Unfortunately, the fact is that dogs live much shorter than humans. If you ask yourself how long do dogs live, read this article. I hope it will answer your questions.
Anyone who’s had a dog knows the incredible bond that can form between human and animal. Having a dog is one of the best things in the world, but it isn’t without its downsides. Certainly one of the worst parts of dog ownership is that dogs don’t live as long as we do.
The average lifespan of a dog is said to be between 11 and 12 years. Studies show that only 20% of dogs live over their 14th birthday, with fewer than 10% making it to their 15th birthday.
As every dog parent, you don’t even want to think about the day when you will have to say a final goodbye to your four-pawed friend. If we could have it our way, we would move mountains to make sure our beloved fur babies lived as long as we did.
I know, your dog’s life expectancy is not a fun topic to think about, but there are steps you can take if you want them to live happy and healthy lives for as long as possible.
This article will detail the impact of dog size and dog breed on their average lifespan as well as provide tips on how to upgrade their health in an effort to extend their time on this earth.
How to Calculate Dog Years to Human Years?
It’s common knowledge that one year of a dog’s life is equal to seven human years. However, the truth is that this method isn’t entirely accurate. Dogs don’t age at the same rate as we do. In the first year of their lives, dogs mature by a comparable amount as humans do in their first 15 years.
Furthermore, a six-year-old Great Dane might be considered a “senior” dog, but the same isn’t true for a six-year-old Chihuahua.
Therefore, it’s helpful to break down a dog age table in terms of size, as you’ll see below, as it takes into account that not all dog sizes age the same way.
|Size of Dog||Small|
20 lbs or less
|Age of Dog||Human Years||Human Years||Human Years||Human Years|
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have even suggested an equation for more accurately converting your dog’s age into human years. You have to multiply the natural logarithm of a dog’s age in human years by 16 and then add 31.
Say your dog is 5 years old. The natural log of 5 is roughly 1.6. Multiply that by 16 and you get roughly 26. Add 31, and your pooch is therefore 57 in human years.
Factors Affecting a Dog’s Lifespan
It’s natural to want to keep our furry loved ones around as long as possible, which leads us, dog owners to wonder what factors affect a dog’s lifespan and what can we do to ensure that we spend as many years as possible with our precious pooches.
Although several factors determine a dog’s lifespan, size is one of the most obvious. Smaller dogs on average have longer lives than their larger canine cousins.
Why is this? Veterinarians and researchers aren’t exactly sure. Still, it has been suggested that it’s because larger dogs’ organs need to do more work or because bigger dogs grow at an accelerated rate and have organs that shut down sooner.
Just 13 percent of the largest dog breeds live more than 10 years, according to the WebMD Pet Health Center. In contrast, almost 40 percent of small dogs live 10 years or longer.
Small dogs and large dogs do not age at the same rate. This means that small dogs grow faster than large dogs.
Your dog’s breed will have a dramatic influence on his life expectancy. However, most dogs live somewhere between 11 and 12 years, but the figure varies significantly depending on the breed and several other factors.
I have put together a table showing life expectancy by dog breed, based upon a couple of big scientific studies.
|Afghan Hound||12||Airedale Terrier||11|
|Akita||10||American Cocker Spaniel||11|
|American Pit Bull Terrier||10||American Staffordshire Terrier||12|
|Australian Shepherd||12||Basset Hound||11|
|Bernese Mountain Dog||8||Bichon Frise||12|
|Border Collie||13||Boston Terrier||11|
|Cane Corso||10||Canaan Dog||12|
|Cardigan Welsh Corgi||13||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||11|
|Chesapeake Bay Retriever||9||Chow Chow||9|
|English Cocker Spaniel||12||English Setter||12|
|English Spring Spaniel||13||French Bulldog||10|
|German Shepherd||10||Giant Schnauzer||10|
|Golden Retriever||12||Great Dane||7|
|Irish Setter||12||Irish Wolfhound||7|
|Jack Russel Terrier||14||Keeshond||12|
|Labrador Retriever||12||Lhasa Apso||14|
|Miniature Dachshund||14||Miniature Poodle||14|
|Old English Sheepdog||11||Pekingese||12|
|Pembroke Welsh Corgi||12||Pomeranian||10|
|Shetland Sheepdog||13||Siberian Husky||12|
|Shin Tzu||13||Standard Poodle||12|
As you can see from the table above, when it comes to the dogs with the shortest lifespans, giant breeds are usually at the top of the list.
Just like humans, your dog’s diet has a significant impact on his longevity. The food you feed your pup from the time you bring him home will help determine his lifespan.
Providing a healthy, well-balanced diet to your dog can increase their expected lifespan significantly. At the same time, poor nutrition can result in health problems and a shortened lifespan, no matter what end of the spectrum you’re on.
Therefore, one of the best ways to improve your dog’s health and possibly reduce their medical bills is to feed them higher quality food. A dog with a proper, nutritious diet can live longer than one without.
In addition, if you want to make your dog live the longest, you’ll need to ensure that they eat a reasonable amount of food. If your pup overeats or eats too little, your dog could have a shorter dog lifespan.
Feeding your pet a restricted diet will help him live the long, healthy life you want him to live.
Just like humans, a dog’s health is dependent upon his lifestyle, not by some extreme measure or quick solution. By making sure your dog gets the care and attention he needs throughout his entire life, you’ll help him live longer.
For example, a dog’s dental health plays a larger role in his overall well-being than you may think. Oral bacteria resulting from poor dental care can travel through the bloodstream, and cause heart, liver, and kidney problems.
Dogs that receive their annual checkups and get their shots often live longer than those that don’t. Vaccines will protect your dog from various diseases, and getting yearly checkups allows the vet to catch illnesses quicker, which could give your pet a better chance at surviving.
Dogs give us unconditional love, companionship, cuddles, and endless joy. The least we can do is to take responsibility for their care and be proactive about their health in order to enrich our dog’s life.
Signs That Your Dog Is Aging
Age creeps up on all of us, but a surprising number of pet parents don’t realize that their dog has already reached their “senior” years.
Big dogs begin to age faster, some as early as six or seven years of age. Smaller dogs often don’t show signs of aging until they are nine or ten. Paying attention to the side effects of aging will help you make your dog comfortable in his later years.
Here are some common signs of aging to watch out for in your dog.
- Graying or whitening of the coat
- Trouble with hearing and vision
- Bad breath, bloody gums, and other oral problems
- Stiff muscles and joints, arthritis
- Lower activity level
- Increased sleep
- Behavioral changes such as increased anxiety, confusion, accidents in the house, irritability, etc.
Of course, love and patience are the best tools for coping with life changes. By working closely with your veterinarian, you can keep your dog comfortable as they get older and avoid as many health troubles as you can.
So now you know that the average dog lifespan is 11-12 years if the dog is well taken care of. Of course, there are multiple exceptions and some dogs will live shorter, others – much longer than expected.
Information about a dog’s expected lifespan won’t help blunt the pain of the loss of your furry friend, but it can help owners plan how to best care for their companions during the time we do have together.
Last but definitely not least, I really believe that dogs that are loved live longer. Dogs are just like people in that if they know that they are loved, then they will be happy, and they will be less prone to stress. So, the most important thing you can do for your dog is let him know, every day, how much you love him.