The average Miniature Schnauzer lifespan is 12 years.
This compares well to purebred dogs on the whole – smaller dogs often live longer than their larger canine counterparts.
Years can be added to Miniature Schnauzer lifespan by only breeding from the healthiest parents, and providing a lifetime of good care.
So let’s explore how to do this.
How long do Miniature Schnauzers live?
According to studies, purebred dogs live an average of 11 years. The Miniature Schnauzer lifespan is around 12 years, on average.
You might be wondering why this is. Why do some dog breeds live longer than others?
The main factor is size. Small breeds tend to live longer, while giant breeds usually have shorter lifespans.
Other factors are the dog’s features. These include the shape of their face and the length of their back, among others.
Dog’s features can cause problems known as conformational defects, which can sometimes seriously impact a dog’s health and lifespan.
Health Problems that Impact Miniature Schnauzer Lifespan
A variety of health problems can impact the Miniature Schnauzer lifespan. We’ll talk first about conformational defects, then about other common health problems.
Miniature Schnauzers face conformational defects due to their small size. This includes problems with their teeth, because of their tiny mouths.
Miniature Schnauzers also face a number of health problems which only they develop, or that they develop more than other breeds.
As we discussed, Miniature Schnauzers can have problems with their teeth because of their tiny mouths. They are prone to infections, which can cause a variety of other problems!
It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly if possible, and take them for regular teeth cleanings.
Schnauzers can have allergies.
They may also develop “Schnauzer bumps.” This condition is actually called Comedo Syndrome, and it causes blackheads, hair loss, and scabbing along a dog’s back.
Lastly, Schnauzers are prone to skin tumors.
Common eye conditions Schnauzers can develop are cataracts, Progressive Renal Atrophy, lens luxation, and glaucoma.
Cataracts are when the dog’s lens becomes cloudy over time. When not treated, this can lead to blindness in the affected eye.
Progressive Renal Atrophy causes a dog’s retina to deteriorate. This eventually leads to blindness.
Lens Luxation is when the lens of a dog’s eye slips out of place.
Glaucoma is the presence of too much fluid in the eye. It can cause blindness.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to ear infections. However, these are easily treated by a veterinarian. They can often be prevented by cleaning out a dog’s ears regularly.
Urinary stones occur more in Miniature Schnauzers than they do in any other breed of dog. This may be because Miniature Schnauzers have weak urinary tracts.
Urinary stones occur when certain minerals build up within a dog’s bladder. This can be prevented with the right diet.
Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed. This serious condition should be treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Hypothyroidism happens when a dog isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone. This, in turn, affects the dog’s metabolism.
This is a muscular disease which causes a dog’s muscles to contract too easily. They then become stiff. This can cause several problems for the dog, including problems moving around and swallowing.
Cushing’s disease happens when a dog has an excess of cortisol. This is caused by tumors, usually in the pituitary gland in the brain. More rarely, the tumor is located in the adrenal glands. It can also be a symptom of medication.
Cushing’s disease impacts a dog’s stress levels, weight, and blood sugar. It can also make it more difficult for a dog to fight infections.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to several forms of heart disease. Heart diseases can, of course, have a negative impact on the Miniature Schnauzer lifespan.
These include mitral valve disease, sick sinus syndrome, and pulmonic stenosis.
Mitral valve disease is the most common form of heart failure dogs face. This occurs when the mitral valve of a dog’s heart gets weaker. It then fails to open and close properly, causing a lack of blood flow. Left untreated, a dog’s heart will fail.
Sick sinus syndrome effects a dog’s sinus node. This causes the heart to beat irregularly. Eventually, organ dysfunction occurs, as the dog’s organs aren’t receiving the proper amount of blood.
Pulmonic stenosis is when the blood flow from the heart to the lungs is obstructed. Sometimes, dogs have such a mild case that it goes completely unnoticed. More severe cases can cause heart failure.
Von Willebrand’s disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is a blot clot disorder. This causes excessive bleeding, as the dog’s blood doesn’t clot as it should.
There are two forms of this disease. Type II is most common and will cause a dog to bleed from their nose and gums, or have blood in their urine or stool.
Type I is less common but can be more serious. Dogs either show no symptoms, or the disease is deadly for them. Dogs with no symptoms are still a carrier for the disease and can pass it down if they have puppies.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease happens when a dog’s femur bone deteriorates. This leads to them being unable to use the hind leg that the disease occurs in.
How to Increase Miniature Schnauzer Life Expectancy
There are several ways to increase Miniature Schnauzer lifespan. The best way to tackle any problems is head-on, from the very beginning.
This means going to a reputable breeder. Avoid puppy mills at all costs, and don’t buy from pet stores.
Of course, rescue is a fantastic option as well! We are by no means discouraging that. Just know that when rescuing a dog, you don’t usually know their full medical history.
In a moment, we’ll talk about more things you can do to prolong your dog’s life—those will all apply to rescue pups, or your furry friend already sitting in your home.
Buying From a Breeder
If you are planning on buying a pup from a breeder, you want to make sure you see where it’s been raised. This includes seeing the parents and the rest of the litter.
This way, you can check for red flags and make sure the breeder cares properly for the dogs they’re raising.
Your breeder should also be happy to show you the dogs’ medical history. Parents and pups should all be healthy, with no hereditary diseases that they could pass down. They should be up to date on their vaccines as well.
Choosing a healthy puppy is a great way to increase your Miniature Schnauzer lifespan.
Taking Good Care of Your Pup
The next thing you can do to increase Miniature Schnauzer life expectancy is to keep an eye on them and care for them daily.
A healthy diet, hydration, and proper exercise are just as important for your dog as they are for humans! You also want to keep your dog clean and well-groomed.
Also remember that, often, the first warning signs of a health condition show themselves through changes in behavior. If your dog is acting weird and you can take them to the veterinarian, you might be able to diagnose problems early.
This brings us to our next way to increase your dog’s lifespan. Taking them to the vet regularly. Regular check-ups are the best way of ensuring your dog stays healthy and happy.
While at the vet, you can also keep your pup up to date on their vaccines. And any flea and heartworm preventative they need.
Lastly, show your fur baby lots of love while they’re here!
The Longest Living Miniature Schnauzer
We don’t know for sure who the oldest Miniature Schnauzer in the world is.
One 2010 study documented a Miniature Schnauzer who lived to 18.
However, some Miniature Schnauzers are over 20 years old! So the Miniature Schnauzer lifespan can be huge!
How old is your Miniature Schnauzer?
Want to Learn More about Miniature Schnauzers?
We’ve got plenty more articles for you to take a look at if you’ve enjoyed learning about the Miniature Schnauzer.
Take a look at some of them here:
And, perhaps you’d like to learn what happens when you cross a Miniature Schnauzer with another breed:
References and Resources
- Adams et al. Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2010.
- Angel-Caraza, J. Composition of lower urinary tract stones in canines in Mexico City. Urological Research. 2010.
- Bhalerao et al. Detection of a genetic mutation for myotonia congenita among Miniature Schnauzers and identification of a common carrier ancestor. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2002.
- Grahn et al. Inherited retinal dysplasia and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous in Miniature Schnauzer dogs. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2004.
- Gross et al. Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat: Clinical and Histopathologic Diagnosis. Blackwell Science Ltd. 2005.
- Hannigan, M. A refractory case of schnauzer comedo syndrome. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 1997.
- Milne et al. Epidemiologic features of canine hypothyroidism. The Cornell Veterinarian. 1981.
- Parshall et al. Photoreceptor Dysplasia: An Inherited Progressive Retinal Atrophy of Miniature Schnauzer Dogs. Progress in Veterinary & Comparative Ophthalmology. 1991.
- Xenoulis et al. Chronic Pancreatitis in Dogs and Cats. Compendium. 2008.