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Average Dog Lifespan - How Long Will My Dog Live
Determine How Long Dogs Live
Because we love our pets so much, we never want to lose them, but unfortunately, dogs do not have the same lifespan as humans. Now, there are many factors that will determine if your dog will outlive you or not, but in general, your dog just won't live as long as you.
It can be hard to pinpoint the average lifespan that your dog will have, but you can look at it in terms of the factors that determine how long your dog will live.
- What breed of dog is it?
- What size dog is it? How much does it weigh?
- What gender dog is it?
- How is the overall quality of life and care?
Unfortunately, you'll never be able to do enough research to find the dog that will live the longest, as each dog, no matter what breed or size the dog, is different. Some dogs live longer than others.
Aging is hard to determine, so the best that you can do is consider the factors, as breeds and even individual dogs will age at different rates.
Factors that Affect a Dog's Lifespan
On average, smaller dogs live longer than larger dogs. About 40% of small breeds live past 10 years, where only 13% of large dogs live past 10.
In general, you want to look at the weight, not the height of the dog. A study of over 700 dogs and 77 breeds, proved that dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds will live the longest. Your average medium to large size dog, weighing about 50 pounds will average a lifespan of about 10 to 12 years. The giant breeds, such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, etc. will tend to average about 6 to 8 years.
In general, you can expect smaller dog breeds to live longer than your large and extra large dogs.
On average, female dogs tend to live longer than males. Generally, there isn't that big of a difference, but the numbers do show females live longer.
Breed of the dog tends to affect the lifespan, as well, especially in regards to purebred dogs versus mix breed dogs. This one is pretty simple, but many breeders will probably want to contest it.
Mix breed dogs live longer.
Pure breed dogs tend to have a long list of health problems that will shorten their lifespan. Different breeds have different common illnesses, diseases, and cancers, but in general purebred dogs tend to be more inbred, which can cause health issues bred through generations. In many cases, when breeders breed for specific traits, they tend to enhance them to a detrimental quality (Bulldogs and Pekingese are prone to having respiratory problems caused by constant selective breeding for the more squished face).
In general, mix breed dogs do not suffer inbreeding, and tend to be healthier and have longer lifespans.
You can carefully choose a reputable dog breeder and thoroughly comb through their dog's pedigrees, but even still, you have more health concerns with purebred dogs than you will have with mix breeds.
Plus, always consider the breed, even the breeds within the mix.
Breeds do have common health issues, such as cancer which kills about
42% of dogs; hip dysplasia in larger dogs which can cause lameness;
respiratory concerns in flat-faced dogs causing overheating and death;
heart conditions; recurrent ear and eye conditions; kidney conditions;
and various bone and muscle conditions.
If you have your heart set on a pure bred dog, do your research.
Know the health risks, and find a breeder who doesn't have common breed
problems in their line.
- Overall Health and Conditions
gender, and breed are all big factors that play into part in the
lifespan of the dog, but do also consider your hand in the dog's life.
Consider the food that you feed your dog; are you feeding a poor quality
food or a high quality food? Do you offer table scraps? Are you
regularly exercising your dog? Does your dog get regular trips to the
vet? Do you groom your dog (yes, grooming is important)?
Healthier dogs, live longer lives.
Lifespan by Dog Breed
Each dog breed has its own average lifespan, and although each individual dog will be different, based on health, genetics, and overall quality of life, below is a list of the average lifespan for 2008's most popular dogs.
- Beagle- 12 to 14 years
- Boston Terrier- 15 years
- Boxer- 11 to 14 years
- Bulldog- 10 to 12 years
- Chihuahua- 15 years or more
- Dachshund- 12 to 14 years
- Doberman Pinscher- 10 to 12 years
- German Shepherd- 10 to 14 years
- German Shorthaired Pointer- 12 to 15 years
- Golden Retriever- 10 to 12 years
- Labrador Retriever- 10 to 14 years
- Maltese- 15 years or more
- Miniature Schnauzer- 15 years or more
- Pomeranian- 13 to 15 years
- Poodle- 10 to 15 years
- Pug- 12 to 15 years
- Rottweiler- 10 to 12 years
- Shih Tzu- 11 to 15 years
- Shetland Sheepdog- 12 to 14 years
- Yorkshire Terrier- 12 to 15 years
Calculating a Dog's Age
We've always heard that 1 dog year is equivalent to 7 human years, but that's not 100 percent true. Like people dogs age at different rates, some may be more than 7 human years, whereas others may be less. If you really think about it, 1 dog year and a dog is nearly fully grown, whereas children are still growing at 7 and have a long way until they're near adults. So, 1 dog year, in some breeds, may be more equivalent to 15 to 18 years of a human. Some dogs are fully grown and in their adult bodies, at 9 months, which definitely isn't equivalent to a 7 year old child.
In general, dogs vary in how they age, especially in regards to human years. There are many factors that determine a dog's lifespan and human year equivalency, but you can get an average estimate from the chart below. The chart is based on the dog's weight.
Calculate Your Dog's Age to Human Years
How to Estimate a Dog's Age - How Old is My Dog?
Sometimes when you adopt a dog or you find a stray, it can be hard to 100 percent determine how old the dog may be. Without knowing the birthday and the previous owner, it can be hard to determine anything to be exact, but you can still make an estimate as to the dog's age using the condition of the dog's teeth.
You'll find each dog is different, and the previous dental care will make a big difference on how the teeth appear, but you can make a general estimate based on the wear and tartar build-up.
- By 8 weeks- Pup will have baby teeth.
- By 7 months- Pup will have all permanent teeth; white and clean.
- 1-2 years- Teeth will be duller; the back teeth may have some yellowing.
- 3-5 years- Tartar build-up across all teeth; some teeth will show wear.
- 5-10 years- Teeth show more wear and signs of dental disease.
- 10-15 years- Teeth will be worn with heavy tartar build-up; possibility of some missing teeth.