Owning a dog has lots of benefits. From keeping you fit and active to improving your social life! Choosing your new friend is really exciting whether you adopt from a shelter, go through a rescue group, or contact a breeder. You’ll need to consider all sorts of things as you’ll want him to have a life with you. Before you make your final choice, look at how long do dogs live? Dog breeds and life expectancy here…
Life Expectancy Factors
The average lifespan of a dog is 11-12 years and is determined by:
- Size: small dogs can live for several years longer than larger dogs
- Breed: some breeds of dog will live considerably longer for a variety of reasons
- Genetics: these are determined before birth and can predispose dogs to certain inherited diseases
- General health: regular vet care will ensure your dog stays as healthy as possible
- Lifestyle and care: proper diet and exercise will increase expected lifespan
Your Dog’s Well-Being
To keep your dog in tip-top condition you need to regularly consult your vet. Together you’ll be able to choose the proper nutrition, put in place any preventative care and treatments, and discuss the amount of exercise needed for ultimate health. Maintain a proper dental care routine to avoid poor dental health.
Making sure that vaccinations are kept up to date is essential. As are worming and flea treatments. If you’re aware of any breed-related diseases then know the symptoms so that you can get them treated early. Sadly, congenital and inherited abnormalities aren’t always predictable.
Very overweight dogs can have their lifespan reduced by up to two weeks as obesity puts added stress on bones. And increases the risk of diabetes and pancreatitis. It’s also responsible for heart and breathing problems. A healthy weight will make sure all these risks are reduced and your dog will live out his full life expectancy.
Your Dog’s Lifestyle
It’s a fact that dogs who are cared for properly stay healthier and live longer. Training is vital to help prevent accidents. Commands that are instantly obeyed can eliminate traffic or other potentially dangerous incidents.
Early deaths in dogs that are under two are most often due to trauma, infectious diseases, or cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death, particularly in large breeds, and symptoms include lumps, swellings, and weight loss. Trauma includes fights and car accidents which can be avoided with adequate supervision. You can limit the risk of your dog contracting a fatal disease with appropriate vaccines.
Crossbreed dogs have a longer lifespan than inbred dogs that can potentially carry genes for illness. Spaying and neutering can also positively affect a dog’s lifespan. Cancers affecting the reproductive organs can be reduced, and not having litters of puppies reduces stress.
You can increase your dog’s life expectancy with some specific food items. Unsweetened yoghurt can improve gastrointestinal systems. Fish oils can boost immunity, promote a healthy heart, and combats inflammation. Coconut oil helps with skin ailments. And glucosamine and chondroitin both improve joint health.
Your Dog’s Age
Depending on the breed large and giants are considered to be seniors when they’re five. Medium dogs don’t reach old age until they’re seven. And small breeds reach seniority around 10. Converting a dog’s age into human years is no longer as simple as multiplying by seven!
13 Long-Living Breeds
If your big dog is healthy and taken care of well, the life expectancy will be for at least 10 years. Typically, a medium size dog can live up to 13 years, and smaller dogs up to 17 years. There are always exceptions and the following is a general guide…
How long do Labradors live? The Labrador retriever lifespan is around 12 years. As is the Golden Retriever lifespan.
The German Shepherd lifespan is on average 11 years.
How long do pugs live? Around 12 years is the average life expectancy.
A Border collie lifespan is expected to be around 13 years.
How long do Jack Russells live? The average Jack Russell lifespan is 16 years.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
How long do staffies live? The expected age is 13 years.
The Shih Tzu lifespan is 15 years on average.
The Great Dane lifespan tends to be on average 8-10 years.
A Chihuahua lifespan is on average 17 years.
A Husky lifespan can range from 12-15 years.
The Rottweiler lifespan is between 10-12 years.
The average Beagle lifespan is 15 years.
Longest Living Dogs
The oldest dog in the world was Maggie – an Australian Kelpie who lived for 30 years. She can’t be officially recorded as such because her owner didn’t have any paperwork to verify her age. So, the oldest dog on record is Bluey – an Australian Cattle Dog who died at the age of 29 years and five months. Both dogs lived happily and healthily on farms.
Signs of Ageing
Identifying the signs of ageing in your dog can be very useful as you can discuss with your vet whether diet and exercise need to be changed. There are common signs to look for and these include:
- Sleeping more often and sleeping deeply
- A change in behaviour that includes confusion and dementia
- Health issues like arthritis which makes getting up difficult
- Weight loss or weight gain caused by a change in your dog’s metabolic rate
- Urinating more often which can be a sign of kidney-related health problems
- Lumps that are fatty and are often benign
- Reluctance to play and run around with a general lethargic attitude
When It’s Time to Let Go
As much as you would love your dog to live forever there may come a time when you have to make a heart-breaking decision. Old age often brings health issues which may cause your dog to suffer. Dog euthanasia at home may be the gentle solution you’re looking for.
End-of-life care practitioners understand the need to provide you with all the help and support you need. And your dog will spend his final hours in familiar surroundings held by you. You’ll be able to say goodbye as he passes peacefully away.