How Long Do Dogs Live?

Older golden retriever

Dog ownership is a lifelong endeavor, and as most of those who have owned pets will attest, no one thinks of how long their canine friends will live. Most of the time, you all you think of is how cute or adorable the dog is – especially if brought to the house as a puppy, as well as making sure that everything the dog would love to chew is not kept out of sight. On a more serious note, these furry friends provide companionship, unconditional love and smiles even much more than human friends. So, their lifespan becomes a cause for concern at times.

The question “how long do dogs live” is no doubt an intriguing one. Let’s see how we can answer this question.

The life expectancy of a dog is affected by several factors which include:

  • The dog’s breed
  • Environment
  • Its body size
  • Weight
  • Diet
  • Heredity, etc.

As a rule, the smaller the sizes of the dogs, the longer its lifespan and vice versa. Chihuahuas may live up to sixteen years while a dog like Border collie is expected to live up to thirteen years. Great Danes are known to live for seven to eight years. According to a recent study outlined by veterinary records which can be found in the State of Pet Health 2013 Report, dogs that are more than ninety pounds in weight get to live just eight years. Dogs under twenty pounds have an average life expectancy of about eleven years.

Two older golden retrievers

The bodies of large dogs typically work harder than that of smaller dogs. Another factor that also affects the lifespan of a dog is its heredity. For instance, the inbred characteristics of purebred dogs enable them to maintain purebred stock. But some purebreds tend to have unique health issues which play significant roles in their lifespan. Great Danes are known to suffer from heart problems while Shepherd Dogs usually develop hip dysplasia as they grow older.

However, despite the health issue, size, sex, etc. of a dog, the average lifespan of a dog is 11-12 years.

The diet your dog is used to can also affect its lifespan. When your dog is obese or overweight because of its food, it could promote several health problems such as metabolic syndrome, cancer or even cardiovascular issues. Keeping your dog as slim and fit as possible can prolong its lifespan.

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