A pet dog’s longevity is of interest to any responsible owner because every owner wants his pet to live as long as possible. Different breeds have different lifespans, but we should not rule out the influence of certain external factors in any case. What exactly is worth paying attention to in this case and how to prolong the animal’s life – that’s what follows.
- Life duration table
- What affects the longevity of a dog
- Food and average dog lifespan
- Conditions of detention
- Stressful situations
- Diseases (genetic and acquired)
- Dog size
- Castration and sterilization
- Human to dog age ratio
- How to prolong a dog’s life
- Long-lived dog breeds
Life duration table
There is a perception that small-breed dogs live relatively more extended than their large congeners, which is undoubtedly true. The average dog lifespan of the most famous breeds is given in the table below.
Dogs Average life expectancy
|Poodles, Chihuahua, German spitzes, French Bologna||15-17|
|Argentine dogs, Yorkshire Terriers||13-15|
|German sheepdogs, Huskies, Spaniels||10-14|
|Caucasian shepherds, Rottweilers||9-11|
|English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs||8-10|
|Bordeaux and German dogs, English Mastiffs||7-8|
A pedigree dog’s average life expectancy is usually higher than that of one of the listed breeds, but this is only possible with a good life and quality care, which most mongrels can only dream of. They are indeed less susceptible to disease, but poor nutrition, frequent hypothermia, and constant stress prevent them from living longer than 10-12 years. Unfortunately, this is true for mongrels and for pets kept on chains or in enclosures as a working guard dog, not as a family friend.
What affects the longevity of a dog
The timing of a dog’s life is determined by internal and external factors. In addition to assessing the quality of care provided to a particular pet, it is worth examining its breed predisposition to certain diseases. In any case, there will always be several essential criteria for evaluation.
Food and average dog lifespan
The main requirement for a pet’s diet is its maximum balance in vitamin and mineral composition and the number of live births. This is mandatory given the age of the pet. Insufficient variety or complete nutrition threatens to disrupt internal organs’ activity and slow down growth and development, especially in growing up animals. Salty, fried, and spicy food from the owner’s table is a taboo for domestic dogs. In addition to the risk of urinary stone disease and stomach problems, such food can easily cause obesity and, as a result – cardiovascular diseases and joint diseases.
Important! Feeding your dog dry food cannot be combined with natural food. An animal’s digestive system cannot quickly change from one type of food to another, which means that diarrhea, flatulence, or stomach pain may occur.
When choosing finished dry food, give preference to premium products, even if they are not well-known manufacturers. Economy options are usually not as well balanced in terms of vitamin and mineral composition. If your dog eats natural food, ‘on the bones’ porridge alone will not be enough.
It is also recommended to give the animal raw or boiled vegetables, raw meat, cottage cheese, kefir, and eggs. Also, particular vitamin and mineral food additives will be useful, which is based on the age and general needs of the specific animal.
Some pets need calcium and phosphorus to grow and strengthen their bone system. In contrast, others will need additives that help improve the appearance of wool.
A healthy dog should eat as much as possible, so it is essential to pay attention to the bowl’s leftover food. It is advisable to feed the animal at the same time, cleaning the dishes immediately after meals. If there is food left in it, it is worth reducing the portion the next time you feed it.
Over-nutrition threatens the dog with obesity and all related problems, and malnutrition will harm growth and overall development. An animal that is regularly undernourished looks skinny may be smaller than its peers and often has a bad character.
Conditions of detention
The conditions in which a pet dog is kept have a direct impact on its health and its longevity. When organizing your pet’s place of residence, make sure there are no drafts, and don’t forget that your pet should not sleep on the cold concrete floor.
If your dog lives outside, he will need a warm box and a canopy where he can shelter himself from the heat of summer, rain, and snow during the cold season. The flat has a sun lounger away from the front door and the heaters, preferably in a place where there is the smallest crowd.
In addition to the possibility of overcooling or overheating, the pet is at risk of diseases associated with constant stress, so the dog must have the opportunity to rest in silence. To meet health and hygiene requirements and prevent parasitic and bacterial diseases, it is advisable to wash your pet’s bedding at least once every few months, always disinfecting the resting area once a season.
Regular walking with moderate exercise is considered an important part of keeping your dog correctly. Suppose a pet is continuously locked in an enclosure or sitting on a leash, only occasionally walking. In that case, it is hardly possible to talk about its good health and full development.
When kept indoors or in an aviary, a pet should be walked at least twice a day to ensure optimal activity, allowing it to run for at least an hour each time. It is okay if the dog can run freely on the site, but you should not forget to walk outside the site.
Did you know? The first three months of a puppy’s life are the most important ones in shaping his attachment to humans. If an animal does not see people during this time, it will remain wild forever.
The unfavorable environmental situation in the region has a negative impact not only on people but also on animals living in the area. Dogs regularly walking in industrial areas with high radioactive background levels are more likely to encounter oncology than their relatives from more favorable locations.
Malignant neoplasms are the main reason for the reduction in animal life expectancy.
Stress is as destructive for dogs as it is for humans. Different pets treat the same irritants differently. The fact that some animals are not disturbed can be a severe cause of depression for others. For example, small breeders are more attached to their owners and feel more acutely neglected by them.
For this reason, it is so important to pet them and play with them regularly. However, the same applies to animals who are tied up or locked up all day long. Without human contact, the pet changes’ psyche, and a good-natured animal becomes more and more an angry and aggressive dog.
Other stress factors usually include sharp and loud noises (especially clapping), visits to the vet, and trips in the car. Also, many dogs start to worry when a new pet or family member arrives, leading them to give up food for a long time and avoid the human company.
Diseases (genetic and acquired)
Many pedigree dogs are prone to various genetic diseases, the signs of which appear in the most appropriate conditions. For example, brachycephalous breeds (pets with short faces: bulldogs, pugs, Pekinese) often suffer from respiratory system disorders, which lead to cardiovascular pathologies.
The Dachshunds often have spinal diseases, and large breeds are often diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
Special genetic tests help to determine an animal’s susceptibility to a particular disease. Suppose you request their results from the breeder in time. In that case, it is possible to avoid buying a sick puppy (the stricter the requirements for a particular breed, the greater the likelihood of genetic disorders).
It is also possible to prevent the development of the problem by following simple preventive measures: not walking a pug in hot weather and taking a taxi when you come downstairs. Timely vaccination of pets and regular check-ups by a veterinarian can help protect animals from common viral and infectious diseases. This will extend the life of your pet for 2-3 years.
Pregnancy is always characterized by additional strain on the female body. Still, it does not in itself cause adverse consequences, exceptionally if the pet is well cared for. Having puppies is a natural process, and many girls benefit by adjusting their hormonal background.
Problems arise only because of complications in the birthing process, especially if there has been a C-section or genital rupture due to a large fetuses’ birth. In the latter case, it is usually the case of small dogs, who should preferably undergo a comprehensive examination before giving birth.
Suppose the owner is planning to breed a particular breed of dog. In that case, it is advisable to select the most enormous individuals from the litter, providing them with quality care and adequate nutrition in the future.
It takes at least 1 year for a dog to fully recover from childbirth. Frequent pregnancies with hormonal changes that are characteristic of them pose serious problems. Each new litter will produce weaker puppies.
Important! You must not allow puppies to be born from intimate relationships. Such babies are more likely to adopt the breed characteristics of their parents, but at the same time, the probability of genetic diseases in the future increases significantly.
Strangely enough, the size of an animal directly affects its longevity. For example, representatives of small breeds live slightly longer than their large congeners, which is explained by the speed of their bodies’ main processes. For instance, bologna can live up to 20 years, while wolfhounds or English bulldogs rarely surpass the 8-10 year mark.
Because of their high weight, large pets have a higher load on their musculoskeletal system and heart, but their joints are the first to suffer. To minimize the possibility of undesirable effects, it is essential from puppy age that giant babies are given particular vitamin and mineral supplements to help them fully develop and strengthen their skeletons.
Castration and sterilization
Domestic dogs’ neutering and spaying is the best solution when it is not necessary to breed a particular breed. Not typical or too frequent births have a negative impact on the pet’s health, not to mention the need to determine where the puppies will live.
If the animals have no pedigree value, it is wise to prevent the appearance of unwanted offspring. Of the favorable properties of male dog neutering and bitch sterilization, they are less likely to develop cancer and have a longer lifespan.
Other factors that directly affect the longevity of pets include the level of pet education. Suppose an animal listens to its owner and reacts immediately to commands like ‘cannot’ or ‘to me’. In that case, the risk of getting into dangerous situations is reduced.
Human to dog age ratio
Dogs live fewer people, which is due to the increased speed of developing all their body processes. One human life is equated to seven years as a dog, but this calculation is averaged. In the first 2-3 years of a young pet’s life, all its organs grow very quickly, which can only be seen by weighing the animal. If you break down the two years into separate stages, you get the following picture:
- from two months to six months, the dog lives for seven standard human years;
- from six months onwards, the increase in it is slightly slowed down, and eight-month-old puppies are equated to nine years old;
- in one year, the development rate of animals is comparable to 14-year-old human children;
- at 1.5 years old, dogs in human form would be 20 years old by now and at 2-24 years old.
A three-year-old pet is considered fully mature and equated to a 30-year-old human. When it reaches 4-5 years of age, the speed of “dog life” slows down slightly, to 1:9 and 1:8. After 9 years, it returns to the standard ratio of 1:7 and gradually decreases.
For example, in the 10th and 11th years of a dog’s life, the dog’s age should be multiplied by 6.5, but later on, this indicator reaches 5.6. That is, at 16, the age of a pet corresponds to 90 years in human life.
Did you know? Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not entirely devoid of color vision. They see green, yellow, and blue in the same way as people do, but red pets are more sensitive and should seem dark grey based on their eyesight structure.
How to prolong a dog’s life
Over the years, the dog becomes part of the family, so it is logical to want to extend your pet’s life. This can only be done through responsible care, based on the following essential actions:
- timely vaccination and proper medical care (even if prevention fails, the treatment started on time will avoid many problems in the future);
- regular walking and ensuring adequate physical activity (even if the dog lives on a rope, it is worth walking at least once every 2 days, spending 1-2 hours on a walk);
- ensuring optimal conditions of detention, with a suitable place to rest and a balanced diet, according to the age of the animal;
- timely sterilization and castration upon reaching puberty (unless regular mating of dogs is planned).
And, of course, we must not forget to demonstrate our love for the pet. Feeling important in a dog’s life as a host will make it easier for the dog to cope with the environment’s negative influences.
Long-lived dog breeds
Given the genetic predisposition of many breeds too many sicknesses, it is not surprising that not all of them have a high life expectancy.
Long-term dogs in the dog world are considered to be those who have survived the age limit of 15 years, which, with reasonable care, is typical of collie, poodles, chihuahua, spatulas, bobbins, and Yorkshire terriers. Beagles, pit bulls, Labradors, Boston terriers, miniature schnauzers, pugs, sheepdogs, and likes live a little less, surviving on average 14-15 years old.
Dachshunds may also fall into this age group, but this is usually not common, and they do not live longer than 12-13 years.
Papillons are well deserved to be record-breakers in life expectancy among dogs, as these breeds’ age often reaches 18 or even 20 years. Of course, in each case, a lot depends on the living conditions created for the dog, because if you ignore your pet’s basic needs, you cannot hope for its good health and well-being.
The length of a dog’s life really isn’t as long as we would like it to be, but every day there is happiness for the pet next to a caring owner. It’s up to the person to decide what time the pet will have, so it’s worth doing everything possible to make the dog feel happy every day, no matter how long it has left.