By Amy DeYoung
Updated Dec 13, 2022
It’s hard to acknowledge that dogs have much shorter lives than humans, especially when they bring so much love and joy to our lives. However, this is a key part of dog ownership that pet parents must accept as soon as possible. While we may wish our dogs would live forever, knowing how long they’ll live can help us prepare for their needs when they’re seniors. Giving your dog the best care possible can also help increase its life span.
Several factors will affect your dog’s life span, including genetics, breed, environment, and health care. Below, we’ll delve into how long dogs live and how you can support your dog’s health and help it have the happiest and longest life possible.
On average, dogs live approximately 10 to 13 years. However, this will vary depending on its environment, breed, genetics, health care, and much more.
The largest creatures in the animal kingdom often live the longest, such as whales or elephants, which are some of the biggest and longest-living mammals. However, dogs tend to follow the opposite trend.
Typically, small dog breeds live much longer than large dog breeds, often several years longer. At this time, scientists do not know why this happens. However, large dog breeds are theorized to develop more age-related diseases earlier in life, which may cause earlier deaths. Researchers believe this is because large dog breeds grow from puppies to adults quicker than smaller dogs, increasing their probability of abnormal cell growth and possible cancer formation.
Here are the average life spans based on size:
In short, the longest-living dog breeds are typically miniature or small dog breeds, such as the Maltese. These dogs tend to contract illnesses later in life, allowing them to live longer than their larger counterparts. However, there are many other factors that you can control about your dog’s life to help it increase its longevity.
Another factor to consider is whether or not your dog is purebred or mixed-breed. It’s believed that mixed dog breeds live longer than purebred dogs because they have a larger genetic pool, which may help them avoid some genetic conditions in their gene pool.
Here are some of the top factors that affect your dog’s lifespan:
All dog owners want their pups to live long lives. While we can’t change our dog’s breed or genetic predispositions, we can take proactive steps to have our furry friend regularly examined by the vet, vaccinated, and screened for medical conditions. Consult with your veterinarian about what your dog is most at risk of and ask what you can do to improve its health. Remember, a healthy lifestyle and plenty of love will help your dog have the best life possible.
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