How Long Do Dogs Live? Average Life Expectancy of a Dog



How long can a dog live? According to most recent studies, the average lifespan of a dog may have increased in the last 40 years.

Several prestigious research institutes have turned to their scientific studies to try and gather important statistical information to better understand how long a dog lives nowadays, and if dogs live longer now on average.

The average lifespan of our 4-legged friends ranges around 12-13 years, due to some similar factors that allow human beings to have a longer life. These factors include greater attention to quality nutrition, better life conditions and increasingly better veterinary care.

However, it is necessary to know that race and size determine to a great extent the lifespan of a dog. It has been proven that small sized dogs live longer on average, and crossbreeds would have a longer life expectancy than purebreds.

How Long Does a Dog Live? Some Examples

The Chihuahua has become the most long-lived breed. In general, Chihuahuas can easily reach 15 years of age, some even live up to 20 years. The breeds that follow are the Dachshund, and the Poodle, that live 17 years on average or more. Other long-lived breeds are the Shih Tzu, the Yorkshire, and the Pomeranian, that have a long life expectancy compared to other dog breeds.

All of the above mentioned breeds do not weigh more than 8-13 lb (4 to 6 kg). The reasons why larger dogs are not as long-lived as smaller ones can be related to the incidence of heart and osteoarticular disorders, which is more frequent in large-sized dogs, which could influence veterinary medical statistics.

If a medium-sized dog, like the Beagle or the Cocker, lives between 14 and 15 years, a Labrador, a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd may nowadays live between 12-13 years. The average lifespan is shorter when physical proportions are large in the dog breed, for instance the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Newfoundland, or the Great Dane, that barely live around 9-10 years.

How Long Can a Dog Live? Which Disease Can Affect My Dog?

At present, our 4-legged friends can live longer than in the past, since they have a healthier lifestyle. For example, veterinary medicine has significantly contributed to a longer lifespan in dogs; it has improved enormously, providing new diagnostic tools so many diseases can be prevented more effectively.

Thanks to the increasing number of pet owners that are willing to spend considerable amounts of money to keep their dog healthy, the pharmaceutical industry has become more focused on research in the veterinary field, and it has developed innovative and more efficient medicine.

The result is that on average dogs live longer. This has occurred progressively and each day more dogs die due to age-related diseases. A study carried out by the American Kennel Club reveals that the main causes of death in our pets include kidney failure, heart failure and tumors.

This study also claims that the average health of our dogs is very good: from 400 thousand polled dogs, more than 65% of pets had no diseases, and those that had one, included minor health disorders, like dermatitis, and other skin issues, cysts, lipomas, otitis and arthritis.

If you have more doubts, you may consult a licensed vet near your house, who will provide the best assistance and answer all your questions.

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