Studies show the lifespan of a dog can be affected by breed, size, and other factors.
You can learn a great deal about dog life expectancy. If you’ve ever wondered “how long dogs live” and how to ensure that your dog is as healthy as possible, here are some tips on how to estimate.
The average dog’s life expectancy
Dogs live an average of 10-13 years. However, there are variations in breeds and sizes. Domestic dogs are incredibly varied in terms of size, appearance, and build. This is due to human influence. It’s not surprising that a Great Dane has a longer lifespan than a Chihuahua.
In general, smaller dog breeds live longer than larger dog breeds. It is unclear why this happens. Normally, smaller mammals have shorter lives than bigger ones. It is possible that larger dogs are more likely to succumb to common conditions as they grow older (such as mobility and incontinence issues). This could lead to earlier euthanasia. It seems that there are also differences between the types and illnesses suffered by various breeds.
The genetics of dogs also plays a major role. Purebreds are at greater risk of hereditary disease because their genes are similar to those in other purebreds. Mix-breeds have less of a risk for these hereditary diseases. This may contribute to the longer lifespan of mixed-breed dogs. Some breeds have been bred with traits which, unfortunately, can also result in a shorter lifespan. Brachycephalic Dogs, such as the English Bulldog have a smaller trachea and are therefore more susceptible to Heatstroke or respiratory-related death.
Dogs can live between 10 and 13 years on average, but there are variations in breeds and size.
How long do small dogs live?
The average lifespan of small-breed dogs is 10-15 years. As these dogs get older, they become more susceptible to heart, liver and kidney disease. Small dogs can also be prone to Dental Disease which may complicate other diseases.
The average life expectancy of some small dogs breeds is listed below:
- Chihuahua: 14-16 years
- Pomeranian: 12-16 years
- Yorkshire Terrier: between 11-15 years
- Parson Russ Terrier: between 13-15 years
How long do medium-sized dogs live?
The average lifespan for dogs is 10-13 years. Some medium-sized dogs live very long lives. The longest dog ever recorded is a Rafeiro de Alentejo named Bobi. He’s now 30 years old!
Breeds vary in their lifespans and the diseases that are of most concern to them. The snub nose of the Bulldog can cause health problems. However, Australian Shepherds, who are hard workers, have fewer disease predispositions. They may live up to 15 years old.
The average life expectancy of some medium-sized dog breeds is listed below:
- French Bulldog: 12-14 years
- Cocker Spaniel: between 10-14 years
- Bulldog: 8-10 Years
- Boxer:10-12 year
How long do large dogs live?
The average lifespan of large-breeds is 9-12 years, which is slightly less than that of medium-breeds. These lifespans vary greatly by breed.
Dogs that are larger tend to have more cancer and joint problems. Breeds such as the Golden Retriever or Bernese Mountain Dog, which are popular breeds, have a higher risk of cancer.
The average life expectancy of some large dog breeds is listed below:
- Golden Retrievers:10-12 Years
- Rottweiler : 9-10 years
- Belgian Malinois: between 14-16 years
- Bernese Mountain Dogs: 7-10 Years
How long do giant dogs live?
The average life expectancy of giant breeds is 8-10 years. A 6-year-old Great Dane, due to the joint wear and tear, is regarded as a senior dog. The giant breeds also have a higher risk of cancers of the bones, and neurological diseases.
The average life expectancy of some large dogs breeds is listed below:
- Great Danes: 7-10 years
- Irish Wolfhound: 6- 8 years
- Newfoundland: 9-10 Years
- Saint Bernard: 8-10 Years
What you can do to help your dog live longer
Do Your Research
Breed-dependent lifespans make it important for you to do your research and find a breeder who is committed to the health of their dogs. Breeders who are responsible will screen their dogs for diseases that affect the breed (for many issues, both health screenings and genetic testing is available). You can make an educated decision if you know the health and lifespan of your pup’s parents.
Although mixed-breed dogs live longer, some designer breeds like Labradoodles or Goldendoodles were originally created for their health benefits. However, they have now been bred so much that many of them are plagued with specific problems. These breeders are held to the exact same standard.
Shelter dogs are often mixed breeds, and their pedigree is sufficiently variable to not carry the same risk as designer dog breeds. It is worth it for parents of shelter dogs to do a DNA test, because there are still breed-specific diseases that can occur. Many DNA tests also check for signs your dog may have the genetics for certain common illnesses. By knowing your dog’s history, you will be able to anticipate certain issues.
Please follow your vet’s advice
Follow your vet’s recommendations for preventative care. The vaccination, as well as the location-appropriate flea and tick prevention, will protect your pet from communicable disease.
Annual testing should include intestinal and blood tests. Your veterinarian can also discuss routine bloodwork to test the health of your dog’s liver, kidney and bone marrow. You can detect diseases earlier by establishing baselines for young dogs, and then checking them every year as they age. Senior dogs will need more tests as they get older to detect any age-related problems.
As dogs age, some breeds like Golden Retrievers may require routine imaging, such as X-rays or ultrasounds to detect certain cancers.
Maintain a healthy weight for your dog
For a dog to live a long life, it is important that they maintain a healthy weight. In a study on Labrador Retrievers, it was found that Labrador Retrievers with a healthy weight lived two years more than those who were overweight.
You can adjust your intake to suit the changes in metabolism by feeding them measured meals. You can ask your vet if you’re not sure if your dog has a healthy body weight.