Do you have a dog, or dogs, at home? If you do, then I’m sure that you want them to live long, and healthy lives, obviously because you love them so much. And, when it comes to knowing just how old your dog is, computing or calculating “dog years” just doesn’t cut anymore these days, because the experts say that a dog’s lifespan may vary with breed and size, along with other factors at play. Read on to learn more interesting facts and figures about dog lifespan.
The Average Lifespan of Dogs
There is actually a lot to know about the dog lifespan. So, if you look at your pup, or senior dog, perhaps you’re wondering how long they will live. Well, to help you accurately estimate this, we asked a couple of canine experts to determine the average lifespan of dogs.
For starters, the experts say that a dog’s average lifespan is between 10 to 13 years, although it may vary among dog breeds and sizes. As a species, the domestic god is diverse in size, build and appearance, thanks to human intervention. Thus, it comes as no surprise that there are major differences in the lifespan of a Labrador to a Great Dane or Chihuahua.
In general, smaller dog breeds often live longer than larger dog breeds. The reason for this is not well-established though, but normally smaller mammal species often have shorter lifespans as compared to larger ones.
One possible reason might be that common medical conditions which larger dogs acquire as they age, like mobility issues or incontinence, may be a bit harder to manage in larger dogs, and may eventually lead to euthanasia soon.
Genetics also plays a major role in a dog’s life expectancy. For instance, pure-bred dogs are at higher risk for certain hereditary diseases because they are bred by other dogs with similar genes.
Mic-breed dogs also have a reduced risk of these types of diseases, which likely contributes to their increased lifespan. Certain dog breeds are also bred purposefully to have traits or characteristics which, as an unfortunate result, may also lead to shorter lifespans.
For example, the English Bulldog is believed to be more prone to respiratory-related death or heat stroke because of their small trachea. Oh, how sad, I really wanted to have an English Bulldog.
Small Dogs – How Long Do They Live?
Now, let’s focus the discussion of dog lifespan from a more specific size or breed of dog. Like, for smaller dogs, these often tend to have the longest lifespan, which averages 10 to 15 years.
However, as these long-life dogs age, they become more prone to kidney, liver and adrenal diseases or conditions, including degenerative heart disease. Smaller dogs are also quite prone to dental diseases, which can further complicate other illnesses.
Among the smaller dogs, Chihuahuas live an average of 14 to 16 years. The Pomeranian lives an average of 12 to 16 years, while the Yorkshire Terrier lives form 11 to 15 years, and the Parson Russel Terrier lives from 13 to 15 years.
The Lifespan of Medium-Sized Dogs
Now, let’s look at the lifespan of medium-sized dogs. These types of dogs usually align more with the overall dog lifespan of 10 to 13 years. However, some medium-sized dogs can live much longer. Like, the oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived up to 29 years old.
The lifespans of medium-sized dogs, as well as the diseases that may affect them, usually vary from breed to breed. For example, the venerable Bulldog is often plagued with a host of health issues because of their snub-nose design, while the active, hardworking Australian Shepherd has lesser genetic diseases, and they can also live up to 15 years or more.
Among the popular medium-sized dogs and their lifespans include the French Bulldog, which lives from 10 to 12 years. The Cocker Spaniel loves from 10 to 14 years, while the Boxer lives form 10 to 12 years.
The Lifespan of Larger Dogs
Now, let’s discuss the lifespan of larger dogs. Large-breed dogs have a slightly shorter lifespan as compared to medium breed dogs at 9 to 12 years. However, these lifespans are greatly affected by breed.
As larger dogs get much larger, they’re more likely to be affected by hard-to-manage conditions like arthritis, along with certain types of cancers. The more popular breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Golden Retriever are particularly prone to cancer.
Here’s the lifespan for a number of popular larger breed dogs: The Rottweiler lives from 10 to 12 years, the Belgian Malinois lives from 14 to 16 years, and the Bernese Mountain Dog lives from 7 to 10 years.
The Lifespan of Giant Dogs
Now, let’s take a peek at how giant-breed dogs live. Well, the sad thing is that these types of dogs have the shortest average lifespan, from 8 to 10 years. Like, the Great Dane is often considered a senior pet, perhaps given the wear and tear that their joints experience.
Giant breed dogs are also far more prone to neurologic diseases and cancer as compared to smaller dogs. Like, the venerable Irish Wolfhound lives from 6 to 8 years on average, while the Newfoundland lives an average of 9 to 10 years, and the Saint Bernard lives from 8 to 10 years.
So, regardless of what type of dog breed you own or love, how do you help them live longer? Well, for starters you need to do your research. Because topics like dog lifespan can be breed-dependent, if you’re interested in a certain breed, you need to carefully research, as well as select a responsible breeder who’s invested in their dog’s health and wellness.
A responsible dog breeder will also test their dogs for common diseases, like they’ll do health screening and genetic tests. Knowing the lifespan and health concern or issue of your puppy’s relatives will greatly help in allowing you to make an informed decision on which dog breed to own, and how to best care for them.