What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Dog?


Calculating "dog years" doesn't cut it anymore when it comes to determining your dog's age—studies reveal that a dog's life expectancy can vary greatly depending on breed and size, and there are additional factors at work that we don't completely understand.

There's a lot to learn about the lifespan of a dog. So, if you've ever wondered, "How long do dogs live?" look no further. Here's how you estimate—and how to make sure your dearest pal lives as long as possible.

The Life Expectancy of a Dog

Dogs have an average life span of 10-13 years, though this varies depending on breed and size. Because of human involvement, the domestic dog has become tremendously diversified in size, build, and look. So it's no surprise that the life spans of a Chihuahua and a Great Dane differ significantly.

In general, smaller dog breeds outlive larger dog breeds. The reason for this is unknown; smaller animal species often have shorter life spans than larger ones. One probable explanation is that common medical disorders that dogs develop as they age (such as incontinence and movement impairments) may be more difficult to handle in larger dogs, resulting in euthanasia earlier. There appear to be some variances in the types of ailments encountered by various breed sizes.

Genetics also play a significant effect in dog life expectancy. Because they are bred by other dogs with comparable genes, purebred dogs are more susceptible to specific genetic disorders. Mixed-breed dogs are less prone to contract certain diseases, which presumably contributes to their longer lifespan.

Certain breeds are also purposely designed to have characteristics that, unfortunately, may result in shorter life spans. Because of their short trachea, brachycephalic dogs, such as the English Bulldog, are more prone to heatstroke and respiratory-related fatalities.

" Dogs have an average life span of 10-13 years, though this varies depending on breed and size. "

How Old Are Small Dogs?

Small-breed dogs typically live the longest, averaging 10-15 years. However, as these long-lived dogs get older, they become more susceptible to liver, kidney, and adrenal disease, as well as degenerative heart disease. Small dogs are also more susceptible to dental disease, which can exacerbate other ailments.

Here are the typical life spans of some popular small dog breeds:

  • Chihuahua: 14–16 years
  • Pomeranian: 12–16 years
  • Yorkshire Terrier: 11–15 years
  • Parson Russell Terrier: 13–15 years

How Old Are Medium-Sized Dogs?

Medium-sized dogs have a longer life span than the typical dog, which is 10-13 years. However, certain medium-sized dogs can survive for a very long time; the oldest dog on record was a Rafeiro do Alentejo named Bobi, who is 30 years old and counting!

Life durations and diseases of concern in medium-sized dogs vary with breed. Because of their snub-nose form, bulldogs are frequently afflicted with health concerns, whereas the diligent Australian Shepherd has fewer genetic illness predispositions and can live to be 15 or older.

Here are the typical life spans of some popular medium-sized dog breeds:

  • French Bulldog: 10–12 years
  • Cocker Spaniel: 10–14 years
  • Bulldog: 8–10 years
  • Boxer: 10–12 years

How Old Are Large Dogs?

Large-breed dogs have a somewhat shorter life expectancy than medium-breed dogs, ranging from 9 to 12 years. Again, the breed has a significant impact on these life lengths.

Larger dogs are more prone to develop difficult-to-manage arthritis and some types of cancer. Popular breeds such as the Golden Retriever and the Bernese Mountain Dog are predisposed to cancer.

Here are the typical life spans of some prominent giant dog breeds:

  • Golden Retriever: 10-12 years.
  • Rottweiler: 9-10 years.
  • Belgian Malinois: 14-16 years.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: 7-10 years.

How Long Do Giant Dogs Live?

The typical life expectancy of giant-breed dogs is 8-10 years. Due to the wear and tear on their joints, a 6-year-old Great Dane is considered a senior pet. Giant breeds are also significantly more susceptible to bone tumors and neurologic illnesses than smaller canines.

Here are some popular giant dog breeds and their average life spans:

  • Great Dane: 7–10 years
  • Irish Wolfhound: 6–8 years
  • Newfoundland: 9–10 years
  • Saint Bernard: 8–10 years

How to Make Your Dog Live a Longer Life?

Conduct your research

Because dog life durations are so breed-dependent, if you're interested in a specific breed, do your homework thoroughly and choose a trustworthy breeder that cares about their dogs' health. Responsible breeders will test their breeding dogs for common disorders (for many common issues, both health screening and genetic tests are available). Knowing your puppy's relatives' life spans and health issues will help you make an informed decision.

While mixed-breed dogs may live longer than some breeds, several designer breeds (such as Goldendoodles and Labradoodles) that were designed to be healthier are now developed to the point where they have their own set of concerns. As a result, these breeders must adhere to the same requirements.

Mixed-breed dogs from shelters sometimes have a varied enough lineage to avoid the same problems as designer breeds. However, because breed-specific illnesses can still occur, it may be worthwhile for pet parents to DNA test their shelter pup, as many of these DNA tests check for indications that your dog has the genes for common diseases. So, by learning more about your dog's background, you can anticipate some potential concerns.

Follow the advice of your veterinarian.

It's critical to follow your veterinarian's preventative health advice. Vaccinations, together with location-specific flea, tick, and heartworm treatment, will protect your pet from communicable infections.

Annual testing for intestinal and blood parasites should be performed. Consult your veterinarian about routine bloodwork panels to assess the health of your liver, kidneys, and bone marrow. Establishing baselines in young dogs and reviewing them annually as they age can help you detect diseases early when they are more manageable. Keep in mind that older dogs should undergo extra testing as they age to rule out any additional age-related illnesses.

Some breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, may benefit from routine imaging (X-rays and ultrasounds) to monitor for specific types of cancer as they age.

Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Dog

A healthy weight is vital for a dog's longevity. A Labrador Retriever study discovered that dogs kept in a healthy body condition survived two years longer than their overweight counterparts.

Feed your dog in precise portions and track rewards and snacks so you can alter their consumption as their metabolism changes. If you're not sure if your dog is at a healthy weight, ask your veterinarian.

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