back legs, and even paralysis (depending on the part of the spine affected). A Dachshund can start showing IVDD symptoms at any age and an episode can be easily triggered by the impact from a jump:

How jumping can trigger Intervertebral Disc Disease in Dogs - Diagram Showing Intervertebral Disc being compressed and putting pressure on a Dachshund's spine

Treating a dog with IVDD can involve intensive and expensive surgeries, on-going physical therapy, months of rehabilitation treatments, medication, and more. 

Dachshund owners are advised to be vigilant and take extra precautions with their long-bodied pups. Providing an alternative to high-impact activities, such as jumping on and off furniture, can make a big difference when it comes to keeping this breed’s back safe.

A black and tan Dachshund stands on top of his bed ramp for dogs beside the bed

This Doxie's paw-rent reported that getting a bed ramp for her pup helped reduce her stress levels and worries when it came to the possibility of her Dachshund experiencing back issues and injuries.

A white and red Dachshund rests on top of her dog ramp with a bed behind her.

Liberty (@libbynjuice) underwent surgery for IVDD in March of 2021. Dog ramps helped protect her back during and after the recovery process, and have allowed her to continue enjoying her favorite places and activities.

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund’s Journey with IVDD

As a Dachshund owner or fan, you've probably heard of Crusoe the Dachshund. Over the past 10 years, this larger-than-life Wiener Dog Extraordinaire has skyrocketed to internet fame and is known for his viral videos, New York Times Best-Selling Books, and more!

DoggoRamps were actually invented by Crusoe and his paw-rent, Ryan, after Crusoe had to undergo an emergency surgery for a blown disc in 2016. Like many Dachshunds, Crusoe suffers from Intervertebral Disc Disease and his IVDD episode required him to go through two months of rehabilitation in addition to surgery. During his recovery, Crusoe had to re-learn how to walk, receive biweekly laser therapy, exercise with a water treadmill, and take medication for on-going pain. 

Crusoe the Dachshund - IVDD Recovery

While veterinary costs differ by clinic and region, expenses for Crusoe’s surgery and recovery exceeded $7,000:

Crusoe the Dachshund - IVDD Treatment and Recovery Expense Chart exceeding $7000

Crusoe and his paw-rent believe that no pet owners should have to go through such emotional, stressful, and expensive experiences due to IVDD and other preventable situations, so DoggoRamps were created to help keep pups safe at home.

Fortunately, today, Crusoe is back to full health and living his best life with his brother Oakley and little sister Daphne!

Two Dachshunds stand on their dog ramps - one dog ramp leads up to the couch, the second dog ramp leads up to a chaise

Crusoe and Daphne strike a pose for the camera with their DoggoRamps Couch Ramp and StepRamp.

Dachshund Joint Problems

While Dachshund back problems are frequently discussed, the breed is also prone to a series of joint issues:

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is a knee condition common among small breeds. It is a genetic condition where a dog’s kneecap is out of alignment and chronically slips out of place. Patellar Luxation has different levels of severity and typically impacts a dog’s hind legs. Pet owners may notice their pups skipping while walking in order to try to force their kneecap into its place. 

Dogs dealing with Patellar Luxation may experience discomfort, pain, lameness, and reduced limb function. The condition can also leave pups susceptible to secondary joint issues, such as arthritis, and increase their chances of sustaining hip and leg injuries. 

Patellar Luxation in small breeds can’t be prevented as it’s usually the result of genetic joint abnormalities. However, using ramps can help dogs with this condition reduce the amount of pain they experience and help them enjoy a happier life.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

While Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are usually more common in larger breeds, Dachshunds are genetically predisposed to these two conditions as well. Hip or Elbow Dysplasia occurs when a dog’s hip or elbow joints do not fit properly. Similar to Patellar Luxation, both conditions are usually caused by joint abnormalities, but trauma, rapid growth, excessive weight gain, and improper nutrition can contribute to the development of these issues as well. 

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia can lead to discomfort, pain, difficulties getting up and lying down, reduced mobility, lameness, and arthritis. 

Indoor ramps can help minimize how much stress dogs place on their joints, ease discomfort, and give them the opportunity to live a higher quality of life. 

A long-haired Dachshund runs up their couch ramp for dogs.

Murphy's owners choose to train him how to use a couch ramp in order to protect his back AND joints. Before, the speedy little Dachshund would do whatever it took to follow his Hoomans - whether it was scratching to get up on the couch or trying to "superman" off.

Should You Get Pet Stairs or a Dog Ramp for Your Dachshund?

If you find yourself looking at both pet steps or a ramp for your Dachshund, a ramp is the way to go. 

While walking down a handful of steps on a set of pet stairs isn’t the same as jumping off a couch or bed, using steps still involves experiencing small repeated impacts over time. For breeds susceptible to back problems and joint issues, these repeated impacts can still continue to cause damage to intervertebral discs and joints. A ramp is the only option that is entirely impact-free. 

As well, ramps with a low-incline design, such as DoggoRamps Couch and Bed Ramps, are a great deal easier for this short-legged breed to navigate than pet steps or even ramps with steeper slopes.

Ramps and Dachshund Temperament

On top of their distinct physique, Dachshunds are also famous for their big personalities. Originally bred as badger hunting dogs, Wiener Dogs are energetic pups known for being fierce, mischievous, and brave. With their spunky personalities, Dachshunds may not always be aware of their limitations, so it’s essential for Doxie owners to keep an eye on their pups and set up Dachshund-friendly homes. Typically, Dachshund parents are advised to block off any staircases and introduce their long-bodied pups to ramps to prevent any jumping on and off furniture.

When it comes to this breed’s personality, ramps are a better fit for their temperament as well. In contrast to pet steps, ramps can be used by dogs whether they’re taking their time or in a rush. Since Dachshunds are an active breed, they are able to use ramps at whatever pace they need - even when it’s closer to a run. 

A red, short-haired Dachshund stands on top of his dog ramp with the couch behind him.

Ammo's Hoomans initially tried to teach him how to use pet stairs. However, he would regularly bypass them unless they were directly in his path. Once introduced to a ramp, he quickly and consistently started using it to get on and off the couch. 

The Best Dog Ramps for Dachshunds: DoggoRamps

Whether your Dachshund loves spending time on the couch, in the window nook, on the bed, or someplace else, we are proud to offer the best Dachshund-friendly ramps for countless indoor scenarios.

In fact, every ramp has been tested and rigorously evaluated by Crusoe himself!

Therefore, all DoggoRamps have essential features that will help keep your Dachshund safe at home:

  • All ramps are crafted out of furniture-grade hardwood, which provides extra sturdiness and stability. This is important for the small but mighty Dachshund as the hardwood will help keep the ramp stable even when experiencing additional force from a Doxie’s speedy step.
  • Soft and rubbery anti-slip PAWGRIP covers the platform of every ramp giving your pup incredible traction that’s stronger than any carpet. 
  • The low-incline design of our couch and bed ramps makes them easy for dogs with long bodies to use. This can also improve the consistency of ramp use.
  • Removable and reversible safety rails on our bed ramps provide Dachshunds with an extra layer of security when making their way down from higher surfaces.
17 Different Dachshunds using DoggoRamps Couch and Bed Ramps

As shown above, Dachshunds are avid DoggoRamps Couch and Bed Ramp users. (Featuring: Little Red Henry, Dudley Lux, River & Rain, The Weens (@yunabugs), Kitty the Dachshund, and The Dachshund Pack).

Without a doubt, dog ramps are a simple yet effective way of protecting your Dachshund’s back and joints while giving them the opportunity to live a comfortable and fulfilling life.

Countless vets and pet care experts recommend pet ramps as a means of making life for Doxies easier and safer indoors.

To learn more about picking out the perfect dog ramp for your Dachshund, check out:

Happy Ramping!

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