Your pup is your best friend. Maybe you adopted her when she was just a wee puppy. Or, perhaps he came into your life as an older dog whose broken heart you fixed. However, wherever, and whenever your dog came into your family, you treasure every moment and, during those quiet times, may lament that a dog’s life is never long enough.
Loving a dog means knowing that his lifespan is so much shorter than ours – but, how long do most dogs live? Well, it all depends on several factors, including:
Health is important
Is your dog healthy? Or, does she have a chronic condition – such as an enlarged heart or canine diabetes – that requires careful monitoring and regular medication? A healthy dog can live as long as is normal for the breed or even longer. Did you know that one of the oldest living dogs was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey? He lived an incredible 29 years.
It’s all in the breed
How long your pooch may live also depends a lot upon his breed. Some breeds, especially those that are larger, tend to live much shorter lives than smaller breeds, which we will talk about in a minute. Some of the breeds with the longest lifespan include the Dachshund (12 to 14 years), the Labrador Retriever (10 to 12 years), the Maltese (14 years), the Poodle (12 to 15 years), and the Yorkshire Terrier (14 to 16 years).
As we just mentioned, larger breeds tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds. The reason isn’t really known. Some veterinary experts believe large breeds age faster because the aging process begins earlier while others point out that large breeds may just be more likely to suffer from a fatal injury or illness during their lives. Getting your dog the proper veterinary care – at the right time of his life – could play a key role in a healthier life. Smaller dogs generally begin senior care at 11 years of age while large dogs begin at seven years of age.
How to increase your dog’s lifespan
Sometimes there is nothing you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy for many years. Illness creeps up. Genetics play a role in longevity. However, you can ensure your dog lives as long as possible by taking him to the vet regularly, feeding him a proper diet, and making sure he gets plenty of exercise.